Skip the hotel/motel/Holiday Inn: despite the Sugarhill Gang’s recommendation, I’ve found a few places that are just a bit more memorable. From private islands and historic mansions to shipping containers and eco-friendly yurts, this list of seven quirky Airbnbs in Ohio has everything you need for a truly one-of-a-kind experience!
NOTE: Since pricing fluctuates, rates were omitted. Click the link for each to get the current nightly rates.
Where: Amherst, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: Around four hours north
Owners Stefan and Stacey Bock describe their accommodation known as Bock’s Jukejoint as a “unique recycled place inspired by the Mississippi Delta shotgun shacks.” The standout feature here isn’t the colorful decor or the clawfoot tub, but rather the entire recreated saloon, complete with a bar to drink away the blues and a stage to perform them. Neighbors, friends, and family all came together to help build this barn by hand, resulting in a true labor of love that has since hosted more than 100 musicians (some of them Grammy-nominated!) from around the world. The space has one bedroom and one bath and can sleep up to four guests.
Where: Swanton, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: Less than three and a half hours north
Each yurt in The Eco Camp has a queen-sized bed, carpeting, heating, and access to a shared lounge space with an outdoor fire pit, cooking stoves, and a kitchen in a renovated Airstream. The entire camp—which you and 23 of your closest friends can rent if one yurt just won’t do—runs on solar power and aims for sustainability in everything they do. It’s also dog-friendly so your pup can enjoy your weekend escape and the surrounding trails in Oak Openings Metropark alongside you. One yurt sleeps four guests and comes with one bedroom and one bath.
Where: Dover, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: Three and a half hours northeast
Tiny living has taken over HGTV, and now you can experience it with a twist right here in Ohio. Ryann, the owner of the Riverside Hideout, bought a shipping container on Craigslist and transformed it by hand into a cozy retreat outside of Canton. Book a stay to simply relax in this secluded space, unwind in the hot tub, and enjoy the thoughtful, colorful touches that make it feel like home. The one bedroom abode sleeps four and has one bathroom.
Where: Indian Lake, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: A little over two hours north
Turtle Shell Island was once owned by a silent movie star, and you may feel like one too when a boat delivers you to your own private island. The cottage on Indian Lake has been transformed into an ultra-private vacation destination with everything you need for a memorable stay like fishing poles, shuffleboard, and plenty of space for grilling out and swimming under the sun. The two bedroom, one bathroom space sleeps up to six guests.
Where: Alliance, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: Four hours northeast
Treat the king or queen in your life like the royalty they are with a stay in the castle-like Purcell Mansion. Stepping into the three charming suites is like stepping back in time, and the gated entrance, spiral staircase, roaring fireplaces, and ornate decor only amplify the feeling. Built in 1929, the mansion proudly claims a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It sits on 13 pristine, manicured acres, and, of course, includes complimentary breakfast for every guest. A private room in the castle comes with one bedroom, one bathroom, and sleeps two.
Drive time from Cincinnati: Not much, because it’s in Cincinnati
This spacious houseboat on the Ohio River sleeps up to eight people, making it the perfect place for a summer getaway with friends. The 60-foot deck offers plenty of space to grill out and catch some sun during the day and a prime location in the Manhattan Harbor—only 10 minutes from Cincinnati—serves up shimmering city views at night. The space houses four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Where: Highlands Nature Sanctuary, Bainbridge, OH
Drive time from Cincinnati: Around an hour and a half east
The major draw of the Earthstar Lodge, besides its interesting shape, is the easy access guests have to 18.5 miles of trails in the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. Hike through the imposing Rocky Fork Gorge and visit the Marble Cave and the Three Sisters before retreating into your own cozy dome to recharge for the night. Best of all, every stay at the Earthstar Lodge supports the Arc of Appalachia—a non-profit dedicated to saving Ohio’s wildlands—so you can enjoy the land today while helping protect it for tomorrow. A dome house has one bedroom, one bathroom, and can sleep two guests.