Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

100 Wonders: The Treehouse That God Built

Tree houses are special. 

Connected to a nostalgic vision of youth that one may or may not have experienced, tree houses still manage to retain the promise of freedom, secrets, and warm summer nights no matter how old you are. While children hammer together small backyard tree shacks, adult artists, hoteliers, engineers, and in the case of Horace Burgess, those inspired by God, are creating a whole new set of tree houses, even tree mansions. These are a few of our favorites.

Most embodying the underlying spirit of the treehouse is the Hemloft. Constructed entirely from parts found on Craigslist, the beautiful egg-shaped treehouse was installed illegally in a Canadian national park. After being found out the treehouse was taken down and is currently waiting to find a permanent home.

The Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica is a larger and elaborate treehouse operation. An intentional community living in the trees, it was built by two Colorado expatriates and includes a two-story structure with a full, working kitchen and bathroom. As new residents are added to the community they build their own treehouse to live in which is then connected to the other houses via a series of zip lines. 

Most avant garde of tree houses is the Treehotel in Sweden. Featuring six different tree houses which were created by six Scandinavian designers they include one built to look like a giant bird’s nest, one with its own tree top sauna, and one entirely covered in mirrors so that it seems to disappear into the woods. These are just a few of the many incredible tree houses scattered throughout the world. See more amazing takes on tree houses here.