Urban Explorations Urban Explorations

Want to Sleep Like a King, Queen or Borgia For a Night? Stay in these Historic Airbnbs

Whether it’s the former home of a national icon or an extravagant estate in Europe, the sharing economy offers the chance to go back in time for a night

A sumptuously appointed room within the Borgia family's castle in Tuscany, now available for everyday people to rent. (Airbnb)

When a listing says “Property type: Castle,” it’s probably gonna be good. The rental company Airbnb has highlighted some of its most royal accommodations around the world, but the domains of kings and queens arent the only thing travelers can find on the website. Airbnb, and other rental companies, offer lodgings that are important to history in a variety of ways: houses where literary figures wrote their novels, famous clock towers that have become landmarks and, in at least one case, the home of a civil rights icon.

See below for five historic places that anyone can live in for a night:

John Steinbeck’s Writing Studio, Pacific Grove, California


“I bought a small house and garden in Pacific Grove,” John Steinbeck once wrote to a friend. The man famous for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, among other works, is said to have written The Log from the Sea of Cortez in his cozy Pacific Grove abode, which travelers can now rent on Airbnb or on VRBO. The writing studio is one of three lodgings on the property that one can stay in: The owners also rent two other cottages there that belonged to the author. As Thrillist puts it, “Just because he wrote some of the most depressing stories about American society in the early 20th century doesn’t mean Steinbeck didn’t enjoy a home so damn cute it looks like it’s made of gingerbread.”


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