On a road trip to South Carolina, I spent the night in an Airbnb in Georgia with my dog Ziggy.
I paid $200 for the stay in a renovated grain bin that I thought was rustic and cozy.
The farm was peaceful, and the lack of Wi-Fi or TV gave me a chance to unplug.
During a road trip through Florida and Georgia, I spent the night at a unique, pet-friendly Airbnb with my dog Ziggy.
I recently drove from Orlando, Florida, to visit family in my hometown in South Carolina. With my dog Ziggy as my only travel companion, I decided to forgo highways and traveled through rural towns instead, giving us both the chance to relax and enjoy the countryside.
While planning my trip, I looked for pet-friend lodgings and was excited to find one in the small town of Jesup, Georgia, that looked unlike any other place I've stayed.
The Airbnb I booked was a renovated grain bin on a rural, 64-acre farm.
The Airbnb, called Live Oak Inn, is a grain bin located on a rural, 64-acre farm in Georgia. It cost $200 for a one-night stay in March.
Through a text exchange with the hosts, I learned that one of the owners originally built the bin to use as a cosmetology studio before deciding to convert it into a guest room in 2020.
From reading the listing and previous guest reviews when I booked my stay in February, I knew there wouldn't be a TV or Wi-Fi, and there could be spotty cell phone service. I downloaded directions to the farm on my phone ahead of time, and made sure to arrive before dark to easily spotted the entrance to the property.
I knew I was in the right place when I saw a gated dirt driveway and a sign that said "The Barn at Live Oak Ranch." I'd read on the listing that the farm doubled as a wedding venue, and I recognized the insignia from my research.
I saw the grain bin from the road and followed helpful signs that said where to park.
As I pulled up to park in front of the grain bin, I realized it was about 50 feet from the owners' personal home. This was closer than I'd expected, but I didn't mind, because it faced in the opposite direction and there was a metal wall between the two structures for privacy.
The bin was surrounded by plants and garden decor, and had a small concrete patio with two chairs.
I walked across a path of stepping stones that led to the front door of the Airbnb, which had a digital keypad on the lock.
In front, there was also a small concrete patio with two Adirondack chairs, a grill, a chimenea, and potted flowers. I typed in the entry code, which the owner had texted me ahead of time, and unlocked the door.
Opening the door, I found a cozy room decorated with rustic furniture and soft lighting.
I was greeted by the soft glow of a lamp and the smell of an apple pie-scented candle when I walked in the Airbnb, which I could tell the host lit just before I arrived. It made the space feel welcoming, like a cozy farmhouse.
Inside, I thought the space had a rustic but stylish vibe. There was a gray quilt covering the bed, which had a wooden frame and headboard, and an embroidered decorative pillow. The bed also had soft sheets, a pillow topper mattress cover, and four standard pillows.
Two wooden stools served as bedside tables, which I thought was a clever way to save space.
I paused to admire an upholstered bench with embroidered images of bees and plants.
At the foot of the bed, there was a lovely cushioned bench with embroidered plants, which I felt was both an attractive and practical piece of furniture.
I used it as a shelf for my duffel bag and a few smaller luggage items during my stay. I also thought it would be a comfortable additional seating option, especially for those traveling with multiple guests.
The curved walls were made of corrugated metal, and there were wooden accents and pops of greenery on a shelf.
Across from the bed, I saw a wooden accent wall with a small fireplace, which I thought added a lively contrast to the mostly metal walls.
It had a shelf filled with decorations, including a miniature sewing machine, a teapot, a plush garden gnome, and plants. I liked that these touches of greenery brought a sense of nature into the space.
An armoire next to the bed held a variety of items, including a microwave, dog treats, and board games.
On the top shelf of the armoire, I saw jars containing coffee pods, packets of creamer, and sugar.
I also spotted a package of dog treats, which I appreciated for Ziggy. To me, it felt like a small but thoughtful gesture to show guests that their dogs were not just allowed, but welcomed.
The other shelves contained a record player, candles, and games like Scrabble, Jenga, Clue, and Candy Land. Next to the armoire, there was a mini fridge and a single-cup coffee maker.
Against another wall of the grain bin, there was a small dining table with two metal chairs.
On the dining table, I saw a set of mugs and salt and pepper shakers. There was also a basket holding plastic utensils, plates, napkins, and foil.
I also found a guest book in the basket with notes from previous visitors, and a binder written by the owners with information about the farm and surrounding region.
The stand-up shower was larger than I expected and covered with a curtain.
The corner-style shower had a wraparound curtain and a hanging shelf stocked with shampoo and conditioner. As a solo traveler, I didn't mind the placement between the accent wall and dining table, but I thought other guests traveling with friends or family might find the lack of privacy awkward.
Despite the space constraints, I liked the size of the shower, and it felt less cramped than I expected from the pictures I'd seen online.
On the wall next to the shower, there was also a remote-controlled AC unit and a set of drawers containing towels and washcloths. The temperature was already comfortable when I arrived, but I appreciated that the air conditioner worked well and had a heating option, which I turned on at night when the temperature outside dipped close to freezing.
I thought the bathroom's sleek fixtures and wood-slat walls looked attractive.
While the shower was exposed in the larger living area, the toilet and sink room had a door that latched. The wooden walls were painted a dark charcoal color, and had more plant-focused artwork.
I thought the sink was small, but appreciated the half-circle ledge around it that gave me enough space to rest my toothpaste and other small items.
There were also multiple hooks on the walls in the bathroom, which I used to hang towels and my travel toiletry bag.
I saw a wooden chest under the sink, and when I peeked inside, I found a hair dryer and an iron.
I didn't need to use the hair dryer or iron during my stay, but they both looked to me like newer, high-quality tools that could be convenient for other travelers.
I liked the large, full-length mirror, which I thought made the space seem bigger.
Between the bed and the front door, there was a large mirror with a brushed metal frame that matched the walls of the bin.
I appreciated having it, as I thought it made the room seem larger and I've rarely come across Airbnbs with full-length mirrors.
I liked that there were many different lights, like a bedside lamp, recessed lighting, and a chandelier in the center of the room.
As a frequent traveler, I like when rooms have multiple lighting options that I can adjust for different moods or times of day.
In the Airbnb, I was happy to have the bright
er chandelier, which I thought lit the space well and made it easy to get ready in the morning.
But in the evening, I turned it off and opted for the warmer light of the lamps and candles instead.
After settling in, I took Ziggy for a walk outside to explore the property and see some of the farm animals.
I'd read on the listing that the Airbnb owners welcome guests to spend time with their farm animals, and was excited to discover three fenced-off areas with animals that were just a few yards away from the grain bin.
One had a calf and ducks, and another held two donkeys. A third pen held a few more cows, but I noticed signs warning that this particular fence was electrified, so I steered clear of it.
I walked with Ziggy to the area containing the calf, which walked up and greeted us right away, and even gently touched noses with Ziggy through the fence. Next, we walked to the pen with the donkeys, who also came right to the gate to see us. They let me pet their soft fur and watched calmly as Ziggy sniffed around their cage.
I loved being so close to these friendly animals, and it brought back fond memories of my teenage years when I was a member of Future Farmers of America and spent a lot of time at farms and rodeos.
I was glad to be prepared with bug spray, as there were a lot of gnats and mosquitoes in the rural location.
While walking outside, I noticed that the mosquitoes were out in full force. Knowing how rural and generally humid the area was, I'd come prepared with bug spray, and was glad I did. I sprayed it on my clothes right away, which seemed to help.
Fortunately, I only experienced the mosquitoes outside, and didn't see any bugs inside the grain bin.
The grain bin had its own backyard, which was loosely enclosed by a metal privacy wall and a fence made of tree limbs.
I enjoyed walking around the backyard garden area behind the grain bin filled with decorative and whimsical touches like a pair of ceramic geese and various bushes and flowers.
I especially liked the wooden fence, which was made of crooked tree trunks and branches. It reminded me of something my friends and I, who grew up playing outside in the woods, would have dreamed up as kids.
The backyard had a metal fire pit and three Adirondack chairs.
The backyard seemed like a fun place to gather with friends or, in my case, kick back while Ziggy sniffed around. The centerpiece of the yard was a metal fire pit surrounded by plastic Adirondack chairs.
I was glad to see a large stack of split wood, a cooking grate, lighters, and fire-starting blocks all within easy reach, in case I wanted to start a fire for the evening.
In the backyard, I spotted a bee house attached to a pretty wooden archway.
Inside the bee house, I saw bamboo shoots and wooden blocks with pre-drilled holes, which are designed to attract pollinating bees to the farm and gardens.
It was a small detail, but reminded me that many aspects of nature work together in order for farms like this one to thrive.
I thought the stock tank that was made into a wood-fired hot tub looked interesting, but I ultimately decided not to use it.
I was intrigued by the wood-fired hot tub outside. I hadn't seen it on the online listing, but I'd read reviews from past guests mentioning using it, and the pamphlet in the Airbnb had info on how I could use.
It was a large metal tub with copper coil that wound around a chunk of firewood, which was meant to be lit as the source of heat.
It seemed like a fun concept, but I noticed a shallow pool of murky water at the bottom of the tub that would need to be cleaned out before using it.
I ultimately decided it was too much trouble when I had a perfectly good, hot shower inside.
The Airbnb was equipped with solar-powered lights, which turned on around sunset. I thought they made the Airbnb feel magical.
As the sun went down, twinkling, solar-powered lights around the bin started to glow. I thought it made the Airbnb look like a fairy-tale garden.
After dark, I cooked dinner over the fire and listened to the sounds of the farm at night.
I packed food with me for my trip and brought hot dogs for dinner and marshmallows for dessert. I sat in a chair next to the fire pit, with Ziggy by my side, and cooked over the flames.
It felt like a rare treat to disconnect from the rest of the world. With no phone service or TV to distract me, I enjoyed listening to my surroundings while eating dinner.
I could hear cars in the distance, and one of the donkeys bellowing occasionally. At one point, both Ziggy and I heard stomping hooves, and I realized it was someone on a late-night horse ride in the nearby pasture.
To wind down, I went inside the grain bin and put a vinyl on the record player.
While there was no TV in the Airbnb, there was a record player with three records to choose from. Two of them happened to be among my favorites. I opted for the country album "Traveller" by Chris Stapleton.
The speakers in the record player sounded fuzzy to me, but I thought the scratchy vintage sound fit the vibe of the Airbnb, and helped me drift off to sleep easily.
In the morning, I woke up just after sunrise and took Ziggy outside for a walk.
Ziggy woke me for an early-morning potty break, and when I opened the door, I realized it was raining.
Although I'd hoped for a sunny morning, I found the rain soothing. I could hear the rain hitting the sides of the bin and made a cup of coffee while Ziggy went back to sleep.
When I heard the rain pause, I took my coffee outside and enjoyed some fresh air on the patio.
I knew the farm animals were stirring by the time I went back outside because I heard more sounds coming from the pens — quacking ducks, bellowing donkeys, and the occasional bark from the farm dogs who live on the property.
I thought it was funny how I hadn't seen another human since I'd arrived the afternoon before, when while staying so close to my host. But with so many animals around, I felt like I was sharing the morning with an entire community of creatures, which felt comforting and grounding.
I took Ziggy on a longer stroll around the property. We walked down the dirt path that looped around to the barn and horse pastures.
The walk to the barn took just a few minutes. When we arrived, I saw the large barn and wide, grassy fields enclosed by wooden fences.
Everything seemed to be well-manicured, and I noticed signs for event parking. I assumed these were designed to help direct guests at weddings that are held on the property, which I'd read about on the listing and in the informational binder in my room.
I spotted horses grazing in the distance in one of the pastures. In another, I saw three ponies who were standing nearby.
The ponies, like the smaller animals from the day before, seemed curious and eager to greet us. I spent some time petting them through the fence, and Ziggy exchanged a few friendly nose nuzzles with one of them.
I wanted to stay longer on the peaceful farm, but was glad to leave feeling refreshed after connecting with animals and nature.
The Airbnb exceeded my expectations. From the comfortable and attractive living quarters, to the serene grounds, the stay had everything I needed for a comfortable and enjoyable night's rest.
I would recommend it to anyone who loves animals and off-the-beaten-path lodging, and I hope to visit again on my next road trip through the region.
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