2019: Top 25 best places to buy a vacation home

Back patio and pool view of a vacation rental in Scottsdale AZ
Large vacation rental in Colorado

Buying a vacation home can be one of the most financially rewarding and personally enjoyable investments you’ll ever make. Many of our vacation homeowners invest in multiple properties, building a portfolio of revenue-generating retreats in some of the most sought-after destinations around the world. For others, a vacation home is just one special place that can pay for itself, as well as allow for visits throughout the year.

Our Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report was designed to help those actively in the market to buy a vacation rental home make an informed decision on where to purchase. Utilizing our unmatched market data, combined with deep local expertise focused exclusively on vacation rental destinations, our 2019 report highlights the best places to buy if you’re looking to maximize the return on your investment.

We've also released a new version of this report for 2021—read it here.

Top 25 markets for buying a vacation rental in 2019


Median home sale price

Cap rate


Sevierville, TN




Killington, VT




Davenport, FL




Whittier, NC




Kissimmee, FL




Dauphin Island, AL




Myrtle Beach, SC




Key West, FL




Fort Bragg, CA




Big Sky, MT




Blue Ridge, GA




Gulf Shores, AL




Panama City Beach, FL




Warren, VT




Marathon, FL




Kihei, HI




Scottsdale, AZ




Orange Beach, AL




Harbor Springs, MI




Rhododendron, OR




Ellijay, GA




Seaside, OR




Waikoloa, HI




Cocoa Beach, FL




Destin, FL



Top takeaways

The Smoky Mountains are peaking.

Our number one best place to buy a vacation rental is Sevierville, Tennessee, nestled among the Smoky Mountains—and it’s not the only city in the region to make the list. Whittier, North Carolina, rang in at number four on the list of best places to buy, shining some extra light on the popular vacation rental destination that offers guests incredible experiences in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Florida beaches still reign supreme.

In 2018, a whopping nine markets throughout Florida ranked high on that year’s list of the best places to buy a vacation home. In 2019, Destin, Key West, Kissimmee, Marathon, and Panama City Beach landed on the list once again, proving that white sand beaches are still a major draw for travelers. Davenport and Cocoa Beach rounded out Florida’s top destinations.

Buying in Hawaii isn’t a pipe dream.

While they might be harder for mainlanders to visit, two cities in Hawaii made the list in 2019—double the number of Hawaiian markets on our 2018 list. Some destinations on the islands have incredibly tight regulations for vacation rentals, but both Kihei and Waikoloa are vacation-rental-friendly and boast cap rates worthy of an investment.

Mountains and beaches… but cities, too.

There’s much to be explored and adored in ever-popular beach and mountain destinations, but some travelers need a little more stimulation. Ranking cities Myrtle Beach, Fort Bragg, and Scottsdale offer fun downtown areas ripe for browsing, dining, and shopping.

It’s a great time to buy a vacation rental.

No matter where you are looking to buy a vacation rental property, it’s a great time to invest as more and more travelers opt to stay in vacation homes. If you’re a first-time home buyer, our handy resources can provide information on how to get started—and, of course, check out the rest of this report.

Our methodology

To determine its ranking of top markets, Vacasa analyzed home sales data in vacation destinations throughout the country, and overlaid it with actual performance data for thousands of U.S. vacation rental properties.

You might also like...

Enclosed and beautifully landscaped yard in Oro Valley, AZ vacation home
2019: Top 25 best places to buy a vacation home
The perspective of a beach from the pathway overlooking the ocean and vacationers under umbrellas.
Best places to buy a beach house 2022
vacation home with mountain views in Big Sky, MT
2020: top 25 best places to buy a vacation home
cabin in pigeon forge, tn
10 tips for buying a vacation home out of state

California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

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 of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, 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.

*This document is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to provide “investment advice” or a “recommendation” regarding a course of action. The discussion is general in nature and has not taken into account your personal financial position or objectives. You should consult a licensed financial advisor or other professional to discuss your specific situation.

Estimated rental income figures and home sale prices are based on historical averages; for any specific property, the actual revenue, purchase price, and cap rate may differ materially from estimated amounts and depend on a wide range of factors outside Vacasa's knowledge or control, such as the property's condition, layout, and furnishings; expenses associated with the acquisition and ownership of the property (such as property taxes, utility fees, HOA fees, insurance fees, and mortgage-related expenses); rental calendar availability; existing and future regulations; current and future economic, social, and political trends and conditions; and weather and environmental factors. These estimates do not take into account the potential impact of state income taxes.

Vacasa makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the accuracy of this document. Furthermore, Vacasa has no obligation to update, modify or amend this document or to otherwise notify users in the event that any opinion, assumption, forecast or estimate set forth herein changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on statements in this document.