Unique Detroit Vacation Rentals for Your Next Staycation

Kick back and relax in your own backyard at these interesting Airbnbs and VRBOs in Detroit proper.
Photograph courtesy of David King

You know Detroit, but do you know it from the viewpoint of a visitor? Staying at a hotel or vacation rental within the city’s limits for a weekend can open you up to a whole new side of the Motor City, especially if you find your perfect place to stay.

From an industrial loft in Milwaukee Junction to a Brush Park mansion and a one-of-a-kind dome in Core City, there’s so many different Detroit vacation rentals to choose from. Check out our 12 favorites below to see if any fit your wants and needs for your next staycation — and be sure to tell us if we missed your favorite in the comments.

Alexandrine Studio in Midtown

Alexandrine Studio in Midtown is inside an 1880s Gothic Victorian structure and is not far from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Shinola flagship store. // Photograph courtesy of Mark Beard

This 1880s Gothic Victorian was renovated in 2015 and is just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s best gems, including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Third Man Records, and Shinola. The space accommodates three to four guests, who will stay in the living area, where there’s one queen-size bed and one air mattress. Other amenities include a full kitchen, private bathroom, and washer and dryer. Guests have the entire studio to themselves. Book through Airbnb.

Industrial Loft in Milwaukee Junction

Industrial Loft in Milwaukee Junction Designed with an updated industrial look, this rental has sleeping areas on the main and upper levels and is near bars and music venues. // Photograph courtesy of Georgia Diamantopoulos

The rental is located on the ground floor of a renovated 1920s auto factory and features exposed bricks, hardwood floors, wood pillars, and other elements from the original space. The main floor has a queen-size bed, while the loft area holds a full-size bed. Together, the beds can sleep up to three guests. The neighborhood features bars, music venues, and community spaces for guests to enjoy. The rental comes equipped with a kitchen stocked with basic cooking tools, a washer and dryer, a television, a sound machine, and more. Guests have the entire loft to themselves. Book on Airbnb.

The Caterpillar in Core City

It’s a one-of-a-kind contemporary stay inside a dome designed around furniture and objects found around Detroit. The Caterpillar was featured in Dwell Magazine and offers one bedroom with a queen-size bed that can sleep up to two guests, along with a kitchen with an electric stove, fridge, and dishwasher. The bathroom comes equipped with all the essentials, too. You’ll share a patio with other guests, but only your group will stay in your living space. Book on Airbnb.

Motown BNB in New Center

Built in 1991, this B&B is steps away from the Motown Museum. It can host up to 18 guests and is decorated with unique Motown music memorabilia. // Photograph courtesy of David King

Up to 18 guests can stay in this restored seven-bedroom, four-bath 1911 home. Each room in the rental is decorated with special photos, art, memorabilia, and more to reflect the owner’s love of Motown music. Plus, each floor has a 1963 Wurlitzer jukebox equipped with a variety of music by Detroit artists. It also offers a kitchen, a gated backyard, and a second-floor balcony. Additionally, it’s just steps from the Motown Museum. No pets. Guests will have the entire house to themselves except for the furnace room in the basement. Book on VRBO.

The Lumber Baron’s Mansion in Brush Park

With two king bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this historic mansion can sleep up to six people in three beds. The rental itself features ornate crown molding, chandeliers, and marble flooring. Guests can enjoy amenities including a gym and a fully equipped kitchen or take a walk to some of the city’s coolest attractions, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Comerica Park. The minimum age to rent is 21. One pet less than 50 pounds is allowed. Book on VRBO.

Tiny Home Near Boston Edison

Four guests will fit comfortably in this two-bed, one-bath tiny home, which is known as “A Pebble in Rock City.” There is a small outdoor area that includes a chicken coop with five chickens that provide fresh eggs. Plus, it’s just a quick drive of a few miles to downtown. It also has Wi-Fi, a washer and dryer, and a kitchen. The owner has some belongings in the space above the bathroom, but other than that, you have the home to yourself. Book on Airbnb.

Penthouse Loft in Woodbridge

The Trumbull House was built in 1897 but underwent a renovation in 2019 to preserve the original design elements and architectural style unique to Detroit in the late 1800s. The penthouse takes up the entire top floor and includes a private rooftop terrace. Up to five people can stay in this two- bed, two-bath home. There’s also a dedicated workspace and a kitchen, among other amenities. Plus, it’s conveniently located just two minutes from Midtown, three minutes from Corktown, and five minutes from downtown. Guests will have the space to themselves. Pets are allowed. Book on Airbnb.

Brother Nature Farmhouse Cabin in North Corktown

Enjoy a rural stay in the city. This newly built rustic cabin has two large beds that can accommodate up to four people, along with a kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms that are shared with the main house. The cabin is located on a working farm that has ducks, chickens, and roaming dogs. It’s within walking distance from Corktown and all the restaurants and venues in the area. There is no air conditioning in the cabin, but there are fans. If you need the loft area, you must request it prior to your stay. Book on Airbnb.

Condo at The Historic JD Baer Mansion in Woodbridge

This historic 1888 home will take guests back in time to the Gilded Age. The house sat vacant for decades before it was restored and repurposed into luxury condos. The attic space has been turned into an Airbnb unit that offers a kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and living room separate from the rest of the house. There’s a queen-size bed in one wing of the space and a sitting area with a television in the other — a dedicated workspace and a skyline view, too. Occupancy is limited to two adults and one young child. Book on Airbnb.

The Painted House Near Eastern Market

The Painted House near Eastern Market is the only boutique bed-and-breakfast in the neighborhood and offers an edible garden on-site and a view of the city skyline. // Photograph courtesy of Jason Lindy

This house boasts being Eastern Market’s only boutique bed-and-breakfast and was originally built by Cranbrook as part of an experiment in urban micro- housing. The home features an open floor plan along with artwork created by Detroit artists. There’s an edible garden on-site that guests are welcome to eat from and a hot tub available for use, if requested in advance, for an extra $115. It can sleep up to 10 guests in three bedrooms. Other amenities include a kitchen, a view of the city skyline, and a dedicated workspace. It’s also within walking distance of the Dequindre Cut, the Riverwalk, and downtown. Pets are welcome. Guests will have access to the entire house. Book on Airbnb.

Modern High Rise Near Downtown

Located on the top floor of a high-rise, this modern rental offers large glass windows so guests can enjoy spectacular daytime and nighttime views of Detroit. It’s just minutes away from downtown and
all the businesses and restaurants in the area. It can sleep up to four guests in either the bed in the only bedroom or the sofa bed
in the sleek and modern living space. There’s also an outdoor space that is fully fenced in and shared with other guests and residents. Paid parking is available in a nearby parking garage. Book on Airbnb. 

An Apartment in Corktown

Brick walls, a wood floor, and stained-glass accent windows greet guests staying in this apartment located in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood. The rental is on the second story, which means it has views of Michigan Central Station and the Ambassador Bridge. It’s located on the same block as Sugar House, Ima, and Slows Bar BQ and within walking distance from other area bars, shops, and restaurants. If you’re up for a longer walk, it’s 10 minutes down Michigan Avenue to get downtown. Up to four guests can stay in two bedrooms with mattresses replaced last year. There’s also a fully stocked kitchen and two bathrooms. Guests will have access to the entire apartment except for the roof. Book on Airbnb.

This story is from the March 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition.