Travel

Cool Airbnbs Near Miami To Book This Year

Brb packing a bag

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

Though anyone who still says “we live where you vacation” severely needs some lessons in originality, the truth is Floridians are pretty lucky to live in a place that many see as paradise. And since we’re now about a year into learning how to vacation here, too, the allure of the short drive getaway is stronger than ever.

Yes, within a few hours of Miami we can cruise to some of the coolest hotels in America, basking on the beach and breathing in the salty air. But much like we’ve also got some pretty unique people, we’ve also got some pretty cool, quirky Airbnbs. Within a few hours of South Florida, you can sleep atop a river, an ocean, or in a barn line with glass. So here’s a look at some of the coolest Airbnbs near Miami, so you can plan your next plane-free vacation.

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

The Treehouse Zephyr

Delray Beach, Florida
4-8 guests, $125 per night
Distance from Miami: 50-60 minutes
Though you won’t actually be sleeping in the trees, the view outside your massive bedroom window will look a lot more like the jungles of Costa Rica rather than Delray Beach. The lush landscaping makes this place a quiet, secluded escape, with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. You can book the Orange or Blue Door suites—or both if you have a large party. And enjoy the cool, all white décor after a long day at the beach.
Things to do nearby: Delray Beach might well be the coolest beach town in South Florida, and you’ll discover this as soon as you set foot on Atlantic Ave. Eat in one of its many outdoor restaurants like Elisabetta’s or The Office, then grab some beachside drinks at Boston’s. You’re also just down the road from the Asian paradise at Morikami Museum and Gardens, one of the best, and most unique museums in South Florida. And Salt 7 can match any club in South Beach for Instagram envy on a Saturday night.

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The Beach Pad

Hollywood Beach, Florida
2 guests, $178 per night
Distance from Miami: 30-45 minutes
Sure, you’ve led your friends in freezing parts of the country to believe you spend every waking hour on the beach. But you know and we know you can’t remember the last time you had a good beach day, and if you want to make up for lost time this is the place to do it. The cozy apartment is literally right over the sand, and you’ll be beckoned to it through nearly every window in the place. It also comes with a free parking space, which is clutch in Hollywood. Plus a massive King sized bed.
Things to do nearby: You’re literally spitting distance from the Hollywood boardwalk here, meaning all the colorful characters, rollerbladers, and football-skinned seniors will pass right under your window. Join them for a stroll and grab a burrito at The Taco Spot. Or walk over to the Intracoastal and try one of America’s best burgers at Le TubThe Diplomat Beach Resort is about five minutes away, if you’re looking for a little luxury. Or you can grab a drink poolside at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville resort, a few minutes’ walk down the boardwalk.

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Tiny House on Wheels

MIMO District, Miami
2 guests, $82 per night
Distance from Miami: 0 miles
Tiny house living in the shadow of oak trees isn’t only for far flung forest escapes! Just half a block off Biscayne Boulevard you can enjoy the cozy confines of this Boho bungalow on wheels, which host Veronica built along with her 8-year-old daughter. You’ll experience the cool shade of the old trees, while relaxing in the Queen sized bed or out on the spacious patio. Though you’re close to the main road, it’s nearly silent here sometimes, save for the chirping birds. A place you’ll hardly believe is only minutes from home.
Things to do nearby: The MiMo district is one of the most intriguing in Miami, where funky old neon hotels still line a street that’s become home to some of Miami’s most creative restaurants. Grab breakfast at El Bagel before taking a stroll around Morningside Park. Then enjoy a cool drink in the sandy tiki outdoors at The Anderson, or grab some brisket from Blue Collar and scarf it back at the house.

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Exotic, Romantic Private River Cabin

Bonita Springs, Florida
2 guests, $169 per night
Distance from Miami: 2 hours
The charms of Old Florida aren’t relegated to swampy inland enclaves and dripping towns in the panhandle. Just across the state along the Gulf Coast you’ll find Bonita Springs, where this one bedroom bungalow sits right atop the Imperial River surrounded by palmettos and Spanish moss. What’s more, the spacious balcony allows you to spend your getaway relaxing on the water, and spotting the otters, manatees, and other Florida wildlife that swims by.
Things to do nearby: Admittedly, Bonita Springs isn’t exactly teeming in nightlife, but what it lacks in bar hopping it makes up for in pristine coastline, where spots like the Bonita and Little Hickory Island Beach parks. You’re also smack between Naples and Ft. Myers, so if you’re looking to go out for a nice dinner or find a bar open past 10 pm, you won’t have to go far.

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Dome of the Glades

Naples, Florida
3 guests, $99 per night
Distance from Miami: About 2 hours
Not to be confused with the eerily Instagrammable Cape Romano Dome Houses at the fringe of Marco Island, this 1980s geodesic dome house is thankfully NOT sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. And offers a roomy, unique space to relax just outside the Everglades. The bedrooms all have an upstairs attic quality, and the back pool is completely secluded and serene. It’ll be almost like living in your own, personal Biodome, minus the constant observation and Pauly Shore.
Things to do nearby: The home sits in the Golden Gate estate, which if you’ve ever traversed Alligator Alley you know as the first sign of civilization after hours crossing the swamp. That means you’re not at all far from the stone crabs and airboat rides of Everglades City. And also pretty close to downtown Naples and the abundance of Italian restaurants and sushi joins that fill its main drag along 5th Street.

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Coconut Casita

Vero Beach, Florida
4 guests, $274 per night
Distance from Miami: 2 hours, 20 minutes
It doesn’t get much more Florida than living on a full acre of bananas, pineapples, lemons, and avocados. That is exactly what you’ll find surrounding this two-bedroom hideaway not far from downtown Vero Beach. The tropical gardens  near the casita and attached main house give the feeling of an agricultural Caribbean getaway, as does the Mediterranean-inspired deep water pool. In season, your hosts will even provide you with fresh oranges or grapefruits and a blender each day. It’ll be like your own, personal Interstate welcome center, just minutes from the sand.
Things to do nearby: Though Miamians don’t often think of hitting up Vero for a weekend, the beaches here are just as calming and colorful as our ones back home. With a fraction of the crowds. You can also sample some of the state’s best beer at the American Icon Brewery, a full-production facility set in an old diesel power plant.

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Oceanfront Penthouse

Melbourne Beach, Florida
5 guests, $195 per night
Distance from Miami: About 3 hours
When you live in Miami, the phrase “oceanfront penthouse” conjures up images of a dude with more jewelry than hair desperately trying to recapture the decade he just lost to a failed marriage. Not the case in Melbourne, though, where it means a wood-covered apartment that literally puts you right over the sand. The unit has a private deck from which to enjoy sunrise to the soft sounds of the Atlantic, with sliding doors just off the master suite. The high ceilings give this a definitive beach house vibe, and if you want more than just your immediate family to join, the hosts have two units downstairs too, sleeping up to eight more.
Things to do nearby: Melbourne is home to one of the best small town zoos in the country, so if the sounds of the surf get old take a short drive to the Brevard Zoo and catch a live alligator feeding. You’re also in the heart of the Space Coast, so taking a trip to the Kennedy Space Center is also a must. For natural encounters, hit the Canaveral National Seashore for some pristine coastline and undeveloped Florida wetland.

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

Studio at the Pura Vida Farm

Vero Beach,  Florida
4 guests, $88 per night
Distance from Miami: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Finding a charming studio atop an historic barn in Florida seems about as likely as renting a beachfront condo in Vermont, but head inland from Vero and you’ll find it at Pura Vida Farm. The one bedroom space is adorned in weathered wood sliding doors and vintage lamps, more reminiscent of pastoral New England than the Treasure Coast. You’ll have a chance to mingle with Sweetheart the donkey, as well as the horses Sundance, Teddy, and Miss Daisy. Plus, there’s a swing set and exercise equipment if strolling the grounds isn’t quite enough for you (or your kids’) daily workout.
Things to do nearby: If the rural scenery at the farm has you hankering for a change of landscape, hit up the McKee Botanical Garden, where you’ll find nearly every kind of flora in Florida spread over 18 acres. Check out one of the region’s more underrated art collections at the Vero Beach Museum of Art and serene wetlands at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

Award-Winning Tiny House 

Melbourne, Florida
3 guests, $68 per night
Distance from Miami: About 3 hours
The glass panel walls on this award-winning tiny house would be enough to land it on the cover of an architectural magazine. But what’s inside is almost more impressive: a farmhouse sink, stainless steel appliances, a glassed-in shower with a river rock floor, and a decorative brick wall. If that weren’t cozy enough, there’s also an outdoor fire pit for those frigid Central Florida nights. And a loft that’s spacious enough to sleep two with room to spare.
Things to do nearby: Though surfing is right up there with ice fishing on the list of reasons people visit Florida, probably the best spot to do it is Sebastian Inlet. You can also find the area’s best opportunity of (safely) spotting an alligator at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Or just enjoy some time on the sand at Paradise Beach and Park.

Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.
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