A lazy lakeside getaway boasts all the fun of a tropical beach vacation… without the sting of saltwater in your eyes, crabs pinching at your toes, and seagulls nabbing your snacks.
From a sleepy town perched high in the Rockies to a classic New England escape, we’ve uncovered eight of America’s most beautiful little lake towns. One thing’s for sure: overdone beach trips will be a distant memory after visiting these glorious destinations. Plus, find the perfect rental on FlipKey and enjoy extra space and privacy during your trip. Where will you go for your next getaway?
Need a break from your hectic schedule? Head to Chelan, a scenic lake town nestled along the edge of the Cascade Mountains in Washington. The area features world-class outdoor activities, inviting vineyards, and endless opportunities for relaxation. Still, there’s no better way to see Chelan then by hopping in a kayak and drifting with the tide. Book a modern condo right on the lake and wake up to breathtaking views and utter tranquility every morning.
The crystal blue waters of Lake Erie lure visitors to the shores of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. Rent a kayak and paddle around the bay, cruising past the towering limestone cliffs of nearby Gibraltar Island. When it’s time for a well-deserved rest, pull up on the beach and dig your toes into the sand for a lazy afternoon under the sun. Away from the water, the easiest way to get around Put-in-Bay is by golf cart. Rent one to explore the town or simply retreat to your waterfront home to relax.
From snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter to swimming and fishing during the summer, Rangeley offers vacationers four seasons of fun. The beautiful little town is situated in Western Maine with convenient access to six nearby lakes, including its namesake Rangeley Lake. For the perfect getaway, choose from charming lakeside cottages and cozy, away-from-it-all cabins.
Once you’ve set foot in South Lake Tahoe, however long you’re staying here won’t be enough. This picturesque destination sits on the California-Nevada border and the lake is known for its deep blue waters and majestic mountain setting. If you want to enjoy the lake, rent a boat or book a parasailing excursion for a bird’s eye view of its 72 mile shoreline. On land, depending on the season, hike, bike or ski with the pristine Lake Tahoe as your backdrop. With luxury homes, affordable condos, spacious lodges and more, there’s a rental for everyone in South Lake Tahoe.
Finding it difficult to narrow down which lake is for you? Meredith is located in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and a getaway here puts vacationers a short drive to Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Winnisquam, Squam Lake and more. Whether you choose a condo right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee or a secluded home with private beach access, Meredith promises serenity and outdoor adventure. Toast to a blissful vacation at a local winery, conquer the surrounding White Mountains on foot, or just unplug for awhile. It’s up to you!
A trip to Burlington offers everything needed for the perfect lakeside getaway: a stunning landscape, vibrant downtown area and plenty of wonderful places to stay. Skirt along the Lake Champlain waterfront via bicycle following the Island Line Trail or watch the boats come and go at the Burlington Harbor Marina. Prefer to stick close to home? Cast your fishing line and let the hours slip by as you relax on your private dock. In the evening, fall asleep to the soothing sound of Lake Champlain washing over the shore just outside your vacation rental.
Fontana Lake is a brief 30-minute drive or a leisurely float down the Tuckasegee River from Bryson City. Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the lake is a southern slice of paradise that beckons anglers to its cold, deep waters throughout the year. Stock up on bait and tackle in Bryson City before making your way to the lake to reel in a keeper. The town’s laid-back vibe is guaranteed to please everyone, whoever you’re sharing your vacation with. With so many Bryson City rentals to choose from, you’re sure to find a place that ticks all your boxes.
Park yourself on the shores of Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest natural body of water, and indulge in a worry-free vacation. A historic town, Grand Lake is home to the highest-altitude yacht club, an old-fashioned boardwalk dating back to the Wild West days and boatloads of adventure. Find a family-friendly rental close to the lake for ultimate convenience or choose a remote cabin nestled among pine trees. Whatever your preference, this pretty little lake town bursts with natural beauty and should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Toronto welcomes millions of travelers from around the globe each year. It’s an eclectic city where visitors can take in historic landmarks and world-famous attractions by day, and experience an ever-evolving and diverse food scene by night. Bursting with activity year-round, Toronto should be on everyone’s list for a fun-filled vacation.
In a city so large, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, we’ve narrowed it down to some of the best things to do and places to eat, so you can plan the perfect itinerary. Whether you choose a modern apartment downtown or a charming rental on the outskirts is up to you, but your trip to Toronto won’t be complete without a visit to the following places…
Where to eat in Toronto:
Canada’s largest city, and one of the world’s most diverse, is home to an enviable restaurant scene; a melting pot of cuisines from countries near and far. Mexican, Nepalese, Ethiopian, Greek, Jamaican, Polish, Korean, Thai, Sri Lankan…it’s all here and more. FlipKey recommends:
Boralia: See for yourself why travelers have described Boralia’s food as “one of the best meals of my life.” The menu is inspired by century-old dishes from Canada’s early settlers and immigrants, as well as traditional First Nations fare. Snack on red fife levain bread before splitting small plates of venison liver, cured trout and pigeon pie.
Campagnolo: Campagnolo is known for serving comfort food with an upscale flair. Small groups can pull up a seat at the bar to witness the chefs cooking up-close-and-personal. If you’re with a larger party, reserve the Chef’s Table and feast on a five-course meal handpicked just for you.
Colette Grand Cafe: Decadent French cuisine, impeccable style and an unparalleled dining experience is what you can expect at Colette Grand Cafe. Order the signature Tour de Colette to start and sample a variety of fish and shellfish, or jump straight to the mouthwatering duck confit for your main course.
El Catrin: If you’re craving something spicy, El Catrin is the place for you. Serving up authentic Mexican cuisine for brunch (weekends), lunch and dinner, this trendy spot is always a fabulous choice. From tacos and burritos to ceviches and small plates, El Catrin has something for everyone. Authentic Mexican food, an amazing atmosphere and attentive service are just some of the reasons travelers return again and again.
St. Lawrence Market: Crowds of people fill the aisles of the St. Lawrence Market each week to shop and sample the local fare. The market features over 120 specialty vendors offering everything from fresh produce to delicious baked goods. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a quick meal, you’re sure to find it here.
What to see in Toronto:
From renowned museums to hip breweries, a trip to Toronto is always full of surprises. Explore the city on foot to get the lay of the land and make sure to look out for the following top attractions.
Casa Loma: Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Toronto skyline, this majestic castle has served as the setting for a variety of film, TV and commercial shoots. Today, more than 350,000 people visit each year to tour the magnificent landmark. The $25 admission fee includes a self-guided audio tour and access to the castle’s spectacular suites, secret passages, 5-acre gardens and more.
Royal Ontario Museum: Set aside several hours to explore the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum. It contains a permanent collection of over six million objects and is packed with exhibits featuring incredible art, world cultures and natural history. Highlights include notable dinosaur collections and galleries that tell the story of Canada’s earliest societies.
Steam Whistle: Steam Whistle prides itself in brewing only one beer: an award-winning Pilsner. Visit the brewery for a tour and a taste of “Canada’s Premium Pilsner,” which pairs perfectly with a fresh-baked pretzel from the bar. Book a tour during the week or drop in on the weekend and learn the ins and outs of brewing from some of Canada’s best.
CN Tower: You can’t miss the CN Tower…literally. At more than 1,800 feet tall, it’s one of the tallest buildings in the world and features prominently in Toronto’s skyline. Take the elevator to the top for unparalleled views from the observation deck or take in the sights over dinner at 360 The Restaurant. If you’re feeling daring, buy a ticket to walk along the tower’s edge.
Hockey Hall of Fame: Test your prowess as a hockey fan at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The museum and half of fame offers fun for all ages. Learn about the sport’s legendary players, go one-on-one with animated versions of today’s players and view an unrivaled collection of photos, statistics, memorabilia and more.
What to experience in Toronto:
If you’d rather experience a new city than simply observe it then these activities are for you. and sail around the lake, or retreat to the spa—the choice is yours!
CityPASS: With Toronto’s CityPASS, you’ll gain access to some of the city’s best attractions while saving time and money. It’ll even allow you to skip the main lines at some places! The pass is valid for nine consecutive days from your first day of use, giving you plenty of time to explore at your own pace.
Elmwood Spa: From soothing massages to tranquil water treatments, Elmwood Spa is the place to go to escape the whir of city life. It’s located in downtown Toronto and offers an immaculate setting for utter relaxation. Book a lavish spa treatment and indulge yourself.
Tasty Tours Toronto: Steer clear of tourist traps, and uncover the best local spots in Toronto. With Tasty Tours, you can choose to discover the city’s top chocolate shops or make the rounds at Kensington Market. Your mouth will water as you sample sweet and savory treats over the course of three hours. Tours typically aren’t offered during the winter months, so plan ahead and look forward to experiencing Toronto with your own personal guide.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival: Whether you’re a filmmaker or just love a good movie, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is a must-see every spring. This year, the event takes place from April 27 through May 7 and over 200 films will be shown. It’s the largest documentary film festival in North America and totally worth the trip to Toronto.
Pirate Life Toronto: Join the crew and become a buccaneer for a day with Pirate Life Toronto! From May until October, the sailing adventure takes people on a hunt for sunken treasure around Centre Island. It’s an ideal outdoor activity for families with young children.
Catch a game: Root, root, root for the home team. Cheer on the Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre, or get rowdy at the Air Canada Centre during a Maple Leafs home game. Whether you prefer hockey or baseball, Toronto has a phenomenal sports scene and some of the most loyal fans.
Attend a Food Festival: Think a weekend isn’t enough time to sample all of Toronto’s cuisine? Think again. Attending a food festival is a great way to get a taste of all things Toronto. Set in Woodbine Park, the annual Toronto Food Truck Festival offers fabulous food, cold beer, live entertainment and exciting eating challenges. Admission is free, so you can save your money for the food samples. In June, buy a ticket to Taste of Toronto to have access to four days of exquisite eating and drinking. Time your trip wisely to attend one of the city’s popular festivals.
A day spent on the boat with family, the warm sun on your back, fishing rod at the ready – what could be better?
Of the thousands of charter fishing spots around the globe, a few stand out. Our picks have ideal offshore habitats for big game, along withwarm waters gorgeous scenery, and tropical weather.. We’ve included two of the best charter and guide services in each location to help you plan and book your trip.
Get your line in the water year round in these top fishing destinations:
For Lauderdale beaches offer 23 miles of golden sand and sunshine. Sail the blue-green waters on a chartered catamaran. Then, dive beneath the surface to meet-and-greet the local sea life. With Fort Lauderdale’s geographic proximity on the Atlantic coast, the gulfstream current passes just two miles offshore. If you have ever dreamt of catching marlins, sailfish, tuna, or even barracuda, Fort Lauderdale is for you.
“I have fished many charters and this was one of the best. The price was competitive, the boat was great, 14-foot bow which handles the waves incredibly well. The crew of Mark and Joe couldn’t have been nicer. Joe was energetic, never stopped moving. Captain Mark took us to where the fish were and was quick to spot line releases. Now the fish: we caught 14 tuna, two king mackerel, a silk shark, bonito and ramona. Probably a fish every 15 minutes! Great day!” – TripAdvisor review
“Most AWESOME time had today. Captain Rod and Ashley were both very attentive to all passengers needs. Captain Rod was SUPER great. He made sure that everybody caught a fish to go home with. He took us to spots where the moment I dropped my line, 5 seconds later I pulled up a fish! … Going back again in a couple of days to try night fishing! Highly recommended!” – TripAdvisor review
The Florida Keys are a wonderful vacation spot for families in search of relaxation or adventure. Take scenic U.S. Highway 1, known to locals as “The Overseas Highway” to get there. The area offers a unique fishing environment due to the structure of the islands. Edible, big game fish can be had year round. Florida Bay is referred to locally as the backcountry, home to five of the sought-after game fish among recreational anglers: bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook.
“I recently had the opportunity to go fishing with a large family group at the end of April on the Captain Michael. It happens that I was getting married the next day and we were looking to accommodate ~20 people fishing without having to pay for multiple boats, captains, split everyone up, etc. The party boat was the perfect solution. The mates Brett and Anthony were excellent, gave expert advice, and helped out significantly on the back of the boat keeping everyone baited up and moving. Even the captain, Ed, made sure everyone had a good time just by talking to individuals that were along for the ride and hanging out upstairs. We did include three kids in our party (4, 6, and 8 years old) who had a great time and all caught fish! I highly recommend it and will be going back. Thanks guys!” – TripAdvisor review
“My son and I stayed at Bud n Mary’s over the holiday break. My 10 yr old son and I made arrangements to fish with Captain Rick Stanczyk…. By far this was the BEST charter that I have EVER been on. We had 20 Jacks, 10 Mackerel, and 2 huge cobias by 10:30 am! Our arms and hands were tired from reeling in fish after fish after fish… It doesn’t stop there. My son caught a 300 lb bullshark shark and a black tip shark. I caught a rare Sawfish. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND RICK!!!! 5 Stars!!” – TripAdvisor review
This stretch of barrier islands extends along 200 miles of the North Carolina coast. They protect the state’s mainland from Atlantic swells and provide beaches and vistas. Charter fishing is one of the biggest draws for vacationing anglers, mainly due to the Outer Banks’ proximity to the Gulf Stream. In some areas, like Cape Point on Hatteras Island, the Gulf Stream is a just a 15-mile boat ride away. Hundreds of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish are caught and released in their waters every year.
“I live here in KDH and have gone out 3 times now! The crew is great, and it was so simple to set up. The day of our trip it was raining so they changed the hours of our trip. They held the boat for us since we were running late and they were so good about it! You can tell the captain and mate love what they do and Vanessa was so helpful with setting it up! Great atmosphere and it wasn’t crowded. Thank you and I will make sure to bring more friends and family back when they come back to visit!” – TripAdvisor reviews
“Awesome Crew!! Our group had a great time. The Captain showed his experience level when putting in the extra efforts to get a hold on the leader of a Blue Marlin. The mate made extra efforts to show hospitality and assist when needed. We would definitely recommend the Qualifier for an offshore trip!!” – Facebook review
Charleston is the oldest and second largest city in South Carolina. Its waters provide abundant fishing opportunities year round. In the flats and rivers around Charleston, angler’s find Red Drum, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Ladyfish, and Bluefish. The harbors and near shore waters offer Channel Bass, Spanish Mackerel, different types of sharks, and the elusive Tarpon.
“Had an absolute outstanding day on the water with Captain Geoff. We caught redfish non stop and they grew larger with each spot we went to. He consistently put us in the right spot and his knowledge and professionalism were excellent. I would definitely recommend him for your next charter. Geoff is the man!” – TripAdvisor review
“Capt. Legare is a very experienced hard working guide in the Charleston area. Puts you on fish and know the tides and waterways as if he had been on these waters his entire like and guess what . . . He has! Great equipment (Hell’s Bay flats skiff) arched with a great attitude” – TripAdvisor review
New Englanders consider Cape Cod a slice of heaven on Earth. Upscale seaside towns dot the 65-mile stretch of land in Massachusetts. Water sports abound, and yes, plenty of fish are just offshore for the catching. Popular species found in Cape Cod waters include striped bass, bluefish, bonito, tuna, cod, mackerel and even sharks.
“Starting out with Captain Ian at dawn we hoped to catch some fish but NEVER thought we would find ourselves in a pod of humpback whales off of Chatham. He keeps his boat meticulously clean and was constantly on the move to find the fish for us. In the end one striper and one blue fish as keepers but lots more that we threw back. He taught us some tricks about photographing our fish and then even filleted the fish for us on board so no guts back home. A great morning out on the water.” – TripAdvisor review
“From reserving the charter, to fishing, to you name it, Capt. Shane was the best. He and first mate Zak did a great job getting us out to the best fishing spots for striped bass, flawlessly maneuvering the boat to drift through the throngs of fish as we pulled them in one after another. Couldn’t have been better.” – TripAdvisor review
Miami’s reputation and strong Latin influence is well known. By night, dance the hours away in a nightclub, or indulge in a fancy meal at one of the city’s celebrity-owned restaurants. By day, hit South Beach and get a tan. Miami is an angler’s paradise, too. The coral reefs, fast current, and warm water support a diverse ecosystem. Miami’s stretch of ocean is teeming with sport fish that make for a delicious dinner or a great mount.
“Mark the Shark Hunter and his team are exceptional! This is a great fishing charter for a group of not “all fishermen”! … Everyone is sure to walk away satisfied! Oh yeah and I probably should mention the fish…I was first up and that King fish was amazing eating! Thanks to the entire crew for catering to us the entire day! We can’t wait to come back!” – TripAdvisor review
We had an excellent day out fishing with Orlando! He had all the right equipment, bait, and a great boat. He knew exactly where to go for whatever was the best fish to catch at that time of day. He was very knowledgeable about everything that had to do with the fish, explained everything and was very fun to be on a boat with for 5 hours! He also let us keep trying until we caught more before ending the day and once we were satisfied then we cruised back in. Bonus… we ended around 6pm so we got an amazing sunset cruise. Highly recommend Nomad Fishing Charter! Great day!” – TripAdvisor review
Galveston, TX is home to over 30 miles of clean, sandy beaches. Visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of swimming and surfing spots. The warm Gulf of Mexico is a perfect backdrop for your fishing expeditions. Kingfish, snapper, and dorado are abundant within 30 miles of shore. Go a little farther, particularly near the oil rigs, and you’ll find grouper, sailfish, even tuna.
“My two sons and I had a terrific time catching red snappers. The Captain and first mate were outstanding the whole trip, from port to snapper bed and back to port. We couldn’t have asked for better treatment. And the fish we brought back were very tasty.” – TripAdvisor reviews
“We have gone out with Captain Mike a few times now (trout, jetty, and shark fishing), and every trip has been excellent! Capt. Mike knows his fish! He is patience with everyone no matter what their skill level. He is great with kids or seasoned fisherman looking for a “mount worthy” catch! I would definitely recommend Get Bent! Galveston!” – TripAdvisor review
Blue skies, balmy breezes, and beautiful weather are hallmarks of the San Diego area. San Diego embodies laid-back California culture. Fishermen from around the world visit San Diego to fish the bountiful waters of the Pacific Ocean. San Diego is home to 75 state-of-the-art fishing vessels. Depending on the season, yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail, albacore, mahi-mahi, marlin and mako can be caught offshore.
“Awesome trip on the Malihini! Seriously, one of the best crews I’ve fished with, and I’ve been doing this a long time. The second captain Mike was really great, blending some humor with a lot of passion and friendliness. The captain fished really hard. Galley was great and the cook and other deckhands were also great. Seriously, can’t think of a single negative. Will go again soon.” – TripAdvisor review
“If you’re looking for a relaxing and fish filled day on San Diego Bay, Captain Alan Clowers is your guy. Our party of four, three generations, caught seven species of fish including 15 hard fighting Bonefish. Alan connects exceptionally well with kids ensuring a fun-filled day for all. I highly recommend Captain Clowers Charters.” – website review
Montauk is the small, quiet neighbor to The Hamptons. Known for its natural beauty, Montauk is surround by water on threes sides. Fishing, beachcombing, kayaking and surfing vie for your attention here. The summer season brings live music to the town’s pubs and cafes. Montauk is located over a hundred miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. All the fish from Long Island Sound and waters of Rhode Island and Massachusetts swim by on their annual migrations.
“The Blue Fin IV is simply the best most comfortable charter boat in Montauk. Capt. Michael has no weaknesses whether inshore trolling, bottom fishing (Michael can anchor on the smallest piece there is) or off shore big game fishing. His second generation local knowledge can not be matched. Don’t make the mistake I made, bring large coolers to bring your fresh catch home, he supplied the ice for the coolers too!” – TripAdvisor review
“I’ve been on many fishing charters down in Florida, but this was my first time going out on a charter in Montauk – Capt’n Burt and the crew were great and my friends and I had a ton of fun! Unlike some of my other experiences where the captains have been somewhat apathetic about your experience and not willing to make your time on the water unique (or successful), Burt and the crew were total opposites (plus his boat was clean – bonus!). … When we got back to the docks it was clear that we’d had a much better day compared to the other boats – most of our fish were keepers over 15-20lbs. Fishing with Burt was definitely a highlight of our trip!” – TripAdvisor review
Seward is one of Alaska’s oldest and scenic communities. Three hours south from Anchorage, this seaside village is a combo of shops, galleries, and nature. A sparkling bay for fishing and a rugged mountain flank the village. The Kenai Fjords National Park and Mount Marathon are major draws for tourists, too. Visit during August for the Silver Salmon Derby, the state’s largest. You can get out on the water and cast your line for several-hundred-pound halibut or salmon.
“We were on the all day combo halibut and Salmon with only 6 passengers. Neil was our captain and went out of his way to try and help everyone catch halibut and salmon. The weather was amazing that day and we also saw quite a few hump back and killer whales our boat caught 7 halibut and 3 silvers. I would definitely recommend taking a fishing trip with this outfit.” – TripAdvisor review
If you want to catch a lot of fish and have a great time doing it use Fish Seward Alaska. Captains and crew are excellent and will put you on fish all day long. Service is first class! I will be back next year because it will take me that long to eat the fish we caught.” TripAdvisor review
Often overshadowed by nearby metropolises, America’s most charming small towns prove that bigger isn’t always better. Offering unrivaled peace and quiet and captivating local attractions, they provide travelers with the ultimate escape from the mundane of day-to-day responsibilities. Sounds pretty great, right?
Because small towns don’t always get as much mention as classic vacation destinations like Orlando or Wailea, we’ve rounded up the best in the country and ranked them in order of the most bookings on FlipKey in 2016. From the unspoiled beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains to the striking shores of Washington, there’s a small town for every traveler on our list. With less than 100 vacation rentals available in each place and populations under 60,000, these are the most popular destinations for travelers looking to live like a local.
Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of the Florida Panhandle, St. George Island offers visitors miles of pristine beaches, untouched natural beauty in a charming seaside setting. Bask in the sun at the beach or sip a mai tai at an oceanside bar. Rain or shine, this island has endless opportunities for fun.
Known for Gettysburg National Battlefield and its well-preserved Civil War-era homes, storefronts and taverns, Gettysburg is a city steeped in history. Discover the local history by exploring the Gettysburg Museum of History or taking a ghost tour through the area. If history doesn’t pique your interest, enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby winery or get your adrenaline pumping on an outdoor adventure through the surrounding countryside.
Laguna Beach is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Set along the picturesque shores of the Pacific Ocean, the area’s beaches are its main attraction. Snorkel and body-surf at Main Beach or make friends with the locals for a game of beach volleyball. In the afternoon, reapply sunscreen and go for a walk at Heisler Park. Once the sun sets, stroll the charming streets for window shopping and a hip place for dinner.
Book a vacation home on the range and plan your adventure in Livingston. This small town’s natural beauty is always on display as it’s situated on the banks of the Yellowstone River and surrounded by majestic mountains. You’ll feel a million miles away from your everyday worries during your trip to Livingston.
Just 30 miles from Boston, Cape Ann feels a million miles away. Home to four coastal communities – Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport – the area offers some of New England’s finest beaches and most charming town centers. Inhale the refreshing, salty air, snap a selfie in front of a lighthouse or lose track of time at a museum. Cape Ann is guaranteed to be a good time.
From black, brown and white sand beaches to snow-capped volcanos, Hilo’s unrivaled landscape has something for every traveler. Climb to the top of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa for panoramic island views, follow trails through the thick of the rainforest to a secluded waterfall or simply plant yourself on a beach, shaved ice in hand.
Tempted by the thought of an island getaway? Then plan a trip to Whidbey Island, a picturesque vacation destination in the Puget Sound. Wide-open beaches and scenic nature reserves provide unmatched settings for memorable outdoor adventures.
Retreat to this island any time of year and stay steps from the water’s edge to enjoy its total tranquility.
Hot Springs’ visitors will enjoy a wealth of natural beauty and Southern charm during their stay. The city is set among several hot springs for which the city is named for and many attractions are set within the area’s beautiful landscape. Whether you explore the Ouachita Mountains on foot or discover this small town’s storied history, Hot Springs is a must-visit.
The perfect balance of small town charm and big city conveniences, Logan is an ideal place for a weekend getaway. Its quaint Main Street offers a variety of diners and shops, while the outskirts of town boast refreshing relaxation. Roam the wilderness of nearby Hocking Hills State Park during the day and cozy up around the fire in a Logan vacation home in the evening.
Wildwood is home to delightful seaside attractions and some of the best beaches on the Jersey Shore. Visit during the summer months to soak up sun and stroll barefoot along the boardwalk. During the off-season, take advantage of lower rental prices and take in the piece of Americana that is Wildwood.
Maggie Valley has it all: trickling streams, rugged mountains, a vibrant town center and so much more. Whether you desire a high-energy mountain adventure or a relaxing stay amidst nature, this small town destination should be on your bucket list. Explore the network of hiking trails that wind through the area, wine and dine at local restaurants and breathe in the fresh mountain air of Maggie Valley.
Just a short drive from the popular tourist destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Townsend is a quiet mountain town ideal for escaping it all. It lies along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and boasts an abundance of things to do among the area’s breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you hike up a mountain or go tubing down a river, there’s never a dull moment here!
With plummeting temperatures, gusty winds and occasional snow flurries, the winter months can feel excruciatingly long. As the days get shorter and colder, fight the urge to hibernate and plan a warm weather escape to Myrtle Beach. Situated along South Carolina’s majestic Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach boasts temperatures from the upper-50s to upper-60s all winter-long. Perhaps not beach weather, but it’s warm enough to shed a few layers, forgo the mittens, and bask in the sunshine.
Myrtle Beach condo rental prices drop significantly in the low season, making winter an affordable time to visit. Condos often include access to a larger resort’s amenities, such as high-end fitness centers, private pools and ample parking. FlipKey has over 1,400 condos in Myrtle Beach to choose from and we’re highlighting some of the best condos for every budget here. Book your getaway then reap the benefits of condo-living during your stay.
What travelers are saying: “This was my first time to Myrtle Beach and I must say I wished I came here my whole life. The condo was amazing, beautiful decor, and very clean. Felt like I was at a home instead of a hotel. I am coming back very soon.”
Step through the doorway of this oceanfront condo and let the colorful island decor transport you to a tropical oasis. Although you might be tempted to sink into the overstuffed couches upon arrival, make your way to the balcony for incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. Inside, the bedroom features two queen-size beds and the living room is equipped with a sleeper sofa, Murphy Bed and loveseat. While the condo can sleep up to eight people, it’s most suitable for families and groups that are a mix of adults and children.
The resort, Sandcastle South, has enough to keep you busy throughout your trip. Soak in one of two oceanfront hot tubs, grill dinner by the gazebo or grab a drink at the bar before a beach walk at sunset. You’ll feel totally relaxed at this popular Myrtle Beach destination.
What travelers are saying: “This condo was absolutely awesome. The view was spectacular. The beds were very comfortable. Everything was very roomy. It was close to everything. This was one of the best beach trips we have had in a very long time.”
Whether you rent this oceanfront condo for a weekend getaway or an extended stay, you’ll feel at ease here. The condo has two bedrooms and comfortably sleeps 10 guests. Plus, two full-size bathrooms mean you’ll never have to wait long to shower off sand from the beach. The condo also features a fully tiled floor that makes clearing up sand a breeze. During your stay, enjoy amenities like free parking, access to the resort’s business center, a hot tub and pool and a convenient path to the beach.
What travelers are saying: “Views, pools and beach were excellent. I was impressed. This was a spacious, quiet place. I highly recommend and intend to return to again next summer.”
This luxury four-bedroom condo at the Ocean Blue Resort can easily accommodate up to 12 people. Call dibs on the master bedroom to enjoy magnificent oceanfront vistas from the king-sized bed and access to the balcony. The adjoining master bath features a lavish jetted tub, a walk-in shower and beautiful granite countertops. Down the hall, a second bedroom also offers views of the Atlantic and an attached bathroom. The remaining two bedrooms offer queen-sized beds with a twin-sized overhead bunk and a shared bathroom. Buttery-soft leather couches and a flat-screen TV can be found in the living room, while the kitchen is fully-loaded with all the essentials.
Another perk of staying in this condo? You’ll have full access to the resort’s extensive amenities! Float down the lazy river (if it’s warm enough) or keep up your fitness routine in the on-site gym. With everything you could possibly need at your fingertips, you’ll feel like there’s no need to leave the comfort of your Myrtle Beach condo. If you decide to explore, you’ll find many popular dining, shopping and golfing options within a mile.
What travelers are saying: “Worth every dollar! Super clean, spacious condo, with everything you need in there. Overall, it is an outstanding place, private secured access, gorgeous poolside, we even used grill located by the poolside.”
Pass through the gates of the Savannah Shores community to access this affordable condo in Myrtle Beach. The complex is situated along a network of biking and walking trails connecting it to nearby beaches and the Arcadian Shores Golf Club. Other attractions like Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach and Restaurant Row are just around the corner, making it an ideal location for small groups looking to be in the heart of it all.
The condo is professionally and beautifully decorated. Settle in on the plush living room couch for a movie night or use the stainless steel appliances to cook a gourmet meal during your stay. At night, send the kids to the daybed (with trundle) in the condo’s half bedroom while you retreat to the master bedroom with its queen-size bed, flat screen TV and master bath. The condo comfortably sleeps up to four guests. Additional amenities include an in-unit washer and dryer and access to a communal grilling area, playground and designer swimming pool.
What travelers are saying: “This condo was more than we expected and in a great location. Attractions were a walk away or a very short drive. The owners of the condo were very helpful and polite. Will definitely stay at this condo again if I am ever back in Myrtle Beach!”
Enjoy luxurious amenities and beautiful furnishings for an affordable price when you book this condo. With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, fourteen people can comfortably stay here. The open concept kitchen and living room space create extra room to hang out together and the 50′ HDTV allows for fun nights in during your stay. Need more reasons why this is one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach? It has an in-unit washer and dryer, two balconies, an ideal location and so much more.
This unit is located in the Myrtle Beach Villas II complex, which offers a winding lazy river, a kiddie water park and plenty of places for poolside lounging. Additionally, it is centrally located just blocks from popular attractions like the Family Kingdom Amusement and Water Park Ocean Boulevard.
What travelers are saying: “What an amazing vacation and unit. The unit was in immaculate condition and the location was tremendous right in the middle of Myrtle Beach. We were close to food and golf, and the oceanfront views from the balcony were beautiful. Would definitely recommend this unit to anyone.”
Relax and listen to the steady crash of waves from the spacious balcony of this ninth floor unit. Inside, the whimsical beach decor, gleaming granite countertops and LED TVS only add to the appeal. With a king-size bed in the master bedroom and a Murphy bed and queen-size sleeper sofa, this seaside escape has room for six guests.
The Coral Beach Resort offers some of the best condos in Myrtle Beach and the property is ideal for vacationing families. There are 10 water attractions, including indoor and outdoor pools, kiddie pools, a children’s water park and a lazy river, as well nightly poolside karaoke. When you’re not in the water, take advantage of the resort’s activity center, video arcade game room and bowling alley. Your kids won’t want to leave!
What travelers are saying: “A gem of a rental overlooking a beautiful golf course. Vanessa’s place is pristine with the most fabulous beach theme. The condo overlooks a golf course and has a pool within the grounds. We will return for sure.”
Your vacation rental doesn’t need to have a spectacular ocean view for it to be considered one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach. This quiet, top floor unit overlooks the lush greens of the Myrtlewood Golf Course, while its charming coastal theme exudes relaxing beach vibes. Prepare a meal in the fully-stocked kitchen or make yourself comfortable in the spacious living room. The bedroom features access to a private bathroom, a large closet and a flat-screen TV, while the living room couch pulls out into a queen-size bed to accommodate two more guests.
What travelers are saying: “What a beautiful place to stay! The condo itself is lovely with a huge enclosed porch overlooking the lake, perfect place to enjoy coffee in the morning and a cocktail at night! The grounds are great with so much to do, pool, beach, volleyball courts just to name a few activities.”
Pack your golf clubs and head to this Kingston Plantation Resort condo for the perfect Myrtle Beach getaway. This rental is situated within the resort’s pristine 145-acre grounds and the rolling fairways of the Arcadian Shores Golf Club are only a short walk away. With access to two oceanfront restaurants, a health club and private swimming pool, you may not want to leave…
When you’re not trying to get a hole-in-one, relax inside this newly remodeled condo. It boasts a beautiful lake view from the screened-in porch and all of the comforts of home, like clean linens, cable TV and a washer and dryer. This is one of the best condos in Myrtle Beach for small groups looking for a bargain.
What travelers are saying: “There were three couples and we had ample sleeping and lounging space in the condo. I loved the location of the property and the view of the sun rising. We had a peaceful stay and I would highly recommend this condo to all types of families…great choice!!!”
Many of the best condos in Myrtle Beach don’t have sweeping ocean views or humongous pools; they have convenient access to nearby golf courses. This three bedroom, three bathroom condo at the Barefoot Resort & Golf offers exactly that. Guests are invited to enjoy the four professionally designed, world-class golf courses that Barefoot Resort offers: the Norman course, the Davis Love course, the Dye course and the Fazio course. Hang out in the elegant clubhouse before hitting the links for a leisurely round of golf during your vacation.
When you’re not golfing, this second-story end unit provides a peaceful escape. It’s equipped with cable TV, all of your kitchen essentials and there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out in this spacious condo. Unwind on your private deck or explore the resort’s grounds and discover all there is to do at this complex.
A group getaway sounds like a fun time – but securing a costly block of hotel rooms and dealing with the small space is difficult. Whether traveling with family or friends, book a vacation rental instead. You’ll have space, privacy, and amenities you’re used to at home.
Below we’ve listed the top vacation destinations with thousands of rentals on FlipKey that sleep 8 or more people.. We’ve included restaurant, activity, and attraction suggestions, plus one of the best rentals offered in each destination.
About Davenport: Davenport, Florida: the gateway to Disney. The theme park is the number one reason that families flock here (or nearby Orlando) each year. Take advantage of the area’s other family theme parks, including Universal Studios and Busch Gardens. To beat the heat, check out one of the local water parks. Davenport is also known for its golf courses. For a group that enjoys nature, nearby Little Big Econ State Forest offers miles of hiking and biking trails.
About Topsail Island: Topsail Island is a barrier island near Wilmington, North Carolina. With dense forests and nature preserves hugging a sandy coastline, Topsail Island is diverse and beautiful. Surf culture runs deep here, as the island’s waters are the perfect temperature year-round. One of the unique attractions on Topsail Island is the turtle sanctuary, which preserves the habitat of the island’s growing turtle population.
About Steamboat Springs: Known as “Ski Town, U.S.A,” Steamboat, Colorado is the ideal family ski and mountain vacation getaway. Leave the car at home and ride Steamboat’s free ski shuttle that will get you to the gondola in minutes. Though known best for its slopes, Steamboat Springs transforms into a group activity paradise in summertime. Hike and bike the trails, or just relax in your luxurious rental.
About Miramar Beach: Just a short drive from Destin along the Emerald Coast Parkway, Miramar Beach offers a postcard perfect Florida vacation. Miramar Beach is between Fort Walton Beach and Grayton Beach State Park, two of Florida’s most popular attractions. Your group will love the relative romantic quiet of Miramar and the friendly locals.
About Martha’s Vineyard: As one of America’s top destinations on the east coast, Martha’s Vineyard is a mix of beach bliss with cosmopolitan shopping, dining, and nightlife venues. Martha’s Vineyard is known for its beautiful rocky coastlines, situated at the end of the island, from Oak Bluffs to the ferry. Stroll the quaint side streets and look for antiques, or take a whale watching tour. Watch the sun descend behind the Gay Head Cliffs lighthouse, still lit by modern day keepers.
About Santa Rosa Beach: Step outside your vacation rental onto white sand beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Your group can swim, snorkel, sail, or sun amidst a clear blue water backdrop. Spend your days biking along the Santa Rosa coastline and through the nearby Point Washington State Forest, which includes more than 10 miles of trails. Also, be sure to explore the fine art galleries and museums, enjoy luxury spas, and indulge in world-class dining after the sun goes down.
About Anaheim: Located in the heart of Orange County, Anaheim offers a textbook California group getaway. As the legendary home of Disneyland and several other popular Anaheim theme parks, this region was made for children and children at heart. Don’t overlook the aspects of southern California that appeal to grown-ups as well. Tour vineyard country and experience a seasonal wine tasting. Visit the beach and spend an afternoon soaking up the golden sun. Play golf or see a live show together during your stay.
About Oahu: Oahu is a melting pot of ethnicities, activities and personalities. As the governmental and cultural capital of Hawaii, Oahu has a pulse like none other. Honolulu and Waikiki flank the southern coast, perhaps the most visited area in Hawaii. Honolulu combines the laid-back island feel with the fast-paced action of a city. Waikiki has been voted one of the best beaches globally countless times. At the opposite end of the island, the North Shore is a top global surfing spot,offering 20-foot waves
About Nags Head: Known for high sand dunes visible for miles, Nags Head has recently become one of the most popular resort towns in North Carolina. If you are looking for high end boutique or fine dining within the town, head to East Mall Drive and Croatan Highway. At Jockey’s Ridge State Park, in addition to climbing the large dunes, it’s possible to take hang gliding lessons. A multi-use path goes through the town along the ocean, ideal for a long walk or bike ride with your large group.
About Nantucket: The Atlantic Ocean crashes onto a shoreline of windswept beaches and rocky cliffs in Nantucket, MA. When traveling around Nantucket leave the car at home, and choose from different bike paths that criss-cross the island. Ride past beautiful rolling golf courses, chowder shacks, and traditional New England cottages. Tour centuries-old lighthouses, spend a day at Surfside Beach, or visit the whaling museum. Enjoy the upscale luxury of a Nantucket vacation.
The iconic Las Vegas sign welcomes visitors to the city.
About Las Vegas: Las Vegas is legendary for its casinos, but this city also offers spectacular sights, a wild nightlife, and an interesting museum scene. During the day, take a walk or drive along the strip just to take in the atmosphere. While the daytime offers plenty of things to do, it’s after nightfall that Las Vegas truly comes alive. In town for a Vegas theme wedding? The Little Chapel of Flowers is famous for quickie nuptials. Off the strip, Red Rock Canyon Tours is a great way to enjoy Nevada’s natural beauty as a group.
We’re back with a new list of the top Instragram accounts to follow – and although we nominated many qualified users last year – we may have outdone ourselves with this year’s batch. We think these award-winners do a fantastic job of making you feel like you’re abroad, even if you’re just scrolling through your phone. Let these incredible Instagram accounts show you corners of the globe you may never see in person. Better yet: let them inspire you to book a FlipKey rental and start planning your next trip right now, not later.
Kiersten Rich is a lifestyle blogger who quit her successful career in corporate finance to travel the world. Her incredible pictures highlighting everything from fashion to food to festivals will have you wanting to do the same.
Are you into beautiful beaches, picturesque swimming pools and cool cocktails around the world? Luxury travel blogger Christina Vidal’s Instagram is full of fabulous adventures in more than 50 countries around the world. Following her glamorous, sun-soaked lifestyle will have you green with envy.
Le Postcard is dedicated to showing off the luxe travel habits of jet-setters around the globe, showcasing some of the most glamorous holiday locations in the world as well as the essential products you need to vacation in style.
For adventure, Vancouver-based Alex is your go-to Instagrammer. He creates a world straight out of The Wild with his incredible landscapes. Based out of beautiful Vancouver, Alex’s photos are crisp and awe-inspiring.
Ryan’s goofball Instagram is pure fun. He never ceases to make you jealous of his awesome vacations and even better personality. From photos of the Greek Isles to the BVI’s to the Caribbean to Mexico, he will definitely inspire you to Pause the Moment to travel the world.
Siddhartha Joshi Punekar’s Instagram feed is a visual treat for any culturally-focused traveler. From Andhra Pradesh to the streets of Cardona, Spain—his visual representation of unique adventures across the world are undoubtedly worth a follow.
Based in New York, Sam Horine is the perfect combination of photographer and explorer. When he isn’t Instagramming, he’s teaching classes at NYU and contributing photos to top NY publications. His viewpoints and elegantly raw cityscapes will leave you breathless.
Matt Long is the ultimate travel blogger, writer, and photographer. We love his adventurous photography as well as his beautifully-written long paragraph descriptions. Not many Instagrammers can captivate an always-scrolling audience like he can.
Spending time outdoors has endless benefits; it encourages healthy living, makes exercise more fun, boosts vitamin D intake and can make you happier overall. As you plan your next vacation, keep these benefits in mind and shake up your travel plans with an outdoor adventure in Gatlinburg, a destination known for its scenic Smoky Mountain landscape and endless opportunities for outdoor exploration.
To inspire you, we’ve rounded up the best trails in Gatlinburg where you can enjoy fresh air and reap the many benefits of the great outdoors. Whether you’re hiking solo, with your friends or with your dog, the trails on our list are conquerable by hikers of all levels year-round. At the end of the day, retreat to a cozy cabin rental in Gatlinburg (FlipKey has more than 2,500!) where you can continue to enjoy the awe-inspiring Smoky Mountains from the comfort of a hot tub or wrap-around deck.
The best trails in Gatlinburg
Alum Cave Trail
A stream flows along the Alum Cave Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Alum Cave Trail isn’t the steepest or longest trail in Gatlinburg, but its stunning panoramic views and interesting geological features make it a must-visit. Embark from the trailhead on Newfound Gap Road to begin your trek to the summit of Mt. LeConte. Just over a mile in, you’ll find Arch Rock, a prominent landmark and one of the trail’s highlights. Maneuver through this narrow, arched tunnel in order to continue along the Alum Cave Trail.
As the trail steepens, the spectacular views and natural landmarks become even more rewarding. Hike past mountain laurel and rhododendron bushes on the way to Inspiration Point. This is a great spot to catch your breath and take in the views of the rugged valley below. You won’t regret it…
Climb farther up the trail and you’ll reach the namesake: Alum Cave. This landmark is actually a gigantic, concave bluff that dwarfs hikers in size and offers shelter from the elements on less than ideal days. Use caution as you enter the cave if you’re hiking during the winter, though. Icicles frequently drop from the top of the 80-foot bluff and shatter on the surrounding rocks. Upon entering, let the feeling of accomplishment inside you swell as you gaze out over the mountainous landscape.
Why hike this trail? To see out-of-this-world sunrises and sunsets from the top!
Chimney Top Trail
A spectacular autumn morning in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is pictured.
If you’re in good shape or a veteran hiker, don’t let the Chimney Tops Trail intimidate you. The steep two-mile climb and rugged landscape can be managed with a bit of both bravery and caution. Take comfort in knowing that while the Chimney Tops Trail is challenging, it is one of the shorter hikes in Gatlinburg. Phew!
The first section of the trail is easy and pleasingly picturesque. It winds among rhododendrons and mountain laurel past the rushing waters of Road Prong Creek. As you follow the trail and get deeper into the Great Smoky National Park, you’ll cross over wooden bridges and ascend stairs carved into the side of the mountain. After about a mile, you’ll reach the halfway point at the Beech Flats trail junction. Many hikers choose to turn back at this point, but the views at the top are worth forging on for another mile to the summit. Veer to the right to stay on the path toward the Chimney Tops.
The last mile of the trail gains elevation at the same rate as some of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. It climbs over 960 feet until leveling out at a bare rock summit. Here, hikers are rewarded with incredible 360-degree views of Gatlinburg scenery. To the east, Mt. LeConte and Mt. Kephart dominate the landscape, while Sugarland Mountain commands views of the west.
Why hike this trail? You’ll experience a sense of accomplishment from completing this challenging hike that will make you feel on top of the world (literally!).
The Gatlinburg Trail is a great choice for people traveling with pets.
Beginning at the Sugarland Visitor Center, the Gatlinburg Trail is an easy 3.8-mile out and back hike that winds through a portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail itself is mostly flat and follows the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River through the landscape. While the park is open year-round, its natural beauty peaks in the autumn months when leaves turn eye-popping shades of red and yellow. If you prefer fewer crowds, bundle up and go for a hike during the winter when you can stop to reflect along the river uninterrupted. Tranquility, found.
If you’re a novice hiker or traveling solo, the Gatlinburg Trail is a great choice because it isn’t too challenging and is rarely empty. It’s also one of only two in the area where your dog can hit the trail at your side.
Why hike this trail? It’s more of a pleasant nature walk (with your dog!) than a vigorous hike.
Grotto Falls Trail
Grotto Falls is a beautiful waterfall at the end of one of the best trails in Gatlinburg.
Take a short drive out of Gatlinburg to get to Grotto Falls Trail. Upon entering the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you’ll find a parking area just off of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Set out from the Trillium Gap Trailhead on the opposite road in order to pick up the path leading to Grotto Falls.
A round trip hike to Grotto Falls takes the average hiker about two hours to complete. The trail meanders through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for just over two and a half miles until reaching the cascading Grotto Falls. Large hemlocks shade the worn path all year long, while colorful wildflowers dazzle hikers during the springtime.
As you near the end of the trail, you’ll hear the roar of water as it plunges into a pool. The 25-foot high, Instagram-worthy waterfall is a spectacular site and a cool and shady spot for hikers to take a break. Watch your step while exploring the area surrounding Grotto Falls because it is perpetually wet and slippery. Commemorate your hike with a photo looking through the falls.
Why hike this trail? It’s the only trail in the Smokies where you can take a photo from behind a waterfall.
The best time to hike in Gatlinburg
The best time to go hiking in Gatlinburg depends on preference. If you want the trails to yourself, plan your trip for January or February. The weather isn’t as cold as you might think and many travelers find it preferable to the peak summer heat. Another perk of visiting during the winter is that the bare trees allow for better, unobstructed views.
If colorful natural beauty is what you’re visiting for then visiting during the spring and autumn months is ideal. Springtime brings vibrant wildflowers, lush mountain laurel and all of the trees are heavy with leaves. During autumn, hues of red, yellow and orange brighten up the trees and the fall foliage is phenomenal.
Whether your group is entirely made up of avid hikers or you simply want to relax, the Bearskin Lodge has something for every traveler. This magnificent cabin comfortably sleeps up to 27 people and is just a short drive from many of the best trails in Gatlinburg.
The Bearskin Lodge also has one-of-a-kind game room that features stand-up arcade games, a pool table and an air hockey table. If you’re too tired from exploring Gatlinburg during the day, cozy up in the home theater room to watch a movie or spread out and make use of all eleven TVs in the cabin. (Yes, you read that correctly!) Creature comforts provided at this Gatlinburg rental include a fully-equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer, wireless internet and so much more.
This cozy cabin rental is less than four miles from the main entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park where travelers will find some of the best trails in Gatlinburg. It is ideal for couples in search of a secluded getaway and travelers who want to have the option of outdoor adventure at their fingertips.
While many log homes offer only the basics, A Smoky Mountain Dream is anything but bare. The cabin features a gas fireplace with beautiful floor-to-ceiling stonework, an outdoor hot tub to soak in after an exhilarating hike and access to resort amenities like a kid-friendly playground and spacious pavilion. Cook dinner in the fully-equipped kitchen or make the short drive to downtown Gatlinburg where you’ll have your pick of great restaurants.
If you’re planning an action-packed vacation exploring the best trails in Gatlinburg, you’ll want to book this brand new cabin as your retreat. It has many of the comforts of home with an upscale kitchen, spa-inspired master bath and total privacy, while its unobstructed views of the Smoky Mountains, four firesplaces and luxurious Jacuzzi tub will keep you in vacation mode. The cabin is located within Bear Foot Mountain resort near the center of Gatlinburg, so many of the city’s top restaurants are at your fingertrips for when you’re in need of a hearty meal after your day of hiking.
This secluded cabin is on the outskirts of town and offers access to many of the best trails in Gatlinburg.
Although this cabin is only three miles from downtown Gatlinburg, you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle when you stay here. Its tranquil setting makes it the perfect place to relax and recharge surrounded by nature. Sit on the porch swing and you’ll hear birds chirp, leaves rustle and water flow as you enjoy the great outdoors.
Offering enough space to comfortably house 10 people, it includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms, a large, fully-equipped kitchen and lots of personal touches that incorporate the local flora and fauna throughout the cabin. During your stay, challenge yourself to find all 140 bears that are creatively blended into the decor of this cabin. We dare you!
Whether you’re traveling with a curious toddler or a reluctant teen, it can be difficult to find a destination that pleases everyone.
That tried and tested trip to Disney isn’t your only option; we’ve highlighted six US destinations with a small-town feel and a wealth of unique attractions your children will love. The cities on our list will extend a warm welcome and offer your family the chance to create life-long memories.
FlipKey has a variety of vacation rentals to choose from in all six locations. You’ll enjoy big savings, extra space and amenities like fully-stocked kitchens, beautiful backyards and the benefits make them a no-brainer for your family vacation. By booking a rental, your family can enjoy extra space to spread out and avoid getting on each other’s nerves, and amenities like fully stocked kitchens and free Wi-Fi offer all of the comforts of home.
Tucked deep within the Ozarks, Fayetteville appeals to families looking for a breath of fresh air, a friendly atmosphere and lots to do. Explore the city’s natural beauty on display in community gardens and state parks or stroll past shops and restaurants downtown. When school is in session, the city comes alive rallying around its hometown University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Stay in a spacious vacation rental and surround yourself with the excitement of Fayetteville.
For more than 30 years, the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad has been navigating trains through scenic mountains and valleys in Northwest Arkansas. Take a seat in an antique railcar or parlor coach, sit back and let the hum of the train transport you back in time as you travel in the style of a bygone era. Choose between one-way and roundtrip excursions to nearby towns, or opt for a full-day adventure that includes a layover for shopping and dining.
Unlike many public gardens in the country, the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks was created as a result of an entirely volunteer-led, grassroots effort. Today, the garden draws more than 80,000 visitors through its gates each year. Chase your kids along the tree-lined boardwalk that winds through twelve themed gardens or take your time in the region’s only butterfly house.
Visit Hello Cocoa and you will enjoy a chocolate experience like no other. Every handcrafted, chocolatey morsel produced at the small-batch factory is of the highest quality and made from bean-to-bar Cocoa. One bite and you’ll be asking yourself why you never tried Hello Cocoa’s chocolate before. Because only the finest ingredients are used, you can relax about letting your child have a sugary treat.
Even your kids will think you’re cool if you take them to Terra Studios. This hip wonderland of art sparks visitors’ inner creativity through its workshops, demos and displays. If you’re looking for a hands-on family activity, sign up for a class in the Art Lab. Need some inspiration first? Explore the 6-acre Art Park, which is decorated by sprawling sculpture gardens, colorful murals and beautiful art installations.
The Jones Center offers fun during every season, and the massive complex boasts an ice skating rink, swimming pool, gymnastics area and many more kid-friendly activities. If you visit at the beginning of the month, take advantage of First Friday Kids Night. The event offers high-energy fun in the form of challenging, inflatable obstacle courses, themed arts and crafts and much, much more. The recreation schedules are updated weekly, so check for your favorite activities before your visit.
Although it’s just a short drive from the bustle of Washington, DC, Rockville feels like a million miles away. It’s regarded as one of the best small cities in America and has a comforting environment that instantly puts visitors at ease. Smiles on the street are always returned by friendly residents and there is an attraction for visitors of all ages and interests. Choose from a variety of FlipKey rentals in the Rockville area that will make your family vacation one for the memory books.
Tucked away in suburban Maryland is Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge, a grandiose log cabin-style restaurant that will amaze your children. Seat yourself near the fireplace in The Great Room, a majestic 200 year old barn from Vermont that serves as the heart of the Tower Oaks Lodge. The restaurant offers a kid-pleasing menu of finger foods and a regular menu that will satisfy the adults, too.
Soar past the treetops of Rock Creek Regional Park on a Go Ape! adventure. Suspended in the air, you’ll tackle obstacles in between exhilarating zip line rides and experience the area’s breathtaking scenery like never before. The Rock Creek course is suitable for visitors age 10 and up and the minimum height requirement is 4’7”.
Best suited for elementary and middle school-aged children, KID museum offers a slew of workshops and programs designed to inspire kids to build a better world. The museum’s hands-on experiences promote science, technology, art and the exploration of world cultures, while sparking every child’s innate sense of curiosity.
The Montgomery County Nature Center is the perfect place for visitors to enjoy the region’s natural beauty. Interactive educational displays will satisfy your little ones’ curiosity about what lives in the wild, while older children will appreciate some time to explore the nature trails on their own. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to take a moment to simply admire the beautiful surroundings.
VisArts Rockville has come a long way since its humble beginnings in a converted garage. Today, the facility welcomes more than 25,000 visitors through its doors each year. Classes offered include sessions on drawing animals, the production of comic strips and exploration with watercolor paints. Get your creative juices flowing beforehand by browsing the works of art on display in the gallery.
Grand Rapids is an ideal choice for a family vacation because it combines the pleasures and conveniences of big city life with the charm and affordability of a small town. The city is easy to navigate and has a host of available rentals to accommodate small and large families. Spend your days taking advantage of indoor and outdoor activities in Grand Rapids before diving into the reinvigorated downtown scene in the evenings.
Catch Air is a premier indoor play center for children age 10 and under. Visitors will find numerous inflatables that are set up for little ones to bounce on and a three story, soft play structure that calls for endless exploration. Other interactive activities include a bubble dance party and a mesmerizing laser show. No need to rush your kids at Catch Air since there’s no time limit for the price of admission.
Packed into 500-square feet is Furniture City Creamery, a charming ice cream shop with a rotation of over 65 flavors. Every gallon of ice cream served here is made from scratch using only ingredients from local Michigan businesses. Flavors change daily so you’ll want to return to sample something new. Furniture City Creamery also offers ice cream making classes where you can learn the basics of making ice cream. Check the schedule before your trip and sign up your family for an evening of fun.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum’s mission is centered on the value of play for kids. From storytelling and finger painting to planting seeds and blowing bubbles, there is no shortage of playtime here. The museum even offers a “kid-size” version of Grand Rapids known as “Little GR”! Watch as your kids shop the aisles of a mini Meijer grocery store or browse books at the Little GR Library. Plan to spend several hours here so your kids can explore the all of the unique exhibits.
Attending a Lollipop Concert is the perfect compromise between an elegant evening at a symphony concert and an entertaining children’s show. Parents will love listening to the classical music, while kids will be mesmerized by the rhythmic performances and colorful costumes of dancers on stage. Grand Rapids Symphony has a way of bringing timeless childhood tales like Peter and the Wolf to life and renewing families’ interest in classic children’s literature.
From an indoor trampoline arena and foam pit to a Ninja Warrior course set to open in 2017, Rebounderz Grand Rapids has everything a kid could dream of (and more!). Let your kids take flight from the beds of trampolines during a game of Air Dodgeball, or watch as they launch themselves off the JumpXtreme Tower. Whether you spring for the “Unlimited Jump” pass or fit in as much trampoline time as you can in 30 minutes, there’s never a dull moment at this “extreme fun center.”
Columbia will surprise you with its picturesque parks, world-class art and impeccable dining options. Start your trip in the downtown district where you’ll find eclectic eateries, vibrant shops and a friendly atmosphere that you’ll want to return home with. If there’s time, branch out to nearby mid-Missouri destinations like Jefferson City and the Lake of the Ozarks less than an hour away. Whether you surround yourself with nature, indulge in the local cuisine or learn something new, Columbia has endless possibilities.
Is there anything a cup of creamy, slow-churned frozen custard can’t cure? Not if it’s from Andy’s Frozen Custard, which has been making this specialty for more than three decades. Only the finest ingredients are used, and the custard is always served within one hour of being made. If you’re looking for a little something extra, order a concrete: a frozen custard blended with sauces and chunky mix-ins.
If your children love playing dress-up and are interested in dance, then add a Missouri Contemporary Ballet performance to your to-do list. It’s the only professional dance company in mid-Missouri and offers a full schedule of world-class productions. Top dancers take the stage and enthrall viewers with their graceful movements and beautiful performances every time.
Be on the lookout for white-tailed deer, wild turkey and over 100 species of birds while exploring Runge Conservation Nature Center. The conservation area is known for its peaceful nature viewing and includes five hiking trails of varying difficulty for visitors to explore. Catch your breath while looking at an exhibit highlighting Missouri habitats or sit down for a picnic lunch at the park’s pavilion.
Part history museum, part art gallery, this Columbia attraction tells the story of decades’ worth of Boone County’s history. Interesting artifacts and local records are always on display, while larger exhibits rotate every four to 12 months. Admission to the museum is free and only $5 for a guided tour of the Village at Boone Junction.
If Chapel Hill’s reputation as “the southern part of Heaven” isn’t tempting enough, its exquisite food and the locals’ neighborly disposition will surely change your mind. The city was established to serve the needs of UNC-Chapel Hill, but it has rapidly emerged as a hot spot for tourism. Franklin Street is hailed as the place to go for the city’s most popular coffee shops, museums and bars, while Southern Village is known for its green space and community areas. Rent a modern apartment downtown and experience Chapel Hill like a local.
The 1870 Farm takes visitors back to a time before smartphones and televisions took up much of our leisure time, when picking wildflowers and gathering eggs was enough to entertain children. The farm is just minutes from the bustling UNC Campus but its pristine acres of land make it feel worlds away. Cast your fishing line into the stocked pond to reel in a catfish, relax in the farmhouse or help feed the alpaca. No two trips to the farm are alike.
Operated by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Ackland Art Museum features a massive permanent collection of over 18,000 works of art. From premier Asian and European art collections to contemporary masterpieces, this museum has a little something for everyone. In addition to ever-changing exhibits and displays, the Ackland Art Museum offers several children’s programs for budding artists. Programs include guided tours of select galleries followed by the opportunity for kids to create their own works of art.
Sometimes the easiest way to please the entire family is to eat out. Al’s Burger Shack offers an All-American menu and a casual atmosphere that families will love. Try the “Bobo Chili Cheeseburger” prepared with chili sauce, slaw and yellow mustard oozing out from under the bun, or order the “Dirty Dog” made with tomato, jalapeno, hot sauce and pimento cheese. Everything at Al’s Burger Shack is made-to-order, so even families with the pickiest eaters can find something to enjoy.
Kidzu Children’s Museum’s mission is to inspire “purposeful play” through a variety of hands-on exhibits and programs. Kids can stretch their imagination playing with puppets on the stage of the museum’s Forest Theater or learn about healthy living in the “Farm to Fork” play area. This children’s museum is perfect for children of all ages.
Preservation Chapel Hill began in 1973 as an effort to save one historic building. Today, it is dedicated to preserving all of the historic architecture and cultural landscapes of Chapel Hill. Start at Preservation Chapel Hill’s office in the Horace William House, the only restored home open to the public, to see original woodwork, mantles and floors from the 1800s. After, take a self-guided tour of the community exploring the historic district along East Franklin Street, the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery, and more.
Situated in the heart of America, Sioux Falls welcomes its visitors with warm hospitality and a wealth of family-friendly attractions. Those traveling with children in particular will appreciate the city’s blend of small-town atmosphere and big-city entertainment. Book a spacious Sioux Falls home for less than $100 per night and enjoy being only minutes from any given location no matter where you stay.
Through interactive exhibits and educational displays, the Butterfly House & Marine Cove inspires visitors to learn about and appreciate the environment. Step into a world of colorful, fluttering butterflies at the Butterfly House. It’s kept at a balmy 80 degrees so that the hundreds of tropical butterflies that call it home can thrive. Curious kids will be delighted when they dip their hand in water and are greeted by friendly stingrays at the Shark & Stingray Touch Pool. Other popular exhibits include the Pacific Tide Pool and the Marine Cove.
From Monday through Wednesday, the Museum of Visual Arts offers many hands-on activities for kids. The inspiring atmosphere encourages children to channel their imaginations and build Lego masterpieces, create kid-size playgrounds out of foam blocks and so much more. No registration is required for groups of 10 or less and all childrens’ activities are free. If your kids are no longer entertained by Barbies and Legos, set out as a family to explore the museum’s two art galleries featuring art from local and international artists.
Just 30 minutes outside of Sioux Falls is Porter Sculpture Park, a positively one-of-a-kind attraction that boasts over 50 larger-than-life works of art. Each piece has been lovingly handcrafted by the sculptor, Wayne Porter, who spends much of his time at the park enjoying his spectacular sculptures and meeting visitors. The best part about this family-friendly attraction? Unlike at museums, you don’t have to worry about keeping your kids from touching the art. Everyone’s welcome to feel each piece of art and take lots of photos. The colorful sculptures are a truly unexpected delight for travelers exploring the Sioux Falls area.
At The Outdoor Campus, kids are encouraged to turn off the television and spend time outside enjoying nature. From “Jr. Naturalist” classes specializing in native South Dakota fishes to nature-inspired storytelling, there’s a class for every age and interest. Keep in mind that while all youth programs at The Outdoor Campus are free, some adult classes do have a materials fee. Pre-registration is required for all classes and programs, so make sure to reserve a spot for your family before your vacation begins.
It’s not time to hibernate just yet! With the cold bite of winter not set to arrive until December 21, now is the time to get outdoors and check those last few fall activities off your list.
From apple and pumpkin picking to navigating corn mazes, we’ve rounded up the top places in America to experience six classic fall activities. Each spot is renowned for its gorgeous scenery, family-friendly attractions, and most importantly its ability to provide a day of seasonal fun.
Book yourself a cozy vacation rental, pack the flannel, and make the most of the fall season before winter sets in.
From mid-August until mid-December, Carter Mountain Orchard offers 16 different varieties of apples available for picking. Hike through the acres of orchards nestled in the mountains of Virginia, and fill your sack with a variety of apples, including Fuji, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Pink Lady.
Don’t let the enticing aroma of pies, cider and doughnuts from the Apple Barrel deter you from the fun of picking your own apples at Lyman Orchards. (Or, at least not until you’ve had your fill of picking for the day!) Lyman Orchards has been growing fruit on the same land along the Connecticut River for more than a century, so head here for a classic apple picking experience.
Peaches aren’t the only succulent fruit grown in Georgia. During the fall, apples hang from the trees and ripen for plucking at Red Apple Barn. The orchard opens for weekend apple picking in September and only closes in October once the trees are bare. Apple varieties available here include Gala, Honeycrisp and Red Delicious. Keep in mind that they ripen at different times during the season, so plan your trip ahead of time if you have a favorite.
Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, Sky Top Orchard offers unparalleled panoramic views in addition to a long list of apple varieties. Work up an apple-tite exploring the grounds then taste lots of apple goods like freshly pressed cider and hot caramel apples. There is nothing quite like spending a fall day at Sky Top Orchard.
Apple picking is a highlight of fall at Terhune Orchards. The season brings bushels of pick-your-own fruit, and a walk through the orchard’s apple trees is the perfect way to disguise exercise as a fun activity. The aroma of baked goods from the Farm Store will tempt you inside to sample some fall treats before you leave.
Apples and fall go hand-in-hand at Westwind Orchard. From McIntosh to Cortland apples, many varieties are grown at this orchard and they’re available for picking from mid-August until they run out, typically in October. The fruits produced here are certified organic and absolutely delicious.
For nearly 20 years, Mike’s Maze has been creating a challenging new corn maze for guests to explore every fall. When you’re not surrounded by towering cornstalks, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of New England’s fall foliage during the day. Once the sun sets, bundle up and brave the corn maze under the cover of darkness. This nighttime attraction is known as “Mike’s at Night” and features varying levels of scary as you make your way through the maze.
Boasting “a-maizing adventures” and “farmtastic family fun,” a trip to Poppell Farms is never disappointing. This year, its 10-acre corn maze has been custom-designed to feature Peanuts themes and characters in honor of the 50th anniversary of the television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. More than 30,000 visitors are expected to visit Poppell Farms this season.
From late-September through October, kids and adults alike flock to the Queens County Farm Museum to take on the challenge of making their way out of the corn maze. Begin by getting tips about finding clues and solving puzzles during “Stalk Talk,” and then venture into the maze to see how quickly you can escape. The theme of the maze this year is “The Big Apple.”
The Maize at Sherman Farm features 12 acres of farm-related fun set in a sprawling maze of corn. Intricate designs, riddles and corn-themed games add to the challenge of making your way through the outdoor labyrinth. Admission is $10 and gives you access most activities throughout the farm.
The corn maze at Siegel’s Cottonwood Farms will test even the best sense of direction. It is spread out over 15 acres of land and offers visitors five miles of cornstalk-lined paths to choose from. The maze is open on weekends during the fall and the farm features an additional 30 seasonal attractions that make for a full day of fall activities.
Even the most skilled navigators will agree that the corn maze at Treinen Farm can be extremely disorienting. It’s made up of over six miles of winding paths and features clues for getting out of the maze along the way. As well as the reward of completing the maze, there are chances to win prizes if you find secret locations that aren’t shown on the map. Expect the maze to take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to complete.
Set on hundreds of acres of land, Donaldson Farms features lots of fall attractions for the young and young-at-heart. One of the most popular attractions at the farm is its seasonal hayrides. Horses pull an open wagon full of visitors through the farmland of Hackettstown providing the perfect backdrop for fall photo-ops.
Every acre bursts of Miller’s Big Red Farms bursts with something delicious to discover. Take a hay ride past rows of apple trees and colorful pumpkin patches to inspire what you’ll do next at this charming farm.
With a bale of hay as your seat, sit back and relax as a tractor pulls you around Northern Star Farm under the night sky. The hay ride typically lasts about 30 minutes before dropping guests off at a bonfire on the grounds. Warm up by the fire and trade stories over food and drink with other visitors.
Patterson Farm offers many fall activities all with the aim of inspiring visitors to get outdoors and create memories on the farm. The tractor-pulled hayrides here are fun for all ages and take guests through fields and pumpkin patches on gorgeous fall days.
Sit back and relax on a scenic hay wagon ride at Smolak Farms. Choose a “hop-on hayride” during the day to take in the beautiful landscape of fir trees, beehives and fragrant fruit orchards, or purchase a ticket for a night ride for stargazing and fun at a nearby bonfire site. This fall, Smolak Farms also offers an Alice in Wonderland themed hayride that features a narration of the storybook on limited weekends.
On Saturdays and Sundays in October, Wolfe’s Neck Farm offers its guests hayrides out to its picturesque pumpkin patch. Climb into the back of its open-air wagon and relax as a tractor pulls you past the magnificent fall foliage.
Get lost in a sea of orange at Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch. Guests can pick their own pumpkins straight off the vines from mid-September to early November. Whether you’re looking for a perfectly round orange pumpkin, a warty one, or pumpkins of blue and white varieties, you’ll find a huge assortment at this pumpkin patch.
Harris Hill Farm offers a pick-your-own pumpkin patch open to visitors on weekends during the month of October. The family-owned farm is one of the area’s premier pumpkin growers, specializing in both large and mini pumpkins, as well as a variety of other fall crops that include gourds, winter squash and Indian corn. With five acres of pumpkins, you’re sure to find the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern at Harris Hill Farm.
Every October, Jubilee Farm welcomes guests to its pumpkin patch to celebrate another bountiful harvest. Admission is free and the farm takes pickers out to the pumpkin patch via hay ride at no cost. Explore the rows of plump pumpkins while sipping freshly-pressed cider at this community farm in the Seattle area.
The pumpkin patch has been a vital part of Mitchell Farms for more than a decade. Besides offering pumpkins galore, visit this farm for a weekend of fun fall activities. Favorites include taking a wagon ride tour of the land, getting lost in a corn maze, wandering through a field of sunflowers and climbing aboard the Pumpkin Express train.
Start a new fall family tradition pumpkin picking at the Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch. Across a whopping eight acres of pumpkin picking grounds, you’ll find several unique varieties including Cinderella and ghost pumpkins. Purchase a wristband to gain entry to the patch and stroll along with one of the farm’s wagons in tow.
While it’s known for its impressive apple orchard, The Community Orchard is also home to a magnificent pumpkin patch that features 12 different varieties. Ranging in size, shape and color, there is a pumpkin for every kid and kid-at-heart here. Head straight to the patch or board the Pumpkin Cruiser for a tour of the farm.
Pumpkin works its way into some of Cupcake Royale’s most mouthwatering creations during the fall. One taste of this shop’s Pumpkin Maple cupcake and you’ll immediately feel transported to a charming pumpkin patch surrounded by colorful foliage. The batter is made with pumpkin from Stahlbush Island and the cream cheese frosting has just the right amount of maple.
The pumpkin beer from Newport Storm by Coastal Brewing is equivalent to fall in a pint glass. The seasonal favorite “R.I.P. Pumpkin” boasts three pounds of pumpkin per keg, a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves, as well a variety of other flavorful ingredients. Take a self-guided tour of the brewery before enjoying a tasting of seasonal brews.
The apple cider doughnuts at Puritan & Company are a little known secret in Cambridge. They’re not on the daily menu, but ask for them during Sunday brunch during the fall and your taste buds will be delighted. They pair perfectly with a bubbly mimosa.
You’re in for a treat when you visit Rare Sweets during the fall. The Apple & Fall Spice Cake is a season favorite that features a sweet vanilla cake with housemade apple butter and fall spice icing. It’s worth every extra calorie.
A taste of the Deep Dish Chocolate Fudge Pecan Pie from Three Brothers Bakery will have you starting a new fall tradition with your family. The pie is made from scratch and packed with delicious pecans, gooey fudge and a crumbly crust. Not a fan of nuts? Try the Pumpecapple piecake or “the Turducken of pie and cake”, which has three layers of fall sweetness.
Two words sum up fall at this craft distillery: Maple Spirit. It’s made from fermented maple distilled in a copper pot still. The smooth spirit is then aged in Hungarian oak barrels for extra flavor until it takes on a warm amber color. You won’t taste anything like it!
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