5 of America’s top tiny house resorts
Monday, July 06, 2020
Tiny houses have become all the rage in America over the last several years. Widely featured in TV coverage on networks like CNN, HGTV and FYI, articles in House Beautiful, Country Living and Mother Earth News, plus countless appearances on social media, the idea of mini-home living has ushered in an architectural and social movement nationwide.
Everyone’s initial reaction to tiny houses seems to center on how darned cute they are — these itty-bitty domiciles that appear straight out of a fairy tale. Mansion-dwellers may think they’re ridiculous but proponents say tiny footprints are making a big impact — on the environment, owners’ wallets and their quality of life — by changing the notion that living small means living with less.
Tiny houses have been around for ages but got a huge boost following the recession of 2008 and the subsequent real estate collapse that caused hundreds of thousands who lost their homes to turn to more affordable mini-home living.
Regardless of the reasons for it, the microshelter movement is marked by an enthusiastic embrace among its advocates of abodes that typically range from 500 square feet to as small as 100 square feet. Construction costs average about $80-$100 per square foot, translating to costs ranging from $20,000 to $40,000.
There are plenty of uses for these mini-structures beyond serving as primary residences. Small, freestanding structures can make great sense as guest cottages, home offices or studios.
Microapartments (apodments) and microhotels have popped up in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, signaling the inevitable development of tiny house resorts. A number of them have opened from coast to coast recently, so let’s have a look at some of the most outstanding examples.
Think Big! A Tiny House Resort, New York
The chickens are laying, the ducks are quacking, and the baby goats are nibbling at this bucolic tiny house resort in New York’s verdant Catskills Region. With the completion of four new houses (Oki, Mocha, Little Bear and The Lodge) in 2018, this family-friendly resort now features 11 tiny houses accommodating 2-7 guests.
All include a kitchen, full bathroom, heat/AC, TV, Wi-Fi and a private patio with gas barbecue grill and fire pit. On-site amenities include a pool, a stream and waterfall, hiking trails, kayaking and tubing.
Tuxbury Tiny House Village, Massachusetts
Five tiny houses (Emerson, Henry, Clara, Riley and Murphy) dot a grassy poplar-lined parcel at Tuxbury Pond RV Resort, a 200-acre park that straddles the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border near Amesbury. Tuxbury is a member of a family of four tiny house resorts developed by Chicago-based Petite Retreats, with siblings located in Leavenworth, Washington, Mt. Hood, Oregon and Sunshine Key, Florida.
Petite primarily uses tiny houses manufactured by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The Colorado firm is the nation’s oldest and largest tiny house designer/builder and its many models are notably mounted on flatbed trailers, making them easy to relocate. Tuxbury’s houses range in size from 181 to 309 square feet and feature fully equipped kitchens, heating/AC systems, 32-inch TVs with DirecTV satellite service, DVD players and Wi-Fi.
Tiny House Siesta, Florida
If there’s a beach getaway in your future, why not head for Sarasota, home to Siesta Key Beach, the No. 1 beach in the nation according to most polls.
Tiny House Siesta, with its 11 brightly colored micro-rentals offers easy access to the crystalline sands of Siesta Key — and the shopping, dining and nightlife to be found in the village. Most of the houses accommodate 2-3 people, but Sand Dollar and Margarita can handle up to six guests.
WeeCasa Tiny House Resort, Colorado
With some two dozen tiny houses available to visitors, WeeCasa lays claim to being the “world’s largest tiny house resort.” Its mix of mini-homes are set up “neighborhood style,” more or less in a long row, and in fairly close proximity to each other at this park in Lyons — a town known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Colorado boasts a number of tiny house manufacturers so WeeCasa serves as a showcase for the latest designs. Houses vary from 135 to 365 square feet and range in style from rustic to ultra-modern.
Getaway Hill Country, Texas
This cluster of 40 mini-cabins situated in the Texas Hill Country community of Wimberley, just an hour southwest of Austin, can be seen as a harbinger of the future for tiny house resorts. It is the latest offering from Getaway, an innovative and well-financed NYC-based micro-cabin rental company, now boasting upwards of 300 cabins at 10 “outposts” across the country.
Aimed at overworked city folk, the modest appearing but elegantly outfitted cabins encourage guests to slow down, store their phones in a provided lockbox and simply chill out in the company of nature. Each cabin has a signature oversized “getaway window” that looks only into nature.
Cabins range from 140-210 square feet and come complete with a functioning kitchen, bathroom and queen-sized green tea memory foam mattress and hypoallergenic goose-down pillows. Also provided are outdoor picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and a handy fire pit/grate. Additional Getaway Outpost locations include Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte-Raleigh; Washington, D.C.; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New York (Catskills); Pittsburgh-Cleveland; and Portland, Oregon.
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