Dramatic canyons, cacti, bright orange earth and stark rock formations of the Southwest US desert offer the perfect setting to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

If you’re thinking of going on a desert vacation, don’t opt for a boring hotel. Here are a few wacky and unique accommodation options in the Southwest to contemplate; from geodesic domes to treehouses to landlocked boats, the choice is yours!

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The Domes at Canyonlands – Monticello, Utah

Photo credit: Josh // Airbnb

These five cosy and cute geodesic domes are located on private land close to Canyonlands National Park, which is only a 45 minute drive away. They’re ideal for outdoor adventures who want to enjoy the quiet beautiful scenery and the wondering goats after a day of hiking and exploring in the park.

Each dome retreat has its own private bathroom/shower house a short walk away.  Amenities include refrigerator and microwave, air conditioning and heating. Suitable for the whole family, even fur babies!

Sleeps up to 4 guests.

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1958 Airstream Desert Hideout – Cortez, Colorado

Photo credit: Mark // Airbnb

Nestled in red rock canyons, this 1958 Airstream trailer has been completely renovated in a contemporary/retro style and is situated under a 900 year old juniper tree. The two person retreat has a well-equipped kitchenette, covered patio with outdoor heating, gas BBQ and seating area to watch the stunning sunsets.  Comfortable hammocks can be found behind the trailer for total privacy.

A tranquil location for walking and bike rides straight from the door to explore the stunning scenery, flora and fauna.  Two vineyards are just a few miles away and well worth a visit on your Colorado getaway,

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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Western Saloon – Tetonia, Idaho

Photo credit: Ashley // Airbnb

Relive the Wild West in this recreated and totally epic cowboy saloon, located with stunning views of the Teton mountains which can be enjoyed seated beside the creek or around the fire pit.  There’s also a saltwater hot tub and wagon changing room – both a short distance from the cabin.

The saloon boasts a well-equipped kitchen, breakfast/whiskey bar, fully stocked bathroom and laundry room.

Ideal for a special occasion, this unique stay in Southwest USA is one that won’t be forgotten in a hurry!

Sleeps up to 4 guests.

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Rustic Cabin – Glad Park, Colorado

Photo credit: Jake //Airbnb

Ideal for a memorable wintery getaway, this cosy and utterly quirky wooden cabin is set on an active horse ranch with log burning stoves, a wooden spiral staircase to the floor above, and a unique octagonal bathroom with rock shower.

Ideal for family groups to enjoy outdoor pursuits such as walking, horse riding, all-terrain vehicle riding and hunting. Located close to the Colorado National Monument.

Sleeps up to 9 guests.

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Mountain Views Shipping Container – El Prado, New Mexico

Photo credit: Keith // Airbnb

Get away from it all in this attractively converted shipping container whose colour blends with the plains and affords beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.  The compact living space has pale walls with gorgeous splashes of yellow and blue from furniture and soft furnishings.  Floor to ceiling windows and concertina deck doors give magnificent views of the surrounding area.

Be aware that the container is approached via a bumpy 0.3 mile track.  It appears to be in the middle of nowhere but is in fact a 15 minute drive to the town of Taos, 25 minutes to ski valley and 10 minutes to the Rio Grande.

Sleeps up to 3 guests.

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An Earthship – Taos County, New Mexico

Photo credit: Rohin // Michelle

This unique earth house was built in 2013 using mostly recycled and natural materials and is partially underground.  It is comfortable but sustainable living with off-grid solar power, water harvesting and integrated green house and large windows to enjoy the views and open starry skies.  Although modern, be aware that sustainable living means water and electricity needs to be used thriftly which may not be to everyone’s preference.

This unique property is located about 20 minutes from the beautiful town of Taos and 45 minutes from the Taos Ski Valley.

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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Silo Farm Stay – Troy, Texas

Photo credit: Waco Vacation Rentals // Airbnb

Set in the verdant pastures of the Laughing Llama Farm, this converted cylindrical silo (grain tower) is a quirky place to stay.  It has been beautifully converted with a sweeping curved staircase up to a loft bedroom completed with a striking domed ceiling made from old wood and a recycled truck bonnet bedhead!  Just one of the artistic touches to found at this property.

A large covered porch has been added to the silo to allow a relaxing seating area to enjoy the quiet secluded setting.  A short distance away is an additional outdoor shower and fishing pond a little further away, if you’d like to bring your fishing gear.

Sleeps up to 4 guests.

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Eco Glamping – Lago Vista, Texas

Photo credit: Rest on Seventh // Airbnb

Texas Hill Country is the setting of these adult-only stylish, futuristic-looking pods each with a raised deck with either a hot tub or a dedicated bubble tent for star gazing and sunrise watching.  A ship ladder leads to a further loft bedroom.  The kitchenette boasts a novel GoSun solar cooker.

Amenities include grill and outdoor hammock sites with a communal fire pit to enjoy the surrounding scenery.  WIFI is not included to help you really unplug during your Southwest vacation.

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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Ryders Treehouse – Baird, Texas

Photo credit: David // Airbnb

Situated in the middle of a working ranch, this is an ideal location for a romantic weekend away.  Get away from it all (there is no Wi-Fi!) in this one-of-a-kind house amongst the tree tops built in an enclosed lawned garden with firepit seating, hammock and double swing bench suspended from tree boughs.

Located at ground level is an outdoor bathroom and kitchen.  An outside spiral stair case leads to a delightful bedroom and a raised walkway to an elevated sitting area, Ryder’s Roost, for outdoor meals or evening drinks to admire the views.

The bedroom is fully heated and airconditioned.

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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The Narrows A Frame – Hurricane, Utah

Photo credit: Mindy // Airbnb

Embrace the joys of camping without sacrificing comfort in this small A frame glamping house with side decked patio complete with gas barbecue and kitchenette station.  A clear section of the pitched roof lifts up to extend the bedroom area and create a cover for the deck.  Close by is a fire pit and a private cabin bathroom.

Though located on a campsite, The Narrows A Frame feels secluded and has stunning views of the red rock Utah mountains.  No Wi-Fi or TV but there is a fridge/freezer in the bedroom and heating and air conditioning is available.

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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Desert Boat – Joshua Tree, California

Photo credit: Michele // Airbnb

For a very quirky, nautical stay for two in the deserts of California, you could try Joshua Tree Land Yacht Club.  Bedroom accommodation is provided in the bow of a landlocked speedboat with a covered deck and adjacent wooden decking.  No beach in sight, just desert sands and vast open spaces!

Amenities include a partially-outdoor galley kitchen with seating area, gas barbecue and gas fire pit; separate bathroom and outdoor shower room hut and a small separate Tiki living room.

This colourful, creative oasis in the desert is a sight to behold.  You can tell that the owners are artists by the funky signage and arty touches.  There is full electricity (with mini fridges) but it is low voltage and solar lighting so as not to distract from the night sky.  There is no TV.  A stock tank pool can be hired for the decking in warmer months.

Sleeps up to 2 guests.

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A similar, but less idiosyncratic, land boat can be found at Bisbee, Arizona.


The Belle Plain Caboose – Baird, Texas

Photo credit: David // Airbnb

Part striking red train carriage, part enclosed wooden porch, this stylish modern accommodation is definitely worth checking out!  Located in the middle of a working ranch besides a well-stocked 17 acre fishing lake, this property is secluded and tranquil.  In the body of the train carriage you will find the bedroom, ensuite bathroom and open plan kitchen and living area, all very attractively presented and well-equipped.

The enclosed porch is attached to the carriage and provides an additional open-plan kitchen with gas barbecue and comfortable seating area with views across the lake and fountain.

Outside, the enclosed lawned garden has a patio overlooking the lake with a bench swing and long jetty into the water with a seating platform at its end.  An ideal spot to fish and watch the setting sun.   Get away from it all – there is no wifi!

Sleeps up 2 guests

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Have you found somewhere unique and quirky to stay for a Southwest getaway?

The post The Most Unique Accommodation in Southwest USA first appeared on Travelettes.