5 great destinations for last minute family getaways

If you're the spontaneous type and enjoy letting things unfold without too much planning, you can rest assured that a fast last minute getaway can fall into place. Whether you're a beach bum, a hiking enthusiast, or a city adventurer, you and your family might enjoy what these 5 great American destinations are best known for. Don't worry about finding a place to stay—even at the last minute, you can book a beach cottage for a tranquil island retreat or a vacation home in the big city. Finding an ideal vacation rental on the fly has never been so easy.

Vacation homes for last minute getaways in Honolulu, Hawaii

Resting along rolling green hills on a volcanic island, Honolulu offers an idyllic last minute getaway from it all. Relax on the beautiful beaches while basking in year-round perfect weather, or enjoy swimming or snorkeling in the balmy ocean. For adventures in the city not too far from your summer rental, stop by the Honolulu Museum of Art and indulge in retail therapy and gourmet restaurants in high-end Waikiki. You might choose a stylish condo with a swanky kitchen to prepare those delicious meals, plus a private balcony overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters and palm trees gently swaying in the island breeze.

Last minute getaways in Kansas City, Missouri

With its lip-smacking BBQs, smooth jazz, and more fountains than you could count, Kansas City provides a fast getaway for everyone. The city is brimming with attractions and activities that are easily accessible from your vacation home, from world-class museums and artsy neighborhoods, to watching the Royals hit home runs at a Major League Baseball game. Children may be delighted by the animals at the Kansas City Zoo, or they can get their thrills from looping rollercoasters and rides at Worlds of Fun. When the day is done, you can come back to a quaint Craftsman bungalow complete with a yard and a BBQ, plus a cozy living room with a fireplace to relax by.

Cottage rentals on Plum Island, Massachusetts

If the idea of slow living during a last-minute getaway sounds appealing, Plum Island and its soft ocean breezes and colorful wildlife might fit the bill. Named for the wild plum shrubs that grow on its rolling sand dunes, this 11-mile barrier island is a paradise of sand and salt marshes. Bring your binoculars for some bird watching at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, or spend a day strolling barefoot on the beach and building sand castles. You can try the lobster rolls at one of the seafood restaurants in nearby Newburyport. Rest easy in a quaint cottage rental featuring a shabby-chic kitchen and direct beach access, plus a deck to watch brilliant sunrises from.

Vacation home rentals in Burlington, Vermont

Set on the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a vibrant college town with a youthful spirit. You might enjoy watching musicians and acrobats busking on the public square on Church Street, or you could meander through the numerous funky shops and eateries. For outdoorsy fun, a scenic bike trail runs along the lake, while the mountains call for an adventure to hike or hit fresh powder. When it's time to wind down for the day, you can come back to a cabin rental, cozy up in an artsy living room, and relax in a hot tub overlooking the lake.

Summer rentals in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Beach bums will be thrilled to soak up the sun and surf the waves for a last minute getaway in Virginia Beach. You can explore the city's 3-mile boardwalk, which is packed with seafood restaurants, lively street music, fun shops, and buzzing bars. Nature lovers can get their fix by visiting the 2,888-acre First Landing State Park, which boasts 20 miles of trails and nearly 2 miles of beach. An example of accommodation options here is a tastefully decorated condo rental featuring a nautical-themed living room and a breakfast bar, plus a kitchen with granite countertops to prepare those seafood dinners in.