When you’re first starting out as a vacation rental owner, there’s one big question: how much money can I expect to make? 

Short-term rental properties can give owners solid revenue returns, and are often more profitable than long-term rentals. But that additional income doesn’t come without costs. From taxes and insurance to cleaning and management fees, it’s important to factor a number of expenses into your income calculations to help paint an accurate picture of your home’s profit potential. 

That’s where our vacation rental income calculator comes in. Simply plug in your monthly revenue and expenses below, then sit back as our tool automatically churns out an annual income estimate — all factors considered. 

Not sure where to pull those numbers? Take a peek below our tool to understand your income and expense variables in more detail, and check out our bonus resources that can help you make confident estimates.

Your Income Variables Explained

The first step toward accurately estimating rental income? Defining each term properly. Here’s a quick-reference glossary of what each variable used in our calculator means.

Small blue icons of a sun and moon indicating nightly rate

Nightly Rate

Avg rate you expect to charge/night

Small blue calendar icon indicating nights booked

Nights Booked

Avg # of nights you expect to book/month

Small blue icon indicating mortgage


Monthly mortgage payment

small icon of a shower indicating utility fees


Monthly costs for heat/hot water, electricity/AC, WiFi & cable

small icon indicating taxes

Insurance & Property Taxes

Monthly costs for homeowners insurance, liability insurance, property protection plan + your state’s property tax rate

small money icon

Other Expenses

Monthly sum of HOA & maintenance costs + avg stocking/upgrading costs

small blue icon indicating management fees

Management Costs

Monthly % of income set aside for management/marketing fees (dependent on how you run your business)

Understanding Income and Expenses

Let’s be real: estimating an accurate income for your investment property can be confusing. Certain elements — like mortgage and utility payments — have fairly standard numbers you can enter into the calculator without much math. But others require more contextual consideration. So, let’s walk through each step of the process in more detail.

Step 1: Calculating Monthly Revenue

To accurately estimate nightly rate and expected nights booked, it’s important to understand the current market in your area.

The good news: we’ve analyzed tens of thousands of listings across North America to compile the most impactful performance metrics for you. From nightly rate and nights booked to average lengths of stay and prime booking windows throughout the year, all of the results can be found in our vacation rental market analyses library. Each provides a data-backed gauge of how direct competition performs — and, in turn, how much you might be able to to charge and book.

Once you pull the nightly rate and nights booked averages from those market analyses, plug them into the vacation rental income calculator above to start laying a solid foundation for estimating monthly income (and overall revenue).

Owners who work with Evolve get access to our team of revenue experts and exclusive revenue optimization strategies that are proven to outperform the market.

Step 2: Calculating Monthly Expenses 

From taxes to marketing fees, your expense estimate relies heavily on custom quotes and individual choices.

First, add up the monthly costs of your different types of insurance — like homeowners insurance, liability insurance, and a property protection plan.

Evolve owners are automatically covered for accidental damages with our Property Protection Plus program.

Then comes property taxes. How they’re applied varies by state, so be aware of your particular municipal requirements. If you’re not sure, you can plug your rental property’s address into this complimentary tool to receive the right rate.

Once you have an estimate for both, combine the numbers and enter the sum into our short term rental calculator.

Next, input your monthly mortgage payment and utilities.

To incorporate other expenses, first combine monthly HOA and maintenance costs, cleaning fees, and the average expense of keeping your short-term rental inventoried and well-stocked for guests.

If you need to make furniture or decor upgrades, put a price to those overarching updates and divide by 12 before adding to your total monthly view of those additional expenses.

Finally, there are management costs to consider. These fees and how they work look different depending on how you choose to run your vacation rental business.

If you run a vacation rental without any help:

  1. Select the “I plan to manage my property on my own” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Add up the varying percentage costs of the marketing fees for the marketplaces you plan to use (listed below)
  3. Move the marketing fee slider to match the sum of those percentage fees
Graphic showcasing market fees to list your home on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com

If you use a property manager:

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manager” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to account for an average 10-50% fee

If you work with Evolve (who lists your home on all the best vacation rental sites at no extra cost):

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manger” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to our industry-low 10% fee

Maximize Your Income Potential with Evolve

Between the steep fees of traditional property managers and the overwhelming responsibility of a DIY approach, it’s hard to strike a cost-benefit balance that guarantees your success. At least, it was until Evolve came into the picture.

For an industry-low management fee (that’s backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee), we’ll apply a proven-to-work marketing and booking strategy to your vacation rental, boosting your revenue potential while keeping costs (and stress levels) down.

Hop down to the form below to see if you qualify for our services and kickstart a conversation with one of our vacation rental pros.

Real estate is known for being a solid investment, and recent traveler trends highlight a clear opportunity to earn extra income by investing in vacation rentals. Plus, when we surveyed over 8,000 travelers, 82% said they plan to book a vacation rental for their 2023 adventures.

Experts also believe these traveler preferences are here to stay, making short-term rental investment a great play for long-term income.

Here are six major benefits that underscore exactly why vacation rentals are a good investment.

In This Article:
Increased Income Potential
Varied Market Opportunity
Offsetting Owner Costs
Even More Revenue Opportunity
A Built-In Vacation 
Home Appreciation

1. Increased Income Potential

Not only is the vacation rental industry showing plenty of income potential, it’s also creating opportunity for what our experts consider a “high-reward profile.” 

Most investors look at cap rate — the ratio between a property’s net income and its market value — as a key measure of success, because it indicates return on investment. Our team says long-term rental cap rates can hover around an average 4-5% in metro markets (where investors are typically drawn), but short-term rental cap rates can frequently come in at 10% or higher.

This means your ceiling for profitability is significantly higher when investing in vacation rentals than it is with other property options — and that’s more money that could land in your pocket.

2. Varied Market Opportunity

While finding success in long-term rental generally requires a purchase near a major metro area, buyers can find vacation rental properties with profit potential in a wide variety of markets

And since travelers’ favorite locations are scattered from coast to coast, you’re spoiled with choices for vacation rental investment properties –– whether you’re looking for a beachfront property, lakeside rental, mountainous ski house, or cozy cabin.

Ready to explore your options? Our team helps investors find success in markets all across the country.

3. Offsetting Owner Costs

Creating solid revenue streams and growing your income property portfolio are the main investment goals for many second home owners. But there’s also massive value, particularly for first-timers, in offsetting owner expenses from the start. 

From mortgage payments and utilities to insurance fees and maintenance costs, vacation rental income can cover monthly expenses and help your home pay for itself in a shorter time frame. Vacation rental owners are also eligible for certain tax deductions, which could help close the gap between income and expenses.

Bonus benefit: using a vacation rental management company with especially low fees (like Evolve) can help owners break even and start earning profit faster.

4. Even More Revenue Opportunity (with Five-Star Hospitality)

The best part about investing in vacation rental properties is that great guest feedback makes your home more lucrative over time. 

When rental properties hit new listing sites, they have to compete with established competitors for visibility and bookings. But the more five-star experiences you deliver (along with smart responses to any poor reviews), the more sites like Airbnb and Vrbo will show your property to browsing travelers — making it more likely to earn bookings. 

Best-in-class hospitality also makes it easier to raise daily rates (when the market allows for it), increasing your profit margins on any given stay as you establish the value of your vacation rental property. 

5. A Built-In Vacation

Unlike long-term rental investments, a vacation rental property is also a place where you can get away. It provides the luxury of carving out time to spend with family and friends, or to switch up your work-from-home space — without necessarily needing to spend money on accommodations each time you travel.

In other words, you earn rental income and boost revenue when you’re not there, but also save money when you’d like a change of scenery yourself.

6. Home Appreciation

As with all smart real estate investments, you can expect your vacation rental’s market value to appreciate over time. So, if and when you become ready to sell, you’d likely earn more than the previous owners did when you bought it. 

What’s more, when that time comes, Evolve has experts who can help you sell directly to buyers who are looking to invest in vacation rentals.

Take the Next Step Toward Investing in Vacation Rental 

Investing in vacation rentals might feel like a big undertaking, but Evolve is here to guide you at every stage of the journey. Our experts can help you: 

And if you’re hoping to buy a rental with promise, our homes for sale page features properties that have already been vetted for profit potential.

No matter where you are or plan to buy, we’re here to help you reach your vacation rental goals.

Digital nomads, rejoice: Work and play no longer have to be separate. While you’re still remote, get some fresh air without using all of your vacation days. Switching up your routine a little can inspire new thinking and deepen your focus — all while you enjoy all the luxuries of vacation on your off-time. 

Ready to get out of the house? Pick one of these places based on how you like to feel at work and change up the scenery.

Bust Stress: Vacation Rentals with a Pool

Make your co-workers jealous by joining the company meeting poolside. Lounge in the sun while you knock projects off your list, then enjoy a crisp plunge in the water. Bonus: all of our homes are vetted in person, which means these pools are as good as they look. 

Resort-style pool and hot tub at Goodyear, Arizona vacation rental

Private Swimmer’s Paradise in Goodyear, AZ

Soak in the desert sun from this Goodyear home with a resort-style hot tub and pool combo. Work on your tan while you work from the sprawling patio, complete with a fully shaded outdoor area. The interior’s open layout and farmhouse furnishings are so beautiful that you’ll want to stay in and make meals at home — but when you’re ready to get out, grab ice cream at The Frozen Monkey and take a stroll around South Lake Park.

Palatial Luxury Home In Homestead, FL

If you’re feeling fancy, this Florida short-term rental is like stepping into a palace you can call your own. Here, 6,500 square feet of space is yours — meaning you can find a new place to work remotely every day. Sit al fresco in the expansive outdoor cabana or lounge by the palm tree-lined pool worthy of a magazine shoot. On weekends, day trip to the Florida Keys or take it easy with a bottle of local wine from Schnebly Winery.

Palm tree-lined pool at luxury vacation rental in Homestead, Florida
Lush background with in-ground pool at modern vacation rental in Austin, Texas

Modern Poolside Oasis In Austin, TX

The moment you set your bag down, the cerulean waters of this backyard pool will invite you to take a dip. Catch up with your group beneath the pergola, then swim laps in this sophisticated marvel as the sun goes down. Enormous windows let the light in here and make it feel like you’re by the pool, even when you’re hard at work inside. When you need to get out, experience the big city feeling by taking a walk through downtown Austin.

Honorable Mentions: Enjoy views of your own private lake and private pool at this luxurious vacation rental in Norman, OK, visit this meticulously decorated home with its own mini golf putting green and awe-inspiring pool in the Coachella Valley, or swim by day, stream movies in the home theater by night from this Pigeon Forge vacation rental.

Explore All Homes With A Pool

Get Energized: Vacation Rentals With A Gym

Exercise helps mental health and increases productivity — and companies are encouraging their teams to work out more than ever. These vacation rentals are perfect for a getaway that blends work-life balance, with a home gym to break up your day. 

Charming log cabin vacation rental surrounded by trees and nature trails in Sonoma County, California

Enchanting Log Cabin In Sonoma County, CA

Redwoods and red wine are waiting for you in Sonoma County. This charming cabin is the place to go glamping in the woods while still keeping a wi-fi signal. Nature is your gym here in a home that’s surrounded by trails and a few minutes from the beach, but if you want a more traditional place to exercise, hit the cabin’s small home gym. After a long work week, hop in the car, soak in ocean views, and savor wines from famous vineyards.

Private Forest Mansion In Acworth, GA

Turn your workday into a fairytale at this welcoming Acworth mansion, complete with a pool and its own movie theater. Take your lunch break in the home gym, catch up on emails from the gazebo, and toast to the day by the outdoor fire pit once five o’clock hits. There are so many ways to clear your head — whether it’s playing billiards, or cooking a meal for your group and enjoying it in the sprawling dining areas.

Acworth, Georgia vacation rental with a pool

Honorable Mentions: This budget-friendly vacation home in Glendale, AZ offers all the perks of a private resort, including a pool and a putting green. Or, go big and work remotely from this enormous vacation home sitting over the lake in Kaiser, MO. You can also sit out by your own private creek and access some of Colorado’s most pristine trails from this home amid the treetops in Evergreen, CO. 

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Find Quiet: Vacation Rentals with an Office

Evolve only rents homes with private entrances, which means that every place on our site is perfect for finding focus. But if you’re looking for a getaway where you can separate your 9-5 from your night of relaxation, these picks come with a home office and the bliss of complete quiet.

Living room in an Erie, Colorado vacation rental that also has multiple offices

Enormous Retreat In Erie, CO

This vacation rental is made for remote work retreats with multiple offices, plenty of separate seating areas, and a boardroom-style table. Travel with friends and tackle the workday separately from your own private spaces, then reconnect over a game night in the living room. Wind down while strolling downtown Boulder (just a short drive away) with the Flatiron mountains as your backdrop.

Upscale Cabin In Show Low, AZ

Enjoy a life of luxury from this scenic cabin equipped with its own lofted office for working remotely. Catch up about the day around the outdoor fire pit or sip wine on the sprawling wood patio immersed in the forest. If you feel like getting outside, explore the easy Show Low Bluff Trail on foot or spend a leisurely day fishing at Fool Hollow Lake.

Spacious kitchen in Show Low, Arizona cabin vacation rental, a home that also has a lofted office

Honorable Mention: Work remotely from this vacation rental in Fairplay, CO, and enjoy a cozy, log cabin exterior with a clean, modern interior. 

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Cozy Up: Vacation Rentals with a Fireplace

Good books are meant to be enjoyed next to a crackling fireplace. After a long day at the (virtual) office, sink into the couch at one of these places and find your cozy. All you need to bring is hot cider and groceries — each of our homes comes fully equipped with all the amenities you need to stay in for the night.

Dreamy Dome House In Idyllwild, CA

Hit the road and head to Idyllwild, which sits in California’s San Jacinto mountains. Pets are welcome at this airy dome house that’s a theater to thousands of night stars. Once you’ve closed up your laptop for the day, hit the trails at Mount San Jacinto State Park, then bring home a mountain pie to share from Idyllwild Pizza.

Cozy living room with wood-burning stove and guitar at the unique Dome House vacation rental in Idyllwild, California
Living room with stone fireplace and nature views at Incline Village, Nevada vacation rental

Spacious Modern Hideaway In Incline Village, NV

Rise to the sound of trees rustling out this bright property filled with natural light. Kick your feet up in the loft to get some focus, then spend happy hour in the hot tub before cooking up a feast in the gorgeous, modern kitchen. When you’re ready for fresh air, take an evening bike ride along Lake Tahoe, or just sit out and enjoy the lake.

Cabin In Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge is an outdoor paradise — and this enormous cabin that sleeps 14 is just the place to enjoy it. Take your calls from the quiet porch, indulge in a midday break to shoot some hoops in the in-home basketball court, and wind down by the fire after an evening of exploring the area’s sites. Window shop along Main Street and grab takeout, or find a hike like Hoosier Pass you can do as the sun goes down over the mountain. 

Rustic Breckenridge, Colorado cabin rental living room with large stone fireplace

Honorable Mentions: Sip a nightcap on a porch overlooking the creek at this vacation home in Frisco, CO, or soak your bones in the hot tub surrounded by trees in this Alto, New Mexico cabin.

Explore All Homes With A Fireplace

Fuel Creativity: Vacation Rentals with a View

Get some new perspective on what you’re working on from one of these places with a view. Find yourself thinking in new ways as you walk along the beach or sit out on the lake, free to let your mind wander. Just be sure to bring a notepad with you as you roam these houses for the moment a great idea strikes.

Exterior view of Bay City, Oregon hilltop vacation rental with stilted decks and lush landscaping

Hilltop Haven In Bay City, OR

If you’ve ever had the dream of looking out to the shoreline from a hot tub, this is just the place for you. This hilltop home in the Pacific Northwest is a destination for remote work, with several cozy seating areas, an unbelievable porch view looking over the coast, and a hot tub where you can dip and drink it all in. After work, take a scenic, slow drive along the Tillamook Bay and end the evening with scoops at the iconic Tillamook Creamery

Lakeview Retreat In Albion, MI

A lake with a private dock is yours at this calming escape in Albion, MI. This home is filled with windows so you never miss the view, even when you’re inside. There are so many places to work at this home on the golf course — whenever you need some fresh thinking, just pick a new room. The spacious kitchen opens right up into the living room, so you can share stories as you prepare the dinner to share. Days off can be spent on the course, dipping in the lake, or curling up next to a roaring fire while keeping the view.

Deck overlooking a private dock and lake at an Albion, Michigan vacation rental
Deck overlooking the ocean from beachfront vacation rental in Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Beachfront Home In Topsail Beach, NC

Creativity is often sparked by a long walk, and here, you can take that walk out on the beach. Sit out on one of the two decks facing the waves, then step out onto the sand when you need a break. Sunsets here look like a postcard, and you can enjoy them from a bright, cheerful house that is decorated to feel like vacation in every room. Spend the weekend grilling up porch on the outdoor barbecue and catching up your beach read in the pristine sand.

Honorable Mentions: Get out into the mountains at this Jefferson, CO cabin with a verdant view of the mountains and its own game room and treehouse. Or, book this cheerful beachfront home in New Smyrna Beach, FL with ocean access and take your morning coffee in the sand

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Enjoy the freedom to work remotely from a vacation rental anywhere, with all the comforts of home. Find your perfect place to get some fresh air and rest easy knowing that it’ll be professionally cleaned and ready for your arrival.

“Aren’t you just like Airbnb and Vrbo?”

We get that question a lot from people who haven’t worked with us yet. It’s easy to see why. We’re all in the same industry, short-term property rentals. You can find and book great properties on our website or on theirs. And the fact that every Evolve property appears on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online marketplaces just adds a little more to the confusion.

So let’s clear things up and outline exactly how Evolve is NOT Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or any other online marketplace.

They’re Marketplaces, We’re a Management Company

Airbnb, Vrbo, and similar websites are online “marketplaces” where guests find properties and homeowners find guests. Essentially, they act as a distribution channel for owners or property managers, attracting potential guests to their website but leaving the management of the properties and listings to the owners (or whoever is representing the property) themselves.

Evolve helps you start, manage, and grow a vacation rental business. That means we actively work on behalf of our owners, ensuring maximum bookings and eliminating the stress of the traditional vacation rental process.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Evolve is a BIG customer of the online marketplaces. We have tens of thousands of properties listed on their sites, and we constantly implement cutting-edge strategies to make sure our owners’ homes are positioned for maximum traffic and bookings.

Behind the scenes, we have teams of specialists working on the hardest parts of managing a vacation rental: marketing, booking, and customer service. Our teams do everything from creating search-topping property listings to revenue optimization to answering guest questions and asking for online reviews. We even hire professional photographers at no cost to owners to show each property in the best possible light.

As a result of our approach, Evolve properties outperform most others on the online marketplaces. So we don’t compete with Airbnb, Vrbo and the rest. We work with them–and everybody wins.

Our Homes Are Different, Too: Always Perfect for Vacation

Unlike most marketplaces, we don’t offer home sharing, extended stays, campsites, trailers, or other mobile structures. Each Evolve property has its own entrance and kitchen (typically a house or condominium). A lot of Evolve guests appreciate having the comforts of home when they travel, and our properties reflect that.

We take even more guesswork out of vacation rental by making sure our properties meet our four core standards. We believe guests simply won’t have the experience they’re looking for unless the property they’ve booked is:

By focusing on properties ideally suited for vacationing and making sure each one lives up to our standards, we’re building a brand that guests can trust to have the time of their lives.

A Different Experience for Owners and Guests

Since Airbnb, Vrbo, and the like don’t handle property management, homeowners have traditionally been forced to either hire a local company to do it or fend for themselves. Evolve is different.

We give homeowners performance-focused marketing and booking support, plus the flexibility to choose their own partner(s) to clean the property and greet guests. Evolve handles all guest inquiries, bookings, and pre-stay communications. We can also connect owners with hundreds of vetted partners nationwide that can handle cleaning and guests.  

With Evolve’s help, every guest enjoys a booking experience that feels as professional as the world’s top hospitality brands. We handle all inquiries directly, resolve guest and owners questions, and communicate directly with cleaners to ensure the property is ready for every guest. Our unique approach makes vacation rental actually feel like vacation for owners and guests.

So We’re Not Airbnb or Vrbo, But We’re All Friends

Once you work with Evolve, you quickly discover the difference between our service and all of the others. Soon you’ll book — and earn — more for an industry-low fee that’s backed by an unmatched Risk-Free Guarantee.

Owners should be able to relax, trusting that their property is living up to its potential. And guests should be able to relax with an experience that feels like a big hospitality brand. That’s the Evolve difference.

Learn more about how Evolve helps owners — from newcomers to industry veterans — maximize their listing exposure and passive income

Your Free Welcome Book Template Is Here!

Sure, your property listing covers a lot of info about your home — but guests will still have some questions when they arrive. Like, which local coffee shop has the best ambiance? What’s that one trick to getting the dishwasher started? How should they handle check-out?

Your welcome book is the perfect place to answer common questions, and it’s also one of the most searched for vacation rental amenities. By providing essential info up front, you can free guests from encountering snags during their stay.

We think that putting together this important resource should feel easy — which is why we made you a free welcome book template. All you have to do is download it and plug in your home’s info!

Why Make a Welcome Book?

Welcome books have a big impact on your guests’ experience. Here are some reasons to block off a few minutes and fill in this template.

Welcome Books Help Others Navigate Your Rental Property and Treat It the Right Way

Guests want to know how to watch a movie at night or adjust the temperature in your house. Giving them a resource on how to get comfortable living in your rental is sure to make their vacation stress-free for both of you.

Welcome Books Provide Local Highlights and a Sense of Your Personality

The reason many guests book vacation rental properties is to immerse themselves in the location. Recommending restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and more can turn a good trip into the best trip ever. Lead your guests to the most delicious slice in town — or teach them how to avoid crowds at a local attraction — and they’ll want to book with you again in the future.

Welcome Books Show Guests That You Care

Your advice on how to make the most of your property gives guests the friendly engagement they’re looking for. It also protects their personal space and privacy by providing valuable information without requiring personal interaction.

Welcome Books Help You Get Great Reviews

Your guests are likely to reward your thoughtfulness in their reviews. Even better, you or your guest contact may get fewer questions during their stay, and you’ll be sending new customers to your favorite local shops and restaurants, ensuring they thrive!

Sounds pretty great, right? But where should you start?

What to Include in Your Welcome Book

From a friendly “hello” letter to your home’s policies, these are the sections you’ll need to put together the most useful welcome book.

A Personal Welcome Note

Guests who choose vacation rental are looking for a unique home with a real person behind it. Writing a note to personally welcome them to your property is another way to separate yourself from a hotel — and reinforce their decision to stay with you.

Helpful Local Contacts

Make sure your welcome book provides at least one name, telephone number, and email for a local contact near your property. This person can be you, a local property manager, or even a neighbor — but they should be easily reachable, and available to come to the home on short notice. Nobody wants unanswered guest complaints to derail a pleasant stay.

You’ll also want to include contact details and addresses for the following emergency resources, just in case:

Remember, guests don’t have all of the resources they’d typically have at home. They’ll feel more at ease if they know you have their safety in mind.

Your Property’s Policies

Even if you send your policies in a pre-stay email, (Evolve does!) it’s still important to reiterate them at the property. Including policies in your welcome book can help you resolve common vacation rental issues and complaints because guests will have a difficult time arguing that they weren’t aware of the rules.

You should include all of the following information in your welcome book:

An in-home reference guide will help remind guests how best to enjoy your home and leave it in good shape for the next guests.  Another perk of including your policies: you’re way less likely to find broken or misused items after a stay!

How-To Instructions

When your guests can’t figure out simple things like how to turn on the hot tub, they can get frustrated and wind up taking out that frustration in their review of your property. Even if every appliance works perfectly, spending valuable relaxation time figuring out how to use it is no one’s idea of a fun vacation.

Include helpful instructions for your:

This is also a good place to note any quirks of your property. For example, if the Wifi works very well all over the house, but not in the family room downstairs, make sure your guests know that. If they aren’t expecting an issue, they’ll be annoyed by it, but with a little forewarning, they’ll feel like they know exactly what they can expect, and it’s less likely to trouble them.

Where to Go and What to Do

You know all of the insights you’ve collected about your neighborhood? Now’s the time to share your expertise — because everyone loves a good recommendation from a local! Try to suggest activities that would appeal to a range of guest types, such as family-friendly museums or romantic places for a dinner out.

Be sure to give addresses and phone numbers for each of your recommendations. Adding the amount of time it takes to get to the destination is a great idea, too. Include at least a suggestion or two in each of the following categories:

And share places where you personally enjoy going. This isn’t to say you can’t include popular attractions you haven’t visited in person. Just let your guests know that you haven’t tried them yourself, but you’ve heard good things and you hope they’ll tell you how they liked them! You can then use the guest feedback to gauge whether that activity merits a mention in your Welcome Book.

How to Get Around

Help guests explore your area by creating a section devoted to local transit. Be sure to include contact info, directions, schedules and any other details that guests might find helpful, like:

Ready to Create Your Book?

Here’s the good news: we’ve already created one for you. To make things easier for you and your guests we created a free downloadable template. Enter your email in the form below to get your free, customizable copy. Then, type your information into our template, print the completed welcome book, and display it in an obvious area of your rental property, such as the kitchen counter. And if you’re looking to start booking more nights on your vacation rental, we can help with that, too.

Daytona Beach attracts tons of sunshine-lovers every year for its 23 miles of coastline. And they’re serious about their sand time: in a recent survey of out-of-state visitors, a whopping 93% of participants said they came just for the beach (locally dubbed the “World’s Most Famous”).

Add that to coastal cuisine, family fun, home-run history, and the annual Daytona 500 that hosts more than 100,000 people alone — it’s clear the area’s 9.9 million annual visitors checks out. That makes a real estate investment in Daytona Beach as appealing to buyers as the glistening Atlantic Ocean.

To help you understand the investment opportunity the Daytona Beach real estate market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis.

Inside you’ll find:

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Daytona Beach market averages in the last year. They provide a general baseline for performance potential and they’re designed to help inform smart decisions when making a real estate investment in Daytona Beach, FL.

Download Our Complete Daytona Beach Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Green icon of a beach house with waves, an umbrella, and stars

Why Daytona Beach Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Daytona Beach’s popularity may start with the beaches and year-round warm weather, but it doesn’t end there. Cue the Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of Arts and Sciences, and the legendary Daytona International Speedway, and this Floridian oasis becomes a well-rounded destination for couples, families, and business travelers alike.

Not-so-coincidentally, vacation rental occupancy starts climbing in late winter, largely in thanks to the Daytona 500. Demand reaches its peak around spring break, and stays up through the summer for all those sun and relaxation chasers. Although travel slows in the cooler months, our data shows top properties still tend to see strong booking calendars until January.

For real estate investors in Daytona Beach, this can translate to a diverse population of multi-season travelers looking for the perfect place to stay — ones who are willing to spend for it. In 2021, Volusia County visitors spent $5.5 billion locally. So diving into the real estate waters could help you reel in some of that revenue for yourself.

If that’s what you’re looking for, Zillow’s median home value is on your side at just under $260,000. While beachfront properties will likely be pricier, the Daytona Beach real estate market generally offers more affordable options compared to other Florida hotspots like Miami, Tampa, or nearby Jacksonville.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Daytona Beach Vacation Rental?

As travelers of all kinds discover the delights of Daytona Beach’s sunny sands, short-term rental owners have the opportunity to earn big. But before you dive into Daytona Beach real estate investment, consider these important factors.

Property Size

Two- and three-bedroom properties are currently tied for the most annual nights booked on average. This is great news for investors, given both options make up a large portion of the local inventory.

Plus, with one-bedroom homes following close behind in average nights booked, their much larger inventory pool could make a smaller home a very feasible real estate investment in Daytona Beach. While larger homes tend to make the most annual revenue, four- and five-bedroom homes make up a much smaller portion of available Daytona Beach inventory, meaning your property search could be a bit more limited.

Property Location

According to our real estate experts, travelers look to book homes right on the shoreline or within walking distance to the beach — so start your property search there to help secure a strong performance opportunity.

Our team also says condos do very well in Daytona Beach, especially when located on Atlantic Avenue with beach access. So while a standalone beach house investment could produce a high return on investment, a beachfront condo could also be profitable while offering access to the market at lower upfront costs.

Property Amenities

From the sunniest spring and summer days to the city’s quieter winter season, owners can stand out in Daytona Beach’s thriving travel market by investing in the amenities travelers look for.

Because the majority of top-performing rentals in Daytona are located on or near the water with an ocean view, consider adding popular beach amenities. Air conditioning and an updated outdoor space can also create the perfect environment for relaxing after a long day in the sun.

When rain and cooler temps keep people inside, your home can attract even more guests and earn five-star reviews with all-weather entertainment. Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and a pool table are great for turning up the fun — particularly for groups seeking family-friendly options.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with vetted homes for sale.

Download Our Full Daytona Beach, FL Vacation Rental Market Analysis

A world-famous beach, year-round warm weather, and a variety of popular events and activities add up to major travel demand in Daytona Beach — along with a promising real estate investment for buyers to explore.

Whether you’re fishing for an investment property purchase or hoping to reel in more revenue with your current home, our free Daytona Beach Vacation Rental Market Analysis has what you need. It’s full of important insights, including:

The right tools for real estate investment in Daytona Beach, FL can get you your day in the sun — while your guests spend theirs at the beach.

When we’re bombarded with a long list of to-dos and stress-ridden schedules, taking the time to unplug and get cozy can bring a huge wave of relief — especially with friends and family around. And these simple joys are what a hygge vacation is all about.

The historic (yet very trendy) Danish art of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is all about embracing a feeling of coziness and connection. And in order to live a hygge lifestyle, you need the right environment and scenery. These cozy cabin rentals put you in the right space and frame of mind. Their unique features and interiors give you the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones, enjoy the calming elements of nature, and really lean into the concept of hygge.

In This Article:
Cozy Cabin Rentals That Bring in the Outdoors

Cozy Cabin Rentals Offering a Fire-Burning Ambiance

Cozy Cabin Rentals with Soft, Light Interiors

Cozy Cabin Rentals That Bring in the Outdoors

Interior shot of a modern, white, cabin, living room and kitchen with double doors opening to the porch and trees in the backyard.

A big part of the hygge lifestyle is connecting with nature both indoors and out. Book any of these cozy mountain cabins to see just how delightful it is to relax in a rental that surrounds you with natural beauty.

1. Spacious Colorado Haven

Nature has a way of inviting you to slow down and put your devices away. You can relax more, breathe the fresh air, and soak in your surroundings — all  important parts of how to live a hygge lifestyle. This beautiful log cabin in Fairplay, CO has giant windows that peer into the forest, a spacious layout for relaxing with family, and a luxurious hot tub so you can soothe sore muscles while outside.

See More Fairplay Cabins

2. Remote Washington Retreat on the Naches River

Another place with just the right setup for indulging in quality time is this secluded, hygge cabin in Naches, WA. Large windows immerse you in lush forest and mountain views, and the natural materials used throughout the design bring the outside in. Add the snug seating, large dining table, outdoor hot tub, and foosball table — and your group may never want to leave.

See More Washington Cabins

3. Quaint, Secluded Log Cabin Near Yellowstone

Some of the most hygge homes are known for having a small footprint, as the lack of clutter and simple design encourages a feeling of stress-free contentment. And this cozy mountain cabin in Livingston, MT (just a short drive from Yellowstone National Park) is perfect for your two-person hygge escape. Thanks to massive windows that look out on the landscape, the serene space lets you watch wildlife and admire the surrounding peaks from inside.

See More Livingston Cabins

Cozy Cabin Rentals Offering a Fire-Burning Ambiance

Cabin living room with a roaring fire in a large stone fireplace, overlooking the mountains and water

Is there anything more cozy than a log-burning fireplace? Experience all of the warmth these vacation rentals have to offer in your pursuit of a more hygge lifestyle.

4. Rustic Fleetwood Log Cabin

The warm, charming layout of this secluded log cabin in Fleetwood, NC creates the perfect space for movie nights alongside the wood-burning fireplace. Large windows draw in refreshing, natural light, and there’s plenty of outdoor space for wildlife-watching (not to mention a hot tub). When you think “cozy,” imagine yourself curled up with a soft blanket in front of the fire and nothing but time to be present and enjoy the perfect hygge setup.

See More Fleetwood Cabins

5. Family-Friendly Sevierville Cabin

This gorgeous mountain home in Sevierville, TN offers a cozy cabin interior with warm wood, high ceilings, and to-die-for views of the Smoky Mountains. Spend your days soaking in the landscape from the screened-in hot tub (maybe after a leaf-peeping adventure or two), then cuddle next to the fireplace for a night of board games with the family.

See More Sevierville Cabins

Cozy Cabin Rentals with Soft, Light Interiors

Cozy, bright, cabin kitchen and living space, with wood beams and white walls

A hygge vacation should bring uplifting feelings of contentment. Book these soft-interiored homes and let the light brighten your mood each day.

6. Bright A-Frame in the Black Hills

A wide open, A-frame cabin with expansive windows makes this modern rental in Lead, SD the perfectly-illuminated retreat. Whether you’re sharing a meal around the huge dining table or cozying up around the outdoor fire pit, this home is all about connecting to yourself, your group, and your surroundings. It invites you to stay immersed in the sights and history of the Black Hills — from the warmth of the gas stove all the way up to the soft textures and stunning scenery of the loft.

See More Lead Cabins

7. Calming Indiana Cabin

There couldn’t be more charm found in this Bloomington, IN home that’s fit for a memorable family holiday. Pets are welcome in the cozy cabin rental, and you can watch the snow fall as you bake cookies or sip a warm mug of tea. The light interior makes it easy to settle in, and the enchanting bistro lights outside add a picturesque touch.

See More Bloomington Cabins

How to Hygge at Your Vacation Home

If you don’t want to wait for your hygge vacation to start living the hygge lifestyle, here are a few things to try from the comfort of your personal space.

“LIGHT” FLAMELESS CANDLES: Candles can make your home feel like a different world — and flameless options are an easy, safe way to keep the hygge aesthetic for hours. You can also achieve a similar effect with fairy lights.

BRING OUT SOFT TEXTURES: The physical feeling of something soft and comfortable lends itself to cozy conversations. Treat yourself to a handmade sweater or throw, since hygge celebrates items and pieces with a story behind them. 

DECORATE WITH PLANTS: Inviting the outside in is key to creating a hygge setting. One of the simplest ways to do this: plants. Succulents or Pothos will do the trick, and come winter you can always bring home a real tree. 

SET UP A “HYGGEKROG”: A hyggekrog is a small reading nook perfect for opening a new book. Remove all clutter, grab blankets, add a soft cushion, and make sure you’ve got a view. 

HOST A SMALL DINNER PARTY: Have two to four friends over for dinner and cook something new together. Choose a dish that takes a while to simmer to create a comforting fragrance.

ENGAGE WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY: Set your phones aside and dive into real conversations. Ask your family or friends questions, play a board game, read a book out loud, or try a winter craft together. 

Create Your Perfect Hygge Vacation with Evolve

When you book with Evolve, you can find the perfect hygge vacation home and know it’ll be professionally cleaned and ready for your arrival. Our Rest Easy Promise helps you stay in the moment and travel without surprises.


Check out our other travel blogs for inspiration on where to explore next. From tiny houses and unique vacation rentals to the best wine regions and U.S. destinations with an international feel, your dream trip is just a few clicks away.

With awe-inspiring views, small-town charm, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, it’s no wonder why lake houses are so popular among U.S. travelers. Nature enthusiasts can spend their days hiking tree-lined trails, adrenaline junkies can try their luck at exhilarating water sports, and leisure lovers are bound to feel at ease unwinding on a sunset cruise with a glass of Pinot in hand. 

Plus, in the wake of COVID-19, 61% of families say they would rather vacation in an outdoorsy destination than an urban one — and they all need a place to stay. This means that now more than ever, lake town vacation rentals can be a terrific investment.

With nearly 500,000 lakes scattered across the U.S., figuring out where to invest in a lake house can take time and effort. Luckily, the research is already done. From woodsy cabins in upstate New York to waterfront gems in the Midwest, here are the best places to buy a lake house right now.

Want support buying the just-right rental for your investment goals? Our team of real estate experts can help you identify markets, properties, and partners to open new doors with ease. Fill out this form to start a conversation today.

In This Article:
Finger Lakes, NY
Saranac Lake, NY
Traverse City, MI
Branson, MO
Pocono Lake, PA
Buckeye Lake, OH
Lake Anna, VA
Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Brainerd Lakes, MN
Canyon Lake, TX
Flathead Lake, MT

How We Chose the Best Places to Buy a Lake House Investment Property

Our data is based on a combination of proprietary and public data, but the three key metrics we took into account are:

In addition to these metrics, we also evaluated a vacation property’s potential to outperform market expectations with an Evolve partnership. Below, you’ll see The Evolve Difference showcasing how we helped some of our top lake house owners maximize income and significantly beat the market’s projected revenue.

Please note: all data projections reflect ideal-state scenarios. Variables like owner-blocked calendars and extenuating circumstances (like natural disasters) are not factored into these calculations.

1. Finger Lakes, NY

Photo of a sunset over Seneca Lake, NY with the sun glowing through wood pilings poking out of the water. Image text reads, “$31,434 median rental revenue. $202,257 median listing price. 10.9% example cap rate.”

New York’s Finger Lakes region is home to 11 pristine lakes located just south of Lake Ontario. A year-round destination for families looking to escape city hustle and bustle, the area offers a wide array of museums, attractions, wineries, and scenic state parks. This impressive draw for travelers translates to strong profit potential for investors, which is how top Evolve homes in the Finger Lakes pull in over $72,000 — more than double the median annual revenue.

This region is the most affordable on average in comparison to other best places to buy a lake house, making it easier to break into the market on a tighter budget. When investing in the Finger Lakes, our real estate experts recommend searching in Seneca Falls, Geneva, and Penn Yan for that perfect waterfront property — as water access is a key amenity in this part of the country. 

Just note: many towns in the Finger Lakes region have permitting and zoning restrictions, so familiarize yourself with the regulations in your chosen area and connect with local officials for a deeper understanding of how they apply.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $72,625 annually!

2. Saranac Lake, NY

Photo of wilderness near Saranac Lake, NY with colorful fall leaves. Image text reads, "$29,151 median rental revenue. $264,598 median listing price. 7.7% example cap rate."

Tucked in the world-famous Adirondack Mountains, the charming village of Saranac Lake boasts scenic views, laid-back vibes, and plenty of things to do. From boating during the summer to leaf-peeping and mountain biking in the fall, a Saranac Lake vacation rental investment is ideal for those looking to maximize multi-season bookings. 

While lakefront homes can get more expensive than the area’s median listing price — and top-performers often offer direct lake access — owners don’t need to be right on the water to find success. Other high-earners are in close proximity to the historic downtown (or nestled in a wooded area for added privacy), and are pet-friendly

One thing all top-performing lake house rentals in this area have in common: they’re cabins. Keep this popular home type in mind when starting your search to grab the most attention from eager bookers.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $43,291 annually!

Love the idea of a cabin investment? Check out the best places to buy this year to find the ideal market for your vacation rental success.

3. Traverse City, MI

Photo of a lake in Traverse City, MI with a grassy beach in the foreground and waves crashing on the shore in the background. Image text reads, “$40,191 median rental revenue. $424,731 median listing price. 6.6% example cap rate.”

Traverse City is a treasure on the shores of Lake Michigan. With famous cherry blossoms, vineyards, and woodlands around every turn, show-stopping views are not hard to come by. Speaking of views: it is possible to find a home with great sights of Lake Michigan, but the area is also dotted with many smaller lakes that offer equally awe-inspiring scenery.  

In fact, Evolve’s most successful homes in Traverse City tend to sit on Silver Lake, Long Lake, Island Lake, and Bass Lake. According to our experts, they also have direct lake access and frequently-booked amenities like private docks, hot tubs, and fire pits.

Even better: cap rate — which is the ratio between a property’s net income and its market value — has gone up since last year, meaning owners have potential to see an even stronger return on their investment. This is because median listing prices have remained relatively level while owners earned more annual income on average.

Traverse City tourism has also almost completely recovered since the COVID-19 era, so it’s no surprise there’s growing demand for vacation rentals in this area. Vacationers looking to expand their horizons beyond lake life will find ample opportunities for fun, from exploring the sweeping vistas and pillowy-soft sands of the Sleeping Bear Dunes to diving into Traverse City’s thriving arts scene.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $82,154 annually!

4. Branson, MO

Photo of a glowing yellow sunset on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO with a sailboat floating in the foreground and silhouetted hills on the far shore. Image text reads, “$22,962 median rental revenue. $246,472 median listing price. 6.5% example cap rate.”

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, the lively city of Branson is home to world-famous shows, theme parks, and family-friendly activities. It’s why Branson received a record-setting number of nearly 10 million visitors in 2021 — making it one of the highest-ranking tourist destinations in the country — and continues to pull in troves of vacationers.

While lakefront properties can be tricky to find here, and are often more expensive than the median listing price, our experts say snagging one can earn investors higher rates and annual income — which can help offset the upfront costs. High performers in this area also tend to be luxurious cabins with lake views or easy lake commutes. 

That said, the soothing waters of Table Rock Lake are one of many reasons why visitors choose Branson, so you don’t need to be right on its shores to find vacation rental success. Proximity to other major attractions like Dolly Parton’s Stampede and providing in-home comforts for the whole crew are great ways to stand out to guests.

In addition to standard permits and licensing, Branson does have zoning restrictions in certain downtown areas and along stretches of Table Rock Lake. Our team recommends connecting with local agents who specialize in vacation rental to confirm whether your neighborhoods of interest are zoned for operation.

5. Pocono Lake, PA

Photo of Pocono Lake, PA with a weathered dock jutting into the choppy blue waters, an early autumn forest on the distant shore. Image text reads, “$20,594 median rental revenue. $279,959 median listing price. 5.1% example cap rate.”

Pocono Lake is a quaint and peaceful area in the Pocono Mountains, best known for its spectacular landscapes and wide selection of exciting things to do. Nature meets adventure here for an endless supply of fun, from whitewater rafting in the summer to vibrant foliage and festivals in the fall. Plus, its close proximity to several major ski resorts makes Pocono Lake a solid choice for investors looking to secure year-round bookings. 

Vacation rentals in this area are frequently in high demand, yet the property purchase price remains reasonable compared to other best places to buy a lake house. Our experts say that top-performing Pocono Lake vacation rentals are either lakefront properties with private docks and beaches, or houses located within prestigious lake communities (like Arrowhead Lake Village) with a quick walk to the shoreline. It’s homes like these that have top Evolve owners bringing in more than double the median rental revenue.

HOA regulations can be a deterrent in the Pocono Lake area, however, so investors should work with a local agent who can help them navigate those rules and find a property with high-performing potential in this strong market.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $42,851 annually!

Looking for a ski property to invest in? Check out the best places to buy across the U.S. for peak performance.

6. Buckeye Lake, OH

Photo of Buckeye Lake, OH with massive blue skies and clear still water. Image text reads, "$24,263 median rental revenue. $335,438 median listing price. 5.1% example cap rate."

Buckeye Lake is bursting with all the historic charm, outdoor attractions, and welcoming vibes visitors hope for in a lake stay. Thanks to its ideal location just 30 minutes from Columbus, Buckeye Lake draws in weekenders looking for a nearby getaway while also providing out-of-towners with a stellar day trip option during their vacation. 

Nature lovers are sure to get their fill with plenty of opportunities for boating, biking, hiking, fishing, and lakefront dining in this area. So it’s no surprise that Evolve homes drawing the most interest from guests are located within walking distance of the shoreline and provide easy access to the nearby state park

When looking at listings for sale, our real estate experts recommend searching for a spacious property in Millersport or Thornville to get the best bang for your buck. Just keep in mind home prices in these towns can get more expensive as you inch closer to the shoreline. So after you buy, you’ll want to make sure you offer the amenities midwestern travelers love to help boost your bottom line.

7. Lake Anna, VA

Photo of Lake Anna, VA with a sparse treeline overlooking rippling blue waters and a clear sky. Image text reads, “$26,942 median rental revenue. $396,138 median listing price. 4.8% example cap rate.”

With over 200 miles of shoreline and a convenient location just an hour and a half from Washington, D.C., Lake Anna is one of Virginia’s top destinations for water enthusiasts. But it’s an idyllic paradise that beckons all types of travelers thanks to its thrilling water sports, wineries, lakefront restaurants, outdoor markets, and historic attractions

When buying a Lake Anna investment property, our experts advise honing in on the cities of Bumpass, Mineral, and Louisa. Those with four to six bedrooms, large decks, boat docks, and spacious backyards tend to earn the most — and it doesn’t hurt to offer kayaks and a fire pit to entice guests to book your rental over someone else’s. 

While larger estates and luxe amenities typically come with a steeper upfront cost in Lake Anna, those who can swing the investment tend to see much higher results — that’s why top Evolve owners in the Lake Anna area are earning nearly three times the median revenue.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $72,099 annually!

8. Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Photo of a soft golden sunset over Lake Winnipesaukee, NH with a dark mountain on the far shore casting a large shadow on the water. Image text reads, “$31,518 median rental revenue. $501,116 median listing price. 4.4% example cap rate.”

As New Hampshire’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee is a popular year-round destination for tourists and locals looking to embrace its picturesque views, peaceful atmosphere, and a variety of outdoor activities. Vacationers can go hiking in the spring, swim in the summer, go leaf peeping in the fall, and ski at the nearby Gunstock Mountain Resort in the winter — all of which increase your odds of year-round bookings. 

While Lake Winnipesaukee spans 72 square miles, our experts recommend narrowing your search to Gilford, Laconia, and Wolfeboro. Many of the homes around the median listing price either sit right on the water or boast picture-perfect lake views, which can translate to higher demand and owner profits. 

That said, you’ll also find properties in Lake Winnipesaukee listed well into the millions. These tend to be larger estates with six to eight bedrooms and luxury perks like multi-boat docks. But hopeful buyers don’t need limitless pockets to guarantee vacation rental success in this area. It’s all about evaluating whether you can invest in profit-driving amenities like lake access and private docks within the realities of your budget.

It’s worth mentioning that your lake house vacation rental doesn’t have to sit right on the shoreline to do well in this area, either. Many successful homes are within at least a mile or so of popular lake access points like Weirs Beach, but you can also draw in guests with beautiful views of the mountains or woods and proximity to local skiing.

9. Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Photo of Lake of the Ozarks, MO with a huge hill of golden, sunny trees reflected in the water. Image text reads, “$22,103 median rental revenue. $349,382 median listing price. 4.4% example cap rate.”

Set in the heart of Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a premier vacation destination for families that boasts natural wonders, recreational activities, and entertainment venues. From sparkling lake vistas and sunny beaches to rolling hills and lush forests, Lake of the Ozarks offers jaw-dropping beauty everywhere you look. As if this didn’t add enough value to the area, Branson also sits just an hour away — perfect for an easy day trip. 

With over 40 towns and more shoreline than the coast of California — 1,100 miles, to be exact — our experts recommend investors concentrate their search on Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Sunrise Beach, and Camdenton for maximum profit potential. 

Top Evolve owners earning more than double the median rental revenue here either sit on the lake, boast incredible lake views, and/or are located in or near popular resort communities like Margaritaville.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $55,622 annually!

10. Brainerd Lakes, MN

Photo of a canoe floating in a lake near Brainerd Lakes, MI with colorful fall leaves along the shore. Image text reads, "$31,340 median rental revenue. $513,074 median listing price. 4.3% example cap rate."

Located along the Mississippi River, the Brainerd Lakes area is a quintessential lake destination where small-town charm and adventure collide. Visitors can immerse themselves in the scenic beauty by hiking or biking through miles of trails, kicking back on a boat cruise, and sunbathing on one of the many public beaches. During summer, the Lakes Area Music Festival also brings in hundreds of artists for epic live shows. 

With a whopping 450 lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area, it’s not hard to find a waterfront property. However, our experts recommend focusing your search on Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, and Crosslake to increase potential for a strong return on your investment. 

High-performing vacation rentals sit primarily on those three lakefronts, and offer guests private beaches and fire pits along with indoor perks like fireplaces and saunas. As a result, some Evolve owners make nearly three times the median rental revenue.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $81,745 annually!

11. Canyon Lake, TX

Photo of Canyon Lake, TX with a rocky beach in the foreground and wooded hills in the distance. Image text reads, "$23,972 median rental revenue. $469,647 median listing price. 3.6% example cap rate."

With 80 miles of unspoiled shoreline and Caribbean-blue waters, Canyon Lake is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Each year, tourists flock to the area to experience the best of the “Water Recreation Capital of Texas,” from boating and swimming at one of the nearby parks to discovering ancient fossils and dinosaur tracks at Canyon Gorge

Top-performing vacation rentals in Canyon Lake tend to be spacious properties with striking lake views or easy access to boat ramps. Family-friendly amenities like game rooms and luxe adds like hot tubs also draw traveler attention.

Before you invest here, it’s important to understand that vacation rental owners cannot operate within the Canyon Lake city limits. Instead, your lake house needs to be in the unincorporated county. Our experts recommend connecting with local officials before you buy to make sure the property you’re eyeing sits in the unincorporated part of Canyon Lake to avoid red tape.

 12. Flathead Lake, MT

Photo of a sunset over Flathead Lake, MT casting soft pink and purple light over the calm waters and distant mountains. Image text reads, “$30,925 median rental revenue. $710,817 median listing price. 3% example cap rate.”

Northwest Montana’s sprawling Flathead Lake covers over 200 square miles and plays host to an abundance of outdoor adventures for all types of vacationers — including sailing, swimming, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and waterskiing. 

With tons of blissful shoreline, there are several towns in the Flathead Lake area where waterfront vacation rentals perform well, including Bigfork, Lakeside, and Somers. Evolve owners in these communities bring in more than double the median rental revenue with spacious homes and large decks overlooking sensational lake views.  

Because very little inventory across these three towns doesn’t sit lakefront, properties tend to be more expensive. That’s one reason why the median listing price is higher than other great places to buy a lake house. Investors on a budget can expand their search to the nearby town of Kalispell, where proximity to Flathead Lake drives similar demand. This can help you take advantage of lower list prices — without sacrificing income potential.

Plus, there’s great news for investors looking to move quickly on setting up shop: there’s no red tape in this area beyond a standard operating permit, so getting your vacation rental in front of potential bookers can be pretty seamless when working with the right management company.

The Evolve Difference: Our owners have earned up to $68,202 annually!

Buy Your Dream Lake House with Evolve

Investing in a lake house vacation rental is a big decision, but you don’t have to navigate your options alone. Whether you’re drawn to one of our tried-and-true hotspots or interested in the untapped potential of a lesser-known town, our seasoned team of experts can help you take the next step toward buying in one (or more!) of the best places to buy a lake house.

We have the data to contextualize your investment opportunities and define your income goals, preferred local real estate agents who specialize in vacation rental purchases, and cutting-edge management strategies to help make your lake house a success once you’re ready to kickstart your business.

For additional research, here are some resources to help you better understand the potential of vacation rental investment:

Now that you’re ready to talk about buying the best lake house for you, get in touch with our team today.

For many travelers, dream vacations have one thing in common: a beach. 

According to our 2023 State of Travel survey, a “waterfront getaway” is the top vacation experience travelers are planning. And 59% said they were interested in booking a beach house more than any other property type.

It’s not too surprising — beach houses provide a certain kind of vacation magic. Salty air and the lull of waves work in tandem with totally private, home-away-from-home energy to create unique vacations filled with R&R. Look no further than our best places to buy a beach rental to see what we mean!

If that got you thinking, “Is a beach house a good investment?” then here are the top tips for buying and owning a beach property in today’s vacation rental market.

In This Article:
Questions to Ask When Buying a Beach House
The Best Time to Buy a Beach House
Where to Buy a Beach House 
How to Buy a Beach House

Questions to Ask When Buying a Beach House

Vacation rental with ocean views from the balcony

Given the demand for vacations by the ocean, owning a beach house can have high profit potential for first-time renters and seasoned experts alike. But there are still some pros and cons of owning a beach house for potential investors to consider when weighing their options.

1. What Are My Overall Investment Goals?

Investing in short-term rentals helps homebuyers meet a number of goals, so you first want to figure out what benefits you’re hoping to get out of it. It might be to offset expenses, build equity, generate a profitable revenue stream, or qualify for certain tax deductions

Once you’ve decided that a beach house is a good investment and established your goals, you can use them as a guidebook for making the buying choices that work best for you. 

An area’s cap rate (the key metric that sets expectations around return on investment) can then help you zero in on the best places to buy a beach house that will help you hit your financial objectives. Or, if your goal is to have a home that you can enjoy for personal use, our real estate experts say it’s worth starting with destinations where you love vacationing, then analyzing the cap rate from there.

2. How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Beach House?

Determining the upfront costs of buying a beach house, as well as how quickly you could recoup your investment, can help you find the best property worth your hard-earned dollars. 

To start, you want to consider the areas you’re interested in. Popular vacation markets can offer impressive returns, but listing prices vary widely. Several destinations on our list of best places to buy a beach house have homes priced well under the $400,000 mark, while the most expensive market featured is Seabrook Island, SC, where the median price is $674,000.

There’s also property type to keep in mind. A common question people ask: do beach condos pay for themselves? They’re typically more affordable than single-family homes on the beach, our team says, but you also need to factor in extra costs like HOA fees, local taxes, or maintenance needs. Working with a knowledgeable realtor who specializes in both the area and vacation rental properties can get you valuable insight into what your total spend might look like, and our vacation rental income calculator can help you estimate profit margins with those expenses factored in.

When you work with Evolve to buy, we connect you with our network of licensed real estate agents and lenders that specialize in short-term rental so you can find the best home for your budget and goals.

3. Does This Destination Have Year-Round Demand?

Learning when demand peaks in an area helps you understand when you might get a wave of bookings — and when you should expect a sprinkle. 

While beach vacation rentals tend to see the highest demand in summer months, some year-round warm-weather destinations (like those in southern Florida and Hawaii) draw snowbirds seeking sunny escapes, too. 

With more people working remotely though, our team says marketing your listing as a place to come relax during the off season can help extend the rental season. Just make sure you have great WiFi for remote workers looking for a change of scenery — and for all of the travelers who expect this service at a five-star rental.

4. What Role Does Beachfront Proximity Play in This Market?

When you’re zeroing in on where to buy a beach house, the “location, location, location” mantra is an important one. Homes that are closest to major attractions (in this case, the sandy shores!) typically generate the most interest, as do those that are close to downtowns, boardwalks, and piers.

For that reason, top-performing beach vacation rentals largely have direct access to the sand and surf. (Many condos even have their own private stretches of beach, which can be a prized, value-adding amenity.) If you’re marketing your property as a beach house, it should be within two blocks of the beach, our team says. The closer you are, the better, so vacationing guests can easily carry beach amenities like umbrellas, coolers, and chairs.

The Best Time to Buy a Beach House

Wood walkway leading up to large beachfront vacation rental

You’ll see more beach houses on the market — and at lower listing prices — during the off season, our team says. But the “off season” can vary depending on the location where you’re looking to buy. 

In most beach markets, the majority of listings pop up in the fall or winter, which bucks the traditional spring and summer buying season in real estate. (Current vacation rental owners usually won’t sell in the months leading up to their busy season or during the peak season.) However, you may be able to find spring and summer listings in some destinations like southern Florida, which often experience high seasons in winter months. 

An off-season purchase means you’ll have ample time to complete any renovations needed before you start marketing your property. You’ll also have time to furnish your vacation rental, getting it in tip-top shape for the five-star guest experiences that maximize profits once the busy rental months roll around.

Where to Buy a Beach House

Interior living room space with flat-screen TV, fireplace, and large windows overlooking the ocean

Another key consideration that will help determine whether a beach house is a good investment: geography. There’s the option to invest in a well-known vacation rental market — or scoop up property in an up-and-coming destination.

Areas like Gulf Shores, AL; Hilton Head, SC; and Galveston, TX are among the most popular beach destinations on our best places to buy a beach rental list, especially for families that come back year after year. Some lesser-known gems, however, include Hampton, VA (an alternative to popular Virginia Beach) and Ocean Shores, WA (where rugged coastline and laid-back charm woo West Coast travelers).  

Our team is also seeing a trend of beach vacationers wanting to be within walking distance of downtown. That way, they have the option to shop, visit galleries, and dine out when they’re not splashing on the shore.

Here are some extra factors to consider that can boost the appeal of your property and help you hit your revenue and occupancy goals:

1. Beach Views

Renters coming to the beach for a vacation love having a perch to take in the pretty views. If you’re investing in a beach condo, look for properties that have ocean-facing balconies. If you think a beach house is a good investment for you, a deck or patio will add value to your property. Be sure to market the stellar views by showcasing them in the listing description and photography.

When you work with Evolve, our marketing experts craft click-worthy listings customized for you, complete with professionally shot and edited photos that get more guests to stop, look, and book.

2. Beach Access

For those looking to book a beach house for vacation, the sandy shores and the ocean are prime perks. Because of this, properties that are steps from the shore will be the most lucrative. Just remember they’ll probably be more expensive than the homes that are a few blocks away from the beach.

3. Beach-Friendly Amenities

Top-performing beach rentals that turn guests into repeat bookers include thoughtful amenities like grills (to barbecue or enjoy the catch of the day), fire pits, and safe swimming access that isn’t muddled by weeds or rocks. Buying a property that has the space or accessibility for these can help your listing stand out.

4. Pools

Those vacationing at beach houses like to have the option of pool days, too. Buyers should look for properties that have private pools or hot tubs (one of our most-booked amenities), or you can zero in on condos that give guests access to pools located on the property.

How to Buy a Beach House

Modern beach house with palm trees on a clear day

When it’s officially time to search beach houses for sale, finding the perfect one can be a minefield to navigate on your own. Our real estate experts take the guesswork and heavy-lifting out of the equation by helping you:

  1. Define your personal and financial goals
  2. Understand the nuances and earning potential of any market 
  3. Connect with preferred real estate agents in the area for expert local assistance
  4. Manage your new property to maximize income and stay ahead of the competition

Of course, if you want proof of performance upfront, our listings for sale page features beach homes that already have a proven track record of vacation rental success as Evolve properties.

Frankly,  a beach house is a good investment and there’s never been a better time to grow your property portfolio. Take the first step toward realizing your income potential by connecting with our team today. We’ve got the experience, tools, and specialized partners to help you maximize success at a fraction of the effort it would take to do it alone.

When sweater weather hits and everything needs a dash of pumpkin spice, you know fall has officially arrived. And in regions with the perfect blend of cooling temperatures and leafy trees, autumn announces itself with a vibrant shift from fresh greens to splashes of red, orange, yellow, and purple. 

It’s a breathtaking cycle that attracts flocks of leaf-peepers to the most colorful corners of the country. From secluded mountain peaks to sprawling city parks, we’ve picked the best places to see fall foliage in 15 tree-studded states.

Follow our guide to discover scenic drives, outdoor activities, key stops, and places to stay in four distinct regions so you can catch the colors at their brightest.

In This Article:

Best Places for Fall Foliage in New England

Best Places for Fall Foliage on the East Coast

Best Places for Fall Foliage in the Midwest

Best Places for Fall Foliage in the West

Best Places for Fall Foliage in the South

Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New England

A barn nestled in a valley with sweeping fall foliage views in Vermont

As the maple leaves ignite at summer’s end, the northeast transforms into the epitome of autumn. These gorgeous states feel straight out of a storybook, offering everything from quaint towns peppered with historic buildings to local farms where you can pick your own produce.

1. Vermont 

As the nation’s leading producer of maple syrup, Vermont’s forests offer delicious benefits along with being one of the best fall foliage destinations in the U.S.

🗓️ When to go: Mid-September for northern Vermont; mid-October for southern

📍 Towns to visit: Stowe, Bennington, Plymouth, Woodstock

🍁 Things to do: Ride the forested zipline or gondola at Mount Mansfield; hike or bike the Mount Peg Trail System; stroll the Eshqua Bog Natural Area boardwalk.

🚗 Must-do drive: Scenic Route 100 Byway is Vermont’s “Main Street.” Its winding route through the wooded Green Mountains is a leaf peeping paradise, and there are plenty of breweries, farms, and towns to stop at along the way.

🏠 Where to stay: This picture-perfect mountain cabin in Bridgewater is the ideal group getaway — it sleeps up to 15, has a relaxing hot tub, and is close to downtown Woodstock!  

See More Vermont Homes

2. New Hampshire

Wear your favorite flannel in the White Mountains while seeing double the trees reflected in mirror-clear lakes.

🗓️ When to go: Late September for northern Vermont; mid-October for southern 

📍 Towns to visit: North Conway, Sugar Hill, Bartlett

🍁 Things to do: Admire the woods from the Conway Scenic Railroad; take an autumn ATV tour along the interconnected trails of Ride the Wilds.

🚗 Must-do drive: The Kancamagus Highway cuts through the White Mountain National Forest, offering views of the Swift River, waterfalls, and Rocky Gorge tucked away in the trees.

🏠 Where to stay: This secluded Conway cabin combines rustic accents with a luxurious home theater room, outdoor fireplace, and forest-side hot tub.

See More New Hampshire Homes

3. Massachusetts

Take a trip back in time to historic small towns, breathe in the bay air, and get lost in the jaw-dropping landscapes.

🗓️ When to go: Early- to mid-October

📍 Towns to visit: Cape Cod, Lenox, Great Barrington, Concord

🍁 Things to do: Enjoy the fruits of the local trees at Berkshire Grown harvest markets; soak in the famous scenery of author Henry David Thoreau’s home at Walden Woods.

🚗 Must-do drive: The Mohawk Trail follows a former Native American trade route through the Berkshire Mountains between the dense Hudson and Connecticut River valleys.

🏠 Where to stay: Look out across Lake Buel from the deck of this romantic cottage, then head out to explore nearby Great Barrington or hike a part of the Appalachian Trail. 

See More Massachusetts Homes

Best Places to See Fall Foliage on the East Coast

Road in Massachusetts winding through the woods with colorful fall foliage

Even though New England has earned its reputation as one of the best places to see fall leaves, its nearby neighbors offer equally gorgeous views. Covered in diverse terrain and never too far from metropolitan hubs, these states will have you seeing red (and orange, and yellow) come fall.

4. New York

Sugar maples are the New York State tree, so you can expect a dynamic display of colors from Long Island all the way to Upstate. 

🗓️ When to go: Tail-end of September through October

📍 Towns to visit: Catskill, Canandaigua, Margaretville, Hudson

🍁 Things to do: Walk the The Hudson River School Art Trail that inspired landscape painters like Thomas Cole; take the Fall Sky Ride to the top of Bristol Mountain for views of the Finger Lakes; experience Adirondack fall foliage on a rafting tour through the Hudson River Gorge.

🚗 Must-do drive: New York State Route 42 has been deemed “The Notch” because of the way it cuts into the dense forests of the Catskill Mountains.

🏠 Where to stay: Gather friends and family to share 125 private acres of the Catskill Mountains in this rare retreat. Spend your days roaming the landscape, soaking in the views from the wraparound porch, or exploring nearby Margaretville.

See More New York Homes

Not quite ready to book? Favorite your top  vacation rentals so you can easily find them when planning your future vacations.

5. Pennsylvania

Welcoming you to “Pursue Your Happiness,” Pennsylvania’s historic sites and heritage trails present its storied past in a colorful shroud of changing leaves.

🗓️ When to go: Early October for northern Pennsylvania; mid- to late-October for southern

📍 Towns to visit: East Stroudsburg, Tobyhanna, New Hope, Albrightsville

🍁 Things to do: See fall colors from new heights while skydiving in the Poconos Mountains (or explore the same region on two feet); drive through every covered bridge on a scenic drive around town.

🚗 Must-do drive: Thanks to its unmatched views of the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania’s Route 6 was named “one of America’s most scenic drives” by National Geographic and connects 400 miles of small towns and wondrous sights.

🏠 Where to stay: Bring the whole family (including the pup!) to this kid- and pet-friendly cabin on Pocono Lake, complete with community perks like a clubhouse, beach access, and tennis courts. Or if you want even more space and 60 acres of private woodlands, head to Amish country.

See More Pennsylvania Homes

6. Maryland

Head west from the crab-catching capital of Chesapeake Bay to discover a rainbow of fall colors in the lush nearby forests.

🗓️ When to go: Early- to mid-October

📍 Towns to visit: Oakland, Ocean City, Annapolis, Baltimore

🍁 Things to do: Time your trip for the annual Autumn Glory Festival in mid-October, a five-day celebration of the changing leaves that includes craft markets, fall foliage driving tours, and a parade. 

🚗 Must-do drive: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal follows the Potomac River through the state and gives you the opportunity to admire the scenery from your car, a boat, or canoe.

🏠 Where to stay: Whether you’re admiring the surrounding forest from your screened-in porch or stepping onto a trail just outside your door, this secluded Oakland home offers the serenity of nature with easy access to multiple state parks.

See More Maryland Homes

Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the Midwest

View of Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota, surrounded by water and fall foliage

Before winter covers the trees in snow, the wooded lands of the Midwest offer some of the best places to see fall colors. Autumn begins a bit earlier in these states, so plan ahead before the season snowballs into freezing temperatures.

7. Michigan

With over half of the state being covered in trees, you won’t have to look far to find breathtaking fall foliage here. 

🗓️ When to go: Mid-September to early October in the Upper Peninsula; late September to late October for the Lower Peninsula

📍 Towns to visit: St. Ignace, Traverse City, Port Huron, Harbor Springs

🍁 Things to do: Awe in the majesty of woods and water at Tahquamenon Falls; see every kind of tree in one place at a botanic garden; drink in the apple orchards at local cider mills.

🚗 Must-do drive: M-25 whisks you along Michigan’s “thumb” coast for a tour of resort towns, scenic overlooks, beaches, and forested parks.

🏠 Where to stay: Step out onto the dock of this secluded Bass Lake cabin near Traverse City to cast a line or cast off on your kayak. With room for six, it’s a getaway worth sharing. (Or if you want to indulge, we’ve got you covered there, too.)

See More Michigan Homes

8. Wisconsin

From the deep woods of the north to the rolling hills of the Driftless south, Wisconsin’s diverse landscape offers a mishmash of leaf-peeping opportunities. 

🗓️ When to go: Early- to mid-October

📍 Towns to visit: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Dells, Mercer

🍁 Things to do: Summit the limestone cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment for amazing tree-to-shore views; hike the tree-covered hills of Devil’s Lake National Park; visit the majestic Northwoods in time to see the loons migrate south. 

🚗 Must-do drive: Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway hugs the southern shoreline of Lake Superior and the Bayfield Peninsula, known for its apple festival.

🏠 Where to stay: Cure your cabin fever while also living the luxe life with up to 13 guests in this tree-studded hillside hideaway in Baraboo. Stay toasty in the hot tub, grill out on the heated patio, and host a game night with air hockey and skee-ball.

See More Wisconsin Homes

9. Minnesota

Make your way through forested trails and winding waterways to hit all of the best places to see fall foliage in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

🗓️ When to go: Mid-September for northern Minnesota; mid-October for southern

📍 Towns to visit: Brainerd, Grand Marais, Ely

🍁 Things to do: Marvel at the brilliant paper birches and aspens of the Lake Superior Forest; explore hundreds of miles of the Paul Bunyan Trail on foot, bike, and ATV; see the clear waters of Lake Superior pop against the colorful forest from the top of the Sawtooth Mountains.

🚗 Must-do drive: Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway meanders along the Minnesota River through six vibrant state parks and a variety of historic sites. 

🏠 Where to stay: Live your best lake life at this sunny and open cabin just north of Brainerd. With colorful scenery and a shared dock, it has everything you need for a weekend on the water with your favorite fishing buddies.

See More Minnesota Homes

Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the West

Alberta Falls in Estes Park, Colorado during the fall season

Across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast, the autumn landscape is aglow with golden aspens. Whether you’re most comfortable holding a walking stick or a glass of Cabernet, these states of the wooded West provide a leaf-filled backdrop to your favorite activities.

10. Washington

Hidden gems await within Pacific Coast beaches, sage-covered hills, and of course, colorful trees.

🗓️ When to go: Mid-September to mid-October

📍 Towns to visit: Seattle, Bellingham, Ashford, Oyster Dome

🍁 Things to do: Explore the gorgeously curated botanical gardens and parks of Seattle; discover relics of the logging industry in the old growth of Snoqualmie National Forest; peer down from scenic viewpoints of the San Juans and Skagit flats.

🚗 Must-do drive: Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway brings you between the tree line of the Chuckanut Mountains and the white sand of the bay.

🏠 Where to stay: This remodeled A-frame cabin makes you feel like you’re in a fairytale. Nestled into the magical woods outside Olympic National Forest, the lofted home with room for four even features its own tiny treehouse! (If that home isn’t quite the right fit, you can also explore more A-frame cabins near you.)

See More Washington Homes

11. California

In a state that’s big enough to be split into 12 distinct regions, fabulous fall colors can be spotted near coasts, valleys, mountains, lakes, and just about every other kind of natural feature. 

🗓️ When to go: Mid-October for high elevations; late October for lower elevations

📍 Towns to visit: Lake Tahoe, Napa, Mammoth Lakes, Big Bear

🍁 Things to do: See the aspen groves aglow in Lake Tahoe; watch the grape leaves change hue while tasting their harvest in a renowned wine country.

🚗 Must-do drive: State Route 89 connects Lake Tahoe to June Lake with mountain views, national forests, and glimmering waters along the way.

🏠 Where to stay: Stunning Sierra Nevada views greet you from all directions in this mountainside yurt. Zen vibes meet modern convenience in the heart of the Eldorado National Forest, where hikes, lakes, and resort towns await in all directions of this South Lake Tahoe stay.

See More California Homes

12. Colorado

Before wintertime skiers hit the slopes, head to high elevations and soak in the perfect combination of mountain majesty and exquisite fall foliage.

🗓️ When to go: Mid-September to early October

📍 Towns to visit: Aspen, Estes Park, Steamboat Springs, Durango

🍁 Things to do: Play among the aspens at the Lost Forest rope course; hike high-elevation trails at the massive Rocky Mountain National Park; spot tree-dwelling creatures at the North Star Nature Preserve.

🚗 Must-do drive: San Juan Skyway winds through popular mountain towns while providing stunning views of massive aspen groves.

🏠 Where to stay: Unleash your inner mountaineer in this homey log cabin found 15 miles outside of Aspen. Listen to the rushing creek from your porch swing or take your fishing pole to the nearby Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers to catch some dinner.

See More Colorado Homes

Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the South

Views of fall foliage and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

You may not think of the South when you’re looking for where to see fall foliage, but as the sweltering summer heat makes way for the milder fall, trees change shades as brilliantly as anywhere else (though it does happen a bit later in the season). Bonus: since it may not be top-of-mind for most tree tourists, you’ll have more space and peace to enjoy the sights for yourself.

13. North Carolina

Discover small towns with gorgeous hikes, delicious food, pet-friendly fun, and inspiring art nestled into the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains.

🗓️ When to go: Mid-October to early November

📍 Towns to visit: Asheville, Bryson City, Highlands, Maggie Valley

🍁 Things to do: Marvel at over 100 tree species in the Blue Ridge Mountains; take the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on a scenic tour; enjoy music, quilting, food, and fun at the annual Harvest Festival in October.

🚗 Must-do drive: Blue Ridge Parkway rambles through the mountainside, with spectacular views of Linville Gorge and Mount Mitchell. With an intentionally slower speed limit, you’ll have extra time to spot every little leaf.

🏠 Where to stay: You don’t even need to step outside to take in the spectacle of the Smoky Mountains from every corner of this romantic Bryson City hideaway. Breathe in the mountain air from the screened-in porch and discover a new detail in the surrounding forests every time you look out the window. Or if you want something more medieval in the mountains, this epic castle is fit for royalty.

See More North Carolina Homes

14. Georgia

Even miles from the coastline, Georgia’s wildlife is never too far from the water. Dip your feet in a lake, hear the roar of a waterfall, and watch the reflections of the leaves.

🗓️ When to go: Early- to mid-November

📍 Towns to visit: Dahlonega, Blue Ridge, Tallulah Falls, Sky Valley

🍁 Things to do: Saddle up at a local ranch for a horseback tour of the Appalachian Trail; try your hand at geocaching in the Blue Ridge Mountains; hear the roar of Tallulah Gorge’s six waterfalls echo through the forest. 

🚗 Must-do drive: Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is wrapped in the gorgeous vistas of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

🏠 Where to stay: Head to the hills just south of Blue Ridge to the privacy of this open-concept cabin. Spend your time on the wraparound porch, soaking in the mountain views and the hot tub jets.

See More Georgia Homes

15. Tennessee

After visiting the leaf-filled mountains that inspired Dolly Parton in her youth, you’ll be singing their praises to everyone you know as one of the best places to see fall leaves.

🗓️ When to go: Late October to late November

📍 Towns to visit: Gatlinburg, Franklin, Chattanooga

🍁 Things to do: Take a fall color cruise across the Tennessee River Gorge on the Southern Belle Riverboat, complete with live narration.

🚗 Must-do drive: Cherohala Skyway takes you on a “ride above the clouds” through the Cherokee National Forest.

🏠 Where to stay: This secluded Smoky Mountain A-frame is ready for your family adventure. With access to community amenities like tennis courts, a pool, game room, and playground, there’s plenty to do just around the corner or a few miles away in Gatlinburg.

See More Tennessee Homes

Rest Easy While Catching the Changing Colors

After chasing the fleeting fall hues, you’ll want to arrive at a home that’s as vibrant as those autumn leaves. That’s why every stay on our site is backed by our Rest Easy Promise that your vacation rental will always be safe, clean, and ready for you and your family.

Find Your Perfect Home

If you’re looking for an adventure in every season, our top places to travel, best places to stargaze, and must-see roadside attractions are calling your name. And while you’re out, get an incredible stay inside tremendous tiny homes and wildly unique rentals, too.

To compete in today’s constantly-changing vacation rental industry, listing your property on multiple sites is crucial for capturing as many bookings as possible. But with nearly 80% of owners listing their home on just one site, most miss out on the revenue-boosting visibility that comes with multichannel distribution — also known as vacation rental channel marketing. 

This profit-driving marketing tactic can help owners earn up to two to four times more annual revenue, but it requires a keen eye on many moving parts. That’s why Evolve’s vacation rental channel marketing strategy is designed to juggle all of the time-consuming tasks involved in promoting your home across all the top booking sites

Before diving into exactly how it works, let’s look at the major benefits of having your listing everywhere travelers are looking.

Whether you’re just starting out or ready to grow your portfolio, Evolve’s vacation rental channel marketing strategy can help your home shine. Take the first step toward success and see if you qualify today.

In This Article:
Why Channel Marketing Management Matters
Evolve’s Vacation Rental Channel Marketing Strategy
How to List Your Vacation Rental on Multiple Sites with Evolve

Why Channel Marketing Management Matters

To capture bookings, drawing interest from multiple types of travelers is the name of the game in the vacation rental world. To truly maximize your home’s performance, you need strong channel marketing that effectively manages your listing across booking sites. This should:

And yes, it is possible for owners to list on some booking sites independently. But not all of them, as some require owners to work with a management company like Evolve. Going the DIY route can also be extremely time-consuming, and it’s all too easy to let important steps fall through the cracks. So, let’s look at how Evolve steps in to speed things up without missing any of the important details.

Evolve’s Vacation Rental Channel Marketing Strategy

Part of listing a vacation rental on multiple sites involves understanding each site’s unique offerings and best practices for peak performance. When Evolve manages your home, we use a vacation rental channel marketing approach that’s high-tech with a human touch. That means our team constantly analyzes insights from both in-house data and our industry partners to make sure your listing is fully prepped for success everywhere it’s promoted.

This applies to the professional photography we provide, the dynamic revenue strategies we create, and the listing details we stay on top of because they’re well known to help boost performance. Things like:

We use all of this intel to boost your rental’s visibility via their search engines and algorithms. This all adds up to deliver increased visibility, more bookings, and higher earnings for Evolve owners. 

Now, here’s a deeper look at how our partnerships with all the top players unlock your door to success.

Benefits of Evolve and Airbnb’s Partnership

Evolve’s relationship with Airbnb can put your vacation rental in front of 150 million potential guests every month — usually those chasing a unique experience, and sometimes with Fido in tow. Our team works closely with Airbnb to tailor listings to ongoing data insights that can pique a guest’s interest and ultimately convince them to book (like offering appealing policies or emphasizing a top amenity based on location).

Because Evolve is a trusted industry partner to Airbnb, Evolve owners also reap the benefits of prioritized support. This could include early access to new product launches or guideline rollouts — like Airbnb’s party policy and other platform improvements to the guest’s experience — giving us exclusive market insights that help put your listing ahead of the competition.

Perks of Evolve and Vrbo’s Partnership

Evolve and Vrbo team up to offer high-quality vacation homes to travelers who are, for the most part, interested in longer stays than what you might see booked on other sites (or traveling as a family). In 2022 alone, for example, Vrbo saw a 68% increase in stays longer than 21 days. Longer guest stays allow for fewer turnover needs, which can reduce costs for upkeep between bookings.

Plus, Vrbo views Evolve as a thought leader in the industry, meaning we work together closely when new ideas are born — like implementing Vrbo site improvements to enhance the booking experience. Vrbo also shares travel trends with Evolve early and often, empowering us to make strategic shifts (when needed) to keep you ahead in a competitive landscape.

Benefits of Evolve and Google Vacation Rental’s Partnership

Given Google’s strong authority and visibility offerings, owners often wonder how to list on Google Vacation Rental. But this is a goal that cannot be achieved on your own. Owners must work with a company like Evolve to unlock access to Google travel bookers.

Plus, Google rewards professional photography and the use of search-friendly terms in your listing by prioritizing high-quality listings on their results page. Evolve handles both of these areas of expertise for you when we craft (and manage) your custom listing, so you’re set up to see results from the start.

Perks of Evolve and Expedia’s Partnership

When thinking about how to list on Expedia, this is another time you simply cannot DIY. You have to partner with an affiliate or property management company to tap into its audience. 

The good news? Our partnership with Expedia gives Evolve owners access to their more than 30 million monthly visitors.

There’s more: your listing may even be promoted across Expedia affiliates (think Hotels.com and Hotwire). This opens the door for even more eyes on your rental — which can lead to those coveted bookings — so you can see how this partnership really packs a beneficial punch.

Other Sites Where Evolve Lists Your Home

On top of the popular sites highlighted above, Evolve also partners with Booking.com, Hopper Homes, HomeToGo, Zumper, HVN, VacationRenter, and others to get your home as much visibility as possible. We also promote qualifying properties on channels like Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy™

Of course, owners who work with Evolve always have their listing appear on evolve.com, too. This gives you exclusive access to a dedicated community of eager travelers who, thanks to our unrivaled hospitality, trust Evolve with their booking. But we don’t stop there — we also market your property on search engines, social media, and to our private database of email subscribers to reach an even broader audience.

But what about listing site fees? They’re seamlessly worked into our revenue optimization strategy, so you can forget about those costs entirely.

Get Evolve’s Vacation Rental Channel Marketing & Management

While run-of-the-mill channel management tools can help with easing some of the administrative burden that comes with trying to list your vacation rental on multiple sites on your own, they can’t list everywhere we can — and they don’t provide the 10+ years of human oversight and expertise that we offer.

Evolve’s vacation rental channel marketing strategy can increase your visibility, provide access to a wide variety of travelers, and help you reach your highest income potential. It’s a core part of our management services that help owners earn more — and it’s all within reach for an industry-low fee that’s fully backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee

To get in on the action, simply fill out the form below so you can see just how beneficial maximizing your exposure with Evolve can be.

Snowy driveways, cozy firelit evenings, frost on the window panes, hot cocoa on the stove. 

To your guests, these make for a charming winter escape. But for unprepared vacation rental owners, they can translate to icy danger, freezing-cold drafts, and stressful seasonal headaches. 

That’s why knowing how to winterize a vacation home is so important. To nix the stress, use these seasonal cleaning tasks and tips for getting amenities cold weather-ready for winter prep in all the key places — all while you continue to lock in five-star guest experiences.

In This Article:

Take Care of Seasonal Cleaning Tasks

Stock Up on Cold-Weather Essentials

Perform Winter Maintenance and Prep

Consider Upgrades That Boost Winter Efficiencies

Calculating Cost to Winterize a Vacation Rental

1. Take Care of Seasonal Cleaning Tasks 

Clean living room with fireplace and a potted plant by the window after winterizing a vacation home

Cleaning is key to your property’s success year-round, as surveyed guests rank cleanliness as the most important aspect in a vacation rental — and these comprehensive cleaning checklists can help establish easy and efficient standardization.

But what about the fireplace that’s gone unused for most of the year? Or those gutters that are now filled with autumn’s leaves? To winterize a vacation home and prep for cold-weather rental guests, you’ll want to task your cleaning or maintenance team with the essential to-dos that may have been put on the backburner during warmer months: 

Bonus Tip: Carpets should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, so this isn’t a requirement. But with guests spending more time snuggled up inside, the change of season is a good opportunity to keep carpets pristine.

2. Stock Up on Cold-Weather Essentials

Stack of blankets, one of many cold-weather vacation rental essentials

It’s all too common for guests to get a taste of winter weather during their stay. An icy driveway, piles of snow, the it-looks-pretty-but-my-car-is-buried feeling.  

To prepare for these scenarios, it’s important to equip maintenance teams (and guests!) with winter-specific supplies. Take a pre-season inventory of what’s needed to combat the elements, then stockpile items like:

Bonus Tip: Level up your guests’ experience by throwing in some cozy robes, hot chocolate supplies, and hand warmers to welcome your guests with extra comfort. These little touches stay top of mind when your guests leave good reviews about their stay!

3. Perform Winter Maintenance and Prep

Person testing water from a faucet to winterize a vacation home

Before the chill sets in, hire certified professionals (or tap your property maintenance team where applicable) to verify important systems are functioning properly, inspect windows, and winterize outdoor amenities like pools, hot tubs, and sprinkler systems. 

Here’s how the pros can help you winterize a cabin, beach house, ski property, or any other vacation rental:

Bonus Tip: Have a priority service partner on-call for the winter. You never want to be without a reliable contractor who can address emergencies like heating repairs, snow removal, or a hot tub snafu. (P.S. When you work with Evolve, we can help you find the perfect fit.)

4. Consider Upgrades That Boost Winter Efficiencies

Smart thermostat set to 63 degrees fahrenheit

It may seem like a splurge, but investing in “smart” technology can be really valuable if you’re managing your property remotely. Simplify the winterizing process, save money and energy, and handle issues without deploying your on-site contact with these tech improvements: 

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Vacation Rental?

The cost to winterize a vacation home can range widely depending on what tasks need to be done. Basics can often be taken care of on your own, which puts them at a more affordable price point. For example, replacing filters, clearing gutters, and installing a smart thermostat can all be done yourself for under $65.

Any winterizing that requires a pro is likely to cost over $50, depending on the complexity of the service. Draining a swimming pool, inspecting a chimney, or checking your HVAC system are all best completed by a professional, and can cost anywhere from $250-$350 per service.

There are also optional winterization efforts that can add up, like trimming tree limbs, replacing or flushing boilers, and adding pipe insulation. While you likely won’t need to address these every year, it’s good to take a look at bigger winterization investments every so often to keep your home in good condition. 

The big takeaway: routinely winterizing your rental is worth the cost, as it can prevent severe damage and more expensive repairs down the line (not to mention keep your guests safe and comfortable).

Make Winter Easy with Evolve

Preparing to winterize your vacation home won’t feel like a bone-chilling task with the right plan of action, but there’s so much more to consider on your path to vacation rental success. Luckily, we have all the tips and strategies you need to help make five-star service and strong performance a summer breeze year-round.

Whether you’re looking to stay well stocked, go eco-friendly, or create comfortable outdoor living spaces, Evolve has tons of resources to help your vacation rental thrive.

Year-round lake and beach access, nearly 300 days of sunshine, and a variety of outdoor activities make the Lake Havasu area a popular destination for adventurers of all group sizes — with Lake Havasu City as its shining Arizona hub.

Between the 835,000 visitors who come every year and the rising popularity of local attractions, Lake Havasu City and its surrounding towns hold major opportunities for investors hoping to generate extra income with a vacation rental property.

To help you understand the revenue potential Lake Havasu presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Lake Havasu rental market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when purchasing a Lake Havasu investment property.

Download Our Complete Lake Havasu Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Green icon of a lake house with waves, trees and stars

Why Lake Havasu Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Easily-accessible from Las Vegas, the SoCal area, and Phoenix, Lake Havasu draws crowds from all over the western United States (with particular love from Californians in recent years), many of whom become loyal returners. It also gets a lot of attention from families looking for a wide variety of kid-friendly things to do. Guests are able to enjoy lakeside fun in Lake Havasu State Park during summer months, while temperate winter and spring weather make for ideal hiking, festival-going, and downtown exploration.

That’s why — while owners in many vacation rental markets rely on a single high season for the majority of their income — owners in the Lake Havasu rental market can attract a steady stream of eager travelers in multiple seasons. This means there’s potential for higher occupancy and daily rates for longer spans of the calendar year, translating to more chances for five-star reviews and additional income.

The median list price in Lake Havasu City currently averages just under $460,000, putting the area in fairly affordable territory for investors when compared to other western lake hotspots like Lake Tahoe. There’s also a lot of available inventory, giving interested buyers plenty of purchase options that fit a variety of home types, sizes, and price tags.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Lake Havasu Vacation Rental?

As a hub for tourism with loyal visitors, multi-season interest, and family demand, Lake Havasu offers major profit potential and the chance for owners to earn long-term guest trust and repeat bookings. To gauge just how much you might earn in this market, consider these important factors.

Property Size

Five-bedroom properties rake in the most yearly revenue by a decent margin in the Lake Havasu rental market, thanks to their ability to accommodate up to 12 guests, set the highest nightly rates, and capture the high demand coming from family travel. However, homes of this size make up a very small percentage of local inventory, so interested buyers must act fast if they find one available for purchase.

While four-bedroom homes see the most nights booked on average of any property size, two- and three-bedroom homes are other great options to consider. They are the most common on the market (and therefore more readily-available for purchase), and do well to attract couples, snowbirds, and smaller families. 

As a result, owners who opt for these more modestly-sized alternatives can still earn solid occupancy throughout the year at lower upfront costs. Plus, our top-performing home for annual nights booked happens to be a two-bedroom.

Property Location

Though Lake Havasu’s footprint is fairly spread out, our real estate experts say properties close to downtown Lake Havasu City provide travelers with the most convenience. Look for homes within walking distance of (or a short drive to) popular restaurants, shops, and local attractions like the London Bridge. These to-dos are often top priority for guests, particularly in winter and spring months when swimming at the lake isn’t as favored.

Of course, close proximity to Lake Havasu itself still tops the list of must-haves for the majority of area travelers. While direct lake access is not common (Lake Havasu State Park has the vast majority of waterfront real estate), properties with easy public lake access and water views are often highly-booked. What’s more: top restaurants and the London Bridge also have lake proximity, so exploring your options close to the shoreline can help you check every guest-approved box.

Property Amenities

While property size and location play a large role in performance, the experience guests have in your home is equally important. 

With such great weather and the local preference for outdoor fun, look for homes that let guests soak it all in without leaving the premises. Value-adds like private pools, updated outdoor spaces, hot tubs, and firepits are some of the key amenities travelers look for in a vacation rental. Cater to families, too, by offering helpful kid-friendly perks. Stock your home with entertainment options like board games and family movies, and add intel around Lake Havasu’s best family-friendly activities and restaurants to your welcome book.

Of course, your guests will explore outside the property, so it’s important to make that breezy as well. Consider providing kayaks for some epic lake fun, plus beach amenities like towels, chairs, and toys for relaxation along its sandy shores.

Download Our Full Lake Havasu Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Flourishing tourism, an appealing climate, and easy access to outdoor recreation are just a few of the things that make the Lake Havasu rental market a top choice for investment.

Whether you’re a first-timer in the industry or hoping to add to a growing portfolio, download our free Vacation Rental Market Analysis today for an expert look at how a Lake Havasu investment property can perform. 

Inside you’ll find key insights like:

Buying a property in the Lake Havasu area doesn’t have to be stressful. Use our report to make a splash with informed, income-driving investment decisions.

Vacation rentals with a private pool offer an escape worthy of daydreams. They invite you to cool off, bask in the sun, and spend golden hour al fresco — sipping a bevvy and enjoying your getaway to the fullest.

From desert backdrops to indoor oases ready for every season, we’ve rounded up our most-loved vacation rentals with private pools. So, bring your biggest shades, your favorite swimsuit, and a splash of fun. Let’s dive in.

Narrow your search to see the perfect rentals for poolside bliss on evolve.com. Filter by location, size, price, and even property type (so you can find your just-right home).

In This Article:
Desert Oasis Overlooking the Arizona Mountains
A Private Pool & Spa Near the Las Vegas Strip
Waterfront Vacation Rental with a Private Pool in the Ozarks
Oceanview Rental with Private Pool & Hawaii Palms
Retro Rental with a Heated Pool in Palm Springs
Lavish Lake Chelan Escape with Panoramic Views
Family Vacation Rental with a Private Pool in Nashville
Gorgeous Miramar Villa with a Lakeside Pool
Luxurious Michigan Getaway Right on the Water
Former Virginia Winery with Pool & Mountain Views
Private Bed & Breakfast Experience in Naples, NY

Desert Oasis Overlooking the Arizona Mountains

Vacation rental with private pool overlooking the Arizona mountains surrounded by cacti, palm trees, and bushes

When you’re kicking back in this private backyard, you do it with a stunning Arizona vista — McDowell Mountains included. Under the palm fronds, you can soak in the hot tub, dine outdoors, and swim through a pool with its own water fountain. Just 30 minutes from Scottsdale and Tempe, AZ, your recreation and entertainment opportunities are endless.

Book Your Own Oasis

Craving more desert views? This Arizona vacation rental with an infinity pool was featured in Phoenix Home & Garden’s magazine for its eye-catching design.

A Private Pool & Spa Near the Las Vegas Strip

Large outdoor pool and hot tub located in the backyard of a vacation rental property, surrounded by palm trees and flowering bushes.

The lush, tropical backyard of this Las Vegas, NV rental transports you to a private paradise between the Strip and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Whether you choose to hike through the canyons or the casinos, you’ll always return home to jump into the private, sparkling pool and unwind in the rejuvenating waters of the spa.

Book Your Vegas Vacay

If you prefer the Strip over the canyons, this Las Vegas vacation rental with a private pool gets you even closer to the city’s urban attractions.

Waterfront Vacation Rental with a Private Pool in the Ozarks

Large deck with an outdoor pool overlooks the Lake of the Ozarks

Located right on the Lake of the Ozarks, this five-bedroom home invites you to lounge poolside, unwind on the deck, and enjoy dinner with million-dollar main channel views. And we mean it: the pool directly overlooks the water with surrounding trees for ultimate privacy. Just be sure to plan your trip accordingly, because this seasonal pool isn’t open in colder months.

Book Luxury on the Lake

Looking for another Ozark oasis? This Branson, MO vacation rental turns your trip up a notch with a heated indoor pool and an indoor sports court.

Oceanview Rental with Private Pool & Hawaii Palms

Private deck and pool overlooking Keauhou Bay, surrounded by palm trees and tropical plans

When it comes to oceanfront vacation rentals with private pool spaces, the Hawaiian islands are a great place to start. And this four-bedroom Kailua-Kona escape brings a lot to the table: open, contemporary design, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Keauhou Bay, and a pool paradise with its own private deck. When the saltwater calls, kayaking and fishing await within walking distance.

Book Your Big Island Retreat

You’re going to want to see this backyard paradise in Kailua, HI. Spend your days relaxing in the private pool, lounging in the hammock, or kayaking in nearby Kailua Bay.

Retro Rental with a Heated Pool in Palm Springs

Mid-century modern home sits next to a bright outdoor pool surrounded by palm trees

This mid-century home in Palm Springs, CA invites you to sip your favorite drink by the heated pool while splashes of color and vintage decor take you back to the city’s early days. After basking in the sun with the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course as your backdrop, head downtown to experience the art, food, and culture this destination is famous for.

Book Your Palm Springs Pool

In this modern Palm Springs oasis, you get to stay even closer to the heart of downtown and soak in mountain views from the pool deck.

Lavish Lake Chelan Escape with Panoramic Views

Luxury modern home with a patio and pool surrounded by patio furniture and views of the Cascade Mountains

With Lake Chelan landscapes available indoors and out, this modern home in Manson, WA will “wow” you at every turn. Take a dip in the pool overlooking the Cascade Mountains, and cook a gourmet dinner in the beautifully appointed kitchen. When you’re ready to venture off-property, multiple golf courses and local wineries are at your fingertips!

Book Your Lakeside Lounge

Looking for an all-season getaway in Washington state? This Liberty Lake home has an indoor pool, a private hot tub, and direct beach access.

Family Vacation Rental with a Private Pool in Nashville

Vacation rental with private pool and patio, an outdoor grill, and beach chairs

Complete with a billiards table, furnished poolside patio, and modern kitchen, this Nashville home rental is packed with fun less than five miles from the heart of Broadway. Corral your friends and family for a dip in the seasonal pool (closed from October 1st to June 1st), play a game of pickup basketball, or head out for the sights and sounds of Music Row. As a bonus adventure, the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is right in the neighborhood.

Book Your Music City Sanctuary

With so many vacation rentals to choose from, why not start with the best of the best? Our best places to stay winners offer incredible experiences all over the country.

Gorgeous Miramar Villa with a Lakeside Pool

Villa with private patio and pool looking out over a lakefront, surrounded by palm trees and decorated with string lights

Get your getaway on Florida’s bustling southern coast. Decked out with sparkling string lights, this Miramar, FL vacation home has a private pool on the lakefront. You can gather around the firepit, cook at the grill, and lounge by the record player inside. Take your time before heading out to Miami or Fort Lauderdale just 30 minutes away.

Book Your Marvelous Villa

On the other side of the panhandle, this private vacation rental in Bonita Springs, FL boasts a saltwater pool, screened-in lanai, and outdoor dining area.

Luxurious Michigan Getaway Right on the Water

Large indoor pool in a vacation rental near Union Pier, MI. The open layout with windows allows a lot of light to fill up the fun space.

Just a few steps from the shores of Lake Michigan, this private vacation rental in Union Pier, MI takes your escape up a few notches. You can swim through the heated indoor pool, play a game on the private tennis court, unwind in the sauna, and enjoy private beach access all from the comfort of home. Then, head out to enjoy the scenery of Warren Dunes State Park or the sips of St. Julian Winery.

Book Your Michigan Masterpiece

Looking for a different lakeside escape? This Syracuse, IN home has five bedrooms, on-site Lake Wawasee access, and its own heated, outdoor pool.

Former Virginia Winery with Pool & Mountain Views

Large deck and outdoor pool overlooks the Virginia mountains at sunset

This eight-bedroom villa in Berryville, VA is nestled on the peaceful property of a former vineyard. Bring the whole gang to enjoy mountain views from the massive deck, swing and climb on the children’s playset, picnic on the sprawling lawn, and catch the sunset from the pool. And you haven’t even left the home yet! Beyond these acres, you’re surrounded by hiking trails, local breweries, and day trip destinations like Shenandoah National Park.

Book Your Vineyard Getaway

Not quite ready to book? You can favorite your top vacation rentals to save and reference next time you’re planning the perfect poolside getaway.

Private Bed & Breakfast Experience in Naples, NY

Large deck including a pool, fire pit, grill, and chairs looks out over the panoramic views of Canandaigua Lake and the surrounding hills

Nestled in the hills of Naples, NY, this spacious vacation home sleeps 10 guests who can sit by the fire pit, lounge in the hot tub, swim in the private, heated pool, and take in the panoramic views of Canandaigua Lake. With all of the essentials provided, create your own bed and breakfast experience and surround yourself with nature views from nearly every window.

Book Your New Naples Fave

Rest Easy by Your Own Private Pool

When you book with Evolve, you’ll master your butterfly stroke without a care in the world. All of our vacation rentals with private pools (and without) are backed by our Rest Easy Promise. That means you’ll arrive at a home that’s clean, safe, easy-to-access, and true to everything you saw online — or we’ll make it right.

Find More Poolside Getaways

Ready to venture beyond the water? Check out our top tiny homes, most luxurious stays, and best small towns for even more tantalizing travel.

Hawaii is truly a magical vacation destination. From snorkeling and sailing to beachside relaxation, there’s an adventure for everyone in this tropical paradise. 

Owning a vacation rental in Hawaii can feel magical too, as properties of all shapes and sizes are well-suited to house the more than 10 million tourists who visit annually. 

Since each island has its own flair, below is a breakdown of the unique features and benefits for the best places to invest in Hawaii — Kauai and the Big Island’s Kona Coast — to help you decide where your investment dollars should go. 

We’ve also created free, downloadable vacation rental market analyses for each area, so you can take a closer look at your investment opportunities. These reports include:

The findings in these analyses are based on Evolve’s Hawaii market averages over the last year, and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart decisions when buying a vacation rental in Hawaii.

Download Our Hawaii Vacation Rental Investment Analyses

Note: This article was modified on August 16th, 2023, removing Maui as a result of Maui wildfire impacts.

In This Article:

What the Best Hawaii Vacation Rental Markets Have in Common

What to Know About Owning a Vacation Rental in Kauai 

What to Know About Owning a Vacation Rental on the Big Island

What the Best Hawaii Vacation Rental Markets Have in Common

While Kauai and the Big Island each have unique draws, many pros and cons of a Hawaii investment property stand true in both popular destinations. Consider these key factors no matter which market you decide to zero in on.

Demand Is Strong Most of the Year

With warm weather year-round, Hawaii sees solid demand for the better part of the calendar. Peak travel season starts in late spring and carries through the summer (May to August), as families often escape to this beachy paradise during school breaks. Occupancy rates stay high from September to December, too — which can translate to consistent bookings and rental income. 

Hawaiian islands only experience notable demand dips in January and February, but the bounce back is quick. Consider those months an ideal time to get a new vacation rental five-star ready, and to plan for any annual maintenance down the line.

Some Amenities Are Attention-Grabbers

Between the heat and high humidity in Hawaii’s most popular travel seasons, our real estate experts say air conditioning is a hot commodity for a property on any island. Pools are also a major perk, as are outdoor spaces with large decks so guests can embrace the surrounding natural beauty without leaving home. 

When it is time to explore, your vacation rental’s location should make that easy. Nearby beach access or true waterfront status are highly sought-after in Hawaii, and beach-friendly amenities (like umbrellas and snorkeling gear) can go a long way toward getting five-star reviews from guests. Consider proximity to local attractions as well (like Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or Kauai’s Hāʻena State Park). This gives your rental a stronger chance of becoming a highly-bookable home base for adventure.

Also, no matter what property type you go for (say, a quaint inland cottage or a tried-and-true beach house), Hawaii travelers love resort-style vibes. It’s wise to upgrade spaces with luxe touches like smart TVs and WiFi, and to bring local charm to your indoor decor so guests can have a more authentic vacation. You can also provide welcome gifts, along with kid-friendly amenities to up the ante on your top-notch service.

Vacation Rental Regulations Are Common

Our experts say short-term rental regulations have intensified across many of the Hawaiian islands over the last few years. So it’s important to research market-specific restrictions and work with local agents who specialize in vacation rental to prepare for the process.

The Big Island, for instance, restricts rentals in certain zones, while Kauai puts parameters on lengths of stay and requires at least three or even four permits before giving approval to operate. 

Honolulu has a full ban in place on all new short-term rentals. This is why — despite common interest in Honolulu investment properties — we’re not recommending a vacation rental investment on the island of Oahu. 

Though regulations can introduce more legwork upfront, a Hawaii investment property — particularly on the islands of Kauai and Big Island — can be worth the effort with the right due diligence and vacation rental experts on your side.

What to Know About Owning a Vacation Rental in Kauai

Waterfall and natural pool surrounded by lush green vegetation in Kauai, HI, a great place to own a Hawaii investment property

Kauai is an adventurer’s paradise. With a bit less tourism infrastructure than other Hawaiian islands, the Garden Isle feels more untouched and rugged — making it ideal for travelers wanting to go off the beaten path and escape crowds. 

The island has also had some serious silver screen time in the Jurassic Park series, so it’s easy to see how Kauai offers an almost other-worldly experience. 

When considering a Hawaii investment property in Kauai, note that there’s a two-person limit on every vacation rental bedroom. As a result, you won’t be able to maximize your guest capacity with things like multiple bunk beds or futons here. It can also take up to 180 days to get vacation rental licenses approved, so it may not be a fast turnaround from your date of purchase to when you start earning vacation rental revenue.

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Kauai Vacation Rental?

Kauai’s average home price currently sits around $930,000. Though expensive, Kauai has the highest ceiling for annual income of any Hawaiian market. That means owning a vacation rental here can be especially lucrative in the long-term. 

While five-bedroom homes tend to see the most annual revenue, one-bedroom properties take the lead in year-round occupancy (with two- to four-bedroom properties following close behind). This trend gives investors a wider range of profit potential across home sizes.

The island is small enough that proximity to great sites isn’t an issue — you’re likely to be a stone’s throw away from a hotspot like Hāʻena State Park or one of Kauai’s nine forest reserves no matter where you buy. But keep in mind that beach-view homes are always a bonus in such a beautiful place. Movie buffs also love Kauai’s connection to the Jurassic Park series, so searching for properties near classic film locations (or decorating in a way that nods to the franchise) can help you capitalize on that interest and maximize earnings.

Download Our Kauai Vacation Rental Market Analysis

What to Know About Owning a Vacation Rental on the Big Island

An ocean view at sunset with palm trees silhouetted on a beach on the Kona Coast, a top location for a Hawaii investment property

With stark volcanic cliffs and black sand beaches, the Big Island is sure to inspire awe. Perhaps the most well-known in Hawaii’s island chain, there’s one region along its western shore that follows suit as its most popular vacation spot: the Kona Coast.

Naturally, that makes the Kona Coast the prime Big Island location for a Hawaii investment property. It sees a small demand slump in early fall that other islands don’t, but it has a high peak for occupancy rates — second only to Kauai. That can mean major cash flow opportunities for owners in busy seasons, with an end-of-summer breathing period that’s perfect for getting your own getaway on the books. 

This island’s caveat: short-term rentals on the Kona Coast are restricted to hotel, resort, commercial, and multi-family commercial zones. It’s important to reach out to the county before buying a Big Island vacation rental to double-check which zone your potential property sits in, and that it complies with local regulations.

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Kona Coast Vacation Rental?

Kona Coast home prices average in the lower $800,000s, making the area more affordable than its Kauai neighbor.

Bigger properties see the highest daily rates here. Four- and five-bedroom homes earn the most annual revenue on average, and Evolve’s highest-earning Kona Coast property is a four-bedroom. 

Like Kauai, however, one-bedroom homes on the Big Island’s Kona Coast can also be hugely successful. In fact, one- and four-bedroom homes tend to see an identical average number of nights booked in the calendar year. This really just highlights the broader traveler appeal of this Hawaiian market. 

Since the Big Island’s unique terrain is what sets it apart, our experts say proximity to local attractions can have a massive impact on Kona Coast rental success. Look for homes near the recently-expanded Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, or by the black sands of Punaluʻu Beach. Coffee is also a big part of Kona’s culture, so offering an easy commute to the best places to enjoy it (and outlining those recommendations in your welcome book) can make guests buzz. 

Download Our Kona Coast Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Get Our Hawaii Vacation Rental Market Analyses

As a dream destination for travelers of all types, a Hawaii investment property can be really ideal for investors in search of massive demand in unmatched island landscapes. 

To get a closer look at the best places to invest in Hawaii, download our complete Vacation Rental Market Analyses for Kauai and the Big Island’s Kona Coast today. 

Each report includes helpful insights like:

Use our reports to equip yourself with the tools and knowledge needed for vacation rental investment success, and make your entry into the market a total breeze.