Georgia peach, coffee addict, and Bananagrams champ (in no particular order), Olivia is a freelance writer and designer based in Central America. She has a particular affinity for road trips to warm Southern cities and down the California coast, with frequent pit stops for local fare at roadside stands. Follow her on Instagram @olivia.ashra for lots of nature pics and keep up with her travels at therecouldbeblackberries.com.
In a state known for its glorious beaches, deciding where to stay during your Florida vacation can be a tricky choice. Luckily, it’s hard to go wrong. Hit the Gulf Coast for white sugar sands and baby blue waters, or opt for Atlantic Coast swells. To help you decide, we developed this list of some of the best Florida getaways to rent a beach house—according to our traveler reviews.
Florida Beach House Vacations: Where To Stay
We analyzed the lifetime average rental home review scores on TripAdvisor and FlipKey (FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company) for all Florida beach destinations, identifying which spots were among the highest rated according to reviewer ratings. Cities and towns needed at least 100 total reviews lifetime, and at least a 4.50/5.00 average score to rank—the cream of the crop when it comes to places to stay in Florida! Travelers have rated the following 15 locales as some of the best Florida beach house getaways.
Carillon Beach looks like a typical Florida retreat at first glance, but spend a little time in this community and you’ll quickly see why it’s one of the best Florida getaways. The community is located right on the Gulf of Mexico and is an offshoot of the much larger Panama City Beach—meaning a big night out is never far away—but thanks to some innovative city planning, Carillon Beach has a charming small-town feel. Golf courses and quiet beaches are within walking distance, and vacation rentals come with cozy amenities and plenty of ocean views.
Take your vacation down a notch when you make the 10-minute drive from Boca Raton to Deerfield Beach, a mid-sized coastal community boasting a laid-back boardwalk and one of the largest cable ski courses in the country at Quiet Waters Park. Famously clean waters make Deerfield Beach a fun place to swim—you might even catch sight of sea turtles.
The tiny strip of land that is Captiva Island will leave you, shall we say, captivated. Seek peaceful sunrises, long bike rides, and full days of fishing and water sports along the 2.5-mile long Captiva Beach. Without a doubt Captiva Island is one of the best Florida getaways for a Gulf Coast retreat.
Miles of uncrowded coastline make Ormond Beach a peaceful place to rent a Florida beach house. Once a favorite vacation destination of John D. Rockefeller, the town retains its classy character without sacrificing Southern hospitality. Families especially love this spot: life guards are often on duty for stress-free swimming.
A thin spit of water separates Flagler Beach from mainland Florida, giving this town a funky spirit and independent character unlike anywhere else in the state. Though the beach itself is pristine, it’s the other attractions that set Flagler Beach apart as one of the best Florida getaways. Check out the Bulow Plantation Ruins for a spooky look at Florida history or head to the Betty Steflik Preserve to walk among palmettos and look for birds. End your day with a refreshing wine slushy at the Flagler Beachfront Winery—a crowd favorite. With local beach house rentals receiving such positive reviews from our travelers, Flagler Beach is certainly one of the best places you can vacation in Florida.
The water might be the last thing on your mind when you visit Delray Beach, a vibrant community with more on its to-do list than your average Florida vacation destination. Start with a stroll down Atlantic Avenue for a taste of the culture Delray Beach has to offer, then head to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens for a peaceful urban retreat. A number of parks including Atlantic Dunes and the Wakodahatchee Wetlands are fun (and free) places to get outside, and of course the beach is always just minutes away.
With a beach called Paradise, it’s no surprise Melbourne Beach is one of the best Florida vacation spots. After spending the day on the sand, visit the Barrier Island Center to learn about the diverse wildlife like sea turtles and fish that call the region home.
Consider renting a Florida beach house in St. Augustine Beach as a tranquil alternative to staying in the neighboring colonial city of St. Augustine. St. Augustine Beach is known for being quiet and family friendly with gentle surf, but the city of St. Augustine with its many museums, restaurants, and shopping areas is just a short drive away. Your vacation will be more relaxing when you come home to a waterfront rental with stellar views.
With a touch of luxury and a whole lot of chill, Singer Island is a terrific Florida getaway for getting the best of both worlds. High-class spas cover Singer Island (technically a peninsula), while outdoor activities keep you busy between relaxation sessions. Check out Peanut Island Park for snorkeling, boating, and diving in the blue Atlantic waters.
A long-standing favorite among surfers, New Smyrna Beach is all about swells, tides, and good vibes. This hip little city is one of the best places to vacation in Florida for surfing, but it also has a retro downtown area at Flagler Avenue and an eclectic shopping district at The Hub on Canal, which features artwork, clothing stores, antiques, and more. With funky bungalows right on the beach and waterfront studios overlooking the waves, visitors of all types and group sizes will find something to suit their style when they rent a Florida beach house in New Smyrna Beach.
Baby powder sand, clear blue waters, and calm waves are just some of the reasons Siesta Key is often ranked not only as one of the best Florida beach spots, but as one of the best beaches in the country. Though water sports like fishing charters, parasailing, and kayaks are popular ways to spend the day, you can also do as the name suggests and take a nice long nap on the sand.
St. Pete Beach is a Florida classic: sink your toes into miles of white sugar sand gracing the Gulf to see why this barrier island is a top Florida destination. When you’re not sunbathing or having fun out on the waves, take a stroll through the quaint Pass-A-Grille shopping district or duck into the historic Don CeSar hotel (you don’t have to be staying there), which stands apart from the skyline with its towering pink towers and Moorish-style architecture dating to the 1920s.
One of the best known destinations in Florida, Key West doesn’t need much of an introduction. Visitors find that its natural beauty and Southern charm speak clearly enough for themselves. If you’re not immediately taken with the stunning location in the southernmost tip of the United States, a trip to the postcard-perfect beaches or other natural attractions might change your mind—Dry Tortugas National Park is a favorite. Get your history fix at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to tour where the famous writer once composed his works, and then head to Mallory Square for your fix of fun after the sun goes down.
When families are deciding where to stay in Florida, many opt for Destin; it’s small enough to feel cozy, but big enough that kids stay entertained. Plus, like other beaches on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Destin is known for its fine white sand and bathtub-temperature waters. Catch live music on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, opt for a ropes course adventure at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, or take to the seas on any number of fishing charter options. Destin is also home to the Silver Sands Premium Outlets, a top shopping destination known for its good deals on brand names.
No trip to Miami is complete without visiting Miami Beach. Though there’s more than enough arts, fun, and dining to keep you busy in the city of Miami, the cultural scene doesn’t coalesce until you head to the shore where the city’s laid-back vibe is at its finest. From South Beach to Ocean Drive, Miami Beach comes in many flavors. You can comb the long stretches of sand in appreciation of the city’s character or fill your day with activities like boating, parasailing, or even day tripping to the Bahamas.
It should come as no surprise that South Carolina is one of the best places in the USA to spend a vacation. It could be the tranquil beaches, spell-binding history, or full-blast of Southern charm and hospitality—or all of the above! We’ve rounded up 15 of the best places to vacation in South Carolina so you can decide for yourself.
Best South Carolina Getaways: Where To Stay
With so many good options, choosing where to stay in South Carolina can be overwhelming! That’s why at FlipKey, we did some of the leg work. We analyzed the lifetime average vacation rental review scores on TripAdvisor and FlipKey (FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company), for all South Carolina destinations. Then, we identified which spots were among the highest rated according to reviewer rental scores. Cities and towns needed at least 100 total reviews, and at least a 4.50/5.00 average score to rank. Travelers have rated the following 15 destinations as some of the best places to stay for a South Carolina vacation.
Seneca’s charming character is best seen in its historic downtown—walk down tree-lined boulevards full of historic homes and quaint shops to see for yourself. Aside from its cute looks and historical appeal, Seneca is one of the best South Carolina getaways because of its prime location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the edge of Lake Keowee, making it a great choice for families with energetic kids or anyone with a penchant for the outdoors. Grab a paddle board or a kayak and hit the water, then round out your day with a fountain soda or an ice cream cone from Hochstetler’s Country Store.
Lowcountry natural attractions are at their best in the sleepy town of Port Royal, which offers close proximity to walking trails, a community beach, and plenty of ways to experience the area’s wildlife—especially the fish and birds that live in its estuaries. Take a fishing charter out on the marsh or walk through the Cypress Wetlands to experience the area’s nature for yourself and see why this peaceful retreat is one of the best South Carolina vacation destinations for nature-lovers.
Located on classy Pawleys Island in South Carolina’s Grand Strand, Litchfield Beach is a dream come true for golfers. Play a round on one of the town’s many golf courses before jumping into warm ocean waters or grabbing a bite at the Eggs Up Grill. To take advantage of the quiet Atlantic waters ringed by marshes, rent a kayak or charter a boat for a full day of adventure.
One of South Carolina’s Sea Islands, St. Helena is one of the last remaining places to learn about the Southeast’s distinct Gullah culture; start your trip at the Gullah Center to learn all about Gullah origin and language. Other popular sights include the striking Chapel of Ease and Fort Fremont—two historic buildings covered in Spanish moss—and Downtown Frogmore, where you can find art galleries, shops, and restaurants serving up plates of fresh seafood.
Charleston, South Carolina, USA at the historic homes on The Battery.
Great food, fun nightlife, tons of attractions, and history galore, Charleston is one of the best places to visit in South Carolina and aptly considered the “Gem of the South.” Though you can stroll through downtown Charleston in just a couple hours, passing pocket gardens and hidden fountains as you go, the downtown area is packed with enough boutiques, museums, and historical houses and monuments to keep you busy for days. Look for rentals in the heart of downtown Charleston for easy access to the Battery, White Point Gardens, and the Charleston Market, or choose something in the trendy Upper King district to easily walk to Hampton Park and the hippest bars and restaurants. Flat terrain and a small area means that anywhere in Charleston is just a short walk or bike ride away.
A young population and vibrant community set the coastal town of Bluffton apart from its nearby neighbors. Be sure to check out top Bluffton sites including the Rose Hill Mansion and the Church of the Cross—popular for its dramatic location overlooking the May River—and then head to Old Town Bluffton for a first-hand look at the city’s mingling of the old and the new.
Private and quiet, Harbor Island is one of the best South Carolina vacations for beach-induced bliss. Find a vacation rental right on the dunes of the 1,400-acre barrier island for a taste of total tranquility, or take a 20-minute drive across the Sea Island Parkway and into Beaufort for all the amenities of town. Because it strikes the perfect balance of away-from-it-all and close-to-everything, Harbor Island is one of the best places to stay in South Carolina for a taste of the Palmetto State’s diversity.
Up-and-coming Greenville has evolved from a sleepy Southern town to a lively urban center in the foothills of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Stroll through the city’s pedestrian-friendly downtown to see why—plenty of boutiques, restaurants, and breweries await. Plus, Greenville boasts popular parks, museums, theaters, and a river walk, made all the more enjoyable by the area’s comparably temperate climate. Falls Park on the Reedy and the Swamp Rabbit Trail are two particularly popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, Folly Beach is the the Holy City’s laid-back neighbor. Join the crowds sunbathing, surfing, and swimming on any weekend between May and October when the weather is warm, or enjoy the beach’s less-visited historical attractions such as the Morris Island Lighthouse. Folly Beach County Park is also a good choice for seeing the natural beauty of Folly Beach’s driftwood and sand dunes without the crowds.
A short drive from downtown Charleston and across the spectacular Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge drops you in the trendy suburb of Mt. Pleasant—the name says it all. The town emulates Charleston’s charm with farm-to-table restaurants and friendly boutiques, but is most popular for the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, home to the docked USS Yorktown, and the Shem Creek area. Hit the marshy tidal waters of Shem Creek on a kayak or stand up paddle board, or slurp oysters and grab a beer while watching the sunset from one of the many creek-front restaurants with outdoor seating.
Accessible only by boat, Daufuskie Island is a living museum of Lowcountry history and nature. Though many people visit to see the popular Pat Conroy novel The Water is Wide come to life, others come to explore ancient oyster mounds, visit the 135-year-old First Union African Baptist Church, and learn about the mingling Gullah, Spanish, and Native American cultures that continue to shape the island. See it all in a day with a golf cart tour, or do it yourself by walking the well-marked Robert Kennedy Historical Trail.
A beach getaway takes a classy twist on Kiawah Island, a favorite South Carolina vacation destination filled with golf courses, country clubs, and 10 miles of beaches. Even if you’re not a golfer, you’ll enjoy the picture-perfect sand dunes and swaying sea grasses that cushion the island in an away-from-it-all sense of serenity.
Consider Hilton Head your one-stop-vacation-shop: play a round of golf or tennis at more than 33 locations, ride a beach cruiser down the Hilton Head Island Bike Trails, or spend a full day playing in gentle Atlantic waves. Hilton Head is also home to a number of cultural activities, including the Coastal Discovery Museum, Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum, and a wide variety of art galleries featuring everything from pastels to metalworks. Hilton Head is no stranger to “best of South Carolina” awards, and its excellent rental review scores further confirm that it’s a great place to spend your vacation.
The kid-friendly Vegas of South Carolina, Myrtle Beach offers so much more to do than just relax on the sand. Myrtle Beach is one of the best South Carolina vacation destinations for families, known for its action-packed Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and the flashing neon lights of Broadway at the Beach shopping and entertainment complex. You can also catch a flashy music or dance performance, visit the kid-pleasing Ripley’s Aquarium or Family Kingdom Amusement Park, or take in miles of views on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel.
From trendy surfing hotspots to quiet villages by the sea, choosing the best Oregon Coast vacation spot isn’t easy. But this beautiful region is begging to be explored, with activities and scenery galore. Find yourself hiking through old-growth forests in the morning, popping into shops and museums in the afternoon, and watching sunsets at the beach in the evening—all before coming home to your perfect vacation rental, with room to stretch out and relax, plus amenities like a full kitchen, laundry, private outdoor patio, BBQ grill, or even a pool or hot tub.
Best Oregon Coast Vacations: Where To Stay
When it comes to the best places to stay on the Oregon Coast, your destination is only half the battle. Your accommodation is equally as important. Curl up in a cozy beachfront cottage or find a home large enough to comfortably host the whole gang. Whatever you prefer, FlipKey has you covered. The 15 Oregon Coast destinations in our list have some of the highest-rated rental properties in the whole state, according thousands of traveler reviews who have stayed in them. The vacation rentals in these spots boast an average lifetime rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars—the cream of the crop—and the destinations themselves have plenty to do so you can make the most of every moment of your Oregon coast vacation.
This sleepy town near the California border was once the winter getaway for Lewis and Clarke. Brookings’ warm weather lasts year-round, but is best appreciated in the springtime, when the 33-acre Azalea Park bursts into bloom with colorful plants and flowers. Time your trip for the Azalea Festival and Parade, the Southern Oregon Kite Festival, or any weekend with nice weather for hikes through Harris Beach State Park, the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, or Thunder Rock Cove.
The river meets the ocean at Gold Beach, one of the best places to vacation on the Oregon Coast. This cute town is located at the convergence of the Pacific Ocean and the Rogue River, where visitors can rent jet skis or grab a kayak and travel through brackish waters that lead to the ocean. Or stay on land to enjoy long walks along miles of empty beaches and old-growth forests, tossing fishing line with the hopes of hooking salmon, cod, or a giant tuna. Be sure to snap a photo of the art-deco Rogue River Bridge, a local landmark that creates a scenic backdrop for your Oregon beach vacation. And when evening strikes, utilize the full kitchen in your rental to cook up a flavorful meal—maybe even the fish you catch earlier in the day!
Bandon is one of the best places to stay on the Oregon coast for photographers, with its unobstructed view of Oregon’s classic rocky coastline from Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Drive right up to the point, or choose to ride horseback or rent a bike for the climb. Bullard Beach State Park and the Coquille River Lighthouse also make for fun outings that showcase Bandon’s history. Many of the top-rated rentals here have outdoor patios with stellar water views, providing the ultimate tranquil retreat during your Oregon beach vacation.
Blink and you might miss Gearhart, a no-stoplight town on the Oregon Coast that washes your worries away. Spend lazy days playing golf at the Gearhart Golf Links or hitting the net at public tennis courts, then cool off with a dip in the Pacific before returning to your cozy vacation rental. A big selection of rentals—both waterfront homes or apartments in town—make this a top destination for an Oregon Coast vacation.
If you’re wondering where to stay on the Oregon Coast for a group vacation, consider Coos Bay. Everyone in your squad will find something that suits their fancy in this busy coastal town with quintessential Oregon character. Zoom across massive sand dunes at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, hike along coastal trails at Shore Acres State Park or Cape Arago State Park, visit museums with art and history exhibits, or take advantage of the variety of bars and restaurants in the biggest town on the Oregon coast. Look for vacation rentals that accommodate up to 14 people for a fun group getaway.
Arch Cape is considered one of the best places to vacation on the Oregon Coast for surfers, located just minutes from the big waves at Oswald West State Park. Even if you don’t surf, this tranquil beach town makes a great Oregon Coast getaway, offering a quiet retreat and fun outdoor attractions like tide pools and hiking trails. Be sure to visit Hug Point State Recreation Site at low tide, when you can walk along the beach to a waterfall.
Though it’s only an 1.5-hour drive from Portland, Cannon Beach feels far removed from the city. Plenty of public access points make it easy to stroll down miles of quiet coastline punctuated by the iconic 235-foot tall Haystack Rock—a favorite background for photoshoots. Or, visit Oswald West State Park to hit the Oregon Coast Trail, which winds through redwood forests and past scenic vista points. If you need a break from the beach, visit one of the many art galleries, cafes, and small shops in town. Coaster Theatre is a favorite among families for entertaining plays and performances. Rentals ranging from quirky dog-friendly cottages to breathtaking beachfront homes easily make Cannon Beach one of the best vacations on the Oregon Coast, no matter what type of traveler you are.
Port Orford is a beautiful seaside getaway with fun outdoor activities, historical attractions, and a quiet coastline, all easily accessed from Highway 101. The town’s friendly and funky character is on display throughout the downtown, which is studded with small markets and locally owned shops, but can also be appreciated through its attractions. Hiking trails around Port Oxford Heads State Park take you to scenic viewpoints over the Pacific Ocean, while a short drive takes you the historic Cape Blanco lighthouse. Get out on the water, too, with kayak rentals, kite boarding, and stand up paddle boarding all popular options at nearby Flora Lake.
Your chance of finding a waterfront vacation rental double in Seaside, which borders both the Pacific Ocean and Garrison Lake. Visitors love taking a kayak out on the water, hiking through the Tillamook Head rainforest, and tucking into restaurants with plates of fresh seafood. An old beached shipwreck, Lewis and Clarke monument, and World War II bombing site add a touch of historic interest, while a busy events calendar make no two visits the same. Look out for big events like the Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament or the New England Live Lobster Fest to get an extra dose of local character in this great Oregon Coast vacation spot.
Grab a fishing pole, beach cruiser, or paddle for a full day of activity in Pacific City, a busy town that visitors love for its size and variety. Though it still feels small-town, Pacific City is packed with things to do, from the trails at Bob Straub State Park to the beachfront dining at Pelican Pub and Brewery. The live music performances, boutique shopping, and good selection of art galleries might even make you forget that you’re vacationing by a great surf spot right on the beach.
Rockaway Beach is a sleepy Oregon Coast getaway perfect for a relaxing vacation. Cruise down miles of empty coast, stopping into quirky attractions like the International Police Museum, and then come home to your highly-rated vacation rental for a sunset drink on the porch or a movie night. If you want more action, drive a few minutes down the road to Cannon Beach to hang out at the trendy shops and restaurants there.
Seafood tastes extra fresh in Waldport, one of the best places to vacation on the Oregon Coast for fishing, crabbing, and clamming. Spend a perfect day swinging by the Alsea Bay Bridge Interpretive Center to learn about Oregon history before packing a picnic to eat at Governor Patterson Memorial State Recreation Site. Then, relax by the quiet shore and watch the sunset from a beachfront vacation rental from FlipKey.
At the mouth of the Siuslaw River (pictured: Siuslaw River Bridge) and just an hour from Eugene, Florence is a top Oregon beach vacation destination for a playful city-meets-sand getaway. Whether you rent a dune buggy for a day of ripping down the John Dellenback Dunes Trail or hit the moderately difficult Hobbit Trail for a short hike down to the beach, a Florence vacation offers lots of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Visitors are also smitten with the active sea lion colonies at the Sea Lion Caves and the picturesque Heceta Head Lighthouse—a necessary stop for any photographers.
The city of Newport is a top Oregon Coast vacation for its huge variety of family-friendly activities, like the Oregon Coast Aquarium, historic Yaquina Bay Bridge, and two beautiful lighthouses. Plus, Newport is home to the popular Rogue River Brewing Company, a fun option for the grown-ups in your group. Unlike other great Oregon beach towns, Newport also boasts a large selection of museums, including the highly-rated Hatfield Marine Science Center, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and the Pacific Maritime and Heritage Center.
Ranking Methodology, Best Places To Vacation On The Oregon Coast: We analyzed the lifetime average vacation rental review scores on TripAdvisor (FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company) for all Oregon destinations, identifying which spots were the best places to stay on the Oregon Coast according to reviewer rental scores. Cities and towns needed at least 15 bookable properties, 100 total reviews, and at least a 4.5 out of 5 average score.
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.
When the weather outside is frightful, book a warm winter vacation to get away from the cold—without breaking the bank. From coastal villages to desert oases, forgo international travel with a winter sun getaway right here in the US. These spots boast some of the most affordable vacation rentals in the country.
Great Winter Getaways For Warmer Temps
As temperatures drop, prices can rise in popular warm winter vacation spots like Orlando, Miami, and San Diego—but a high price tag need not deter you from taking that perfect affordable winter trip. From Florida to California, we’ve rounded up 15 affordable warm winter getaways, featuring mild daytime highs perfect for hiking and urban adventures, and lows that make nightlife more appealing. Prices are based off the average weekly rate for a two-bedroom rental property from FlipKey, for a stay between December-February.*
Bring the whole family along for off-season roomy beachfront rentals, or cozy up in chic townhouses perfect for two with close proximity to bars and restaurants. No matter what destination you choose, Flipkey will help you find the right vacation rental at the right price.
Florida vacations may conjure glamorous images of Orlando and Miami, but the oft-overlooked city of Davenport offers equally enticing attractions—and equally warm temperatures—without the big-city price tag. Mild daytime highs make for pleasant afternoons walking down the nature trails at Lake Kissimmee State Park or playing a round of golf on Davenport’s two large golf courses. Or, use the city as a base for day trips to nearby attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando while avoiding the high costs and 24/7 bustle of the city.
Located just an hour outside of Charleston, Edisto Island combines the easy-going vibes of a beach destination with ample opportunity for outdoor adventure for an ideal warm winter vacation. Look out for dolphins as you kayak or cruise through sweetgrass marshes, walk past driftwood forests at Botany Bay, or learn about the Barrier Islands’ unique Gullah culture on an island tour. Plus, an off-season visit promises fewer crowds and a better chance at scoring choice rentals right by the beach.
A historic downtown and boutique shopping district lend Punta Gorda an air of luxury, but this mid-sized city rings up as an affordable winter vacation. Walk along the 2.5-mile Harborwalk on the Gasparilla Sound-Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve, kayak through mangrove forests, snap photos under palm trees, and sip cocktails at waterfront bars and restaurants—then return to a house big enough for the whole family or a beachside cottage perfect for two.
Sandwiched between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the small city of Tempe holds its own with concerts and exhibitions at the Tempe Center for the Arts, a historic downtown brimming with local restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities that take advantage of year-round warm temperatures. Although it’s home to the University of Arizona’s main campus, the housing rental options are far from elementary: luxury furnishings, backyard pools, and lakeside views offer visitors premium accommodation at basic pricing.
Port Isabel is as close as you can get to a Mexican vacation without shelling out for international airfare. Situated just north of the US-Mexican border and right on the Gulf of Mexico, Port Isabel combines classic beach activities with historical tours and attractions that let visitors explore the area’s rich culture. Not only was the town voted “Most Beautiful Place to Visit in Texas” by Culture Trip, but it is also the most affordable warm winter vacation in all of Texas, according to FlipKey’s average two-bedroom rental rates.
Less expensive than Phoenix and quieter than Tempe, Mesa is an ideal choice for that affordable winter vacation with the whole family. With well over 50 public parks, four museums, and a large amphitheater and event center to boot, a trip to Mesa melts away any lingering winter blues.
Book your Bradenton rental and set out to discover all this Florida city has to offer. A high ropes course, niche history museums, and the 487-acre Robinson Nature Preserve guarantee that everyone in your group will find something that suits their fancy. Located on the southern tip of Tampa Bay, Bradenton also offers close access to the posh city of Sarasota at a fraction of the cost.
Get four-for-one value on a warm winter vacation to Georgia’s Golden Isles, which include the islands of St. Simons, Little St. Simons, Jekyll, and Sea Island, all interconnected by highways and boats. Experience classic Southern hospitality and coastal charm, leaving your vacation rental to stroll along Driftwood Beach, visit historical monuments, or learn about sea turtle conservation.
A little town on the Big Island, Pahoa packs in the best of Hawaiian vacations—minus the touristy vibes, overpriced excursions, or over-the-top vacation packages. Find your piece of paradise in an oceanfront beach home or chic eco-lodge; all offer the same unbeatable access to world-class snorkeling and rainforest hikes that don’t break the bank.
Opt for a luxe vacation in a high rise condo or book a simple cottage right on the beach—either choice lets you take advantage of Cocoa Beach’s eco-tours, scenic pier, and close access to the Kennedy Space Science Center. Located just an hour drive from Orlando and Kissimmee, Cocoa Beach is the perfect place to post up for a relaxing warm winter getaway while remaining close to exciting attractions.
Situated just south of Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, Cathedral City offers many of the same types of attractions as its ritzy neighbor. A trip to nearby hot springs will banish any remaining winter chills, while a number of parks, golf courses, and cultural attractions keep both kids and adults well entertained. Cathedral City is also famously the site of Frank Sinatra’s grave.
Though named for the shimmering Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City is probably best known for its bridge, not its water. The original London Bridge was relocated to Lake Havasu City from England to link the mainland to marinas just shy of the California border. This warm winter vacation spot also makes an ideal jumping off point for hikes, horse trails, and water sports, many of which are available year-round thanks to the city’s mild climate.
Kick back with a good book or enjoy quality time with loved ones on a trip to Saint Augustine Beach. The perfect vacation rental is key to enjoying your time at this quiet beach town; look for beachfront property, ocean views, and an outdoor space that lets you take advantage of the warm weather.
Year-round sunshine pairs with premium wines in Paso Robles, a city known for its wineries and olive groves. Stay downtown for close access to restaurants, parks, and boutiques, or opt for a country estate that feels leagues away from the city bustle.
Note: Since this writing, Mexico Beach was severely impacted by Hurricane Michael and is currently closed to visitors. Please check with their local government and tourism site for updates.
Average Weekly Rate, 2BR Rental: $899
Come to Mexico Beach to experience ultimate tranquility on Florida’s Undiscovered Gulf Coast. Mexico Beach provides a warm winter getaway during the quiet off-season, ideal for solitary sunset strolls or quality time with friends and family. Close proximity to Panama City Beach means that a classic beach boardwalk and nightlife are never too far away.
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