Oregon

The 11 Best & Most Unique Airbnbs in Portland, Oregon

by Ariel Frager

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Tucked between two mountain ranges and bisected by the Willamette River, Portland boasts a laid-back vibe with an earnest devotion to authenticity and originality.

Portland attractions range from the classic and outdoorsy — you can hike in Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country —  to the gastronomic. James Beard is from here, after all. The city is quirky, weird, and lovable, and even people who live here find themselves constantly finding new things to do. Pecularium, anyone?

At it’s heart, Portland is a city of neighborhoods, each with their own personality and history. In every neighborhood, restaurant gems abound, giving visitors a great taste of local food culture no matter where they stay.

Given that it’s a city known for being weird, it’s no surprise that Airbnbs in Portland are eclectic, colorful, and unique. If you’ve ever seen the show “Portlandia,” you’ll know that the city has a bit of a reputation for being creative, welcoming, and open-minded. Well, good news: Portlandia was funny because it was true.

1. Bright and Airy Guesthouse

southeast portland studio
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Light-filled studio in hip Inner Southeast Portland.

  • Location: Richmond neighborhood
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $85/night

This bright and airy guesthouse may be a cozy 240 square feet, but the well-designed space does a good job catching the sometimes illusive Northwest sunshine. Located in central Southeast Portland, the studio is in a prime spot to explore both the Hawthorne neighborhood and Division Street Restaurant Row.

A focus on locally made art and simple, clean lines lends the space a classic Portland aesthetic. The studio has a kitchenette with coffee from a neighborhood roaster, area guidebooks, and access to the host’s verdant backyard.

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2. Fowler House

fowler house portland
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Modern and stylish guesthouse that’s won major architectural accolades.

  • Location: North Portland
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum Stay: 5 nights
  • Rates from: $108/night

Fowler House features 10-foot-high windows that stretch up to meet the cathedral ceiling. High-end appliances and sharp knives make Fowler House a perfect spot for creating your own Oregon farm-to-table experience. The backyard ADU is wheelchair accessible and shares the outside space with the hosts.

The Arbor Lodge neighborhood location is quite far from Downtown, but the quaint main street of St. John’s feels like a small town within the city. A short walk from this location is the Waud Bluff Trail, leading from North Willamette Boulevard to a bluff with river views.

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3. Wald House

wald house portland OR
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Iconic 1970’s wood-paneled paradise in the forest.

  • Location: West Hills
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $300/night

Whether you like the city or the woods, Wald House offers the best of both worlds. The home is adjacent to Marquam Nature Park, covering nearly 180 acres of urban forest. And it’s just a short drive into the heart of the city — you could even walk almost entirely on trails into downtown. In the home, the abundant windows frame the densely wooded land, filtering the light and giving the space the sense of living in the canopy.

Dwell Magazine profiled Wald House in 2017. The home features both modern and vintage furnishing and artwork by the owners and their friends. It’s the ultimate Portland maker space, with white walls and wooden details that elevate the space into a super relaxing and creative space.

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Follow ’em: @waldhousepdx

4. Saul Zaik Treehouse

Saul Zaik Treehouse portland
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A modern treehouse offering the best views of Portland.

  • Location: West Hills
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $195/night

The Saul Zaik Treehouse is built around the 67-foot-tall mast from a WWII Liberty ship. The exquisite home provides stunning views of Downtown and Mount St. Helens from its perch in the West Hills. The treehouse backs to the Marquam Nature Park that peaks at Council Crest Park, a short one-mile walk from the home.

This Airbnb is all about the uninterrupted view and privacy that only a soaring treehouse can provide. Vast windows from all sides offers a unique perspective, high above the rainy streets below. Make sure to note that this isn’t a private rental – it’s an in-law suite in the owner’s home. You’ll have access to a stunning yard and garden, bedroom, bath, deck, and sitting room, but no private kitchen. Past reviewers did comment on how friendly the host is, however (along with his cat!)

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Follow ’em: @saulzaiktreehouse

5. Backyard Mud Hut

cozy mud hut airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Channel your inner hobbit, second breakfast and all.

  • Location: North Portland
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum Stay: 30 nights
  • Rates from: $72/night

Moving in to a backyard mud hut for the minimum 30 day stay sounds like the beginning of a “Portlandia” skit, but once you check in you’ll realize it’s a dream come true. This North Portland accommodation is made entirely out of locally sourced natural materials. Designed as a retreat, the mud hut itself is without electricity, but you can charge up in the outdoor kitchen. It’s an excellent Portland Airbnb for visitors who love unique experiences and prefer uncommon, natural experiences to luxury hotels.

Guest Alistair commented in December 2019, “Magical. This is more than a place to stay, it’s an experience.”

With a view of the iconic St. John’s Bridge, this slightly more isolated area of North Portland offers visitors a chance to explore the expansive Cathedral Park on the Willamette River or paddle along the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers at nearby Kelley Point Park.

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6. Magic Barn

magic barn portland
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Rustic-meets-artsy digs in a close-to-everything locale.

  • Location: Richmond neighborhood
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Minimum Stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $98/night

The Magic Barn has an earth, warm feel, thanks to repurposed old growth barn planks and original 1936 rafters. It’s not surprising that it’s artsy – the hosts are artists and use the Magic Barn as a showcase for their sculpture and woodworking talents. If you’re traveling with a big group, the Magic House on the property can also be rented, sleeping up to ten people.

Less than a mile up the road is Mt Tabor Park, the former home to Portland drinking water reservoirs. While the reservoirs are still there, the water is no longer supplies Portland homes. A great spot for an uphill bike ride or a hike, Mt Tabor Park features a picturesque view of the entire city.

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7. Classic Craftsman

Alameda home airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A clean and comfortable entire house with a great view.

    • Location: Alberta Arts District
    • Sleeps: 4
    • Minimum Stay: 4 nights
    • Rates from: $225/night

The Classic Craftsman bungalow exemplifies the best of Portland Craftsman-style architecture. A favored home style from the early 20th century, Craftsman style usually exemplifies design elements like box beams, built-in shelving, simple lines and wood finishing – and this home is no exception.

Located atop Alameda Ridge, the bungalow is a short walk to the restaurants, bars, and galleries of the Alberta Arts District. Alberta Street is home to the monthly Last Thursday art walk and street fair extravaganza, attracting everyone tourists to circus performers to local children selling Girl Scout Cookies.

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8. Zen Loft

zen loft portland airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: The New York Times likes this place, and so will you.

  • Location: Division/Clinton neighborhood
  • Sleeps: 2
  • Minimum Stay: 2
  • Rates from: $122

This Zen Loft makes the most out of a relatively small studio space. The accordion-style foldable Nano wall brings the outside in, opening the interior out to a private patio with a hot tub. The designers used lots of steel and wood to create a comfortable and industrial chic living area. But watch your head – the sleeping loft is located up high off the ground.

Just a few short blocks away are the restaurants of Division Street, where you can eat, drink, and shop on Portland’s newest hot spot. Try local favorite Salt & Straw Ice Cream, followed by it’s not-nearly-as-famous competitor, Pinolo Gelato. Other delicious options include Bollywood Theater, Xico and Oma’s Takeaway.

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9. Ladybird Converted Bus

Lady Bluebird Converted Bus airbnb
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Retro repurposed living space in a fun vitage school bus.

  • Location: North Portland
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum Stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $75/night

Relive your childhood in the  Ladybird Converted Bus, a redesigned 1984 school bus. The bus serves up  surprising 320 square feet of living space and can sleep up to three comfortably, but four in a pinch.

Nancy said in August 2020, “Wonderful ‘Portland’ funky experience. Great neighborhood. Seemed secure enough. Big thumbs up.”

The quiet residential neighborhood of Piedmont is located close to the shopping areas of the Alberta Arts District and Mississippi Avenue. Within walking distance is the Peninsula Park Rose Garden, home to thousands of blooms and rose varieties. It’s the perfect place to learn why Portland is nicknamed “The Rose City.”

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10. Backyard cottage

portland oregon cottage rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Quaint and affordable living space for long-term stays.

  • Location: Inner Southeast
  • Sleeps: 5
  • Minimum Stay: 30 nights
  • Rates from: $37/night

Inner Southeast Portland hosts a variety of adorable Airbnbs, including this backyard cottage that shares space with a koi pond and a private patio. The interior of the two-bedroom cottage features antiques and a warm living space made even cozier with a wood stove to heat up the cool Portland nights.

The prime location in the center of Southeast Portland allows easy access to Downtown and the Hawthorne and Division/Clinton neighborhoods. The hosts are former coffee shop owners, so expect a quality cup when you wake up in this well-cared-for space.

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11. Hand-built cottage

Handbuilt Alberta Arts Cottage
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Fido and friends will enjoy this light-filled space.

  • Location: Alberta Arts District
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum Stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $165/night

This one-bedroom hand built cottage has a thoughtful design and makes great use of space, despite being small. Lovingly crafted by the hosts, exposed wood frames a non-claustrophobic loft space, giving it lots of character. The chef’s kitchen opens to the main living space, inviting everyone to participating in meal making.

Not too far from here is McMenamins Kennedy School, a reimagined elementary school turned into a restaurant, bar, and entertainment hub for the neighborhood. The auditorium is now a movie theater, the principal’s office a wine bar, and the detention room is a place to smoke cigars. It’s a funky experience for sure.

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