Traveling today is all about finding one-of-a-kind accommodations and living like a local. For your next trip, consider these forgotten structures that have been upcycled into gorgeous rentals.

By Hannah Bruneman
May 08, 2019
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Staying in accommodations provided by the locals, sightseeing with folks who moonlight as travel guides, dining at hidden gems—all help local economies and off-the-grid communities flourish. But there's another sustainable way to travel, too.

Grain silos, shipping containers, and other abandoned structures provide the groundwork for refurbished rental homes that make even a five-star hotel look boring. Plus, these upcycled rentals give new life to cast-aside buildings and objects that might otherwise be left to rot in a dump. Check out a few of our favorite stays built from deserted structures, below.

exterior of vacation spot with large patio
Image courtesy of Glamping Hub.

Refurbished Shipping Container, Missouri

This quirky rental from Glamping Hub, a new booking platform focused on experiential travel, is on a farm near Springfield, Mo., and accommodates up to four guests. The home—an upcycled shipping container—is a modern boho getaway. Even better is the shared outdoor living space. It boasts an extra-large patio with community tables, grilling areas, hammocks, and a yard big enough to play a game of kickball.

red barn with attached silo
Image courtesy of Glamping Hub.

Converted Silo, Tennessee

The last place you might expect to stay in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an old silo. But this upcycled rental property makes it possible for your next trip to Tennessee. The impressive makeover features a full-size bed, kitchenette, shower, and private patio. A spiral staircase takes guests from the lower level of the silo to the upstairs bedroom with a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.

converted grain silo exterior
Image courtesy of Glamping Hub.

Converted Grain Silo, Illinois

If you’re planning a weekend trip to the Midwest, this countryside grain silo might be one of the most interesting local accommodations you can find. Inside, you’ll find a lofted bedroom, a freestanding tub, and quaint decor details. The front porch will be your go-to place to relax, read, and take in the fresh air.

small wood silo in woods
Image courtesy of Airbnb.

Silo Studio, Massachusetts

This charming cottage used to be a sculptor’s summer studio. Now, it’s a two-story rental with the dreamiest bedroom and forest views. Located in the Berkshires, you’ll be surrounded by four acres of land with gardens, a lily pond, and plenty of beautiful trees.

converted shipping containers in desert
Image courtesy of Glamping Hub.

Eco-Friendly Rental, Texas

Travelers can relax and unwind in this sustainable small-town vacation rental. The interior of the converted shipping container, located in Round Top, Texas, boasts energy-efficient appliances and space for up to five guests. Get off the grid and hang out with your neighbors in the outdoor communal spaces—fire pit and hammocks included.

small camper outside at night
Image courtesy of Airbnb.

Desert Camper, California

Here’s your chance to get a taste of RV living without all the driving. Parked near Joshua Tree National Park, this tiny oasis has been repurposed into a modern-day camper’s dream. Inside you’ll find a subway tile backsplash, plenty of hidden storage, and enough space for two guests. However, with a stunning patio lined with string lights, we doubt you’ll spend much time inside.

shipping containers with kayaks
Image courtesy of Glamping Hub.

Luxury Shipping Container, Florida

At first glance, you might not recognize this rental as a converted shipping container. With two levels and a rooftop patio, it looks more like a luxury stay right off the water. Adventurers will love the complimentary canoes, kayaks, and bikes you can use to explore the surrounding area.


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