Florida

12 Unique Florida Airbnbs for a Sunshine State Retreat

by Kristen Arendt

best florida airbnb rentals
Photo: Airbnb

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With just shy of 1,200 miles of coastline on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, plus 175 state parks, trails, and recreation areas, Florida has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts.

Come to Florida ready to hike, paddle, bike, or simply relax on a sandy beach. And with attractions ranging from South Beach to Disney World and Universal Studios to the Kennedy Space Center and national parks, there’s no shortage of entertainment.

And if cities are more your scene, you’ll be in luck whether you hang out at the laid-back beaches of the panhandle or prefer Miami’s late-night Latin scene. So book a stay at one of the best Florida Airbnbs and get out there to explore the Sunshine State.

1. Luxury Treehouse

florida treehouse airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A unique bungalow with backwoods charm.

  • Nearest town: Kissimmee
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $112/night

This treehouse has a delightful mix of modern amenities in a rustic setting, complete with friendly geckos scampering around (outside, of course!) You won’t be roughing it with the contemporary kitchen and full bathroom complete with a shower. This peaceful glamping retreat is located just outside of Orlando, so you’re within easy driving distance of multiple all-day activities including Disney World and Universal Studios, not to mention the restaurants and shopping that surround them.

If the natural scene is more your style, head up the road to nearby Lake Kissimmee State Park for hiking, fishing, boating, biking, paddling, or picnicking. And when you’re done exploring the area, head back to the bungalow to put your feet up at one of the several outdoor seating areas under the treehouse.

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2. Treehouse In The Clouds

florida treehouse st cloud
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A romantic getaway with great outdoor space and window walls.

  • Nearest town: Saint Cloud
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $150/night

Built in a sprawling live oak tree, this aptly named treehouse in the clouds features a bedroom with three walls of windows, a wrap-around walk, and a raised deck so you can fully soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Perfect for the couple looking for a peaceful escape in a private setting, this one-bedroom space also has a full bathroom and a small kitchenette.

The area is rural, and you can get a true county experience by making friends with your neighbors, who just so happen to be four horses who live on the property. And if you choose to venture out for the day, you’re only 30 miles south of central Orlando, or about an hour from the sand and surf at Cocoa Beach.

“The most amazing Airbnb we have ever stayed in, everything is so beautiful and exceeded all of our expectations. We are counting the days until we can come back.”

Ali, Boca Raton
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3. Lakeland Lake House

lakeland florida lake house
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Live the good life at one of the best lakefront Florida Airbnbs (with a private pool!)

  • Nearest town: Lakeland
  • Sleeps: 14
  • Minimum stay: 4 nights
  • Rates from: $316/night

If you’re looking for the perfect getaway for the entire family, this lakefront house has pretty much everything you’ll need for an outstanding family vacation. With six bedrooms, you can treat the kids to their own rooms and still have plenty of space to spare.

The house is pet-friendly and has a fully fenced backyard so you can let the kids and pups roam. Lakeland is about halfway between Tampa and Orlando, so you have your choice of plenty of family-friendly activities within easy driving distance – though with the amenities of this house, you probably won’t want to leave.

It’s hard to say which backyard amenity is more alluring between the lakefront access or the large pool. Either way, all you have to do is walk out the back door. The rental includes access to a private dock on the lake and you can rent a boat or bring your own. Water tubes, skis, a wakeboard, a kneeboard, a standup paddleboard, and a kayak are provided along with the rental. The large, screened-in pool and patio area are perfect for an evening grilling up dinner and hanging out with the family.

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4. Danville Treehouse

Danville Treehouse airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A tiki-themed treehouse paradise with a complimentary golf cart (and goats!)

  • Nearest town: Geneva
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $180/night

Part yurt, part adult-sized playground, this unique Danville treehouse is so much more than just a place to sleep. The spacious yurt has a raised two-tier wood deck with a fireplace and grill, a ground-level hot tub (made from – wait for it – a DC-10 jet engine,) and a Tiki hut-style outdoor bar and seating area with lights. Glamping at its finest, the yurt also has a shower, air conditioning, a flush toilet, high-speed Wi-Fi, a flat-screen television, and an elevator. Yes, an elevator.

During your stay, you’ll be provided with a golf cart to get to and from the yurt, which is located on five acres. Danville itself is a rather unique collection of eclectic guest houses built on a private airstrip including a complete “town” built inside an airplane hangar, all built by Airbnb superhost and self-proclaimed “mayor” of Danville, Dan Shaw. On the property, you have opportunities for kayaking, horseback riding, biking, and other activities. Although Orlando is right up the road, you may find that Danville has all the fun you need to fill your stay.

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5. Picayune Strand Treetop Bungalow

Picayune Strand Treetop Bungalow
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: An over-the-water retreat on an organic farm in a state forest.

Nearest town: Naples
Sleeps: 2
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Rates from: $125/night

Located on a five-acre organic farm, this simple, remote bungalow at Picayune Strand provides a stripped-down-to-the-essentials experience to get you away from your daily grind. Located in the heart of Picayune State Forest, the second-story room opens to a porch with a view of the water. The eco-friendly bungalow comes with a generator for electricity, hot running water, and air conditioning. There’s a communal washroom with two stalls and a large shower.

The off-the-grid experience means you should come ready to unplug and enjoy your surroundings. You have your choice of birding, mountain biking, and hiking at the state forest or you can hop in the car for a short drive to see the wildlife at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary or Big Cypress National Preserve. And if you want more mainstream activities for the day, you’re only 15 minutes from the high-end shopping or renowned white-sand beaches of Naples.

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6. The Old Spanish Consulate Pool and Garden Room

Old Spanish Consulate Pool and Garden Room airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: An elegant private room in a historical Victorian bed and breakfast.

  • Nearest town: Pensacola
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $115/night

This queen bedroom with a private bath at the Old Spanish Consulate is the perfect getaway for a couple or solo traveler looking seeking luxury and relaxation. Along with your cozy room, which comes with a small fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker, you also get access to the outstanding pool and spa area of “The Castle.”

This beautiful house is located within walking distance of shopping and restaurants and just two blocks from the Pensacola Bay Center. You can enjoy concerts in the park, the farmers market, shops, dining, and events. And with miles of public beach access a few minutes’ drive away, you can bet that if you aren’t soaking up some sun at the Old Spanish Consulate’s pool, you’ll be out catching some rays on the Gulf.

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7. Vintage ’71 Airstream

Vintage '71 Airstream florida airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A lux Airstream with a waterslide near Anna Maria Island and St. Pete.

  • Nearest town: Bradenton
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $113/night

Retro is in right now, and this vintage ‘71 Airstream checks all the retro boxes. If you’ve always wondered what tiny house living might be like, book a few nights’ stay. This remodeled Empress Airstream comes with a small kitchen, air conditioning, a refrigerator, stovetop, and even a projector for movies. You have a separate private bathroom and access to some great outdoor spaces including a pool, hot tub, playground, and fire pit. You can also bring your pup with an additional pet fee.

Located just south of Tampa Bay, you can easily head into Tampa or hip St. Petersburg for the day. Or if taking it easy is more your style, nearby Anna Maria Island offers seven miles of some of the best white sand beaches in the area. Bring a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the waters at the inlet of Tampa Bay. For a bonus, time your outing to catch a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico – don’t forget your camera.

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8. Dog Friendly Private Beach House

vero beach house airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A Instagram-worthy beachside getaway on the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Nearest town: Vero Beach
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 6 nights
  • Rates from: $359/night

This newly-remodeled house will quickly feel like your new home-away-from-home. With plenty of seating both inside and out, a modern kitchen, and tidy bedrooms for every member of the family (including pets, who are allowed,) you’ll rule the roost at this private home. And to top it all off, you’re less than a minute walk from the beach. No excuses for not getting your fill of sun and sand.

If you’re looking for a change from the ocean, a short drive inland will take you to St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park where you can enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on the many miles of trails that explore the park’s exotic looking pine flatwoods. Photographers and bird watchers will love the diverse area, which is home to over 50 protected species. You can also paddle, boat, or fish along the St. Sebastian River.

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9. Barefoot Parrot House

barefoot parrot house airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A luxurious house near adorable Dunedin and a trolly ride away from other charming coastal towns.

  • Nearest town: Dunedin
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $225/night

The location of this spacious, modern Barefoot Parrot House is pretty hard to beat. From the house, you can easily walk to Main Street in quaint downtown Dunedin for shopping, dining, breweries, clubs, and galleries – or catch the “Jolley Trolley” to head to the beach or other nearby coastal towns. Whether you’re looking for a stroll along the waterfront or a laid-back day in town, this coastal-style house is perfectly situated for your day’s activities.

While in the area, be sure to check out nearby Honeymoon Island State Park, world-renowned for its white-sand beaches. It’s a great spot for swimming, fishing, shell collecting, hiking, or biking. And if you have time, take a trip out to Caladesi Island State Park, which is only accessible by boat or ferry. A visit to this undeveloped Gulf Coast island is sure to be a memorable experience.

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10. Clark Cottage

Clark Cottage florida airbnb rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A comfortable coastal cottage with beachy vibes.

  • Nearest town: St. Augustine
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $205/night

The beautifully redesigned 1920’s Clark Cottage has all the modern amenities with just enough original character to give the home a unique look and feel. The house comes well-stocked with all the basics along with some extras like books, games, and an outdoor fire pit. The cottage has great indoor and outdoor seating, along with a hammock on the enclosed front porch, so you have lots of spaces to relax.

You’ll have plenty to do during your stay, from historic downtown St. Augustine to the multitude of beautiful beaches in the area. The rental also includes several cruiser bikes for you to use if you’d like to pedal around the neighborhood or head into town (bring your bike helmet.)

“This was by far our BEST Airbnb experience. The place looks just like the pictures. A combination of homie with a tropical paradise fee[.”/quote] Check Availability

11. Private Island Retreat

Private Island Retreat florida
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay:  It’s literally your own private island.

  • Nearest town: Longboat Key
  • Sleeps: 10
  • Minimum stay: 4 nights
  • Rates from: $579/night

Have you ever wanted to escape to your own private island? Now you can, at least for a little while, with this island retreat. Only accessible by boat, this three-story home is designed to optimize your view of the water. The open floor plan, two-story wall of windows, and wraparound deck all ensure you can soak up the views of your own island paradise.

Located on Jewfish Key in Sarasota Bay, this island is uniquely situated to give you the best of all world. You have the water at your disposal for boating, fishing, jet-skiing, or paddling, plus you can cruise over to Sarasota for a bit of culture; the Ringling Circus Museum is delightfully quirky. And at the end of the day when you just want to kick back and relax, head out to the private beach or upper deck to enjoy the sunset. You might wish you could be marooned on this island forever. It’s definitely one of the most luxurious Florida Airbnbs on this list.

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12. Historic 1920 Island Dog House

Historic 1920 Island Dog House
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A luxurious Airbnb plus home near a historic city.

  • Nearest town: St. Augustine
  • Sleeps: 7
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $189/night

Just three blocks north of King Street in the heart of historic downtown St. Augustine, the one-of-a-kind historic Island Dog House is cozy and beyond charming. Built in 1920, the house is refurbished with antique furnishing and artwork, so you’ll feel like you’re walking into the parlor of old town Saint Augustine – but with a modern kitchen and living room with a flat-screen television.

Founded in 1565, one of St. Augustine’s claims to fame is being the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the United States. History buffs will love exploring the area and visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument to tour the remains of an old Spanish fort dating back to 1672. And beach bums can head to the coast for their choice of beaches ranging from the popular St. Augustine Beach to the pristine Anastasia State Park, a protected wildlife sanctuary.

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