Nothing screams summer romance like spending a week (or long weekend!) in a cozy waterfront vacation rental in one of America’s charming seaside destinations. Renting a lake house or beach home with your significant other is a surefire way to earn some brownie points, whether you’re drawn to salty seas or freshwater shores. At FlipKey, we can help you find your perfect couples’ retreat away from it all.
Romantic Lake House & Beach House Vacations
Reviews tell us a lot about the kind of vacations a destination is good for. So when we were looking for some of the best places to rent a romantic summer lake house or beach house, we checked what travelers had to say. At FlipKey (part of the TripAdvisor family), we used a special algorithm to analyze every single TripAdvisor review, identifying which lakeside and beachfront locations across America had the highest percentage of reviews mentioning romance. What’s left are some of the top romantic summer getaways for renting a lake house or beach home.
Just about every property is waterfront on the tiny island of Little Torch Key, a part of the Florida Keys archipelago located just 30 miles from the famous Key West. Spend long hot days diving among the corals at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, catching snook on a fishing charter, or relaxing at the well-regarded Little Palm Island Resort, located just off-shore. Your perfect summer beach house provides the ultimate pit stop during action-packed days.
Though small compared to neighboring Lake Michigan, the 10.5-square-mile Lake Geneva offers plenty to keep you busy while renting a summer lake house. Take to the water on a kayak or stand-up paddle board, lay out on the beach, or hit the 21-mile hiking loop around the water’s edge. The location is every bit as stunning as its larger neighbor but without the crowds, making for a quieter getaway with your loved one.
Brewster’s scenic location along the hook of the Cape Cod Peninsula has drawn visitors since its original inhabitants founded the town in 1659—a huge perk for history buffs who don’t want to sacrifice cultural attractions for waterfront views. Rent a historic beach house here to make the most of the area’s famous low-tide, when water levels dip low enough to walk out along the beach for a mile.
White sand beaches, coconut-heavy palm trees, and volcanic backdrops make for easy romance on Poipu, a quiet stretch of beach on Kauai’s South Shore. Complete the ambiance with your pick of romantic summer beach houses, from high-rise condos with killer views to waterfront cabanas with just enough room for two.
Nestled in the middle of Washington’s gorgeous Puget Sound, Gig Harbor offers access to a little bit of everything. Olympic National Park, Seattle, and Olympia are all easy day trips for those willing to leave their lake house rental, though the wide selection of properties with waterfront locations, spacious balconies, and sunset views justifies every moment you stay in.
Ogunquit’s translation as “beautiful place by the sea” does not disappoint. This small town on the coast of Maine boasts easy access to maritime estuary reserves, a historical drawbridge, and beaches dotted with rocky coves, each as beautiful as the next. Take a sunset stroll along the Marginal Way pedestrian path before heading home to your spacious vacation rental—complete with a full kitchen ideal for romantic home-cooked dinners.
It doesn’t get more romantic than a waterfront picnic on California’s Half Moon Bay, a picturesque crescent bay just 45 minutes south of San Francisco that’s as beautiful as its evocative name implies. Add in horseback rides along the sand and cozy evenings cuddled up in your beach rental, and your unforgettable summer vacation is just waiting to unfold.
On the narrow isthmus between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Sturgeon Bay boasts summer lake house rentals with endless tranquility and top-notch waterfront views. The small town is best known for its parks, museums, and wineries, in addition to the array of water sports on offer for active travelers.
A mixture of grand historical homes and cozy beachfront cottages ensure the perfect romantic getaway on the Jersey Shore. This quaint and quiet town is a far cry from the televised, party-hard reputation of Seaside Heights (Cape May is nearly 100 miles south), but still offers plenty in the way of entertainment. You’ll find live music, craft breweries, and boutique shopping, in addition to the warm water and gentle waves of the Atlantic—best appreciated when you rent a beach house right on the water.
Located just off the highway on the southern tip of Maine, Kennebunkport is one of the most accessible beach getaways from major metropolitan areas along the crowded Eastern seaboard. Leave behind the urban bustle when you rent a beach house on the shore, from spacious luxury homes to simple modern apartments, all within minutes of the area’s picturesque beach and rocky shoreline.
Break up a classic road trip down the California coast when you rent a beach house in Cambria, located on a quiet bit of coastline halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Bookend dips in the Pacific with fine dining, antique shopping, and scenic strolls along wooden walkways on the beach.
Rent a beach house along the quiet coast of Newport for days spent combing the shore for wildlife and evenings relaxing beside coastal bluffs. Newport strikes the perfect balance with a blend of state parks, historical monuments, museums, and nightlife, while still feeling like a secluded getaway.
Dana Point sits pretty between Los Angeles and San Diego, offering up the best of Southern California surf and sunshine. Though the city has a large number of high-rise resorts catering to visitors who come for whale watching, swimming, and sunset strolls, we suggest renting a beach house or condo with panoramic views to get the most romance out of your trip.
Don’t make the mistake of limiting Lake Placid to just its wintertime attractions. Lake Placid’s fresh alpine air, water recreation, and close access to Adirondack State Park make this Upstate New York city downright dreamy in the summertime. Rent a summer lake house to take in views of green mountain ranges rolling into the distance—a postcard-perfect view that creates the ideal setting for romance.
Though well-known for its vineyards, theaters, and cultural landmarks, nothing detracts from the natural beauty of Traverse City, which is bordered by the East and West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay and Boardman Lake. Add in close proximity to Lake Michigan and endless options for waterfront rentals, and it’s no wonder Traverse City remains a popular choice for romantic summer getaways.