Airbnb’s not just about temporary lodging anymore. With Airbnb Experiences, you can try all kinds of amazing things, from hang gliding to hiking with wolves.
Who doesn’t love Airbnb? For years, their website has offered access to some of the most beautiful, quirky, convenient, creepy, and absolutely breathtaking private homes in the world. It’s always a personal experience, with renters working directly with property owners to create the perfect vacation. Recently, though, Airbnb has really upped their game.
Since last November, the company has made some quirky, unforgettable opportunities available through Airbnb Experiences. Currently offering activities in only about 20 cities worldwide, the company promises 50 more throughout this year. In the USA, Airbnb connects customers with countless activities in seven cities, from Oregon to Florida and a few stops along the way.
Airbnb Experiences may be in its infancy, but we thought we might do the hard work for you and find 15 of the most interesting options available. Want to learn shibori dyeing amid a troupe of domesticated goats? Want to learn the 17th-century art of the duel? That’s cool, because now you totally can.
Hang Gliding ($285, 4 hours)
Offered by highly experienced and adventurous couple Dusty and Kathy (Airbnb is very first-name basis), this is no average tourist activity. Glide high over the LA scenery and learn the basics of becoming something of a flying squirrel yourself.
Glassblowing ($85, 2 hours)
To some, this may be considered the holy grail of a hot date. An 18-year veteran of the industry guides you through a serious two-hour crash course in glassblowing — and you get to keep what you create. Nestled in beautiful Hermosa Beach, it’s mere blocks away from sun, surf and excellent restaurants.
Astrophotography in the Desert ($490, 5 hours)
Have you ever spent time swooning over unbelievable starry-skied landscape photos of the desert? I definitely have. If you’ve got the camera, Ben Horton has the rest of your bases covered. Join this National Geographic photographer on a nighttime mile hike through the breathtaking Joshua Tree terrain, and set yourself up to capture unforgettable astral landscapes. This experience will show you hidden parts of the park and teach you new photography techniques, and it will be an evening you’ll never forget.
Jellyfish Flash Mob ($65, 2 hours)
Become one eight-foot jellyfish in a school, and dance your way down the beautiful San Fran streets to pumping electronic music. (I had no idea I’ve always wanted to write that sentence.) Apparently, aside from the obvious magic, there’s fresh fruit included in the price — and an excellent workout.
Dueling with Pistols ($39, 2 hours)
Honestly, Airbnb offers so many incredible experiences in the Bay Area that it was hard to narrow it down. However, a dueling course offered by a professional sword maker had to make the cut. We’re talking old-fashioned take-three-steps-turn-and-shoot — with a toy gun. Over two hours, Benjamin (also trained in fencing) will teach you the history of the duel and then immerse you as a duelist, a second, or a doctor in this centuries-old tradition. This will all take place at the tranquil lake in Golden Gate Park, rain or shine (because duelists have always been allowed umbrellas).
Row Urban Waterways with Guinness Record Holder ($144, 3 hours)
Jordan has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean twice, holds a Guinness World Record and has capsized in the Bermuda Triangle. Now he would love to row you through Seattle’s serene waterways in his beautiful, handmade boat. Light snacks and refreshments are provided on this unusual tour of Seattle’s history (with perhaps the most interesting man in the world).
Hike with Wolves ($149, 2 hours)
This experience is offered by Predators of the Heart, a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to raising awareness and protecting the Pacific Northwest’s wildlife. Their wolf pack is located an hour and a half north of Seattle in an old-growth forested parkland. Enjoy a mile-long hike into the pack’s area, where you can learn all about the wolves and meet the friendliest of the bunch. Hiking with freaking wolves, guys.
Lavender: From Harvest to Bottle ($65, 2 hours)
Join Ginger on her lavender farm just outside of Portland, and learn the ways of the lavender farmer. This experience will teach you methods of harvest, distilling and creating essential oils. After your experience, you can take home lavender oil, hydrosols and fresh, beautiful flower buds — as well as the permeating, ethereal fragrance of a literal field of dreams.
Backyard Indigo Dyeing Course ($65, 2 hours)
Or as it reads on the website, “Get your hands blue and pet some goats!” Count me in. Learn shibori and wax-resistant dye techniques from Carolyn, an MFA graduate, in her personal studio. The best part: her studio is on her farm, surrounded by old-growth trees and loose goats.
Record Your Own Music with a Legend ($50, 3 hours)
Nick Speed is a certified-platinum-credited hip-hop producer who has worked with the likes of 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, Lloyd Banks and now, potentially, you. This experience basically reads like an epic recording studio hangout, with wine, catered soul food and an autographed vinyl included in the price. Spend an evening laying down a track with one of the best in the business, or just soak up the dope vibes.
Detroit Rock City with a Musical Guide ($375, 3 experiences over 2 days)
There’s the hip-hop side of Detroit — and then there’s Rock City. What better way to experience it than partying for three straight days with a rock star? Kenny Olson has been the guitarist for Kid Rock for over 11 years and has also played with Aerosmith and Metallica. Join him for tours of Detroit’s most famed recording studios, concert halls, nightlife and even a jam session (with an after-party, of course).
Urban Farming & Social Impact ($45, 3 hours)
For the more eco-conscious traveler, prepare to meet an incredible guy doing beautiful things. Since 2011, Tony has started eight urban farms, beginning in Central Harlem. Join him for a walk around the area, experiencing the impact these farms have made in the community. You’ll learn how the produce is grown and help harvest some to provide school lunches for students.
Soul Food Bike Tour ($79, 3.5 hours)
There’s probably no better way to experience Harlem than this. Join Maxine for a bike tour through the area, stopping off at a carefully curated selection of architectural sites, churches, jazz clubs and eateries. Immerse yourself in the magic and history of one of NYC’s most culturally rich areas, and experience the new Harlem Renaissance firsthand.
Everglades Airboat Photo Tour ($169, 5 hours)
Just outside of Miami’s fast-paced, colorful edges lies one of America’s most ecologically rich and unique wonderlands: the Everglades. This experience includes a breakfast with swamp locals (tall tales galore), an airboat tour where you’re encouraged to take photos, and a visit to a local art gallery. Keep your eyes peeled, because there will be a Photo of the Day award to be won.
Create Your Own Cultural Documentary ($250, 3 experiences over 2 days)
This immersive experience takes your vacation photo album to a whole new level. Join outgoing filmmaker Jayme for a whirlwind tour through Miami’s colorful landscape, meeting a traditional Haitian dancer, drinking strong Cuban coffee, eating authentic Caribbean cuisine and seeing the famous Wynwood murals. At the end, Jayme helps you edit your work, assisting you through the creative process to craft your own original documentary.