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Summer might be coming to an end, but Californians are excited because September equals wine, and lots of it. September is California Wine Month, celebrating wineries, vineyards, and growers of all types of vino.

California Wine Month was created to recognize how much the state of California benefits from the wine industry in terms of economy and lifestyle. California produces 90% of the wine in the United States and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the entire world.

There is plenty to do all month, according to VisitCalifornia.com:

“During this statewide celebration of the Golden State’s rich wine history, you can participate in events from picking and crushing grapes to VIP tours to tastings, concerts, and so much more.”

According to our Travel Insights, the two most popular locations to visit in the California Wine Country are both on the North Coast: Napa, with 26.4% of all travelers heading that way, and Sonoma, with 24.4%. Most travelers go for a romantic weekend getaway, with the most common party size being two and the most common reservation requests made for just one or two days.

Sunset Magazine describes the most-visited location, Napa Valley, as

“the best wine region in the New World. Period. Back when our neighbors to the west were taking the prune market by storm, Napa was uncorking our national appetite for fermented grape juice, giving it a seat at the table alongside the great wines of Europe.“

There are so many different types of California wine to choose from, including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Over 700 miles of winegrowing areas include more than 100 American Viticultural Regions full of different types of wine and people.

In Bon Appetit Magazine, renowned Napa chef, vintner, and TV host Michael Chiarello explains how to choose which winery to go to:

“Wine tasting shouldn’t be a crapshoot where you’re just stopping at every shop that you see. Prioritize the wineries you want to hit on your journey. Even if you’re a neophyte, if you’re going to wine tasting, there’s a good chance you’ve had wine before—start by researching a varietal you like, agnostic of brand. Then, when you get to the tasting room, let your preferences be known (‘Hi! I’m here for the pinot noir!’), and let the staff guide you from there.”

Wine is not just something you drink with dinner: it has a history, a culture, and it brings people together. So what are you waiting for? Grab that special someone and take a weekend adventure to the California Wine Region.

If you are worried about not knowing how to properly taste the wine, check out Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s article on How to Taste Wine.

Happy Travels!

Traveling as a family, particularly with young children, might seem to be a stress-inducing experience, but not according to the experts. In a recent survey, FlipKey raised this topic among dozens of seasoned family travel writers — veterans of traveling with kids in tow — to find out what they find to be the most stressful factors of traveling with kids. Surprisingly, we found that over 60% believe that traveling with children is not a stressful experience. Here, they share their expert tips and tricks on how to avoid what they rank as the most common concerns about family travel.

1. The price tag of the trip
For a lower-cost vacation, live like a local and stay in an apartment in a residential neighborhood for at least one week. You’ll have more space, your own affordable groceries, and fond memories of your “home” abroad. Often owners will throw in helpful extras like bicycles, boogie boards, or a crib, depending on your needs and where you’ll be. – Shelly Rivoli, Travels With Baby

2. Your child getting sick/hurt while on vacation
We make sure to bring along our baby monitor and sound machine. Even though our kids are 7 & 6 it gives me piece of mind to have the monitor handset by my side whether lounging on the hotel balcony or in the vacation home. It eases any fears of the kids waking up disoriented and opening the wrong door or helps us hear them if they wake up from a bad dream. – Tésa Nicolanti, 2 Wired 2 Tired

3. Coordinating eating arrangements, catering to picky eaters, allergies, etc.
Dining out can cause stress (either due to expense or entertaining kids during meals), so plan to dine in-room for breakfasts and lunches. This is easy to do with just a cooler: pack foods like bagels, cream cheese spreads, fruit, granola, and trail mix that can be eaten at either meal and on-the-go. – Amy Whitley, Pit Stops For Kids

4. Packing and transporting all of the gear
Take the hassle out of schlepping baby gear by renting what you need at your destination. – Shelly Rivoli, Travels With Baby

5. Kids crying, screaming, or fighting in public
Keep a positive attitude; if you’re calm, the kids will stay calm. Cut your itinerary in half so you don’t pressure the kids to do too much. – Kyle McCarthy, My Family Travels
And after all is said and done, just roll with the punches. Be sure to be flexible with your vacation plans – don’t be afraid to stay longer or leave sooner based on what’s happening on the road. – Mara Gorman, Mother of All Trips

6. Airports and flying
Buy a day pass to airline lounges, especially if you have a layover. There are snacks, TVs, WiFi, wine for mommy and some even have playrooms. – Elizabeth Thorp, Poshbrood
Since we travel internationally a lot, we try to make sure that the kids have plenty to do on the long flights and that we are prepared with lots of games, iPads, and snacks. – Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan, Momaboard

7. Making sleeping arrangements
By renting an apartment, everyone can have separate bedrooms and living like locals is infinitely less stressful, more enjoyable and more affordable. – Bethaney Davies, Flashpacker Family

8. The length of travel and the age-old question: “Are we there yet?”
Prepare your kids in advance – let them know what to expect and what is expected of them. The same applies to letting them know what they can expect for length of travel. – Corinne McDermott, Have Baby Will Travel
Don’t forget to pack books, crayons, paper and devices. iPads, iPods and Smartphones can allow bored kids to play games, watch movies or listen to music. – Elizabeth Thorp, Poshbrood

9. Finding kid-friendly activities and entertainment at your destination
I don’t stress about what to do with kids – being in a new place and learning about the new culture is more important than them having something to do all day, every day. – Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan, Momaboard
Involve the kids in the planning and choosing activities to ensure they are doing and seeing things that they find interesting. – Eileen Ogointz, Taking the Kids

10. Enjoying adults-only time
We always make sure our hotel room has a balcony. This way after the kids go to sleep we can relax on the balcony and chat without disturbing them. – Tésa Nicolanti, 2 Wired 2 Tired

For inspiration for your next family vacation, check out FlipKey’s Trip Ideas, showcasing our picks of the best destinations around the globe, https://www.flipkey.com/trip-ideas/family-travel/

Top-rated Southern cities for a vacation

With countless places to choose from in the region, we’re highlighting the best Southern vacation spots for renting a summer house. Travelers have spoken, and these destinations have the top-rated review scores for their rental accommodations on FlipKey.

Top-Rated Southern Vacations This Summer

Summer is a fabulous time to visit the South. Warm temperatures linger long into the evenings, allowing plenty of time for exploration, and the region’s cities buzz with activity. Not to mention, the area exudes Southern hospitality, making it a popular place to visit—any time of year.

Whether summer is just beginning or inching to a close, it’s never a bad time to plan that getaway down South! To help you choose your destination, we looked at the average vacation rental review scores for summer stays. The result? Nine of the best vacation spots down South receiving top praise from fellow FlipKey rental guests. From Tennessee to Texas, these Southern vacations (and their top attraction!) come highly recommended by travelers like you.

Consider booking a vacation home for your trip and you’ll be right in the middle of all the action. Not only do rentals provide an affordable home base during your stay, they let you experience the city like a local!

Ratings are based on the lifetime average vacation rental review score for that destination (for stays during summer months), according to reviewers on TripAdvisor. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company. 

9. Decatur, Georgia

Retreat to Decatur, Georgia

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.50/5.00

“Lots of heart and soul went into preserving this very special home—if you appreciate craftsmanship and cool old houses, it is worth a visit for that alone!” – FlipKey Traveler

A trip to Decatur reveals what makes this destination so special: beautiful historic homes, a range of unique attractions, and a friendly, small-town atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind. At just six miles east of Atlanta, getting to this city—which offers a variety of attractions for foodies, fashionistas, fun-lovers and beyond—is a breeze. Grab a bite to eat on-the-go at Your Dekalb Farmers Market, take a walking tour of the area, or perch yourself on a park bench in Decatur Square. Described as “four square miles of hometown hippiness,” this vibrant city is a hot spot for Southern vacations that can’t be missed.

Our Top Activity Pick: Michael C. Carlos Museum

See all Decatur vacation rentals on FlipKey!

8. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Find your hideaway in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.56/5.00

“We spent the majority of our time on one of the two decks when we weren’t out hiking. We watched birds fly, the clouds float by, and the hang gliders soar. What a wonderful, relaxing place to enjoy!” – FlipKey Traveler

Nicknamed the Scenic City, Chattanooga lives up to that claim with soaring mountains, extraordinary rock formations, roaring waterfalls, and lots of outdoor activities that let you enjoy it all. Explore the mysterious caverns of Ruby Falls, hike Lookout Mountain for jaw-dropping views, or familiarize yourself with the area on a train ride through the countryside. For an even more memorable stay, rent a cabin amidst towering trees or a private vacation home just steps from the river and make Chattanooga your home, if only for a weekend getaway.

Our Top Activity Pick: Hunter Museum of American Art

See all Chattanooga vacation rentals on FlipKey!

7. New Orleans, Louisiana

Discover New Orleans, Louisiana.

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.60/5.00

“Perfect spot in the Marigny!! We could walk easily everywhere we wanted to go and experienced lots of great music and restaurants.” – FlipKey Traveler

Whether your plan is to soak up the local history or dance your way down Bourbon Street, New Orleans is no doubt one of the best vacation spots in the South. It’sa hub of activity from sunrise to sundown. Tour the Garden District—an elegant neighborhood full of Southern charm—where you’ll find pristine gardens and opulent, antebellum mansions. When you’re ready to party, head to Bourbon Street. You’ll find this carnival of sights and sounds in the historic French Quarter. Add to your New Orleans experience by booking a traditional, shotgun-style vacation home just blocks from your favorite attractions.

Our Top Activity Pick: New Orleans Museum of Art

See all New Orleans vacation rentals on FlipKey!

5. Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.60/5.00

“Absolutely LOVED this home away from home!! We actually stayed in Friday night instead of going to downtown Nashville just because we loved the house so much!!” – FlipKey Traveler

If you’re looking for world-class music venues, hearty Southern fare, and the chance to spot celebrities both on the stage and in the street, then Nashville is the Southern vacation for you. Take a stroll along the Music City Walk of Fame, check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, or attend a show at the iconic Grand Ole Opry. At the end of a music-filled day, retreat to the quiet of your beautiful Victorian home rental in Germantown, Nashville’s oldest neighborhood.

Our Top Activity Pick: Adventure Science Center

See all Nashville vacation rentals on FlipKey!

6. Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, TX is a hot spot for Southern vacations.

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.63/5.00

“This was a great location right in the middle of everything in historic Fredericksburg. A wonderful place to stay with hosts that make you feel like friends.” – FlipKey Traveler

Southern charm will sweep you off your feet in Fredericksburg. It’s located deep in the heart of Texas and is known for its hospitality, rich history, and thriving German traditions. A visit during August lends itself to lazy afternoons watching the grape harvest at a vineyard and warm evenings strolling at the county fair. If you can’t squeeze a trip to Fredericksburg in this summer, don’t fret! With bluebonnets blooming in the spring and Oktoberfest celebrations during the fall, this city is one of the best Southern vacations to take, no matter what time of year it is.

Our Top Activity Pick: National Museum of the Pacific War

See all Fredericksburg vacation rentals on FlipKey!

4. Louisville, Kentucky

Rent a vacation home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.74/5.00

“All the comforts of home. This was much better than a hotel. It was great to have easy access to our events, then drive back into a quiet neighborhood (with deer) in the evenings.” – FlipKey Traveler

With the annual Kentucky Derby spectacle, tasty mint juleps, and a variety of exciting attractions, it’s no surprise that Louisville makes our list of top-rated Southern vacations. Follow the city-wide “Urban Bourbon Trail” to award-winning micro-distilleries, each with its own unique offering of the city’s signature spirit. If you’re a baseball fan, check out the Louisville Slugger Museum, a celebration of the sport’s legends. Choose an historic home within walking distance of downtown, and you’ll never want to leave Louisville!

Our Top Activity Pick: KMAC Museum

See all Louisville vacation rentals on FlipKey!

3. St. Petersburg, Florida

Hit the beach in St. Petersburg, FL.

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.84/5.00

“Paradise. This is the first time I ever stayed in a vacation rental—and I think I’ll never go back to hotels again. I felt the most not like a tourist on this vacation compared to others in the past.” – FlipKey Traveler

Known as the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg boasts an average of 361 days of sunny skies a year, making it a safe choice if you’re looking to spend your vacation days outdoors. Walk the waterfront for stunning views of Tampa Bay (and even a leaping dolphin or two!) or explore the century-old Sunken Gardens in the midst of this bustling city. One walk along the sugary-sand beaches, one dip in the crystal-clear waters, one stop at the Saturday Morning Market—that’s all it will take to fall in love with St. Petersburg.

Our Top Activity Pick: Great Explorations Children’s Museum

See all St. Petersburg vacation rentals on FlipKey!

2. Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas Southern Vacations

Average Vacation Rental Rating: 4.85/5.00

“It was the most gorgeous scenic retreat I could’ve asked for. A beautiful hidden gem, just like Arkansas itself!” – FlipKey Traveler

Set among an array of naturally heated springs, Hot Springs bubbles with adventure. From hiking and biking to fishing and kayaking, this Southern city speaks to outdoor enthusiasts. Climb to the top of Hot Springs Mountain to take in the majestic views, discover the beauty of Lake Catherine State Park, or spend a relaxing day at the lake. Book a Hot Springs vacation rental as your base to make exploring even easier during your stay.

Our Top Activity Pick: A Narrow Escape

See all Hot Springs vacation rentals on FlipKey!

1. Greenville, South Carolina


Average Vacation Rental Rating: 5.00/5.00

“Cozy place, perfect for two. Perfect for peace and quiet and restful relaxation.” – FlipKey Traveler

When it comes to Southern charm, Greenville offers an unforgettable dose. From outdoor concerts to annual street festivals, the city hosts more than 300 events annually, guaranteeing a good time is had by all. Saunter around downtown Greenville—ranked among “America’s Ten Best” by Forbes magazine—taking in the sights and tasting a variety of palate-pleasing cuisines from the more than 600 restaurants in town. This charming destination gets FlipKey travelers’ vote as one of the best vacation spots in the South to rent a summer house. Book a vacation rental here and enjoy all the city has to offer with the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop.

Our Top Activity Pick: Roper Mountain Science Center

See all Greenville vacation rentals on FlipKey!

If you’ve been daydreaming about your next vacation—and let’s face it, who hasn’t with winter outstaying its welcome—then we’re about to make your day. TripAdvisor has just announced its Travelers’ Choice Rentals; a list of the 30 best vacation homes in the world as chosen by the TripAdvisor community!

The 30 homes are split into three categories—Affordable, Mid-Range, and High-End—with 10 properties in each. There’s remarkable variety within each category and across all the winning properties, from a villa with a breathtaking view over Lake Como to a cute and cosy Shepherd’s hut in the quaint UK countryside.

Here, we’ll showcase two of our favorite properties from each category. But, trust us—deciding which to include wasn’t easy. Fortunately, you can view the full list here. But here are the highlights we chose. Enjoy!


Villa La Ruga, Lake Como, Italy

The high-end category in this year’s round-up is a luxury traveler’s dream come true. It includes a sophisticated villa on the shores of Lake Como, the destination of choice for many a celebrity couple (including power duo George and Amal Clooney). Guests can enjoy incredible views from both the clifftop terrace and bedroom balconies.


“It’s an unforgettable spot down on the waterfront – I particularly encourage breakfast on the promenade! 100% recommend.”

See all Lake Como vacation homes on FlipKey!

Zante Palazzo Villa, Zakynthos, Greece

Another of our favorites from the high-end properties is this spectacular villa on the Greek island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Islands. Complete with a private heated swimming pool surrounded by a lush Mediterranean garden, it provides guests with all they could wish for on their dream vacation.


“By far the best villa I have ever stayed at! Great indoor interior, awesome outdoor and barbecue area, perfect location and a lot of space.”

View all rentals in the Ionian Islands!


Cambalala Lodge, Hazyview, South Africa

The mid-range category is no less impressive, with stand-out properties including a quaint Shepherd’s hut in the UK’s first National Park and a chalet called Cambalala—the Zulu word for “relax”—in South Africa’s famed Kruger Park Lodge resort.


“The staff were really friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend this lodge to the people who wants to have an affordable and luxury holiday home.”

The Hoblet Cabin, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Another hit in the mid-range category is the charming “Hoblet”—an Ontario rental under 15 minutes’ drive to the brink of Niagara Falls. From the outside, it looks like a typical woodsy cabin. But step through the front door and you’ll discover a modern, spacious den perfect for a getaway.


“The moment you walk into The Hoblet, you get an immediate sense of pressure and stress being lifted off your shoulders as you take in the sights and sounds.”

See all FlipKey rentals near Niagara Falls!


Last, but not least, is the affordable category. Rentals often present travelers with incredible value for money, with more room and private amenities than a traditional hotel stay. And nowhere else is this more evident than in the brilliant budget homes featured in the 2018 Travelers’ Choice Rentals round-up.

Residences Le Beau Manguier, Mauritius, Africa

Among the winners is a condo on the tropical island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. With spa facilities onsite, access to a pool set in tropical gardens and just a couple minutes’ walk to the beach, it’s no surprise visitors rave about this one.


“The stay was even better because of the caring hosts who made sure I was comfortable. Was very lucky to stay here!”

Alfie’s Apartment, Island of Malta, Europe

From an island in the Indian Ocean to one in the Mediterranean, you’ll find another of the stand-out properties in this year’s affordable category in Malta. Alfie’s place is a rustic hideaway on a stepped street in the protected Medieval city of Birgu.


“If you want to soak up the history of Malta and meet the locals this is the place to be…We had a great holiday made even more enjoyable by our host.”


We’ve picked out just two properties from each category here…but there are more to discover! The rest of the winners await over in our property gallery. So, what are you waiting for? Browse all of this year’s winners and see what the world’s largest (and wisest!) community of travelers has to say about them.

View the full list of Travelers’ Choice winners here

Please note: Average nightly rates of properties are based on TripAdvisor Rentals pricing data between April 2017 and April 2018


TripAdvisor Rentals is a leading platform where thousands of travellers find their perfect rental. Whether you’re looking for a stylish city apartment, spacious poolside villa or cozy cabin, we have the rental for you, no matter what your budget or where you want to be in the world.

Using the power of TripAdvisor’s global travel community, TripAdvisor Rentals pairs the insider knowledge of our homeowners with the collective wisdom of millions of reviews.

You’ll discover not only the best vacation rentals, but the best attractions, the best restaurants, and the best things to do.

TripAdvisor Rentals travellers always stay the smarter way, thanks to Payment Protection and a wealth of insider recommendations. With over 300 new reviews and opinions added every minute, TripAdvisor is an ever-growing resource where you can plan and book every part of your trip in one place.

You can know better, book better, and go better. And rest assured that your vacation and your money is in safe hands with our Payment Protection.

This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.

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!

Beckham Cave Home

Parthenon, Arkansas, USA

See the Beckham Cave Home on FlipKey!

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!

See all rentals in Parthenon

Lava Cave

Santorini, Greece

See the Greek Lava Cave home on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Santorini

Anitya Cave House

Cappadocia, Turkey

See the Anitya Cave House on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Cappadocia

Azalea Cave Houses

Oia, Greece

See the Azalea Cave Houses on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Oia

The Rockhouse Retreat

Worcester, UK

See the Rockhouse Retreat on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Worcester

Sea View Cave Loft

Guia, Gran Canaria

See the Cave Loft on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Gran Canaria

Casa Santantonio

Santorini, Greece

See the Casa Santantonio cave rental on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Santorini

White Dream

Puglia, Italy

See the White Dream cave villa on FlipKey!

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.

See all rentals in Puglia

Cohabitat Sassi

Matera, Italy

See the Cohabitat Sassi cave home on FlipKey!

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.

Check out all rentals in Matera

This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.


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.

Little Torch Key, Florida


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Little Torch Key!

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Lake Geneva!

Brewster, Massachusetts


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Brewster!

Poipu, Hawaii


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Poipu!

Gig Harbor, Washington


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Gig Harbor!

Ogunquit, Maine


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Ogunquit!

Half Moon Bay, California


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Half Moon Bay!

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Sturgeon Bay!

Cape May, New Jersey

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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Cape May!

Kennebunkport, Maine


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Kennebunkport!

Cambria, California


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.

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Newport, Oregon


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.

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Dana Point, California


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.

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Lake Placid, New York


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.

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Traverse City, Michigan


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.

See all FlipKey rentals in Traverse City!

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.

Miami Beach, Florida

“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.

See all rentals in Miami Beach!

Long Beach, California

“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.

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South Padre Island, Texas

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.

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Santa Cruz, California

“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.

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Wildwood, New Jersey

“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.

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Daytona Beach, Florida

“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.

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Oceanside, California

“We had about 16 people here for a girlfriends getaway, and this rental fit us (and our 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.

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Panama City Beach, Florida

“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.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

“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.

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San Diego, California

“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.

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Dewey Beach, Delaware

“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.

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Redondo Beach, California

“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.

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Topsail Island, North Carolina

“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.

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Cannon Beach, Oregon

“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.

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Isle of Palms, South Carolina

“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.

See all rentals in Isle of Palms!

This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.

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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).

Call up your most daring friends or family, browse our top summer adventure vacations, and book a great place to stay. Better yet? Once you decide on a destination and rental, you can book all your tours, activities, and attractions with our friends at TripAdvisor—right on their site!

Custer, South Dakota | Black Hills And Badlands

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Custer!

Anchorage, Alaska

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Anchorage!

Springdale, Utah | Zion National Park

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.

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Colorado Springs, Colorado

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Colorado Springs!

Outer Banks, North Carolina

With coastline for days, the Outer Banks make a dreamy summer adventure vacation destination. This is the spot to leave mainland life behind. Explore the shore on a rented beach cruiser bicycle, take a paddleboard out for a spin, or amp up the adrenaline while learning to surf in Kill Devil. Nags Head also boasts the famous Jockey’s Ridge State Park, with two of the highest sand dunes on the East Coast.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in the Outer Banks!

West Yellowstone, Montana | Yellowstone National Park

The White Dome Geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals near Yellowstone!

Sedona, Arizona

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).

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Sedona!

Pocono Mountains Region, Pennsylvania

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in the Poconos!

Maui, Hawaii

From towering waterfalls to bamboo forests and world-class surfing, the gorgeous island of Maui has the ingredients for an unforgettable adventure vacation. You can ride a bike down a volcano then zipline through the jungle, or paddle into the break at Lahaina with a private surfing instructor. If you start to overheat, trade the lush lowlands for bare, volcanic rock in Haleakala National Park, an otherworldly landscape of cooled lava and cinder cones.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Maui!

Hood River, Oregon

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.

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Franconia, New Hampshire

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Franconia!

Bar Harbor, Maine

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.

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Yosemite National Park, California

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.

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Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Gatlinburg!

Las Vegas, Nevada

Not every adrenaline-fueled adventure trip is about the great outdoors, and Las Vegas is ground zero for some seriously heart-pounding experiences. If you’ve got the nerve, challenge yourself to jump from the Stratosphere Tower, race exotic carsgo skydiving, or try “land sailing,” streaking across the desert in a sail-powered trike.

See all TripAdvisor rentals in Las Vegas!

This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.