| September 26, 2013

Rustic treehouses have always been great playrooms for the kids, but the old scrap-lumber-platform construction just won't do for adults.

When it comes to grown-up getaways, it has to be luxe.

Running water, fairytale views, and "Swiss Family Robinson"-esque architecture are practically required.

SEE: World's Wildest Houses

This Old House has assembled 18 outdoor escapes that prove that when your home among the limbs is this fancy, climbing up a tree doesn't have to mean roughing it.

Julia Kuskin
Cozy Shingled Escape

Washington State

No need to worry about yard work when a grove of Douglas firs hugs your home. Kick back 15 feet above the forest floor and admire the storybook Washington state view instead. Of course, some compromises are necessary, like using an incinerating toilet to accommodate the lack of running water. But a stroll through this light-filled wood cottage will almost make you forget its missing amenities.

READ: 16 Doghouses Like Your House

Gail Johnson
The Treehouse a Duchess Built
Alnwick, United Kingdom

A run-of-the-mill treehouse simply won't do when you possess an English title. The Duchess of Northumberland commissioned this wonky structure, which opened in 2004, as a place for all the kids out there who "aren't allowed to climb trees." One of the world's largest treehouses, the elevated structure houses educational facilities, rope bridges, lots of walkways, and even a restaurant, and is made from sustainable resources. The design's whimsical angles and patchwork of materials is reminiscent of the world of "Harry Potter"—apropos, as the duchess's home, Alnwick Castle, was used as the location for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films.



Eric Staudenmaier
Artists' Escape

Los Angeles, California

Situated 12 feet off the ground, this minute backyard abode is only 170 square feet but packs in ample shelf space, warm wood tones, countless mahogany windows and a half bath. The getaway, designed by Rockefeller Partners Architects in 2009, serves as the homeowner's art retreat.

This Old House
To the Next Level

Kingston, Tennessee

The only thing that could make having a treehouse even better is getting to build it with your dad, like TOH reader Matt Pavel did here. This multi-level treehouse makes climbing up into the outdoor hangout feel a little like an "Indiana Jones" movie, without the life-threatening boulders.

Walk The Catwalk

Munster, Germany

Alien landing pod? Entrance to a secret lab? Fashion-show catwalk set? Nope—just an oblong treehouse made from Tatajuba wood and topped with zinc, straight from the imaginations at German treehouse design company Baumraum.

Extreme Nesting

Village of Hardas, Sweden

Disappearing into your getaway is easy with the disguised windows and retractable staircase of this bird's nest-inspired treehouse, designed by architect Bertil Harstrom. The space, part of accommodations known as Treehotel, can be booked for 3,300 Swedish krona (about $590) a night.