The Most Beautiful Lake House Rentals in America
They’re in demand—and for good reason. For stunning scenery and complete serenity near you, it’s hard to beat these relaxing lakeside getaways.
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Lake life for the win
Lake life is having its moment! Ideal for socially distanced outdoor getaways, lake retreats are enticing fans new and old. If you’ve been thinking of searching “lake house rentals near me,” you’re definitely not alone. According to Vrbo’s new 2021 Travel Trend Report, vacation destinations near lakes have seen an uptick in popularity throughout the pandemic, especially in areas with fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Of course, the most beautiful lakes in America for swimming are also at the top of many travelers’ lists.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to help. Take your pick from rentals with cozy cottagecore design, stunning modern architecture, and classic lakeside cabin decor. It just might be the most scenic, quiet, and relaxing getaway you’ve ever had. If you’re looking for an over-the-top vacation, check out the most extravagant Airbnb listings in every state.
Indian Lake luxury: Central City, Pennsylvania
Looking for a room with a view? You’re in the right place—this recently built custom home offers superb views of sparkling Indian Lake from nearly every room. Relax indoors in front of the two fireplaces, take advantage of the gourmet kitchen, or try the Japanese soaking tub and steam shower. Actually, why choose? You’re on vacation—do it all! Outside, there are myriad spots to enjoy the scenery, including by the fire pit. Plus, kayaks are included with the rental, so you can get out and explore the placid waters. Here’s a day-by-day guide for the perfect family weekend in Pennsylvania.
Private ridgetop cabin: Rhinebeck, New York
Even if you live in the heart of the city, you don’t necessarily have to go far to find the perfect lake cabin rental near you. This private home with gorgeous western views is just two hours outside of Manhattan. Perfect for unplugging, it’s an idyllic spot to curl up with a good book while gazing over 130 acres of postcard views, including a historic farm and crystal-clear lake. Explore the eight miles of hiking trails, take a dip in the wading pools of the upper cascades, bike to town, or simply relax while listening to the serene sounds of the 90-foot waterfall on the property. In case you’ve been wondering, this is the difference between a pond and a lake.
Family-friendly fun: Sebago Lake, Maine
Perched on the western bank of tree-lined Lake Sebago, this updated three-level home is an ideal escape for summer lake trips and fall leaf-peeping excursions. Sebago Lake is Maine’s second-largest lake and also one of its deepest and prettiest. This pristine lake covers nearly 30,000 acres prime for fishing and outdoor exploration. Spend leisurely afternoons outside on the waterfront—swimming in the lake, relaxing in an Adirondack chair by the fire pit, trying out the home’s kayak, or watching your kids play on the tree swing and your dog romping on the beach. Want to bring Fido on more water adventures? These are the most dog-friendly beaches in the country.
Soaring clifftop views: Burlington, Vermont
You’ll be greeted by expansive vistas of mountains, water, land, and sky at this modern three-story, two-bedroom townhouse located atop a 100-foot waterfront cliff. With nothing between you and the lake, you’ll have some of the most magnificent views in the state of Vermont. If you can tear yourself away from the stunning scenery, it’s a five-minute stroll to beautiful Waterfront Park, an epicenter for outdoor activities and dining. If this is your vacation vibe, you’ll also love these mountain towns that look like they’re straight out of a storybook.
The perfect New England experience: Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Enjoy panoramic views extending far into Lake Winnipesaukee’s tranquil waters throughout this perfectly situated lakeside home. Early birds can take in the rose-hued sunrise from the glass-paneled deck that gazes over the lake toward the mountains; sunsets paint the sky from the balcony on the other side of the house. During your stay, enjoy boating, swimming, or sailing on the lake, and in the winter, enjoy the area’s skiing options. Here are more of the most beautiful lakes in every state.
Cozy cottage vibes: Lake Norman, North Carolina
If you’ve been dreaming of finding a charming cottage lake cabin rental near you and you happen to live in North Carolina, look no further! This charming refurbished cottage on the Lake Norman waterfront has a large screened-in porch that runs along the entire length of the cabin with both a comfy couch and swinging love seat to watch the lake from a shaded vantage point. Clapboard walls, vintage trim, and wide, dark wood floorboards are all Instagram-worthy, as is the new sunny dock. The quiet water is perfect for a relaxing swim or kayak paddle. Don’t miss these other cute cabins for a secluded summer getaway.
Family-reunion central: Lake Wylie, South Carolina
For a luxurious lake house that accommodates the entire extended family, check out this vacation rental on Lake Wylie. With eight bedrooms spread across four floors, there’s plenty of space for everyone; plus, there’s a massive game room with everything from ping-pong to arcade games. Outside, you’ll find a large pool that lets you float in style while you check out the spectacular view. The house even comes with a pontoon boat and jet ski that you can rent to explore all the highlights of the man-made, 12,500-acre lake that’s an easy jump from the city of Charlotte. Check out these affordable private travel experiences perfect for the pandemic.
Rustic charm: Lake Arrowhead, Georgia
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and boasting 540 acres of crystal-clear waters, Lake Arrowhead is the largest man-made, privately owned lake in Georgia. This impressive lakefront cottage offers an expansive 1,200-square-foot private dock where you can either watch the rippling water, catch a technicolor sunset, jump into the water, or launch a kayak, hydrobike, or canoe. Speaking of water activities, fishing is stellar here, with bass, bream, and catfish filling Lake Arrowhead’s waters. Looking for a travel destination that’s a little closer to home? Try these top Airbnb rentals under $200 in every state—including yours!
A private retreat: Norris Lake, Tennessee
Bordered by huge swaths of undeveloped shoreline, pine-rimmed Norris Lake is popular with paddlers, equestrians, cyclists, hikers, and swimmers, but its secluded nature means it rarely, if ever, feels crowded. This three-bedroom lake home offers the amenities that make a vacation on the lake feel special, including plenty of private deck space, a private hot tub, a covered boat dock/swimming platform, and a fire pit. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, grouse, wild turkey, and other wildlife that call this pristine natural environment home. If you love the great outdoors, bookmark this list of the best hiking trails around the country.
Million-dollar views: Lake Martin, Alabama
Constructed in 1926, this reservoir—which covers 40,000 acres and encompasses 800 miles of shoreline—was once the largest man-made lake in the world. Now, it’s the place to go when you’re looking for a lake house rental near you to celebrate summer with your crew. This five-bedroom, five-bathroom house is set in a quiet cove of Lake Martin, where you’ll get great swimming away from the lake’s busier boating areas. And trust us when we say that you can’t beat the unobstructed, east-facing views across the lake. Grab the beverage of your choice, pull up a lounge chair on the deck, and enjoy!
Luxury living: Hot Springs, Arkansas
As you walk into this lovely lakefront home on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, the first thing you’ll notice is the water view from nearly every room in the house. Even when you’re indoors, you’ll feel as like you’re floating right on the water. But when you actually want to launch into the water, you can do so from the boat dock or use one of the provided paddleboards. Or, of course, you can simply enjoy the vistas from the covered patio. Don’t miss a dip in the hot springs nearby. Discover more of the best natural hot springs in the United States.
Beach-house vibes: Lake Travis, Texas
One of the most popular swimming destinations in Texas, Lake Travis is a magnet for anyone daydreaming about floating on crystal-clear waters under bluebird skies. The lake is fed by two springs and is framed by an abundance of cypress and oak trees, and this gorgeous waterfront ranch is the ideal setting to enjoy the quiet lake life. There are several walking trails around the property, a fire pit by the water, and a cliff for launching yourself into the lake on a hot Texas summer day.
Windows (and views) galore: Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Eight sides mean eight different views at this glass octagon villa tucked into a quiet wooded grove on the Lake of the Ozarks. The home juts out onto the lake at the 13-mile marker, making for excellent sunset watching from all three levels of waterfront decks. Inside, the home’s three bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, and interior walls throughout the home have mirrors to reflect the water views. Extra bonus: You can swim and fish right from the home’s lowest deck. Looking for another adventure while you’re in the area? Find the best day trip in Missouri—and every other state.
A serene hideaway: Keystone Lake, Oklahoma
This four-bedroom rental is just 20 minutes from downtown Tulsa, but with its unobstructed water views, it feels like a world away. Its shared dock makes it perfect for fishing and swimming, and the two full-service marinas nearby make it easy to go boating and waterskiing, too. Looking for more serene scenery? These are the most scenic nature getaways in America.
A friendly cottage surrounded by wildlife: Winona Lake, Indiana
At 570 acres, Winona Lake is a petite piece of paradise that’s perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, and sailing. Anglers will find an abundance of perch, bass, and bluegill in the lake’s watery depths. And this charming renovated cottage is the perfect place to kick back after a day in the sun. With a large deck and lawn that rolls down to the water, it’s perfect for watching wildlife such as sandhill cranes, herons, pelicans, and swans. Plus, the quiet neighborhood is great for biking and walks. There’s also access to the Greenway Trail a mile away, which takes you to the Village of Winona, named one of Airbnb’s “most hospitable cities.”
Steps from the water: Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio
For the ultimate cottagecore retreat, head to the Edgewater Cottage, a beachy rental that hugs the shore of Grand Lake St. Marys, which is known for its beauty and privacy. Plus, it’s super affordable, so you can really relax, knowing you’re not breaking the bank on your vacation. Watch the stars as you chill out in the hot tub, and enjoy the sunrise from your bed as the lake catches the pastel hues of the reflected daylight for a blissful start to the day. Don’t miss Ohio’s other hidden gem.
The best lakefront patio: Magician Lake, Michigan
This pretty corner of southwest Michigan is home to a series of resort lake communities known as the Sister Lakes. There are 10 pocket-size lakes in a six-mile radius, but if you ask the owners of this vacation rental, they’ll tell you Magician Lake is the most scenic. Stay at this six-bedroom house and you’ll get views from the patio, which touches the water’s edge, that can’t be beat. The lake is ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing, and the home comes complete with a fire pit, floating lily pad, sandy beach area, and pier.
Chalet on the shore: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Located in Door County, one of the most gorgeous peninsulas in the country, Sturgeon Bay is often called “the Cape Cod of the Midwest.” This 80-mile-long strip of land juts into Lake Michigan and offers 300 gorgeous miles of shoreline, charming cottages, cute lake towns, an abundance of lighthouses, and multiple state parks. Right in the heart of all the charm and scenery is this adorable three-bedroom lakeside chalet crafted from reclaimed ships and decorated with vintage nautical pieces. Highlights of the vacation rental include a private pier, a rowboat, kayaks, fishing gear, bicycles, and a fire pit.
Natural beauty with deluxe details: Cedar Lake, Minnesota
Just a quick hop from the Twin Cities brings you to Cedar Lake, where you’ll find this eye-catching three-bedroom lake cabin rental with oversized windows and a spectacular view. Enjoy fishing year-round from the dock and private beach, get some exercise on a paddleboard, or spend your days relaxing on the wraparound deck. The surrounding area boasts wineries, breweries, the historic charm of New Prague, and the family-friendly beaches of Canterbury Park.
The perfect combination of rustic and modern: Swan Lake, Montana
Get the best of both worlds at this lovely and luxurious rental that combines rustic details like reclaimed wood and high-end amenities like a 70-inch flat-screen TV, a two-sided fireplace, and stainless-steel appliances. But the showstopper is the 24-foot-tall of windows that overlooks the water and Montana’s majestic mountains. Bonus: This rental is just an hour from Glacier National Park and its 1 million acres of lakes and glacier-carved mountains. If you’re heading here, you won’t want to miss our guide to a Glacier National Park road trip.
An outdoor adventurer’s paradise: Frisco, Colorado
Sometimes the perfect lake house isn’t a house at all. That’s the case with this two-bedroom lakeside condo that has a perfectly positioned deck facing the Dillon Marina. It’s the perfect home base to explore this Colorado gem. Not many mountain destinations (especially ones that are almost at a two-mile-high elevation) are home to a variety of water and lake activities. But Lake Dillon allows you to enjoy water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding—all with a stunning mountain backdrop.
A pool with a view: Lake Powell, Utah
One of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country, Lake Powell has winding, narrow waters with red rocks that shine in the distance. Formed by the dammed Colorado River, this reservoir is a prime location for waterskiing, swimming, and boating—all with the backdrop of Southern Utah’s stunning canyon landscapes in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This four-bedroom ranch strives to bring the natural world right to its doorstep. You’ll get to enjoy unobstructed views of Lake Powell from the large flagstone patio and the fabulous heated pool, which is built right into it. And don’t forget s’mores at the fire pit for nighttime fun! Here are more vacation homes with jaw-dropping views.
Romantic lake cabin: Tumalo Lake, Oregon
When you think of a cozy and romantic lakeside cabin, you likely picture something like this Tumalo Lake beauty in your mind. And the home’s features don’t disappoint, with a wraparound deck and private outdoor hot tub. Once inside, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views through the large windows, as well as lovely touches like a wood-burning stove and radiant heated floors with Italian tile. And the location can’t be beat. Tumalo Lake is just 12 miles west of downtown Bend and situated on 640 private forested acres surrounded on all sides by the Deschutes National Forest. Outdoor activities abound with limitless trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing right out your door. While you’re there, don’t miss breathtaking Tumalo Falls just three miles away.
The perfect place for wine lovers: Lake Chelan, Washington
Location, location, location! This unassuming four-bedroom rental has the prettiest 180-degree water views from the backyard patio and deck. Fire up the Texas-style barbecue and you may never want to leave. But when you hear what’s around you, chances are you’ll pull yourself away for a few hours—it’s also within walking distance to seven wineries!
Sandy shores right outside your door: Lake Tahoe, California
It’s the best of both worlds: At this lakeside retreat, you get a lake and a beach all in one! Located right on Kings Beach, this three-bedroom condo offers guests VIP access to Lake Tahoe—complete with a stellar view of the aqua waters and the surrounding snow-kissed Sierra Nevada mountains. Talk about a picture-perfect backdrop for your getaway. Have your morning coffee on the back deck while you take in the scenery, then sink your feet into the sand or rent a watercraft for the day. Here are another 50 of the best beach house rentals across the country.
Vrbo: “The 2021 Vrbo Trend Report”