Savvy families know that renting a vacation property in your choice destination is an affordable way to travel. You”ll get all the comforts of home-and plenty of space-for stays of up to a week or more. In the northeast U.S., these are the most popular places for renting properties. This is where to go to enjoy the best the region has to offer: scenic Atlantic coastline, picturesque parks and lakes, and majestic mountains.
Written by Traci L. Suppa
Inland, you"ll find the Adventure Park, The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village, and the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat in Essex. Even the area"s two major casino resorts, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, offer non-gaming entertainment options for families and chlldcare facilities so mom and dad can have some grown-up fun.
The common denominator of rental properties in the Mystic region is cozy charm, whether it"s a bungalow on the water or a cottage in town. Historic properties, particularly former sea captains" homes along Captain's Row on Mystic River, go for a premium.
The Poconos, Pennsylvania
Other family attractions include the historic Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, Blue Lightning all season tubing park, Claws n" Paws Wild Animal Park, No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum, Bushkill Falls, and NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway. In the winter, ski resorts like Camelback, Shawnee Mountain and Jack Frost offer downhill and cross-country skiing, and well as snowboarding and snow tubing.
Rental properties range from cabins and cottages in the woods, to ski chalets and townhouses in ski resort areas like Albrightsville and Tannserville, as well as houses with water views on Lake Ariel and Lake Harmony.
Ocean City, New Jersey
Eight miles away, Atlantic City offers families a small aquarium and the Absecon lighthouse. Climb the 228 steps to the top for an expansive view of the coastline.
Most lodging comes in the form of rental properties close to the beach, including single-family and multi-family houses and condos that take advantage of ocean views and public beach access points. Prices are highest for new, or newly-renovated, properties â€“ especially those along Wesley Avenue facing the water.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
There are many other outdoor pursuits, such as fishing in Barnstable, kayaking in South Orleans, biking the 10.7-mile Shining Sea Bikeway, and whale-watching in the fall. Indoor kid-friendly attractions include the Woods Hole Science Aquarium and the Sandwich Glass Museum.
There are literally thousands of rental properties on â€œthe Cape;â€ look for properties in the family-friendly towns of Falmouth and Dennis. You can find anything from one-bedroom cottages to large multi-family houses. If you"ll be there in the chillier months, ask about heating.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Other favorite activities include dolphin watching excursions, miniature golf, arcades and amusement parks, such as Jungle Jim"s and Funland. Concerts and other musical events are held during the summer season at the Bandstand on Rehoboth Avenue.
Beach and boardwalk access is the selling feature of the best rental properties on any of the 15-plus cross streets that lead east to the coastline. You can find a quieter stay along with the ocean breezes on Dewey Beach, just south of Rehoboth.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Most Bar Harbor visitors use it as a home base to explore the beautiful 47,000-acre Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, which is home to the 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain. The Park"s mountains, waterfronts, and woodlands can be explored on foot, by trolley tour, or by horse-drawn carriage. You can watch the Great Maine Lumber Jack Show, or attend a ranger-led program offered free by the National Park Service on subjects ranging from the constellations to birds of prey.
Rentals in this areaâ€”ranging from cabins, cottages, and chaletsâ€”will suit your preference for location, whether it be in town, on the shore, or near Acadia. You can even find homes on small private islands offshore.
The Adirondacks, New York
Families will find a lot to do in Lake George, home to Six Flags Great Escape, and Lake Placid, where several former Olympic venues are still open to the public. In nearby Tupper Lake, the Wild Center nature museum has opened the Wild Walk, an outdoor network of elevated boardwalks connecting interactive stations like a giant spider web and eagle"s nest.
Choice rental properties for summer stays make the most of the 600 bodies of navigable water that you can explore by boat, canoe, and kayak, such as Lake Saranac, Lake Champlain, and the Ausable River. In the winter, you can find a range of properties near the ski slopes of Whiteface, Gore Mountain, and Snow Ridge.
Newport, Rhode Island
Shopping and festivals are also popular tourist activities, but kids will likely prefer a day at the beach. Easton"s Beach, known as First Beach to the locals, has a carousel, playground, and skate park, in addition to water sports. Families with small children should check out Third Beach, which is smaller and quieter. Because it"s set back in a cove, there aren't many waves.
When you rent in Newport, your choices include both waterfront and downtown locations. There are cozy cottages, luxury apartments, and even historic Victorian houses with room for your entire family.
There"s plenty to do beyond snow sports. Both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trailâ€”with views of Thundering Fallsâ€”are great for hikers of all abilities. You can also appreciate nature from a gondola heading to Killington Peak. The new Snowshed Adventure Center Killington Resort features 10 attractions, including the Beast Mountain Coaster.
Proximity to the slopes is the main consideration for rentals, with the majority of condo and house choices located within Killington"s borders. You"ll pay a premium for Sunrise Mountain Village, Killington's ski on/ski off community, but deals can be found in nearby areas like Rochester, Shrewsbury, and Lake Bomoseen.
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Year-round, you can enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation within national and state parks, including Arethusa Falls, Flume Gorge, and the Appalachian Trail. In the summer and fall, there are dozens of family attractions, including age-old favorites like Story Land, Santa's Village, Conway Scenic Railroad and the Cog Railway.
Peaceful rental properties with beautiful mountain or lake views include cabins, chalets, condos, and traditional houses. Some have amenities like ski in/ski out access or swimming pools. Look for â€œfour-seasonâ€ homes with heating and air conditioning.
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