Create a standout vacation rental with tips from 20 top homes of 2020

Before guests book, they look.

When a potential guest searches for homes on, we know which homes they look at, how long they spend poring over photos and descriptions, and of course, which homes they add to their list of favorites.

We compiled 20 of the most-favorited Vacasa vacation homes around the country. Want to know what makes a good vacation rental? Learn from the vacation rentals that won the most hearts on our website in 2020.

vacation rental bedroom decorated in ocean hues located in dauphin island, al

1. Walkin' On Sunshine

Dauphin Island, AL

The owners of this Dauphin Island beach house were intentional with their vacation home decor, making sure it showcased their oceanfront location. They adorned each room with tranquil ocean hues and respective patterns of seashells, starfish, and coral. They were also smart about maximizing their space. Within four bedrooms, they placed enough beds (including a bunk bed and two king beds) to allow for a group of 10 guests.

“We have stayed here the last two years. It is the BEST location on the island. Mornings spent on the deck overlooking the water are the best way to start each day!” — guest Gerard S.

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interior of oregon vacation home with solid pine wood walls and cozy cabin decor

2. Alderwood

Rhododendron, OR

What’s better than soaking in a hot tub? Soaking in a hot tub outdoors in the middle of an evergreen forest, that’s what. (Our studies show hot tubs can increase your rental income by 15–20%.) The Alderwood owners knew this experience would draw guests to their charming cabin in Oregon. They made their interior just as inviting, with solid pine wood walls, cozy cabin decor, and retro touches like a wood-burning stove and vinyl record player. The result? A rustic yet refined aesthetic that reeled in interest.

“Wonderfully private woodsy getaway with a rustic and charming feel.” — guest Amelia S.

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remodeled cottage in anna maria

3. Over The Moon

Anna Maria, FL

The owners of this quaint cottage recently remodeled the property into a bright and breezy living space, complete with luxury finishes, modern furniture, and sophisticated accents. They draw attention to their outdoor amenities, including the pool, hot tub, and outdoor lounge seating under shady palms. Several guests love their front yard picnic area for afternoon barbecues and lunches.

“Great layout of this newly updated home. It was perfect for my family of 6. The backyard was beautiful with great landscaping and an amazing hot tub and pool. There was also a small but charming picnic table out front by the grill.” — guest Kelly H.

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scottsdale vacation home desert oasis including infinity pool, hot tub, rooftop deck and fireplace

4. Desert Escape

Scottsdale, AZ

Here, savvy owners treat their guests to a playful and sprawling outdoor desert experience. In addition to an infinity pool, a hot tub, and a rooftop deck, the homeowners installed an outdoor kitchen with a fireplace and an additional firepit. They also cater to families by offering putting greens, a mini disc golf course, and a cornhole set.

“The backyard is HUGE and there is ample room to spread out and enjoy. Our favorite part was the rooftop deck which allows a sunset view to the west as well as an amazing view east to the mountains.” — guest Marc A.

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cottage rental in shaver lake, ca with open floor plan and muted color scheme

5. Blue Sky Cottage

Shaver Lake, CA

How do you make an intimate cottage feel spacious enough for nine guests? These homeowners opted for an open floor plan, allowing guests to spend time dining, cooking, and lounging without feeling cramped. They also chose a muted color scheme that was carried throughout every room in the house, plus kept small knick knacks to a minimum. The result? A stay that feels luxuriously cozy and clutter-free. Fun note: This beautiful home was featured on HGTV’s House Hunters.

“My family and I loved this cabin! It was very clean and inviting. The beds were very comfortable and the open floor plan made it very welcoming.” — guest Emily J.

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large vacation home on lake chelan with badminton on the lawn

6. Three Lakes Haven

Lake Chelan, WA

Smart vacation rental owners understand they need to attract guests with various activity levels. The owners of this Lake Chelan vacation home go beyond enticing guests with an outdoor tub and large fireplace. They also offer recreational options with a mini home gym, badminton on the lawn, horseshoes, cornhole, and a driveway basketball court.

“The house is beautiful and very spacious for a large group. The kids all had fun in the game room and the adults had a great time enjoying the hot tub. All in all this spot had something for everyone!!” — guest Darcy E.

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donner lake vacation home with private dock and ample outdoor seating

7. Lake Front Family Home at Donner

Truckee, CA

The owners of this large Donner Lake vacation home were intentional when maximizing their lakefront location. Comfy seating out on the private dock and stone patio, outdoor cafe seating, private swimming ladder, and an outdoor grill offer guests many ways to lounge and soak up this beautiful setting. Inside, they outfitted the home with plush hotel-style bedding, cozy furniture, and family essentials, like games, books, and extra beach towels.

“We were two families and fit perfectly in this house, which provided amazing views, all of the things we needed to stay more than comfortably and the opportunity for wonderful memories.” — guest Sara M.

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balcony of pcb oceanfront condo decorated with warm wood furnishings and gray tones

8. Ocean Ritz 901

Panama City Beach, FL

These vacation rental owners chose to bring coziness to their coastal condo with warm wood furnishings and gray tones. They maximized their space and attracted more groups and families by outfitting one of the rooms with two sets of bunk beds. Plus, they offer several seating and dining options on the large balcony, including a large banquet table, to fit the maximum number of guests.

“We loved the condo, it was very clean and very roomy. There were 8 ladies that came on this trip and everyone agreed it has been the best trip so far.” — guest Barbara S.

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cabin rental with large deck with porch swing and high ceilings in pigeon forge, tn

9. Playin' Hookie

Pigeon Forge, TN

Like its name, this home attracts guests who want to both play and kick back. Next to a soaring stone fireplace, the vacation home owners placed a modern wood shuffleboard and added a vintage video game console to one of the bedrooms for some friendly competition. Outside on the front porch, they lined multiple rocking chairs and a swing, where you can hang out after soaking in the expansive outdoor hot tub.

“Both parents and the teen had so much fun with the vintage video game console (the parents SCHOOLED the kids on Frogger) and very high quality shuffleboard table. It was just the right size for us, not too big and not too small. Very clean.” — guest Irene H.

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comfy outdoor dining area, lounge and modern bistro seating of horseshoe bay, tx vacation home

10. Waterfront Wonder

Horseshoe Bay, TX

Even with a vacation home packed with a maximum 10 guests, these owners know how to showcase their home as being open and spacious. It starts with choosing a sophisticated and neutral color palette throughout that makes even a bustling space feel calm and ample. They also opted for streamlined furniture, including a sleek dining room table for 10. Outdoors they offer a comfy dining area and lounge seating, plus some fun and modern bistro seating to give everyone options.

“This home was gorgeous and had everything you could ever need. Every bedroom has its own bath and there are lake views from all but one. We got lost looking at the water each morning and evening—we hated to leave.” — guest Shae W.

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10 more top home tips

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana L.L.C. (licensed in Louisiana); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC, P.O. Box 283, Conway NH 03818, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan E. Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate Corporation, California DRE #02105811, Joseph Czapkowicz, California DRE #01380722; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado, Daned Kirkham); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Tennessee, 615-671-9916); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Patrice Tompkins, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.