These awesome treehouses will make you question life on solid ground

The members of the Swiss Family Robinson may not have had it made, but they did have one hell of a treehouse on their hands. The iconic structures have been tantalizing our imaginations for as long as most of us can remember, filling our heads with thoughts of homes raised high above the ground in a canopy of pine and birch.

However, treehouses actually exist outside of storybooks and tall tales, lining the forested regions of the globe with new-age structures that often tout a minimalist design that’s as jarring as it is practical. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite arboreal abodes to whet your wanderlust whistle. Whether you prefer a three-story treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle or a mirrored cube hidden among the trees of Sweden, we’ve got you covered with these 20 truly awesome treehouses.

Dallon Adams also contributed to this article.

The Woodsman’s Treehouse

Card, United Kingdom

epic treehouses woodsmanstreehouse
The Woodsman's Treehouse

The completely isolated Woodsman’s Treehouse is set high above the branches of a veteran oak. Some of the perks of staying here are your very own sauna and hot top on the upper deck, a revolving wood burner, and an open tree shower. It features a window in the ceiling above the bed that looks up to the oak canopy above. Built among the branches of three oak trees, this treehouse is in excess 30 feet high on the roof deck. Enjoy your time immersed within the trees.

Arctic Treehouse

Arctic Circle, Finland

epic treehouses arctictreehouse
Arctic Tree House Hotel

Though it may be cold outside, inside a room at the Arctic Treehouse hotel you can cozy up with a blanket while you watch the aurora borealis. Located in Rovaniemi, Finland — which is in the Arctic Circle — each treehouse is handcrafted with Finnish wood and have a floor-to-ceiling window with uninterrupted views.

Treehouse at Winvian Farm

Morris, Connecticut

epic treehouses winvian farm
Susan Young Photography

This treehouse is apart of Winvian Farm in Morris, Connecticut. Suspended 35 feet above the forest, this 780-square-foot treehouse is a secluded getaway in the woods. Featuring a steam shower, gas fireplace, and Jacuzzi all on the first floor. While the second floor has another gas fireplace, a full bar, and the best treetop views of the New England forest below.

Tree House at Post Ranch Inn

Big Sur, California

epic treehouses postranchinn
Post Ranch Inn

At the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California, you can stay in their tree houses built on stilts that are nine feet off the floor. Each house is triangular in shape, providing a spectacular view at the top point. It features a window seat, fireplace, and skylight right above the bed to watch the stars.

Treehouse Blue Mountains

New South Wales, Australia

epic treehouses treehousebluemountains
Airbnb

This insanely secluded treehouse is located among 600 acres of private wilderness in the Blue Mountains. It’s called the secret treehouse because of how hidden it is. Featuring stunning views of Bowen’s Creek Gorge and the Blue Mountains rainforest. It includes a tub right against an open glass view of the forest — perfect for a romantic getaway.

7th Room

Harads, Sweden

awesome treehouses

The 7th Room is part of a multiple-suite treehouse-themed hotel in Sweden known as the Treehotel. This particular treehouse was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta. Built on 32-foot stilts and utilizing panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, 7th Room provides breathtaking views of the nearby Lapland forest, as well as the Lule River.

Most importantly, 7th Room is located just outside of Harads, Sweden, making the site ideal for seasonal views of the Aurora Borealis. The winter (through late March and early April) is the best time to potentially catch a glimpse of this meteorological phenomenon. However, at nearly two grand a night, there are certainly more affordable options for witnessing the Northern Lights. For the same amount of cash, you could stay in virtually any of these epic Airbnbs and underwater hotels from around the globe.

Mirrorcube

Harads, Sweden

Treehotel

Treehotel’s Mirrorcube may be as close to invisible as you can get without wizardry. The exterior mirrored walls mimic the surrounding forest with their reflective glass, while the six windows offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding region. The 13 x 13 x 13-feet dwelling also accommodates up to two guests within its birch-and-aluminum frame, with a bathroom, lounge, and rooftop terrace to boot. Check out the Treehotel site for information about Mirrorcube and other unique lodging options. We’ve also compiled some of the most convenient travel apps to help you more aptly deal with the rigmarole of modern travel.

Bollenhagener Moorwald

Ortsteil Nordmentzhausen, Germany

André Dogbey

German-based design firm Baumraum created the Bollenhagener Moorwald treehouse depicted above. Baumraum specializes in creating custom domiciles including a series of breathtaking treehouses around the globe. The Bollenhagen Moorwald is situated in the middle of a dense mixed forest, brimming with oak and birch trees. This treehouse comprises four total floors, each with its own unique terrace allowing you to take in the surrounding scenery at every panoramic angle.

Photo: André Dogbey

Baumhaus Solling

Uslar, Germany

Markus Bollen

A family commissioned the aforementioned firm, Baumraum, to create a treehouse for their son and his friends and the Baumhausbesucher treehouse was the final product. Near the Saxon town of Uslar, this narrow, stilted treehouse is quaintly cloaked by a thick stint of hemlocks and the entire unit sits atop one of two ponds on the property. In the evening, individuals can drift to sleep while taking in views of the stars overhead thanks to the rounded skylights built into the ceiling.

Photo: Markus Bollen

Temple of the Blue Moon

Fall City, Washington

Temple of the Blue Moon

Washington’s TreeHouse Point hosts a variety of suspended dwellings, but none quite as rustic as the Temple of the Blue Moon. Pete Nelson, world-renowned treehouse builder and host of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters, took a cue from Athen’s Parthenon when building the rigid structure, incorporating vertical lines and other symmetrical elements to help create a space that better exudes a sense of balance. The entire structure sits 18 feet in the air, suspended between two trees and resting atop a 160-year-old Sitka spruce. Other design choices, particularly the interior furnishings, add to the house’s throwback appeal. Cedar beds, handmade quilts, and leather chairs make it seem more like an Old West cabin than your typical Ewok residence. Click here to see all of TreeHouse Point’s lodging options.

Free Spirit Spheres

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada

Free Spirit Spheres

Each of the Free Spirit Spheres looks like something out of an H.G. Wells novel, though their interior might say otherwise. The handmade orbs rest vaulted in the coastal canopy of Vancouver Island, Canada, among a firefly-riddled forest, suspended using a web of rope. The wooden construction and design concept borrows from that of a sailboat, while relying on elements of bio-mimicry to adapt to the environment and retain a low-impact presence in the surrounding grove of cedar and maple. The inside of each sphere varies from one model to the next, outfitted with brass trim and varnished doors, not to mention a bed and galley equipped with all the necessary amenities (a fridge, microwave, etc.).

Secret HemLoft

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

The Hemloft

The HemLoft isn’t the byproduct of your average software developer. Joel Allen built his backwoods getaway, one of his first forays into carpentry, on a small piece on crown land located in the backwoods of Whistler. The hidden structure rests on the trunk of a robust hemlock tree, the entirety of it salvaged for less than $10,000 worth of materials he obtained from Craigslist. Allen never intended to live in it, though, and built it as a tribute to the surrounding environment more than anything else. He encouraged others to find it and leave their story in a guestbook, and much to the dismay of some, he later placed the materials back on Craigslist for someone to re-utilize. Apparently, building an egg-shaped structure on forest land you don’t technically own isn’t exactly legal. Go figure. Read more about this project here.

4Treehouse

Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

4TREEHOUSE

Toronto-based designer Lukasz Kos seems to have an affinity for Japanese lanterns. Endowed with a lattice-frame design, 4Treehouse essentially mimics them, reveling in 2-ton design that rests 20 feet above the ground. The open design allows air, wind, and light to waft through throughout the structure, while still solidifying a barrier with the outside world. The structure provides 410-square-feet of space, too, and features a rolling staircase so occupants can enter whether the structure is stationary or gently swaying in the breeze. Still, the best part of the slender building is its minuscule impact on the environment — a mere four cables support the entire lodging in the canopy.

The Dragonfly

Harads, Sweden

Treehotel

The Dragonfly is another treehouse suite located at the Treehotel. At nearly 560 square feet, this is by far the largest treehouse at the hotel. Situated on the lush hillside, the large panoramic windows present truly awe-inspiring views of the valley below. The exterior is made out of sheet metal and is covered in wood to more aptly mesh with the surroundings. Over time, the wood will slowly darken to more seamlessly blend with the lush pine tree forest. The Dragonfly is designed to accommodate up to four adults for about $836 per night.

Punta Jaguar

Matapalo, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Airbnb

Punta Jaguar is a three-story treehouse in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. The structure has no exterior walls, allowing for better cross-ventilation, and, most importantly, breathtaking 360-views of the surrounding forest and wildlife. That said, guests can always close the large curtains if they prefer to wallow in the dark. The first story includes a living room and two bedrooms, while the second and third each house additional living quarters. You can be the king or queen of your own jungle oasis for a single occupancy rate of $255 a night, or split the treehouse with friends. Your call.

Lago Lomita Vineyard Treehouse

Monterey Bay, California

Airbnb

This Airbnb treehouse listing — located in Los Gatos, California — is situated on the grounds of the Lago Lomita Vineyards. At 400 square feet, the treehouse may not be the most spacious, but the views are virtually unparalleled. The large deck also offers guests the chance to take in the exceptional sights of Monterey Bay. It’s able to accommodate two guests at a time, too, rendering it a steal at $220 a night. Sadly, wine is not included. Check out this listing on Airbnb for more information.

Aroma(n)tica Treehouse

Alessandria, Italy

Airbnb

The Aroma(n)tica Treehouse is proof that not every treehouse sits in a densely lined grove of trees. The quaint structure rests on a sprawling estate overlooking the rolling hills of Italy, flanked by the pungent fragrances of linden trees, magnolias, hollies, and a mélange of aromatic herbs. The property also features an 18,000-square-foot garden, along with an age-old wine cellar housing an ancient press and barrels of wine. The minimalist, one-bedroom space serves as an Airbnb, accommodating up to two guests for $161, with easy access to nearby hiking trails and cycling routes exploring the surrounding scenery. The front porch and chic interior design are subtle, sure, but that only adds to the bare-bones appeal. Find out more here.

Origin tree house

Raray, France

Architecture studio Atelier Lavit built this treehouse in the woods of Raray, a commune in northern France, near the castle Chateau Raray. Despite the ancient surroundings, the treehouse itself is unmistakably modern, with the exterior composed of straight, interlaced wood planks. Atelier-Lavit claims the geometric design draws on birds’ nests for inspiration. With 23 square meters (roughly 247 square feet) of space, it’s a cozy building, with a bedroom, bathroom, and lounge with a view of the surrounding forest. Stay a night in the Origin for just $370. The interior has a raw look, brimming with natural light, so renters can feel at home among the trees. The addition of a suspended bridge leading to the treehouse, and a rooftop terrace, make it a cool spot for adventurous travelers.

Photo: Marco Lavit Nicora/Atalier Lavit

The Minister’s Treehouse

Crossville, Tennessee

A minister named Horace Burgess built this massive treehouse after, as he put it, receiving divine inspiration; while praying, he claims God said: “If you build me a tree house, I’ll see that you never run out of material.” Burgess built the 97-foot tall, approximately 10,000-square-foot structure over the course of roughly a decade. It allegedly contains more than 80 rooms, including a church and a bell tower, and many have called it the world’s largest treehouse.

Although Burgess made the treehouse open to the public, the Tennessee Fire Marshall closed it down in 2012, as it did not meet regulations. Despite the closure, people still hop the fence and explore, as many a review on Yelp and TripAdvisor will attest.

Photo: Michael Hicks/Getty Images

The Bird’s Nest

Harads, Sweden

If the angular-birds’-nest look of the Origin treehouse is too artificial for your taste, how about something a bit more organic? Another stunning installation at Sweden’s Treehotel, The Bird’s Nest mimics the look of its namesake, at least on the outside. The inside looks like a modern hotel room, with beds and a living area, although not a ton of window coverage. Treehotel has a restaurant nearby, so guests won’t need to forage for seed.

If we’ve piqued your interest with this architecture roundup, you may also enjoy our picks for choicest shipping container homes and awesome tiny houses including the best tiny home we’ve seen.

Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than it's ever been, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Smart Home

Hosting Thanksgiving but not sure where to begin? Try a Thanksgiving meal kit

Need a Thanksgiving meal, but short on time or expertise? Here are the best Thanksgiving meal kits to help you out. They either give you all the ingredients and instructions, or provide a full Thanksgiving meal that you just have to heat.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Amazon's new Echo is smaller and cheaper; firmware upgrade improves sound

The all-new Echo is shorter, cuter, and comes with several different color and fabric choices. Our Amazon Echo review reveals that while the acoustics initially weren't great upon release, a firmware upgrade has improved the sound.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Smart Home

This old-school bus is now a solar-powered home on wheels

Michael Fuehrer of Nowhere Navigation decided to gut an old yellow school bus and turned it into a tiny home on wheels, complete with a full kitchen and shower inside and a solar panel on top.
Smart Home

Cloud slime, butter slime, scented slime -- we have your next DIY project covered

We researched dozens of different ingredients and tried several slime recipes. While some recipes are generally pretty safe, others are questionable at best. Which recipes should you use, and which should you avoid?
Product Review

Tovala cooks delicious, idiotproof meals healthier than takeout. For a price

The Tovala Steam Oven is a countertop appliance that can serve up dinner in about 20 minutes with zero prep. The drawback is that the ready-to-heat meals, while tasty, are $12 each.