Hotels, B&Bs, and inns aren’t the only options anymore. Thanks to vacation-rental sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, travelers have more options than ever before
1 of 7Lance Gerber, Nuvue Interactive
Joshua Tree stunner
Yucca Valley, CA
If Don Draper decamped to the desert, this is where he would go: Rock Reach House, a steel-frame, solar-powered cabin with polished concrete floors and midcentury-modern furniture. Sliding glass doors let in the bright, desert light and the sharp, fresh smell of juniper and pine. Each of the two bedrooms has a private porch and king bed. In cooler seasons, temperatures will be just right for day hikes in nearby Joshua Tree National Park and evening soaks in the outdoor hot tub. From $364, two-night minimum; rockreachhouse.com; rented via Airbnb or HomeAway.
2 of 7Courtesy of Fireside Resort
Modern cabin in the Tetons
Sustainably built and LEED certified, this two-bedroom, one-bath cabin sits right beneath the jagged peaks of Grand Teton National Park. If you come in the winter, you can enjoy the legendary powder of nearby Jackson Hole Mountain Resort; if you visit in summer, miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails beckon. All year round, you can pub-crawl through the historic town of Jackson, seven miles away. The cabin is located near a lodge, where you can access an 8-person hot tub and laundry facilities. From $199, 3-night minimum; airbnb.com/rooms/4817063?s=APy9; rented via Airbnb.
3 of 7Courtesy of the homeowner
Hanalei Bay hideaway
Location, location! This remodeled three-bedroom, three-bath house sits on Kauai’s secluded north shore. Jungle-cloaked mountains, the famed Na Pali Coast, and Ke’e Beach—with its fine white sand, excellent snorkeling, and hiking trails—are just a few miles away. The brand new kitchen has stainless-steel appliances, the spacious lanai overlooks the ocean, and there are cruiser bikes, stand-up paddle boards, boogie boards, and surfboards available to borrow. From $159, two-night minimum; airbnb.com/rooms/8103378?s=g8mm; rented via Airbnb.
4 of 7Courtesy of the homeowner
Lummi Island retreat
Lummi Island, WA
Go fishing or crabbing right off of the private patio; unwind in the natural-cedar sauna; spot bald eagles from the deck; or warm up around the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace at this three-bedroom, two-bath waterfront house on Washington’s Lummi Island. Guests have access to a private, rocky beach—one of the only ones on the island. Tall windows overlooking Hales Passage let in natural light, and all of the bedrooms overlook the ocean, but the view from the spacious master bedroom is the best: You can see all the way to Portage Island and Mount Baker. From $315, two-night minimum; airbnb.com/rooms/6145597?s=A5M-; rented via Airbnb.
5 of 7Courtesy of the homeowner
Grand Canyon basecamp
The owners of this one-bedroom, one-bath cabin call it the “little house on the prairie”—and indeed it is: Antelope graze in the yard, and mountains and the pines of Kaibab National Forest begin at the edge of the property. At night, the views may be even better. This area is prime dark-sky, stargazing territory. Even more stunning sights await an hour’s drive north at Grand Canyon National Park.From $125, two-night minimum; airbnb.com/rooms/5706065?s=2ysx; rented via Airbnb.
6 of 7Courtesy of the homeowner
Treehouse in Hemingway country
It’s no wonder Ketchum, Idaho is the place Ernest Hemingway chose to set up camp: With the snowcapped Sawtooth Mountains, dense pine forests, and fishing-friendly rivers nearby, the former mining town is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Embrace that frontier spirit with an overnight in this cozy, heated treehouse, just a short walk to the Casino bar—one of Hemingway’s favorite haunts. There’s a double bed on the main floor and a single bed in the loft, so it’s roomy enough to accommodate three people. Plus, it’s dog friendly, so you can bring along your pooch, too. From $59; airbnb.com/rooms/298401?s=6xDP ; rented via Airbnb.
7 of 7Courtesy of the homeowner
Rocky Mountains cabin
Estes Park, CO
The private, heated swimming pool, sauna, and access to Rocky Mountain National Park make this four-bedroom, ranch-style cabin ideal for group getaways. The kids can fish in a nearby trout stream or splash around the twelve-foot deep pool while the adults shoot billiards in the finished basement or lounge in the seven-person hot tub. The living room has a large fireplace and flat-screen TV for family movie nights, and the dine-in kitchen is big enough to cook a family feast in. From $500; estesparkpoolcabin.com; rented via VRBO.