Nature is more appreciated than ever in our socially-distanced new reality and the Pacific Northwest has it in spades—even if you stick to the ec0-minded, more populous cities like Portland and Seattle. Whether it’s an isolated lodge in the woods, a funky upcycled barn close to great restaurants, or a sprawling lakeside home that encourages family time, these accommodations, all sourced from AirBnb, transport visitors to one of the country’s most attractive regions.
2 guests / $110 per night
Just half a block away from Portland’s boutique- and gallery-lined Alberta Arts District, this compact 300-square-foot abode with the rust cedar ceilings, shiplap walls, and stash of knick-knacks first welcomes visitors with a hand-painted bed post. The hosts built the home themselves, so look for thoughtful details like an artful petrified sink, Portland-made tiles, and the sliding barn door, shelves, and tables fashioned from salvaged wood. After dinner, relax at the fire pit table in the front courtyard.
6 guests / $343 per night
There are treehouse vibes galore in this wood-clad, three-story midcentury house—the entrance is reached by way of an elevated deck, for instance—propped on a hill above the sandy beach-strewn Manzanita. The hosts are designers, and so the interior is inviting and airy, with hues of gray and yellow playing with the abundance of natural light. It may feel secluded here, but Neahkahnie Beach, a more subdued alternative to kayaking at nearby Nehalem Bay State Park, is only a five-minute stroll away.
4 guests / $282 per night
Haystack Rock, a stunning intertidal structure, is found just below this cabin, but rain days are also a blast here, what with the cozy breakfast nook, wood-burning stove, and even the kitschy Tom Selleck pillow to rest upon. One of the hosts is an interior designer, and her expertise is reflected throughout—in the yoga-friendly upstairs loft, complete with jetted tub, the river rock flooring in the downstairs guest suite bathroom, and the wraparound deck festooned in string lights, where dining unfolds at a table conveniently shielded from spontaneous thunderstorms.
4 guests / $152 per night
Dating from 1936—the ceiling is crafted from the original rafters and sheathing—this once ramshackle shed was renovated by sculptor Todji Kurtzman, who made it his studio for 15 years. Situated on the grounds of a rambling Southeast Portland house that is also available for rental, it embodies the city’s quirkiness, mixing old-growth barn wood, say, with a clawfoot tub, an eye-catching feather painting by Native American artist TJ Ravenwolf, and fittingly, a garden full of Kurtzman’s own bronze creations.
2 guests / $150 per night
Seemingly plucked from the woods of old Europe, this Bend apartment, a 10-minute walk to downtown’s restaurants and cafes, is one of three adjoining, private lofted spaces gathered inside one house, so be prepared to share the garden, grill, and hot tub. Beyond the tree-stump mailbox, the mood remains decidedly Hobbit House, featuring geometric windows, an impressive gas fireplace, and heaps of Northwest wood. A 19th-century dining table, Asian cabinet, and daybeds add a layer of elegance.
McMinnville is prime Oregon wine country and while much of the day will be spent sipping—some 250 Willamette Valley wineries are within 20 miles and downtown alone has over 20 tasting rooms—this cottage, and its fairy light-brightened patio beside a redwood tree, is a place to keep the relaxed vibes going. Just past the hosts’ own home and the vegetable garden and chicken coop, it has a midcentury spirit, decked out in vivid colors and rotating artwork from the owners’ personal collection.
Redmond, Bend’s neighbor to the north in Oregon’s high desert, is small, but planted between the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests, and only a 90-minute drive to the Painted Hills, it’s a gateway to recreational activities. Visitors yearning for a good-looking backdrop after their cycling adventures will want to check into this breezy white studio accentuated with cheerful tones of pink, blue, and yellow—the hosts own a local art hub in Bend—and packed with plants and books.
4 guests / $161 per night
Revamped in 2016, this contemporary A-Frame on the edge of Mount Hood National Forest, in rural Rhododendron, stands out for its design, like the spiral staircase leading up to the reading nook and bedrooms and a custom-made wood partition. Warming the open-plan layout is a basalt rock fireplace, directly across from the sink-into-it sectional on the Berber-woven Beni Ourain rug. A constant stream of cooking is rewarded with meals served at the dining room table, underneath a gleaming vintage Danish pendant light.
It’s no-frills, but it’s nonetheless striking. This orb-shaped cedar-and-glass cabin in Eugene, at the back of the hosts’ main house—where the cabin's usually private bath is located 30 yards away—is furnished with a fold-down desk and velvet curtains and spruced up by artwork and a white lounge chair. The architecture and simplicity appeal, but so do the surroundings, including the pond, fire pit, and stone pathway. A retro slide and curbside lending library add to the old-timey ambience.
6 guests / $260 per night
An interior design scheme showcasing pieces of Lego might be deemed a novelty, but this house set on a wooded lot in Seattle’s Matthews Beach neighborhood balances whimsy with sophistication. Here, the kitchen is tastefully graced with wide swathes of those interlocking plastic bricks, a playful counterpoint to the midcentury-style living area. By contrast, fans of outdoor fun will relish proximity to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
6 guests / $251 per night
A godsend for Seattle denizens craving nature, Granite Falls can be reached from the metropolis in about an hour, and this asymmetrical A-frame with the exposed beams makes for one serene sleepover. Resting atop a granite ledge overlooking water that flows through the Cascade Mountains, it was originally built in the 1970s, but is now contemporized with objects from the hosts’ duo of Seattle design and plant shops. Let the hours evaporate by reading in the hammock loft, dozing in the sky-lit bedroom, or splashing in the hot tub on the back porch.
For those who can’t snag accommodations at the Willows Inn, Lummi Island’s star attraction, this whitewashed dwelling is a short walk from Sunset Beach—and the inn’s must-dine-at restaurant, which now has COVID-19 hygiene protocols in place—is a fine substitute. Hang out by the propane gas fireplace in the sunken living area, cook on the Bertazzoni range, or take a book up to the loft for a spell. Salish Sea and Orcas Island vistas can be reveled in through the wall of sliding glass doors and from the commodious deck.
4 guests / $170 per night
Ride the ferry from Anacortes, and in less than 10 minutes you’ll arrive on petite Guemes Island and this bespoke beauty. The slanted roof, ribbed façade, and Murphy bed hiding in the office have modernist flair, unexpected for the middle of the forest. Still, the atmosphere is genial, with a wood-fired stove and glass doors that open onto a picnic table. Grab a bike and explore the area’s beaches and parks, then retreat to one of the updated Adirondack chairs.
7 guests / $349 per night
Big families will gravitate toward this spacious lake house with the wraparound deck and sun-streaked kitchen on Puget Sound’s Anderson Island. Use the rowboat and kayaks to become acquainted with Lake Florence just outside, or head to Interlachen Park, a block away, to play tennis. Do spend the evening with a nightcap by the fire pit, but during cold spells, watch a film on the projector in the open-plan living area or better yet, curl up by the wood stove.
4 guests / $182 per night
Salish Sea, and all its aquatic escapades, is close by, as is Olympic National Park. To honor the regional landscape, this Port Angeles guesthouse opted for a cool palette, enlivened by a centerpiece Hawaii blue sofa. Appropriately, it melds with such elements as reclaimed slate countertops, salvaged live edge wood, and polished cement floors. At night, the bedroom, with its skylight-punctured ceiling, brings in the stars.
4 guests / $396 per night
Smack in the center of Washington State Wine Country is Cave B Estate Winery in Quincy, currently open for tastings by reservation in the alfresco piazza. On its grounds is a community of sleek cabins (look elsewhere if privacy is mandatory) by Seattle design firm Olson Kundig, including this one. With architecture informed by the Ancient Lakes wine region’s topography, and sightlines of the Columbia River Gorge courtesy of the sliding floor-to-ceiling doors and outdoor patio, it’s truly a high-desert respite.
3 guests / $159 per night
Base yourself in laid-back Greenwood, north of downtown Seattle, for access to a number of quality breweries, coffee shops, and parks, and stay in this second-floor apartment to return to the 1960s. Designed by the host, a residential architect and builder, it is a shrine to midcentury modern furniture. Pour a whiskey at the well-stocked bar and then migrate to the private rooftop lounge, where a Finnish sauna beckons.