Sure, you could come to Portland and stay in a generic hotel tower downtown—or you could set up shop in a cool neighborhood, renting a unique space that lets you feel like you live here, often for less. Portland's AirBnB scene is especially vibrant, with options like tiny houses tucked away into backyards, eco-friendly structures, modern condos, houseboats—even tree houses. Here’s where we send out-of-towners when they want more local flavor.
Built by a local architect in the 1950s, this house sits atop a pole in the middle of the city's Marquam Nature Park. Surrounded by 193 acres of forest and hiking trails, this rental is all windows for incredible Portland vistas. The owner lives upstairs and rents out the entire lower level, which comes with private bedroom, bathroom, sitting room, and mini-decks ($189 per night).
Inspired by bungalows in Bali, the owners built this compact space in their backyard garden, where the landscaping is lush and tropical. Eat outside in the shared space, take a nap in the hammock, grill dinner on the gas grill, or walk to the plentiful restaurants and shops on nearby Mississippi Avenue ($65 per night).
Modern updates (like heated tile floors in the bathroom and kitchen, and a king-size memory foam bed) make this 1920s retired tugboat on the Columbia River extra-adorable. Wake up to sparkling river views from the main bedroom, or sleep on the futon in the cozy original wheelhouse where the captain used to steer the sheep ($1931 per month).
The owners hand-built this quaint, wood-heated, candle-lit mud hut in their backyard that looks like it could be inhabited by fairytale creatures. You have to walk inside and downstairs to use the main house's bathroom, but the rental has stellar views of the St. Johns Bridge and access to a fire pit ($75 per night).
Located on a farm on Sauvie Island, a nearby wildlife refuge and farming community, this farm has chickens, ducks, rabbits, sheep, and cows—yet it's just a 20-minute drive north of the city. The house is efficient (300 square feet) but has modern amenities and an ample front sitting porch. If you request the farm-to-plate breakfast (fresh eggs from their chickens, bread and jam, coffee or tea), it's delivered to your door for $8, and there's an outside shower to use in the summer ($105 per night).
The house is certified as one of the most energy efficient homes in the US. It's a “passive house,” meaning it's heated primarily by the sun and stays warm or cool with airtight insulation; the little extra power it requires is offset by rooftop solar panels, enabling the home to be net-zero energy. You rent a bedroom and share the house's bathroom and common spaces with the owners, who work in sustainable land use and energy marketing. Just remember to turn the lights off when you leave ($89 per night).
This steel-and-reclaimed wood living space was made from a converted two-car garage. Now, it has a gas fireplace, hot tub, and a 16-foot wall of accordion-style glass doors you can open completely to merge the indoor and outdoor spaces. Located right of Division Street, the best stretch for hot new restaurants ($149 per night).
Sarah Z. Wexler is on the Oregon beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in Portland, you can follow her on Twitter at @SarahZWexler.