If you’d like a change from the usual vacation accommodation, why not get back to nature with an Insta-worthy cave rental? All of these unique vacation homes are available to rent on FlipKey.
Ranging from a stunning Santorini property with a Jacuzzi and panoramic views, to a luxurious home in Arkansas with natural cavern walls throughout, these stunning cave rentals from TripAdvisor are the ultimate way to feel at one with nature—without giving up your modern comforts!
Nestled in a natural cavern, high within a bluff overlooking the valley, Beckham Cave is unlike any other place on earth. Each of the 4 bedrooms is unique, offering queen-sized beds, exposed cavern walls, and lavish bathrooms. Surrounding rock walls and overhead rain showers offer a waterfall-like experience. This stunning home provides guests with 6,000 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 16 people—perfect for a family or group getaway!
This former sailor’s home dates back to 1875 and has since been upgraded to a luxury rental. The home kept its traditional cave-curved Aegean island style with pearl white walls, while adding a number of modern amenities. The suite comprises of a cosy bedroom, an adjoining living area, and a luxe kitchenette. Its stunning private veranda has an exquisite indoor-outdoor Jacuzzi with panoramic views of the ocean and Caldera’s rugged volcanic beauty.
In the heart of Cappadocia, this cave house is more than 600 years old and boasts a spacious terrace with panoramic views across Urgup. With a saloon and fully equipped kitchen, Anitya is a perfect cavehouse for couples and families. The home is a one-bedroom, but with flexible sleeping arrangements, the home accommodates up to six guests. Turkish coffee, teas and spices are on hand to make Anitya as homely as possible.
This one-bedroom cave rental is the great spot for a cozy retreat. The property is a traditional winemaker’s house that’s been transformed into a luxury residence, while respecting the old architectural style. The cave home has two floors with a large terrace overlooking the village, the vineyards of Oia, and the Aegean Sea.
The Rockhouse Retreat is a unique luxury cave, hand-sculpted from a Triassic sandstone escarpment near the Wyre Forest in rural Worcestershire. Set in 3-acres of woodland on the banks of Honey Brook, the site has been used as a dwelling for over 700 years. This cosy one-bedroom home is stylishly decorated and features home comforts such as underfloor heating and ambient lighting for a natural atmosphere. This authentic cave home is a secluded retreat, offering a peaceful haven where guests feel miles away from civilisation.
This comfortable loft cave sits in a beautiful rural area with panoramic sea views as well as the surrounding mountains. The property features a garden, terrace and swimming pool where you can spend lazy days chilling out and soaking up the ocean views. The loft cave has two-bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a homely living area enclosed in rock formations.
Casa Santantonio is a redesigned 18th century mansion, retaining much of its traditional architectural heritage and style. The property boasts three private luxury apartments, with the Senior Cave apartment located on the first floor of the building. Senior Cave has two bedrooms sleeping up to five guests, and boasts its own pergola with a Jacuzzi—ideal for spending long evenings watching the sunset.
Amongst the striking white Flagstone chianche lanes in the heart of the historical centre of Ostuni is White Dream. The apartment offers an elegant and refined decor in shades of white, to mirror the natural rock that forms the structure. This rental is brilliantly located—only seven miles from white sand beaches, crystal clear sea and the beautiful nature reserve of Torre Guaceto—and boasts a lovely big bed, kitchenette and dining area.
This quaint cave apartment for two is a classic Italian property that’s been carefully restored with modern adaptions. There is an intimate dining area and a kitchenette for cosy dinners in, and the property is tastefully decorated with unique artwork throughout. The cave is in a central location just a short distance from Piazza Vittorio Veneto and other attractions in Matera, making it a great place to base yourself for a getaway.
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.
Summer beach house season is just around the corner, and if you’re scouting out the best destinations for group-friendly rentals—the perfect friendscation, perhaps—you’ve come to the right place. We’re highlighting 15 spots with crowd-pleasing properties that you won’t have to crowd into, because a getaway with your friends shouldn’t feel like a game of sardines.
Summer Beach House Rentals
From splashy beachfront rentals overlooking the Gulf to airy island homes on Oahu, you’ll have your pick of multi-bedroom rentals designed with large groups in mind. Open floor plans, extra living areas, and large dining rooms make it easy to ensure that everyone gets a seat at the table.
Use FlipKey to find the right home at the right price, with some fun extras to boot. From tiki bars to heated pools, you could get a whole lot more than beautiful views and five-star reviews when you book a rental in these hot spots—and we’re not just talking about amenities. Many of these beaches boast top-notch boardwalks and buzzworthy entertainment options so you can make the most of every minute with your squad.
“Whether you’re with family or friends, you can save a considerable amount by getting a group together and staying here.” – Guest Review
When it comes to affordable group getaways, it’s not hard to make a case for Miami Beach. Thanks to our selection of dreamy waterfront estates, finding your summer beach house has never been easier. Choose from multi-bedroom villas and squad-sized suites with all the bells and whistles (think dock access and rooftop decks). Sure, it sounds extravagant—until you do the math. Split the cost with friends, and you’ll spend less on that private tropical oasis than a budget hotel room.
“This home was great for our large group. The location was spot-on—close to the water, without a lot of traffic to worry about.” – Guest Review
Plan a friends trip to Long Beach, and you’ll spend your vacation enjoying miles of sunny coastline and unbeatable Pacific views. One of the city’s most popular beachside neighborhoods, Belmont Shore—”the Shore” to locals—is a top spot for beach house rentals. Book a stay in this walkable area for easy access to the beach, bike paths, tennis courts, coffee shops, and a variety of trendy shops and restaurants.
“Everything that I can think of was fabulous during our group trip. We fished off the dock and caught tons of ‘keepers.’ Staying on the bay side provided calm waters and beautiful sunsets.” – Guest Review
Whoever said three’s a crowd never booked a summer beach house in South Padre Island. This resort town off the tip of Texas boasts dozens of roomy rentals, so there’s no need to choose between your friends and your personal space. With amenities like game rooms and hot tubs, you don’t have to worry about catching cabin fever, but there’s also plenty to do nearby. Go jet-skiing, parasailing, or exploring; reviewers recommend Port Isabel Lighthouse and the South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center.
“The house was a quarter of a block from the ocean. I can’t say enough about how nice it was for us to have two indoor gas fireplaces and a stunning kitchen to cook in.” – Guest Review
Even if your crew isn’t spread out across the country, choosing a destination can be the hardest part about planning a trip with friends—especially if you each define “vacation” a little differently. Santa Cruz hits the sweet spot between big-wave adventures and lazy beach days. This coastal city is home to famous surf spots like Pleasure Point, and some summer house rentals offer boogie boards and wetsuits as amenities. Of course, if your picture of paradise involves chilling out on the shore, Santa Cruz also offers 29 miles of beaches.
“We were located near the Surfside Pier at the heart of the boardwalk. The house was exactly as advertised, and we saved plenty of money by using the barbecue grill instead of going out to eat.” – Guest Review
We’re not one to play favorites, but with its pristine beaches and colorful boardwalk, Wildwood ranks among the prettiest vacation spots on the New Jersey coast. From airy condos to rambling Victorians, this time-honored resort town offers perfectly sized properties for friend groups. When you’re not spoiling your dinner with a bucket of Curley’s boardwalk fries, you’ll have all the kitchen essentials you need to make a crowd-pleasing meal for the whole crew.
“This property was great for our large group. Bedding set-ups were very flexible, and the fact that the rental was pet-friendly was icing on the cake. The front porch was a good gathering spot.” – Guest Review
If you’re looking for a summer house near one of the most popular beaches in the country, then it’s only natural to start your search in Daytona. Dubbed “The World’s Most Famous Beach” in the 1920s, when drivers held races on the hard-packed sand, this coastal hot spot is now home to Daytona International Speedway. Other top attractions include the boardwalk, Main Street Pier, and Seabreeze Boulevard, a popular place to shop. After an afternoon of sightseeing or a lazy beach day, head back to your rental to sip mojitos on the deck.
“We had about 16 people here for a girlfriends getaway, and this rental fit us (andour bags) perfectly! It was nice to have tons of places to sit and sleep. To top it off, dolphins swam by every morning!!” – Guest Review
Gather your friends and get your beach fix in Oceanside this year. Known for its laid-back vibe and beautiful weather, this gem is central to all the activities SoCal has to offer. Bike the San Luis Rey River Trail, play a round of 18 at La Costa Resort, or take a whale watching tour. Whether you book a summer beach house on the coast or a few miles away, the perks of staying in a rental add up fast. You’ll spend less by sharing the cost—not to mention the cooking duties!—which means extra cash for happy hour drinks and jet ski rentals.
“Our stay at this house was amazing! There was more than enough room, and each floor had its own hangout area and patio.” – Guest Review
You’re traveling with a group, and everyone wants to stay together. Easier said than done, right? If you’re on the hunt for a rental with multiple bedrooms and a massive dining room table, your search ends here. Panama City Beach offers summer beach houses that tick all the boxes and then some—think private pools and sprawling balconies overlooking the Gulf. The neighborhood’s not too shabby, either; this resort city is a hidden paradise for golfers, and outdoor mall Pier Park is a short drive from the beach.
“The house was near all the activities we planned: hiking up Diamond Head, swimming at Hanauma Bay, and dinner in Waikiki.” – Guest Review
What’s that? You’re in desperate need of a tropical escape? We’ve got just the thing: a summer house in Honolulu with all your favorite people. Leave the daily grind behind for an island rental near downtown or your own private cove. No matter where you stay, you’ll enjoy easy access to Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay State Park—plus an enviable variety of activities from surfing and sunbathing to snorkeling and world-class golfing.
“We went out to San Diego for a bachelor party with 15 guys and had an unbelievable trip. The house was so incredible that we didn’t go out the first night just so we could enjoy all of the amenities.” – Guest Review
San Diego offers a luxe selection of beach house rentals, from cliffside mansions to modern oceanfront villas. Multiple living areas and lots of kitchen space go a long way toward keeping the peace on a group trip, but that’s not the only reason to book a summer house here. With so many sun-kissed beach spots (including La Jolla Shores and Mission Bay), it’s easy to find somewhere surf, swim, or shop by waves.
“My kids think this is our beach house. It is exactly what you want for your Dewey Beach vacation: charming, well-maintained, and large enough to sleep multiple families.” – Guest Review
Tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay, Dewey Beach is a destination for classic beach eats, live music, and—you guessed it—great rentals for groups. We can give you a few good reasons to book a summer house here, starting with events like the Solstice Celebration (June 21st) and Summer Vibes Fest (August 11–20). Throw in tax-free shopping and trolley service to Rehoboth Boardwalk, and you’ve got the ingredients for a memorable trip with the girls/guys/whole gang.
“This house is perfect for a group that wants a nice place to come back to from the beach. I would rent it again for sure.” – Guest Review
This easygoing beach town is just a few miles from the bright lights of LA, but you won’t find chaos and congestion here. If you’re looking for a place where you can walk to the grocery store and hear the waves crash at night, Redondo is the perfect spot. Enjoy the cool breeze and California sun as you catch a wave, build a sandcastle, or start up a game of beach volleyball. Keep an eye out for frequent art festivals and free concerts at the pier.
“What a great vacation! We didn’t feel like we were tripping over each other. The kitchen was a dream, and being able to sit around the table for dinner together was great.” – Guest Reviewer
This barrier island south of the Outer Banks may be one of North Carolina’s quieter beach spots, but Topsail offers a solid selection of activities for groups. From surfing at public beaches to fishing along the Intracoastal Waterway, you won’t struggle to catch some sun here. With so many group beach houses on the island, it’s easy to find a home with enough space for everyone. Better yet? Design details like floor-to-ceiling windows and cathedral ceilings make local rentals feel equal parts spacious and glamorous. Translation: your real estate wish list is about to get even longer.
“Everything you need is here. We were so surprised how well-stocked the entire home is. They’ve thought of everything.” – Guest Review
Stunning views, coastline hikes, and quaint cafes make Cannon Beach a super romantic spot to rent a summer beach house. Whether you want to hunt for tide pools or hike through Ecola State Park, you’ll find a rental in Cannon with your name on it—within walking distance of the waves. Top area attractions include art galleries, outdoor concerts, and a summer farmer’s market.
“I stayed at this home with a group of women. The common areas easily held all of us, and the access to the beach was ideal.” – Guest Review
A picture-perfect location for girlfriend getaways and bonding with the guys, Isle of Palms is located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. Choose from beach house rentals with oceanfront views and over-the-top amenities like industrial kitchen appliances, so no one goes hungry. Fill your vacation with charter fishing trips and walking tours in Charleston, or clear your calendar for a week of endless beach days; either way, this gorgeous spot is a win-win for everyone.
If museum trips and beach time make you drowsy, it might be time to consider an adventure vacation this summer. These are our top picks for high-energy travel spots, along with some sweet vacation rental pads where you can unwind after scaling desert cliffs, kayaking rapids, or leaping from tall buildings (safely, of course). Because not every summer vacation should be relaxing.
Top Adventure Trips In America
America’s not for the faint of heart. The lower 48 alone have sheer rock walls, raging whitewater, and endless surf breaks. Add in Alaska and Hawaii, and you’re dodging grizzly bears and lava flows. Sound like fun? We think so too. If you’re planning a summer adventure vacation in the USA, every one of these destinations is bucket list material.
Vacation rentals—which you can book right here FlipKey—are a great choice for active trips, with room for the whole adventurous crew. Choose from homes with their own beachfronts, hot tubs, and fully equipped kitchens for cooking up your catch of the day. They’re affordable, too, so you can save some cash for a post-adventure massage (you might need one).
In the heart of the Black Hills National Forest, Custer is a great home base for an adventure vacation in South Dakota. Think “Home on the Range”: herds of bison, thick pine forests, and rocky peaks rising from the prairie. The Black Hills are a magnet for mountain biking and hiking, but to experience the scale of America’s great plains, check it all out from above on a hot air balloon tour.
Summer in Alaska means long days and sunshine, ideal for adventure trips to the surrounding mountains and coast, which get vast and wild just beyond the city limits. Search for grizzly bears and caribou on a wildlife tour from Anchorage, or hike the vast Matanuska Glacier, donning crampons for a hike across the ice.
A rainbow of towering sandstone cliffs below a huge desert sky—Zion National Park is among America’s most spectacular places for adventure travel. The options are endless here, and you can dare yourself to follow the vertigo-inducing path to Angel’s Landing, get wet while canyoneering in The Narrows, or try scaling the heights on a guided rock climbing expedition. We recommend staying in a Springdale rental, so you’re right at the park’s front door.
The Rocky Mountains erupt on the edge of Colorado Springs, an adventure travel hotspot with easy access to the Front Range. Scale the towering sandstone of Garden of the Gods on a rock climbing tour, then try off-roading into Colorado’s Pike National Forest, driving up to 11,200 feet above sea level.
The first national park on earth, it’s no surprise that Yellowstone appears on many adventure travel bucket lists. It’s a popular destination—with a West Yellowstone rental being the perfect home base—but there are plenty of ways to ditch the crowds, too. Instead of approaching the bubbling geysers and pools by land, launch a kayak into Yellowstone Lake for a completely different perspective on the volcanic landscape. Not exciting enough? Go look for wolves and grizzly bears on a private wildlife tour.
Red rocks and maze-like canyons hold a lifetime of hiking trails that that surround this new-age desert town. Locals swear it’s an energy vortex, but it’s also a great home base for some of the best summer adventure trips in the American southwest. Join a float trip down the Colorado River, or take an off-road Jeep tour to ancient ruins. Not all Sedona adventures mean getting dirty, though (this intuitive-led spirit journey goes way off the beaten path).
Forested peaks, churning rivers, and endless trails make the Pocono Mountains a stellar summer adventure vacation. You can ride a powerful surge of water on a white-water rafting trip that’s timed to a dam release, then rent a bike to take on the 26-mile Lehigh Gorge Trail, pausing for swim breaks in the nearby river.
Wind whistles through the Columbia River Gorge, whipping kiteboarders and windsurfers across the broad waterway at top speeds. Not that it’s all flat water at this adventure travel destination—white-water rafting on the nearby White Salmon River is a thrilling trip through Class III and Class IV rapids.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains aren’t as famous as the West’s large peaks, but don’t be fooled. Mount Washington, the tallest summit in New England, sees some of the most dramatic weather on earth. Just driving the super-exposed toll road to the top is an adrenaline rush. To really leave the crowds behind on an adventure tour, opt for a helicopter trip over the White Mountain peaks and valleys of Franconia Notch. Another fan favorite for getting a bird’s eye view is hopping aboard the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram.
Take a pre-dawn hike up Cadillac Mountain and you’ll catch America’s first light—its peaks see the earliest sunrise in the continental United States for much of the year. The mountaintop is a favorite destination in Acadia National Park, a gorgeous adventure travel spot that sprawls across Mount Desert Island. Rappel down Otter Cliff then tackle challenging rock climbing as waves crash below your feet. For stellar views of the surrounding islands, scale the exposed paths up Beehive Trail, which features iron rungs sunk into the pink granite.
One of California’s most iconic spots for adventure vacations, Yosemite National Park is a pilgrimage place for outdoors-lovers. Get your heart pounding on a guided hike in the High Sierra, or climb the steep path up Half Dome, an exposed rock peak that’s a Yosemite Valley rite of passage. It’s not all so hair-raising, though: after a long day on the trail, find a shady spot by the Merced River to soak your feet.
The gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is a great summer adventure vacation destination in the South, with plenty of ways to get off-road and into the woods. Try renting a four-person ATV for a day of exploring that’s rugged and independent. If you’d rather hunt for some of the waterfalls hidden throughout the park, opt for a guided hiking tour that leaves marked trails behind.
If you’re a dog owner, there’s no doubt you consider your furry companion part of the family. But when it comes to taking a trip, he/she can make things a little tricky. Fear not! Here are our top pet-friendly vacations across America where your pooch pals are just as welcome as you are.
Top Dog-Friendly USA Vacations
If you’re the kind of traveler who just can’t bear to leave the dog at home, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to book a getaway catering for both people and pets. Can my dog stay in this hotel? Can he/she visit the local coffee shop, or sit with me while I eat at a restaurant? And is there anywhere that allows dogs to run and play off the leash?
Vacation rentals are particularly good for this type of trip, as many accept animals and you’ll avoid the obstacles you might experience in other types of accommodation: cramped spaces, no outdoor area, or, most awkward of all, sharing communal areas with people who just don’t like dogs.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the residents of San Diego are barking mad about dogs, so you’ll meet little resistance if you’re bringing a furry companion. Try lunch at the Patio on Lamont at Pacific Beach, where there’s tasty Californian cuisine for you, as well as home-made dog biscuits for canines. There’s also the dog-friendly terrace at the Pier Café on West Harbor Drive. Have a run about at Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park at Balboa Park (open 24 hours) or explore the dunes and surf of Fiesta Island. And why not go all out and book a pet photoshoot with Feather & Fur Pet Photography?
“Karen’s cottage is exactly as advertised. We brought our two dogs and it was a great property for them as well as a wonderful neighborhood to walk them in. The cottage is well furnished and lacks for nothing.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Pets are most definitely invited in charming Bar Harbor. Sit on the deck at Stewman’s Lobster Pound Downtown, order yourself something delicious, and then check out the special doggie menu for your furball. Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruises accept dogs on board, so you can sail around Frenchman Bay without leaving your favorite companion at the rental. Keep the leash on when exploring Acadia National Park, except at the Little Long Pond Leash-Free Area, where animals can run free.
West Austin Dog Park is a friendly place for pups and owners, and there’s also the park at Auditorium Shores, which has access to the water. If your dog’s particularly fond of swimming, head to the Red Bud Isle pensinsula for plenty of off-leash fun and lots of water to play in. In February, there’s a popular Mardi Gras Dog Parade, and there are a few other doggy events held throughout the year. Pick up some treats at the Groovy Dog Bakery to keep Fido happy back at the rental while you head out to hear some of that famous Austin live music.
Your first stop here should be Huntington Dog Beach, a stretch of true doggy heaven. Dog owners work hard to keep this place clean and the dogs under control, so it’s a pleasant place to visit. If you’re lucky, you might even see a four-legged creature whizzing past on a surfboard. Only in California… After all the excitement of the dog beach, you can book your pet in to freshen up in the Doggie Spa at Seacliff Village.
“This cabin is older and rustic but it was clean and cute. The fact that it was dog friendly was enough for us because we didn’t have to pay boarding fees…or miss our dogs. The cabin was quiet and had beautiful views. This was a very pleasant place to cook, have dinner on the back deck, drink a glass of wine, and watch the sunset.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Asheville’s got plenty to offer its canine tourists. There are 220 acres of grounds to cover with your pet at the Biltmore Estate, and there’s an onsite kennel where you can park the pooch while you tour the historic house. There’s also the French Broad River Dog Park, with a fenced-off, wood-chipped acre to run around in, and the river to splash in, too. Check out the Woof Gang Bakery for premium animal treats and toys. At Play with Sparky is a doggie daycare facility you could make use of if you’d like to tackle the more challenging local hiking trails sans dog.
Time to introduce the dog to the buzz of Key West! The Key West Dog Beach is small but friendly, and your pet is free to play in the waves to their heart’s content. If you’d like to get right out on the water together, get in touch with Lazy Dog Kayak and enjoy the surroundings as you paddle along. Get your fresh seafood order in at Nine One Five Bistro and watch the world go by together on the dog-friendly terrace.
You’ll find plenty of other happy dogs living it up in Atlanta. For lots of running space, try the Piedmont Dog Park, a designated off-leash area with a separate space for smaller animals. Pets are welcome on leashes at the Freedom Park and you’ll love discovering the peaceful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park together. Let your dog take a well-deserved snooze at your pet-friendly rental while you hit the exciting bars and restaurants Atlanta has to offer.
This impressive city is studded with monuments and cultural institutions, many of them free to enter. Simply settle the dog back at your cozy rental to see the sights that are better for people than pups, then swing back to pick up your playmate and head out for a dog-friendly excursion. Enjoy a leashed walk in leafy Montrose Park, or try the off-leash zones at Shaw Dog Park, S Street Dog Park, and the designated dog run on the waterfront at The Yards Park. Canines can expect a warm welcome, a bowl of water, and a bit of a fuss from staff on the terrace of the friendly Logan Tavern.
Known for its skiing, beaches, and stunning alpine lake, this place is also a lovely spot to visit with the dog in tow. The Bijou Dog Park has shady areas, picnic tables, and fresh water to keep pets happy and hydrated. Pretty Kiva Beach is also dog-friendly as long as you keep the leash on. There’s a cage-free dog care facility called Tahoe Best Friends, where you can leave your pup in total comfort while you head out for a sophisticated dinner.
Four-legged friends are most definitely welcome in this scenic port city. The Java Dog Coffee House serves great coffee, dog treats, and welcomes dogs inside and out. The George Restaurant on the Riverwalk offers a range of tasty Southern dishes, and furry friends can join you on the deck outside. Take advantage of two acres of galloping room at the off-leash Wilmington Dog Park within Empie Park, complete with fencing and separate areas for pups large and small.
“The condo was clean, new, and modern. The location in downtown Portland was perfect! I look forward to my next vacation to Portland so I can stay here again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
How’s this for dog-friendly? Head down to the Tin Shed Garden Café on a Tuesday night to enjoy a free item from the dog menu for each human-friendly dish you order. Bargain! There are some nice off-leash sections for dogs in Chimney Park and Mt. Tabor Park. No visit to Portland is complete without ordering from its world-famous food carts. You can sign up for an official Portland Food Cart Tour and bring your leashed dog along too.
Sunny Albuquerque is a great choice for a vacation, with its endless sunshine, desert vistas, and punchy local flavors. It’s particularly good for those traveling with dogs, as it has more than 10 designated dog parks. North Domingo Baca Dog Park offers a wood-chipped play area, with separate spaces for big and small animals, and some shady spots. There’s also the Rio Grande Triangle Park, Coronado Park, Montessa Dog Park, and more.
“The fixtures in this two bedroom, 1.5 bath condo are high-grade: wide wood floor planks, granite kitchen counter tops, and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding treetops. Your dog will enjoy running across acres of freshly mowed fields between the house and the rural one-lane road.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Here you’ve got the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, where there’s plenty for you and your canine companion to look at on a scenic drive. Grab a burger at Miller’s in the dog-friendly outdoor area or some Cajun catfish on the large patio at the Timberwood Grille. Treat your pooch to a runaround at Azalea Dog Park or Chris Greene Lake Park—the latter has a roped doggy swimming area.
Rich in vineyards and characterized by its long, narrow bodies of water, the Finger Lakes area is a fascinating place to visit. This is wine country, but don’t feel like you can’t take your pet with you if you want to sample a local bottle. Many wineries around here allow dogs—just call first to check their policy. You’ll also find plenty of pet-friendly vacation rentals to make everyone feel perfectly at home.
One thing you’ll notice in Flagstaff is that a lot of the locals are dog owners. Many an establishment has its own furry incumbent ready to welcome you, so you won’t have a problem taking your dog out and about in the area. Diablo Burger has a pet-friendly patio where dogs can rest under a shady table while you enjoy one of the hefty house burgers. You can also get some great deals on vacation rentals in this area, leaving you more cash to spend on other things, like dog biscuits. Check out Thorpe Park Bark Park (try saying that really quickly), where you’ll find agility equipment and plenty of room for exercising.
Santa Barbara’s lovely wide beaches and sophisticated center attract visitors all year round. Dog owners should head to the Douglas Family Preserve, where there’s an off-leash beach and walking trails. There’s also an off-leash area at nearby Hendry’s Beach, or Arroyo Burro Beach. At the end of a day on the sands, you can relax with a craft beer and some dinner at the Brewhouse—you’ll be happy to hear it has its own dog-friendly menu, too.
Norm’s Eatery & Ale House isn’t just dog-friendly, it’s dog-themed. The walls are dotted with pooch portraits and you’ll find plenty of canine company already enjoying the surroundings when you arrive. Bark Espresso allows dogs outside or in their special hound-friendly lounge. Elegant Washington Park Arboretum welcomes dogs on leashes and Warren G. Magnuson Park has an off-leash area with some water access. Don’t miss the Fremont Oktoberfest Dogtoberfest, which welcomes leashed pets on the Sunday of the Oktoberfest extravaganza.
There are some pretty impressive attractions up here, including the craggy carvings of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the monumental buttes and spires of the Badlands National Park. Dogs are only allowed in restricted areas of the Badlands, but there’s plenty of forest and mountainside to discover with your leashed pet in the Black Hills. The little hub of Hill City has a lot of dog-friendly establishments, including the Naked Winery Tasting Room, where dogs are allowed on the patio, and the veranda of the Alpine Inn, a great lunch spot.
The area around this beautiful and sprawling reservoir is known for its fantastic golf courses, wineries, and, of course, water sports. There are several dog-friendly hubs around here, one being the waterfront Dog Days Bar & Grill at Osage Beach, where they host a Canine Cannonball jumping contest each year. To the south in Branson, you’ll find Elmo and Rosalea Marrs Dog Park, complete with agility equipment, picnic tables, and plenty of room to play. If you need to do a little fur-free sightseeing, check your dog into Branson Pet Resort, where they’ll be well looked after while you investigate the environs.
In friendly Rehoboth Beach you can explore the lively boardwalk, packed with entertainment and places to eat, or treat the family to a day at Jungle Jim’s Water Park, where you’ll find slides, go-karting, and mini-golf. Delaware Seashore State Park welcomes leashed dogs to play in the surf and on the sands, and The Big Chill Cantina is a pooch-friendly place for a drink at the end of the day.
“Coquina Cottage was perfect! We are used to the resort experience, but I have to say that this was just what we needed! We took our two dogs, Bella and Sadie with us… No need to bring a lot with you because everything was provided that we needed to enjoy our stay. We will certainly return again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Sanibel Island is a cheerful vacation spot for pets and owners. Gulfside Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, is a good doggy destination, with calm, shallow waters to gallop through and sands strewn with beautiful seashells. Like all of the local beaches, dogs are very welcome, but you should keep them on the leash. Be sure to drop into the Island Paws pet shop for nutritious treats and high-quality toys.
Historic Nantucket Island is bordered with sandy stretches where dogs are welcome to roam on their leashes, such as Francis Street Beach and Surfside Beach. You can take your dog out on the water on a private charter with Endeavor Sailing Excursions or sit back and relax with a drink at the dog-friendly Cisco Brewers.
Dubbed “Brooklyn on the beach” by the New York Times, this Jersey Shore destination is on the up—and it’s getting its fair share of dog tourism. The famous Wonder Bar club and music venue hosts a popular Doggie Yappy Hour, where you can chill with a drink while your dog socializes in the large fenced area outside. There are two pools for them to splash in, dog biscuits at the bar, and there’s an organised dog run twice a week. The 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a fun spot, with plenty of canines enjoying the shallows and the dunes—check beforehand for timings as there are some restrictions.
The beautiful mountain resort of Stowe has two mountains to conquer and a lovely New England village to uncover. Smugglers Notch State Park is breathtaking and accepts all adventurers (including leashed dogs). When you’re done with your hike, you might want to try the Double IPA at the dog-friendly Alchemist Brewery. In nearby Jericho, Mills Riverside Park provides some beautiful meadows for dogs to explore—watch out for the signage telling you which areas are on or off-leash.
We love Fort Myers for its great shopping, fishing, and beaches. Bring Fido to Barkingham Dog Park or Woof-a-Hatchee Dog Park, both fenced and off-leash parks with watering stations and separate areas for big and small dogs. Two of the more fascinating attractions in the area are the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Though not dog-friendly, we’d be remiss to leave them unmentioned. These neighboring properties were the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and you can still explore the laboratory, homes, and gardens. With a pet-friendly rental, it’ll be no problem to leave your dog at the house while you experience these and other great Fort Myers attractions. Just be sure to bring them a treat when you return!
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.
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.
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.
Forget the oceanfront hotel. We’re all about a stunning lake house this summer. Okay, so we’re not totally against the beach. But there’s another type of vacation that was made for America: a classic summer cottage on the lake. Or a cozy cabin. How about an eight-bedroom summer lodge for a full-family affair?
You get the point.
America boasts some of the best lake destinations in the world for outdoor recreation, incredible scenery, and action-packed adventure. In other words: the perfect combination of activities for a thrilling (or relaxing) summer escape.
A summer lake house often comes with kayaks, canoes, paddleboards or even your own personal boat for use (assuming you have a license)! You’ll stay just steps to the water—or hiking trails—and enjoy substantial privacy.
But with so many great lake house options, where should you choose? Enter FlipKey. We’ve bypassed the touristy, crowded lakes—nobody wants to share the bay with other jet skiers, after all—and instead identified 11 amazing summer lake retreats that aren’t quite as…occupied. You’ll find affordable summer cottages and cabins in each of these spots just waiting for you to make new lifelong memories.
Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake has everything you could dream of in a summer vacation. The surrounding towns of McHenry, Oakland and Swanton all offer lake house rentals of various types. Get the adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or opt for more leisurely pursuits in fly-fishing, a scenic kayak ride, horseback trek or walking through Deep Creek Lake State Park. A summer lodge, complete with outdoor patio and barbecue grill, is the perfect home base after the day’s adventure. As night falls, spark up the fire pit and gaze at the stars.
As its name would suggest, this Maine gem has abundant wildlife. When you aren’t fishing for landlocked salmon or trout, keep your eyes peeled for moose and other four-legged friends that roam the land. A summer cottage on Moosehead Lake puts you just steps to unlimited water recreation. And the lake is especially good for canoeing and kayaking, boasting tons of hidden coves, inlets and islands to explore. Lake houses are mostly located in the towns of Greenville and Rockwood, both offering rentals from charming summer cottages to classic log cabins. Some properties even come with personal ATVs – the trails around the lake are ripe for off-roading.
Part of the “Lakeland” area of Northern Wisconsin, Minocqua is a small town as cozy as the summer cabins themselves. There’s the aptly named Lake Minocqua, plus Blue Lake, Kawaguesaga Lake and Tomohawk Lake all in a short vicinity of each other. If you’re seeking a peaceful summer escape, look no further. Vacation rentals here are fewer than some other popular lake spots, meaning your summer cottage will have the utmost privacy. Enjoy a morning coffee on the porch while watching water skiers slice across the clear waters. Choose to join them with some aquatic adventures, or simply take another sip as the sun warms the air.
This 32-mile-long “Queen of American Lakes” is chock-full of summer lodging, attractions, eateries and just about any form of recreation you can name. Take your pick: parasailing, fishing, diving, jet skiing, hiking, golfing, mini-golf, horseback riding and more. If you’ve got kids in tow, you can spend a day at the Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom, New York’s largest amusement park. Hikers gravitate to Prospect Mountain, which offers panoramic views from the top. Among the cleanest and clearest of major US lakes, Lake George is as splendid today as when Thomas Jefferson described it as “…without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.”
Take your family to Grand Lake and enjoy stunning Shadow Mountain scenery with the tranquility of a private summer lake house. Spend a lazy afternoon lounging on the hammock, or rent a pontoon boat for leisurely lake cruising – just don’t forget to bring the cooler! Nearby Rocky Mountain National Park offers great hiking trails, often shared with deer, elk and foxes.
Lake Champlain is one of the Eastern United States’ most beautiful attractions. It stretches almost the full length of Vermont, separating the Green Mountain State from neighboring New York. Summer lake houses are abundant in many of the surrounding towns, most notably Shelburne, Colchester, Burlington and the Grand Isles (VT); and Plattsburgh, Keeseville and Willsboro (NY). Lake Champlain is great for families, offering calm waters and great outdoor recreation. For a unique cabin experience, stay in a Burlington rental right on the lake. You’ll be close to the charming downtown area of Church Street (shops, bars, restaurants and live music), yet have adventurous activities like hiking, kayaking, paddle-boarding, boating and swimming right at your fingertips.
Meredith is New Hampshire’s go-to lakeside destination, with Lake Winnipesaukee offering incredible summer lodges, cottages and cabins for groups of all sizes. Popular with 20- and 30-somethings, Lake Winnipesaukee visitors are often a lively bunch, enjoying the water sports and warm weather to the fullest. Though there’s still plenty of privacy to be had, as many rentals have their own docks at secluded areas along the lake.
Heading to The Last Frontier? You’ll soon be basking in the dramatic, diverse terrain of wide-open spaces, mountains and forests, with wildlife galore and many small towns. If it’s a summer lake house you seek, just follow the Kenai River! The gorgeous body of water runs westward from Kenai Lake to the Cook Inlet, through the towns of Sterling and Soldtona. A summer rental here is as close to nature as you can get without actually camping. It’s truly a mesmerizing experience, capped by the “midnight sun” – when the sun sets around 12:00am due to the long daylight hours during summer season.
Talk to anyone about a Virginia vacation and you’ll hear about Williamsburg’s rich history or the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. But avid summer vacationers would be wise to consider a different destination, some 240 miles away from the ocean. We’re talking about Smith Mountain Lake, the state’s popular lakeside retreat though not as frequented by the outside masses. A summer cottage on “SML” means sunshine, scenery and s’mores all week long. The lake is surrounded by beautiful mountain landscape, with most rental accommodations in the community of Moneta.
If we were giving out nicknames, Lake Coeur d’Alene would get “that of many bays.” Summer lodges are cozily tucked within numerous bays across the lake, like Bennett Bay, Windy Bay, Sun Up Bay, Kokanee Bay and Rockford Bay, to name a few. This means plenty of privacy and calm, kid-friendly waters. But Coeur d’Alene is notable for more than its stunning lake: it’s a unique combination of five-star resort town (fine dining, theaters, golf courses and spas) and natural wonder (unspoiled hiking trails, scenery for days). An affordable cabin gives you the best of both worlds – sunshine free of charge.
Mount Desert may better be known as the side of Acadia National Park that doesn’t include Bar Harbor, which makes it the perfect uncrowded, relaxing escape for a summer lake house. Echo Lake and Long Pond Lake are the two staples for outdoor recreation or leisurely sunbathing. Picture this: you’re eating breakfast on your private patio looking out over the vast clear waters. The kids are readying for a day of swimming, canoeing or kayaking. Maybe even a ride on the pontoon boat. As evening falls, the family enjoys a home-cooked meal before a nightcap in the hot tub. Pure bliss.
What better way to get excited for 2018 than by checking off one of those epic vacation ideas on your travel bucket list? Whether it’s a classic destination, or something off the beaten track to make you the envy of all your Instagram followers, FlipKey has drummed up 11 can’t-miss destinations to throw your wanderlust into high gear!
From classic bucket list trips like catching the Northern Lights in Iceland or swimming along the Great Barrier Reef, to new experiences like eating your way through Japan’s culinary hotspot and whale-watching on the edge of the world, FlipKey has incredible rental properties that’ll be the perfect base for your bucket list vacation, without breaking the bank!
6 Classic Travel Bucket List Trips
1. Witness the Northern Lights in Iceland or Norway
The Northern Lights are on many travelers’ bucket lists and during the winter months, from Norway to Iceland, there are many incredible destinations to catch the Aurora’s mesmerizing colors.
Where To Stay: Explore Iceland’s raw beauty with a stay at this charming 3-bedroom cottage. Its remote location, with views of the ocean and mountains, is perfect for spotting the elusive Auroras.
Where To Stay: For equally spectacular views, this coastal 5-bedroom lodge in Norway’s Lofoten Islands offers the best of both worlds with a completely modern interior, while its picture windows are perfect for cozying up to watch the spectacular light shows at night.
Walk along one of the world’s most impressive architectural feats—the Great Wall of China. Located just outside Beijing, stay at modern apartment in the city for a dose of excitement from the Chinese cultural capital and a day trip to this impressive UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the 7th century.
Where To Stay: Enjoy the historical Chinese capital from your own private apartment near the Old City’s east gate. For as little as $21 per person, per night, this modern 1-bedroom apartment, which sleeps three, has easy access to the metropolis’ many sights and is a perfect base for your trip to the Great Wall nearby.
With its unique culture, stunning scenery, and plethora of activities, it’s no surprise Bali was the top TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Destination for 2017. To experience the best of this Indonesian paradise, a modern villa in trendy Seminyak is the perfect base for this bucket list destination!
Where To Stay: Despite its central location, Villa Kailysa offers a relaxing private retreat in the Balinese hotspot. Just minutes from the beach, this beautiful open-concept villa lets guests make the most of Bali’s incredible weather, with a spacious veranda containing its dining, lounge and kitchen, leading to an inviting pool. For adventurous types, this villa is a great base to explore the beaches and nearby rice paddies, or for planning an early morning trek up Mount Batur.
With its sheer size and majestic beauty, it’s no surprise the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Stay at a cozy vacation rental in nearby national parks to really explore and marvel at the rock formations of this expansive gorge, which date back billions of years!
Where To Stay: Relax at this charming, romantic, and secluded two-bedroom cabin near the Coconino National Forest. Just a few hours from the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s the perfect base for day trips to explore the Grand Canyon. After a busy day exploring, head home and relax among nature on the large wraparound terrace and cozy porch swing.
Always wanted to spot a lion in the wild? What about a rhinoceros? If any of the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos) are on your bucket list, then pack your bags for a South African safari stay near Kruger National Park!
Where To Stay: This stunning modern 3-bedroom property sits in the heart of South Africa’s wildlife region. With its location on a secure private wildlife estate, you’ll get to know your four-legged neighbors from the expansive terrace, or find yourself sharing the pool with some unexpected furry visitors. Dining and shopping options are only minutes away in nearby Hoedspruit and, of course, don’t miss out on one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park, which is less than an hour away.
6. See An Underwater World: The Great Barrier Reef
There’s no doubt exploring the underwater world is on many bucket lists, but while there’s many places in the world to grab the scuba gear, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate destination! Exploring this stunning aquatic wonder with a stay at a vacation home in nearby Port Douglas.
Where To Stay: Base yourself only 300 feet away from the famous Four Mile Beach at this modern 3-bedroom Port Douglas villa. The gated property offers guests plenty of privacy and entertaining options with its outdoor swimming pool, lush gardens, and al fresco dining. Located in a quiet residential area of Port Douglas, this villa is a perfect base for vacationers keen to explore an incredible underwater world at the Great Barrier Reef.
Latin passion and classic European glamour converge in electrifying Argentina. With its dual-heritage, the city’s public squares could easily be mistaken for European piazzas, while its cobblestone streets and vibrant colors ooze Latin charm. Stay near the city’s historical Recoleta Village and watch as the two worlds collide.
Where To Stay: Immerse yourself in Buenos Aires’ rich history with a stay at this stunning 19th century apartment within minutes of Recoleta Village. The 3-bedroom, 4-bathroom property exudes old world charm, with its 15-foot ceilings, exposed beams, and brick walls.
Small, chaotic, yet utterly charming, Hanoi is a full-on sensory experience. The city’s old quarter exudes energy, as mopeds whiz through the narrow roads, street hawkers sell their wares, and crowds spill into the streets. Explore the city’s dynamic fusion of Chinese and French influences, insanely cool local culture, and raw charm from a bright Vietnamese vacation rental.
Where To Stay: This stunning zen apartment offers travelers a quintessential fusion of Vietnam’s Chinese and French influences, with an added modern touch. The one-bedroom rental sits a short walk away from the city’s Old Quarter, making it the perfect retreat from Hanoi’s energy. Soothing whites and neutrals in the apartment complement the greenery and florals throughout, while exposed brick and a heritage clawfoot bathtub add to the magic.
Explore nature from one of the world’s four corners. Fogo Island’s intimate and profound entanglement with the sea and forces of nature have helped create the island’s unique culture. From striking landscapes and incredible wildlife, to a much-buzzed about art-scene and delightful gastronomic experiences, a charming rental property along the Atlantic is a great way to see why this small island draws visitors worldwide to its shores.
Where To Stay: Enjoy Fogo Island from this charming colorful Newfie cottage perched along the Atlantic Ocean. Hike along the nearby towering cliffs, watching majestic whales swim along the shores below. If you’re spent after a busy day exploring this historical island, cozy up in front of the cottage’s large picture windows and watch as icebergs float by your living room window.
10. Eat Your Way Through Japan’s Foodie City: Osaka
From sushi, to yakitori and Okonomiyaki—arguably the region’s most famous export—Japan’s second largest city offers an unparalleled culinary experience making it a must-visit bucket list destination for any foodie! Base yourself in a comfortable Osaka rental to eat your way through this culinary region.
Where To Stay: Live like the Japanese in a traditionally styled apartment. Neutral colors and minimalist aesthetic adorn the apartment, creating a spacious feel. Located near the historical Osaka Castle, this property boasts wonderful Japanese features, like calligraphy on the walls, a traditional Japanese dining table, as well as Japanese double futons, sleeping up to eight people.
If you can’t decide between stunning coastlines and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, why not combine the two and tick Zanzibar off your bucket list? Stay at your own stunning beachside villa to explore the island archipelago’s miles of unspoiled beaches, impressive cultural mélange, awe-inspiring architecture, and delectable aromas.
Where To Stay: Located on the opposite side of the island from bustling and historical Stone Town—yet still within an hour’s drive—this gorgeous private villa puts the warm waters of the Indian Ocean right at your doorstep. This fantastic coastal property features two masters, each with its own en-suite. Both bedrooms have balconies leading to the terrace, with incredible 180-degree views of the beach. The property also boasts an infinity pool, perfect for a night swim.
Planning your next ski getaway? Whether you’re an avid skier or you prefer the après-ski lifestyle, a luxe hot tub is the perfect amenity for every mountain vacation. To make planning easy, FlipKey has rounded up nine chalets in top ski destinations around the world with stunning hot tubs. From a hot tub in a French cave to one set outside a 16,000 square foot castle in Park City, these relaxing spots are perfect for your next group ski trip.
Soak in the hot tub under the stars at this stunning Jackson Hole home. With mountain and lake views, Lake Vista is the perfect place to relax after a long day on the slopes. Inside, guests will find multiple fireplaces, including fireplaces in the master suites, game room, theater room, gym and wine cellar. Glass walls and massive picture windows throughout the house allow for plenty of sunlight during the day, and spectacular views around the clock.
This Vail home is the definition of mountain luxury, located at the top of Forest Road for some of the best views of Vail Valley. Guests will love the A-lister experience, including an elevator and 20-foot windows for plenty of sunlight and stunning sunset views. Relax in the state-of-the-art media room, or arrange for a massage with the professional massage table inside. Outside, the driveway and patio are heated, so no need to worry about ice and snow removal, and the hot tub and outdoor sound system are both operated by a touch screen for easy adjustments. The home offers ski-in/ski-out access to the Born Free catwalk, and features personal ski lockers and glove and boot warmers for the ultimate ski experience.
Enjoy all of Mont Tremblant’s charm from this luxury waterfront cottage. Guests will love the home’s rustic architecture, stunning views, beach access and relaxing atmosphere. After a long day of skiing, settle into the hot tub with breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and valley. While Mont Tremblant is best-known for its skiing, this home is a favorite year-round. Head out for a hike in the spring, hit the beach in the summer, or watch the leaves change from the hot tub in the fall.
Chalet Devlin in Lech, Austria offers a premier chalet experience in a world class ski destination. The home can sleep 10 adults and 4 children over four luxurious floors. The house is ski in/ski out above the Schlosskopf lift, and offers easy access to the exclusive enclave of Oberlech. The elevated location offers unbeatable views of the surrounding mountains, which guests can enjoy from the cozy outdoor hottub. In addition to the spectacular location and beautiful outdoor space, the home includes a cinema room, wine cave, sauna, hammam, fitness area, bar, library, ski room, dining room, luxe sitting area, and fully-equipped kitchen.
Plan your Big Sky escape in style at this striking private home, which includes access to the resort’s fully staffed private lodge with ski-in/ski-out access. The lodge offers equipment lockers and glove and boot dryers, so guests can leave their gear and relax at home. After a long day of skiing, relax in the indoor-outdoor pool or the luxe hot tub at this hilltop escape. The location allows guests to enjoy views of three different mountain ranges in the Big Sky valley. Love your ski trip? Return in the summer for plenty more outdoor activities, like mountain biking and hiking, and enjoy the proximity to Yellowstone National Park, which is under an hour away.
Contemporary isn’t usually the first adjective to come to mind when you think of chalets—but it will be after a stay at Chalet Valentina. Designed by acclaimed Swiss designer and architect Heinz Julen, this cutting edge home will make you rethink chalets with its use of clear glass walls, a glass-enclosed hot tub with spectacular views, and custom made furnishings. The most amazing feature? A unique architectural system in the open plan dining room allows guests to raise the table up to the ceiling to create more space for pre-dinner drinks or dancing! Guests will also have access to a professional chef, concierge, ski instructor, and hosting staff during their stay.
For an authentic Alpine experience, head to Chalet Anchorage in Courchevel. Guests are greeted with champagne and fresh flowers, and will immediately feel welcome and cozy in the great room, made from old wood and local materials, and centered around a corner fireplace. The most picturesuqe area of the home, however, is the wellness area in the lower level, with a stone plunge pool, shower, hammam, and sauna. Added bonus: if your group is larger than ten, consider booking its companion chalet, Chalet Alaska, for additional space.
Whistler is consistently ranked as one of the top ski resorts in North America, making it the perfect place for your next ski getaway. The Villa is perched on the side of Whistler Mountain with ski-in/ski-out access, and offers unparalleled southwest views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. The Villa offers guests a top notch experience, with a billiards room, steam room, exercise space, indoor resistance pool with waterfall, in-floor heating, and of course an outdoor hot tub with mountain views.
This contemporary, single floor home was remodeled in 2014, and offers the perfect homebase for an Aspen getaway. The home’s original wood-burning fireplaces are perfect for après-ski plans, and floor-to-ceiling windows make it easy to enjoy 180-degree mountain views of Aspen and Snowmass. The living, dining and kitchen areas are open plan, and extend out onto a private patio that runs the length of the home. Outside, guests will find a built-in barbeque, fire pit and a private hot tub, perfect for soaking in the beautiful surroundings.
This rental is truly fit for royalty. Styled as a grand chateau and set in a gated community, guests will be greeted by a luxe porte cochere and an arched entry hall with carved limestone fireplace and marble floors. The home sits on 5.8 acres and offers ski-in, ski-out access to the Quicksilver Gondola, six bedrooms, and 16,000 square feet of space that sleeps up to 22 guests. The home features about every amenity guests could imagine (pool table, steam shower, wine room, fireplace, boot warmers, three laundry rooms, fully-equipped kitchen plus prep kitchen, library, media room) but after long days of skiing, the luxe private hot tub on the home’s lower deck will be the most appealing.
Picture it: sea grass swaying in the breeze, the sun beating down on your face, and everything you need right at your fingertips. Plan a trip to one of the best winter beach vacation spots, and make your travel daydreams come true this season.
America’s Hottest Winter Sun Beach Spots
As if you didn’t need another excuse to escape the cold weather, we’ve highlighted 15 top destinations for winter sun. From undiscovered gems off the coast of Louisiana to tried-and-true Florida hot spots, these places are bringing the heat.
Beautiful beaches pair with Southern hospitality to create the ideal setting for a winter sun vacation in Saint Simons Island. Unwind on your rental’s screened-in porch or unfurl your towel at the beach—you can’t go wrong in Georgia’s Golden Isles. While you’re here, explore the salt marshes in a kayak, tour the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, and dine on succulent seafood straight from the Gulf.
Located along a beautiful string of Gulf Coast beaches, Orange Beach offers thrilling fishing charters, dolphin-sighting cruises, breathtaking nature hikes, and lots of seaside fun. Choose from waterfront condos and apartments, or rent a spacious beach house, so your whole family can join. Don’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy winter sun in Orange Beach.
Gather your whole family and head to Galveston for a blissful winter beach vacation. Here, you’ll find sprawling beach parks and a wealth of kid-friendly attractions, like Moody Gardens, plus plenty of waterfront homes that sleep more than 10 guests—the perfect combination for any getaway. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe or discover nature, Galveston is sure to satisfy your winter wanderlust.
When it comes to winter beach vacations, Kapolei is as inviting as it gets! Situated on the coast of Oahu, Kapolei serves as a giant playground for its visitors. From snorkeling in Paradise Cove to golfing at Ko Olina Golf Club, there’s an adventure for everyone. Grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and see for yourself why travelers describe it as “paradise found!”
Myrtle Beach is one of those winter beach vacations everyone in your family can appreciate. It boasts a vibrant boardwalk brimming with games and entertainment for the kids, stellar nightlife for the adults, and plenty of family-friendly activities everyone can enjoy together. Rent a condo overlooking the water and wake up every morning to the sound of waves washing over the sand.
Sprawling beaches, idyllic nature preserves, and pristine golf courses: what’s not to love about Sunset Beach? Situated on the southeast coast of North Carolina, halfway between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, this winter sun vacation spot offers something to suit every interest. Mornings here are for leisurely beach strolls, while afternoons ought to be spent casting your fishing line from the Sunset Beach fishing pier. Rent a home right on the water and enjoy panoramic beach views around the clock.
Located in the heart of Southern California, Long Beach offers everything from upscale shopping and state-of-the-art museums to waterfront trails and laid-back beach parks. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and legendary Queen Mary, don’t forget to spend some downtime soaking up sun at the beach. A beautiful beach house will provide the perfect starting point for new adventures and lasting memories.
Whether it’s a morning at the beach or an afternoon relaxing on your waterfront rental’s balcony, strawberry daiquiri in hand, Marco Island provides the perfect place for a winter sun escape. Cruise through the sparkling seas to nearby Keewaydin Island, or relax in the white sands of Tigertail Beach. Besides its breathtaking beaches, Marco Island boasts beautiful bike paths, soothing spas, and plenty of options for entertainment. If you’re seeking winter sun, head south to Marco Island!
With its nickname the “Sunshine City,” it’s easy to see why St. Petersburg ranks among the best winter beach vacations. When you need a break from the sun, check out the colorful exhibits of the Chihuly Collection or explore the Dali Museum. Have kids in tow? Watch your little ones light up with glee at the Great Explorations Children’s Museum.
Drive just 45 minutes south of San Francisco and you’ll find Half Moon Bay, a charming coastal town that offers a true escape from the big city. Horseback ride in the sand at sunset, stroll around Pillar Point Harbor, or toast to a fabulous trip at Half Moon Bay Distillery. Need a break from the beach? Head inland to explore the awe-inspiring redwood forests. With something to satisfy all interests, this sunny enclave in Northern California is the perfect setting for winter beach vacations.
Whether it’s a romantic getaway you’re after or a fun-filled trip with your friends, Catalina Island is an obvious choice. The scenic island lies southwest of Los Angeles and is known for its jaw-dropping coastline, abundant wildlife, and friendly atmosphere. Whether you cruise around the island in a golf cart, soar through the treetops on a zip line tour, or just plant yourself in the sand, you won’t be disappointed. Rent a home carved into the cliffs or an apartment right near the water, and make the most of your time here.
Pack your sunscreen and snorkel gear—Paia’s calling! Known for its epic waves, iconic beaches, and frequent sea turtle sightings, Paia is a dream for warm weather seekers. Get a bird’s eye view of the island’s stunning coastline on a helicopter tour, take a private surfing lesson, or simply bask in the sun outside. Whether you choose a beach condo just steps from Ho’okipa Beach Park or a secluded home surrounded by palm trees, there’s no better way to experience Paia’s natural beauty than with a stay in your own private rental.
While Chincoteague Island’s wild ponies have helped put this charming beach town on the map, it’s unspoiled beaches, lack of high-rises, and slower pace of life are what continue to make it a great place for winter beach vacations. Explore the uncrowded Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, follow the bike trails around the island, or birdwatch from your rental’s back deck. Chincoteague Island is full of off-the-map treasures that will make your getaway unforgettable.
Saint Augustine is one of the best winter beach vacations because it blends oceanside bliss with rich history and small-town charm. Step outside your vacation rental and explore the cobblestone streets downtown or grab a boogie board and play in the surf. You’re sure to feel at ease in St. Augustine!
Although it’s just a two-hour drive from New Orleans, when you arrive in Grand Isle, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This destination is known for its deep sea fishing, so hit the open waters on a private fishing charter. Prefer to stay on land? Pack a picnic for the beach and enjoy lunch with a view. Choose from a variety of beach rentals, and book a winter beach vacation your whole family will love this season.
FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home.