Florida vacation rentals – a trip drenched in sun
Oh, Florida. So many a traveler dreams of your quartz-tinted sands and turquoise waters each year, so many a family pines after the enchantments of Disney. Up there with the most-visited states in the country, this one certainly has plenty up its sleeve – everything from sub-tropical islands to spring break beaches to rattling roller coasters last time we checked. Thankfully, there's a kaleidoscope of Florida vacation rentals to go around, too. From condos to beach huts, sleek mansions to urban retreats, you're sure to find one that suits.
Top articles to find your ideal Florida vacation rentals
When it's time to whisk the family down to the wild rides and magical theme parks, there's no reason to dread the accommodation search. There are so many Orlando vacation rentals out there, you can afford to be picky and creative with your choice of stay. Villas and standalone homes in gated communities are a popular option, often coming with large covered pools and gardens. Then there are the condo resorts that can get you super-close to International Drive and Restaurant Row. And you can find themed duplexes with shared swimming pools, lazy rivers, and shuttle buses running straight to Disney World.
From compact condos to whole private islands, the range of Florida vacation rentals runs the gamut from simple to chic. Budget not an issue? You could push the boat out with a slick mansion on the fairways of PGA-rated courses in West Palm Beach, or a grand villa with a glistening swimming pool on the shores of Sanibel Island. Want to take the whole family away? There are oodles of multi-bedroom homes in resort areas like Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, and Destin. Or is it a honeymoon? How about those oceanfront pads in South Walton, by the white sands and undulating dunes?
Just a whisker off the Georgia-Florida state line, backed by bayous, and fronted by glistening ocean waters, Amelia Island is known as one of the Sunshine State's most exclusive luxury retreats. It's blanketed in golf courses and spa facilities, chic shopping malls, and see-and-be-seen cocktail lounges. But that's not it. Beyond the hubbub is a 13-mile stretch of pristine sand, along with half-crumbled fortresses left over from the colonial era. The upshot? Amelia Island rentals are a doozy for all sorts.
On the south side of Tampa Bay, where the weather's almost always warm and the sands are as sugar-soft as they come, Anna Maria Island rentals beckon families and couples to a tried-and-tested Florida beach resort. There are seven miles of shoreline to lay the towel on. There are fishing piers hemmed in by local seafood restaurants. And, thanks to stricter building regulations, the homes and lodges have a classic, Gulf Coast air to them – expect stilted cottages and colorful Caribbean bungalows.
Miami Beach is forever pulsing with life. The glitzy Art Deco hotels and beach resorts of its historic center are just the beginning. Move north and you can find celebrity homes on gated islands, get arty communities and farmer's markets in Surfside, discover hidden condos with swimming pools and spas. The real action happens along Ocean Drive. That's where bodies fill the sands, where you can party the night away in hip-shaking funk bars, or treat yourself to Atlantic-view penthouses – the boulevard has some of the most stylish apartments for rent in Miami Beach.
If there's one thing that Florida does uber-well, it's surely beaches. From the wave-splattered Atlantic Ocean to the fine white sands of the Panhandle's shoreline, there are all sorts of places to enjoy on the edge of the water here. You could pick a chic Seacrest beach rental to wallow under the sun of South Walton – a region of slick fashion shopping, Victorian-era carriage houses, and dolphin-swimming Gulf swells. There are the Keys, too, where it's about sipping rum punches by tropical mangroves. And you've got everything from happening Miami Beach to surfer-mad Cocoa Beach in the east.
You should never be short of options when it comes to Florida beach rentals. A whopping 1,350 miles of coastline awaits in the Sunshine State, which means there are all sorts of pads peppering the sands. Down south, there are Caribbean casas with hammocks swinging in the garden. Up north, you can find chic golfing villas by the fairways of Amelia Island. Across Destin and Pensacola way, there are rows of cute coastal cottages on stilts, or elegant bungalows huddled in vibrant beach towns like Rosemary Beach and Seacrest.
If you're after a sun-soaked jaunt to the Gulf of Mexico that's bursting with family fun and action, PCB – as this classic resort is known for short – could be just what you've been searching for. Its coastal boulevard ranges past dune reserves, pristine beachfronts, a vintage fishing promenade, water parks, and crazy golf rounds, all while dolphin-watching tours and family eateries beckon in the nearby blocks. There's also a huge range of different types of Panama City Beach rentals out there, from high-perched condos to cozy coast cottages with breezy decks.
There's nothing quite like a real beachfront rental in Florida. Whether they face up to the point breaks of Cocoa Beach or spill down to the turquoise lagoons of the Florida Keys, sit perched on Okaloosa's oat-clad dunes or fringe the bouncing boardwalk of Destin, they all mean waking to the sounds of the waves and feeling the fresh breezes of the ocean. Of course, you might have to pay a little extra for the luxury of being right by the shore, but that really depends on where you go and when you travel.
The Gulf Coast of Florida is a dream of a travel destination for anyone with a penchant for bird-stalked wetlands, white-sand beaches, oat-fringed boardwalk trails, and bath-warm ocean waters. So, that's just about everybody. To satisfy the crowds, there are all sorts of Gulf Coast vacation rentals on the menu. Whether it's a modern condo with a panoramic balcony in Panama City Beach or a salt-washed cottage on shell-speckled Sanibel Island, you're sure to find something to love.
Santa Rosa Beach, FL, rentals really are designed to catch the eye. If you're not serious about vacationing down here, it's probably better not to even peek. Those sumptuous condos, those artfully designed lounges, those white-painted porches and Carib façades, those turquoise pools above turquoise ocean waters – you won't be able to resist pressing "book". And that's before you've even seen the tempting strands of Blue Mountain Beach and all the boutique shopping of Gulf Place Town Center – two local communities.
Surrounded by clean waterways filled with manatees and fringed by palms, Cape Coral rentals are a real jewel of Florida's west coast. They often boast their own boating jetties out back, along with al fresco spaces that overlook canals and marinas. They're all in close proximity to exclusive yachting clubs and the white-sand beaches of Captiva Island, which means sailing adventures and sunbathing sessions can figure. Alternatively, the Everglades are near, so gator-spotting airboat tours are there to get the heart a-racing.
The Cape San Blas marks the point where Florida's west coast turns into the Panhandle. It doesn't draw the same crowds as nearby resort towns like Destin, which means you can often find a stretch of sand here to call your very own. On the dunes that line the main beaches that run south to north from the cape itself are countless cottages on stilts, with decks that gaze down to the Gulf of Mexico. Further inland, you can find larger homes with gardens filled with palms and pines.
There's loads to be said for Destin, Florida, vacation rentals. Of course, you will never have to walk far from the front door to sample the soft powder of the Panhandle beaches here. In fact, there are loads of ocean-view condos and cottages that put those celebrated stretches right outside your bedroom window. You could opt to hop to the bayside of the town, where lettings host boat moorings. Or, there's the energy of the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, a medley of margarita bars, family seafood buffets, and watersports tour guides.
From Coral Gables to Little Havana to the vibrant nightlife districts of Miami Beach, the Magic City has plenty of little corners to keep you entertained during that getaway under the sun. Each comes with its own unique array of Miami rentals to boot. That means you can pick large estates with hot tubs and palm-shaded gardens, sleek condos with balconies gazing over the Atlantic Ocean, or suburban townhouses with enough room for the kids, cousins, and extended family.
Laced with sun-bleached beaches of perfect quartz sand, Clearwater is the stuff of travel brochures. To be as close to the powdery shoreline as possible, you might want to zero in on the cool Clearwater Beach rentals that speckle the barrier island to the west. Alternatively, there are marinas that burst with sizzling seafood bistros and yachting clubs on the bay side of the isle, along with oodles of urban townhouses suited to families on the Florida mainland. Take your pick.
Facing up to the strong swells of the Atlantic Ocean, Cocoa Beach is the surf mecca of the Sunshine State – it gave the world the board-riding maestro of Kelly Slater, after all. You can hone your skills on the longboard by hitting the surf shacks that cluster around the pier. Alternatively, there are Cocoa Beach rentals that offer balconies that peer across to Cape Canaveral and the famous space stations there. And as if that's still not enough for a cosmic vacay, how about the homes with boat moorings back on the Banana River?
Motoring energy overtakes this stretch of the Florida shore during Speedweeks at the Daytona 500, with all sorts of Harley enthusiasts, bikers, and motor fans hitting the town. You can score great Daytona Beach vacation rentals near the tracks then, but you might want to focus on the oceanfront rentals if you're coming for the beaches. And what beaches they are. Known for lively spring break parties and pearly blue waters, they run for miles up the Atlantic in a show of luxurious condos and volleyball-bouncing courts.
Destin is hailed as one of the most accomplished all-round resorts in Florida. There's a family-friendly scene that involves dolphin watching and gastropubs on a vibrant boardwalk. There's a spring break blowout from February onwards, seeing open-air DJ parties hit the sands. There are romantic pads to whisk someone special away to, sat right by the glowing shoreline of nearby South Walton. What's more, you can get swimming pools, games rooms, and even on-site restaurants in many a Destin, Florida, beachfront rental.
The search for the top Florida Keys rental destinations can be surprisingly difficult. There's just so much to get through down here, where the sun always shines, the waters are always bath-warm, and the vibes are more Antigua than America. If you've decided it's the place for you, there are oodles of options on the menu. Will you plump for the bumping bars of Duval Street and the old Civil War forts of Key West? Or, will it be somewhere more romantic, like the coconut-palm groves and sailing clubs of Key Colony Beach?