Meg Bernazzani is a Content Marketing Associate at FlipKey. Meg's favorite trip was an 11-day drive across the country from California to Massachusetts. In addition to visiting many of the states within the U.S., Meg has also traveled to 8 different countries. When she's not traveling, Meg enjoys cooking and spending time at the beach.
At FlipKey, we value the importance of travel and cultural immersion as a way to learn about the world firsthand, which is why we held a contest to win a $1,000 study abroad scholarship. We asked entrants to tell us in a 1,000-word essay why travel is important to him or her, and we want to send a big thank you to everyone who entered and helped make the contest a success!
A special congratulations to Caroline Brock of Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, the winner of the FlipKey Study Abroad Scholarship! From tuition costs to plane tickets and spontaneous excursions in between, we hope you use the $1,000 to create lots of memories during your semester abroad in Spain.
The winning essay is printed in full below:
Caroline (left) hiking with friends in Snowdonia, Wales.
The first time I left America, I was afraid. I was 16. I had taken six months of Spanish. I was going to be staying with a Spanish family. For just seven days. “Just seven days,” I kept telling myself. “If it’s awful I’ll get through it day by day. Just seven days.” I had packed a box of granola bars in my suitcase in case I couldn’t stomach the food. People have survived on less than a box of granola bars for longer amounts of time than seven days, I told myself. Just seven days. And in ‘just seven days’ I can honestly say that my life changed.
I fell in love with Spain, with the language, the culture, the food, and the people, in just seven days. My suitcase was a pack of granola bars lighter on the flight home—I had tossed those in the nearest trashcan after my first bite of paella. I’m now a Spanish major, and craving the sensation of being in Spain for far longer than seven days. Seven days taught me that taking risks pays off, that no matter what language they speak or food they eat, people are people, and life was made for connecting with as many people as possible. That’s why I chose Spanish as a major, language unlocks so many opportunities to connect with others.
Since that trip to Spain I’d been waiting for the next opportunity to live somewhere new for longer than just a week. I was extremely fortunate to be accepted into Arcadia’s First Year Study Abroad Experience in London. I spent three months in a constant state of awe at the fact that I was doing it, I was living abroad. One weekend, I took a 10-hour bus to Caernarfon, Wales. There I attempted to hike Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. When my friends and I arrived at the base of the mountain, we asked a few locals “Which way up?” to which they responded, “Honestly, you’re not really equipped to go up the mountain in this weather,” as they eyed our Sperry rainboots and thing jackets. It was February in Wales, and drizzling. So we went up anyway. We made it about halfway until the rain and wind picked up to the point where we had to turn around. But I can’t describe the feeling of life that I got from that hike. And then the next morning, we got back on the bus to London. We spent about 20 hours on buses that weekend, and about the same amount of waking time in Wales. But those few hours were so full that I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Living in London was like living in a dream. Every morning I woke up before class to go on a run through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. I couldn’t believe that this life was mine. On some weekends I explore the city, and on others I took a short plane ride to explore a new country. And during the weekdays I was in classes that aimed to engage us in the city—I read Mrs. Dalloway one night and the next I was tracing her steps through the city we both called home. I was reading articles about diversity and seeing it become part of my life as I blissfully battled the crushing crowds around booths from all around the world at Borough Market.
One of the most profound effects that living in London had on me was the self reflection that was imposed on me, both towards myself and my country. People from home were surprised when I told them I would be going abroad half of my first year of college. I just wasn’t the type to take such a large leap of faith. But I proved to myself that I could do it.
And that’s why travel is important to me, because it changes people. After London, I wasn’t the same person as I was before, because visceral experiences like that of living abroad wrench you open and reconfigure you. They make you more confident in yourself, and yet more humble and acknowledging of your position as a small piece to a very, very large world. And I can say that I am still growing, healthily unsatisfied with where I am, with hopes of perpetually tearing my ideas down to form new ones, to change and be changed. Now I’m a mentor for other first year students going abroad to London, and I advise them on how much money they’ll need, remind them to tell their bank they’ll be abroad, make lists of useful tips for the city. But I can’t begin to explain to them the most important aspect of study abroad, they have to experience that for themselves.
When I go to study abroad in Spain I want every waking hour to be as full as my hours in Wales were. I want to challenge myself, I want to expand my worldview, I want to absorb everything. I want my preconceptions and notions of the world to be shattered and rebuilt into the intricate mosaic that is the human experience on Earth. I want to come back to America and share that with those who haven’t been lucky enough to study abroad. I want to come back and help other people to understand what’s out there. To encourage them to take a risk, to travel, to breathe. Because sometimes in our everyday lives we breathe only because our brain tells us to. I want to fill my lungs with air because I want every cell of my body to experience what my eyes are seeing. I want to breath, and live, with a purpose.
You don’t have to break the bank to have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure this autumn. With so many canyons, lakes, mountains, and more to explore right here in the US, you’ll find there’s a perfect fall vacation for every budget!
Top Adventure Towns You Can Afford
We looked into the cost of a week-long fall vacation to bring you 12 outdoorsy destinations where adventure knows no bounds. Whether you’re searching for a rock face to scale, a mountain to climb, or a river to cast your fishing line, these adventure vacation spots across the country have it all (and for an affordable price!).
Instead of roughing it in the woods during your trip, consider booking a vacation home with all the comforts and amenities you’re used to. By staying in a FlipKey rental, you can fuel up with a home-cooked meal prepared in your fully-stocked kitchen, or enjoy a comfy bed after a long day outdoors. From secluded mountain retreats to cozy cabins surrounded by trees, all that’s left to do is gather your friends and find the perfect rental in one of these amazing adventure towns.
Prices reflect the median cost for a week-long stay in a two-bedroom rental in that destination, between the months of September, October, and November.
The alternative to Hawaii’s glitzy, one-size-fits-all beach vacation, Pahoa is a sleepy town known for its abundant natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere. Wade into the waters of Ahalanui Beach Park, a spring-fed pool that’s volcanically heated to a balmy 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For spectacular snorkeling, plunge into the Kapoho Tide Pools. Need a day off from outdoor adventures? Walk along the raised wooden boardwalk, and admire the century-old buildings that give it a “Wild West” feel.
Cody, named after its legendary founder, Buffalo Bill Cody, is a charming blend of old and new. It sits at the edge of Yellowstone National Park where buffalo roam (yes, really!), geysers gush, and the pristine wilderness awaits outdoor enthusiasts. Rent a cozy western cabin in Cody and see why travelers describe this one-of-a-kind adventure town as a “must-see!” Filled with natural wonders and a brilliant display of colorful foliage during the fall, choose Cody for your affordable fall getaway.
This Idaho adventure town may be known for its renowned winter skiing, but plan a trip to McCall during the fall and witness the roadside explosion of color that starts to pop every October. For panoramic mountain views, slip a kayak into the water and paddle around Payette Lake. Prefer to stay on land? Wander through the forests of Ponderosa State Park—which covers a thousand-acre peninsula that juts into the lake, or make a tee time at McCall Golf Club. With its stunning scenery and exhilarating outdoor experiences, you can explore from sun up until sun down in McCall!
Once you arrive in Whitefish, however long you’re planning to stay just won’t be enough. Lace up your hiking boots, and head to Glacier National Park, the “Crown of the Continent.” At the park, gaze at the arresting fall foliage or choose a trail—long or short, easy or challenging—for panoramic views of the rugged Rockies. Other activities nearby include cycling, fishing, golfing, and even huckleberry picking. There’s no better time than fall to enjoy all Whitefish has to offer the adventurous vacationer.
A hidden gem in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, Ellijay is a quiet town perfect for your fall getaway. Rent tubes and float down the Ellijay River for a unique view of the area, or tour the sprawling local vineyards. And what’s a trip to Ellijay without a stop at the apple orchard? Located in Gilmer County, the “Apple Capital of Georgia,” there are many farms nearby for apple picking. If you’re not feeling active, sit in a rocking chair on your vacation home’s porch and take in the blazing leaves and breathtaking mountain backdrop.
Searching for a place that balances thrilling outdoor activities with laid-back, low-key vibes? Then Taos is your answer! Whether you fill your days hiking through Taos Ski Valley (watch out for wildlife!), rafting down the Rio Grande, or marveling at the ancient ruins of Taos Pueblo, there’s never a dull moment here. Rent a private casita on the outskirts of town and escape the hubbub of everyday life.
What would a list of idyllic fall adventure towns be without Lake Tahoe? Set amidst the jaw-dropping Sierra Nevada Mountains, this city boasts the largest alpine lake in North America and is a hot spot for autumn excursions. Visit the Gondola at Heavenly and ascend the mountains for a bird’s eye view of the area, coast across the clear blue water in a pontoon boat, or hop on a mountain bike to explore. Just one trip to Lake Tahoe will convince you that this destination truly has it all!
Often overlooked, Logan packs lots of adventure within its borders. It’s tucked away in the Hocking Hills region, where you’ll find cascading waterfalls, towering gorges, and dense forest extending for miles—right in Ohio. Need a reward to motivate you along your hike? Make the trek to Ash Cave. This enormous, horseshoe-shaped cave is found at the end a tree-lined path and will take your breath away. Roam the wilderness by day, and cozy up around the fire in your Logan vacation home by night for the ultimate fall vacation.
Mountain bikers, hikers, hunters, horseback riders, rafters, fishermen, and more are drawn to Durango. Home to the two-million-acre San Juan National Forest, the roaring Animas River, and an interesting Old West heritage, this outdoorsy destination is one of the top adventure towns to visit, especially during the fall. Tour the scenic landscape on foot, or climb aboard a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive and travel along the same tracks that early settlers used over a hundred years ago. No matter how you choose to explore, you’ll discover something new in Durango each time you visit.
Picturesque nature trails cut through the colorful foliage, leaves rustle with the wind, and rivers rush down the sides of mountains: Sevierville is at its best during autumn. The city is surrounded by wilderness, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park only minutes away. At Foxfire Mountain, soar amidst the treetops on a zipline excursion or cross the river by walking the longest swinging bridge in the US, the Bridge to Prosperity. Adventure abounds in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, and you’ll quickly see this hidden gem is no exception.
Moab’s dramatic landscape and extraordinary attractions beckon all types of outdoor adventurers—hikers, bikers, climbers, white water rafters… you name it! This fiery destination is situated at the edge of Arches National Park and Canyonlands, making it a popular base if you’re looking to explore the extensive network of trails—Balanced Rock and Slickrock—that snake through the sprawling red rock playground. Experience an unforgettable sunrise from 2,000 feet above the Colorado River at Dead Horse Point, or watch the sun dip below the horizon from the backyard of your vacation home.
Nestled in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest and known for its infinite recreational activities, Lake Arrowhead is widely referred to as “The Alps of Southern California.” Its mile-high location provides the ideal setting for hiking, biking, boating, and more. Explore the pine-scented trails that surround this adventure town, drift across the lake in a paddle boat, or browse the specialty shops in Lake Arrowhead Village. With so much to see and do here, you can be sure there’s a new adventure to be had every day of the week!
With countless places to choose from in the region, we’re highlighting the best Southern vacation spots for renting a summer house. Travelers have spoken, and these destinations have the top-rated review scores for their rental accommodations on FlipKey.
Top-Rated Southern Vacations This Summer
Summer is a fabulous time to visit the South. Warm temperatures linger long into the evenings, allowing plenty of time for exploration, and the region’s cities buzz with activity. Not to mention, the area exudes Southern hospitality, making it a popular place to visit—any time of year.
Whether summer is just beginning or inching to a close, it’s never a bad time to plan that getaway down South! To help you choose your destination, we looked at the average vacation rental review scores for summer stays. The result? Nine of the best vacation spots down South receiving top praise from fellow FlipKey rental guests. From Tennessee to Texas, these Southern vacations (and their top attraction!) come highly recommended by travelers like you.
Consider booking a vacation home for your trip and you’ll be right in the middle of all the action. Not only do rentals provide an affordable home base during your stay, they let you experience the city like a local!
Ratings are based on the lifetime average vacation rental review score for that destination (for stays during summer months), according to reviewers on TripAdvisor. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.
“Lots of heart and soul went into preserving this very special home—if you appreciate craftsmanship and cool old houses, it is worth a visit for that alone!” – FlipKey Traveler
A trip to Decatur reveals what makes this destination so special: beautiful historic homes, a range of unique attractions, and a friendly, small-town atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind. At just six miles east of Atlanta, getting to this city—which offers a variety of attractions for foodies, fashionistas, fun-lovers and beyond—is a breeze. Grab a bite to eat on-the-go at Your Dekalb Farmers Market, take a walking tour of the area, or perch yourself on a park bench in Decatur Square. Described as “four square miles of hometown hippiness,” this vibrant city is a hot spot for Southern vacations that can’t be missed.
“We spent the majority of our time on one of the two decks when we weren’t out hiking. We watched birds fly, the clouds float by, and the hang gliders soar. What a wonderful, relaxing place to enjoy!” – FlipKey Traveler
Nicknamed the Scenic City, Chattanooga lives up to that claim with soaring mountains, extraordinary rock formations, roaring waterfalls, and lots of outdoor activities that let you enjoy it all. Explore the mysterious caverns of Ruby Falls, hike Lookout Mountain for jaw-dropping views, or familiarize yourself with the area on a train ride through the countryside. For an even more memorable stay, rent a cabin amidst towering trees or a private vacation home just steps from the river and make Chattanooga your home, if only for a weekend getaway.
“Perfect spot in the Marigny!! We could walk easily everywhere we wanted to go and experienced lots of great music and restaurants.” – FlipKey Traveler
Whether your plan is to soak up the local history or dance your way down Bourbon Street, New Orleans is no doubt one of the best vacation spots in the South. It’sa hub of activity from sunrise to sundown. Tour the Garden District—an elegant neighborhood full of Southern charm—where you’ll find pristine gardens and opulent, antebellum mansions. When you’re ready to party, head to Bourbon Street. You’ll find this carnival of sights and sounds in the historic French Quarter. Add to your New Orleans experience by booking a traditional, shotgun-style vacation home just blocks from your favorite attractions.
“Absolutely LOVED this home away from home!! We actually stayed in Friday night instead of going to downtown Nashville just because we loved the house so much!!” – FlipKey Traveler
If you’re looking for world-class music venues, hearty Southern fare, and the chance to spot celebrities both on the stage and in the street, then Nashville is the Southern vacation for you. Take a stroll along the Music City Walk of Fame, check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, or attend a show at the iconic Grand Ole Opry. At the end of a music-filled day, retreat to the quiet of your beautiful Victorian home rental in Germantown, Nashville’s oldest neighborhood.
“This was a great location right in the middle of everything in historic Fredericksburg. A wonderful place to stay with hosts that make you feel like friends.” – FlipKey Traveler
Southern charm will sweep you off your feet in Fredericksburg. It’s located deep in the heart of Texas and is known for its hospitality, rich history, and thriving German traditions. A visit during August lends itself to lazy afternoons watching the grape harvest at a vineyard and warm evenings strolling at the county fair. If you can’t squeeze a trip to Fredericksburg in this summer, don’t fret! With bluebonnets blooming in the spring and Oktoberfest celebrations during the fall, this city is one of the best Southern vacations to take, no matter what time of year it is.
“All the comforts of home. This was much better than a hotel. It was great to have easy access to our events, then drive back into a quiet neighborhood (with deer) in the evenings.” – FlipKey Traveler
With the annual Kentucky Derby spectacle, tasty mint juleps, and a variety of exciting attractions, it’s no surprise that Louisville makes our list of top-rated Southern vacations. Follow the city-wide “Urban Bourbon Trail” to award-winning micro-distilleries, each with its own unique offering of the city’s signature spirit. If you’re a baseball fan, check out the Louisville Slugger Museum, a celebration of the sport’s legends. Choose an historic home within walking distance of downtown, and you’ll never want to leave Louisville!
“Paradise. This is the first time I ever stayed in a vacation rental—and I think I’ll never go back to hotels again. I felt the most not like a tourist on this vacation compared to others in the past.” – FlipKey Traveler
Known as the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg boasts an average of 361 days of sunny skies a year, making it a safe choice if you’re looking to spend your vacation days outdoors. Walk the waterfront for stunning views of Tampa Bay (and even a leaping dolphin or two!) or explore the century-old Sunken Gardens in the midst of this bustling city. One walk along the sugary-sand beaches, one dip in the crystal-clear waters, one stop at the Saturday Morning Market—that’s all it will take to fall in love with St. Petersburg.
“It was the most gorgeous scenic retreat I could’ve asked for. A beautiful hidden gem, just like Arkansas itself!” – FlipKey Traveler
Set among an array of naturally heated springs, Hot Springs bubbles with adventure. From hiking and biking to fishing and kayaking, this Southern city speaks to outdoor enthusiasts. Climb to the top of Hot Springs Mountain to take in the majestic views, discover the beauty of Lake Catherine State Park, or spend a relaxing day at the lake. Book a Hot Springs vacation rental as your base to make exploring even easier during your stay.
“Cozy place, perfect for two. Perfect for peace and quiet and restful relaxation.” – FlipKey Traveler
When it comes to Southern charm, Greenville offers an unforgettable dose. From outdoor concerts to annual street festivals, the city hosts more than 300 events annually, guaranteeing a good time is had by all. Saunter around downtown Greenville—ranked among “America’s Ten Best” by Forbes magazine—taking in the sights and tasting a variety of palate-pleasing cuisines from the more than 600 restaurants in town. This charming destination gets FlipKey travelers’ vote as one of the best vacation spots in the South to rent a summer house. Book a vacation rental here and enjoy all the city has to offer with the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop.
Calling all road trippers! If you’re searching for an exciting destination to look forward to on your next journey from Boston, look no further than these alluring Northeast cities.
Best Road Trip Ideas From Boston
There’s nothing like the great American road trip. Trading wings for wheels gives you the freedom to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations at your own pace, and helps keep vacation costs down. And the best part? When you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston, you’ll find much of the Northeast is right at your fingertips!
Consider booking a vacation home on FlipKey and save even more during your getaway. Whether you choose a secluded cabin, cozy beach cottage, or an urban apartment, rentals provide extra space to stretch your legs and all of the comforts of home, including a full kitchen, free laundry, and wireless Internet.
From the breezy beaches of the Jersey Shore to classic New England vacation spots like Portland, we’ve mapped out 13 great road trips from Boston. So hop in the car, hit the road, and explore the ribbons of highway that wind through the region.
Revel in American history and discover where the Pilgrims first landed almost 400 years ago: Plymouth. Visitors from near and far flock to this gorgeous seaside destination to see landmarks like Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship the Pilgrims sailed. Had your fill of history? Drink a Cape Codder cocktail while admiring Cape Cod Bay from the back deck of your rental or lounge on the sprawling, sandy beaches.
If you’re searching for a road trip from Boston that won’t leave you cramped in the car for hours, Rockport is an ideal choice. Located on the rocky jut of land known as Cape Ann, this coastal town boasts award-winning dining and attractions, without the congestion of a big city. Sit in the sand as the waves wash over the shore, or hike along Halibut Point. Rockport is the picture of tranquility!
Within an hour’s drive of Boston, Hampton is an easily accessible destination just over the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. Here, succulent seafood, eclectic shops, and picturesque beaches abound, and you’ll never run out of things to do! Take a dip in the ocean at Hampton’s eponymous beach, watch sand sculptors in action, or fly a kite high above the dunes—the area is bursting with possibilities.
A blend of historic sites, modern attractions, and big city conveniences make Providence worth a stop on your next road trip from Boston. Fill your days in the “Renaissance City” feeding giraffes at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, exploring the ins and outs of Brown University’s campus, or sipping an espresso in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood, also known as Little Italy. At sunset, hop aboard an authentic Venetian gondola for a romantic cruise down the Providence River.
For easy access to beautiful Maine beaches and a bustling town center, follow New England’s spectacular coastline up to Ogunquit. Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ogunquit River, there are endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Set sail from Perkins Cove, climb Mount Agamenticus, or wander along Marginal Way, a scenic cliff walk that spans more than a mile. With fresh seafood, sheltered beaches, unique art galleries, and vacation homes for every budget, Ogunquit is the idyllic road trip destination from Boston.
This quintessential New England destination, nestled along the coast of southern Maine just 90 miles north of Boston, is best known for its fine white sand beaches, quaint historic districts, and remarkable art galleries. Enjoy the sea with a whale watch or charter a boat for a unique perspective of the local lighthouses. Prefer dry land? Bike, walk, or drive down scenic Ocean Avenue for jaw-dropping views and a glimpse of former President George Bush’s summer home.
Just 30 minutes up the road from Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach sits along a 7-mile stretch of golden sand. Bask in the sun at the city’s namesake, Old Orchard Beach, or plan a day of family-friendly fun at Palace Playland, the only beachfront amusement park in New England. In the afternoon, cool off with an ice cream cone at the pier, or kick back on your rental’s balcony overlooking the water.
Take your pick of outdoor activities in this small town on the southern coast of Maine. There’s the Eastern Trail that winds through the woods of Maine, zip-lining adventures at Monkey Trunks, and fishing charters on the Atlantic. If you’ve got kids in tow, head to Funtown Splashtown to cool off without the hassle of loading the car with beach gear. Consider a vacation home near Saco Bay with a BBQ grill, beach views, and plenty of space to make your trip extra special!
Known for its luscious lobster rolls, picturesque shoreline, and historic charm, Portland is a haven for vacationers in New England. At just two hours from Boston, it’s a convenient destination to get to, too. Stroll along the brick sidewalks, sip on a pint at a local brewery, or play skipper for a day exploring the open waters by boat. Spend a long weekend in Portland and you’ll leave Vacationland—Maine’s official slogan—feeling positively refreshed.
Gorgeous beaches, charming lighthouses, unique art galleries, and an exuberant town center—there’s only one Provincetown. Situated at the very tip of Cape Cod just two and a half hours from Boston, this scenic spot is a popular road trip destination for those looking to escape the city. Head to Commercial Street for shopping and dining, or even book a beautiful, historic home right on this main drag. Prefer some fun in the sun? Visit the beaches of the Cape Cod National Seashore—almost three quarters of Provincetown is preserved as a part of this park.
Described by travelers as “an awesome mountain retreat!”, Killington boasts four seasons of non-stop adventure. Situated in the Green Mountains, Killington has some of the highest and most varied mountain terrain in the region. From hiking and biking during the summer to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, the area’s natural beauty will steal your breath away. With FlipKey, you can stay near Killington Resort to be near all of the action, or find yourself in a country house off the beaten path. Wherever you choose, nothing beats a trip to this woodsy Vermont destination 160 miles northwest of Boston.
This 32-mile long “Queen of American Lakes” offers lots of activities, perfect for stretching your legs after a long car ride. Navigate the trails at Prospect Mountain, hit the links at Top of the World Golf Resort, or go parasailing over Lake George, legs dangling freely in the air. Rent a cozy cottage right on the lake for ultimate convenience, or choose an away-from-it-all log home for total relaxation. Whichever you pick, you’re sure to enjoy a weekend of outdoor recreation in New York’s scenic Adirondack region.
No matter which beach town or seaside village along the Jersey Shore you make home, New Jersey’s sweeping coastline is well worth the car journey. The region spans from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May Point in the south, with about 140 miles of sandy beaches and swaying dunes in between. Want to win big in Atlantic City? No problem! Dreaming of warm waters and ocean breezes? It’s all here! Jersey Shore has something for everyone.
Planning a trip to the iHeartRadio Music Festival this year? We’ve got you covered!
For two nights only this autumn, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will take over the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The result: a spectacular event chock-full of hip-swaying performances of rock, pop, hip hop, and more from music’s hottest artists.
While the festival kicks off on September 22, we suggest extending your stay to truly experience all that the Entertainment Capital of the World has to offer. From the excitement of the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip to the tranquility of the surrounding desert, there’s so much to see and do in Las Vegas! Use our recommendations of top restaurants and bars in the city so you can stay fueled for days (and nights!) of non-stop fun.
No matter how you decide to fill your downtime during the iHeartRadio Music Festival, rent a Las Vegas condo or apartment from FlipKey for ultimate convenience and comfort. With a vacation rental, you’ll have your own bed to recover in, a full kitchen to store your snacks, and some extra spending money in your pocket.
About the iHeartRadio Music Festival
Every year during the iHeartRadio Music Festival, over 16,000 frenzied fans pack the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas for showstopping performances from their favorite artists. The star-studded lineup has ranged in the past from award-winning singers like Sam Smith and Elton John to popular bands like U2 and Coldplay. Tickets to the event cost upwards of $50, but many radio stations offer them for free to lucky listeners. Tune in to popular stations, and listen for the cue to call to win a pair of tickets to the festival.
Attendees can expect to hear round-the-clock hits all weekend long—indoors andoutdoors. The open-air Daytime Village takes place nearby at the MGM Resorts Village and showcases new, up-and-coming artists each year. Flash your wristband and come and go from this massive outdoor party featuring a revolving stage, dedicated fan zones, and countless interactive experiences for music-lovers.
Whether you plan to spend your nights playing in the glow of the glamorous Strip or resting up for an early morning at the iHeartRadio Daytime Village, make sure you have a comfortable Las Vegas rental to return home to each day. From high-rise condos and luxury penthouses to opulent mansions and spacious vacation homes, FlipKey has more than 700 Las Vegas rentals to choose from for the perfect stay.
While Las Vegas is a great spot for a last-minute trip, if you’re planning to attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival, your best bet is to reserve your accommodations in advance. Search for a rental near the MGM Grand Arena to be close to all of the action, or book a home with a private pool and unwind without the hoopla. Whether you’re looking to save money for the slot machines, or want a place to watch the sunset over the desert, we’ve got you covered!
Eat and Drink Here During the iHeartRadio Music Festival
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. These are our top restaurants to hit while you’re in Vegas.
Only in Las Vegas will you find an award-winning Mexican restaurant overlooking a Venice-inspired canal (gondola rides and everything!) or a neon-lit lounge with a flaming reflection pool. Sin City bursts with one-of-a-kind bars and restaurants where you can overindulge at all-you-can-eat buffets, knock back bottomless Bloody Marys, or sample exquisite international cuisine.
We can’t guarantee you’ll win big in Las Vegas, but we can guarantee you’ll get hungry—and our top picks are sure to satisfy even the most unexpected cravings! Reserve a table, stop in for happy hour, or grab a late-night pizza at the following spots while you’re in town for the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Thirsting for your next vacation, but not sure where to go? Why not visit one of the best beer cities in the country!
Best Beer Cities in America
From the quaint side streets of Bar Harbor to the bustling neighborhoods of downtown Seattle, we’ve narrowed it down to eight amazing beer cities truly worth raising a glass to. Each spot has top-notch breweries with extensive lists of IPAs, pale ales, porters, pilsners, and more on tap. If you can name it, you can taste it in these destinations. While we can’t cover all the great craft breweries, we’re featuring our favorite in each city, so that you can spend more time tasting than planning.
Better yet, each of these destinations has a variety of vacation rentals from FlipKey to fit every budget and travel style. Whether you rent a luxurious condo in the heart of the city or an away-from-it-all cottage by the beach, we guarantee you’ll love having a comfortable home to retreat to after a fun-filled day at the brewery (and/or night at the bar!).
Plenty of fridge space for your take-home growlers, too!
Historic landmarks, fiercely loyal sports fans, and lots of craft beers to choose from—a trip to Boston offers something for everyone. While well-known breweries like Sam Adams and Harpoon have helped put Boston on the map as one of the best beer cities in the country, Trillium Brewing Company has emerged as a local favorite. It’s a unique New England farmhouse-style brewery offering a variety of beers that satisfy every palate. This family-run spot is just off the beaten path in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, so make sure not to miss it!
Before sampling the city’s thriving nightlife, take time to discover Boston’s famed attractions. Follow the Freedom Trail’s red-brick path through the city, catch a baseball game at the iconic Fenway Park, or find a park bench and watch the swan boats glide by in the Boston Public Garden. Your days are sure to fly by in this fast-paced city.
What better way to cool down and quench your thirst than by ordering an ice-cold glass of beer at Funky Buddha Brewery! Located in Oakland Park, this hip spot features tours of its funky brewhouse, a wide variety of bold craft beers, and a fabulous menu. Sample a Floridian Hefeweizen in the taproom, or fill up a growler of Eternal Summer to take home to your Oakland Park vacation home.
During your trip, venture just 15 minutes down the road to Fort Lauderdale where blue-green waters and world-class beaches await. Whether you swim in the shimmering Atlantic Ocean or shop on Las Olas Boulevard, this part of southern Florida will keep you busy from sun up until sun down.
Firehouse Brewing Company opened its doors in 1991 as South Dakota’s very first brew pub. The legendary spot, which is listed on the National Historic Register, has nine beers on tap at any given time, and there’s even an on-site winery for those who prefer a glass of red or white instead. Stay for a meal (and a live performance under the band-shell!), or pop into the taproom for a quick drink during your stay.
Beer fanatic or not, Rapid City is a fantastic destination to visit. It’s the ideal home base for travelers looking to tour the scenic Black Hills and the perfect spot if you’re simply looking to experience a taste of the Midwest.
What started as a small brewing operation run out of a garage is today Fulton Beer, one of the best breweries in downtown Minneapolis. At the taproom, you can sip on a cold one just 38 feet from where it was brewed, or pick up a Sweet Child of Vine six pack to enjoy in the comfort of your rental. Whether you prefer hoppy IPAs or flavorful barleywines, there’s no shortage of bold brews to choose from at Fulton Beer.
It’d be impossible to talk about the best beer cities in the country without mentioning Minneapolis, but this Twin City is full of excitement. The Mall of America (just 15 minutes away) is an absolute must, while the city also boasts a thriving theater and arts scene. Perfect for weekend getaways or week-long vacations, Minneapolis is a superb destination to visit year-round.
Fremont Brewing is a family-owned Seattle brewery that’s been producing first-rate artisan beers for nearly 10 years. Here, brewing is done in small batches only using the finest local ingredients—so it’s no surprise that this hot spot makes Seattle one of the best beer cities in America. Sample pale ales, IPAs, oatmeal stouts, and more while you’re at Fremont Brewing.
Besides beer, it wouldn’t be a trip to Seattle without a stop at the original Starbucks for a brew of a different type. For a snack, head to Pike Place Market, a hub of mouthwatering eats and delicious scents. Book a private retreat on the water or a central apartment in the city, and make the most of your time in Seattle.
As new breweries keep opening up, San Diego has quickly emerged as one of the best beer cities in America. But, one in particular continues to stand out among the rest: Thorn Street Brewery. This local watering hole is dog-friendly and boasts a lineup of rotating nightly food trucks that are the perfect complement to the vast selection of craft brews on tap. Stop in for a quick pint or kick back and relax with friends in the large, open taproom.
You can’t visit San Diego and spend all your time indoors, though. Swim in the Pacific at La Jolla Shores Park, wander around Balboa Park, or people watch from your rental’s beachfront patio—the possibilities are endless!
While Boulder is undoubtedly an ideal destination for families, you ought to consider this sophisticated Colorado city for an adults-only getaway, too! It’s home to the award-winning Avery Brewing Company, which offers 30 “thoroughly American at heart” beers on tap—at all times! From year-round beers like the Belgian-style White Rascal to seasonal favorites such as the peach-flavored Perzik Saison, you’re sure to find something that will quench your thirst.
Of course, Boulder also has plenty to do to help you burn off those beer calories! Explore the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, bike along the river, or stroll around the University of Colorado’s flagship campus during your trip.
A quintessential New England beach town with some of the best beer in the region? You guessed it—we’re talking about Bar Harbor! It’s where you’ll find the Atlantic Brewing Company just minutes from the quaint cobblestone streets of downtown. Over the years, the brewery has grown from a small one-barrel operation to a 15 barrel-system that produces tasty pints of English-style beer.
Visit Bar Harbor for the beer, and stay for the salty air and pristine natural beauty. Sunbathing along the coast and strolling down the famous Shore Path are two or Bar Harbor’s simplest pleasures. Want to see more of the island? Head to Acadia National Park or hop in a kayak to discover this charming New England destination’s showstopping scenery.
The key to planning a worry-free vacation with toddlers is choosing the right destination. Whether it’s an exciting city brimming with hands-on activities, a peaceful beach, or a rural setting where kids can explore, it has to be a place where both the young and getting older can have fun (after all, it’s your vacation, too!).
To help you choose, we’ve hand-picked 10 of the best vacations for toddlers from coast to coast. From the action-packed streets of Washington, DC to the picturesque shores of San Diego, the places on our list make every curious toddler’s favorite question—”Why?”—easy to answer. We’ve even included our top pick for a kid-friendly attraction your little ones will love.
Captiva Island rests just off the coast of southwest Florida in the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known for its shallow waters and gentle waves, which make it an ideal beach vacation spot for families with toddlers. With your little ones at your side, chase waves retreating into the ocean, build an enormous sandcastle, or comb the beach for colorful seashells—the possibilities are endless! Choose a beachfront condo with kid-friendly activities (think kite-making and coconut-painting) or book a vacation home with tons of space for a stress-free getaway in Captiva Island.
With its small-town vibe and inviting atmosphere, one thing’s certain: you’re sure to feel at ease in Pigeon Forge (at least, while the kids aren’t testing your patience!). Situated in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, this outdoorsy destination is all about experiencing the Appalachian wilderness hands-on. In other words, it’s a toddler’s dream-come-true. Explore the dense forests on foot, bike along nature paths, or take a dip in the local swimming holes. If that’s not your thing, downtown Pigeon Forge boasts family-friendly theme parks, unique attractions, and the sounds of country music on almost every street corner, ensuring a good time is had by all.
Located just miles from Smugglers Notch, one of Vermont’s largest state parks, Stowe boasts countless kid-friendly hikes, scenic byways, and undiscovered attractions. Translation: Stowe is the ultimate natural playground for toddlers. Let your children run free, climbing over twisted roots, playing hide-and-go-seek among the trees, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. Once everyone’s all tired out, retreat to your spacious cabin rental, and spend the evening cuddled on the couch watching movies and reading bedtime stories. Sometimes the best vacation for toddlers is one that involves minimal plans and a place to let loose.
It goes without saying that Orlando is one of the best vacations for toddlers. Home to the world-famous Disney theme parks, happiness fills the air here. Explore a lush, African savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, stay cool at the Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, or watch your children’s eyes light up while hugging Mickey Mouse. The fun doesn’t have to end when you exit the park’s gates, though! Many Orlando vacation rentals bring the magic home with Disney-themed rooms, fabulous pools, and lots of space to play. Visit Orlando and even adults will feel like kids again!
With miles of scenic lakefront, world-class boating, and a convenient location in the center of Missouri, Lake Ozark is a fabulous vacation spot for families, especially those with toddlers. Let the hours slip by swimming, strolling, or simply relaxing on the picturesque shores. For toddlers, there are endless things to do and no shortage of hiding spots for your inquisitive little one(s) to discover. At the end of the day, kick up your feet at your cabin rental, and watch the sunset over the water. Indoors and outdoors, your whole family will have fun in Lake Ozark!
Washington, DC is loaded with captivating attractions your toddlers will love: the park-like National Zoo, several museums with interactive exhibits, and plenty of sprawling parks perfect for playing and picnicking, to name a few. Rent an apartment downtown or stay along the city’s outskirts—it’s easy to get around Washington, DC, even with toddlers in tow. Hop on the metro and breeze from destination to destination, or climb into a pedicab for an open-air ride through the city’s unique neighborhoods. Your wee ones will be awe-struck by the city’s massive monuments, historic buildings, and iconic landmarks looming in the skyline.
San Diego is a laid-back beach town that’s fun to visit, with or without kids! When you arrive, make your first stop Balboa Park. It’s home to a large playground, nearly 20 museums, the San Diego Zoo, and so much more that will keep your little ones entertained for hours. Along the coast, soak up sun at Mission Beach or visit La Jolla Cove where seals and sea lions perch on the rocks all day long (cuteness overload!). FlipKey has plenty of San Diego rentals just steps from the beach, so you won’t have to tote your toddlers and beach toys too far for fun in the sun.
Travelers describe a vacation to Lake Placid as “a true Adirondack experience” and an “unbeatable, peaceful retreat.” Although it’s famous for being the site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and a hub for snow sports, this quiet city nestled in the mountains offers year-round activities the whole family will enjoy. During the summer, splash in the lake or sit by the fire pit as frogs croak and fireflies flit by. When winter rolls around, try skiing and ice skating, or climb Whiteface Mountain in the Cloudsplitter Gondola for sweeping views of Lake Placid. You’ll find this fabulous destination is as breathtakingly beautiful and full of adventure as it is toddler-friendly.
If you’ve never been to Philadelphia, you’ll quickly see why it’s a fabulous city and one of the best vacations for toddlers. From the massive Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse to the Philadelphia Zoo, there’s plenty to keep your children amused for hours on end. With little ones constantly on the go, try not to miss the centuries of American history on display throughout the city—the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Reading Terminal Market to name a few. Need another reason to visit Philadelphia? Sesame Place is just across the city line in Langhorne!
Fill your days in Port Aransas searching for seashells, fishing from the pier, and exploring the local nature reserves. The 18 miles of soft-sand beaches here provide a cushiony landing spot for toddlers still getting the hang of walking. Overhead, colorful Roseate Spoonbills and Reddish Egrets fly through the sky, while the sound of whooping cranes carries through the air delighting both young and young at heart. Make it easy on yourself by booking a rental right on the water so you won’t have to lug your beach gear too far. If you’re seeking an island retreat without a hefty price tag (you can rent a home for under $100 per night!) Port Aransas is the perfect place for you and your family.
Is there anything better than donning a plastic bib emblazoned with a bright red lobster and diving fork-first into a heaping plate of succulent seafood? We don’t think so!
From hole-in-the-wall shacks by the sea to bustling restaurants inland, there are countless places across the United States to indulge your seafood cravings. We’ve rounded up the best in each state (no, you don’t have to stay by the ocean to eat fresh-caught fish) where you can order luscious lobster rolls, delicate crab legs, shrimp, and so much more. Dine on the water, eat at the beach with a paper plate on your lap, or take your meal to go and enjoy it in the comfort of your vacation rental—it’s up to you!
While the seafood in these 50 spots is the main attraction, the destinations themselves are well-worth a weekend getaway—or longer! Deciding what to order might be tough, but decided where to stay shouldn’t be. A vacation rental from FlipKey provides the extra space you need, plus conveniences like a full kitchen, laundry, or barbecue (surf n’ turf, perhaps?).
From sugar-white sands and cerulean seas to thrilling adventures and fruity rum punches, the Caribbean is a tried-and-tested destination for relaxation. Now that school’s out for the summer, treat your family to the ultimate island getaway.
To make your trip even more enjoyable, consider staying in a FlipKey vacation rental. It’s no surprise that vacation homes are ideal for families—the extra living space, a full kitchen, and private outdoor area, plus amenities like laundry or a grill.
We’ve rounded up nine Caribbean destinations your family will love, each boasting some of the best vacation rental guest review scores in all of the Caribbean. From the mountains of St. Lucia to the sun-kissed shores of Turks & Caicos, choose a rental in one of these tropical hot spots and enjoy an authentic island experience.
Ratings are based on the lifetime average vacation rental review score for that destination (for stays during summer months), according to TripAdvisor reviewers. FlipKey is a subsidiary of TripAdvisor.
“Peace and tranquility by the sea. Everything you need, and some things you didn’t know you needed, are available in this cottage.” – FlipKey Traveler
Ringed by silky sands and blue-green waters, Cayman Brac is an island paradise situated in the Caribbean Sea. Here, you can slip into relaxation mode while lounging along the 12 miles of golden beaches, or explore the rocky bluffs and pockets of caves lining the shore. Venture off the beaten path to discover the island’s natural beauty, or plunge into the surrounding sea for spectacular diving. Known for its stunning scenery and laid-back beach vibes, one thing’s certain: chilling with your family in Cayman Brac will never get old.
“Perfect place in Marigot Bay. We kept pinching ourselves as we stayed in this clean, light, beautiful apartment overlooking the bay.” – FlipKey Traveler
Home to the legendary Pitons and lush Pigeon Island National Park, St. Lucia is one of the most beautiful and mountainous islands in the Caribbean. Wake to the sound of birds chirping outside your window and ease into your day on the balcony of your Marigot Bay rental. When you’re ready for an adventure, drive into the depths of the La Soufrière volcano past steaming hot springs and therapeutic mud baths, or hop in a water taxi to explore the island’s secrets. Marigot Bay is perfect for families looking to add an unforgettable excursion (or two!) to their Caribbean getaway.
“Everything was perfect! We are beach sloths and seafood piggies and this was the best condo for our family at an unbelievably affordable price.” – FlipKey Traveler
Dig your toes into the sand and let your worries wash away while on vacation in St. Thomas’s picturesque East End. This part of the island is where you’ll find Red Hook—a delightful community characterized by its red-tiled roof homes—as well as a bustling port that makes island hopping a cinch. Prefer to relax? Unfurl your towel at Sapphire Beach and enjoy a day of sunbathing and snorkeling with your family. No matter how you choose to spend your time, East End is a top-rated Caribbean destination that won’t disappoint!
“The lovely environment of the villa with its lovely pool and outdoor areas provided a welcome respite and gathering place for our family.” – FlipKey Traveler
Wide, sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and dazzling coral reefs grace the shores of Bequia, a lush island in the Grenadines. At only seven square miles, everyone knows everyone here, and it’s the perfect destination for travelers searching for a friendly atmosphere and inviting, small-town feel. Lounge in the sun at Princess Margaret Beach or Lower Bay Beach, or go for a stroll around the village of Port Elizabeth—just don’t be startled by friendly chickens strutting at your feet. As the sun starts to fade on the horizon, head home to your waterfront rental, and pass the time guessing which celebrities are aboard the massive yachts anchored out your window in Admiralty Bay.
“Perfect piece of paradise on Chalk Sound. Our 3-generation family was so happy… Every night was perfect in its own way.” – FlipKey Traveler
In Providenciales (“Provo” to the locals), enjoy a breathtaking panorama of blue skies and turquoise surf, right from your seat in the sand. This sun-drenched destination is home to the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award-winning beach, Grace Bay, and is the ultimate place to escape the day-to-day. Dive into the crystal clear waters and explore the miles of coral reef just offshore, or start happy hour early and indulge in some of the island’s signature Rum Punch.
“Loved it!!!!! The whole trip was awesome. Right from the booking to the day we went home!” – FlipKey Traveler
The capital of Curaçao, Willemstad boasts a lively downtown that bursts with colorful colonial architecture, Dutch-inspired landmarks, and a vast array of beach attractions. Float down the city’s winding waterways or stroll down the streets of the Punda and Otrobanda neighborhoods, taking in all that makes Willemstad a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you’re not browsing the packed art galleries or sampling cocktails mixed with the island’s famed Blue Curaçao, retreat to your pastel-colored condo to relax on your balcony. From its historic charm and beautiful beaches to its year-round flawless weather, it’s no surprise that Willemstad ranks on our list of top-rated Caribbean destinations.
“Sooo AMAZING that we requested to book a second stay <24 hours after returning home!!!” – FlipKey Traveler
As soon as you set foot in Punta Cana, you’ll be on island time. Experience the thrill of zip-lining through the jungle, discover the hidden lagoons of Hoyo Azul, or dive into a colorful new world under the water. Up for a challenge? Punta Cana has several world-class golf courses with rolling fairways and contoured greens that are sure to provide a golf outing unlike any other. Whether you spend your days rocking in the hammock at your rental or playing in the surf, you’ll leave Punta Cana absolutely rejuvenated.
“The best time ever!!! Maurice (the caretaker) had that reggae music pumping for us and we loved it…dancing and singing around the villa! Yea Mon!” – FlipKey Traveler
Leaping from Blue Hole waterfall, floating down the White River, and swimming at Bamboo Beach… there are so many ways to make a splash in Ocho Rios. From thrilling adventures to laid-back happy hours, this island oasis will keep you busy for days on end. After a day of fun in the sun, let your mind wander as the breeze carries the rhythmic sound of steel drums through the air. Book a sprawling beach villa right on the water and start counting down the days until your blissful beach getaway.
“Our experience was A+! We absolutely LOVED the property, the town and the people we worked with.” – FlipKey Traveler
Among the top beach spots in the world, Nassau is the picture of tranquility. Here you’ll find calm, turquoise waters lapping the pristine shores, refreshing Sky Juice (a local favorite) flowing freely, and delectable conch fritters always available. In other words, Nassau offers the ultimate recipe for vacation perfection. Cut through the waves in a catamaran, snorkel with a school of fish, or laze under the sun—the possibilities are endless at this top-rated Caribbean destination!
You might think that organizing a trip to Europe is just like any other vacation: book your flights, rent a vacation home, do a little research, and you’re good to go. While that approach might work most of the time, it’s always wise to be well-prepared.
To that end, we’ve put together some top tips for first-time travelers to Europe. From what to expect while you’re there to the best ways to get around, here’s some helpful advice for before and after booking your European rental on FlipKey!
1. Apply for a passport. You’re going to need one to travel throughout Europe. Avoid fees to expedite the process by applying as soon as you can—it often takes up to eight weeks to get yours in hand. Once you have it, make a copy of your information page and keep it handy while you’re abroad.
2. Avoid peak season. There are lots of advantages to timing your trip to Europe. The price of flights and vacation rentals tends to drop during the off-season (November-March) and shoulder season (April-June), which means big savings for you. Besides the benefit of spending less, avoiding peak season will give you the opportunity to experience a more authentic Europe with fewer tourists and shorter lines at popular attractions.
4. Carry a pocket dictionary. While it’s smart to practice a few common phrases before you arrive (please and thank you can go a long way!), having a dictionary in your pocket or purse won’t hurt. But, with so many different languages spoken in Europe, it’ll be impossible to learn them all before you go. You’ll want your pocket dictionary handy when you’re desperately trying to recall how to ask for directions or where the bathroom is!
5. Think before tipping too much at restaurants. While tipping is appreciated almost everywhere (except maybe Japan), it’s not as common as it is in the US. The final bill at most European restaurants typically includes service, but it’s recommended to reward good service with a modest tip of 5 to 10 percent. Whenever possible, tip in cash to ensure that your server gets it!
6. Expect to eat late and linger over meals. Many Europeans start dinner at a later time, eat at a slower pace than Americans, and view mealtime as an opportunity to socialize. Expect to sit down for a leisurely meal each night. If you tend to be an early-eater, we recommend waiting to eat lunch until mid-afternoon and keeping snacks handy at your vacation rental. Try to embrace not being in a hurry!
7. Make the most of public transportation. Europe is known for its transit system, and you can get almost anywhere via its vast rail network. Purchase a rail pass to travel from country to country, or explore each city using the local metro system.
8. Be friendly. It might seem obvious, but this is one of our top tips for first-time travelers to Europe. Chances are you’ll need directions or help tackling a language barrier at some point, so put on a smile and offer a warm greeting—it will be much appreciated. You’ll find most Europeans eager to help you out. Who knows? You might even get a great dinner recommendation or even make a new friend during your travels!
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