Want to go out on a limb for your next vacation -- literally? Once the sole province of young boys and Ewoks, treehouses offer adventurous travelers (read: unafraid of heights) a unique travel experience in an age of roadside motel chains and globe-stretching hotel corporations.
Building a hotel in the treetops is hardly a new idea: Brazil's Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel has been inviting guests to explore the jungle canopy from its rooms since the mid-1980's. But the concept has blossomed; today you'll find them everywhere from Massachusetts to China.
Better yet, this new breed is more than just planks of wood nailed to an old oak. The Costa Rica Tree House Lodge, in Limón, for example, has a full kitchen and luxurious bathroom built around a gnarled 100-year-old Sangrillo tree. Head to South Africa's Tsala Treetop Lodge, in Plettenberg Bay, and you'll find infinity pools and fireplaces.
Modern treehouses present a rare opportunity to drive past the McResort and break free of travel's predicable stops and well-traveled routes. Up in the leaves, you'll find something unique and exceptional -- surely the reward of any good journey. --Damon Tabor