THE BUDGET TRAVEL MINUTE

Quirky Lodging

By , Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006, 12:08 PM

Vacations are all about creating memories, and sometimes the places you stay are truly memorable--in a good way.

On your next trip, you might want to spend the night someplace unique: at a bed and breakfast deep inside a cave, or perhaps a tree house 50 feet above the ground.

All you have to do is conduct a little research and be willing to try something unusual.

For example, the National Forest Service, which decades ago built dozens of mountaintop shelters in California, Idaho, and other states out west to keep an eye on wildfires. The shelters are no longer needed as fire lookouts, and groups can rent them out by the night for $30 to $40 (202/205-8333, fs.fed.us/recreation).

Kokopelli's Cave Bed & Breakfast, in New Mexico, has a hot tub, fireplace, and space for up to eight guests--all 70 feet below the surface (505/325-7855, bbonline.com/nm/kokopelli).

At the Fairlee Motel and Drive-in Theater, in Vermont, films are shown nightly from the Fourth of July through Labor Day weekend, with double features on weekends, and guests can watch from their room, with sound coming from a speaker mounted to the wall (802/333-9192).

And how about tree houses? They aren't just places for kids to play. The Out 'n' About Treehouse Treesort, in southern Oregon (541/592-2208, treehouses.com), and the Cedar Creek Treehouse, near Washington's Mount Rainier National Park (360/569-2991, cedarcreektreehouse.com), rent professionally built cabins that literally have birds-eye views.

Just be careful where you step when you wake up in the morning and are still feeling a bit groggy.


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