By Veronica Stoddart
From beach cottages, ski lodges and cabins in the woods, to sumptuous villas and high-rise condos, vacation rental properties are as diverse as shells on the beach. They can be intimate enough for a romantic couple or spacious enough for an extended family. They can be secluded or in the heart of the action. They can be high style or sand-in-your-shoes casual, traditional or cutting-edge modern, formal or down-home rustic. Best of all, they can suit every budget in a vast array of destinations. Consider these vacation rental options:
"Marsh Cottage 26" | Charleston Islands, South Carolina
A vacation rental cottage can be a two-bedroom, two-bath pastel-colored, island-style house just steps from the ocean in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Or, for a different South Carolina experience, consider a three-bedroom, two-bath rustic cottage rental built on pilings within Kiawah Island’s maritime forest. Beachfront cottages are also available for rent on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, on Florida’s Emerald Coast, along the Delaware beaches or on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
"Von Bryan Estate" | Smoky Mountain, Tennessee
If you’re looking to rent a cabin for your next vacation, consider Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with easy access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many of these Bavarian-style wooden cabins boast cathedral ceilings, expansive decks, hot tubs, fireplaces and spectacular mountain views. But don’t let their rustic, log cabin appearance fool you. Some even have cutting-edge entertainment systems and pool tables, for those who prefer their fun indoors.
"Skydance" | Breckenridge, Colorado
What could be cozier than a ski chalet with mountain views in Breckenridge or Steamboat Springs, Colorado? Such alpine-style chalets, patterned after those in Europe, often have hot tubs, soaring picture windows, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and, most important, easy access to the slopes.
"The Charter at Beaver Creek" | Beaver Creek, Colorado
Skiers and mountain lovers can stay at multi-unit ski lodges in Beaver Creek or Vail, Colorado, among other locales. Many are ski-in/ski-out facilities right at the base of the slopes, and they combine the comforts of a private residence with the services of a hotel—the best of both worlds. Accommodations can range from deluxe studios to spacious four-bedroom condos.
"Absolute Paradise PI216" | Corolla, North Carolina
Sprawling, well-appointed villas are available for rent in a vast array of locations, from beachfront and mountainside to deserts and woods. They range from a 10-bedroom, 10-bath palatial ocean-view home with a private pool and elevator on Hatteras Island, North Carolina, to a stylish seven-bedroom, nine-bath mountainside spread with a jetted tub, vaulted ceilings, stone fireplace and gourmet kitchen in Breckenridge, Colorado. Want to feel like a celebrity? Then try a mid-century modern villa rental showpiece in Palm Springs, California, once owned by Hollywood royalty.
"Crossings at Watersound" | South Walton, Florida
Whether high rise or garden level, rental condos are available in virtually every vacation destination—from the beaches of Northwest Florida, Delaware, North and South Carolina and the Alabama Coast, to inland destinations such as Orlando, Florida; Palm Springs, California; and the Great Smoky Mountains, to the ski resorts of Colorado, Idaho, Utah and western Canada. They come in every style, from sleek modern to homey traditional; in every size, from cozy studios to six-bedroom units with lofts; and in every price point. Plus, condo complexes have the advantage of such shared amenities as pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, golf, fitness centers, restaurants, clubhouses and even concierge services.
Tell us about your favorite type of vacation rental below or on social media using #VacationDifferently.
Explore all the different types of vacation rentals here.
Freelance travel editor and writer Veronica Stoddart was the former editor in chief of the Travel Media Group at USA TODAY. She has written for nearly two dozen publications and websites.