If you’re a dog owner, there’s no doubt you consider your furry companion part of the family. But when it comes to taking a trip, he/she can make things a little tricky. Fear not! Here are our top pet-friendly vacations across America where your pooch pals are just as welcome as you are.
Top Dog-Friendly USA Vacations
If you’re the kind of traveler who just can’t bear to leave the dog at home, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of trying to book a getaway catering for both people and pets. Can my dog stay in this hotel? Can he/she visit the local coffee shop, or sit with me while I eat at a restaurant? And is there anywhere that allows dogs to run and play off the leash?
Vacation rentals are particularly good for this type of trip, as many accept animals and you’ll avoid the obstacles you might experience in other types of accommodation: cramped spaces, no outdoor area, or, most awkward of all, sharing communal areas with people who just don’t like dogs.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the residents of San Diego are barking mad about dogs, so you’ll meet little resistance if you’re bringing a furry companion. Try lunch at the Patio on Lamont at Pacific Beach, where there’s tasty Californian cuisine for you, as well as home-made dog biscuits for canines. There’s also the dog-friendly terrace at the Pier Café on West Harbor Drive. Have a run about at Nate’s Point Off-Leash Dog Park at Balboa Park (open 24 hours) or explore the dunes and surf of Fiesta Island. And why not go all out and book a pet photoshoot with Feather & Fur Pet Photography?
“Karen’s cottage is exactly as advertised. We brought our two dogs and it was a great property for them as well as a wonderful neighborhood to walk them in. The cottage is well furnished and lacks for nothing.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Pets are most definitely invited in charming Bar Harbor. Sit on the deck at Stewman’s Lobster Pound Downtown, order yourself something delicious, and then check out the special doggie menu for your furball. Margaret Todd Windjammer Cruises accept dogs on board, so you can sail around Frenchman Bay without leaving your favorite companion at the rental. Keep the leash on when exploring Acadia National Park, except at the Little Long Pond Leash-Free Area, where animals can run free.
West Austin Dog Park is a friendly place for pups and owners, and there’s also the park at Auditorium Shores, which has access to the water. If your dog’s particularly fond of swimming, head to the Red Bud Isle pensinsula for plenty of off-leash fun and lots of water to play in. In February, there’s a popular Mardi Gras Dog Parade, and there are a few other doggy events held throughout the year. Pick up some treats at the Groovy Dog Bakery to keep Fido happy back at the rental while you head out to hear some of that famous Austin live music.
Your first stop here should be Huntington Dog Beach, a stretch of true doggy heaven. Dog owners work hard to keep this place clean and the dogs under control, so it’s a pleasant place to visit. If you’re lucky, you might even see a four-legged creature whizzing past on a surfboard. Only in California… After all the excitement of the dog beach, you can book your pet in to freshen up in the Doggie Spa at Seacliff Village.
“This cabin is older and rustic but it was clean and cute. The fact that it was dog friendly was enough for us because we didn’t have to pay boarding fees…or miss our dogs. The cabin was quiet and had beautiful views. This was a very pleasant place to cook, have dinner on the back deck, drink a glass of wine, and watch the sunset.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Asheville’s got plenty to offer its canine tourists. There are 220 acres of grounds to cover with your pet at the Biltmore Estate, and there’s an onsite kennel where you can park the pooch while you tour the historic house. There’s also the French Broad River Dog Park, with a fenced-off, wood-chipped acre to run around in, and the river to splash in, too. Check out the Woof Gang Bakery for premium animal treats and toys. At Play with Sparky is a doggie daycare facility you could make use of if you’d like to tackle the more challenging local hiking trails sans dog.
Time to introduce the dog to the buzz of Key West! The Key West Dog Beach is small but friendly, and your pet is free to play in the waves to their heart’s content. If you’d like to get right out on the water together, get in touch with Lazy Dog Kayak and enjoy the surroundings as you paddle along. Get your fresh seafood order in at Nine One Five Bistro and watch the world go by together on the dog-friendly terrace.
You’ll find plenty of other happy dogs living it up in Atlanta. For lots of running space, try the Piedmont Dog Park, a designated off-leash area with a separate space for smaller animals. Pets are welcome on leashes at the Freedom Park and you’ll love discovering the peaceful Chattahoochee River National Recreation Park together. Let your dog take a well-deserved snooze at your pet-friendly rental while you hit the exciting bars and restaurants Atlanta has to offer.
This impressive city is studded with monuments and cultural institutions, many of them free to enter. Simply settle the dog back at your cozy rental to see the sights that are better for people than pups, then swing back to pick up your playmate and head out for a dog-friendly excursion. Enjoy a leashed walk in leafy Montrose Park, or try the off-leash zones at Shaw Dog Park, S Street Dog Park, and the designated dog run on the waterfront at The Yards Park. Canines can expect a warm welcome, a bowl of water, and a bit of a fuss from staff on the terrace of the friendly Logan Tavern.
Known for its skiing, beaches, and stunning alpine lake, this place is also a lovely spot to visit with the dog in tow. The Bijou Dog Park has shady areas, picnic tables, and fresh water to keep pets happy and hydrated. Pretty Kiva Beach is also dog-friendly as long as you keep the leash on. There’s a cage-free dog care facility called Tahoe Best Friends, where you can leave your pup in total comfort while you head out for a sophisticated dinner.
Four-legged friends are most definitely welcome in this scenic port city. The Java Dog Coffee House serves great coffee, dog treats, and welcomes dogs inside and out. The George Restaurant on the Riverwalk offers a range of tasty Southern dishes, and furry friends can join you on the deck outside. Take advantage of two acres of galloping room at the off-leash Wilmington Dog Park within Empie Park, complete with fencing and separate areas for pups large and small.
“The condo was clean, new, and modern. The location in downtown Portland was perfect! I look forward to my next vacation to Portland so I can stay here again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
How’s this for dog-friendly? Head down to the Tin Shed Garden Café on a Tuesday night to enjoy a free item from the dog menu for each human-friendly dish you order. Bargain! There are some nice off-leash sections for dogs in Chimney Park and Mt. Tabor Park. No visit to Portland is complete without ordering from its world-famous food carts. You can sign up for an official Portland Food Cart Tour and bring your leashed dog along too.
Sunny Albuquerque is a great choice for a vacation, with its endless sunshine, desert vistas, and punchy local flavors. It’s particularly good for those traveling with dogs, as it has more than 10 designated dog parks. North Domingo Baca Dog Park offers a wood-chipped play area, with separate spaces for big and small animals, and some shady spots. There’s also the Rio Grande Triangle Park, Coronado Park, Montessa Dog Park, and more.
“The fixtures in this two bedroom, 1.5 bath condo are high-grade: wide wood floor planks, granite kitchen counter tops, and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding treetops. Your dog will enjoy running across acres of freshly mowed fields between the house and the rural one-lane road.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Here you’ve got the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, where there’s plenty for you and your canine companion to look at on a scenic drive. Grab a burger at Miller’s in the dog-friendly outdoor area or some Cajun catfish on the large patio at the Timberwood Grille. Treat your pooch to a runaround at Azalea Dog Park or Chris Greene Lake Park—the latter has a roped doggy swimming area.
Rich in vineyards and characterized by its long, narrow bodies of water, the Finger Lakes area is a fascinating place to visit. This is wine country, but don’t feel like you can’t take your pet with you if you want to sample a local bottle. Many wineries around here allow dogs—just call first to check their policy. You’ll also find plenty of pet-friendly vacation rentals to make everyone feel perfectly at home.
One thing you’ll notice in Flagstaff is that a lot of the locals are dog owners. Many an establishment has its own furry incumbent ready to welcome you, so you won’t have a problem taking your dog out and about in the area. Diablo Burger has a pet-friendly patio where dogs can rest under a shady table while you enjoy one of the hefty house burgers. You can also get some great deals on vacation rentals in this area, leaving you more cash to spend on other things, like dog biscuits. Check out Thorpe Park Bark Park (try saying that really quickly), where you’ll find agility equipment and plenty of room for exercising.
Santa Barbara’s lovely wide beaches and sophisticated center attract visitors all year round. Dog owners should head to the Douglas Family Preserve, where there’s an off-leash beach and walking trails. There’s also an off-leash area at nearby Hendry’s Beach, or Arroyo Burro Beach. At the end of a day on the sands, you can relax with a craft beer and some dinner at the Brewhouse—you’ll be happy to hear it has its own dog-friendly menu, too.
Norm’s Eatery & Ale House isn’t just dog-friendly, it’s dog-themed. The walls are dotted with pooch portraits and you’ll find plenty of canine company already enjoying the surroundings when you arrive. Bark Espresso allows dogs outside or in their special hound-friendly lounge. Elegant Washington Park Arboretum welcomes dogs on leashes and Warren G. Magnuson Park has an off-leash area with some water access. Don’t miss the Fremont Oktoberfest Dogtoberfest, which welcomes leashed pets on the Sunday of the Oktoberfest extravaganza.
There are some pretty impressive attractions up here, including the craggy carvings of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the monumental buttes and spires of the Badlands National Park. Dogs are only allowed in restricted areas of the Badlands, but there’s plenty of forest and mountainside to discover with your leashed pet in the Black Hills. The little hub of Hill City has a lot of dog-friendly establishments, including the Naked Winery Tasting Room, where dogs are allowed on the patio, and the veranda of the Alpine Inn, a great lunch spot.
The area around this beautiful and sprawling reservoir is known for its fantastic golf courses, wineries, and, of course, water sports. There are several dog-friendly hubs around here, one being the waterfront Dog Days Bar & Grill at Osage Beach, where they host a Canine Cannonball jumping contest each year. To the south in Branson, you’ll find Elmo and Rosalea Marrs Dog Park, complete with agility equipment, picnic tables, and plenty of room to play. If you need to do a little fur-free sightseeing, check your dog into Branson Pet Resort, where they’ll be well looked after while you investigate the environs.
In friendly Rehoboth Beach you can explore the lively boardwalk, packed with entertainment and places to eat, or treat the family to a day at Jungle Jim’s Water Park, where you’ll find slides, go-karting, and mini-golf. Delaware Seashore State Park welcomes leashed dogs to play in the surf and on the sands, and The Big Chill Cantina is a pooch-friendly place for a drink at the end of the day.
“Coquina Cottage was perfect! We are used to the resort experience, but I have to say that this was just what we needed! We took our two dogs, Bella and Sadie with us… No need to bring a lot with you because everything was provided that we needed to enjoy our stay. We will certainly return again.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Sanibel Island is a cheerful vacation spot for pets and owners. Gulfside Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, is a good doggy destination, with calm, shallow waters to gallop through and sands strewn with beautiful seashells. Like all of the local beaches, dogs are very welcome, but you should keep them on the leash. Be sure to drop into the Island Paws pet shop for nutritious treats and high-quality toys.
Historic Nantucket Island is bordered with sandy stretches where dogs are welcome to roam on their leashes, such as Francis Street Beach and Surfside Beach. You can take your dog out on the water on a private charter with Endeavor Sailing Excursions or sit back and relax with a drink at the dog-friendly Cisco Brewers.
Dubbed “Brooklyn on the beach” by the New York Times, this Jersey Shore destination is on the up—and it’s getting its fair share of dog tourism. The famous Wonder Bar club and music venue hosts a popular Doggie Yappy Hour, where you can chill with a drink while your dog socializes in the large fenced area outside. There are two pools for them to splash in, dog biscuits at the bar, and there’s an organised dog run twice a week. The 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a fun spot, with plenty of canines enjoying the shallows and the dunes—check beforehand for timings as there are some restrictions.
The beautiful mountain resort of Stowe has two mountains to conquer and a lovely New England village to uncover. Smugglers Notch State Park is breathtaking and accepts all adventurers (including leashed dogs). When you’re done with your hike, you might want to try the Double IPA at the dog-friendly Alchemist Brewery. In nearby Jericho, Mills Riverside Park provides some beautiful meadows for dogs to explore—watch out for the signage telling you which areas are on or off-leash.
We love Fort Myers for its great shopping, fishing, and beaches. Bring Fido to Barkingham Dog Park or Woof-a-Hatchee Dog Park, both fenced and off-leash parks with watering stations and separate areas for big and small dogs. Two of the more fascinating attractions in the area are the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. Though not dog-friendly, we’d be remiss to leave them unmentioned. These neighboring properties were the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and you can still explore the laboratory, homes, and gardens. With a pet-friendly rental, it’ll be no problem to leave your dog at the house while you experience these and other great Fort Myers attractions. Just be sure to bring them a treat when you return!
Secluded cabin rental for two? Step right this way for tried and tested romantic destinations where love is most definitely in the air.
Romantic Cabin Getaways Loved By Travelers
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 for romantic cabin getaways, 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 locations across America had the highest percentage of reviews mentioning romance. What’s left are some of the top romantic cabin getaways that travelers rave about—each boasting secluded cabin rentals available to book on FlipKey. No matter the season, these inviting destinations make excellent retreats for couples in need of some time away together.
There’s no doubt that a cabin makes a pretty romantic setting, whether it’s nestled high up in the mountains or perched on a cliff by the sea. When you book a secluded cabin rental with FlipKey, you get the whole property and its amenities to yourselves, so you can take your morning coffee on a private porch, in a scenic garden, or tucked up in bed with a jaw-dropping view.
Here are 15 traveler favorites for romantic cabin getaways, from red-rocked desert towns to pretty lakeside villages.
A couple of hours’ drive away from the throng of San Francisco on a rugged stretch of Cali coast is where you’ll find lovely Jenner. This coastal village is ripe for seal-spotting, beach-combing, and uninterrupted ocean-gazing, and it’s one of the quieter spots featured in this list. Peace at last.
“This home exceeded our high expectations. First, the view took my breath away; it never got old. The elevation and combination of door walls, windows and screened porch off the back and side of the home provide a treehouse atmosphere, while cozy woodwork and furnishings convey warmth. We spent many hours sitting in the screen porch enjoying the sounds of birds and crickets chirping.” — FlipKey Reviewer
On the shores of Lake Michigan stands the small town of Saugatuck. Leave your stresses at the door of your rental—it’s time to relax. You can chill out on Oval Beach, hike across Saugatuck Dunes State Park, or browse the little art galleries in town. Alternatively, you could simply go from cabin to beach to cabin every day, making the most of your time out together.
Here’s another beautifully quiet place to hole up in a secluded cabin hideaway. When you’re ready to venture out, try a gentle forest walk in Lake Logan State Park or go boating on a lake full of catfish. At nearby Hocking Hills State Park, don’t miss the atmospheric Rock House, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls.
“The house is perfect for a family or a couple looking for a centrally located place to stay with gorgeous views of the Gorge. It’s comfy and walking distance to eateries and local grocery stores. Can’t really ask for more than that. Nicely equipped for our needs along with a garage spot and laundry. We’re already looking at dates for a summer visit so we can enjoy the deck and a wonderful glass of wine.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Hood River ticks all the boxes for romantic cabin getaways, with the scenic Columbia River flowing by, plenty of hiking trails for long walks, and picnic stops for undisturbed lunches for two. There are also plenty of good places to eat here, with farm-fresh food lending a truly local touch.
People used to come to Manitou Springs to drink the naturally carbonated mineral water, thought to have healing powers. You can still taste it today, but if you’re here for romance, you’ll probably want to chug along taking in the views from the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Here, the highest cog train in the world will take you up through a romantic landscape of rocky terrain and pine forest, finishing with gorgeous views over the Great Plains. Don’t miss the amazing Manitou Cliff Dwellings, preserved Anasazi homes full of artifacts to explore.
Not many people, plenty of space, and uninterrupted Pacific views. Sounds pretty romantic to us. Just book your private cabin and you’re all set for the couple’s trip of a lifetime. Driving the coastal road along this breathtaking stretch of California is up there with our all-time favorite activities—do make a stop to snap the famous Bixby Bridge in all its glory.
“Very gracious family home. We had a wonderful time. This home had everything for amenities.” — FlipKey Reviewer
It’s easy to see why so many couples choose Aspen for their romantic cabin getaways. Take a horse and carriage ride, ascend the mountain on the Silver Queen Gondola for awe-inspiring views, or book your places on the Aspen Cooking School’s culinary course for couples. We’re sure your first visit won’t be your last.
Discover the towering Redwoods, ocean views, and Victorian seaside homes of pretty Mendocino. There are beaches and walking paths to wander at Mendocino Headlands State Park, plus some charming villages to visit in the surrounding area. Just up the road is Fort Bragg, with its glistening Glass Beach and the Skunk Train chugging gently through the forest.
This is gold-rush territory, so you may want to start your visit at the fascinating Dahlonega Gold Museum, before wading into the river to pan for some of the sparkly stuff yourselves. After that, explore the pleasant historic center, which welcomes you in for romantic wanderings among its 19th-century structures.
“We love it. The yard is huge with 2 types of grills and a fire pit. The view is phenomenal. The interior is beautiful. The owner is very nice and easy to work with.” — FlipKey Reviewer
This is the cabin capital of Virginia, so you’re in the right place for a romantic cabin retreat. Luray is set in the spectacular Shenandoah Valley, so you can set off to fish and hike in Shenandoah National Park or paddle on the river. A visit to the atmospheric Luray Caverns is a must, with its lofty caverns and huge natural rock formations, all beautifully lit for visitors.
This area is rich in cozy cabins with glorious views. From spelunking to spa days, there’s plenty to keep couples entertained. Be sure to motor along the Blue Ridge Parkway with the top down for the ultimate romantic drive. Stop off along the way at the curious Blowing Rock itself, which directs the mountain winds upwards.
The mountain resort of Stowe is stunning throughout the seasons, whether you’re here to ski, leaf-peep, or simply escape the daily grind. This is one for the outdoorsy types, so peel yourselves out of your secluded cabin rental and get involved in the season’s activities. Finish up the day with an intimate meal, accompanied by remarkable alpine views, at the Austrian-style Cliff House Restaurant.
The lake is the focal point of romantic cabin getaways in Lake George, so be sure to board a traditional steamboat for a daytime tour of the shore, or, even better, a romantic dinner cruise when the sun goes down. Take a drive or hike up Prospect Mountain for unbeatable views of the surrounding area, or set off to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves to see the largest marble cave in the east.
Leavenworth is utterly charming all year round, with its Bavarian character and warm welcome. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through town in the spring, sleigh rides through the snow in the winter, and wine-tasting sessions whatever the weather. Simply heaven.
“We had everything we needed here for a comfy stay and we loved the location just minutes from Bell Rock trail and convenient to attractions, food and whatever you want to do in Sedona. The beds were comfy, the home was stocked with pots and pans and dishes, coffee and tea, plenty of towels, bedding and wifi.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Ok, ok, you won’t actually find a wealth of cabin rentals here in sunny Sedona. But this place scored way too highly on the travelers’ romance scale to be left out of this list. Whatever kind of rental you choose, expect a scenic desert town bordered with pine forests and imposing red rock. You can enjoy this striking landscape on a jeep tour, or head out just the two of you to catch some sun and slip down the natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park.
According to travel reviewers on FlipKey, these US spots have the top-rated vacation rentals for hosting a girls’ weekend getaway.
USA’s Top Girls’ Weekend Getaway Ideas
Millions of travelers have written about their bachelorette weekends and annual girlfriend getaways, so we dove into their reviews to identify the most popular girls’ trip ideas in the country. Put simply, our algorithm analyzed every property review on FlipKey* to identify the destinations with the highest-rated rental homes for hosting a girls’ trip. Whether you’re looking to head to the beach, visit a spa, or dance the night away in the city, we’ve spotlighted 15 of our favorite places (and their must-visit spas!) that are sure to offer an unforgettable girls’ weekend.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, use FlipKey to find the right rental for the right price. Booking a vacation home will score you extra bedrooms and bathrooms, while many also offer fun extras like private hot tubs, fire pits, beach gear, and more. Whether you’re searching for an urban oasis or waterfront condo, you’ll find plenty to choose from for your girls’ weekend getaway.
So, what are you waiting for? Call up your girlfriends and pack your weekend bag—we bet it won’t take much convincing once they see our list of top spots for a girls’ trip.
“This house is beautiful and impeccably kept! We will be returning next year for another girlfriends weekend—hopefully for many more birthday celebrations!” – FlipKey Traveler
Relaxing on vast verandas, sipping mint juleps, and touring historic antebellum mansions—Savannah is the picture of the ultimate girls’ weekend getaway. Known for its Southern charm and abundant hospitality, it’s one of the oldest cities in Georgia and a popular spot for travelers, young and old. Explore Savannah on foot, pose for a photo in Forsyth Park, or dine on fresh seafood and creamy grits. No matter what you choose to do during your stay, everyone in your group will agree that Savannah is the ideal spot for your next girls’ trip!
Grand old Victorians, natural springs spas, spirited nightlife, and thrilling horse races: Saratoga Springs has everything a girl needs for a one-of-a-kind weekend with the girls. The Upstate New York destination’s bubbling mineral springs put it on the map, and today city’s the waters are still touted for their healing powers. Spoil yourself at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa after the adrenaline rush of betting on horses at the Saratoga Race Course. Use your down time to sweat it out on a jog around Congress Park or unwind in the comfort of your vacation rental. With so many things to do in Saratoga Springs, you might need two trips!
There’s no better way to relax and recharge than by spending 48 hours at the beach in Wilmington with your best girlfriends. Tucked away on the picturesque coast of North Carolina, this spot offers countless things to do. When you arrive, head to the Riverwalk, a central location for checking out the local shops and restaurants, and explore this scenic mile of boardwalk. Later, pamper yourself at the spa or acquaint yourself with the local history at Bellamy Mansion. Whether you choose to rent a spacious home in the historic district or a coastal retreat on the water, you’re sure to enjoy a carefree weekend getaway in Wilmington!
“Myself and a few of my girlfriends rented The Painted Buffalo for my bachelorette party in Fredericksburg, and it was over the top spectacular!” – FlipKey Traveler
Situated in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a small city with big-time charm. It’s known for its authentic German heritage, which is celebrated by the town’s music, architecture, festivals, and more. Kick off your girls’ weekend getaway with a stroll down Main Street, browsing the boutiques and sampling German pastries at bakeries along the way. The surrounding region is home to renowned vineyards where you and your girlfriends can tour wineries and taste the local blends. Wrap up your trip with a visit to the spa for luxurious treatments that will leave you positively refreshed.
Planning a girls-only weekend in West Palm Beach? You’re in for a treat! With nearly perfect year-round weather, trips to the beach are a must during your girls weekend here. Lather on the sunscreen and bask in the Florida warmth. When you need a break from the sun, saunter down the palm-lined streets of downtown West Palm Beach where you’ll find a treasure trove of designer stores and unique boutiques. Make sure you save some energy for a night out on the town, thought—the nightlife in West Palm Beach is unrivalled!
“Perfect place for a weekend with friends. Would love to come back again.” – FlipKey Traveler
Whether you live in New England or it’s been on your travel bucket list for years, Newport is an idyllic setting for your next girls’ trip. From touring the town’s opulent mansions nestled along the Rhode Island coastline to wine tasting at a local vineyard, there’s no shortage of things to do. Rent an apartment near the cobblestone streets of downtown Newport to be close to restaurants and shopping, or book a home near the ocean and fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore—you can’t go wrong!
“It was the perfect location for a weekend with the girls and wine tasting!” – FlipKey Traveler
Sip, relax, repeat: experience the most perfect weekend getaway with your girlfriends in Paso Robles. Located just north of San Luis Obispo, this destination is known for its exquisite wineries and thriving olive groves. Whether you spend the weekend exploring the local vineyards or soaking up the California sun from your rental’s backyard patio, Paso Robles doesn’t disappoint. This burgeoning new wine country is just the place for your next girls’ trip!
Located on beautiful Long Island and nestled within the prestigious Hamptons, Sag Harbor should be on everyone’s list for a girls’ trip. The area is legendary for its wealthy enclaves and celebrity sightings, but you don’t have to be a superstar to vacation here. Plan your trip for the summertime and experience the town bustling with activity, or visit during the offseason when the crowds are gone and vacation rental prices drop.
“I pulled into the driveway and just said ‘WOW!’ We spent hours on the back porch and enjoyed the very inviting pool area. My high school girlfriends and I enjoyed this lovely home!” – FlipKey Traveler
It’s no surprise that Charleston makes our list of the best girlfriend getaways in the U.S. Bursting with Southern charm and home to a flourishing food scene, historic landmarks, and much more, girls and guys alike flock to this coastal city from all over the country. Snap a group photo in front of Rainbow Row, shop the stalls at Charleston City Market, or relax along the water’s edge at Riley Waterfront Park. Your trip to Charleston can be as relaxing or action-packed as you and your girlfriends want it to be!
Looking to let loose with the girls? Then consider San Antonio, a vibrant city in central Texas. Famous for being home of the Alamo (it’s a must-visit while you’re in town!), San Antonio also boasts award-winning chili (its signature dish), historic landmarks, and thrilling nightlife. When you’re not exploring the city, relax at a spacious home just minutes away. Book a girls’ weekend getaway in San Antonio, and you might end up staying longer than planned!
“Pictures live up to the real thing!! Will definitely return in the near future, this time with family, so that they can get the great experience the girls and I had!” – FlipKey Traveler
Plan a girls weekend getaway like never before—from spirited honky tonks and historic music venues to five-star dining, Nashville offers non-stop fun for everyone. Tap your toes to live music at the Bluebird Cafe or explore the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to learn about country music’s greatest artists. When you get hungry, hop from barbecue joint to barbecue joint along Broadway downtown. Now all you need to do is find the perfect Nashville rental for your girls’ weekend.
With your besties by your side, step onto the sandy beaches of York, and let your worries wash away during your girls weekend getaway. Grab coffee at a cafe downtown then explore the beautiful coastline on foot. Scenic cliff walks and beachfront paths provide spectacular views of rippling waves, endless blues skies, and Cape Neddick Light, an authentic Maine lighthouse still in use today. If that’s not relaxing enough, head home for a lobster feast (Maine is famous for its lobster!), and unwind in the comfort of your cozy beach cottage.
No matter what brings you to Aspen—whether it’s the scenic mountain setting, thrilling outdoor adventures, or the cozy taverns—this destination is the ideal place for girls’ weekend getaways. Often thought of as a winter wonderland, Aspen has plenty to do all year long. Visit before the snow arrives and take a horseback tour of the iconic Maroon Bells, a favorite spot for wildlife-watchers. Planning a winter escape? Rent a lodge near the slopes and take advantage of fresh powder daily.
“Relaxation and fun all in one place! I stayed at this cabin with five of my BEST girlfriends and we had the BEST time ever!” – FlipKey Traveler
From hiking and mountain biking to shopping and dining, Asheville boasts something for everyone in your group. When planning the itinerary for your girls’ trip, leave time to visit the city’s thriving microbreweries (New Belgium Brewing Company is a must!). You’ll also want to climb Black Balsam Knob and watch the sunset while sipping a glass of wine at the Biltmore Estate, George Vanderbilt’s historic country estate. Whether you choose a cabin with a view near the Blue Ridge Parkway or a hip apartment downtown, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime during your Asheville stay.
With its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe, Laguna Beach serves as a fabulous girls’ trip idea for those seeking fun in the sun. Take a dip in the dazzling Pacific Ocean then enjoy a picnic lunch at Heisler Park. The town’s spectacular clifftop setting provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor exploration and ample group photo-ops. When you’re not basking in the California sun, pamper yourself at the spa or unwind by the firepit at your rental for a sweet dose of relaxation!
Don’t think you can afford a picture-perfect fall getaway? Take a look at these options—perfect for a wallet-friendly weekend (or even weeklong) escape. Bye, bye budget woes. Hello gorgeous New England fall foliage.
Budget Breaks For New England Foliage
At this time of year, we’re surrounded by tempting images of iconic New England foliage ablaze with red, orange, gold, and yellow. But you don’t need to empty your bank account to get those views in person. The following locations make fantastic fall weekend getaways for travelers on tighter budgets.
How are they so affordable? Well, once you’ve picked your prime New England fall foliage trip, pair it with a comfortable FlipKey rental. Vacation rentals can bring your costs down dramatically, giving you a better deal on your accommodation, not to mention more space and the freedom to choose a home that suits your personal style. Having a full kitchen saves money on meals out, and the laundry means you can pack less. Here are 10 affordable New England vacation spots where you can see breathtaking fall foliage without overspending.
Prices reflect the median cost for a weeklong stay in a two-bedroom rental in that destination, between the months of September, October, and November.
Image from TripAdvisor.com courtesy of RideAway Kayak in Sandiwch, MA.
Cape Cod Bay location, historic center, village-esque charm: that’s already three bonus points for Sandwich as a top New England foliage getaway. Enjoy uninterrupted autumnal views from the Sandwich Boardwalk, watch traditional glassblowers in action, or cycle the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path.
This cozy town offers a spectacular array of oranges, reds, golds, and lingering evergreens in the fall. Pack up a lunch in your private rental kitchen and head off for a day of walking, picnics, and moose-spotting, served with majestic views of Rangeley Lake encircled in a riot of leafy color.
“Great condo. Right behind the Tin Lizzy Trail with easy access to everything. Perfect for families.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Dover is located in the Mount Snow Valley, and is well known for its summertime and snowbound appeal. But it’s just as spectacular in the fall. Try a scenic ride on a chairlift for soaring leafy views from Mount Snow, or see the changing foliage on a drive culminating in a hearty meal at the West Dover Inn.
Bartlett offers up classic New England fall foliage views in several exhilarating ways. At the Attitash Mountain Resort you can choose from chairlift rides, speedy ziplines, and the Alpine Slide, where two chutes zoom you down the mountainside. Alternatively, take in the colors at a slower pace aboard a vintage train on the Conway Scenic Railroad.
There are plenty of leafy trails to explore in Camden Hills State Park, where you can look down from Mount Battie onto the harbor and bay below. You can see some more New England foliage by driving the Mount Battie Auto Road, camera at the ready.
Here’s a good New England fall getaway for those who prefer the quiet life. Walk the Warren Path through the hardwood forest for sublime views of the area and don’t miss pretty Warren Falls, with its pools, waterfalls, and natural rock formations.
“There is so much to do in the Lincoln area that keeping a large group entertained was not a problem. Strenuous hikes on the Appalachian Trail for some; sitting poolside in lounge chairs for others. This unit was especially nice for family gatherings, with the open kitchen connected to a family room and deck, with a small sitting room in a loft above.” — FlipKey Reviewer
This understated little town of clapboard frontages is blessed with soaring natural mountain views all around it. Now’s a beautiful time of year to hike the Flume Gorge, let a gondola lift you up the mountainside, walk along the Pemigewasset River, or join a Pemi Valley Moose Tour.
Bar Harbor’s town is charming and has fantastic water views, but autumn’s leaves will no doubt tempt you up for a hike through neighboring Acadia National Park. The colors are apparently at their finest in mid-October, so what are you waiting for?
This seaside village is just lovely in the autumn. Set out to discover Halibut Point State Park, with its granite quarries and tide pools, crunch along the stones on Pebble Beach, or take a picnic to Millbrook Meadow.
This magically scenic area boasts a handful of terrific towns that make for a great New England foliage getaway. Get back to nature in Beartown State Forest or October Mountain State Forest, then sit down to a farm-to-table meal and enjoy the fruits of this glorious rural setting.
Harvest festivals, cider tasting, and crunchy forest trails. We’re loving the cool fall evenings and rediscovering our local parks in their new finery—with the top Midwest vacations for some autumn splendor and fun fall activities.
Best Midwest Vacations In The Fall
This roundup includes small towns with lively hearts and big, bold cities where anything goes. In the fall, these places offer up colorful landscapes (whether they’re urban or rural) plus a range of festivals and events themed for the autumn season.
Whether you favor compact cabins, stylish condos, or multi-story townhouses, book yourself a rental home on FlipKey to come back to after a day of autumnal adventures. Rentals make sense in terms of cost, space, and independence, meaning you end up with a great Midwest vacation trip that’s tailor made for you.
Here’s our 10 top towns and cities in the Midwest where you can pick a pumpkin, try a tasting, and see some fantastic seasonal scenery.
“Everything was there. The kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, cups, glasses, plates, etc. Bedrooms/bathroom clean as can be. It was like coming into your own home.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Book yourself a cabin and set out to enjoy fall in Hocking Hills. Kick off at Old Man’s Cave, named after a local hermit who made this spot his home, and take advantage of the area’s excellent hiking terrain. Swing by the Circleville Pumpkin Show, with its parades, contests, and stalls selling all the pumpkin-based foods you can think of, and then some.
Kansas City offer several fall festivals and events. If you’ve got the family in tow, check out the Great Pumpkin Fest at the Worlds of Fun amusement park, where there’s a hay bale maze and kids’ pumpkin patch. You could also try Kansas City Zoo for beer and wine tasting, Halloween-themed events, and of course, plenty of animal fun.
Stay in this quiet mountain town and you’ll have the fall foliage of the Black Hills National Forest right on the doorstep. Climbing, hikers, motor-bikers—they all come here to enjoy Custer’s historic center and the views from the roads and trails around it. Make sure you seek out the passageways and caverns of the Jewel Cave National Monument and the iconic profiles of Mount Rushmore.
Start at Geisler Farms, with s’mores over a fire pit, then pick your way through the corn maze, and choose your own pumpkin to take home. Des Moines has more than 800 miles of trails to explore on foot or by bike, leading you around the city’s fall foliage and further out into the glorious Iowa countryside.
Start your tour of Galena boating down the mighty Mississippi River, watching leaves on the turn, or fishing for bass and catfish. You might prefer the aerial view from a hot air balloon with Galena on the Fly, or the arts and crafts at Galena Country Fair, amid the gorgeous autumnal setting of Grant Park. In the evening, try Matthew’s Haunted Pub Crawl for a ghostly local tour washed down with a few drinks.
“Our condo worked out perfectly for us for the vacation. We loved having the water park on site! Everything was very clean and any request we made was addressed very quickly. Would highly recommend!” — FlipKey Reviewer
The Waterpark Capital of the World is understandably popular year-round, but there are plenty of other things to do here. In the fall, board Dells Boat Tours to appreciate the beauty of the Wisconsin River and the Dells rock formations. The views are arguably even better on the sunset cruise, which comes with dinner provided. This is also a good time of year to zipline through the treetops and see those changing colors up close.
This lively college town has plenty in store in the autumn. Begin with a self-guided tour of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, bursting with shrubs and trees, and truly breathtaking at this time of year. Nearby Dexter hosts the Apple Daze festival, with hayrides, a pie-eating competition, and plenty of cider to toast the new season. Lest we not forget the main draw in Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan football team. Experiencing a game at the Wolverine’s stadium—the largest in America with a capacity of 111,000 (!) people—is a memorable experience.
“This property has everything you could need, including anything you might have forgotten. The atmosphere is lovely… We rented bikes from the owner, picnicked in the backyard under the sunshade, walked to groceries, restaurants, and coffee, biked to the beach.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Don’t miss the lovely Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, with its seasonal scarecrows, Sensory Garden, and Pumpkin House. If you’re already getting into the Halloween spirit, you might want to bag a ticket for October’s Zombie Pub Crawl, where you’ll be able to taste the best of the excellent Minneapolis craft beer scene (in full zombie garb).
Warm days, cool nights, and leaves crunching underfoot. This is a great time to book a rental in Traverse City, where you’ll find entertainment in the museums and casinos, and plenty of fall color around the inland lakes and on the sweeping drives from winery to winery. Taste farm-to-fork flavours at a local restaurant, catch your own meal from a fishing boat, or take off on a biking excursion among gorgeous autumn scenery.
“We loved everything about this place. It was in a perfect spot—not far from town, but out of the craziness. The owner was great to deal with, the place was very clean, and it felt like a home away from home! Beautiful setting and backyard, and everything we could possibly need was provided.” — FlipKey Reviewer
By day, admire the colorful landscapes of Brown County, catching the changing leaves of Yellowwood State Forest and Brown Country State Park. In the evening, you can see a bluegrass show, grab a first-rate Nashville dinner, and round the night off in a hot tub.
It can be sad to say goodbye to summer. But dry your eyes, because we know you’re secretly excited about what the next season has in store. A kaleidoscope of natural color. Cool, crisp air that marks a fresh beginning. And all the plaid and wool you’ve been dying to fish out of the closet. Admit it. Fall’s fantastic.
Best Fall Vacations For Small-Town Color
Rugged peaks, glistening lakes, tumbling falls, and woodland hideaways that make the daily grind seem a million miles away. That’s what we look for in the ultimate fall vacation. Tiny mountain towns don’t generally provide a lot of hotel accommodation, so a rental is often the best option. And what avid leaf peeper wouldn’t want to stay in a cozy log cabin in the woods, anyway?
We’ve rounded up some of the best fall vacations this season in America’s most charming small towns, each offering a range of vacation rentals to book from FlipKey. Choose a spacious home for friends and family, or an intimate retreat for a couples getaway. You’ll enjoy a fully stocked kitchen and peaceful surroundings that’ll have you destressed and refreshed in no time—not to mention an incredible display of fall foliage right out your window.
Now layer up, grab a hot drink, and read about these 15 best fall vacations in Small Town, USA.
“The cabin was immaculate, with plenty of space for the whole family. The view from the balcony is truly breathtaking—we got some awesome pictures of the moon between the trees! ” — FlipKey Reviewer
Sugar Hill is one of the best fall vacations in New England: a teeny tiny town with front-row views of the White Mountain National Forest. It’s small, it’s off the beaten path, and its fall foliage really is a sight to be seen. Quaint Sugar Hill offers one of the most picture-perfect backdrops for ushering in the new season.
Dawsonville is situated right by the magnificent Amicalola Falls State Park, a terrific leaf peeping spot known for its thundering 729-foot waterfall. This is also great birdwatching territory and you’ve got the Etowa and Amicalola Rivers to paddle about in. While you’re here, you might as well try a tour and a tasting at the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, too.
“This cabin was absolutely charming and everything we were hoping for in a mountain retreat. The location was spectacular, yet easy to get into town or up to the park.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Estes Park is a great place for a cabin vacation, and one of the best fall vacations out West. It’s a traveler-preferred starting point for exploring the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park. Tackle early-morning hikes to get breathtaking sunsets over rocky peaks as your reward. Breathe in the crisp mountain air, watching bighorn sheep and elks roam free, and see the golden leaves do their thing as far as the eyes can see.
Blowing Rock is known as the ‘Crown of the Blue Ridge’, and attracts hikers, skiers, spelunkers, and spa fans alike. It has cozy cabins galore with views to die for. If you’re planning a fall vacation to this area, there’s also nearby Banner Elk, where the splendid reds and golds are vivid enough to render spectators speechless.
This is a small, friendly community in the eastern Sierra Nevada region, where you can enjoy the peace of sparkling June Lake and its smaller neighbor, Gull Lake. People come here for the excellent watersports facilities, the hiking trails, the inspiring mountain views—and, of course, the spectacular fall colors. June Lake might be the best fall vacation you don’t know about.
You can see why New Yorkers love having Hunter within easy reach. This charming mountain resort in the Northern Catskills has plenty of small-town appeal, and draws cyclists and zip-lining fans to enjoy the scenery in its autumnal glory. A tour on the Scenic Skyride Chairlift provides thrills and unforgettable views of the fall foliage.
East Stroudsburg has some historic buildings and a thriving arts and crafts scene, providing plenty of mementoes to take home. It’s also a handy base for viewing the forested peaks of the Pocono Mountains, walking the rugged hiking trails of Worthington State Forest, and watching the rushing waters of Bushkill Falls, also known as the “Niagara of Pennsylvania.” To see the beautiful colors from above, opt for a thrilling skydive…if you dare.
“Breathtaking sights, beautiful cabin, relaxation to the fullest. Our first time to stay in the mountains. Amazing views! The cabin was awesome with everything you needed to set up house!” — FlipKey Reviewer
Strap on your hiking boots and don your woolen hat. You’re going leaf-crunching in the Great Smoky Mountains. Driving tours are particularly recommended here and there are some excellent routes for taking in the seasonal colors and the odd glimpse of the local wildlife. Hmm, but what else makes Pigeon Forge one of the best fall vacations? Dollywood, of course! It just wouldn’t be right to come here without visiting the theme park masterminded by the country-singing icon who grew up in a tiny cabin in nearby Locust Ridge.
Luray sits in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Massanutten Mountains. The best way to appreciate the fall foliage here is to take the Skyline Drive, a 105-mile stretch of road through this scenic area. You can also tour the famous Luray Caverns, which shelter a jaw-dropping array of huge rock formations.
“So quiet and secluded, which is what we love. Made s’mores out in the fire pit, barbecued on the grill, and ate outside on the deck, felt like we were in a tree house.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Hospitable Hendersonville is another picturesque mountain town where people can leave the rest of the world behind. It’s not far from here to Dupont State Recreational Forest, where you can follow scenic trails and see tumbling waterfalls. This stunning natural landscape is so beautiful and vast it was chosen as a backdrop for The Last of the Mohicans and the 2012 Hunger Games movie.
The Lake Almanor reservoir in Plumas County is a peaceful spot, perfect for those who want to be by the water to fish, hike, and sail. Enjoy serene forest walks or explore the welcoming little towns dotted around the lake’s shore, where there’s always something fun going on.
The mountain town of Blue Ridge is rich in cozy hideaways offering gorgeous vistas. You’ll love the relaxed pace of this gentle town, where you can ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, try a bit of trout fishing, or shop for antiques and artworks to take home.
“Perfect retreat for a cozy getaway… This cabin was the perfect getaway where we could turn down the noise of the city and listen to the peaceful sounds of country life. The cabin is beautifully and thoughtfully built with every amenity.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Maybe not your first guess of the best fall vacations in America, but Cleveland is a great base for some truly breathtaking fall scenery. Follow the steep road to the top of Caesars Head State Park for the best views of the changing colors and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. There are some excellent hiking trails around here too, some of them pretty challenging, so do your research before you set off.
Who likes their leaf peeping with a side of adrenaline? If you’re in Stowe, sign up for a Ziptour Adventure and see the local fall foliage from above, whizzing high above all the reds, browns, and golds. If you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, try the hiking trails and take in that mountain scenery in a more sedate fashion. While Stowe is renowned for its winter skiing, this Green Mountain State gem is also one of the best fall vacations you can take.
Some say Connecticut looks its most beautiful in the fall. There’s no better place to find out for yourself than this little destination on the banks of the Mystic River. Explore the town with Mystic Bike Rentals, take to the trees (in a safety harness) at the Fields of Fire Adventure Park, go walking at Haley Farm State Park, and see all colors of fall at Pequot Woods.
Family life. It can be wonderful and exhausting in equal measure. That’s why The Great Family Vacation is so important—a time to make memories and celebrate your loved ones away from the pressures of daily life. Whether you’ve got a family of ten or two, here are the best family vacation ideas your kids will love, where boredom is banned and fun is king.
Best Vacation Ideas For Families
With so many great family-friendly destinations in the USA, it’s hard to narrow it down to just 20. While we’ve left out a few of the obvious big-hitters like Orlando, Virginia Beach, San Diego, and Myrtle Beach, we’re featuring equally amazing spots, where the amenities for children are just as great and the welcome just as warm. With a little help from the local city experts at Apartment Guide, we’ve also highlighted some of the best kid-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.
An added benefit? These top family vacation spots boast plenty of local rentals from FlipKey. Choose an entire house or apartment where you can all be together (while still having your own space). Swap the hotel mini-bar for a fully stocked kitchen and the communal lobby for a family living area—and maybe even a garden. Imagine an evening barbecue on the outdoor patio, a family movie night in the theater room, or a morning swim in your own private pool.
Ready for a fun-fueled family trip? Pack your sunblock, swimwear, and those all-important traveling snacks. Here are 20 of the best family vacation ideas in America for happy kids and even happier grown-ups.
“This home was perfect for young and old. Very close to Disneyland and shopping. The pool was the favorite for relaxing and cooling off. Very friendly owners.” — FlipKey Reviewer
The most obvious pull for children in sunny Anaheim is the mighty Disneyland Park—and who could blame them for begging to come here? Rides for all ages, well-known characters to meet, and all the color and excitement you’d expect from a larger-than-life Disney experience. If you’re looking for something on a smaller scale, book a pass to Adventure City. With rides, shows, and a mini train, it’s especially suited to younger children.
“We came to Gettysburg to visit history and were not disappointed. The house just made things very simple for us. Everything we needed was there. Great literature to assist us on our history tour. The house was clean and well kept. It was located very conveniently for touring all of Gettysburg.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Steeped in Civil War history, the picturesque town of Gettysburg makes a pleasant and educational base for families. Tour the Gettysburg Battlefield, the National Military Park, and the Shriver House Museum at your leisure, or hop on a guided bus tour of the town to get the expert lowdown on all the key sights. From historical re-enactments to ghostly tours, there’s so much here to keep the whole family entertained.
“We regularly stay in rented accommodation rather than hotels when we go on holiday, and this is one of the best we’ve experienced. The house is very comfortable, and well furnished and equipped.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Boston has it all—the culture, the fantastic city parks, and a relaxed pace you might not expect in a city of its size. Baseball fanatics, young and not so young, will love Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. You can take a guided tour, watch a game, and soak up some sporting history. Also check out the giant ocean tank at the New England Aquarium and board a Boston Duck Tour to be transported around this beautiful city on land and water.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Florida’s Space Coast.
The vibe on the Florida Space Coast is, overall, beachy and relaxed, but a vacationer’s experience depends largely on the activity you choose. Of course, they don’t call it the “Space Coast” for nothing. The thrill of watching rockets launch from Cape Canaveral, whether up close or miles away, never gets old. In fact, launches still occur (SpaceX rockets are on the launch calendar for 2017). Kennedy Space Center unpacks space-centric surprises, from the earliest days of space exploration to the exciting Shuttle Launch Experience and behind-the-gates tours.
As for terra firma, beautiful Atlantic beaches await, along with wildlife at the Canaveral National Seashore, a beautiful barrier island National Park. And even if you’re not shipping out for a cruise, you and your family can marvel at large luxurious ships from Grills Seafood Deck, a family-friendly and casual venue.
Over in Cocoa Beach, you can sink your toes into the sand—but if you have teens, be sure to pop in for a ubiquitous (free!) sticker at Ron Jon’s massive surf shop. You may want to pick up a bikini or t-shirt while you’re at it, too.
Satellite Beach is a lesser-known but equally lovely section of the Atlantic coast. If you’re planning on visiting in June or July, you can enjoy sea turtle nesting season. Check in with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society for a guided tour. Once booked, you’ll be led out by expert guides equipped with the knowledge (and turtle-friendly lighting) to find mama turtles as they venture onshore to lay their eggs. Truly amazing!
The most well-known family attraction in Huntsville is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, where you’ll find an awe-inspiring collection of rockets (including a rare Saturn V), a space shuttle, and plenty of NASA memorabilia. This is an understandably popular attraction, so it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance. If your kids are more interested in natural phenomena, they’ll be enchanted by the 1,000s of butterflies, along with turtles and frogs, in the Purdy Butterfly House at Huntsville Botanical Garden.
“This adorable house was very comfortable and had every amenity needed for a family vacation. Everything was close by, from amazing restaurants to cute shops, and of course the beach. I was impressed at how quickly we were able to get to Disneyland and down the coast to Newport Beach.” — FlipKey Reviewer
Locals refer to Long Beach as one giant playground, so families are certainly welcome here. And there’s one place you really can’t miss. More than 11,000 creatures await you at the Aquarium of the Pacific—you can even touch and feed some of them. Learn about who lives in and around the oceans and the importance of conserving their environment. Long Beach also has lots of family-oriented places to eat and plenty of fun watery activities, including boat tours.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Washington, DC.
Washington, DC is a vibrant city with dozens of free attractions and events that make it an ideal destination for a family vacation. Once you’re near the Mall, major landmarks and iconic government buildings are everywhere you look: the Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and many more. Have your kids pull out their coins and dollar bills to see replicas of the very buildings they’re standing in front of. Book a line-skipping VIP tour and check them all off your list.
The internationally-renowned collections of the Smithsonian range from a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to the original “Star-Spangled Banner” to the space shuttle Discovery. The Einstein Planetarium at the Air and Space Museum offers a constant flow of illuminating, family-friendly entertainment. The airplane buffs in your family will be happy they made the trek to Dulles Airport for the Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It’s so large that the actual planes dangling from its ceiling look like toys.
The riverfront Nationals Park is a wholesome itinerary option for families who like major league baseball. Its neighborhood goes by many names at this point—Navy Yard, Ballpark District and Capitol Riverfront—but is easy to reach from any area of the city.
Billed as the Waterpark Capital of the World, Wisconsin Dells is an obvious choice for fun-seeking families. It’s hard to experience all the great attractions and activities here. Take your pick of indoor and outdoor adventures, such as Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Timber Falls Adventure Park, Circus World, Timbavati Wildlife Park…the list goes on and on.
Set in the Northern Catskills, where there’s lots of fresh air and space to run around, Durham makes a top family vacation base. Show your brood the best of the rural life on a tour with Farmer Frank of Hull-O Farms, where you’ll meet all sorts of friendly animals, including bunnies, piglets, and chicks. For something completely different, try the Zoom Flume Water Park, where you can rent a cabana and spend the day crashing into the water via various high-speed slides.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Winter Haven.
Your child may be on his or her way to being a master builder—or not—but either way, few Florida destinations are as child-friendly as Winter Haven. That’s because of the incredible LEGOLAND, where single- or multi-day passes are available to purchase. This child-centric haven is practically overflowing with Lego bricks. What’s more, every ride in the elevator is a strobe-infused opportunity to do a happy dance, and every room is themed—from pirates to knights to adventurers.
Steps away are Legoland’s theme park and waterpark. The theme park’s coasters, rides and Lego-centric sites keep the entertainment going nonstop. The waterpark’s lazy rivers, wave pools, slides, and other cooling spots offer a fun respite from the Florida heat.
Parents should note that although the LEGOLAND attractions are decidedly for youngsters, the ease with which you’ll be able to move from one to the next make it appealing for parents looking for recreation that’s a little more self-contained. As a bonus, you can also enjoy a tropical cocktail by the pool while watching your kiddos.
Indy’s a pretty hospitable place. And if you’re visiting with children, there’s no better starting point than the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest of its kind in the world. We challenge anyone to be bored in this place, where kids are encouraged to explore arts and culture through exhibits, workshops, and live performances—there’s even a steam engine. You might also like to see the animals and plant life at Indianapolis Zoo.
This friendly place on the Atlantic Coast has a boardwalk packed with lively eateries. Families tend to favor Funland for its arcade games and vintage rides and Jungle Jim’s Water Park for water slides, go-karting and mini-golf. For a bit of calm before bedtime, you could head slightly north and take a Broadkill River cruise with Caper Water Tours and Taxi, taking in the peaceful views of the shoreline and its birdlife before the sun sets.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Williamsburg.
Colonial Williamsburg, the 301-acre, restored 18th-century capital city, is America’s largest interactive history museum. Its interpretive characters transport visiting families back in time, to the sound of beating drums and trilling fifes.
Virginia’s Historic Triangle extends to nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, where innovative exhibits and educational experiences depict America’s first permanent English colony and guide visitors through the battlefield where American independence was won. Merchants Square, an 18th-century-style village, includes more than 40 shops and restaurants ranging from family-style to fine dining.
The family-friendly Williamsburg area is also home to Busch Gardens, an action-packed, European-themed adventure park; Water Country USA, Virginia’s largest water park; and the York and James Rivers, where you can enjoy beautiful scenery and outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and swimming.
Located on the southern edge of Lake Erie is chilled-out Sandusky. This place is home to the Cedar Point amusement park, which draws rollercoaster-crazy visitors each year. It’s mostly for the thrill-seekers, but there are also gentler options available for younger children. Alternatively, you can take jet skis out on the lake or enjoy a stroll with stunning views along the Sandusky Bay Pathway.
Book a comfortable family rental as your base for exploring the child-friendly delights of Bloomington. We recommend starting with Nickelodeon Universe, a fun-packed indoor park in the Mall of America, with everything from the tamest of rides to zip-lining adventures. If your children are on the younger side, this is a great place to spend a day. The Mall of America also provides all the shopping and eating opportunities you could hope for, plus an aquarium and adventure golf.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Pigeon Forge.
Affordable and wholesome Pigeon Forge is adjacent to American’s favorite national park, Great Smoky Mountains. Most known for the Dollywood theme park, Pigeon Forge now also gets rave reviews for its Titanic Museum, an interactive walk through the doomed cruise ship. Teens will like assuming the persona of a historic passenger, only to find out their fate after visiting the eye-popping captain’s bridge.
Nighttime is perfect for The Island in Pigeon Forge, an entertainment hub with lighted water shows. Pleasant evenings also draw families to the area’s multiple mini-golf courses, including one in nearby Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg is also home to a surprisingly wonderful aquarium given its mountain location; penguins typically steal the show at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Your most difficult task will be choosing which of the dozens of family attractions to try, from a wax museum to a world records hall to dinner theaters, roller coasters and even “Goats on the Roof.” Nature will also be luring you to Smoky Mountain trails and overlooks, so no matter how many days you can spend in Pigeon Forge, they will all be full.
Carolina Beach offers an old-style boardwalk, a laid-back atmosphere and absolutely tons of activities for families to enjoy together. Take advantage of the water sports and seaside amusement rides (and grab some donuts from Britt’s). A few minutes down the coastline is Kure Beach, where you’ll find Ocean Front Park, with its boardwalk, gardens and beach—there’s even a giant pirate ship to play on. Continue down to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, which has some interactive exhibits and even an albino alligator.
St. Augustine’s picturesque and historic center appeals to all sorts of visitors. Many families come here for the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, a fabulous swashbuckling resource offering interactive exhibits, treasure hunting, and more. For some outdoor fun, you could see the town on one of Ripley’s Red Trains, hit the play areas at Davenport Park or Project Swing Park, or turn towards the beach for a kids’ surf session.
Thanks to the local experts at Apartment Guide for contributing the below information about Charlotte.
Charlotte’s Carowinds, a combination amusement park and waterpark, is a big hit with families. Weekdays offer shorter lines than weekends, and themed events are scheduled near year’s end. Young park-goers will discover mini-rides just for them, while teens will be thrilled with the likes of Intimidator and Fury 325. The park offers free water at multiple stations, but parents consistently recommend purchasing cups with free refills for the day. Count on $20 for parking, and budget extra for food, or consider at least one combo ticket, which includes food throughout the day.
Does your family thrive on challenges? Multiple escape rooms now pepper Charlotte, and near the intersection of the city’s two interstates, you’ll find Escape Kings. This family-friendly attraction lets those over 10 years of age test their collective wits by escaping from Aztec Ruins and Kings Quest rooms. The puzzle clues are for all ages, and escape is neither too hard for kids nor too easy for adults.
DefyGravity trampoline park is an appealing setting for energy-filled kids. Depending on their age, they can bounce their way through the KidJump, Ninja Obstacle Course, extreme dodgeball, foam pits, and even a trapeze.
Teens who like golf will love hanging out at Topgolf. Fun music adds to the excitement of golfing with a variety of provided clubs on a three-level driving range. Servers keep the food and drinks coming, while you rack up the points and have a few laughs. Charlotte—a major metroplex—has no shortage of other family-friendly restaurants at all price points.
“We wanted to spend time at the Grand Canyon so I looked for a place that could accommodate all 9 of us (this included some children). Rather than rent numerous hotel rooms I decided it might be fun to all stay together in a house. The description of this house made it sound interesting and close to town so we chose it. Best decision ever!” — FlipKey Reviewer
Want to plan one last summer getaway this Labor Day Weekend without breaking the bank? FlipKey has taken the work out of planning your trip, rounding up 15 destinations where the cost of a two-bedroom rental can be as low as $25 per person per night for Labor Day Weekend (based on a two-bedroom rental with four person occupancy).
Whether you’re heading to a beach house in Hawaii or a mountain cabin in Salt Lake City, your getaway will be no work and all play thanks to these Labor Day Weekend deals.
Median nightly rate, two bedroom properties for Labor Day Weekend
Cost per person per night. Based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.
Methodology: Median nightly rates are for all two-bedroom properties in each destination and are based on the median nightly rates from Friday, September 3 – Tuesday, September 5, according to TripAdvisor Rentals data. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company. Per person, per night cost is based on a two-bedroom rental with four-person occupancy.
Labor Day Weekend Vacation Rentals
Booking an affordable rental is a great way to kick off a budget friendly trip—but don’t forget that rentals help travelers save beyond the nightly rates by offering a broad range of amenities.
“Even on peak weekends like Labor Day, luxury homes can be affordable when you fill up the bedrooms share the cost across the group,” said Laurel Greatrix, spokesperson for TripAdvisor Rentals, the parent company of FlipKey. “If you’re trying to keep costs down, staying in a rental is the way to go—you’ll have the freedom to cook at home, and oftentimes you’ll get great perks like free parking, and amenities like bikes, barbecues, and beach accessories, at no additional cost. Check the listing to see what’s included and you might be surprised!”
Properties are available on FlipKey, where travelers can search, compare, and book hundreds of thousands of properties worldwide, including cabins, beach houses, desert hideaways, and more! Feel confident in your decision with our Payment Protection.
If the landscape of human emotion were to exist in a country, it would be in Italy. -Lisa Fantino
A candlelight dinner and a rose are simple and sweet signs of romance, but if you want to seriously get your partner’s attention, organize a weekend in Italy and take love to the next level.
It is often said that it does not matter where you go, but with whom you have the pleasure to spend a romantic holiday. That said, Italy can be seen as the perfect set for a love story: striking locations, delicious food, excellent wine and a fascinating lifestyle are yours to experience with the one you wish to woo.
Italy has so much to offer, and each trip to this stunning country can be personalized according to your imagination for a romantic weekend. Here are three ideas for a lovers’ retreat in Italy…
By the Sea
If you are a sea lover, then you could combine your romantic weekend with a stay in Sardinia.
Set in the heart of Mediterranean sea, Sardinia is practically preserved from every kind of pollution. Thanks to this setting, the island boasts amazing beaches surrounded by natural beauty. Thanks also to its insular nature, Sardinia still retains rites and traditions from ancient times, as well as many rural landscapes to roam around.
If you are looking for both romance and privacy, then you should avoid the most highly touristed Sardinian destinations and choose the middle season for your romantic getaway. Try a trip to San Pantaleo, a rare traditional Galluran village tucked in among the mountains. Northeastern Sardinia is one of the prettiest areas on the island, featuring a perfect mix of stone-built cottages, a relaxed atmosphere and about 10-20 minutes’ drive to the many beaches of the Costa Smeralda and Arzachena.
When to go: May, June, September What to try: Fish soup, mussels, and urchins. A sublime way to cook fish in Gallura is in the oven, topped with the local wine, Vermentino di Gallura.
If you like the slow travel philosophy and the countryside, and if you love art and history, then you could combine your romantic weekend with the discovery of Sicily.
A succession of different rulers over the centuries has influenced Sicilian culture and strengthened its identity: as a result, Sicily is today a land rich in history and traditions. Between palaces, Doric temples, gardens and archaeological sites, you will partake of the charm and magic that pervade the land of Sicily. This feeling of wonder will give a touch of romance to your dreamy holiday.
When to go: Spring is the best period to enjoy Sicily in bloom and the wonderful colors of nature. Summer is another option for trips that mainly visit the seaside. What to try: Wines from the Etna region, which has become the third most important Italian region for wine production. Etna DOC wines are white, red and rosé and are all produced in the province of Catania. Do not forget to buy a jar of the popular honey produced in Zafferana Etnea, called “the gold of Etna,” also used to prepare delicious desserts and dishes.
Art and Culture
If you like art cities, then you could combine your romantic weekend with a cultural stay in Tuscany.
Tuscany is the region of lyric love poetry, and its renaissance beauty is a hymn to romanticism in and of itself. Without doubt, Florence is the art city par excellence with a nearly endless list of sights to see. Like the art, romance is also abundant here. For something special, take a short trip to Candeli, a little destination located 10 km away from Florence. Go up to the southern Arno river and you’ll find yourself in the shade of cypress trees, holm and oaks: a perfect place to relax, enjoy horseback riding and country life, and still make it back to Florence in time for a hand-in-hand walk across Ponte Vecchio bridge.
When to go: From March to June, and September What to try: A Florentine steak, Cantucci biscuits and a glass of Chianti.
Silvia Pe is an Italian travel enthusiast, compulsive reader and sea-dependent! She works in the tourism field and runs the blog CharmingItaly.com, in which she shares information about Italy.
When it comes to indulging in a last-minute getaway, one of my favorite things to do is hop a red-eye flight to Fiji for a week of fjord hopping and relaxing on white sand beaches. At least I assume that would be one of my favorite things to do, seeing as I’ve never actually done it.
When it comes to a real last-minute getaway, nothing beats the great American road trip. Unlike a trip to Fiji, all it takes is hopping in your car and choosing a direction. At least that’s the theory… One thing I’ve learned in the past decade of road tripping is that it helps to have an awesome destination to look forward to—and the perfect FlipKey rental to relax at. So whether you’re a permanent resident of the Emerald City, like myself, or only visiting for a short while, I think you’ll find that a visit to the following list of destinations Is worth the price of gas.
Click on the destinations and images below to see all available FlipKey rentals in that location. Staying in a rental means extra living space, a full kitchen, and amenities like laundry or outdoor barbecue area.
One of the top reasons to make the drive to Tacoma is to admire its world-renowned glass art. The Museum of Glass showcases hand-blown glass pieces from around the world and includes a glassblowing studio. The Museum District is connected by the Bridge of Glass and pays homage to the craft with more art, glass, and history, including installations by the native Dale Chihuly. Other cultural attractions worth stopping for are the Tacoma Art Museum, the Le May-America’s Car Museum and the Washington State History Museum. Although, Tacoma is rooted in the arts, it is ideally situated on the banks of Puget Sound and offers a vibrant, urban pit stop for road trippers. Shop in the historic Proctor and Stadium districts or stroll through the city’s parks and gardens. Explore the shores by kayak or boat to see the abundance of wildlife that inhabit Tacoma. If you’re looking for a nature wonderland where hiking boots aren’t required, then Tacoma is the destination for you.
Fall City is situated within the scenic Snoqualmie Valley, an area just east of Seattle, criss-crossed with quiet back roads that carve paths through forests, mountains, and a network of streams feeding into the Snoqualmie River. On your drive in to town, you’ll notice totem poles scattered about Fall City, evidence that the town was originally home to the Snoqualmie Indian tribe, as well as the 130-year old Hop Shed where farmers brought hops to be transported to the Puget Sound. The massive Snoqualmie Falls is arguably one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Fall City. The 270-foot falls boasts magnificent views from the top and bottom and is an impressive site to see. Snoqualmie Falls isn’t the only attraction, though. Odds are you’ll find yourself sticking around to tour the wineries, hike the trails, and maybe even do some antique shopping.
Hidden amongst towering fir and cedar trees at the foothills of Mt. Rainier National Park, Ashford is a popular “base camp” location for those venturing deep into the Cascade Mountain Region of Central Washington. However, this enchanting area has plenty of natural wonders to offer the day tripper as well, including the nearby Alder and Mineral Lakes, over 300 miles of hiking trails, plus snowshoeing and sledding in the winter. Adjacent to Ashford you’ll find the small town of Elbe, where you can board the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, which is by far one of most relaxed ways to take in the secluded back country of Mt. Rainier National Park.
Leavenworth is unique in that the town offers visitors an authentic German experience, right in the heart of Washington State. Boasting a Bavarian village main street, replete with Tudor revival architecture, this mountain town plays host to monthly festivals, one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States, and an annual month-long Christmas extravaganza that has to be seen to be believed. While you might expect the hiking, biking, and skiing adventures waiting to be had in the surrounding Cascade Mountains, what you might not expect from this Pacific Northwest landmark is the 300 days of sunshine they receive every year!
Canada’s third-largest city, and one routinely featured on lists of the world’s greatest places to live, has been thrust into the global spotlight thanks in part to its young metropolis vibe, overall quirky appeal, and role as the host city for the 2010 winter Olympics. A melting pot of cultures nestled between city beaches and lush waterfront forests, this British Commonwealth is still very much forming its identity: something reflected in its eclectic art scene, diverse shopping districts, and laid-back hipster hangouts, all topped off with the myriad of outdoor activities right outside their door. Make Vancouver your destination if you want to experience both bustling city life with attractions like the Vancouver Aquarium and the Orpheum Theatre as well as a quiet, oceanfront setting that is home to a variety of wildlife, including fish, birds, and whales.
If you’ve never been there, you might be inclined to assume that Portland and Seattle are interchangeable from a destination standpoint, especially given the similarities in their cultural and natural landscape. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Where Seattle offers more of an urban flavor, Portland has a quaint, almost small town feel relative to its size. Although replete with museums, fine dining, and a vibrant night life, Portland provides a level of hospitality and accessibility to these attractions unparalleled anyplace else in the Northwest. While in the area, popular things to do in Portland include touring the Portland Japanese Garden, exploring the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and browsing at one of the many Portland farmers markets. With so much to do and its laid-back, friendly atmosphere, Portland is a must-visit place along the Pacific Northwest.
One of the main hot spots in the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor has long been recognized as a top travel destination in Washington. Although relatively small, the island offers a dynamic landscape ranging from pebble-lined beaches, to lush valleys and mountain meadows. Since it rests in Seattle’s rain shadow and is often sunny when nowhere else in the Puget Sound region is, it is routinely referred to as “nature’s playground.” One of the top attractions here is orca whale watching in autumn, although many animals such as harbor seals, porpoises, and sea otters are year-round residents. To really get into the casual spirit of island living, enjoy an art tour, or of course, find your own little corner of paradise on one of the many pristine local beaches.
The North Oregon Coast is a place of great history, entertainment, and natural beauty. While scenic vistas and amazing day hikes can be found throughout the region, Seaside has really become the place to go for a wide variety of traditional “coastal” activities, such as bike tours, festivals, and fresh, local cuisine. Wander along the Tillamook Head Traverse Hike for impeccable views of the landscape and dine by the ocean to start your day. When you’re ready to hang on the beach, you’ll be delighted with how wide they are here, leaving plenty of room for sand castle building, cookouts, or even a round of beach volleyball. Make sure you also swing by Funland Arcade, the largest on the Oregon Coast, to take a ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl and feel like a kid again! Whether you’re on a romantic road trip or embarking on some family fun, Seaside has something for everyone in your car.
Green and beautiful year-round, Victoria offers an enchanting place for visitors to escape every day life. It is the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest, and here, new world experiences complement old world charm. Snap photos of the spectacular parliament building and tour the opulent rooms inside. Nearby churches and castles showcase impressive architectural designs and interesting historical significance. Take a walk through the historic James Bay neighborhood or head to the boutiques on Johnson Street and Trounce Alley to purchase wares from local designers. The island has a mild climate throughout the year making it an ideal place for outdoor exploration. Whether you drive through the city, cycle one of the many trails or swim in the ocean, Victoria’s lush landscape can be enjoyed by all. Before getting back on the road, enjoy the time-honored tradition of high tea at the Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada.
West Glacier is really more of a gateway destination, as it anchors the western entrance to Glacier National Park, offering an ideal location for lodging while exploring the surrounding area. A trip to Glacier National Park is without a doubt more rooted in natural beauty than it is commercial obligations. The views as seen from the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road are breathtaking as you cross the Continental Divide at 6,646-foot-high Logan Pass, and will undoubtedly stay with you forever. The town of West Glacier and the surrounding National Park play host to a huge assortment of activities for the outdoor enthusiast, including whitewater rafting, golfing, hiking, and horseback riding.
If I was going to recommend travel to any major city in California, or the entire West Coast for that matter, it would have to be San Francisco. Most endearing about this city is that even when you partake in one of the more cliched tourist activities like exploring Pier 39 or climbing one of the 40+ hills, you still never know what to expect. Take a drive down the city’s well-known Lombard Street, one of America’s crookedest streets, before ditching your car to cling to the side of a vintage cable car. Explore the neighborhoods like the Upper Haight or the Mission to see the different parts of the city that make it so unique. From the Marina district, enjoy picture-perfect views of the majestic Golden Gate Bridge before people watching at one of the hip bistros nearby. San Francisco is a city teeming with outlandish free thinkers and lovable weirdos, yet it manages to quickly find a place in the heart of your average Joe.
Lake Tahoe is a haven for outdoor adventures year-round. In the summer, visitors can enjoy swimming, windsurfing, and boating on the picturesque lake, while the surrounding parks and trails beckon to hikers. Mt. Tallac Trail and Emerald Bay State Park offer magnificent views of the lake area while the Gondola at Heavenly provides a peaceful ride with incredible panoramic views. During the winter, strap yours skis or snowboard onto your car and enjoy the epic amounts of snowfall that transform Lake Tahoe into a winter wonderland. Hit the slopes at Northstar or Squaw Valley for a fun day in the snow. Other things to do in Lake Tahoe include making a visit to the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum or placing some bets at one of the 24-hour casinos in the area. Because Lake Tahoe straddles the border between California and Nevada, the area does also has a flashy nightlife scene and vibrant atmosphere. The area is perfect for a girls’ week away or a family getaway – it’s up to you!
Ah, Las Vegas. Some would say that no matter where you reside in this country, a rubber-meets-road sojourn to Sin City constitutes the ultimate road trip – a statement I’m very much inclined to agree with. Even if you’re not into the well-lit, nonstop party element Vegas is so famous for, you’ll find yourself easily charmed by its rugged beauty and frontier-inspired sightseeing opportunities. One thing is for sure though: going from Seattle to Las Vegas by car is a must-have experience. Cutting through the southern half of Central Washington, skirting the northeast corner of Oregon and the northwest corner of Idaho, then dropping straight down the eastern half of Nevada is an amazing journey that is nearly impossible to match. The ever-changing landscapes and classic roadside attractions encountered along the way make this trip completely worthwhile, even if all you do in Las Vegas is fill up your gas tank and turn right back around.
Original post was written by Jay Ferris, a Seattle-based writer, husband, and father of three, whose penchant for outdoors-based travel is rivaled only by his dependence on a steady internet connection and spider-free existence. Follow him on Twitter at @jayferris.
FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home.