Ch-Ch-Choose to Stay in One of These 10 Converted Train Car Airbnbs

published Dec 10, 2018
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‘Tis the season for reading the Polar Express. If you’ve dreamed of adventuring on a sleeper car train, then have we got the Airbnb listings for you.

You don’t have to believe in the magic of the North Pole or know the history of the railroad to enjoy these unconventional accommodations, in picturesque locales from the Canadian Rockies to a North Carolina bison farm to a German kids adventure park. Regain your inner sense of whimsy and wonder with a stay in one of these ten converted vintage train car Airbnbs.

1. 1894 Private Pullman Palace Car in Fredericksburg, TX ($280/night, sleeps 2)

This one-of-a-kind experience is pure Americana: the chance to stay in the actual sleeper car once occupied by President Theodore Roosevelt and by Comanche leader Quanah Parker, whose stories were brought to life in vivid detail by the bestseller “Empire of the Summer Moon.” Parked in historic Fredericksburg—about an hour outside of Austin in Texas Hill Country, and home to many of the region’s thriving new wineries—this is a weekend getaway of a lifetime for any Wild West and American history buff.

2. 1941 Restored Vintage Caboose in Lock Haven, PA ($74/night, sleeps 2)

Whether you’re road tripping through Pennsylvania, visiting family at Penn State, or making a pilgrimage to the Little League World Series, this cute and spartan vintage train caboose on the Clinton Valley Rail Trail gets a 5-star rating from former guests for its authentic experience and its superhosts. Future guests will also be able to meander out for a day hike along the Bald Eagle Valley creek, once the nearby trailhead opens.

3. Platform 1346 WWII Train Car in Maryville, TN ($150/night, sleeps 4)

Once you step inside this converted World War II-era troop car, you’ll swear you’re in a luxury tiny home, not parked on a stretch of railroad tracks. (And it may also feel familiar, from features on HGTV and in Country Living.) But it’s also a self-contained, rustic tiny resort in and of itself, with a huge front porch, a fire pit, and a grilling area on the grounds and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park nearby.

4. The 1926 C&O Caboose at Station 451 in Waynesville, NC ($259/night, sleeps 4)

This petite Blue Ridge Parkway getaway is a true North Carolina mountain home, only diminutive in size and historic in nature. Say “All Aboard” to these future vacation memories, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (10 miles), downtown Asheville (30 miles), and Dollywood (65 miles) an easy day trip away.

5. Little Lost Caboose on Lake Superior in Hovland, MN ($93/night, sleeps 4)

If a digital detox deep in the woods is what’s called for, then this off-grid tiny home built into a former coal box car is the ticket. It’s rustic, eco-friendly living for sure—with solar power, an outdoor toilet, and BYO water, bedding & towels— but once you see the views of Horizon Chimney Rock and Lake Superior from the front porch or fire pit, you’ll shake off the habits of your smartphone in no time.

6. 1912 Heritage Caboose in Golden, British Columbia ($113/night, sleeps 3)

If the Rocky Mountains are calling, you must go—and stay in this converted train car masquerading as a minimally designed tiny home masterpiece, full of warm wood paneling and warm neutral textiles, decor, and fixtures. Whether on a ski vacation or just to get closer to the North Pole, this vintage caboose comes with mountain views and the splendid care of a five-star superhost. Not to mention it looks pretty much storybook magical all covered in glistening white powder.

7. 1960s Coast Line Caboose in Clyde, NC ($166/night, sleeps 5)

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind family vacation memories better than any Saturday morning cartoon, book a stay at this vintage train car parked on a working bison farm in North Carolina—complete with its own model train museum called Agapeland, and playground called the BC Corral. In addition to bison, there are mini horses, alpacas, and goats, and even your own four-legged family members are welcome to tag along for the fun.

8. Caboose & Cottage in Bryson City, NC ($235/night, sleeps 8)

The perfect getaway compound for a scenic Smokies vacation, this vacation rental includes both a vintage caboose turned sleeper car tiny home and an adjacent cottage so it can accommodate groups of up to eight people. Both the host and the location—at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains Park and Appalachian Trail, and less than an hour from both Knoxville and Asheville—garner five-star reviews. Complete your vintage rail-age experience with some whitewater rafting on the Tuckasegee River, or visit the Fly Fishing Museum to learn how they did it in the 1800s. Or just hang on the front porch of the cherry-red engine for all your “Instagram moments” to capture the memories.

9. Railway Carriage in Saint Austell, Cornwall, England ($109/night, sleeps 6)

Across the pond, the commitment to historic railway stays and eco-friendly experiences is just as strong—especially at this kid- and pet-friendly “glamping holiday” rental that’s picture-perfect for family vacations. There’s vintage character and charm aplenty, plus classic English countryside appeal like a wood-burning stove and front porch with fire pit for afternoon tea (or s’mores). Nature lovers will also love exploring Cornwall, especially the nearby Eden Project—the world’s largest indoor rainforest.

10. Two-Story Train Cottage in Schmilau, Germany ($112/night, sleeps 5)

Last, but certainly not least, is this former “Adventure train of Mecklenburg” parked about an hour east of Hamburg, Germany, complete with custom artist mural walls throughout the interior of the railway car. It’s a perfect holiday family getaway, with a fireplace, sauna, and whirlpool for the adults and a “play meadow” for kids—plus a private balcony with views over the train station for everyone to enjoy.