Hey guys, it’s (basically) summer! Of course you already know this, but how good does it feel to read that sentence? It certainly feels nice to type it. And alongside all those grassy picnics, rooftop barbeques, and farmer’s tans comes the chance for you to capitalize on your well-earned PTO with summer vacations to exotic places—or at the least, to a few weddings in cities near your hometown.
Regardless of where you’re jet-setting to, you’ve probably become almost creepily familiar with a fisheye photo of some stranger’s living and sleeping quarters thanks to everyone’s favorite Marriott substitute, Airbnb.
Airbnb has become a ubiquitous option—and for good reason. It’s designed to provide a more intimate and cost-effective way to “live like a native” wherever you are, by introducing you first-hand to the lifestyle quirks of the people who make the city so unique in the first place. Stay in Montreal and you’ll probably be climbing an outdoor spiral staircase to get into the apartment. Head to Detroit and you’ll probably observe some of its anarchic abandonment on the way to your charming, cozy, [and safe] townhouse. Here in Colorado, you’ll probably be greeted with some trail guides, craft brews—maybe even some special “cookies.” The beauty of Airbnb is that it teaches you a little bit about where you are, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a pseudo local. So in the spirit of summer schedule-setting, we’ve created a short list of some of the most interesting Airbnb experiences and places for you to consider right in your own backyard.
A local food tour of Denver
While Airbnb’s claim to fame is its “places,” it has also been making a push lately into guided experiences for those craving an extra dose of locality. But even if you already live here, these experiences can be particularly intriguing since they shed a little light on something you may see every day (without fully realizing it), or that you’ve naively run across without the proper context to appreciate it. For example, this 'Local Table Food Tour' is a nice way to appreciate some of the local fare that Denver and Colorado have to offer. In Denver’s case, we’re in the midst of a rampant growth spurt that has high-quality dining options popping up all over the city. This tour changes weekly, so while you never know exactly what you’ll be eating, you do know that it’ll be local and delicious. Plus, since it’s a walking tour, you’ll probably burn the majority of your calories by the time you wrap up.
Stay in a treehouse in Carbondale
If you’re looking for more of a “staycation,” Colorado has no shortage of fascinating options that maximize the Colorado spirit—and all within—just a few hours from Denver. For instance, check out the 'Rocky Mountain Treehouse' in Carbondale. This legendary place has been around since the ‘70s and is nestled comfortably in the forest, between and on top of trees, directly above Cattle Creek. With so much lush nature, it’s almost sarcastically Coloradoan.
Learn the Navajo way
If you want a truly educational and enlightening experience rooted in Colorado’s natural beginnings, take a guided hike with a third-generation Navajo through the ancient hills of White Canyon. Honestly, this trek’s lush, historic, and expansive experience feels like it should be a requirement for anyone who chooses to live here. We can all learn a lot from the lifestyle of the Navajo people, and with this adventure you’ll get a front row ticket over the course of the 5-mile hike into Navajo nation.
Camp like an insane person
Just put this one in the “when Airbnb feels like an extreme sport” category. You’ve probably seen photos of people doing this stuff on clickbait-y websites; well, thanks to Airbnb, you can be one of those insane people, too! If you’ve got the guts and feel completely disinterested in getting restful and nightmare-less sleep, consider camping 200 feet up on the side of a cliff, in what could hardly be a more quintessential Colorado Airbnb experience.
Stay in an Earthship
Generally speaking, we Coloradoans are a socially-conscious, earth-loving bunch. You see this culture of self-awareness peppered across much of the state, particularly in our cities. However, we can always do a little more to minimize our footprint on this fragile earth. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to truly live off the grid—or, at the very least, to explore new options for sustainability— try spending a few weekends in this Earthship in Delores. And while you’re at it, take some time to research the Earthship movement (since, you know, you’ll be staying in one).