By Spencer Spellman, HomeAway Contributor
We know, hobbit homes are no new trend, especially since it’s been nearly 15 years (yes, 15) since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out. And with it, all of a sudden, “hobbit homes” were a thing, thanks largely to the small rural town of Matamata, New Zealand, which was the filming location of The Shire. Here, you can see the actual hobbit homes, and even the Green Dragon Inn, up close and personal.
However, Shire-esque homes like you saw in Lord of the Rings extend to more than just New Zealand. What’s more is that some of the most unique houses can be found in America. Bonus points that you can even spend the night in them, thanks to a number of hobbit homes listed on HomeAway.com. So today we take you on our own Lord of the Rings tour of America.
The Shire of Montana, Trout Creek, Montana. Welcome to The Shire, the Montana edition, situated in a remote valley in Northwest Montana. The Shire of Montana was actually originally intended to be a three-story log home. However, Steve Michaels, an alpaca farmer, was forced to improvise, and instead chose to build a dome home on a hill on his property. During construction, after his son commented on it resembling a “hobbit home,” Michaels ran with it.
The interior and exterior of the property all exudes hobbit lore, from The Shire welcome sign to a miniature hobbit village to a wood-burning stove inside to “trollhouse” cookies waiting upon your arrival. The property even features a makeshift Bilbo Baggins home. It’s like your own personal Shire.
Santa Fe Hobbit House, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Santa Fe Hobbit House is like The Shire meets an adobe village. The exterior really exudes the adobe style of Santa Fe, while the interior lives up to its hobbit name, from the garden gate as you enter to mosaics featuring scenes that look like they’re straight out of the movies. Perhaps most unique is that the Santa Fe Hobbit House is a live-in art gallery, characterized by Middle Earth-esque custom mosaics and inlaid furniture.
Charlevoix Cottage, Charlevoix, Michigan. Long before hobbit homes were a thing, gnome homes, or mushroom houses, were afad. American architect, Earl Young, built a number of these throughout Charlevoix, Michigan in the mid-1900s. As Young put it, he would often build the roofs first, and then shove everything underneath them (which sounds so very hobbit-like). One such home is Young’s “Half House,” built in 1947, which couldn’t look any more hobbit. Its undulating roof and stonework exterior create an effect of blending into the landscape, characteristic of the hobbit homes from the movies.
Hobbit House, Carbondale, Illinois. It’s all in the details at this hobbit house in Carbondale, Illinois. While many hobbit-style homes may stand out because of the general resemblance in their structures, the Hobbit House hones in on the intricacies, such as a barrel-vault hallway and log accent work. According to the owners, Ed and Nancy, “We chose several details to simulate Peter Jackson's vision of Bag End, from the hand-built round door to a framed map of Middle Earth to a Tree of Gondor pillow.” Perhaps its most unqiue Shire-esque feature is the grass roof, which is so prevalent in the Shire homes from the Lord of the Rings movies.
Bonus points that among the property’s paths, is a private path to Blue Sky Vineyards, a local winery. After all, Gandalf did decline Dori’s offer of tea, requesting red wine instead, in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Ed and Nancy’s newest hobbit property, Hobbit Hollow, will be available for guests in the coming months. Hobbit Hollow, too, will have similarities to The Shire, such as the back of the hollow being completely underground, and inside, a map of Wilderland.