10 great places to try tiny-house living on vacation

Larry Bleiberg
A detail from the Tiny House Siesta homepage. 
Source: Tiny House Siesta

The latest way to live large on vacation is to think small. The tiny-house trend has spawned hotels that let guests experience what it's like to live in fully contained homes that can measure less than 200 square feet. "People are just curious because they've heard so much about tiny houses," says John Weisbarth of "Tiny House Nation," which appears on the FYI network, and in 2019 will also show on A&E. His co-host, contractor Zack Giffin, says guests are surprised by the amenities that can be packed into a small place. "They're very luxurious. It's almost like renting your own house or getaway, and it's priced more like a hotel room." The partners share some favorite rentals with USA TODAY.

Caravan Tiny House Hotel
Portland, Oregon

The Northwest is big on little living spaces, and this lodging featuring homes on wheels claims to be the first tiny-house hotel. "I stayed there and it was totally fantastic," says Giffin. "They have them in a circle, and move them from time to time."

Live a Little Chatt
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Located 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, these four houses offer a scenic take on tiny-house living. They range in size from a relatively palatial 500 square feet to a cozy 126-square-foot home that includes a wine-barrel shower and sleeps four. "Chattanooga is an absolute hotbed in the tiny-house community. There are very progressive, dialed-in builders," Giffin says.

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Austin's Original Tiny Home Hotel
Austin, Texas

This lodging is one of several run by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Co., which gives customers a chance to try their homes before they buy. Located in a tree-shaded RV park, there's a hot tub, pool, fire pit and party patio, but the real attraction is the six tiny houses. "Austin is a great town for tiny homes," says Weisbarth.

Getaway Tiny Homes
Stanardsville, Virginia

This company focuses on Northeast getaways, with secluded tiny homes within two hours of Washington, New York and Boston. The newest outpost, located on a wooded 80-acre property near Shenandoah National Park, includes several dozen homes, sleeping from two to four people. Each comes with a mini kitchen, along with fire pit, grilling grate and outdoor picnic table.

See what all the tiny-house hype is about at WeeCasa in Lyons, Colo.

Lyons, Colorado

With nearly two dozen homes, this riverfront property is tiny-house heaven, says Giffin, who attended a wedding that was based at the resort. Located near Boulder, it's one of the oldest and biggest tiny-house hotels. "It's just neat because it's a variety of tiny homes from a number of different builders. You can test out a pretty good variety and it's in this really beautiful setting."

Tuxbury Pond
South Hampton, New Hampshire

Less than an hour north of Boston, this RV resort offers five new tiny homes, including one that welcomes pets. "You can stay in these homes and then buy identical homes from the company," Giffin says. The firm also has tiny house villages in Arizona, Washington state and Oregon.

United Tiny House Rentals
Eatonton, Georgia

This tiny house company will deliver your lodging to a lakefront campsite in Georgia, or even farther afield. It can set up guests for luxury glamping or an off-the-grid experience. Current options include yurts and a tiny trailer home known as a gypsy wagon. "It's almost like a wagon on wagon wheels," Weisbarth says.

Blue Moon Rising
McHenry, Maryland

With more than a dozen tiny homes, this western Maryland mountain resort offers a getaway near a deep-gorge lake. The homes include a small kitchen, but guests also have access to a clubhouse with a full-size cooking facility. "They've got bright-colored doors and interesting shapes. Every single one of them is unique," Weisbarth says. "They're fairy tale-esque."

Fireside Resort
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Guests can sleep in tiny luxury at this upscale retreat in the Rockies. Rental options include two dozen tiny homes, like the new miniscule Road Haus, which packs hotel amenities into 200 square feet, with plenty of windows to let in the light. All rentals have Wi-Fi, a fireplace, kitchen, deck and an outdoor fire pit. Plus, there's a centrally located hot tub.

Tiny House Siesta
Siesta Key, Florida

Yellow Lifeguard house by Tiny House Siesta
Source: Tiny House Siesta
Yellow Lifeguard house interior
Source: Tiny House Siesta

This former RV park is evolving into a tiny-house bastion, with more than a dozen options for light-packing sun lovers. Choices include homes inspired by a lifeguard stand and a tiny, teardrop-shaped trailer. "It's a fantastic way to stay in a really cute environment," Giffin says.

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