Love fall foliage? This year, rather than simply seeing the scenery at ground level, go out on a limb — and check into a treehouse hotel.
These soaring scenic suites — accessible via adventures involving winding stairs, suspended bridges, and dizzying inclines — provide complete immersion into the autumn forest, delivering the scents, sounds, and panoramic peeps of shifting shades and colors as the sun moves across the sky.
Some treehouses are modest, simply mirroring their rustic surroundings. Others aim to indulge, providing lofty amenities like floating hot tubs, glass-enclosed bedrooms, and crackling fireplaces.
Here are three of our favorite elevated accommodations, where you can channel your inner Swiss Family Robinson. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars!
Out ’n’ About Treehouse Treesort
Cave Junction, Oregon, treehouses.com/joomla
Scenic Setting: A horse ranch in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest.
These airy abodes are not for the fainthearted. Many require treks up towering staircases, strolls across suspension and swinging bridges, and operating hoists for lifting luggage. Each is unique, ranging 12 to 47 feet above the forest floor. Interiors are cozy but rustic, offering loft and bunk beds, sinks and toilets — but showers are in the main lodge.
Leaf Peeps: A palate of oaks, willows, and red maples within a sage-toned patchwork of evergreens.
Other amenities: Horseback riding, zip lines, arts and crafts, full breakfasts, and the annual World Treehouse Conference (Oct 5–7), teaching building and climbing techniques.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, treehousecottages.com
Scenic Setting: Secluded pods perch amid the Ozark wildlife forest, but just minutes from town.
Climb tall staircases or hop-step across swinging bridges to one of eight lifted lodgings outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, glass-enclosed, heart-shaped hot tub, fireplace, luxe linens, antique furnishings, and wrap-around decks.
Leaf Peeps: White ash trees showcase rich shades of red, violet, yellow, and green, often within the same tree. Black gums take on brilliant purple and scarlet tones. Practically every view is accented with maples, sassafras, and cedars.
Other Amenities: A private hiking path meanders around the woods, descending to a natural cave and spring. The gift shop offers a variety of local, handmade wares, including pottery made in a studio on the grounds.
Treehouse at Moose Meadow Lodge
Waterbury, Vermont, moosemeadowlodge.net/treehouse
Scenic Setting: Look out upon 86 acres pristine Vermont forest.
Enter this two-story, Wi-Fi-enabled treehouse via a stairway circling a maple tree. Level one features a full bath, living and dining areas, and a wrap-around deck. Above is a queen bed loft dressed in cushy bedding and a balcony with panoramic vistas.
Leaf Peeps: Sun-strewn eastern cottonwoods, orange-brown chinkapin oaks, and crimson sugar-leaf maples.
Other Amenities: Hot tub, trout pond, hiking and biking along the Green Mountain byway, and craft breweries in nearby Waterbury. Request “tree-service” at breakfast and hotcakes will be delivered to your door.
Other Treehouse Stays
Treehouse accommodations from the primitive to the palatial are sprouting up around the U.S. Check out these as well:
Buckhead Treehouse, Atlanta, Georgia, airbnb.com/rooms/1415908
One of Airbnb’s 2017 “Most Wished-For Properties,” this Zen treehouse, buried in an urban neighborhood, comprises three rooms (named Mind, Body, and Spirit) connected by rope bridges.
Cyprus Valley Treehouses, Spicewood, Texas
Connected to a canopy tour operation on a ranch, these wooded treehouses are suspended among the tall cypress trees. Each treehouse is a little different, and some amenities include queen beds, a rope-bridge-connected bathhouse with a waterfall feature, an outdoor shower, and wrap-around porches. Add to the adventure with a zip-line tour.
Historic Banning Mills, Banning, Georgia
Book an adventure package to enjoy zip-lining and wine-tasting during the day. In the evening, enjoy a dinner for two and then relax beside a gas-log fireplace in a luxuriously outfitted treehouse accessible via a sky-bridge, on a 300-acre wooded adventure resort above The Snake Creek Gorge.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
Triangular cottages on stilts perch above the forest floor and offer private decks, digital stereo systems, wine, snacks, and skylights for stargazing while lounging in an organic-linen-sheeted bed.
River Road Treehouses, New Braunfels, Texas
These treehouses are the opposite of roughing it. Overhanging a wet-weather creek that feeds into the Guadalupe River, these forest digs offer frou-frou creature comforts like Wi-Fi, satellite TV, well-stocked kitchens, and king-sized beds.
Treehouse Point, Fall City, Washington
This rustic adults-only tree-cabin resort only 30 minutes from Seattle offers morning yoga, evening campfires, and homemade breakfast. It’s a great place to book for a wedding, or just for an elopement. Try to snag the Temple of the Blue Moon cabin, which overlooks Washington’s Raging River.
Treehouses at Primland, Meadows of Dan, Virginia
The super-luxe treehouses at this 5-star sporting and nature resort are delicately balanced atop trees on a Blue Ridge mountain peak, overlooking Kimber Valley, North Carolina.
This article is an expanded version of the interview that appears in the September/October 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.