Special Report

Best Cities to Own a Vacation Rental

Owning a second home, whether as an investment or a vacation getaway, may seem like a luxury to most of us, but a surprising number of American households — almost eight million of them — do indeed have a secondary property.

Many of these are in rural areas or smaller towns, and the thought of retreating to a more tranquil and probably less crowded place has obvious appeal in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the vacation rental business is thriving right now, as private residences are seen as safer than hotels and better suited for working remotely. (However, before heading off for a getaway, it’s important to be aware of the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions in each state.)

Some locations around the country are particularly good places in which to own a vacation home, whether for personal use or rental or both, and also good places to seek out a rental for a temporary stay.

Click here to see the best places to own a vacation home.

Based on 14 metrics — including rental vacancy rate, median annual property taxes, number of local attractions, and rates of violent crime, property crime, and natural hazards — the lawn care company LawnStarter recently compared 318 destinations to compile a list of 2021’s best cities to own a vacation home.

Some are small towns, though sometimes part of large metropolitan areas; two are good-sized cities rather than semi-rural retreats. (These are America’s 50 best cities to live.)

As varied as they may be, any one of the places on this list would be a nice place to live at least some of the time as well as a good potential source of extra income.

To supplement these rankings, we added the median home value for each city on this list in 2019 and noted how that figure compared to the value of a typical home nationwide.