10 fun places you’ll want to stay

Have you always dreamed of spending a night in a perched cabin? How about boarding a charming vintage “boatel” for a night? Or live in a tiny house for just a night or two, enjoying the minimalist environment without permanent lifestyle changes?

All of this is possible when you browse vacation rental listings scattered throughout the Sunshine State. As a getaway destination, Florida has no shortage of great accommodation options to help you check off an item on the to-do list or spice up your stay.

Here are some unique stays in the Sunshine State (prices per night vary; visit the listing page for more information on each stay).

Visitors to this charming vintage “boatel” just outside St. Augustine will likely be greeted with a cheery “Welcome aboard!” Enjoy sunrises by the water while learning about life at sea just inches from dry land.

This classic 32-foot trawler has air conditioning, cable TV, a dinette and a small bathroom on board, as well as a comfortable bed that can accommodate two people. Full size facilities are available at the marina, a short walk from the boat.

See the list: airbnb.com

The Tiki Suite is "soon to be a Key West icon," according to the Airbnb listing of this one-of-a-kind houseboat in South Florida.

A tiki hut and a houseboat? Sign me up. The hosts of this creative South Florida vacation say it will “soon be a Key West icon.”

A water taxi is the only way to access this floating cabin. On board, enjoy a porch with a hammock, king-size bed, small bathroom, and included stand-up paddle boards and snorkeling gear.

The listing says visitors can occasionally peek to spot dolphins, manatees, starfish and more.

See the list: airbnb.com

Located in Jupiter, these converts and "recycled" shipping containers now offer a unique vacation rental for up to eight people.

Who knew boring industrial shipping containers could find new life as a unique vacation rental? This Jupiter accommodation combines three recycled shipping containers that can accommodate up to eight people.

Inside, you’ll find a kitchen, two bathrooms, and four bedrooms, plus a second-floor balcony overlooking a river. Outside there is a patio and fire pit to enjoy an evening outdoors. Guests can take advantage of the free rental of kayaks and canoes or borrow bicycles on site.

See the list: glampinghub.com

This mesh hanging bed offers a cool glamping experience not far from the Suwannee River, courtesy of Hipcamp.

This suspended round bed offers the joys of open-air camping while offering the comfort of a soft mattress, suspended from a covered pavilion. Located on a farm (named after a Beach Boys song, “Kokomo”) near the Suwannee River, the accommodation has netting to keep bugs away and a projector for movie nights in bed.

The night offers the opportunity to feast on vegetarian or vegan pizzas baked in a brick oven, visit rescued farm animals or relax in a Zen garden. Kokomo Farms, listed by Hipcamp, can also accommodate guests in an off-grid cabin, treehouse, yurt, glamping tent, tiny house and more.

See the list: hipcamp.com

Glamping Hub offers this home consisting of two 1894 steam train cars in New Smyrna Beach.

Some travelers like to travel in sleeping cars on a train to distant destinations, while others prefer a more stationary sleeping situation. This quirky stay near New Smyrna Beach offers the comfort of sleeping on a train going nowhere, as this home is made up of two 1894 steam cars.

One car is the kitchen, dining room and family room, while the other contains the bedrooms. Enjoy access to the nearby beach, only about 4 miles away, as well as a wrap-around deck with chairs, fire pit, corn hole, and even WiFi.

See the list: glampinghub.com

Harvest Hosts offers places to stay for RV campers, providing a network of wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms and museums as places to park an RV.

While some nights allow dogs and pets, others do not. Take control of your RV trip and find places to camp at over 3,000 locations across the country with Harvest Hosts. This is especially important at a time when more than 50% of travelers are basing their plans on places that can accommodate pets, according to the company’s survey data.

The membership program, which costs $99 per year, allows self-driving RVs to park overnight, using a network of wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms and attractions. In Florida, there are wineries in Brooksville, Plant City, Eustis, Fort Pierce, and beyond, giving weary travelers the chance to pull over and sip locally made wines.

Learn more: harvesthosts.com

This grand luxury chateau can help guests feel like kings and queens during their stay in St. Augustine.  Find this ad on Vrbo.

Saint-Augustin is a city already steeped in history and charm. Complete the experience and step fully into the past by staying in this 5,000 square foot chateau that can accommodate up to 12 people.

According to the listing on Vrbo, the Great Hall is the “ultimate gathering space” with a two-story ceiling and a grand piano. The Castle of the Pillars is a luxury option to visit the city which claims to be the “oldest city in America”.

See the list: vrbo.com

A look inside the Star Wars themed Twelve Parsecs house in Davenport.

If you want to escape to a galaxy far, far away, consider an Orlando area vacation rental with the “Star Wars” universe in mind.

The Twelve Parsecs house has nine bedrooms and five bathrooms, with enough room to accommodate 16 people. Take on the role of pilot while falling asleep in themed beds, or float through the clouds while staying in a room reminiscent of the cloud city seen in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

This home could become the ultimate extension of a Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge trip to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But be decisive in booking because, as Yoda once said, “Do or don’t. There is no try.”

See the list: airbnb.com

The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the balcony of The Historic Driftwood Resort in Vero Beach, whose history dates back 85 years.

Located on the sun-bleached shores of Vero Beach, The Historic Driftwood Resort looks like the kind of place a pirate might dock and spend the night. In the 1930s, Waldo Sexton first built a driftwood getaway home for his family right on the beach before expanding the resort to accommodate other guests.

Modern visitors can enjoy a relaxed seaside retreat with its charming, historic and quirky atmosphere. Dine at the on-site Waldo’s Restaurant, enjoying seaside seafood. Other Vero Beach restaurants and points of interest are just steps away.

Learn more: verobeachdriftwood.com

Jules' Undersea Lodge is located approximately 30 feet under the sea near Key Largo.  It is only accessible by scuba diving and is the only underwater hotel in the United States.

Key Largo offers divers the opportunity to spend a night more than 20 feet below sea level. Jules’ Undersea Lodge is the only underwater hotel in the United States.

The hotel opened in 1986 and is named after novelist Jules Verne, who wrote “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

More information: jul.com

Know of any other hidden gems for overnight stays? Find me on Twitter @PConnPieinstagram @PConnPie or send me an email: [email protected].

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