Seeking out the ideal summer rental for vacation

Pack up the suitcases and slather on the sunscreen, summer vacay is just around the corner! Need a little inspiration for booking that next family trip when schools let out or romantic escape to some far-flung beach with your significant other? This guide has got you covered. We’ll delve into the world of summer rentals, where breezy bungalows leave you steps from the sand and piney cabins place you by sweeping lakes and epic hiking trails. There’s just so many options to discover…

The different types of summer rental out there

Whether you’re planning to fly off overseas to check a few things off the bucket list or just cross state lines for some much-needed R&R, summer vacation rentals are ready and waiting with their private balconies staring out onto verdant mountain ranges and cooking gadgets for keeping the dining budget in check. We explore just a few of the many available styles below.

Woodsy cabins and lodges

Summer cabin rentals evoke images of family vacays on the lake and mountain-high escapes full of zip-lining and off-road bike rides. Whether it’s a cozy log cabin for two with an alfresco hot tub buried in the redwood forests of northern California or a spacious chalet in the Colorado Rockies with elk grazing nearby, these vacation rentals help you get away from it all in some seriously dreamy settings. And if you’re leery of signing up for a rustic rendezvous, take note – these lodgings aren’t all bare bones. Sure, you can find some simplistic back-to-nature huts with real-wood fireplaces and old-timey stoves, but plenty come with all the plush amenities you’d expect from a swanky stay. WiFi signals, designer kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, plush furnishings, game rooms – it’s all available.

Sleek apartments and lofts

If your dream destination is a bit further from the forests and closer to traffic lights and retail centers, summer apartment rentals may be just what’s in store. Covering everything from modern lofts and storied brownstones in the buzzing center of cities like San Francisco and NYC to condo rentals steps from the sea in coastal resort communities, these accommodations blend homey comforts with prime locales. On the smaller scale, you’ll find studios with kitchenettes primed for twosomes, while larger spaces for families have multiple beds, TV rooms, and sometimes even an outdoor terrace, leafy courtyard, or rooftop garden. Look for one that’s part of a larger complex for perks like swimming pools and fitness centers.

Spacious home rentals

Traveling with the kids in tow? You’ll likely enjoy a vacation house rental with bedrooms for all and fully-equipped kitchens. Summer homes for rent cover a wide gamut. Maybe it’s a breezy villa with a private pool and walls of windows near Miami’s South Beach or California’s ritzy Malibu. Perhaps a farmhouse in Tennessee for horseback rides and tubing sprints down the river. Heading to the Most Magical Place on Earth with the family? Orlando’s packed with vacation homes just a stone’s throw from Disney World.

Destinations for summer vacation rentals

So, you’ve decided on a summer rental for this year’s getaway. Great choice! If you’re still narrowing down just where to check in, let us help you out. These destinations have everything you’d expect, from white-sand coasts to culture-filled downtowns.

How about the beach?

Can you really go wrong with a summer beach trip? When temps are sweltering in the middle of July and August, running into turquoise waves to cool off is pretty much ideal. While exotic escapes for Hawaiian luaus or Bora Bora’s overwater bungalows may be the ultimate, you don’t have to journey far for some R&R beach-style. The East Coast has options stretching from the rocky coves and lighthouses of Maine down to the powdery sands of Miami, while Westerners can head So Cal way for rolling waves, retro boardwalks, beach volleyball, and so much more. And don’t forget about the Gulf – some of the closest beaches for middle America scatter along the Florida Panhandle, Texas, and everywhere between.

National parks for nature and wildlife

There’s hardly a better time to explore the wide expanses of the US’s national parks than in summer, when trails are open for hiking, lakes sparkle under the sun, and mountains and forests are green and verdant. Bucket-list sights like Yellowstone’s Old Faithful, Yosemite’s waterfalls and Half Dome, and Grand Canyon’s, well, canyon are a no-brainer, but you’ll find far-fewer crowds at names you might not be as familiar with – Pinnacles in California, Great Basin in Nevada, Katmai in Alaska.

Across the Pond

Summer rentals aren’t limited to the states, you know. Checking into a London apartment, Swiss chalet, or Greek villa is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and live like a local for a few days. Your accommodations might be lofted above the town bakery in villages like Alsace, France, or out near windmills and tulip farms in the suburbs of Amsterdam. How about practicing your Italian while you shop for fresh veggies to cook up back at your Tuscan villa? Or making friends with the wild horses on a farm stay in Iceland? It’s all on the menu.