Some shipping container homes even include a deck—perfect for grilling or enjoying the outdoors. Photo courtesy

In their original state, shipping containers aren’t exactly luxurious. Meant primarily for the transportation of goods, they haven’t quite been seen as possible living dwellings—until now.

In the past few years, a push towards lower cost, smaller living arrangements—and an opposition to contemporary cookie-cutter homes—has been on the rise in the form of the tiny homes movement. More often, buyers have looked towards customizable homes with low-maintenance features that broke ties from the strains of monthly mortgage payments. As popularity in tiny homes rose, alternative housing options evolved into silver bullet airstreams, which played to travelers looking to take to the open road at a moment’s notice.

Now there are shipping containers, a concept that blends the two. By taking the average shipping container and transforming it to reflect a shotgun-style home, it maintains a smaller-scale while catering to your wanderlust.

“That’s what you’re seeing with a lot of people is that they’re trying to cut down on their cost of living, especially the millennials,” says Aundrick Richard, owner of Kountry Containers, a shipping-container home builder. “They’re more about the experiences rather than necessarily having a traditional home.”

While millennials are your typical leaders in the tiny homes movement, interest from retiring baby boomers may follow as traveling and other experiences approach. Richard says a minimalist lifestyle is what has really shifted the public’s interest towards shipping containers. Customization comes at a cost, though. Richard “maximizes every inch of the home,” and calculates the layout and design suited to the style and comfort of each home buyer.

While some may not be completely sold on this movement, a few nights stay inside one of these Texas shipping containers could change minds. At a minimum, a great weekend getaway awaits.

Waco, TX
“The Anchor” shipping container near Magnolia may be super small, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you walk inside. With a full-sized shower, Murphy bed ready at your command, and a large rooftop deck, you won’t notice you’re inside a tiny container home. From $69 per night.

Keller, TX
Tucked away from the city, this urban-farm container home stands alongside two neighboring containers. Choose from three themes—modern industrial, Chevy truck, or bluebonnet—and relax inside the container or on the rooftop deck. Old Town Keller and Roanoke are only a short drive away. From $85 per night.

Marfa, TX
This funky, two-in-one container home sits on almost a half-acre of land on the outskirts of Marfa. Upon availability, you have the option between the first or second floor. Both are surrounded by desert life and invite nightly star-gazing from the rooftop deck. From $125 and up.

Mabank, TX
Mabank’s lakefront container is a haven for summer relaxation. Just outside of Dallas is this two bedroom and one-and-a-half bath with a 16’ sliding glass door that opens to a covered back deck exposing beautiful, panoramic views of Cedar Creek. From $149 per night.

Round Top, TX
FlopHouze shipping-container hotel maximizes the idea of repurposing. Airbnb host Matt salvaged windows from Philadelphia and old Texas bowling alley floors for unique counter-tops in this recycled shipping container.This home stands complete with fire pit, hammock, and chairs. From $175 per night.

McQueeney, TX
“The Dam Camp,” as it’s known, sits on Lake Placid just a few miles between Seguin and New Braunfels. This cargo-constructed shipping container offers two separate units for an optional stay that accommodates the entire family.  From $231 and up.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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