Homes on grassy hill by the beach.

7 Best Places for Buying a Vacation Home

Trying to decide where to buy a vacation home? There are several cities throughout the U.S. where you can find affordable properties with great views, incredible amenities, and plenty of fun things to do nearby. Check out these seven best places in the U.S. for buying a vacation home!

  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Nashville, TN
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Panama City Beach, FL
  • The Poconos, PA
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Steamboat Springs, CO

Myrtle Beach, SC

Skyline of beach and pier with ferris wheel in Myrtle Beach, SC. Photo by Instagram user @jeremykierez
Photo via @jeremykierez
  • Home Price: $173,600 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 1% of South Carolina cities
  • Perfect For: Beach access, family-friendly activities

Myrtle Beach is one of the best places to buy waterfront property for anyone looking for fun in the sun! With sixty miles of beaches, activities like deep sea fishing and dolphin-watching, and kid-friendly things to do on Apache Pier, Myrtle Beach is a top destination for family vacations on the East Coast. The area is also popular for those wanting to purchase a budget-friendly condo or single-family home, and buyers can guarantee a good return on their investment by choosing a channelfront or oceanfront property with a boat dock.

Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

Set sail to see dolphins at sunset or spend the morning trying to catch sea bass, flounder, and even small sharks on a Voyager Deep Sea Fishing & Dolphin Cruises. Stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and enjoy panoramic views on The Skywheel. Ride rollercoasters, play classic games in the arcade, or splash around at the oceanfront waterpark all located at Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Stand beneath jellyfish, sharks, and giant stingrays at Ripley’s Aquarium. Shop at stores like Charming Charlie, Francesca’s, and Tommy Bahama at The Market Common. Treat yourself to a seafood buffet featuring unlimited lobster, fried calamari, and baked salmon at Crab Daddy’s. Or head to Fat Harolds Beach Club to see live music, watch dance competitions, and enjoy ice cold beer.

Nashville, TN

Sunset over skyscrapers and boat in the river in Nashville, TN. Photo by Instagram user @keno1947
Photo via @keno1947
  • Home Price: $174,600 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 9% of Tennessee cities
  • Perfect For: Urban getaways, fine dining, live music

Searching for the best place to buy a vacation home? If you’re exploring urban options, check out Nashville! While bigger metros like New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami might come to mind first, Nashville offers similar amenities at a more affordable price. You can find everything from upscale restaurants and honky-tonk bars to lush green parks and art museums in Music City. Not to mention, Nashville’s title as the new bachelorette capital of the U.S. means you could potentially use your vacation home as a profitable rental property whenever you’re not using it!

Things to Do in Nashville

Explore the sunken gardens, check out the Parthenon replica, play sand volleyball, or attend a concert at Centennial Park. Book a Nashville Pedal Tavern and tour the city by bike while sipping on your favorite brew. See today’s top country artists live at the historic Grand Ole Opry. Take a stroll down the Hall of Fame or see a temporary exhibit showcasing some of today’s hottest musicians and bands at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Visit The Mall at Green Hills to shop at stores like Warby Parker, Burberry, and Tory Burch. Try Southern comfort food dishes like Hickory Smoked Wings, Shrimp and Grits, or Cornmeal Crusted Catfish at Husk. Tour Corsair Distillery to sample aged whiskey, gin, rum, and other spirits. Or spend the evening out at Layla’s Honky Tonk to experience the dive bar culture Nashville is famous for any night of the week.

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Palm Springs, CA

Tall colorful sculptures and music stages at Coachella festival. Photo by Instagram user @whiteowlaerial
Photo via @whiteowlaerial
  • Home Price: $303,100 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 11% of California cities
  • Perfect For: Nature hikes, music festivals, upscale dining

Escape everyday life with a second home in the desert! Palm Springs is one of the best places for vacation homes if warm weather, Mid-Century Modern architecture, and a thriving arts scene are on your vacation must-have list! While the California climate and natural beauty attracts retirees and snowbirds looking for second homes, the area’s music festivals, private pools, and scenic hiking draw younger travelers to the area. Palm Spring’s prime location near Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree National Park also make it one of the best places to buy rental property in California.

Things to Do in Palm Springs

Attend the Joshua Tree Music Festival to see the hottest up-and-coming musicians, spend some time in healing tents, or start your day with yoga. Explore the desert like never before via horseback riding with Smoke Tree Stables. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to Mount San Jacinto State Park to go hiking. Spend the day soaking in sparkling mineral pools, getting a Deep Tissue Massage, and indulging in a Sea Salt Scrub at The Spring Resort & Spa. Shop at stores like Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Tiffany & Co at The Gardens on El Paseo. Dine at Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey to sample Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and Yellowtail Sashimi. Share artisan small plates like Roasted Local Baby Beets, Sauteed Veal Tenderloin, and Seared Firecracker Tuna at 4 Saints. Or sip on fruity cocktails, go dancing, and see some of the area’s best drag performances at Toucans Tiki Lounge.

Panama City Beach, FL

Skyline of the beach and clear waters in Panama City Beach. Photo by Instagram user @adventuresatseapcb
Photo via @adventuresatseapcb
  • Home Price: $208,400 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 5% of Florida cities
  • Perfect For: Beach access, water sports, nightlife

Thinking about buying a vacation home in Florida? Panama City Beach is one of the best places to buy a beach house! With its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, year-round warm weather, and plenty to do nearby, PCB is a hot destination for young adults, snowbirds, spring breakers, and families alike. Additionally, PCB is more affordable than beach cities in California and Hawaii, and vacation home owners can see a major return on investment by turning their homes into vacation rental properties!

Things to Do in Panama City Beach

Visit St. Andrews State Park for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, hiking, and more! Float down the lazy river, spend some time in the wave pool, or ride one of the waterslides at Shipwreck Island Waterpark. Stop by Pier Park to go shopping at stores like Target, LOFT, and Ron Jon Surf Shop. Order a Mango Mahi Salad, Biloxi Crab Cakes, or Pepper Crusted Tuna at the famous Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant. Head to Sandpiper Beacon Tiki Bar to drink something fruity, shoot some pool, or get the whole family to participate in karaoke. Or sip on an ice cold beer, catch a country concert, and dance on the rooftop at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

The Poconos, PA

Sunrise over snowy mountains in The Poconos, PA. Photo by Instagram user @johnjward
Photo via @johnjward
  • Home Price: $151,300 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 29% of Pennsylvania cities
  • Perfect For: Water sports, skiing, hiking

The Poconos is an ideal place for buying an all-season vacation home! If you’re dreaming of owning a waterfront property that you can visit in the summer and fall, you can find an affordable and spacious property in The Poconos. Or maybe you’re interested in vacationing during the winter and spring? The Pocono Mountains region draws visitors of all ages from across the country for skiing, snowboarding, and other cold-weather outdoor recreation. Regardless of the time of year, the unbeatable natural beauty and endless things to do make The Poconos a top spot for vacation homes!

Things to Do in The Poconos

Hike to see one of the many breathtaking waterfalls, bike over 30 miles of trails, or go canoeing at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Visit Camelback Mountain Resort to go snowboarding in winter or ziplining in the summer. Spend some time on the water paddleboarding, jet skiing, and fishing at Lake Wallenpaupack. Plan a night out at Sherman Theater to see one of your favorite musicians on tour or catch a tribute band. Go shopping at stores like Kate Spade, Nautica, and Calvin Klein at The Crossings Premium Outlets. Eat Crab Cake Benedict for brunch or stop in for Tuesday Trivia Night at Jubilee. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with flavors like Figs and Rum, Crunchy Peanut Butter, and Guava at Llama Ice Cream.

Scottsdale, AZ

Golf course with mountains in the horizon in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo by Instagram user @scottsdaleariz
Photo via @scottsdaleariz
  • Home Price: $405,500 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 76% of Arizona cities
  • Perfect For: Luxury shopping, world-class dining, golfing

Want to buy a vacation home that doubles as a snowbird escape? Scottsdale is a top destination for vacations, winter homes, and retirement properties alike. While initial market entry can be pricey here, it can pay off over time, thanks to the area’s high demand. Homeowners have the potential to turn a large profit with short-term rentals, too, since Scottsdale is a popular tourist spot for weekend getaways, weddings, and golf trips. Whether you plan to make a rental income or use your second home as a relaxing getaway, Old Town Scottsdale provides endless exciting things to do!

Things to Do in Scottsdale

Stroll through the gardens, check out cacti on the Wildflower Loop Trail, or hike up the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail for a view of the mountains at Desert Botanical Garden. Book a tee time at the Starfire Golf Course to play 27 holes on the Arnold Palmer-designed course. See the latest art exhibit, attend a design lecture, or learn about architecture at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Swing by Scottsdale Fashion Square to find something new to wear at Armani Exchange, Burberry, and Guess. Order California-inspired fresh cuisine like Sesame Chicken Potstickers, Homestyle Pot Pie, and Braised Short Rib at The Greene House. Or try a unique handcrafted cocktail like the Rush Hour at Beverly on Main.

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Steamboat Springs, CO

Skyline of mountain and little town in Steamboat Springs, CO. Photo by Instagram user @steamboatresort
Photo via @steamboatresort
  • Home Price: $481,200 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 52% of Colorado cities
  • Perfect For: Skiing, snowboarding, nature hikes

Steamboat Springs is one of the best places to buy a vacation home in Colorado! Unlike Aspen or Breckenridge, where buying a condo comes with sky-high costs, those wanting to own a second home can find more budget-friendly options in Steamboat Springs. While this Colorado hideaway is known for its skiing and winter activities, it’s also one of the top vacation spots in the U.S. for hiking, biking, fishing, or kayaking. Especially if you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation destination where you can have a rustic townhome or mountain lodge, Steamboat Springs should be at the top of your list!

Things to Do in Steamboat Springs

Head to Howelsen Hill Ski Area to ski for free on Sundays during the winter season or take a fat tire bike for a spin during the summer. Hit the beer garden, listen to live music, and take a ride in a hot air balloon at the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Festival. Visit Old Town Hot Springs to take a dip in therapeutic waters, ride down the waterslides, get a massage, or climb at the indoor rock wall. Pop into the boutiques and art galleries to find unique treasures along Main Street. Order the Stagecoach Eggs Benedict at Creekside Cafe & Grill and indulge in coffee-infused pulled pork covered in peppers, onions, and green chili. Or plan a night out full of live music, karaoke, and dancing at Schmiggity’s.

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Planning to rent out your vacation home when you’re not using it? Move valuable and sentimental items to self storage to keep them safe! Extra Space Storage has convenient storage facilities throughout the U.S. that can help. Find a storage unit near you!

7 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home