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Offbeat overnights
Quirky places for a NW getaway
Sometimes you just want to get away and spend the night in a fun, unusual location that will give you lots of great memories and be great fodder for Facebook posts to your friends.

And sometimes you just want to do something surprising for your Significant Other. You want to show him or her that you're adventurous, always ready to break away from the norm to try something exciting or unique.

The following getaways, then, are exactly what you're looking for. We call them "offbeat overnights" -- getaways that are a little different, but fun and exciting and something you'll remember for a long time.

Treehouse Point

In this getaway you'll need to 1 climb a tree to get to your comfortable accommodations for the night. Although Treehouse Point certainly has made it easy with a convenient stairway leading to accommodations that would be considered luxurious even at ground-level.

Treehouse Point is just a half-hour drive east of Seattle, an amazing place to stay when you are visiting the city. As the name implies, we are talking about treehouses, and that brings back all sorts of childhood memories for a lot of people.

These treehouses, located in Fall City, are simply incredible. You will be treated to a comfy bed, lots of picture windows looking out into the forest and a certain charm that just can't be duplicated anyplace else.

Treehouse Point is operated by Pete Nelson, who you might have seen on the TV show, Treehouse Masters. He's so well known for his treehouse-building expertise that people fly in from all over the country to learn from the master how to build a treehouse.

Each of the treehouses is different and they have a lot of attention to detail. While they're not huge, they are comfortable and have lots of special touches built right in. There is no question your Signficant Other will consider this romantic -- but it's also a great place to take the kids if, that is, you rent one of the larger treehouses.

For more information, please go to www.treehousepoint.com or phone 425-441-8087.

Wolfe's Hobbit Hole

If you've ever wanted to stay in a hobbit hole -- and what rabid fan of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings wouldn't want to have the experience -- then we found just the place for you in North Central Washington. It's located near Orondo, about 20 minutes north of Wenatchee.

This hobbit hole is just like the ones you see in the movies. If you're looking for charm and authenticity, Wolfe's Hobbit Hole has gone to a lot of effort to replicate the feeling you get from the movies.

It's a 288-square-foot rental built into a hillside and the whole place is decorated with a lot of attention to detail. There's a small outdoor garden before you come to a big circular door. Inside you'll find hanging lanterns as well as circular arches and windows and special touches like a cobber's work bench.

There currently is just one hobbit hole for rent, but the owner plans on building an entire hobbit village.

For more information, please visit www.airbnb.com.

Tiny houses

If you want to see what the tiny house craze is all about, then head for Mount Hood, Oregon, where you can stay the night in your own tiny house. Some people actually live in these houses that can be as small as 160-square-feet, and you can try one out for yourself with a visit to the Mount Hood Tiny House Village east of Portland. The village is a collection of five small houses for rent.

There's a certain charm to these small house designs and these tiny house hotels are cropping up all over the country as the idea begins to take hold both as a getaway and a permanent lifestyle.

There's no getting around it, though -- you may feel a bit cramped. But fans of tiny houses point to the added amenities you don't get in standard hotel rooms such as kitchens. Some of them have sleeping lofts and separate bedrooms and they are usually a classic construction style.

You may well find this is a viable option for that getaway cabin you always wanted -- tiny houses are cheap to build and may provide all the comfort you need as you head to your vacation property to get away from the pressures of work. Trying one out near gorgeous Mount Hood is the perfect way to turn your research into an unforgettable getaway.

For more information, please visit www.mthoodtinyhouse.com or phone 888-787-1696.

Coast Starlight

If those movies featuring the Orient Express got you thinking that a train trip might be a fun getaway, there happens to be an overnight trip on the West Coast that is the perfect way to check it out.

The Coast Starlight, operated by Amtrak, runs northbound from Los Angeles to Seattle and it's a true adventure. It's about 35 hours of travel altogether, and the train is one of the few that offers sleeper cars in the old tradition.

It's a full-service sleeper train, which means you not only have a sleeping compartment but you have a dining car, an observation car with floor-to-ceiling windows, a movie theater and such amenities as complimentary wine tastings.

The fare is all-inclusive and currently will run you somewhere around $400 per person. It's a bit more expensive than a hotel room, but you are traveling 1400 miles and getting much more than a room where you will sleep. What you're really getting is an adventure -- lots of great scenery, food, drink and entertainment and a memorable night on the rails. For more information, please visit www.amtrak.com.

On the water

In this getaway, you get all the beautiful scenery and great atmosphere of having your own boat, but you don't have to worry about docking your boat, or paying off your boat loan and mooring fees.

There are boats available in several Northwest marinas that you can simply rent for the night. No, you won't be headed out on the water, but you will enjoy the feel of staying on your own boat in one of the area's picturesque marinas.

The place where you find these boats for rent is www.airbnb.com, which has listings from many private boat owners who make their boats available for overnight rentals.

The beauty of this is you don't have to know how to actually operate a boat -- but you're coming on board to stay just as if you own the boat.

There's nothing like the sights and sounds of staying on a boat -- the gorgeous scenery that includes all the nearby boats, the harbor, nearby islands and towns, and then that gentle lapping sound of the waves that lull you to sleep at night.

The boats come in many sizes and price ranges, with most renting for between $100 and $150 a night.

For more information, please visit www.airbnb.com.
PHOTOS: One of many Treehouse Point treehouse designs
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