With vacation rental listings that include luxury huts in Fiji and castles in the Scottish Highlands, Missouri destinations have plenty to compete with on the Airbnb homepage . But, there is no shortage of wow-worthy accommodations right here in the Show-Me State. A search on the website for rare amenities, prime locations, and unusual historical ties proves that Missouri has an endless number of quirky properties and hidden gems that make it easy to personalize any dream trip. Here’s our roundup of the most unique Airbnb listings in Missouri.

Courtesy Dustina Cook Photography

Unplug and Reboot: The Stone Cabin

Houston • $135 per night • Sleeps 4 

“Typically, couples come here to ‘get away,’ ” says Renee Ice, owner of the Stone Cabin near Houston, Missouri. “When we tell them the cell phone service isn’t the best, they say, ‘That’s perfect. We’re going to turn on our phones anyway.’ ”

Though it looks like an 1800s-era fieldstone home, this Ozarks retreat was actually built in the 1980s by the property’s former owners, an elderly couple who felt the world was moving too quickly for their taste. Every wall stone was handpicked and hand-placed to create a soul-filled space that begs for its inhabitants to slow down and return to life’s bare essentials. That said, it’s appropriately primitive. A stay here is like stepping back in time. There’s hot water, but no electricity and no indoor toilet. At night, light comes from charming propane lamps, and the home’s cool stone walls oer natural air conditioning after a hot summer day. In the winter months, the fireplace keeps things cozy. Cooking utensils, linens, and toilet paper are all supplied.

If you bring a fishing pole, you’re welcome to see what is biting in the stocked, spring-fed pond. Miles of trail meander through the surrounding woodland and nearby pasture. The cabin is 45 minutes from the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and Montauk State Park. As an added bonus, beef and pork from Renee’s own farm is available on-site for purchase. Shopping and restaurants are just a 10-minute drive away in Houston. But perhaps it’s better to just stay unplugged on the idyllic homestead. After all, the modern world will still be there when you return.

History meets French country charm at Ms. Bette’s Place in Ste. Genevieve. Courtesy Greg Elder

A Portal to the Past: Ms. Bette’s Place

Ste. Genevieve • $95-$139 per night • Sleeps 8

This Airbnb is likely the oldest, most notable listing in the state. The quaint home was built circa 1790 and still features original doors (complete with peek-a-boo keyholes!) and wavy glass windows. Guests have a great view of downtown, where the oldest buildings west of the Mississippi still stand. Gazing out onto historical Market Street, it’s easy to imagine how Ste. Genevieve might have appeared to the home’s previous residents during earlier centuries.

Inside, the decor is best described as whimsical French country. Antique powder-blue armchairs are adorned with metallic-silver throw pillows. In the kitchen, there are brica- brac shelves made from recycled bicycle fenders, old doors repurposed as tables, and walls ornamented with hand-stenciling by the caretaker’s mother. There are also plenty of standout architectural charms, such as the plank floorboards and wooden shutters that serve as a testament to the home’s significant roots.

The house initially belonged to Marie Laporte, a twice-widowed, illiterate Ste. Genevieve resident who rose to prominence as a savvy businesswoman—quite the anomaly for the mid-19th-century frontier. The home’s name, however, comes from a more recent resident, the late Bette Geraghty, whose portrait you’ll find on a paintsplotched table in the living room. Geraghty was a local artist with a passion for preserving local sites. In addition to saving the Laporte house, she also rescued two other Ste. Genevieve homes.

Ms. Bette’s Place is charming and nostalgic, making it perfect for people celebrating special events such as bridal showers or anniversaries. Given its age and its location in a French colonial tourist town, this Airbnb stay will appeal to anyone who appreciates the sensation of living history.

The Waterfront Cottage is an upscale retreat in a peaceful rural setting. Courtesy Danielle Geller

Rustic Meets Luxury: The Waterfront Cottage

Bonne Terre • $99 per night • Sleeps 6

If you’re more enamored by the thought of rustic living than the reality, you’ll love the Waterfront Cottage. Surrounded by scenic rolling pasture, this modern, newly built cabin offers the aesthetic charms of rural living—like the reclaimed turn-of-the-century barn wood on its exterior and the interior antique tin ceilings—without sacrificing the conveniences of basic plumbing and Netflix.

“Since we’re luxury, we get two different groups,” says owner Danielle Geiler. “We get getaway couples who want to unplug and escape and just enjoy the nearby wineries, and we also have a great place for families to fish with their kids, ride around in a paddleboat, and visit the petting zoo.”

Upon arrival, guests will find a stack of cozy blankets for snuggles on the sofa, an outdoor hammock begging for an afternoon nap, classic board games to pass the time, and welcome baskets thoughtfully personalized for each client. The ’50s-style refrigerator is a nice touch, and the dual-head waterfall shower adds a surprising hint of luxury in the otherwise rustic country setting. It truly is the best of both worlds.

At the Waterfront Cottage, charm lies in the details. Fish food is available on-site—toss it out onto the private 2.5-acre pond and watch the fish rise. Long-term guests can even expect farm-fresh eggs when available. And though never intrusive, the hosts are accommodating and willing to provide anything you need. Our bet? You won’t.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the home’s proximity to Elephant Rocks and Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Parks. Courtesy fishing poles beg anglers to try their luck at 10-pound bass and catfish from the convenience of the back deck. During the summer, the nights buzz with fireflies and frog-song.

Whether you decide to wine taste or wander, s’mores around the campfire and a long soak in the outdoor clawfoot bathtub welcome you back to the cottage at the end of the day.

The Rabbit Hole offers quirky decor and personal touches in the heart of St. Louis. Courtesy Ken and Stephanie Poelker

Insta-Worthy: The Rabbit Hole

St. Louis • $89 per night • Sleeps 4

When Ken and Stephanie Poelker began remodeling the detached garage of their 1918 Shaw neighborhood bungalow three years ago, a family of rabbits living in the backyard inspired the cottage’s new name: The Rabbit Hole. Guests rave about the decor, which reflects its namesake with rabbit-adorned coffšee mugs, tea towels, and art pieces, without ever becoming tacky.

Edison lightbulbs add vintage allure, and the plain garage-door windows have been replaced with colorful stained glass. Luxurious linens, such as the 800-threadcount sheets, make guests feel pampered. Much of the furniture is a mix of treasured Poelker family heirlooms and pieces from the nearby Cherokee Street antique stores.

“We travel a fair amount, and we appreciate those personal touches, too,” says Ken. “If we see something really unique, we’ll put it in there.”

While visiting Seattle, Ken purchased a 3-D art box with a rabbit and trees. After dark, it becomes a night light. Handmade ceramic lamps from Portland, Oregon, provide illumination in the bedroom. In addition to reflecting Ken and Stephanie’s travels, the home also honors St. Louis. Local art from Craft Alliance hangs on the walls, and a foul ball from a Cardinals baseball game sits on a shelf. The fact that they share a home so lovingly curated, they believe, is key to customer satisfaction.

“We’ve put so much attention into the space itself,” Stephanie says. “I think people feel like they’re being trusted. Ken irons the pillowcases, puts out beer, a bottle of wine, and flowers. He’ll even buy them cupcakes. I think people appreciate that. When you decorate with things that are special to you, it makes other people feel special.”

The Rabbit Hole is ideally located for travelers who desire urban tourism. It faces Tower Grove Park, is two blocks from the Missouri Botanical Garden, and sits within walking distance of several top restaurants.

“We started doing Airbnb three years ago,” Ken says. “Now, the market is getting so there’s more and more people doing it in our area, and you have to have something special to set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.”

The strategy worked. Today, the Rabbit Hole is one of the most sought-after and highly rated Airbnb destinations in the state.

One guest summarized a visit with a quote from the 1991 film Doc Hollywood: “One hellaciously fine place to stay. You would be a bovine, clodpated, citified moron if you don’t stay at the Rabbit Hole.”

This nationally recognized tiny house retreat is big on details, hospitality, and natural beauty. Courtesy HGTV

As Seen on TV: Tiny Paradise on the Quarry

Rolla • Winter rate $99 per night/Summer rate $149 per night • Sleeps 4

HGTV fans, rejoice! The home-improvement network included this 290-square-foot charmer on its list of the nation’s top 50 tiny homes. If you’ve always been curious about downsizing, this is the place to do a trial run. Coupled with its location on the six-acre spring-filled Quail Run Diver’s Quarry—initially mined for the construction of Interstate 44—this is definitely one of the most unique and famous Airbnbs in Missouri.

Owners Mike and Kate Jones were selected by HGTV for the six-week construction of their petite dwelling chronicled on the show Tiny Paradise. The final product looks like a classic red barn, and the interior is filled with delightful touches. In the kitchen, plates are stored on reclaimed barn-wood shelving units, and an antique galvanized bucket lampshade provides interesting overhead lighting. There is a fully functioning walk-in shower, and the lofted bedroom fits a king-size bed with a barn-wood door headboard, though tall guests might find themselves bumping their heads on the A-line ceiling. But the inconvenience of close quarters is part of the fun. Since this tiny home is built specifically for guests, the Joneses also incorporated thoughtful elements such as a kitchen junk drawer filled with lighters, pens, tape, twist-ties, rubber bands, and other essential odds and ends to make them feel at home.

Because a tiny home offers limited space for inside living, the surrounding outdoors is the true highlight of this rental. The quarry, flanked by beautiful limestone walls, is stocked with catfish, bass, and bluegill. The front porch cantilevers over the water and leads to a floating deck, which makes for easy fishing. Additional equipment includes kayaks, canoes, a paddleboat, a golf practice mat and clubs, waterslide, and diving board. Groups of divers come nearly every summer weekend to train for open-water certifications in the quarry. If you wait to book until fall, you might catch an underwater pumpkin carving competition hosted by a few regional scuba associations.

The entertainment never ends!

An upscale southwest flair fills this spacious lodge rental on a working bison ranch near Kansas City. Courtesy Alea Lovely Fine Art Photography

Dude Ranch: Buffalo Lodge

Kingsville • $879 per night • Sleeps 13

Missouri has plenty of farm-based Airbnbs, but the Buffalo Lodge in Kingsville, just 45 minutes from Kansas City, is by far the most distinctive. The 3,600-square-foot luxury lodge is completely finished in southern yellow pine and features soaring windows that flood the living room with natural light. Its wraparound porch is an ideal place to enjoy the serene outdoors. The bedrooms are named after native tribes such as the Osage and Missouria, with plush beds draped in Pendleton wool blankets. The decor channels Legends of the Fall, but the home is luxurious enough to satisfy even the most urban of cowboys. Plus, there’s a home theater room.

The property also has an event center that is perfect for large gatherings such as family reunions, weddings, or corporate retreats, and owners Amy and Michael Billings even assist with logistics for big groups. The site offers different perks, depending on the season. Winter months are best for relaxing escapes defined by sitting around a family-sized fire pit under the stars or simply reading and playing games within a beautiful setting. During the summer, the gardens burst into bloom, and a pleasant one-quarter-mile walking trail leads to a four-acre lake stocked with catfish and bass. But no matter the season, this Airbnb’s top attraction is its location in the heart of a working bison ranch. The Billings family manages 100 percent grass-fed, USDA-inspected and hormone-free bison for meat and nitrate-free jerky, which guests can purchase for snacking during their stay.

And, by the way, if you’re confused about why they raise bison but call themselves Buffalo Lodge, you’re not alone.

“It’s not a dumb question at all—it’s very common!” Amy says. “Technically, they are bison. However, they were known as buffalo to early explorers and pioneers. French traders in the 1600s referred to animals with a certain type of hide as le beoff , meaning ox-like, which eventually morphed into buffalo.”

A 45-minute tour of the ranch is included. You’ll ride a hay wagon drawn by a tractor to visit the buffalo pasture. Guests can see these magnificent animals up close, feed them, and even take a quiz on a little buffalo trivia before the ride ends.

Travelers don’t have to break the law to spend the night in the historic Howard County Jail. The unusual rental is ideal for guests who want a one-of-a-kind experience. Courtesy Jim Steele

Locked Up: Historic Howard County Jail

Fayette • $180 per night • Sleeps 4

The brick home on East Morrison Street in Fayette may just look like an ordinary 1894 house, but it’s not. From 1894 to 2004, it was the Howard County Jail—and you can still book a stay in it without being booked by the police.

When the jail was finally decommissioned, the county commissioners put it up for sale on eBay. Its buyer completely remodeled the home and eventually gave it to Fayette Main Street, a local nonprofit dedicated to historical preservation. Today, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rick Alexander, president of Fayette Main Street, appreciates the time and money that the previous owner invested into saving the building.

“What he’s done is truly amazing, by saving this structure and preserving it for future generations,” Rick says.

The main residence, which is directly attached to the actual jail and accessible through back-to-back doors in the kitchen, was once the sheri”’s home. Huge windows leave the rooms awash in sunshine. With its beautiful trim work, soaring ceilings, grand fireplaces, and ornate clawfoot bathtub, the home certainly doesn’t feel like a jail. The top floor is a large open space with inviting window seats that make it a great room for a kids “camp” or yoga practice. The three-story, three-bedroom home offers modern features—such as air conditioning, a luxurious rain shower, and surround-sound speaker system—without sacrificing its historical bones. Everything in the former jail has been patched, renovated, and updated. Brave guests may even be tempted to lay an air mattress on the metal bunks and stay the night behind bars.

“When you first walk into the jail, your reaction is, ‘Oh my gosh. I just cannot believe this place exists in this condition,’ ” Rick says. “And when you think about the things that occur in a jail, I mean, if those walls could talk, what would they say?”

The jail isn’t the only historic site in town. The picturesque town of Fayette is rich with architectural treasures from the past, such as the brick-paved streets of South Main and the Edwin and Nora Payne Bedford House. As an added bonus, because the house is owned and operated by a nonprofit, you can write off” your stay on your taxes. So if you’re looking for an unusual departure from everyday life, go to jail. Go directly to jail.

Courtesy Benka Pulko

Into the Wild: Magic Tipi Retreat & Famous Home of Hammping

Park Hills • Tipi: From $99 per night • Sleeps 6  Hammping: From $49 per night • Sleeps 4

With its dream catchers, boho bedding, and an outdoor deck aglow in white string lights, this destination 65 miles south of St. Louis is every hip Instagrammer’s dream. But unlike so many things on social media, the image actually lives up to the reality. Surrounded by secluded woodlands and built up on a wooden platform, guests will stay high and dry above the forest floor no matter the season. The tipi is furnished with a queen bed, cots, and electric blankets to ensure comfortable evenings. There is also an outdoor kitchen and a fire ring. Hosts provide thoughtful touches such as s’mores kits, free firewood, books, games, and a nearby bathhouse stocked with toiletries, coff­ee, and snacks.

A “hammping” campground—located on the same 16-acre, wooded property as the tipi—o­ffers an unusual alternative with hammock tents hanging from trees. The hosts provide everything else, from free firewood to marshmallows, bug repellent to cookware, and even self-inflating mattresses, towels, rain ponchos, Wi-Fi, and more. Small details like tree swings, books, cooking utensils, and morning coffee show that the hosts will go above and beyond to accommodate your stay. The setup is for both seasoned and inexperienced campers. Call ahead to reserve a picnic basket with homemade bread or a slow food dinner. For an extra fee, you can even book a professional massage and access to a hot tub—perfect after a leisurely day of hiking or splashing around in the nearby Big River.

Courtesy Laura Lynne Dyer

Life in the Woods: Cozy Treehouse Tiny House

Grubville • $150 per night • Sleeps 9

Want to feel like a kid again? Try the Cozy Treehouse Tiny House. This whimsical 288-square-foot home sits 15 feet up in the air and is built around five pine trees, including two that run through both levels of the home. Every window off­ers tranquil views of the surrounding 70-acre pine forest, where meandering trails lead to a creek, outdoor pavilion, and a three-acre lake. A fully stocked kitchen makes meal prep easy, but ask about the Big Country Breakfast, which includes fresh-squeezed orange juice and farm-fresh eggs from on-site free-range chickens. Other animal residents include goats, dogs, ducks, and the occasional turkey. With a composting toilet and an outdoor tub, the bathroom is primitive, but that’s all part of the adventure. Swing from 100-year-old trees, make s’mores over a campfire, and spend the evening stargazing from a hammock.

5 Rules For Your First Airbnb Stay

Airbnbs are often cheaper than mid-level hotels, can sleep several people, and accommodate long-term stays. They’re a perfect solution for people interested in off-beat homes that you’d otherwise never get the chance to stay in—places like treehouses, warehouse lofts, converted grain silos, and even castles. Here are a few tips to make the most of your stay:

  1. Check the reviews. This is ground zero when considering an Airbnb listing. How many people have stayed in this home before? What do people notice? Like most reviewing platforms, unhappy guests are likely to report their complaints, and you should take these seriously and see how the hosts respond. Look for Airbnb owners who have been upgraded to “Superhost” status. This means they have a track record of going above and beyond for their guests. Places with hundreds of reviews are popular for a reason; homes with few or no reported stays will require a bit more investigation.
  2. Contact the host. Don’t be afraid to use Airbnb’s built-in messaging system to ask the host questions. Are there good places to eat nearby? Is the tap water drinkable? Do they provide a hair dryer? What’s their policy for late arrivals and departures? Some hosts greet their guests with welcome baskets and even meals. It helps to ask whether they accommodate food allergies or what their policy is for drinking and smoking.
  3. Cast a safety net. In short, make sure someone knows where you’re going. Nightmare Airbnb experiences are rare, but it’s still good to exercise your street smarts when you’re walking into a new location. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood, and verify numbers for emergency services in case you can’t reach the homeowner. Finally, it’s not a bad idea to have a backup plan, like another Airbnb or a roadside motel, just in case you pull into the driveway and the home looks nothing like the advertisement.
  4. Read the fine print. Airbnb is a platform for all different kinds of rentals, which means that every host and property is different. Make sure you know all the details on where you are staying. Is the listing for the entire home, or just a private room? What are their cancellation policies? Do the hosts allow children and pets? How much do they charge for cleaning fees or damages? Does the homeowner provide linens and towels?
  5. Pay attention to the location. Is it safe? How’s the public transportation? Where are you supposed to park? How far are walkable attractions? One of the perks of Airbnb is that, unlike hotels, they can be anywhere, and you’re not stuck on a business strip or highway with a bunch of other hotels and chain restaurants.