America is ready to travel this summer: 85% of U.S adults say they expect to travel this summer, and to take more vacation time than last year, according to a survey from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll. For its part, vacation home rental site Vrbo has already seen the spike in bookings: Indeed, it’s research shows that demand for homes this upcoming summer is already up 15% from last year, and over 70% of homes are already rented for July in popular destinations such as Ocean City, New Jersey and the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
Below, we share the top ten most popular destinations currently being booked on Vrbo, along with information on where you can find available rooms.
If you want white sand beaches: Gulf Shores, Alabama
The area offers 32 miles of gorgeous beaches on the Gulf Coast, with sand made up of quartz crystals washed down from the Appalachian Mountains. Gulf Shores itself has become an increasingly popular destination in recent years with plenty of opportunity for fishing, as well as a plethora of restaurants that serve locally caught seafood.
Where to stay: You can book this newly constructed three-bedroom house with balconies and pool access just a short walk from the Gulf on Vrbo. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, try the Perdido Beach Resort, which is located on the ocean and has award-winning restaurants, or the Lodge At Gulf State Park, which is located in a 6,500-acre preserved ecosystem full of migratory birds and mating sea turtles.
If you want endless entertainment options: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Stretching for 1.2 miles, the Myrtle Beach boardwalk is full of restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and amusement parks that will keep you occupied whenever you’re not lying on your back in the ocean. When you’re not on the boardwalk, enjoy walking and resting on the area’s 60 miles of coastline.
Where to stay: You can rent this dazzling four-bedroom home with balconies and views of the ocean on Vrbo. Or you can stay at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes, which is located on the ocean and has both indoor and outdoor pools.
If you want to play a lot of golf and tennis: Miramar & Rosemary Beach, Florida
Located about thirty minutes apart on either side of the Point Washington State Forest, a 15,400 acre preserve on the Florida panhandle, both Miramar and Rosemary Beach boast white sand beaches and aquamarine water. Rosemary Beach is a planned community built around a town center and inspired by New Urbanism; Miramar is full of resorts, shopping and dining options. Both offer a combination of food options and natural beauty.
Where to stay: On Vrbo, you can rent this spacious three-bedroom house that comes with a golf course in Miramar or this carriage house overlooking tennis courts in Rosemary Beach. For hotels, try the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, a sprawling complex with four private golf courses, or the Pearl Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Rosemary Beach.
If you’re traveling with kids: Panama City Beach
Another breathtaking location featuring white sand beaches on Florida’s Panhandle, Panama City Beach underwent a revitalization in the early 2000s that saw its older homes replaced with high-rise condominiums, which caused real estate prices to boom in the area. The town has numerous attractions, including the Frank Brown Park, a 200-acre complex dedicated to outdoor recreation.
Where to stay: Rent this classic Florida three-bedroom bungalow just a block from the beach on Vrbo. Beachfront hotels include the Hampton Inn & Suites Panama City Beach-Beachfront, which has rooms facing the ocean, and theDays Inn Beach, which has a 6-story waterfall in the pool.
If you prefer the mountains: Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Home to Dollywood, which is Dolly Parton’s Appalachian-themed amusement park, Pigeon Forge and nearby Gatlinburg are great summer destinations if you prefer mountains and lakes over the ocean. Known as one of the gateways to the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the thriving towns offer plenty of attractions including Anakeesta, a theme park with zip lines and a TreeTop SkyWalk, as well as the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, which features a suspended bridge offering sweeping views of the nearby mountains and valleys.
Where to stay: Travel back to simpler times in this wooden Creekside cabin available for rent on Vrbo, which features a large front porch, rocking chairs and a hot tub. Or stay at the Greystone Lodge on the River, a newly renovated hotel in downtown Gatlinburg, or the Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which features Southern-style family dining and two pools.
If you want the feel of the Hamptons at half the price: Hilton Head, South Carolina
Located in the historic South Carolina Low Country, which is home to hundreds of years of American history — much of it very dark — as well as coastal marshes and Spanish moss draped-trees, Hilton Head is a vacation island where celebrities such as Stan Smith, John Mellencamp and Michael Jordan have owned homes. The low-key barrier island, which has 12 miles of pristine beaches, also features plenty of golf courses, horse stables and tennis courts for a recreational holiday.
Where to stay: Try out this recently remodeled four-bedroom bungalow on Vrbo just a four-minute walk from the beach. For luxury, check out the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, which has three championship golf courses; more budget-conscious travelers can try the Grand Hilton Head Inn, which has a pool and a sun deck adjacent to the ocean.
If you want to visit paradise: Maui, Hawaii
It’s no surprise that Maui is such a hot destination. Along with 30 miles of scenic beaches, the island also houses O’he’o Gulch, a natural park flush with waterfalls, and Haleakala National Park, a sub-tropical rainforest featuring stark and otherworldly volcanic landscapes. Paradise, literally.
Where to stay: You can rent this three-bedroom villa, which overlooks the Haleakala National Park and is surrounded by mango, fig and citrus orchards, on Vrbo. Or you could stay at the Maui Beach Hotel, which overlooks Kahului Bay. For a real splurge, try the Montage Kapalua Bay, a five-star hotel with 24-acres of manicured lands.
If you’re a history aficionado: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Fort Walton Beach houses the Indian Temple Mound Museum, which catalogs over 12,000 years of artifacts from the indigenous tribes that inhabited the area for millennia. The museum is part of the larger Heritage Park, which also contains the Civil War Exhibit building and the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum. When you’re not delving into centuries of history, enjoy swimming with dolphins at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, or simply lounging on the city’s white sand beaches.
Where to stay: Live a life of luxury in this three-bedroom villa in nearby Destin with its own private pool and boating dock available for rent through Vrbo. Try the Island Resort at Fort Walton Beach if you want to sip on drinks in your bathing suit by the pool, or if you’re on a budget, check out theHampton Inn Ft. Walton Beach, which is on the bay and has an outdoor pool.
If you want a classic northeast beach vacation: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Extending a total of 65 miles from Massachusetts into the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod is a varied and storied vacation destination replete with 17th century houses and plenty of natural beauty. Relax like a Kennedy in Hyannis Port, or get in your love of the arts in Provincetown, which was established as an arts colony in the 1940s.
Where to stay: You can rent this classic shingled four-bedroom house in Chatham on Vrbo. Or, try a bed and breakfast like the White Porch Inn and Art Hotel in Provincetown, which is full of original art by artists from around the world.
If you love nature: Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks is a collection of barrier islands spanning 175 miles along the North Carolina coastline. Known for its pristine, non-commercial beaches, the Outer Banks are the perfect destination if you love the natural beauty of the seashore. The most notable attraction in the area is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is famous for its black and white candy stripe pattern.
Where to stay: Rent this new construction four-bedroom house on a private bay in Salvo, a tiny town on the southern end of the Outer Banks. For a classic southern experience, try theWhite Doe Inn, a bed and breakfast on Roanoke Island. If you’re on a budget, try theIsland Guesthouse and Motel, a 1950s bungalow style inn.