Eight architectural styles for design-savvy travelers

Published September 2020

Much like art and fashion, architecture is rarely one-size-fits-all. Some people favor modern looks, while others lean toward rustic or brick exteriors—and often a region, like the Southwest or New England Coast, has its own signature style when it comes to home design. With more than 25,000 professionally managed properties, Vacasa has a vacation rental designed to suit every type of traveler, whether you’re ready to roadtrip now or simply saving for the future.

Scroll through to see eight vacation homes across the U.S. that reflect iconic (dare we say timeless?) architectural styles.

Modern Ocean Drive Condo in Sobe in Miami Beach, Florida

Art Deco

Modern Ocean Drive Condo in the Heart of Sobe in Miami Beach, Florida

Welcome to Miami, where the urban oasis of South Beach, or “SoBe” as it’s known to locals, is rife with Art Deco facades. The highly stylized art form is known for its rounded edges and geometric patterns, which are abundant on this bold, two-bedroom condo. But there’s even more to love within the eye-catching exterior, where you’ll discover a rooftop pool with ocean views and a bright, airy living space that beams in Florida’s famous sunshine.

Lilac Victorian in Eureka, California

Victorian

Lilac Victorian in Eureka, California

Before clean lines became the trend, Victorian architecture reigned supreme—and inspired a generation of dollhouses. While Victorian design emcompasses a variety of overlapping styles, they share common traits that make it easy to spot, like bay windows and ornate detailing. Enter this purple-hued gem, tucked in Northern California's Redwood Coast. With split levels and a thoughtfully restored interior, this historic vacation home also has a prime location one block from Old Town Eureka’s crown jewel: Carson Mansion.

The Bird House in Taos, New Mexico

Adobe

The Bird House in Taos, New Mexico

Adobe-style homes—and their modern counterpart, Pueblo Revival—are mostly found in the Southwest, where Spanish building concepts were met with local materials and styles of Native American tribes. The key elements are on full display in this restored 1920s villa, featuring earthen walls, stone floors, and vigas, or wood-beamed ceilings. Nestled in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, this colorful vacation rental is also a short drive from the Taos Pueblo, an adobe community dating back 1,000 years.

Dazzling Desert Villa in Palm Springs, California

Mid-Century Modern

Dazzling Desert Villa in Palm Springs, California

You can blame Mad Men, but it’s a craze for good reason. Mid-century modern, loosely defined as design from the mid-20th century, is known for its minimalist lines, flat planes, and large windows that feed into open floor plans. Repeated instances of mid-century modern line the streets of Palm Springs, a city that was literally shaped by mid-century modernist architects. The floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors at this desert paradise create an indoor-outdoor feel that’s classic mid-century, as is the neutral palette with pops of color. You may lose track of time, or even the decade, when vacationing here.

Private Franconia Log Cabin in Franconia, New Hampshire

Log Cabin

Private Franconia Log Cabin in Franconia, New Hampshire

There’s something inherently cozy about a log cabin, isn’t there? Though “log home” construction originated out of function rather than aesthetics, it remains a popular way to blend architecture into a home’s natural surroundings. Take this oh-so-cozy four-bedroom cabin, which features a traditional framework of interlocking logs and is set on five acres of blissfully serene private property. The only dilemma will be choosing a favorite spot to unwind: on the wraparound deck, in the hot tub, or in front of the wood-burning fireplace.

Contemporary Maine Retreat in Bethel, Maine

Contemporary

Contemporary Maine Retreat in Bethel, Maine

Contemporary architecture takes many forms, but often features unconventional and expressive design, so it’s a “you know it when you see it” situation. The renegade style is also known for its asymmetry and open floor plans, as seen in this Maine masterpiece. The spacious vacation rental sleeps 10 and effortlessly blends the high design of its sleek interior with a family-friendly layout. And though technology is another key feature of contemporary builds, access to the Androscoggin River and two ski resorts lets you be as plugged in, or unplugged, as you like.

Pile of Bricks in Seattle, Washington

Tudor

Pile of Bricks in Seattle, Washington

Ranging from storybook cottages to English manors, Tudors come in many shapes and sizes, but are noted for their steeply pitched roofs, tall windows, and exterior stonework. As the style made its way stateside, it found popularity in the northern half of the U.S., largely because of the snow-prone climate. So it’s no surprise to find a romantic brick home in the Pacific Northwest, like this three-bedroom beauty with a bonus loft and crow’s nest. White walls and added windows balance the traditionally dark finishes of a Tudor home, adding warmth for those sometimes gray Seattle days.

Elevent Alliance in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Cape Cod

Eleven Alliance in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Cape Cod homes are quiet charmers, with little pomp and circumstance. The plainly shingled exteriors and symmetrical blueprints, often with central fireplaces, use materials and colors that mirror their coastal scenery. So for quintessential Cape Cod design, we go straight to the source and this hill-perched vacation home overlooking Nantucket Sound. Don’t let the exterior modesty fool you: beautiful red oak beams line the ceilings and French doors open onto the deck for prime ferry watching.

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