With the rising cost of hotel rates, the Airbnb business has totally transformed the way families are traveling these days. And Seattle is no exception when it comes to finding kid-friendly, home-sharing rentals. From waterfront homes to restored English cottages to Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouses, we’ve searched the city for the best Airbnbs and pulled together an enviable list that may have you booking a staycation for yourself. Scroll down to see our top picks.

Hammer Manor – Lake Washington

Location: Seattle, Wa
Neighborhood: Rainier Beach
Accommodates: Up to six guests
Size: 3 bedroom, 3 bath
Cost: $210 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/6546748

The Hammer Manor is a beautiful Lake Washington waterfront home that makes for one fine destination for a private getaway or family gathering. Sitting on one-half acre on historic Pritchard Island, the property is elegant with a touch of whimsy.

The home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, a beautiful outdoor deck with barbecue and a relaxing hot tub. But what will really get the kids excited about this home rental is all of the water-themed activities. The property includes a high dive as well as a low dive and dock space. And kayaks and snorkeling gear is provided to explore the lake, too! After everyone is water-logged and wrinkled, cozy up in the living room by the fireplace. Then, tuck the kids in with a goodnight story and hit the hot tub.

Whimsical “Cobbage”

Location: Redmond, Wa
Accommodates: Up to four guests
Size: 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath
Cost: $174 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/4475574

The owners of this half cabin, half cottage like to call it their whimsical “cobbage” and it’s easy to see why. The custom-built space, with eco-friendly sustainable materials, is tucked away in what feels like the country, yet is located right in the city. The two-and-a-half story cabin/cottage features a deck with rocking chairs and a swinging bench along with a beautiful view overlooking a pond, an island, a four-story treehouse and a gazebo.

Go on an adventure by walking through the two acres of trails or hop aboard the row-boat  and explore the pond and look for wildlife. Inside, there is a queen bed in the one bedroom, a day bed in the loft and a sofa bed in the living room. With too many windows to count, it’s a bright and sunny place to stay and perfect for those families who like to wake up with the birds! For warm nights, take advantage of the barbecue and on colder ones, warm up next to the fireplace in the cozy living room. You can’t go wrong any time of year!

Vashon Island Treehouse

Location: Vashon Island, Wa
Accommodates: Two guests or two adults and two small children
Size: 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath
Cost: $175 per night.
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/20981514

If your kids have always wanted to spend the night in a treehouse, get ready to blow their minds! This Vashon Island treehouse, located just eight minutes from the cute town of Vashon and a short drive from the ferry terminal, consists of two buildings – one that holds the living room and kitchen and the other that holds the master bedroom.

The kitchen comes with a stove, refrigerator, coffee maker, pots and pans, dishes and silverware. The treehouse is partially rustic which means it comes with heating, electricity and Wi-Fi, but running water is not available. Fresh well water is provided for cooking, drinking and washing needs; bathroom and showers are located inside one of the Indonesian buildings on the property below the treehouse. After you spend the day exploring the island (psst…there’s so much to do with kids), tuck the wee ones into the sofa bed in the living room, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the island from the chairs on the deck.

Good to know: Massage, reflexology, Rolfing, breathing assessment and breath coaching for optimal health is available on-site for an extra charge. Inquire with the hosts beforehand to arrange sessions during your visit.

African Treehouse

Location: Aubrun, Wa
Accommodates: Two adults and two small children (not suitable for kids under 2)
Size: 1 bed, 1.5 bath
Cost: $125 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/11973782

It’s one thing to stay in a treehouse, but quite another to stay in one that looks like it’s been plucked straight out of Africa. While cozy inside, this treehouse is anything but rustic. It has been professionally designed with a variety of African artifacts which you and your kids are going to love!

The treehouse, which was featured in the show Treehouse Masters, comes equipped with a everything you’ll need for a night in the trees. There’s a small kitchenette, complete with a Keurig coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator as well as silverware and cups. But don’t worry about breakfast. Your stay comes with breakfast served in the Garden Center next to the treehouse. A full shower and toilet is located in a separate building, next to the treehouse, but there is also a composting toilet inside, so you don’t have to make the trek at night. Originally meant as a writer’s hideaway for the owner, this ahh-mazing treehouse is the perfect place for you and your city slickers to escape it all. Note: the treehouse does not have a TV, but it does have Wi-Fi if you must plug in.

Good to know:  The owners will discount your rate by 20% with a booking of two nights or more.

Tangletown Charmer

Location: Seattle, Wa
Neighborhood: Wallingford
Accommodates: Up to seven guests
Size: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
Cost: $43 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/15300784

If you’re looking for a place that is close to everything, the Tangletown Charmer is one of the coolest (and surprisingly affordable!) places to stay in the heart of Seattle. Originally built in 1919, this home in the Wallingford neighborhood has been completely remodeled and is close (walkable) to amazing restaurants, bars, shops and parks. Plus, it has easy access to the U-District, Green Lake, Woodland Park Zoo, Wallingford, Fremont, Ballard, Seattle Center and more!

The lower unit includes queen-sized beds in both bedrooms along with one futon couch. The living room has a sleeper sofa and an extra self-inflating mattress is available if needed. The house also features a large kitchen (with a four-burner gas range, refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster oven, microwave, mixer, blender, coffee maker and more) and dining room. The living room comes with a 50” TV and active guest Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu accounts as well as cable TVs in the bedrooms. The bathroom features a clawfoot tub (hello, bubble bath) and a rain-head shower. Outside, there is a good-sized yard for the kiddies to run around on, plenty of seating and a barbecue. And speaking of kids, this place is ready for your pint-sized posse as it includes a Pack-n-Play, highchair, booster chair, a few toys, books, games/board games and DVD movies. It is also one of the few rental homes that offers a washer and dryer and air conditioning. And if you forgot to pack something for the kids, just ask. The owner has lots of kid’s stuff upstairs, and is happy to share.

Classic Tugboat

Location: Seattle, Wa
Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Accommodates: Up to four guests
Size: 1 bedroom, 1 bath
Price: $145 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/1121599

Ahoy, matey! You and your sea-loving kids can experience an overnight adventure on the sea without ever leaving port. That’s right! Book an overnight adventure in this 1988 Nordic Tug which includes all the amenities of an apartment, but on the water. Located on Lake Union, off of Westlake Ave., the tugboat is centrally located to many shops, retail stores, parks and restaurants in the South Lake Union neighborhood, including kid fave MOHAI. It is also within walking distance (less than two miles) from Queen Anne, Eastlake and Fremont and within three miles of Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Downtown Seattle, so you can eat, shop and play ’til your heart’s content.

The tugboat features a stateroom in the bow of the boat with a bed that sleeps two comfortably and a bathroom with a toilet and shower. The living quarters (main cabin) features a TV and a sitting area that folds out to make another bed. If you have to plug in, Wi-Fi is available on board as well. The kitchen (galley) comes with a two-burner propane stove, a small oven, a microwave oven, refrigerator and a small sink with filtered water. But there’s no need to worry about cooking breakfast because that’s included in your stay.

Good to know: The owner is happy to take guests out on the water for an extra fee. Just let him know and he will make it happen.

Architectural Retreat

Location: Seattle, Wa
Neighborhood: Matthews Beach
Accommodates: Up to eight guests
Size: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths
Cost: $128 per night.
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/6603376

If you’ve got a little LEGO lover in the fam, he or she is going to think everything about this house is awesome! The bright and funky architectural home (Wendell Lovett) includes LEGO design elements in the kitchen and LEGO wall art (using real bricks!), as well as plenty of open space and light-filled rooms. Set back on a wooded lot, this house has easy access to Matthews Beach and Magnuson Park (two kid faves), as well as the retail shops and restaurants at University Village.

The home features three bedrooms, a loft and two and half bathrooms and feels very open and airy with its high vaulted ceiling and open stairwell. The home is located right by the Burke-Gilman Trail (bring your bikes!) and is just far enough away from downtown Seattle to feel private, but also close enough when it’s time to go have fun. Parents and kiddos alike will love the A-frame design and spots of bright colors and stylish furnishings around every corner.

Good to know: The house is set on a residential street with neighbors that respectfully require quiet hours be observed from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Island Beach House

Location: Shelton, Wa.
Neighborhood: Harstine Island
Accommodates: Up to six guests
Size: 3 bedroom, 2 bath
Cost: $170 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/1737402

Located near Olympic National Park, approximately two hours from Seattle, this lovely house is the perfect getaway for families looking for a scenic destination with miles of beach to explore.

Sitting on the shores of Harstine Island, with views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, this custom beach house features three bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as excellent amenities. The gated community offers a private beach, clubhouse with a library and ping pong, plus a seasonal pool and hot tub, gym and tennis and basketball courts. The house is also situated near miles of nature trails and picnicking spots as well as beach bonfire spots (don’t forget to pack the s’mores makings). By design, the owners have not provided a TV to distract you from the great views, but they do offer a library, toys and a piano instead. Psst…there is Wi-Fi for those who can’t completely unplug.

Lyonswood Manor and Gardens

Location: Seattle, Wa
Accommodates: Up to 12 guests
Size: 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Cost: $400 per night
Online: airbnb.com/rooms/15411615

This restored English cottage is simply beautiful and perfect for a large family reunion as it comes with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Located on over an acre of picture perfect manicured grounds, just north of Lake Washington and minutes from downtown Seattle or the Eastside, the home is centrally located to a variety of restaurants, retail shopping and family activities. But what we really love most about this house is the whimsical dining gazebo. What little Alice wouldn’t want to share tea with her teddy bears in this fantastic wonderland?

In addition to the impeccably beautiful grounds, you and your family will love the gourmet kitchen and elegant, yet comfortable living spaces complete with a warm fireplace, cable TV and Wi-Fi. The restored home comes with all the amenities of a five-star hotel, and all the comforts of home, including a travel crib, room-darkening shades and even babysitter recommendations. Guest are encouraged to walk the grounds and enjoy the whole property—you never know what surprise seating area or flowers you will find in the gardens!

Do you have a favorite local Airbnb? Tell us about it in the comments below!


—Jeffrey Totey

All photos courtesy of Airbnb.


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