Magical East Coast vacations
The Northeast and the East Coast combine to offer some seriously eye-watering regions. Beaches are raw and wild in these parts – just check Maine's swell-smashed shores, or where the granite mountains crash into the ocean around the Acadia National Park. But there are also soft sands fringing Long Island and Rhode Island, with seagrass meadows and dunes. And you get wooded forests reaching inland, crawling up high mountain ranges from the Poconos to the Green Mountains. Skier? Walker? History lover? Romantic duo? You can rest assured there are East Coast vacations for you…
Top articles to find your perfect Northeast vacation rentals
Vermont is a state that seems tailor made for adventurers of all stripes. There are peaks and valleys, rising and falling with the beautiful Green Mountains – which look redder and more ochre and yellow when the autumn swings around. On the banks of Lake Champlain, Vermont rentals could sit tight in Burlington's historic districts, but still close to canoe rentals and hiking paths. And there are accomplished ski resorts, each with their own small cabins and fire-warmed lodges with ski-in, ski-out access to the pistes.
Whether you're after an escape to the mountains, some soul searching in Amish Country, or a history-filled trip to Philadelphia, you can rest assured that there will be Pennsylvania vacation rentals to catch the eye. R&R is easy in the Poconos house rentals with an indoor pool – swim, laze, hike, ski, the mountains are you're oyster. Cool penthouses in the cities mean having a great base for seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. And then there are the bucolic farm cottages and farm stays of Lancaster County, speckling undulating green fields and riverbanks far from the hubbub of modern life.
We know that the culinary and sailing hub of Cape Cod can draw the eye of anyone who thinks to look to the Pilgrim State for a vacation. It's got sandy beaches and bustling marinas, and plenty of Provincetown rentals to go around. However, don't forget that there's a whole stack of other awesome spots to get stuck into in this corner of New England. You can find family-sized coast houses on wave-bashed cliffs. You can edge into the forests to see the color-changing fall. You can hit Boston for city breaks laden with Revolutionary-era history. There's always a Massachusetts vacation rental to suit.
New Jersey is a great escape for dwellers of New York City, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. It's a quick drive from the offices and suburbs of all the above, and it offers everything from sloshing wetlands to snaking rivers. You can go inland, to find hidden cabins for hikers in the woods that cling to the mountainous edges of the Delaware River – they have an air of Appalachia about them. However, far and away the most popular type of houses for rent in NJ are the ones on the Jersey Shore. They give access to breezy Atlantic beaches and lively boardwalks alike.
The Empire State is riddled with amazing places and amazing spaces. Upstate is where the wilds begin. Follow the Hudson out of New York City and you come to haunting towns with ghost tales, wooded peaks, ski fields, and the sylvan depths of the Adirondacks Mountains. The Finger Lakes are there, too, flanked by winelands and gushing waterfalls – Niagara being the best. For history and culture, you can settle in Albany rentals under the spires of the capitol building. For R&R, there are Montauk rentals in the Hamptons, on the edges of beaches and lighthouse walks. It's endless.
They might sit in the smallest state of the lot, but RI rentals sure can pack a punch. Mile next to mile of shoreline wiggles and weaves into huge bays and across sloshing sounds here, hosting stunning sailing meccas like Newport, and shell-spotted beaches where families gather after Memorial Day – look to Narragansett and untouched Little Compton for those. You can even leave behind the mainland and head for bucolic Block Island, a place of wild coves and quaint fishing towns. And there's the backcountry, where Kent County unfolds in red-painted farmhouses and rolling fields.
Aim high. Shorten that bucket list. Check off the famed Big Apple. That's what you can do this year by opting for NYC rentals. They are the stays that will put you near the Art Deco masterworks of Manhattan – the Empire State Building, the soaring Chrysler Building. They are the ones that will put you on the cusp of Central Park, where romantic strolls and festive ice-skating jaunts are just the beginning. There's something for all sorts of travelers in this massive metropolis, from science museums to mind-boggling modern art in MoMa to wild enclosures at the Bronx Zoo. And that's only scratching the surface.
Start by considering a trip down to Atlantic City house rentals, which combine sandy beaches with happy-go-lucky casino halls and one of the country's most iconic boardwalks. Throw in the taste-bud-tingling seafood and watersports of Lavallette. And don't forget the chic stays that await on Cape May and the rest of the Jersey Shore. There is simply loads to get through when you start planning an East Coast vacation to the Garden State.
The rhythms of life seem to slow as you head to the extreme Northeast of the United States. That's where you'll find the White Mountain State, wedged up against the Canada border with its sweeping peaks and sylvan valleys. It's pockmarked from head to toe with quaint towns and hamlets, many of which sit in the shadow of snow-gathering ridges and untouched pine woods, offering access to the heights of Mount Washington and the glistening lakes of the Franconia Notch State Park. Or, you can choose rentals in NH that pop up in old industrial towns by the coast, with sunrise views across to the long-lost Isles of Shoals in the ocean.
Once a rich whaling port, now a chilled summertime retreat, this dash of land in the Atlantic just off Cape Cod is littered with charming 18th-century homes and lodges, coastal cottages, and bungalows with views of the sounds – many of which are now Nantucket rentals for hire. To be in the midst of buzzy al fresco bars and seafood bistros, you'll likely want to be close to Nantucket town itself. For seclusion and romance, there are all sorts of woods and coves and sandy capes to breakaway to.
Cut off from the rest of New England by Buzzards Bay and the Vineyard Sound, Martha's Vineyard rentals sure are great place to aim for if you're feeling the stresses of modern life. They are usually Victorian-era homes set in green fields or handsome heritage towns – perfect for that hard-earned R&R you're after. But there's adventure to be had here, too. Cyclists find ample tracks to explore, Oak Bluffs is a sailing mecca with sloshing waves and cliff walks, and there are more shell-strewn beaches than you can shake a map of Massachusetts at.
This much-loved corner of New England certainly isn't short on places to stay. You only need to glimpse the abundance of condos and flats that hug the buzzing promenade at Old Orchard Beach to see that. Or, just delve into the mix of historic townhouses and urban penthouses that awaits in lively Portland. Of course, that's not it. There are uber-romantic Maine vacation rentals that stud wave-bashed headlands by age-old lighthouses. There are cabins in the woods of Acadia National Park. There are farm stays with green fields and forests in their grounds.
Maine didn't garner the nickname "Vacationland" for nothing, folks. Blessed with a beautiful shoreline, sandy beaches, and an interior that's clad in pine forests and color-changing woods, this sure is a stunning part of the country. It's hardly a wonder 1000s of us head up each year. Some will go for the sandy bays of Kennebunkport and Wells, or munch taffy on the boardwalks of Old Orchard Beach. Others are tempted more by the cobbled downtown of Portland. Others look to Bar Harbor, Maine, vacation rentals, for whale watching and mountain climbing in the wild.
Long Beach Island is one of the jewels of the Garden State's shoreline. A barrier island that stretches from Beach Haven to the Barnegat Light, it's thin and blessed with seemingly endless lengths of picture-perfect sand. That means you should never be too far away from where the waves roll in, wherever you book your LBI vacation rental – great news if you're bringing the board in tow. Adding to the mix are a few family amusement parks, chilled-out Loveladies – a fishing town – and some action-packed water parks to boot.
Not the hit TV show, but the place it's set in, Jersey Shore is the piece de resistance of the Garden State. Mile upon mile of powdery sands slope into the frothing Atlantic Ocean here, with just a few surprises along the way – think the coastal wineries of Cape May, the chip-slapping casinos of Atlantic City, the watersports of Wildwood. When it comes to getting great Jersey Shore house rentals, there are loads of options. Luxury villa with a shoreline swimming pool? Done. Inner-town condo on the boardwalk? Easy. Secluded cottage on the dunes? You bet.
The sprawling estates of the Hamptons are said to have been the inspiration for the grandiose setting of The Great Gatsby. But don't worry, you don't have to pick a multi-roomed mansion to vacation here – although there are plenty of them to go around. From the lighthouse-studded headlands of Montauk to the old-timey Main Street of East Hampton, you can find cute cottages, family condos, and country lodges alike. The most sought-after of the lot tend to straddle the beaches to the south, or perch over the harbors of Great Peconic Bay to the north.
Stringing along the southern shoreline of Long Island, Fire Island is a chilled and relaxed coastal escape that's under two hours' drive from the beating heart of the Big Apple. You'll need to hop on a ferry to cruise across the sound and tread the sleepy sidewalks of car-free towns like Ocean Beach and Kismet. In those, and peppering the state reserves and a national seashore nearby, are countless Fire Island rentals that will draw the eye. Loads have their own boat jetties, sandy gardens, and even grill-ready decks overlooking the New Jersey Bight.
There are loads of reasons why Cape May vacation rentals stand out from the crowd. For starters, they sit at the tip of the Jersey Shore, surrounded by pristine beaches that are tinted honey yellow and cloud white, right by an ocean where you can surf and swim and stroll. They are also on the cusp of the famous Cape May winelands, which have some of the best-rated tipples on the East Coast. Loads of the lettings are steeped in history, too, with tales that take you back to the heyday of sun, sand, and sea breaks during the 1800s – think Victorian façades and shingle-clad beach cottages aplenty.
Cape Cod juts out into the big Atlantic blue from the edge of Massachusetts in the shape of a clawed fishhook. For decades, it's been famed for its time-stood-still sort of vibe, hosting towns like Falmouth and East Ham, forever bathed in the scents of fresh-caught fish and the sounds of calling gulls. Popular hotspots on the peninsula include Hyannis, where you can score some seriously luxurious homes away from home in the place where JFK used to take his vacations. Other Cape Cod rentals beckon to the foodie mecca of Provincetown, a hub for whale watching and beach lazing and haute ocean cookery.
Avalon, NJ, rentals sit plush on a pretty barrier island between Cape May and the Atlantic Ocean. They are all about taking it easy, with big boating marinas and pretty wetlands on the one side, and rolling surf swells and surf shacks on the other. The resort is quieter than many of its compadres up and down the Jersey Shore, which makes it a doozy of an East Coast vacation spot for families after quality time. What's more, Avalon Avenue is replete with large homes that offer oceanfront locations just steps from the sands.