Sometimes you just need to get away, but may not have the time or funds to travel far. While you may assume you need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles away to experience something exciting and unique, the truth is you don’t! Through Airbnb, we’ve found several options for you to vacation, unwind, and explore unique spaces that are a short distance from your front door. Check out these uncommon Central Florida Airbnb experiences to enjoy on your next night away. And be sure to let us in on any others you know about!
Updated September 2020
Take a short stroll down Boat Tree Marina, located at the crossing of St. Johns River and Lake Monroe, and drift into paradise aboard a charming houseboat. The Floating Cottage is fully equipped with a cathedral ceiling in the living room, gourmet kitchen, and outdoor gas grill. When you rise in the morning, peer out of beautifully stained glass windows from the upstairs loft. Owner Kim describes this gem afloat on the St. Johns River as “a magical place, sure to delight and bring joy. Guests can recharge their energy banks and build resilience for everyday life.”
Where to eat: With the full kitchen and outdoor grill, you can stay in and prep your own meals. Or enjoy breakfast and lunch at Connie’s Deli just behind the cottage. Nestled in the marina is Otters On the River serving lunch and dinner (no reservation needed). Sanford is a short drive away allowing you to roam the cobblestone streets and enjoy any of the wonderful restaurants and pubs.
Things to do: Glide through the french doors and onto the front deck to feed hungry turtles (kibble provided). Or, paddle along the river in the two kayaks available for guest use. Boat rentals from the marina are discounted 15% for guests ensuring a memorable trip along the St. John’s and Wekiva Rivers. Photographers can relish a plethora of panoramic views crawling with wildlife. Wind down at the marina’s poolside bar as you sip a refreshing beverage; full use of the marina pool is included in your stay.
Rates are $159/night, plus an additional cleaning fee and taxes. Parking is free.
Thinking about paring down to just the essentials, trading a traditional home for just 400 square feet of space or less? Located just outside of College Park, Orlando Lakefront Tiny Home Community features 11 adorable lakefront tiny homes available for rent. Test drive the tiny home life while enjoying amenities like free kayak use, lakefront views, hammocks and communal outdoor spaces. Each home is equipped with a full kitchen if you feel like staying in for meals. Read all about our weekend getaway in the Blue Heron here.
Where to eat: Continue to soak up the lakefront vibes with a short drive to Grills Lakeside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar. There's ample outdoor seating facing the water, and live musicians perform during the evening. The College Park Main Street District is just a short drive away for a date night dinner.
Things to do: Guests can use the kayaks free of charge on a first come, first served basis. We headed out onto Lake Fairview for a sunset paddle during our stay. You can also head into College Park for a romantic dinner and a stroll, or laze the day away in the hammocks. The 50-lot community is always adding new amenities for guests and permanent residents alike.
Rates vary depending on the property, but most begin at $98/night plus taxes and a cleaning fee. There is one free parking space per property. Booking is available on Airbnb, or you can book direct here.
Built in 1887, this historic accommodation (which we discovered through the Sanford365 blog) was Sanford’s first fire station. It also served as City Hall, the police station, and jail. The Fire Station is a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom loft with some original pieces that have been repurposed. The modern chic decor will provide an inviting atmosphere to take a reprieve from everyday life. The interest of thrill-seekers may be piqued upon learning that an owner had a few ghostly encounters while living in the residence, which you can read about here.
Where to eat: Since the Fire Station is situated in the heart of downtown Sanford, endless dining options are just a saunter away. Indulge on American cuisine at The District or farm to table fare at The Smiling Bison (reservations recommended). We also love The Tennessee Truffle!
What to do: Explore the area pedaling around town with Limo Cycle. Escape a challenge before the clock runs out at Escape Artists. Try your hand at creating delicious sweet treats during a Wondermade date night class. For even more ideas, check out our list of 34 ideas for date night in Sanford. With your bed stationed in the middle of the action, the activity possibilities are endless.
Rates vary from $135 – $150/night depending on the season (plus additional $150 cleaning fee and tax). Bookings are being accepted beginning in January 2021.
Disappear to a private country estate and reconnect with your honey and nature. Boho’s host, Jeanne, invites guests to “take flight to the country, relax, experience the sights and sounds of Florida wildlife, and just breathe.” The bed and bath suite is nestled inside of a private residence but is separated enough to offer privacy for guests. You are sure to encounter a true bed and breakfast experience while staying at Sonset Ranch.
Where to eat: Continental breakfast items are included with each stay along with a stocked mini fridge to quench your thirst. For an extra $3 per plate, guests can enjoy a hot Southern breakfast of grits, eggs, bacon or sausage, and biscuits. For an extra $10 per plate, dine on a spaghetti and meatball meal with salad and bread. Delectable bites to nibble are provided to guests in the afternoon. Pack your own beer or wine to indulge while lodging.
What to do: Bring your horses to trot along the open countryside, use the tandem kayak for $25 per outing to paddle along tranquil waters, pedal bikes in wide open spaces as you breathe in fresh air, or take advantage of the complimentary art supplies to unleash your creativity. Unwind later in the day with massages in the tropical themed room ($65/person/hour). Conclude the day watching the sunset from the front porch and gathering by the outdoor firepit.
Rates are $50/night year-round (plus tax).
Venture out of the ordinary and mellow out in a yurt; a tent-like, cylindrical domicile. Think glamping in style! Danville features two unique yurts perfect for couples in search of a secluded getaway. The Yurt boasts A/C, a swanky king-sized Murphy bed, mini kitchen, full bathroom, living room area, large patio deck, grill, and more than enough options for outdoor seating. At night, lie tangled with your beloved as you both gaze through the skylight adorned with icicle lights. You'll also be sleeping next to the resident alpacas! Read about our experience here.
For an extra special stay, book the Treehouse (pictured in feature image). While rooming in this romantic setting, you'll love the multi-level lodgings complete with an outdoor tiki hut, treetop deck, jet engine hot tub, indoor and outdoor showers, elevator, golf cart and fire pit. This place understandably books up months in advance, so jump on it if you see availability. Other overnight options include a man cave apartment and an airplane hangar.
Where to eat: A daily happy hour is offered in O’Shaw’s Pub in Danville but meals are not. You can bring your own food or travel the 30-minute drive to Sanford for dining. Owners Dan and Deborah would be more than happy to assist you in locating delectable eats.
What to do: Meander throughout the beautiful hiking trails to take in the scenic views at no additional cost. Make friends with the resident alpacas. You can also arrange to learn to milk a goat or embark on a horseback ride for an additional fee. Danville is also one of Our Dream Date Greater Orlando‘s preferred locations — treat your date to a romantic, gourmet picnic set up right on the property for a fee.
The yurt starts at $60/night plus taxes and fees. The treehouse begins at $180/night. Rates will be higher on weekends. Be sure to bring cash for any activities you would like to participate in.
Mini horses, horse-drawn carriage rides and tree swings are just a few of the amenities couples will enjoy with a staycation at SOUL Haven Ranch. Located just one mile outside of Downtown Winter Garden, this Central Florida Airbnb with a farmhouse twist is ideal for couples looking to unwind. Your host, Susan, offers three private rooms for rent (choose the Hope room for a private bathroom).
Where to eat: Wander into nearby Downtown Winter Garden for cocktails at Pilars Martini, or design your own progressive feast to enjoy on the patio of Plant Street Market. Market to Table is a favorite for farm to table fare in a date night-worthy setting.
What to do: Make time to interact with the horses big and small. Your host, Susan, offers a unique experience where you can walk a miniature horse around the property and along the West Orange Trail. You can also book a private horse drawn carriage ride around town or rent bikes for the day to explore the scenic paved trail. If you're visiting on the weekend, walk or bike into town for the Saturday morning Winter Garden Farmer's Market.
Rates begin at $89/night plus taxes and fees.
All images courtesy of the respective property, unless otherwise noted
Feature image credit: Danville B & B (Treehouse Yurt)