What Makes AvantStay Different?

Welcome to AvantStay! We believe you deserve so much more than an ordinary short-term vacation rental experience. But what makes AvantStay different? We’re all about what you can dream. Every travel experience should be one-of-a-kind, delightful, and stress-free. We shine with our attention to detail, commitment to customer service, hotel-quality amenities, and upgrades and experiences that help ensure every stay with us is more memorable than the last. In choosing us, you’re not just choosing another short-term rental company—you’re choosing an elevated experience.

Homes Catered To Groups

AvantStay home catered to groups for vacation rental

We have homes of all types, but most of our homes are best experienced with friends and family. Large We have homes of all types, but most of our homes are best experienced with friends and family. Large dining areas, state-of-the-art kitchens, and yards great for gatherings make getting together with all your loved ones a breeze. Plus, plenty of bedrooms (many with their own bathrooms) means no one’s sleeping on the couch this time.

An Elevated Experience

AvantStay dedicated concierges on vacation rental

With luxurious upgrades and experiences available at the touch of a button, you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to trip activities. To start, our app gives you front-row access to services you would expect at a five-star hotel — in-room massages, mid-stay cleanings, and private transportation. But, when you stay with us, the sky’s the limit! From booking a private chef to prepare dinner for the family, to pre-stocking your fridge with groceries before you arrive, the AvantStay app makes it easier than ever to make your vacation dreams a reality.

Award-Winning Design

AvantStay's interior design is custom for every home

As travelers ourselves, we know how crucial the interior design of a home can be when planning the vacation of your dreams. We’ve actually built an in-house interior design team. And it’s not just any interior design team—they’ve actually won awards for it, including best design from Marriott Homes & Villas in 2021. We make sure our homes match the vibe of your trip, whether it be on the coast or in the woods, so you’re fully immersed in the magic of your vacation. 

Our homes are also decked out with amenities, so you’ll never be sitting around wondering what to do next. From cornhole to board games, from billiards to the hot tub, we believe fun comes in all shapes and sizes and is best experienced with your loved ones. The amenities for each home are different (our estates collection has some truly awe-inspiring ones), but we can promise that you will never be bored. 

Customer Service By Humans, For Humans

Firepit at AvantStay's Buena Vista property

Our dedicated area managers are here to make sure your experience is delightful. We also have team members available 24/7, so even if you need something in the middle of the night, we’re there to help. That way, you aren’t at the whim of the homeowner’s availability and you won’t get a computer trying to help you in a crisis. We want every aspect of your experience to be as relaxing as possible, because that’s why you go on vacation in the first place.

Happy Homeowners

Woman lounging at an AvantStay property

On top of the personal relationship we keep with our guests, we also take deep care and thoughtful steps to ensure our homeowners feel proud and reassured when their property is in our hands. 

We pride ourselves on:

  • Best-in-class in-field operations
  • Smart-home technology to keep our homes and guests safe
  • Complimentary updated interior design
  • A proprietary software platform that manages it all and keeps homeowners informed

We care for these homes as though they were our own (some are even employee-owned), and we continue to build and grow sustainably to build value for our homeowners. If you’re interested in partnering with us, you can learn more about our Vacation Rental Management

While most of our properties are homes designed for group travel as mentioned above, we also have cozier rentals and even boutique hotels, because sometimes you just want to get away without the crowd. Most importantly, we’re ever-growing to fit the needs of the modern-day traveler, meaning we’re adding new properties in new destinations all the time. 

So, where will you go next?

3 Hot Tips: How To Become a Superhost on Airbnb

With over 4 million hosts on Airbnb and 6 million active listings worldwide, how do you make your short-term rental stand out in such a saturated space? As an Airbnb Superhost, you’ll receive improved visibility, higher referral bonuses, increased bookings, and ultimately more revenue. If you’re interested in learning how to become a Superhost on Airbnb, and how AvantStay can simplify that process, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll answer:

  • What is an Airbnb Superhost? 
  • What are the benefits of being a Superhost?
  • What are the Airbnb Superhost requirements? 
  • How can a vacation rental management company help you become a Superhost? 

What is an Airbnb Superhost?

The Airbnb Superhost program was created to reward and promote top-performing hosts. Hosts that go above and beyond to create an exceptional guest experience are given a Superhost badge and additional promotions to reach more guests. If you meet Airbnb’s requirements, you are awarded Superhost status after each evaluation period (no application needed!).

What are the benefits of being an Airbnb Superhost? 

There are many benefits that come with being an Airbnb Superhost, including increased visibility, more earning potential, and exclusive rewards. According to AirDNA, these hosts also see a greater performance with several key performance indicators compared to non-Superhosts: 

  • 81% higher occupancy rate
  • 60% more revenue per available day
  • 5% improvement in listing traffic

Increased visibility 

As a Superhost, you’ll receive a badge that will help you stand out from other hosts and listings in your area, all while building trust with potential guests. Superhosts are also more likely to be featured in Airbnb’s promotional emails. In addition, Airbnb users have the ability to filter searches to only see Superhost rentals–that means more eyes on your listing and more bookings.

More earning potential 

Superhosts earn more simply from improved listing visibility along with the trust and expectations that come with the status. Guests know that Superhosts are the best of the best, and will likely book your home over those from other non-Superhosts. 

Exclusive rewards from Airbnb

Superhosts receive a $100 Airbnb coupon every year that they keep their status. If Superhosts refer new hosts to join Airbnb, they get an additional 20% bonus on top of the usual referral bonus.

What are the Airbnb Superhost requirements? 

Every three months, Airbnb checks if you’ve met their requirements for the past year so you can earn or keep your Superhost status. To qualify for an Airbnb Superhost badge, you must:

  • Host at least 10 trips, or have 3 reservations that total at least 100 nights
  • Maintain a 90% response rate or higher
  • Maintain a 1% cancellation rate (1 cancellation per 100 reservations) or lower
  • Maintain a 4.8 overall rating

3 Tips for becoming an Airbnb Superhost

While responsiveness and limiting cancellations are important, providing a top-notch guest experience is crucial to boost your ratings and maximizing your short-term rental income. Here’s how you can improve the guest experience to drive more five-star reviews and become a Superhost. 

Use high-quality photos in your listing

shuffleboard table in AvantStay vacation home

Take high-resolution photos of your vacation rental that accurately reflect the space, amenities, and what guests can expect when they walk into your home. Make sure you update these photos after you make any changes to your property so guests don’t leave negative reviews about an inaccurate listing. 

With AvantStay, our Design and Photography teams develop a marketing and listing plan that best highlights the experiences and amenities to our guests. We stage, style, and photograph your home to showcase the property’s best characteristics across listings. 

Prioritize cleanliness and upkeep

bathroom vacation rental cleaning checklist

Allow guests to completely unwind and enjoy their stay by keeping your vacation rental clean and ready to use. AvantStay has teams dedicated to field operations that manage utilities, services, maintenance, and housekeeping on our owners’ behalf. 

We pride ourselves on a rigorous 100-point vacation rental cleaning checklist that ensures our housekeepers perform deep cleans using products and standards that comply with (and exceed) CDC guidelines before every stay. In addition, we provide a bi-annual deep clean to ensure homes stay in great shape all year round. 

Take care of your guests

AvantStay branded mug and breakfast items

Go above and beyond to make sure guests have the best experience at your home. From communication and easy check-in, to welcome gifts and a well-stocked home, taking the time to show guests that you care can earn you a five-star rating. 

At AvantStay, guests have access to 24/7 live support via SMS, email, or phone, and we troubleshoot every issue to ensure they are well-cared for. That way, our homeowner partners can sit back and relax without any interruptions. By resolving 90% of guest issues on the first call, we receive higher ratings and better guest satisfaction, driving more five-star reviews.

We also take care of stocking the home with guest-ready supplies and provide personalized, thoughtful welcome packages ahead of every stay. 

Become an Airbnb Superhost with AvantStay

Managing a short-term rental and reaching Superhost status on Airbnb can be expensive, tedious, and time-consuming. AvantStay has been a top-rated Superhost for 24 consecutive quarters, so we know what it takes to take your home to the next level and maximize your revenue. We offer the first hands-off approach for vacation rental owners, using our proprietary tech suite to power bookings, operationalize in-field management, and activate an elevated guest experience. 

In addition, guests can take advantage of our upgrades and experiences by requesting mid-stay cleans, fridge stocking, arranging private chef-catered dinners, wine tastings, in-home spa treatments, transportation, and more. A pristine home paired with our personalized guest services drives higher satisfaction, more five-star reviews, and repeat visitors. 

If you’re interested in learning more about AvantStay’s best-in-class care and how we can maximize your revenue, our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Best Vacation Rental Amenities To Boost Your ROI: Desert Edition

Ready to create a five-star guest experience and increase the return on your vacation rental investment? A great starting point is by adding experiential elements and sought-after amenities to your home. Vacation rental amenities help create an exceptional guest experience, drive more positive reviews, and ultimately increase your rental income. This article is the first of a series breaking down popular amenities and the advantages they create, by market type. Keep reading to discover our top amenity picks for desert vacation rentals. 

The importance of vacation rental amenities 

Outdoor yoga deck at AvantStay Joshua Tree vacation rental

In competitive markets, like Joshua Tree and Coachella Valley, the vacation rentals that are going to get more bookings and drive strong returns are the one-of-a-kind and exciting homes that stand out from the rest. If you have unique amenities, like a yoga deck or bocce ball court, showcase these in some of the first photos on your listing page to grab guests’ attention. Before we reveal what the top desert vacation rental amenities are, let’s cover the benefits of investing in interior design and luxury amenities.

Attract more guests

58% of millennials make their booking decision based on the first five photos of the home. Professionally designed properties with new furnishings, stylish decor, and top-of-the-line amenities attract guests who appreciate and respect the elements that make your home unique. 

Earn higher ratings 

Homes with thoughtfully designed interiors and amenities are directly linked to higher ratings and referrals from guests. An appealing and comfortable home where guests can gather and entertain has a proven positive effect on the guest experience. 

Increase your revenue 

Helping homeowners choose and install the right amenities is just one part of how AvantStay maximizes your property’s value and increases your profit by up to 20-30%. You’ll notice a surge in bookings as guests prefer to stay at properties with professionally designed interiors and experiential amenities for the whole group to enjoy. 

Best vacation rental amenities for desert homes

Joshua Tree vacation rental with pool

Vacation rental amenities can make the difference between a four and five-star review. But which amenities are guests looking for? We dove into our data to discover what amenities drive the greatest returns in our desert vacation rentals. 

Pools & spas

Allow guests to soak up the sun or comfortably stargaze on chilly desert nights with a pool and hot tub. Adding a pool and hot tub to your property is the #1 investment you can make. While cowboy tubs are great for Instagram pics, new build pool and spa assets drive greater returns for our Joshua Tree homeowners. Below are our findings for Joshua Tree homes over a 12-month period: 

  • New build pool and spa assets generate 30% higher RevPAU (revenue per available unit) compared to standard pool and spa assets and cowboy tubs
  • Homes with both a pool and spa see 112% higher ADRs and 179% higher RevPAU than homes with neither 
  • Homes with both a pool and spa see 12% higher ADRs and 17% higher RevPAU than homes with just a pool

Outdoor sport courts

Guests will love to engage in some friendly competition with an outdoor sport court. Bocce ball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, cornhole, and pickleball courts are great options for desert vacation rentals. According to our research, Joshua Tree vacation rentals with an outdoor sport court drive 14% higher ADRs and 15% greater RevPAU than homes without. 

Fire pits, yoga decks, and outdoor sculptures  

Joshua Tree vacation rental backyard with firepit and cornhole

Commit to the zen but funky vibe of Joshua Tree with outdoor elements like a fire pit, yoga deck, and “Instagrammable” sculptures. These amenities are typically a low-lift to install and offer a minor impact on ADRs. However, according to market research, homes with some of these experiential elements (in addition to a pool and spa), see higher RevPAU than homes with more bedrooms and only a pool and spa. 

Indoor game room

Joshua Tree homes in our portfolio with an indoor game room only see 12% higher RevPAU than homes without. Guests visiting desert markets are usually looking to spend time outside. If you’re thinking about adding a game room to your short-term rental, consider investing in a pool and hot tub, or one of the other outdoor amenities listed above instead. 

Level up your vacation rental with AvantStay

AvantStay interior design before and after image of Joshua Tree vacation rental

Only AvantStay homeowners have access to our award-winning Interior Design team that elevates homes in under nine days, instantly increasing your home’s equity and maximizing your ROI. We believe the best accommodations are designed to enhance every aspect of a guest’s travels, which is why we transform beautiful homes into incredible experiences that foster unforgettable memories

We help procure high-quality, durable furniture and upscale amenities, and coordinate delivery and installation on your behalf so you don’t have to lift a finger. Our thoughtfully designed spaces encourage gathering and allow guests to make the most of their time at your home—leaving them recharged and ready to write a five-star review! 

AvantStay interior design before and after image of Joshua Tree vacation rental

Are you looking to upgrade your vacation rental design and amenities? Our interior designers can create a custom, locally inspired space that guests will love. If you’re interested in learning more about AvantStay’s design, procurement, and vacation rental management services, our team of experts is ready to help. Get started today!

Pride Paradise! Where to Stay When You Attend Pride Parades

It’s almost Pride time! Let’s get to it with a super special list of all the best places to stay. Whether you’re attending your hometown’s pride parade, or are making a journey to a special city to see one, this round-up has all the stays to guarantee a rowdy and rockin’ Pride 2023, all the way from April to August.

Capri – Miami, FL

In true Miami fashion, this city took Pride and turned it into a whole two weeks’ worth of events. From April 1st-16th, you can celebrate with events ranging from a pride pageant to a movie night, with the grand finale of a Pride Parade at Ocean Drive on April 16th. When it’s time to get your R&R, take the celebration back to Capri, your “humble” abode in Fort Lauderdale.

Blue Steel – Sonoma, CA

Sonoma County Pride is held June 3rd at Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square. With performances from Spencer Day and Paul’s Drag Race star Miss Rock M Sakura, you’ll be sure to sashay the day away before a night of relaxation at your Sonoma vacation rental, Blue Steel.

Serenity – Key West, FL

Key West Pride is held this year from June 7-11th. Enjoy the sunny island and all its daytime activities. Try a trip to the Key West Butterfly Conservatory or maybe even a sunset sail. After you’ve danced your little heart out, head back home to Serenity or any of our other Key West vacation rentals.

Valentino – Los Angeles, CA

LA’s Pride is held this year on June 9th and 10th. This year, be extra as hell with a stay at Valentino in the Hollywood Hills. It’s got a private pool, a courtyard hot tub, and a luxe firepit lounge tucked near a gorgeous fountain, so after you’ve lost your voice to screaming songs a little too loud, you’re sure to find your zen again with a nice decompression session outdoors.

Bourbon – Nashville TN

From June 24-25 you’ve got full rein to head on down to Nashville’s Pride Parade where you’ll find over 225 vendors for local nonprofits, artists, and businesses celebrating freely! And when y’all have had enough of all that downtown hustle and bustle, head back to this cozy stay at Bourbon – a Nashville vacation rarity where you’re close enough for your Ubers to not be a million bucks.

Peak 8 – Breckenridge, CO

Year of the rabbit so you’re in your snow bunny era, huh? One of the best parts about visiting Colorado in June is the fact that you get to witness all of the trees, flowers, and plants in full bloom. When you’re not visiting one of the many local hot springs, take a day trip from your Breckenridge AvantStay, like Peak 8, and come as you are to Denver’s 14-block Pride celebration! The 2023 Coors Light Denver Pride Parade is held June 25th.

Camden – San Diego, CA

With over 250,000 cheering supporters, the San Diego Pride Parade at the Hillcrest Pride Flag is a truly liberating place to express yourself. From July 8-16th, you’ll find the streets of Hillcrest blossoming with beautiful rainbows from head to toe. After a long day of parading, enjoy your stay at Camden – a beautiful bungalow located in Cardiff by the Sea.

Ramsey – Austin, TX

Austin’s Pride Parade will be held on August 12th. Everything’s bigger in TX, so this fest features live music, dance, and drag performances and is the largest of all ATX’s parades. When you’ve danced your little heart out, head back to Ramsey where you and your besties will have plenty of room to spread out – from the expansive front yard to the pool and al fresco dining.

Best Cannon Beach Coffee Shops & Bakeries

Pastry Royalty: Cannon Beach Bakery

Cannon Beach Bakery is sure to please pastry connoisseurs, with the largest selection of sweet and savory doughs in the area. They’ve been perfecting their recipes since 1936 when the bakery opened in Cannon Beach. Home of the original Haystack bread—a round, crusty loaf with different flavors—the bakery is also known for its win in the Sweetest Bakery in America contest. 

Besides Haystack bread, they offer 50+ goods daily: including almond bear claws, olive ciabatta, chocolate cream cheese muffins, and more. After you pick your pastry, grab a classic drip coffee, espresso, americano, or other classic coffee drink. 

Gluten-Free Options Galore: Sea Level Bakery + Coffee 

Another great Cannon Beach bakery is Sea Level Bakery + Coffee, where you can find different coffees at the pour-over bar weekly. We highly recommend pairing them with daily made-from-scratch pastries like banana bread, kouign-amanns, scones, and bread like baguettes, ciabatta, brioche, and more. We never turn down carbs with our morning coffee.

Since savory items like pumpkin curry soup and ratatouille are available too, Sea Level is a great Cannon Beach cafe to stop by for lunch as well. 

Want to stay within walking distance or a quick drive from Sea Level? Stay at the Seven Spruce for a quick commute to silence your growling stomach. During your stay with us, we recommend that you have a beach picnic by stopping by Sea Level for some goodies on your way there. Munching on their jambon and brie sandwich makes for a delicious and delightful afternoon lounging on the sand.  

Cozy Ambiance and Community: Insomnia Roasters

Insomnia Roasters focuses on creating inviting spaces in each of their cafes, and their coffee and pastry selections are just as thoughtful. Signature drinks like eggnog lattes and baked goods like cinnamon rolls will brighten your mood in the already window-filled, airy space. 

Looking to read a book and escape from the world for a few hours? Our vacation rental Puffin Nest is walking distance from this cafe, from the beach, and from downtown Cannon Beach. It’s the perfect escape while still offering a roomy retreat for you and your group.

King of Coffee: Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters 

Sleepy Monk Roaster’s extensive roster of international, organic, and small-batch coffee provides dozens of options for your jolt of java juice. Ranging from French Roast Colombian, Dark Uganda, Gaelic Grounds, Bali Blue Moon, and so much more, you could live here for months and have not tried every roast. Don’t forget to taste their signature whipped cream.  

Plus, if you arrive early, you can get your hands on some gluten-free baked goods, and an Adirondack chair on the lawn to people-watch along Hemlock Street. 

Oregon Vacations 

After a luxurious night of sleep in our gorgeous properties, fuel up by visiting a Cannon Beach bakery and coffee shop before adventure-filled days in Oregon. With many outstanding Oregon coffee roasters and shops, you can eat, sleep, and repeat every day during your stay with AvantStay Vacation Rentals. For more information about other things to do in Cannon Beach and Manzanita, and our accommodations, visit our website!

Beat the Low Season Slump: 9 Tips To Improve Occupancy

Short-term rental owners dream of having consistent bookings year-round. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When demand begins to drop and bookings taper off, this is known as the dreaded low season. However, your occupancy doesn’t have to take a drastic hit during this time of year. With some strategic vacation rental marketing, you can easily avoid the low-season slump. Our nine tips will teach you how to get more bookings in low season and boost your rental income. 

1. Know your market’s low season

The first step to improving your occupancy is to know your market’s seasonal trends. Identify your low, peak, and shoulder seasons. Low season (also known as slow or off-season) is the time of year when tourists head home and demand slows down. Peak or high season is when demand is high and guests are eager to book your vacation rental. Then there’s shoulder season, or the time between low and peak season when travelers are typically looking to enjoy fewer crowds and lower rates. These seasons vary by market, so make sure you understand your location’s seasonal trends to help with pricing (more on that later). 

In addition, use local events and seasonal attractions to your advantage. There could be big events like festivals and conferences, or timely attractions like leaf peeping and whale watching that take place during your low season. Mention these in your vacation rental listing, use event hashtags on your social media posts, and send out a calendar of upcoming events to your email subscribers. 

AvantStay Coachella homes social media promotion

2. Know your previous low-season guest

Next, dig into who booked your vacation rental during previous low seasons. Was it mostly couples looking for a quiet weekend getaway? Or groups of friends in town for a food and wine festival? Use these demographics and interests to target similar audiences in your social media ads. 

Also, reach out to previous guests to offer special low-season promos and friends and family discounts. This is a cheaper way to acquire new guests while staying top of mind to your previous customers who already know and love your home. 

3. Strategically adjust your rates

Pricing your vacation rental for market and seasonal trends is one of the trickiest parts of running a short-term rental business. Typically, with lower demand comes lower rates. However, you don’t want to lower your rates so much that you lose money. Research similar homes in your area so you can accurately and competitively charge for bedroom count, amenities, views, proximity to local attractions, and other key features. Dynamic pricing tools, like AirDNA, can help with this. Or if you’d rather leave it to the experts, consider partnering with a vacation rental management company that can optimize for both revenue and occupancy. 

4. Update and optimize your listing 

AvantStay patio in Telluride

Keep your vacation rental listing updated to reflect current seasons and events. This is your first touchpoint with potential guests, so entice them to book a stay with a relevant and fresh listing page. Here are some ways you can make updates for low season: 

  • If your target guests are travelers coming to leaf peep, add pictures of your home surrounded by fall foliage
  • Update your title and description to promote upcoming events and include your home’s proximity to events, festivals, and attractions 
  • Highlight your amenities, especially the ones that guests will love during low season
  • Showcase your home’s features that are perfect for holidays, like a modern kitchen and large dining area for Thanksgiving, or holiday lights and decorations during December 

5. Test niche listing sites 

Low season is a great time to test out new vacation rental marketing strategies. Leverage niche vacation rental listing sites to diversify your channel mix, increase your exposure, and drive higher nightly rates (these travelers are often willing to pay more for personalized service). Niche vacation rental booking sites offer accommodations to travelers with certain needs or interests. These could be vacation rentals for families with children or pets, luxury homes, or locations with a desired climate. Some popular niche listing sites include: 

6. Attract business travelers

A great way to improve your overall occupancy is to target business travelers and remote workers. Luckily, these folks travel all year and aren’t tied to a specific season. Equip your home with full-coverage fast WiFi and dedicated, comfortable workspaces. Be sure to highlight these in your listing so your home will be featured in any filtered searches. 

Another way to boost your weekday occupancy (during any season) is to accommodate work groups. At AvantStay, we help companies host their retreats and offsites at our homes, and even plan custom team-building itineraries. This means more consistent bookings, positive reviews, and income for our homeowners. 

group making s'mores at an AvantStay home

One of the easiest ways to make your vacation rental stand out is by providing top-of-the-line amenities. Amenities help create an exceptional guest experience, drive more positive reviews and repeat visitors, and ultimately increase your rental income. Invest in experiential features that can be used all year. Hot tubs, fire pits, and game rooms are fan favorites that can be enjoyed in any season. 

8. Start a blog 

Travelers appreciate recommendations and tips from a local. Showcase that local expertise with a vacation rental blog on your website. A blog is an easy way to increase your visibility on search engines through the use of relevant keywords. Think of topics like “Best Things To Do in Destin in Low Season,” “Hidden Low Season Gems of Charleston,” and “Top 11 Things To Do in Telluride Year-Round.” 

Pair your market knowledge with your keyword research to write helpful content for potential guests. You can also repurpose your blog content to share on social media or in emails to past guests. 

9. Work with an expert vacation rental manager 

Overall, running a successful vacation rental business, regardless of season, requires a lot of dedication. If you’d rather not worry about seasonal trends and getting the right guests in at the right price and time, partner with a vacation rental manager.

Unlike traditional management companies that use simple on and off-season pricing, AvantStay uses a sophisticated dynamic pricing model that segments each year into between 75-150 pricing “seasons.” These seasons capture and optimize revenue based on occupancy, day of the week, travel patterns, holidays, market events, and more. Our team of dedicated pricing and revenue management specialists reviews each asset in our portfolio every week to ensure each home is priced to book, no matter the season. 

Interested in learning more about how AvantStay can improve your occupancy and increase your rental income? Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

15 Vacation Homes with Indoor Pools

Looking for a vacation rental with a private indoor swimming pool? Look no further! 

This year, skip the crowded public pools and high-priced hotel passes and opt for a secluded approach to swimming on vacation. We’ve rounded up 15 stunning vacation homes with private indoor pools that promise fun, relaxation, and plenty of room for the whole crew. From the Smoky Mountains to Big Bear Lake, these homes will ensure that your vacation is nothing short of unforgettable. Let’s dive in!

1. Wilder – Sevierville, TN

The best part about staying at a home with an indoor pool? You can take a dip in any weather. Meet Wilder, the ten-bed mountain mansion located in the Smoky Mountain town of Sevierville. Nature lovers rejoice – this backyard features a large wooden pavilion with a chic lounge area and a sprawling table with room for 20.

Looking for more to do on your trip? Check out our Top Things to Do in the Smokies.

2. Bluestem & Bluebell – Sevierville, TN

Why not both? Book two neighboring homes, Bluestem & Bluebell, for plenty to do in the Smokies. Hang out with your crew in the spacious living area or soak up the stunning treetop views on the vast balcony. From swimming in the indoor pool, playing games in the game room, or watching a flick in the movie room, these stays have everything you need for an unforgettable vacation so grab your swimsuit and meet us there!

3. Red Oak – Sevierville, TN

A pool party without a pool is just a meeting. With two living areas, a pool table, a hot tub, modern interiors, and an indoor pool, Red Oak offers much more than just a cabin in the woods. Reconnect with nature in the Smokies and unwind on one of the home’s two balconies. Grab 11 of your besties and head here for an unforgettable weekend vacation.

4. High Meadow – Park City, UT

Pack your bags and get ready for the ultimate Park City mountain getaway! This home’s main room boasts a breathtaking floor-to-ceiling fireplace and panoramic mountain views, setting the tone for the rest of the awe-inspiring house. With an indoor pool, hot tub, game room, and fully equipped BYOB bar, there’s always something fun to do here at High Meadow.

Craving even more to do on your trip? See our 35 Best Things to Do in Park City.

5. Crystalline – Sevierville, TN

Float on cloud nine, or float in the indoor pool. With three balconies overlooking the forest, you’ll be living the chill life in no time at Crystalline in the Smoky Mountains. Find your zen via the indoor pool, hot tub, or movie theater. Later on, get the party started at the billiards table with a fresh vinyl on the record player.

6. Sugarland – Sevierville, TN

Discover the perfect blend of rustic charm and luxurious amenities at Sugarland in the Smoky Mountains. With plenty of indoor and outdoor space, you’ll have all the room you need to relax and take in the mountain air. From its home theater and game room to an indoor pool and BBQ grill, there’s endless fun for the whole crew. Get your grill on the covered deck and enjoy the al fresco meal you’ve been in search of.

And, pose! Make sure to check out our 10 Most Instagram-Worthy Spots in the Smokies.

7. Daybreak – Sevierville, TN

Surrounded by stunning aspens and mountain views, you’ll never want to leave Daybreak in the Smokies. This massive cabin has an indoor pool, pavilion, and eight bedrooms so you can bring the whole crew. Chill on one of the multiple balconies or whip up something delish in the spacious kitchen before you cozy up next to the fire. Decompress in the rec room with billiards, foosball, and classic movies. 

8. Ridge View – Sevierville, TN

Perched at the edge of a ridge in Sevierville, you’ll find the lovely cabin that is Ridge View. This stay comes with a pool table, indoor pool, hot tub, two large decks, a spacious wooden pavilion in the backyard, ambient lighting, and so much more. Just a short 15-minute drive away is the family-friendly mountain town of Pigeon Forge, with activities like mini-golf and arcades.

9. Duval – Sevierville, TN

Dive into Duval(‘s indoor pool). Budding chefs can show off their skills in the dreamy kitchen, while the upstairs balcony offers an amazing view of the treetops, perfect for your morning caffeine fix. Whether you’re exploring downtown Pigeon Forge or relaxing in the hot tub, this Smoky Mountain stay will leave a lasting impression on you.

10. Copperhead – Sevierville, TN

Come on down to Copperhead in Sevierville, TN. This rustic retreat amongst the treetops is stacked with goodies like a hot tub, indoor pool, jacuzzi, home theatre, and game room – you name it, it’s got it. Soak up those epic panoramic views all day long and when it’s time to chow down, head to one of the two balconies and get your grill on by the sunset.

Looking for more vacation homes with game rooms? Check out our faves here.

11. Elm – Sevierville, TN

Another Smoky Mountains cabin with epic amenities? Yes, please! Come to Elm to turn your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and turn on vacay mode. With this stay’s private movie theater, indoor pool, three balconies, billiards table, and hot tub, you’ll never run out of things to do.

12. Honeypot – Big Bear Lake, CA

Escape to Honeypot in Big Bear for the ultimate year-round group getaway. This luxurious retreat features four bedrooms, a spacious common area, and a stunning indoor pool and a hot tub. The large living area with an oversized sectional and fireplace is perfect for game or movie nights, while the upstairs game room offers entertainment à la pool table and game systems.

ICYMI: we know all about the 43 Best Things to Do in Big Bear.

13. Haywood – Sevierville, TN

With endless views and top-of-the-line amenities, Haywood is a Smoky Mountains home that’s got it all. Choose to unwind with a night spent hopping between the home’s private movie theater, indoor pool, and three large balconies with a hot tub and plenty of rocking chairs. Or choose to get your heart rate up with some friendly competition around the billiards table, taste testing in the large kitchen, and dancing around the family room to hand-picked vinyl records.

14. Sunriver – Sunriver, Central OR

Unwind at Sunriver, a secluded stay nestled at the foot of the Cascade Mountains at the renowned Sunriver Resort. Take in breathtaking forest views through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this home’s impressive indoor lap pool. And to sweeten the deal, might we add that this home offers dreamy unobstructed views of Mt Bachelor – guaranteeing a relaxation retreat like no other.

15. Sycamore – Sevierville, TN

Say hello to Sycamore. Lounge poolside, relax on the balconies, admire the home’s local artwork, or take a soak in the hot tub. At night, cozy up with your squad around the fire pit. With a pool table and home theater, too, you really can’t go wrong with this Smoky Mountain stay.

Top Things to Do in Maui

When you plan a vacation to Maui, you unlock all the wonder of a Hawaiian getaway. Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is full of diverse landscapes and adventurous activities in or out of the Pacific Ocean.

Maui has something for everyone, including some of the best beaches in the world and stunning waterfalls. You can also step into must-do exciting activities like whale watching, kayaking, and ziplining. You will always find something to do in Maui, the perfect destination for families and individuals alike. Use this expert travel guide for all of the fun things to do in Maui, Hawaii.

Relax on a Hawaiian Beach

Maui has 120 miles of coast including 30 miles of beautiful beaches. There are white-sand beaches and black-sand beaches to choose from. Spend your day relaxing in the sunshine or hop in the water for some swimming or surfing lessons. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try paddle boarding—you might even spot some ocean wildlife!

Makena Beach State Park is among the most popular in South Maui with its beautiful white sand and big beach with space to spread out. Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches in West Maui and Baldwin Beach Park is a great destination for surfers and those in North Maui with excellent swimming and body surfing conditions.

Take a Helicopter Tour

Taking a helicopter tour is one of the best things to do in Hawaii. The best way to see Maui’s beautiful landscape is by flying high above East Maui’s Haleakala Crater, Hana Rainforest, and the West Maui Mountains with the doors off. We recommend taking a helicopter tour before 11 a.m. as there will be much less cloud coverage than later in the day.

Source: Maui Helicopter Tours

Whale Watching

Speaking of water activities, whale watching is an ever-popular activity in Hawaii. Every year, thousands of humpback whales make their journey to Hawaii in the winter months through the Pacific Ocean. The humpback whales will travel from Alaska around November to December and travel back in the spring.

You can see the whales from the beaches around Maui or you can take a whale-watching tour with a local expert who can show you exactly what you’re looking for.

Waterfall Hiking Trails

Maui, Hawaii is beautifully picturesque and it’s hard to capture it more than on the hiking trails that run through the island. There are all kinds of trails to explore but seeing waterfalls is a must-do on your next visit.

Some of our favorite hiking trails in Maui include Seven Sacred Pools Trail, Nakalele Blowhole Trail, Kapalua Coastal Trail, and Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls (moderate). Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls takes about 2 hours to complete and runs through the bamboo forest so you’re in for a treat with some magnificent photo-worthy views. Visit the ’Iao valley state park for the trifecta, a short hike, a nice swim, and gorgeous scenery.

Source: The Old Wailuku Inn

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

There is no better way to see the diverse Hawaiian marine life than through the goggle lens while scuba diving or snorkeling the crystal waters around Maui. You’ll be able to see the beautiful fish species as well as sea turtles as they swim around the reefs just off the coast of Maui.

There are great local services that offer first-time scuba diving and snorkeling lessons to get you started on the right foot. Maui Diving Scuba Center is a great option if you’re a beginner in scuba diving. They provide rentals and lessons to get you started plus great scuba diving and snorkeling tours to show you the best spots. Snorkel and cliff dive at the black rock area located near the north end of Ka’anapali Beach.

Source: Shore Excursions Group


High above the Hawaiian canopy of palm trees and bamboo forests, ziplining allows you to get a unique perspective on Hawaii with an added thrill. Ziplining is one of the most fun things you can do while you’re here. Strap in and zip across the islands and above the banyan trees to see and enjoy Hawaii like you’ve never seen before.

Skyline Hawaii offers a wide range of tours but we recommend the Haleakala Sunrise Tour through Haleakala National Park to see the most stunning sunrise of your life. Add it to your bucket list and go ziplining the next time you’re in Hawaii!

Source: Skyline Hawai’i

Take the Road To Hana Tour

Experience amazing views of the coastline of Maui on this scenic drive. The Road to Hana aka highway 360 is a scenic highway that twists and turns through waterfalls and the rainforest. Make the many stops along the Hana Highway as you tour the road to Hana. You’ll be able to make stops with your tour guide to explore hiking trails and waterfalls, and experience some of the most spectacular Hawaiian views. You’ll also find convenient stops for Hawaiian coffee, banana bread, and shave ice along the journey to Paia Town.

Source: The Snorkel Store

Maui Golf Courses

Finally, if you’re wanting to enjoy your favorite sport with a unique and beautiful backdrop, golfing in Hawaii promises to deliver. The golf courses in Hawaii offer challenging terrain for any skill level but also give you ocean views throughout your play.

Whether you want to play at a Maui Resort or visit some courses off the beaten path, there are plenty of options. Kapalua Golf Club offers two different courses with incredible views. Wailea Golf Club also offers you the choice of two different courses that are well-maintained and offer unique challenges so why not play both?

Source: Kapalua Golf

Enjoy The Old Lahaina Luau

Immerse yourself into the center of Hawaiian Culture of The Old Lahaina Luau while you experience a night of storytelling, feasting, and entertainment by hula dancers. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a beautiful orchid lei, and a flower necklace, to celebrate the evening festivities. Be sure to come to this Maui luau hungry as there will be many authentic Hawaiian dishes to try!

Stay in your Dream Maui Vacation Home

Stay in a Maui vacation rental home with your family or group of friends gathered together to create an unforgettable Hawaiian experience. Situated in Lahaina, Hawaii, Kailani at Kapalua Ridge Villas Resort provides a beautiful coastal condo with a free shuttle included. Located in Kihei, Hawaii, Nohea in the Maui Kamaole Resort offers a luxury condo retreat with a relaxing lanai ready for you to soak in the sea breeze while dining al fresco.

Book Your Maui, Hawaii Vacation Rental Today!

As you’re trying to decide where to spend your next vacation, why not head on the road to Maui? Say aloha to lasting memories and some incredibly fun things to do while you’re here. Our vacation rentals offer you incredible ocean views or somewhere to sit back and restore. Start planning your trip and book your Maui vacation rental today!

2023 Short-Term Rental Trends: Optimize Your Home for Success

The short-term rental market continues to grow exponentially with both supply and demand at an all-time high. Domestic travel, especially in drive-to markets, remains steady even in the current economic climate. To get a better understanding of what guests look for when booking a vacation, we dove into the numbers. 

Using 6 months of proprietary data (January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022) from AvantStay.com and over 25,000 vacation rental bookings, we learned more about where guests want to travel, how they travel, and what matters to them most during their stays. 

AvantStay Nashville vacation rental
  • Nashville – top destination booked  
  • March– most popular month booked  
  • Family vacation – top reason for booking  
  • 65 days – average booking lead time 

Most sought-after destinations 

Nashville vacation rental home by AvantStay

These destinations reigned supreme as travelers planned their getaways in the first half of 2022. Country music fans flocked to Nashville and snowbirds headed south and out west to escape the cold. Here are the top 10 most searched-for destinations on the AvantStay platform: 

  1. Nashville, TN
  2. Oregon Coast, OR
  3. Scottsdale, AZ
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. Big Bear, CA
  6. Oahu, HI
  7. Lake Tahoe, CA
  8. Coachella Valley, CA
  9. Destin, FL
  10. Temecula, CA

Get to know our guests 

We combine the amenities of a hotel with the comfort and privacy of a home, creating the premier vacation rental platform for group travel. We’ve hosted over 750,000 guests in groups of all sizes, but here’s a snapshot of an average AvantStay reservation:

  • 4.5 days – average length of stay
  • 6 – average number of guests per booking 
  • Wednesday – most popular day to book a trip

Interested in more vacation rental trends and what AvantStay guests consider “must haves” when booking a stay? Check out our complete 2023 Vacation Rental Trends report for the top amenities filtered for and more!

12 Things to Do on the Emerald Coast

The Emerald Coast, located on the Florida Panhandle, is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. With its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant sunshine, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to the area every year. In fact, did you know that the name “Emerald Coast” comes from the emerald green color of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico?

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore nature, or enjoy some family fun, the Emerald Coast has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to the top things to do in the area, along with some helpful tips for where to stay while you’re visiting—we consider ourselves experts in that area.

Beaches and Water Activities

Let’s start with what the Emerald Coast is best known for: its stunning beaches and endless water activities. Whether you want to relax on the sand, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, or try your hand at some water sports, there’s something for everyone. Here are the top three beaches you should visit:

Source: Destin Real Estate

1. Destin Beach

Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. With its sugar-white sand and emerald-green waters, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at some water sports, like parasailing or jet skiing!

2. Okaloosa Island

Just a few miles west of Destin Beach, Okaloosa Island is another hot spot for beachgoers. With its soft sand and clear waters, it’s the perfect place to take a dip or go snorkeling. If you’re looking for a break from the sun, you can also explore the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, a popular family-friendly attraction (more on that later in this article).

3. Grayton Beach State Park

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, Grayton Beach State Park is the perfect destination. With its rolling sand dunes and emerald waters, it’s a beautiful spot for a quiet picnic or a romantic walk on the beach.

When it comes to water activities, the options are endless. Additionally, the Emerald Coast is a popular destination for sea turtle nesting. In fact, the area has the highest concentration of nesting sea turtles in the continental United States, so you might get lucky and catch a sighting!

Some other popular water activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing. No matter what you choose, you’re sure to have a great time on the water.

Parks and Nature Preserves

If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of the Emerald Coast, there are plenty of parks and nature preserves to choose from. Here are the top three you should visit:

Source: Florida Smart

4. Henderson Beach State Park

Located in Destin, Henderson Beach State Park is a beautiful spot for hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. With its natural sand dunes and lush vegetation, it’s a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the beach.

5. Point Washington State Forest

Just a short drive from the beach, Point Washington State Forest is a hidden gem for nature lovers. With its miles of hiking and biking trails, it’s the perfect place to explore the local flora and fauna.

6. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Stretching from Pensacola to the Mississippi border, Gulf Islands National Seashore is a vast expanse of natural beauty. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse wildlife, it’s the perfect place to experience the best of the Emerald Coast.

Family-Friendly Attractions

If you’re traveling with kids, there are plenty of family-friendly attractions to choose from on the Emerald Coast. Here are the top three you should visit:

Source: Realty Masters of FL

7. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Located on Okaloosa Island, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a popular destination for families. With its dolphin shows, sea lion performances, and interactive exhibits, it’s a great way to learn about marine life.

8. Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park

If you’re looking for some thrills and spills, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park is the place to be. With its water slides, lazy river, and go-kart tracks, it’s a fun way to spend a day with the family.

9. The Track

Located in Destin, The Track is another popular destination for families. With its go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper boats, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening together and get some quality bonding time!

Shopping and Dining

If you’re looking to do some shopping or dining on the Emerald Coast, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are the top three places you should visit:

Source: Emerald Coast

10. The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Located in Sandestin, the Village of Baytowne Wharf is a charming destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. With its boutiques, restaurants, and live music, it’s a great place to spend an evening with friends or family.

11. Destin Commons

If you’re looking for a more traditional shopping experience, Destin Commons is the place to be. With its big-name retailers, restaurants, and movie theater, it’s a great place to spend a day with the family.

12. HarborWalk Village

Located in Destin, HarborWalk Village is a popular destination for dining, shopping, and nightlife. With its waterfront restaurants, live music, and outdoor events, it’s a great place to experience the local culture.

Vacation Rentals

When it comes to lodging on the Emerald Coast, vacation rentals are the way to go. They offer more space, privacy, and amenities than traditional hotels, and are often located right on the beach. 

AvantStay is proud to be one of the best vacation rental companies in the area, which offers a wide range of luxurious rentals all along the coast. From spacious homes with private pools and hot tubs to cozy condos with stunning views, AvantStay has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore nature, or enjoy some family fun, the Emerald Coast has something for everyone. With its beautiful beaches, natural parks, family-friendly attractions, and great shopping and dining, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to the area every year. And with vacation rentals from AvantStay, you can enjoy all the Emerald Coast has to offer in style and comfort. 

Source: AvantStay

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the Emerald Coast today!

19 Things to Do in the Berkshires

The Berkshires is a popular region of western Massachusetts known for its natural beauty and cultural attractions. From hiking and skiing in the snow-capped mountains to visiting world-class museums and attending live performances, there is something for everyone in the Berkshires. If you’re planning a trip to this picturesque region, we’ve got you covered with the top 20 things to do during your visit.

1. Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum is a must-see for art lovers. The museum features over 600 of Rockwell’s iconic paintings and illustrations, including some of his most famous works like “Freedom from Want” and “Freedom from Fear.” The museum also has a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see even if you’re a returning guest.

Source: Visit MA

2. Explore the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA)

Mass MoCA is one of our favorite contemporary art museums nationwide! The museum features a wide variety of exhibitions and installations, including works by some of the most talented artists of our time. The museum also hosts a number of music and performance events throughout the year, so be sure to check their calendar before you visit.

Source: New York Times

3. Take a hike on Monument Mountain

If you’re looking for a scenic hike with great views, Monument Mountain is the perfect destination. The mountain is home to several hiking trails, including the popular Monument Trail, which takes you to the summit for panoramic views of the surrounding area. The hike is moderate in difficulty and takes about 2 hours, so pack snacks and plenty of water!

4. Visit the Berkshire Botanical Garden

The Berkshire Botanical Garden is a beautiful 15-acre garden that features a wide variety of plants and flowers. The garden is open year-round and is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom and Instagram-ready. There are also several walking trails on the property, so you can explore the gardens at your own pace (we like to stop and smell the roses, literally).

Source: Connecting Point

5. Enjoy a performance at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Tanglewood is one of the most famous music venues in the country and the summer home of the beloved Boston Symphony Orchestra. The venue hosts a wide variety of musical performances throughout the summer, including classical music, jazz, and popular music. If you’re a music lover, be sure to check out their calendar before you visit. 

6. Visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is a must-see for families with children. Eric Carle is a widely popular children’s author with beloved books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The museum features a wide variety of picture books, as well as interactive exhibits that are designed to inspire creativity in children. The museum is open year-round and is a perfect family-friendly destination for a rainy day.

7. Take a scenic drive on the Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail is a beautiful scenic drive that takes you through the heart of the Berkshires. The road is lined with stunning views of the mountains and valleys, and there are several lookout points along the way where you can stop and take in the scenery (and take plenty of photos for your social feeds). The drive takes about 2 hours without stops, so pack road trip snacks for the journey!

Source: New York Times

8. Visit the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum

The Ventfort Hall Mansion is a beautiful Gilded Age mansion that is open for tours. The mansion is a great example of the opulent homes that were built by the wealthy during the late 19th century. The mansion is also home to the Gilded Age Museum, which features a number of artifacts and exhibits about the history of the period, perfect for the history buff in your life.

9. Explore the natural beauty of Bash Bish Falls

Bash Bish Falls is the highest waterfall in the state of Massachusetts and one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the Berkshires. The falls are located in a state park, and there are several hiking trails to get there, ranging from moderate to difficult. Bonus – the trails are pet-friendly (dogs must be on leash) so you can bring your furry friends along!

Source: Inspired Lifestyle

10. Visit the Berkshire Athenaeum

The Berkshire Athenaeum is another great place to learn about the history of the area, as a public library based off of what was previously a private athenaeum. The library has an expansive collection of historical documents and artifacts, including photographs, maps, and newspapers. They also have a unique collection of local authors and works of literature.

Source: Library Postcards

11. Take a relaxing soak in the natural hot springs at the Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort

The Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort is a great place to relax and unwind. The spa features a variety of services, including massages, body treatments, and facials—a perfect way to get some peace on vacay. They also have a natural hot spring pool that is open year-round, so you can soak and relax in the warm water.

12. Attend a performance at the Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Williamstown Theatre Festival is a summer theater festival that features a variety of plays, musicals, and other performances. The festival is held at several venues in the area and is a great way to experience live theater in a beautiful setting.

13. Visit the Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp

The Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp is a Jewish summer camp that is open to the public. The camp offers a variety of activities, including swimming, hiking, and arts and crafts. They also have a number of special events throughout the year, so be sure to check their calendar before you visit.

14. Take a guided tour of the historic homes in Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a charming town that is home to a number of historic homes. Many of these homes are open for tours, and they offer a glimpse into the lives of wealthy families who lived in the area during the 19th century.

15. Visit the Lenox Library Association

The Lenox Library Association is an interesting place to learn about the history of the area as well. The library has a wide collection of historical documents and artifacts, including photographs, maps, and newspapers. They also have a unique collection of local authors and works of literature.

Source: Wikipedia

16. Take a trip to the Hancock Shaker Village

The Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum that is dedicated to preserving the history of the Shakers. The village features a number of historic buildings, including a church, a school, and a barn. In addition to the museum, there’s also a working farm on-site that uses traditional Shaker farming practices. They offer tours, internships, volunteer opportunities, and seeds in the retail shop for you to take home and grow yourself! Keep in mind that the museum is closed during winter months, so make sure to check its website and calendar for open hours. 

Source: Trip Advisor

17. Visit Bartholomew’s Cobble nature reserve

Bartholomew’s Cobble is a nature reserve that is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The reserve is a great place to go hiking, bird-watching, or just enjoy the scenery. 

18. Enjoy a round of golf at one of the area’s many golf courses

The Berkshires are home to a number of golf courses, including the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club, and the Taconic Golf Club. These courses offer challenging and beautiful golf experiences and are great for golfers of all skill levels.

19. Check out local vacation rentals

The Berkshires are a popular vacation destination, and there are many vacation rentals available throughout the area. From cozy cabins to large family homes, you can find a rental that suits your needs and budget for your crew. Be sure to check out AvantStay’s vacation rental listings before you plan your trip, to find the perfect place to stay for your group.

In conclusion, the Berkshires is a beautiful area that offers a wide variety of activities and attractions. Whether you’re interested in art, music, history, or the outdoors, there is something for everyone in your group!

Source: AvantStay

The Best Things To Do in Vail, Colorado

At the base of the Gore Range in the Colorado Rockies and 100 miles from Denver, lies the Vail Valley, a quaint European village full of alpine-style charm. Breathe in the crisp mountain air and soak in the views of the snow-capped peaks as the world’s weight melts away. While best known as one of the top ski areas in the world, there are also endless things to do in the summer. Year-round there is no shortage of world-class outdoor adventures. Here’s a rundown of all the fun things to do on your next trip to the town of Vail, no matter what season you choose to visit.

Tour Vail Village & Lionshead Village

Vail is a mountain town like no other. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of Colorado and into a European village. Many of the streets within Vail Village and Lionshead Village are pedestrian-only, so you can stroll down the cobblestone streets and along Gore Creek (or use the free in-town shuttle system) to explore Vail’s shops, restaurants, sports outfitters, and entertainment options. Glide on the ice skating rinks in Vail Square (Lionshead) and Solaris (Vail Village). The two villages blend seamlessly with the ski resort as the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Lionshead Village) and Gondola One (Vail Village) quickly whisk you up Vail Mountain to start your mountain adventure.

Source: Town and Country Magazine

Experience Vail Mountain Resort

Home to one of the most famous ski resorts in North America, Vail, Colorado, has something for skiers and snowboarders of every ability level. One gets a special feeling viewing the endless mountain peaks from the top of Vail Mountain Resort and the seven legendary back bowls. In the warmer months, summer activities like exploring the network of hiking trails and mountain biking trails are great ways to enjoy the wildflower-covered alpine landscape. Epic Discovery delivers a thrill with the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, kids’ zipline, and Gore Creek mini golf. If you’re not in a playful mood, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Vail Mountain for dining and 360-degree views of the White River National Forest that will take your breath away.

Dive into Vail’s Culinary Scene

It makes sense that Colorado’s largest ski resort also has a wide array of restaurant selections. From coffee to cocktails, breakfast to après-ski, there’s always an option to excite your taste buds. With so many experiences to choose from, from world-renowned gourmet restaurants like Sweet Basil in Vail Village to more casual family spots like Moe’s BBQ in Lionshead, the Vail restaurant scene has a dining option for any culinary preference and budget. 

Visit Vail Breweries & Distilleries

Looking to grab a craft beer or cocktail after a long day of skiing or hiking? Vail Brewing Company, located in Solaris Plaza of Vail Village, is “veteran and ski bum owned” and delivers fantastic craft beers. 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirits on Bridge Street in Vail Village is Vail’s premier distillery and is the perfect place to try bourbon, rye, moonshine, potato vodka, or the local Alpenglow cordial. 

Source: Vail Daily

Visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame

Celebrate Colorado ski heritage and get a feel for the slopes without strapping on the skis at the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame, chronicling Colorado’s skiing history. From the 10th Mountain Division’s WWII history to the more recent Hall of Fame inductees, this collection tells a fascinating story of the birth, rise, and explosion of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.

Relax at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Within Vail Village is the Ford Park complex, named for President Gerald Ford, who loved to vacation in Vail with his wife, Betty, lies the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Located just outside of Vail Village, it is one of the highest botanical gardens in the country. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and appreciate the beauty of the high-elevation plants surrounding you and the amazing view of the Gore Range in the distance.

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Take in a Performance at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail is a spectacular outdoor music venue along Gore Creek that seats 1,260 guests in covered seating and an additional 1,300 on its expansive grassy hillside with a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. Each summer, the amphitheater hosts a wide array of talent, from dance and classical to a weekly concert series with headlining acts.

Stay in a Luxury Vacation Home  

Book a luxurious vacation rental in Vail. If skiing is your main agenda, Cloud 9 is perfectly located less than 5 minutes from Vail Ski Resort. If mountain seclusion is more your style, Bighorn is tucked away in the trees, and Condor is a cabin-style home in an idyllic, natural setting. Or, unwind in style at Highline, a breathtaking mountain home surrounded by snow-capped hills and aromatic pine trees.

Experience the Best of Vail 

Ready to experience the fresh mountain air, natural beauty, and European charm that awaits in Colorado? Find your next vacation home in Vail today!

Top 10 Key West Monthly Rentals

Key West is a tropical paradise perfect for those craving a long escape from the harsh winter weather (we’re looking at you, snowbirds!). With its sunny beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Key West for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re desiring a relaxing day by the beach, an adventure out on the water, or a night on the town, Key West is an idyllic destination for a vacation.

For those looking to get away for a month or more, we’ve rounded up our favorite vacation homes available for an extended stay. These AvantStay vacation rentals have everything you could need in your home away from home, including a fully-equipped kitchen, hotel-grade amenities, a washer and dryer, bedding and linens, WiFi, and access to our 24/7 guest experience line as well as a local hospitality manager. 

Here are our top picks for vacation homes for snowbirds in Key West:

1. Ecco Domani

Ecco Domani is a beautiful three-story home with a private pool, off-street parking, and attractive decor in Key West. The home features a gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and French doors that lead to a private outdoor space with a pool. Ecco Domani is centrally located, just off Simonton Street and one block from Duval Street, within walking distance to Key West’s best bars, restaurants, galleries, and shopping. South Beach is six blocks away with the Southernmost Beach Café offering excellent food and libations all day long.

Vacation rental in Key West with private pool

2. Serenity

This beautifully renovated conch home located in Bahama Village is a perfect romantic getaway for couples. Serenity a two-story guest house with one bedroom, one bathroom, and a bonus loft space. The high ceilings and magnificent glass doors allow for the bright Key West sun to shine throughout the cottage. The backyard offers a secluded tropical garden with a pool, lounge chairs, and an open outdoor shower, creating a calming and serene oasis. The cottage is just 3 blocks away from Duval Street, close to the action but protected from the hustle and bustle, making it the idyllic romantic retreat.

key west vacation home with pool

3. Spa Oasis

Spa Oasis is just a few miles from Smathers Beach and downtown Duval Street, making it the ideal destination to enjoy the best that Key West has to offer. It has three bedrooms (a king, queen, and twin beds), two bathrooms, and can accommodate up to six guests. The home has an open-plan kitchen and dining area, a hot tub, a large back patio with a BBQ grill, and access to a beautiful lagoon-style pool and 24-hour gym. 

Key West vacation rental with back patio

 4. Paradise Point 

Calling all golfers! Paradise Point is a charming retreat located at the Key West Golf Club. It boasts a private covered patio with stunning green views, a cozy living room, and two comfortable bedrooms with balcony access. The home is located on Stock Island, a tropical haven near plenty of dining options and shopping. 

Key West vacation rental on golf course

5. Coral Garden 

Coral Garden is a two-bedroom townhome located in the gated community of Coral Hammock on Stock Island. Both bedrooms feature private balconies overlooking the lushly landscaped grounds. The community offers a large heated pool and is conveniently located near popular local restaurants, Smathers Beach, the golf course, and a 10-minute drive to Old Town Key West. Check in and say hello to paradise.

Key West vacation rental with balcony

6. Tumi’s Time Out 

Tumi’s Time Out is a delightful 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom townhome in the desirable Windward Park community. Located in a secluded tropical hideaway, surrounded by lush palm trees and balmy breezes, the property boasts a sparkling swimming pool, open floor plan with a living room, dining area, full kitchen, and a private outdoor patio. Tumi’s Time Out is located in the heart of Old Town, just 2 blocks from Duval Street, where guests can walk to the famous music, dining, and activities Key West is known for.

Key West vacation rental interior

7. Spanish Lime Tree Cottage 

Spanish Lime Tree Cottage is located on Key West’s historic Whitehead Street, which runs parallel to Duval Street and is in the heart of Old Town. The street is home to some of the most famous sites in Key West, including the Southernmost point, the Key West Lighthouse, and Hemingway House. The cottage is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom with a backyard patio area, BBQ grill, and front porch that’s great for people-watching. 

Private backyard at Key West vacation rental

8. Coral Villa

Coral Villa is a beautiful, spacious 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom townhome located across the street from the Key West Golf Course. The property offers off-street parking for 2 vehicles and is minutes from popular restaurants, marinas, Smathers Beach, and the airport. A shared community pool and clubhouse are just a few steps away. Coral Villa is perfect for families or couples looking for a month-long stay in paradise.

Spacious Key West vacation rental

9. Flagler’s Oasis 

Flagler’s Oasis is a two-bedroom, pet-friendly vacation home that offers complete privacy with a lagoon-style pool. The home is equipped with three flat-screen televisions, a large 10 by 12-foot steel-roof gazebo for outdoor dining and entertaining, and a fenced outdoor space and pool. The property also has a huge 60-foot driveway for ample parking for cars or even your boat and trailer.

Key West vacation rental with pool

10. Lighthouse Villa

You won’t find a location better than this! Lighthouse Villa is a timeless, private Conch home located among the iconic historical sites of Key West. Step outside on your balcony and admire the views of the famous Key West Lighthouse right across the street. This three-level property features 3 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a tropical-inspired design, and is within walking distance of the most popular attractions.

Vacation rental across from Key West Lighthouse

These are just a few of our Key West favorites. Check out the full list of AvantStay Key West vacation homes here.

AvantStay Spotlight: Chandler Hurst, Event Planning Manager


Chandler Hurst

Where are you based?


Job Title:

Event Planning Manager

How long have you worked at AvantStay?

1 year

How would you describe your job & responsibilities to someone who doesn’t work in your field?

I work with our wedding reservations in the Coachella and Temecula markets! I am responsible for being the main point of contact for each bride and groom throughout their planning process and ensuring they have a great experience and our team is set up for success!

How do you like to start your work day?

A good iced coffee and playing ball with my new puppy!

What teams do you collaborate the most with at work?

I work the most with our Field Operations team.

What is your favorite thing about working at AvantStay?

I love that my position is both remote and out in the field with guests. I’m very much a people person, so I enjoy getting to know our guests.

What advice would you give to someone looking to join your team?

This job is rewarding, but you have to have patience and drive to want to succeed.

What is something that you’re proud of that you’ve accomplished in your role?

In my one year with the company, I have learned and educated myself so much. Our guests compliment me for that, so I feel my time and efforts are now paying off. I have been working hard on creating relationships with local vendors and showing them what AvantStay is all about by attending local mixers and events in my off time. People are excited about what we have to offer!

Which AvantStay destination is on your bucket list?

I would love to check out a property in Destin, FL!

Monarch by AvantStay

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love going to the beach, grabbing lunch at a fun new spot, and being in the sunshine!

Before working at AvantStay, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I haven’t really had an unusual job, so I would say working at a sushi restaurant when I was younger. I did not enjoy it, to be honest!

What is your favorite AvantStay memory?

I really enjoyed our holiday dinner with the team in December. It was so nice to get to know everyone outside of work!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Visualize your success.

What’s your favorite Slack channel?

#AvantStayMoments or #PetsOfAvantStay

What’s your favorite AvantStay employee perk?

The employee stay perks are great – I haven’t had the opportunity to use my travel credits yet, but I plan to!

What has working at AvantStay taught you the most?

This company has taught me so much. I think personally I have learned to have more confidence in my role since we are given more of a voice here.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

Cabo! I love the weather, the people are nice, fun resorts, and so much to do!

Best Things to Do in Sullivan’s Island

If you’re seeking things to do on Sullivan’s Island, explore this guide for inspiration as you plan your next getaway. 

Sullivan’s Island is a 2.5-mile long island located near the entrance of the Charleston Harbor and near Isle of Palms and just minutes from Charleston, South Carolina.

This barrier island is a favorite destination for East Coast beach lovers. You’ll find that this small town is filled with a plethora of historic sites, civil war history, sightseeing attractions, and outdoor activities to enjoy.

Check out our list of the best things to do in Sullivan’s Island to add to your itinerary for the perfect getaway. 

Soak Up Sunshine Along the South Carolina Coast

Explore the beaches of The Barrier Islands just past the city limits of Charleston, South Carolina for a relaxing getaway filled with all these great beaches have to offer. You’ll find some of the most famous beaches like Sullivan’s Island, Folly, and Isle of Palms. You can’t go wrong with one of these beautiful beaches for your getaway. 

Sullivan’s Island Beach 

Wake up early and take a morning beach stroll to experience the spectacular sunrise on Sullivan’s Island beach. This beach is only about 20 minutes from downtown Charleston offering smooth white sand, calm waters perfect for plenty of fun activities and watersports including kayaking, charter fishing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding and more. 

Arrive early before the beach begins to get busy in the summer months as there’s limited parking available. Or, book a Sullivan’s Island vacation home to enjoy the beach within easy access of your home-away-from-home. 

Isle of Palms Beach

Located Northeast of Sullivan’s Island, this charming small beach community offers many water sports like surfing, kayaking, and fishing charters. Isle of Palms beach is perfect for families offering convenient amenities to guests like umbrellas, showers, and lifeguards. Stay just a block away from the beach at the Pelican vacation rental perfect for your next beach getaway. 

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a popular beach spot for locals looking for a daytrip from Charleston. Come early to beat traffic and find a parking spot. Enjoy the day stretched out on the sand, surfing or take a sunrise stroll along the beach. Stay just minutes from the Folly Park at Live Oak or explore more vacation rentals in Sullivan’s Island to create the perfect getaway. 

Explore Sullivan’s Island by Bike

Sullivan’s Island has a 32 mile bike path connecting all three beaches to downtown Charleston making it an excellent way to explore. The path connects Isle of Palms with Folly Beach and goes through Sullivan’s Island, Old Mount Pleasant, and over the Ravenel Bridge. You can take an adventure over the Ravenel Bridge to Sullivan’s Island while staying in the biking lane. Summer in South Carolina can be quite hot. The best time to take this 2 hour bike trip will be during the fall, winter, or spring months.

Source: Canva

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse

Standing at 140 feet, Sulivan’s Island Lighthouse is one of the last lighthouses to be built in the United States. While this black and white lighthouse is closed to the public, it is still fully operational and a great place to take a photo with friends or family on your vacation. 

Source: Canva

Sullivan’s Island Restaurants

Gather your friends and family and enjoy a fresh local meal while dining al fresco at one of Sullivan’s Island’s outdoor restaurants. Our favorites are Poe’s Tavern, named after Edgar Allen Poe, Home Team BBQ and The Obstinate Daughter. These restaurants are popular among foodies, so prepare for longer wait times or be sure to call ahead to reserve a table. 

Source: Canva

Enjoy the Best of Sullivan’s Island   

Ready to experience all of the history, fun, and beauty Sullivan’s Island has to offer? Create your list of fun things to do and see on Sullivan’s Island to prepare for your next getaway.

If you’re looking for other recommendations in the area, be sure to check out our other resources:

Browse Sullivan’s Island Vacation Rentals 

Best Things to Do in Charleston SC  

Best Restaurants in Charleston 

Here Comes the Sun: How To Attract More Snowbirds

Each year, thousands of seasonal travelers make the great migration to warmer climates during the winter months. These south-flocking travelers (typically retirees) are referred to as “snowbirds,” and often hail from Canada. According to the Canadian Snowbird Association, 87% of its 100,000 members are or are planning to travel to the US this year. So, how can short-term rental owners reach more of these folks? We’ll cover how you can prepare your vacation rental for snowbirds, optimize your listing, and ultimately increase your bookings and revenue.

If you’re wondering where snowbirds are heading, simply follow the warmer temperatures. Arizona, California, and Florida are popular destinations for seasonal visitors. At AvantStay, San Diego, Scottsdale, and Coachella Valley were some of the most booked destinations for the winter months this year. If you’re looking to purchase your first or next vacation rental home, consider buying in one of these top destinations for snowbirds: 

Prepare your vacation rental for snowbirds

Snowbirds will typically be traveling a long distance to enjoy your vacation rental (and staying for an extended period) so make it feel like their home away from home. Make sure your space is stocked and ready to welcome guests. From quality linens to a fully stocked kitchen and luxury bath products, don’t skimp on the vacation rental essentials. But don’t stress—we created a complete inventory checklist to help you become the host with the most. 

Now, here comes the fun part. One of the easiest ways to make your home stand out is by providing top-of-the-line amenities. There are some amenities that snowbirds view as a need rather than a nice-to-have. These can make or break a good review, so invest in the following if you can: 

  • Fast WiFi
  • Smart locks for contactless check-in
  • Smart TVs with streaming options
  • Workout equipment
  • Pet-friendly stays
  • Parking

Take it one step further and provide experiential elements and amenities for all kinds of activities. Use your location for inspiration. Is your home on the water? Have kayaks, paddle boards, and other water toys ready for snowbirds to enjoy. Outdoor fire pit? Don’t forget the roasting sticks and supplies for s’mores. If budget and space aren’t an issue, consider installing a putting green or pickleball court to make your rental shine. 

Also, supply equipment like beach chairs and umbrellas, towels, pool floats, tennis rackets, and pickleball paddles. These details won’t go unnoticed and can lead to more bookings and higher ratings.

Optimize your vacation rental listing 

Reach more snowbirds with a well-optimized listing. This is your first touchpoint with potential guests and entices them to book a stay. Start with your title, description, and keywords. Your title should describe your vacation rental and leave travelers compelled to click your listing. 

Next, use your description to paint a picture of the guest experience at your home, including all the details that make your property stand out from the competition (especially the intangible perks like location!). Be sure to list your rental’s proximity to popular snowbird activities and attractions like beaches, golf courses, museums, tennis courts, dining, and more.

Also, don’t just list amenities—describe how guests can make their own memories at your home. Do you have a cozy patio perfect for enjoying morning coffee? Or a private pool and hot tub for relaxing after a day on the golf course? Use these in your listing to encourage snowbirds to hit that “Book Now” button. 

When creating your title and description, incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to further boost your reach. Research search terms (“keywords”) that are popular in your market and add those to your listing. Some examples could be “private beachfront cottage in Destin” or “dog-friendly Palm Springs vacation rental.” 

Another key component of your vacation rental listing is the imagery. Capture snowbirds’ attention with eye-catching photos. Hire a professional photographer to take high-resolution photos of your vacation rental that accurately reflect the space, amenities, views, and what guests can expect when they walk into your home. 

Tweak your marketing strategy for snowbirds

Promoting your vacation rental on multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) gets your home in front of more snowbirds and means more potential bookings. Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia, and Booking.com are popular OTAs for vacation rental homes. Also, promote your rental on niche sites specifically for seasonal travelers, like American Snowbird

Make sure you understand each site’s criteria and functionality for listing your property and create a strategy for managing your listing across each. You’ll have to stay on top of guidelines, optimizing your listing, guest inquiries, reservations, and reviews for each platform to enhance your home’s performance. 

Start a vacation rental blog

Show off your local expertise with a vacation rental blog. A blog is an easy way to increase your visibility on search engines. With a thoughtful SEO strategy and the use of relevant keywords, you can drive more traffic to your website and increase bookings. 

Snowbirds appreciate recommendations and tips from a local. Pair your expertise with keyword research to write useful content for potential guests. Some examples of blog topics for snowbirds include: 

Leverage the power of social media

Allocate some of your marketing budget to social media ads. Facebook and Pinterest make it easy to narrow your target audience. You can choose to show your ads to your ideal guest by using filters like location, age, interests, and more. This allows you to get the most out of your advertising budget while optimizing for bookings. 

Welcome more snowbirds with AvantStay 

Successfully running a vacation rental, especially if you don’t live in the area, is a heavy lift. From keeping your home stocked and clean to strategic marketing and distribution, there are a lot of moving parts. If you want to reach more snowbirds (and travelers all year round), partner with a professional vacation rental manager

AvantStay offers end-to-end management programs to give you peace of mind. From financials to design to maintenance, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. Plus, upgrades and experiences booked through our app can help snowbirds schedule tee times, organize at-home massages, request mid-stay cleans, and more! Say hello to more five-star ratings.

Interested in learning more about what it means to partner with AvantStay? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Top 12 Things to Do in Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead is one of the best vacation spots in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California—a stunning mountain range that is often referred to as the “Alps of Southern California.” At only an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive from Los Angeles, it’s an easy road trip to escape the city and get into the mountains.

Lake Arrowhead is home to a variety of outdoor activities. From taking a boat tour on the lake to hiking through the San Bernardino National Forest, a long weekend in Lake Arrowhead is perfect for families or even a romantic weekend getaway.

1. Lake Arrowhead Village

As one of the central attractions at Lake Arrowhead, Lake Arrowhead Village is on the southern shore of the lake. As you stroll the village, you get to take in the breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.

Lake Arrowhead Village is a bustling downtown area filled with restaurants, shops, and live music. The village is home to the Arrowhead Center Stage Concert Hall which hosts the famous Lake Arrowhead Village Summer Concert Series.

Whatever season you visit, this town center is host to a variety of fun things to do all year-round! Our vacation rental, Lone Pine, offers quick access to the village and is the perfect place to stay if you don’t want to miss all the action.

Source: Discover Inland Empire

2. Skypark at Santa’s Village

Despite its name, Skypark at Santa’s Village is a year-round adventure theme park. Just three miles from Lake Arrowhead, this facility has a long history of making many childhood memories. Since 1955 it has opened and closed its doors many times but in 2016 it reopened and is operating better than ever before.

Today, this theme park is home to a variety of outdoor activities like axe throwing, rock climbing, mountain biking, archery, and ziplining. Tickets are general admission and include available activities, rides, and entertainment.

While Skypark at Santa’s Village is open year-round, wintertime is the best time to visit. The village turns into a winter wonderland and features seasonal attractions like Ice skating. The park also glows with thousands of Christmas lights during the winter season.

3. McKenzie’s WaterSki School

McKenzie’s Water Ski School is one of the best ways to hit the water and learn something new! If you ever wanted to learn how to water ski, wakeboard, or kneeboard, your getaway to Lake Arrowhead is the perfect place! Don’t worry if you’re new to these sports—the instructors at the school are highly trained and have the experience needed to teach you how to get up and ski on your own in no time.

4. Rim of the World Scenic Byway

Lake Arrowhead is one of the many stops along the Rim of the World Scenic Byway. This 110-mile route follows the rim of the San Bernardino Mountains starting from Cahon Pass and winding all the way to the San Gorgonio Mountain.

There are a variety of noticeable stops along the highway including Silverwood Lake, Big Bear Lake, and The Mountain History Museum. Big Bear is a popular winter destination as it is home to Big Bear Mountain Resort which offers some of the best skiing in Southern California.

The Mountain History Museum is home to the entire history of the mountainous region. This museum is a great stop along the drive to stretch your legs and enjoy the history of Southern California.

5. Lollipop Park

Lollipop Park is a lakefront amusement park that features a plethora of attractions for all ages. The top attractions here are the carousel, go-kart track, food concessions, spinning teacups, a candy store, and a mini golf course. This is the perfect place to visit for the whole family!

6. The Tudor House

The Tudor House is one of the many historical locations in Lake Arrowhead. Its history dates back to the 1920s, before the Great Depression. It is mostly known for its prohibition-era entertainment and rumored mobster management.

Since the 1950s, The Tudor House has been a legal source of entertainment and a popular performance space. It is host to a variety of live music events throughout the year ranging in every genre.

It is also host to a variety of events such as Sunday Brunch and a monthly Mystery Dinner Theatre. The property is also available to be reserved for private special events including workshops and retreats.

7. Heaps Peak Arboretum

Heaps Peak Arboretum is a beautiful day adventure within the San Bernardino National Forest. The Sequoia Trail circles the arboretum and offers a variety of interpretive information about the surrounding flora and fauna along the trail. With about 30 acres to adventure, this is the perfect adventure for your family to reconnect with nature.

8. Wildhaven Ranch

Wildhaven Ranch is a wildlife sanctuary home to a number of endangered and indigenous species. At this ranch, you can meet various animals, go on guided tours, participate in fun programs, and do a variety of other things. They are committed to preserving the wildlife indigenous to the San Bernardino Mountains. This is not a zoo and does require reservations in order to visit.

9. Lake Gregory Regional Park

Lake Gregory Regional Park is just a 10-minute drive from Lake Arrowhead. This park offers a variety of entertainment and adventure that is perfect for the whole family. Lake Gregory in Crestline, California is the best place for all kinds of outdoor activities. You can fish, go boating or kayaking, or even hike if you don’t want to hit the water. If you don’t want to bring your boat or water equipment into the mountains, Lake Gregory has lake equipment rentals available.

Looking to stay near Lake Gregory? Our modern, industrial charm vacation rental, The Matterhorn Manor, is just a short drive from Lake Gregory and all its popular attractions.

10. Snow Valley Mountain Resort

Winter season is the best time to visit the Snow Valley Mountain Resort for skiing and snowboarding. They have something for everyone! From long intermediate trails to the best beginner terrain to the sledding area, the whole family will find something to do. Even if you are just starting to learn how to ski or snowboard or want to improve your skills, Snow Valley has an award-winning learning center that offers lessons for all skill levels and ages.

The resort is open during the summer months for mountain biking, hiking, and other special events.

11. Lake Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour

See all the beauty Lake Arrowhead has to offer on the Lake Arrowhead Queen Boat Tour. This charming tour departs daily from Lake Arrowhead Village and is an hour-long tour. As you cruise along the shoreline, take in the beautiful views of the lakefront mansions while you learn about the geologic history of the lake and the native cultures that call the lake home.

You can purchase tickets at Leroy’s Boardshop across from the boat landing dock. Tours happen throughout the day but the best times to go are early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

12. Strawberry Peak

Strawberry Peak is one of the most iconic peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California. If you want to spend the day on the hiking trails and enjoy the mountains, driving the 2 hours from Lake Arrowhead makes it the perfect day trip.

The Strawberry Peak stands 6,164 feet high and gets its name from the number of strawberries that grow around the peak. This hike may be difficult for beginners or young children but the views make it worth it once you get to the top.

Looking for the Perfect Lake Arrowhead Cabin?

Book one of our cabin rentals in Lake Arrowhead. Take in stunning lake and mountain views from our 4-bedroom Lake Point home. Experience modern mountain living at our lakeside rental, Howlite. No matter where you would like to stay on the lake, you will find some of the most relaxing and stunning views.

Start Planning Your Next Lake Arrowhead Getaway

Are you ready to embark on your next Southern California mountain adventure? With so many outdoor activities during the summer and winter, Lake Arrowhead is the perfect year-round destination. It is the perfect weekend escape from large cities like Los Angeles. Get away from all the hustle and bustle and start booking your stay in Lake Arrowhead.  

What Are the Best Manzanita Restaurants?

The beautiful beach town of Manzanita offers a variety of fantastic restaurants to satisfy any palate. Enjoy dinner for two at a romantic bistro, pop into a coffee shop for a morning latte and scone on the way to the beach, or relax in the evening with a glass of pinot noir at a local winery. 

We all know how tiring it can be to cook a meal every night of the week. If you don’t feel like doing a pile of dishes while you’re visiting the Oregon Coast, you’re in luck! 

Whatever you’re craving, these Manzanita restaurants will have you coming back for more! Here are some of AvantStay’s favorites.

A Local’s Guide to the Best Dining in Manzanita

The Pacific Northwest dining culture is truly a foodie’s playground. Throughout our region, you’ll find creative chefs using the excellent local ingredients we have available here, with bountiful farm-to-table options to choose from. Many of the restaurants in Manzanita and other small beach towns along the Oregon Coast support this culture. In fact, did you know that there are practically no chain restaurants in Manzanita?

With such a wide variety of excellent options to choose from, we know it can be difficult to decide where to dig in first. To help you make the most of your visit, we asked some of our local team members for their tips on the best new restaurants in Manzanita. Check out their recommendations below!

Salmonberry Saloon

If you’re looking for dining with a view, head to Salmonberry Saloon. While technically not in Manzanita, it’s worth the 10 minute drive to Wheeler to enjoy the beautiful setting. When you visit Salmonberry Saloon, you’ll find outdoor seating on the deck that overlooks the water and, if you prefer indoor seating, a view from every table! It’s the perfect place to go to watch the activity in the bay like kayaks, paddleboarders, and fishing and crabbing boats going out to sea. Salmonberry Saloon offers a full bar with happy hour and appetizer menu. You’ll also find a lot of seafood options. Best of all, Salmonberry Saloon sources their ingredients locally and buys all produce, fish, and wine from local producers.

Source: Portland Monthly


Located in the famed Blackbird location on Laneda Avenue that sadly closed down in recent years, Yolk has ushered in something new to the Manzanita breakfast scene. Perfect for a casual breakfast or lunch, Yolk offers excellent service, a friendly atmosphere, and a laidback setting. When you visit, you’ll have your choice of seating. For a quick trip before heading off to explore, sit at the convenient counter. Or, if you’d like to stay and linger over a cup of coffee, you may also sit down at a table.

When you visit, we recommend the egg scramble with fresh veggies and cheese. It is excellent and comes with a choice of housemade potatoes or salad greens. And, you won’t want to leave without trying a sweet treat. Yolk makes their own breads, muffins, pastries! In addition to their breakfast offerings, Yolk also has a lunch menu and is open until 2 pm.

Bread and Ocean

Bread and Ocean is another great staple of Manzanita dining. Traditionally, it’s best known as a bakery and deli that offers lunch options like salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and desserts. But, now it is offering something new! Bread and Ocean is also open on Friday and Saturday nights for dinner, serving freshly made comfort food. Yum!

In addition, Bread and Ocean recently expanded their seating options, so there’s more room to bring your whole crew. As in the past, Bread and Ocean is still a delicious and fresh deli counter for breakfast and lunch orders. You’ll find to-die-for fresh bread made onsite. Insider tip – fresh gluten-free bread and treats are available, too. 

When you visit, know that it can be a long wait to order and it may take a while to get your food. So, come when you aren’t rushed and can enjoy a leisurely experience and a bit of people watching. Perfect for a lazy vacationer’s day!

Left Coast Siesta

In the mood for Mexican? Look no further than Left Coast Siesta. The relaxed atmosphere, large portions, and one-of-a-kind hot sauce bar make this place one of the best Manzanita restaurants. Enjoy a gourmet twist on Mexican comfort food like burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and tacos. Or, kick back and munch on chips with salsa and guacamole. Left Coast Siesta is open every day of the week except Monday.

The Mighty Thai

Get your Thai food fix at this authentic spot tucked away in an inconspicuous location on the outskirts of Manzanita. Enjoy traditional Thai offerings including pad Thai, pad basil, three varieties of curry, and even some Vietnamese options like the Mighty Pho. Vegetarians will love the veggie-forward menu including pad spicy eggplant and avocado fried rice.

Neah-Kah-Nie Bistro

Perfect for date night, Neah-Kah-Nie Bistro offers a romantic atmosphere that makes dinner on the Coast even more special. The Bistro menu features everything from appetizers and small plates to rotating dinner specials. If available, order the fresh Cajun-spiced Dover Sole with creamy goat cheese polenta and Oregon Bay shrimp. It’s absolutely delicious! 

Insider tip: if you’re planning to visit this popular Manzanita restaurant, we recommend making reservations in advance.

San Dune Pub

Recently named one of the top 10 best bars outside of Portland by Thrillist, this bare-bones pub doesn’t rely on overstated decor or complex cocktails. Order one of their 17 beers on draft and get cozy around the stone fireplaces while listening to some of Oregon’s best live music. Sports fans can enjoy their favorite game on one of the five big-screen TVs, or check out the charming back patio. Offering an eclectic food menu, San Dune Pub is famous for their Tuesday night baby back rib special. You can also try the smoked salmon chowder or the oyster burger for a delicious taste of something different.

The Winery at Manzanita

Spend your evening sipping a locally-made wine in the romantic courtyard of this newly established winery. The Winery at Manzanita offers a fantastic ambiance and it’s a great place to sit outside and sip a glass of wine. At the Winery at Manzanita, guests are encouraged to roast s’mores over outdoor fire pits or enjoy turkey and avocado sandwiches, yam and kale wraps, and grass-fed burgers for dinner. (If the weather is less than ideal, try different wine varietals in the cedar-shingled tasting room.) Stop by in the morning to take in the ocean view from the second-floor patio over an Oregon-roasted cup of coffee and a pastry or breakfast sandwich.

MacGregors Whiskey Bar

Located just three blocks from the beach, MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar offers an exceptional selection of whiskeys from around the world and an incredible food and cocktail menu to match! Highlights include the charcuterie boards, of which they have five, and their delicious desserts. MacGregor’s offers outdoor seating with a fire pit, and they are open a bit later than most restaurants in town. It’s the perfect place to visit for a late-night drink!

Searching for Local Goods to Use in Cooking at Home?

Our area is also rich with options for locally sourced produce, meats, and more. If you’d like to cook a fresh meal at home, or in one of our Oregon Coast vacation rentals during your Manzanita vacation, consider visiting The Little Apple Grocery and Deli or the Summer Farmer’s Market on Friday nights, 5-8 pm. Both places offer great local coastal products, food, and a true taste of the Oregon Coast.

Experience the Best of Oregon Coast Dining and Stay with AvantStay

If you’re searching for a secluded hideaway on the Oregon Coast, our Manzanita vacation rentals have just what you need. You can spend the day indulging, then return to a peaceful home-away-from-home with all the amenities you’re used to. Comfortable bedrooms, spacious living areas, and spectacular views are just some of the things you’ll enjoy during your stay. We look forward to having you!

Where to Stay During the Coachella Valley Music Festivals

Say farewell to pitching tents and try pitching an elevated stay to the crew this year for your trip to Coachella Valley, CA

We’ve come up with the best AvantStay Airbnbs close to Empire Polo Field and its parties – all with unique vacation rental experiences you can’t get anywhere else, guaranteeing a top-of-the-line desert oasis getaway.

AvantStay is a gem in the short-term vacation rental world. We display our signature style via hundreds of homes with award-winning interior design, seamless group travel experiences, experiences and upgrades at the touch of a button, and a unique pay-per-person feature on the app. While all AvantStay properties can be booked through Airbnb, they can also be booked directly through our website. 

Apart from its top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo fest locations – places you’ve been dying to check out, and places you’re ready to book your trip to – like Coachella Valley! Let’s dive in.

1. Blackhaus Hotel

The Blackhaus Hotel is the newest, sleekest addition to our Coachella Valley stays where you’ve got the option to book one room, a two-room suite, or the entire hotel. Spend late nights by the fire pit and early mornings questioning your decisions by the pool. When your pool sesh has you officially revitalized, take the short trip to the fest grounds and get to dancing.

2. Bonita

Consider yourself a front-row gal? Try a stay at Bonita, our Coachella Valley Airbnb that puts you just 3 minutes from the Empire Polo Club. This Spanish-colonial inspired home comes complete with a private putting green, pool, outdoor kitchen, oversized fire pit, and hot tub.

Don’t feel like cooking post-show? Understandable. Check out these 18 Best Restaurants in the Coachella Valley

3. Casa del Sol

It’s the best party of the year and everyone’s invited. No matter your music taste, there’s a place for you here at Casa del Sol. No, literally, this Coachella Valley Airbnb has room for up to 14 people, so there’s a place for you here. Enjoy the plenty of playful amenities this stay has to offer: a pool, hot tub, BBQ grill, lounge chairs, cornhole, and even a badminton net for those who like to pretend they know how to play.

6. Petit Sahara

Petit Sahara? This stay is anything but petite. Enjoy swims in the pool, friendly competition at the ping pong or foosball table, and fresh juice with a side of morning sunshine while you dine al fresco. We won’t judge if you choose to spend mornings detoxing with your green juice outside, just so you can retox at the fest that afternoon – we will, however, judge you if you sleep on our fridge stocking service.

5. Desert Grove

Meet the after party of the after parties. Desert Grove is a 14-guest stay ready for play with its private pool, outdoor kitchen, BBQ grill, and plenty of seating throughout. Plus, it’s conveniently located next to the fest grounds – so post-BLACKPINK transpo isn’t something you need to stress about.

While these Airbnbs by the fests at Empire Polo Fields are here to impress, we understand that your travel itinerary might be, too. If you’re looking for even more activities for the whole festie crew, check out our freshly curated list of Things to Do in Coachella Valley!

6. Hacienda at Coachella

Your highly curated fest ‘fits deserve a catwalk! Give yourself the show you deserve with a walk alongside this home’s pool with palm trees, fountains, and LED lights. If showing off isn’t your thing, no worries. Kick back and relax with all the lovely amenities you’ll find at Hacienda at Coachella: an expansive fire pit, hot tub, beach volleyball court, outdoor kitchen and bar, private pond, and room for up to 22 guests.

7. Polo Villas

Save the best for last? Don’t mind if we do. This one’s for the people that like to invite all their friends, even those they met in a daze last weekend. Welcome to the Polo Villas – a neighborhood of homes all within walking distance of each other, and all right across the road from the Coachella Valley festival grounds. Enjoy vibrant backyards with pools, modern interiors, and room for literally everyone you know. 

Don’t just take it from us, take it from them! Check out real-life testimonials from people who have stayed with us for their fest weekends. Meet you at Coachella Valley.

6 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Key West

Join locals and tourists for a family-friendly arts festival called the Sunset Celebration held nightly at Mallory Square Dock. Gather at the water’s edge to experience a multicultural event and watch the sun sink behind the Gulf of Mexico. Be sure to arrive at least two hours before sunset so you have time to enjoy the local arts and crafts, live music, exhibitors, street performers, food carts, and more. Performers include a sword swallower, a juggling and high-wire act, the Southernmost Bagpiper, a fire thrower, and everyone’s favorite, Dominique The Cat Man. You don’t want to miss this event!


Named the “Best Beach in Key West,” Ft. Zach is one of the most beloved sunset locations. Bring a chair and pick a spot on the grass to enjoy the picturesque sunset as boats pass by. You can even bring a fishing pole and catch dinner off the west rock jetty, since fishing is permitted on the west side of the park along the Key West Shipping Channel (license required). Whether you’ve been on the beach all day or you are just coming by to enjoy the sunset, Ft. Zachary is a relaxing place to end the day and watch the sun fall into the ocean.


If hanging at the bar while watching the sunset is more your speed, The Sunset Tiki Bar is the place for you. A local’s favorite, this bar is off the beaten path and fills up fast. Sunset Tiki Bar is open seven days a week and offers live music in the evening for their own sunset celebration and Happy Hour from 5 – 7PM, with 2-for-1 well drinks, domestic beer, and their famous margaritas! Watch the sun go down while you lift your cup up and toast to the best sunset in Key West.


Want to grab dinner while you wait for the sun to set? Sunset Pier is the best choice for tropical drinks, delicious food, and of course amazing sunsets. Just steps from Mallory Square, this pier has tables with umbrellas in each one to provide a shaded space while you await the sunset. Sitting here, you’ll get to see all the sunset cruises, sailboats, and other ships pass by. Lift your glass and wave to them as they pass! Enjoy live music in this fun and upbeat atmosphere right on the water.

Source: Conde Naste Traveler


Not quite as crowded as Mallory Square or Sunset Pier, Lagerheads Beach Bar is a more relaxed place to watch the sunset. Hang out on the beach or grab a lounge chair and kick back in the sand. This little beach bar oasis and food shack is known for some of the best tacos and ceviche on the island. Step out onto the dock for a closer look as the sun sets into the ocean. Better yet, take a swim out into the ocean and let the sunset surround you. This is a definite Key West gem.

Source: Last Key Realty


As a boat ride into the harbor, this is one of the newest and coolest ways to watch the sunset in Key West. Hop on your own private tiki boat and sail into Key West Harbor for sunset. This tiki boat fits up to 6 people and is BYOB. The Crusin’ Tiki will sail around the Historic Seaport, pass by the crowds at Sunset Pier and Mallory Square, and end with the stunning Key West sunset. A certified US Coast Guard captain will provide you with a cooler full of ice, bottled water and soft drinks, a blender, and even a Bluetooth speaker for you to enjoy your own tunes. This is a one-of-a-kind sunset experience!

Source: Earth Trekkers

Plan Your Next Key West Vacation With AvantStay

Catch an iconic Key West sunset yourself on your next vacation. AvantStay manages a variety of accommodations, including pet friendly rentals and remote-work friendly rentals. Browse all of our Key West vacation rentals to find the perfect home base for your trip to the southernmost point of the continental U.S. 

5 Short-Term Rental Market Myths Debunked

Now more than ever, people are skeptical about investing in short-term rentals. With economic uncertainty and #airbnbust trending on Twitter, it’s no surprise that folks are wary of what’s to come in the short-term rental market this year. However, the future of the industry is still looking bright. We teamed up with our partner Revedy to set the record straight. Ready to discover the truth behind these trending misconceptions and why now is the time to finally jump on that vacation rental investment? Let’s dive in. 

1. Occupancy is plummeting and #airbnbust is real

THE TRUTH: Short-term rental owners shouldn’t be quick to compare performance to 2021 and 2022 numbers, as a pent-up desire to travel after lockdowns drove record-high demand. Now that things are returning to “normal,” AirDNA is predicting an average occupancy of 56.4% for 2023, which is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. At AvantStay, our forecasted occupancy rates for Q1 are trending at 32% higher than the competition. 

Seasonal booking trends vary, but many markets saw extended peak seasons in 2022 with strong occupancy throughout shoulder seasons. Experts predict that this trend will continue in 2023 as people look to save money traveling during slower seasons.   

2. Markets are oversaturated—it’s too late for new investors to get started 

THE TRUTH: There’s no time like the present, especially when it comes to investing in short-term rentals. According to Revedy, institutional and large portfolio investors own 65% of multi-family assets, 3% of single-family assets for long-term rentals, and less than 1% of assets for short-term rentals. Now is the perfect opportunity for smaller investors to purchase ahead of the large-scale capital wave. Also, no more than 5% of the industry is what Revedy considers an investment-grade asset, so you can easily outperform the competition. 

3. I’ll earn less with a premium asset

THE TRUTH: The demand for premium vacation rentals is on the rise as more high-income travelers are interested in exclusive accommodations. Vacation rentals that offer professionally designed spaces with top-tier amenities and experiences can charge higher ADRs than upscale and midscale rentals. Our experts are forecasting that AvantStay’s average ADRs will be 34.5% higher than our market cohorts for the remainder of Q1. Also, if you’re worried about the starting point of investing in short-term rentals, you can still find good cap rates at all different price points.

4. Market regulations make it too risky

THE TRUTH: There are still plenty of low-regulation markets. Plus, investing in a market with established and stable regulations can be a low-risk play. Revedy actively monitors market regulations so you can make informed decisions, while AvantStay’s permitting and tax professionals maintain good relationships with local jurisdictions so your investment is always compliant.

5. I’ll lose money with a management company—I’d rather do it myself

THE TRUTH: According to Revedy, investors that switch to professional management see a 25% increase in top-line revenue on average, while AvantStay delivers 35% more revenue than the broader market. Dynamic revenue management and multi-channel distribution are two of the biggest drivers of these great returns. First-time investors often waste a lot of time and money operating short-term rentals on their own. A management company will take care of everything from strategic pricing and marketing to permitting, interior design, and more. 

When you work with Revedy and AvantStay, you get an end-to-end solution for buying and managing vacation rental homes. Revedy makes investing in short-term rentals seamless. Their experts understand every nuance of finding, acquiring, and operating vacation rentals and can help you make the best decision possible. They even have access to upcoming opportunities and off-market deals. 

Once you have your vacation rental investment secured, leave the rest to AvantStay. We offer full-service vacation rental management programs to give you peace of mind. From financials to design to maintenance, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income so you can sit back and relax—it’s that simple.

Interested in learning more about what it means to partner with AvantStay? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

The 7 Best Airbnbs to Stay at During SXSW 2023

Austin, Texas is known for its bustling nightlife, tasty tacos, and yes, South by Southwest (SXSW for those looking to add another acronym in their life). We’ve come up with the best AvantStay Airbnbs close to South Congress and its parties – all with unique vacation rental experiences you can’t get anywhere else, guaranteeing a top-of-the-line getaway.

AvantStay is a gem in the short-term vacation rental world. We display our signature style via hundreds of homes with award-winning interior design, seamless group travel experiences, and a plentiful selection of in-app upgrades and experiences. While all AvantStay properties can be booked through Airbnb, they can also be booked directly through our website. 

Apart from its top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo SXSW locations – places you’ve been dying to check out, and places you’re ready to book your flight to – like ATX! Let’s dive in.

1. Paramount Place

Whether you’re the paparazzi yourself or they’re tailing behind you, this star-studded stay is sure to impress your entire posse. With five floors, a rooftop hot tub, a decked out game room, and a massive chef’s kitchen, Paramount Place is the place to be during SXSW. Oh, and did we mention there’s a private movie theater? Perfect for showing your film to your besties before everyone sees it at the Paramount Theater (which is right next door BTW). 

2. Henley

Lounge chairs, fun floats, guest house, oh my! Say hello to Henley – our newest Austin Airbnb with room for up to 16 of your closest: friends, coworkers, business partners, romantic interests… Or whoever you’re bringing with you to SX… That’s not our business, but it is ours to tell you that these modern interiors will excite even the snobbiest of Arch Digest stans.

3. Vice

Looking for the best Austin hotels to book for your trip to SXSW? Why not take it a step further and get your own condo with its own kitchen, separate living room and dining area, and in-unit laundry. Vice is a one bed, one bath stay is located just steps away from all your conferences. After a day full of learning (and/or partying), head to the building’s rooftop pool and vibe out in the cabana, or get a sweat on in the fitness center (with Peloton bikes). You won’t regret it.

4. Ramsey

“Bigger, bolder, bluer,” – Ramsey’s paint job. Come here if posting up by the pool to make your ex jealous on IG is your thing. Even if it isn’t, how can you say no to this Austin Airbnb stacked with a ping pong table, al fresco dining, sultry interiors, and an expansive front yard perfect for posting up post-conference? Ya just can’t. Meet you there.

5. Dawson

We heard everything’s bigger in Texas and decided to take it literally. Located just 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of ATX, you’ll find our quaint (JK) home, Dawson. Not only does she have views for days, she’s also got a pool, hot tub, two decks, a ping pong table, al fresco dining, and a BBQ for that one friend that just has to grill on vacation. Send this home to your SXSW group, because you’re so quirky and different that staying in Austin proper is just not an option.

6. Melody

Calling all musicians (and DJs) – make your way down to Melody. Feel feisty by the fire pit. Look good in the only post-modern house on the block. Perk up with a sesh on the Peloton. Be that guy that acts like he knows how to play the drum set (or maybe you really are with the band and drumming’s your thing). Just hurry up and get here because this house near SXSW is gonna go fast.

7. Barton

So you want to get away from it all. Escape to Barton, a Lake Travis Airbnb located just 30 minutes from all the SXSW conferences. Enjoy your private infinity pool, fire pit, and views your whole conference crew will talk about for ages. Consider Irish goodbyes your speciality? This home’s perfect for you. Who’s going to look all the way in Lake Travis for someone they drunkenly talked to at a SX party for 3 minutes? (Not us.)

The party doesn’t stop here, South by Southwest. While these Airbnbs in Austin are here to impress, we understand that your travel itinerary is, too. If you’re looking for more activities for the whole crew, check out our perfectly curated list of 31 Best Things to Do in Austin!

AvantStay Employee Spotlight – Franco Mannucci, Human Resource Business Partner


Franco Mannucci

Where are you based?

Bay Area, CA (San Jose specifically)

Job Title

Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP)

How long have you worked at AvantStay?

Since March 28, 2022

How would you describe your job & responsibilities to someone who doesn’t work in your field?

An HRBP is a strategic partner to company leadership and a support function to company personale. Daily functions widely vary from employee relations, engagement, development, org planning and retention all the way to developing, coordinating, and implementing policies, processes, and initiatives to ensure compliance and company needs are being met.

How do you like to start your work day?

As I shared above, a day in the life of an HRBP varies drastically. I like to start my day by visualizing tasks at hand, competing priorities, and executing a plan of action. My day starts with a cup of joe in hand, lo-fi music for white noise, as I review inquiries that have come in since the prior business day. Then I jump straight into manifesting my plan of action!

What teams do you collaborate the most with at work?

People & Talent, Business Affairs, HQ and Market Ops

What is your favorite thing about working at AvantStay?

Working amongst an organization of individuals who are hungry, excellent, resilient, and open. Day in and day out I touch nearly every facet of the business. It never ceases to amaze me how brilliant our team is. Every individual strives to go the extra mile. We help others. We collaborate to drive new initiatives. We are open to feedback and new ideas. Most importantly, we do so with a positive attitude! Easily my favorite part of working at AvantStay

What advice would you give to someone looking to join your team?

This is a loaded question, so much advice I can share! I will keep it brief. An HRBP is a function within People and Talent. As such we are a support role to the business. It is necessary to embrace a progressive mindset focused on steward leadership to ensure you help foster an environment where talented employees are nurtured and help grow the business.

What is something that you’re proud of that you’ve accomplished in your role?

I am proud of continuously contributing to the evolution and improvement of team processes by providing feedback and sharing ideas that increase strategic output, drive efficiency and enhance technical capabilities.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I converted a Dodge ProMaster into a home and lived vanlife 1/3rd of the year! On my bucket list is to travel by van to all the National Parks in the contiguous United States. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I live an active lifestyle. Hobbies include running, cycling, and hiking.

Before working at AvantStay, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

In college I did Wildness Search and Rescue at Yosemite for a summer. 

What is your favorite AvantStay memory?

My favorite AvantStay memory to date was when I was selected as HERO of the month. I was both nervous and excited to send us away that day. GTGF! 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. 

What’s your favorite Slack channel?

Oh man, too many to pick just one! Toss up between #avantstay-diy-channel #green-thumbs-of-avant and #petsofavantstay

What’s your favorite AvantStay employee perk?

Travel Credits

What has working at AvantStay taught you about the most?

How lucrative residential rental properties are. Great ROI!

The Ultimate Guide for Vacation Rental Taxes

Just like that, tax season is here. This not-so-festive time of year can be stressful for short-term rental owners, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparation is key when it comes to filing your taxes. Our guide will make this often tedious process a breeze. We’ll cover unique vacation rental tax rules, deductions, and everything in between. 

The filing deadline to submit 2022 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. 

The 14-day rule

One of the most important vacation rental tax rules is the 14-day rule. According to the IRS, if a property is used as a home and you rent it out for less than 14 days in the tax year, you do not have to report income generated. On the other hand, if you rent your property for 14 days or more, you have to report your income and are subject to taxes. Luckily, you can deduct expenses that come from running your short-term rental, but more on that later. 

If you stayed at your vacation rental home for more than 14 days, or more than 10% of the total time rented, things get a little tricky. When reporting your expenses, you’ll have to categorize them by rental use and personal use. The IRS considers personal use as any time you or someone in your family occupies your vacation rental. It’s also considered personal use if you rent your home to anyone for “less than a fair rental price.” If you need to stay at your property to work on home maintenance projects, those stays don’t count toward your personal use days. Just be sure to document the time and reason for your stay. 

1031 Exchanges 

Short-term rental investors should leverage the tax benefits of a 1031 exchange. In short, a 1031 exchange is the act of “swapping” one investment property for another like-kind property. If you meet the requirements of 1031, you’re able to defer capital gains tax on the sale. Investors can use a 1031 exchange to purchase a vacation rental property, as long as the home is rented for more than 14 days in the tax year. The rules and requirements of 1031 exchanges can be complicated, so short-term rental investors should work with a tax professional before making any moves.

Short-term rental tax deductions 

If you rent your home out for more than 14 days, you’re able to deduct the expenses of running your short-term rental business from your income. Common short-term rental tax deductions include: 

  • Advertising
  • Auto and travel expenses
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • Commissions
  • Depreciation
  • Insurance
  • Legal and other professional fees
  • Local transportation expenses
  • Management fees
  • Mortgage interest paid to banks, etc.
  • Rental payments
  • Repairs
  • Taxes
  • Utilities

One thing to keep in mind is the difference between repairs and improvements. Most repair costs can be considered tax write-offs, while home improvement costs can be a little more complicated. A repair is when you fix something that is damaged or broken, while an improvement adds value to your vacation rental. Examples of improvements include room additions, installing a pool, upgrading your appliances, and more. Divvy up these expenses and keep detailed, accurate records and receipts. 

We also suggest using IRS Publication 527 as your go-to resource for all vacation rental tax questions and consider working with a tax professional to help with the nuances of these deductions. 

Schedule C vs. Schedule E 

When filing your vacation rental taxes, you’ll have to choose the right 1040 form. The two main options for short-term rentals are Schedule C and Schedule E. With Schedule C, you’re subject to a self-employment tax which is used to fund Medicare and Social Security. With Schedule E, your rental income is considered passive and you’re not subject to the self-employment tax. 

For both forms, you’ll need to provide documented expenses, 1099s for contractor payments, property usage schedule, and gross rental income. Here’s how to determine which form you should file: 

Schedule C

Use the Schedule C form if managing your short-term rental is your primary business and you provide guests with substantial services during their stay. Examples of substantial services include: 

  • Housekeeping (during the stay) 
  • Linen replacements
  • Concierge service
  • Meals 
  • Transportation 
  • Tours and activities

Substantial services don’t include the cleaning of public areas, paying utilities, repairs and maintenance, providing WiFi, etc. 

Schedule E 

Use the Schedule E form if your short-term rental is a way to generate additional income and you don’t provide substantial services or enough involvement for the IRS to consider you a self-employed vacation rental manager. 

Local laws for vacation rental taxes 

Vacation rental tax laws vary by state and local governments. Some jurisdictions require hosts to collect occupancy taxes directly from guests. These taxes are also known as lodging, hotel, or transient taxes depending on the location. Several online travel agencies (OTAs), like Airbnb, collect occupancy taxes on behalf of vacation rental hosts, but this also varies by location. In most cases, you will be responsible for collecting and remitting any taxes. For this reason, it’s essential that you understand your local vacation rental tax laws and payment schedules. 

Partner with an expert

Ditch the operational headache of running a short-term rental on your own (and avoid self-employment taxes) by hiring a vacation rental management company. When you partner with AvantStay, you get access to our Policy & Compliance team which ensures your home is compliant and operating within all regulations governed by HOAs and other local authorities. We collect all required taxes from guests directly and report and remit taxes on your behalf in compliance with local regulations. We also provide a detailed year-end statement that includes all expenses categorized according to Schedule E. Another perk? Your management fee could be tax deductible! 

Interested in learning more about AvantStay’s management services? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Best Things to Do in Key West in February

Planning a February vacation to Key West, Florida? We’ll let you in on a secret — February is one of our favorite months of the year in Key West.

Whether you’re coming for the long President’s Day weekend, celebrating Valentine’s Day, or just planning a getaway, Key West is a great destination this February. Why not escape the cold winter this year and head to Key West? In February, the weather in Key West is an average high of 76 and low of 66, and it’s the month with the lowest amount of rain. For most people who want to escape a chilly winter on the East Coast or Midwest, it’s perfect.

Don’t wait any longer to pack your bags. Here’s our guide to the top things to do in Key West in February. 


Valentine’s Day

Plan a romantic getaway to Key West for Valentine’s Day. There are tons of things to do here for couples, whether you prefer visiting historical sites, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying a few happy hours at one of the popular bars. Key West is great because you can just be on island time and enjoy one another’s company. Want to get adventurous? Rent jet skis together! Want to indulge in a great meal? Make a reservation at one of Key West’s best restaurants

Annual Old Days Art Festival in Key West

February 25-26, 2023

Just off Duval Street in the Truman Annex neighborhood, the Annual Old Island Days Art Festival is a must-visit in February. This massive event attracts nearly 25,000 people and brings more than 100 fine artists to the region. If you’re looking for a new piece to bring home or just want to browse beautiful pieces, this is the event for you. 

Source: Key West Food Tours

Book Your Key West Vacation For February 2022

Escape to the Florida Keys with us this February. Browse our Key West vacation rentals and book your stay in the Southernmost Point of the U.S. today. 

Serenity by AvantStay

If you’re coming to Key West during any other time of year, check out our article on The 20+ Best Things to Do in Key West for other tips, and don’t miss these mistakes when you’re planning your trip!

AvantStay’s 2022 HERO’s of the Year

Here at AvantStay, we believe our employees deserve more recognition than just your traditional Employee of the Year – instead, we recognize our HERO’s. An AvantStay “HERO” is someone who is Hungry, Excellent, Resilient, and Open. 

Earlier this month, we awarded five talented individuals from our team whose star-power really shined through last year. Please join us in congratulating our 2022 AvantStay HEROs of the year and check out what their teammates had to say!

HERO of the Year

Taylor Wright, CX Manager

“I cannot send enough praise Taylor’s way. She has taken on more challenges this year than I could write. Most notably, she’s transformed our relocations & VIP team into a well-oiled machine while simultaneously building a service improvement team. Taylor has effortlessly taken charge of ensuring AvantStay is positioned to obtain Superhost ensuring we’re learning from each review we receive. Taylor is selfless and easy to work with. She’s proactive when it comes to gaps in the organization, and she’s all about empowering her team members to take ownership, support each other, and hold each other accountable to do great work.”

Most Hungry

Cameron Herget, Brand Content Producer

Cameron takes initiative to succeed at her role, but she’s also constantly stepped up to support the team and shift to learning new responsibilities. This year, she’s moved seamlessly from focusing on social content to taking on work on the blog, emails, ads, and overall marketing strategy. She’s always fast to respond when someone on the team needs help, and she captures the bold, playful tone of our brand voice & visuals so well across channels and her hunger to improve & learn always shows through!”

Most Excellent

Will Parkhouse, Senior Director of Field Operations

“There are not enough good things to say about Will. I know I speak on behalf of the whole Field Team when I say that I think the world of Will and I know there is no better leader for his role than him. This man is ALWAYS on point! No matter the time of day or how “sticky” of a situation you may be in, Will is there with a huge smile and encouraging words. I have never encountered another person like him at work or even in my personal life. Will’s dedication and drive are unmatched. He has the most positive attitude and enthusiasm for this company and life in general. Of all the amazing assets AvantStay has, Will is definitely one of our best”

Most Resilient

Hannah Gwazdauskas, OX Training & Onboarding Specialist

Hannah is someone who serves others before herself, takes pride in doing a good job, and always has a good attitude regardless of the situation. She has been dealt an interesting hand this last year at AvantStay with shifting responsibilities, and now leading our offshore team to help alleviate the number of accounts OEM’s have and provide a great experience for all involved. Hannah is an integral part of AvantStay and deserves this award of Most Resilient!”

Most Open

Chloe Buss, Field Operations Regional Director

Chloe is always open to new ideas that may work better for certain markets or improve the flow of certain field ops teams. When I go into markets, I always ask her what I can do to assist in the market even if it is not one of hers.”

Vacation Rental Tips: How to Maximize Your Revenue in 2023 [Webinar Recap]

The short-term rental market saw unprecedented growth in 2022, with supply and demand reaching all-time highs. Now more than ever, vacation rental owners are worried about demand shifts in this post-pandemic environment. Is market saturation something to worry about? And how can owners drive strong rental performance in the midst of these changes? Our team got together to discuss what makes this market so uncertain and how vacation rental owners can stay competitive.

The current state of the short-term rental market

2022 was a whirlwind for the real estate and short-term rental markets. Here are our key observations:   

  • Interest rates have more than doubled in the last 6-7 months, and as a result, prices are plateauing, homes are trading less frequently, and buyers are struggling to obtain preferential financing.
  • Short-term rental demand remains strong. Investors that are on top of their game can continue to see strong returns on their homes and can acquire properties at lower rates. 
  • Supply growth is up YoY in most markets. We need to look at trends in each market to adjust to the new environment (Scottsdale supply is up 47% YoY and the Smoky Mountains supply is up 29% YoY). 
  • Owners and property managers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and progressing the industry forward. The end-to-end process in management is unrecognizable from 5-6 years ago. This creates an opportunity for those that approach the competitive market and play offense to see great returns.   

Revenue management and how it drives rental performance 

Emre Ilgaz, AvantStay’s Associate Director of Revenue Management, defines this process as selling the right home, to the right customer, at the right time, via the right channel, for the right price. 

“We often have the debate, ‘is revenue management an art or a science,’” says Emre, “but it’s a combination of both.” 

He also notes that while most people view pricing as the core focus of revenue management, it’s not sufficient by itself to optimize revenue. Pricing needs to be supported with effective availability strategies, marketing, and listing and channel optimization, and they all require a strong understanding of demand and booking trends. 

Vacation rental owners should keep the following in mind when pricing their homes for success: 

1. Revenue management goes beyond pricing; it must be paired with: 

  • Strong listings and photos
  • Distribution channel optimization 
  • Effective marketing strategies 
  • Strong understanding of demand and booking trends

2. Focus on RevPAR, not ADR or occupancy alone 

At AvantStay, we optimize for the amount of revenue we give back to owners so they can make the most of their investment. The two components that go into that are the average daily rate (ADR) and occupancy. It may be tempting to either optimize for occupancy or for higher daily rates, but you need to optimize for both. Focus on RevPAR (revenue per available room), not ADR or occupancy alone. 

3. Forward-looking, real-time data drives success in a fast-changing market

Use historical data as a guide, but focus on how the market is currently pacing. Monitor demand shifts in real-time and focus on forward-looking, real-time pricing.

4. Every market is different and requires a different approach 

Understand that each market is different, and one blanket strategy isn’t applicable to all. This also goes for homes. Effective revenue management should look at the unique features of a home along with its location and proximity to local attractions, and back that with data. 

Other ways short-term rental owners can stay ahead of the market

Revenue management is key to strong rental performance, but consider these strategies to make your home shine among the competition. 

Differentiate your home 

In a competitive market, the homes that are going to get bookings and drive strong returns are the unique and exciting homes that stand out from the rest. Have the experiential amenities that guests are looking for—folks traveling to Scottsdale will be looking for rentals with a pool and lawn games, while those traveling to the Smoky Mountains in the winter will prefer a hot tub. If you have unique amenities, like a game room or putting green, showcase these in some of the first photos on your listing page to grab guests’ attention. 

Optimize your marketing and reach 

Expand your reach beyond the two main online travel agencies (OTAs): Airbnb and Vrbo. There are a ton of other websites that can help you reach new guests. First, make sure your listing is optimized with relevant keywords and professional photos to reach the right people, at the right time, and drive bookings. 

Foster five-star ratings 

There’s a direct correlation between positive reviews and bookings. Homes with higher ratings will see better performance compared to nearly identical homes with lower ratings. Create an exceptional guest experience and care for your property to encourage more five-star reviews. 

Understand market regulations 

Stay on top of your local short-term rental regulations and keep your permit up to date to avoid hefty fines and legal repercussions. These regulations can also limit your revenue management strategy as some jurisdictions track and enforce nightly-minimum restrictions or the total number of reservations you can have during the year. 

Work with a professional vacation rental manager

As the market gets more competitive, the value of professional property management continues to grow. There’s a lot of complexity to optimizing a vacation rental. Working with a property manager that understands where price points are while also supporting interior design, permitting and compliance, listing creation, distribution, and more can help drive great returns. 

That’s where AvantStay comes in. We offer end-to-end management services to give you peace of mind. From financials to design to maintenance, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income so you can sit back and relax—it’s that simple.

Interested in learning more about what it means to partner with AvantStay? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

The 12 Best Airbnbs for Watching This Year’s Super Bowl

We’re getting oh-so-close to the Big Game! Whether you’re just interested in The Puppy Bowl or actually can’t wait to see your team win, we’ve created a roundup with the best Airbnbs with private movie theaters for you to watch this year’s Super Bowl. Bring your best guac and we’ll bring the stays – these homes are sure to be a winner in your book.

1. Haywood – Smoky Mountains, TN

Say hello to Haywood. This impressive cabin comes with an 8-seat theater, an indoor pool, three expansive decks, a hot tub, and a massive kitchen for all those game day snacks you’re planning to whip up. The best part of this stay? You’re immersed in the beautiful Smokies, so on the off chance that your team doesn’t score big, you at least have a lot of land to go and comfortably scream into the void (or try any of our 35 Favorite Things to Do in the Smokies).

2. Sandstone – Scottsdale, AZ

Every game day deserves a little decompression session. Before kickoff, treat yourself to all the amenities this Scottsdale Airbnb has to offer. From the pool to the hot tub, the basketball court to the fire pit, Sandstone’s got it going on. When you feel that your R&R levels are where they should be, head back inside to the home’s indoor theater.

3. Canopy – Park City, UT

In the spirit of game day sanctuaries, let us introduce you to Canopy. This Park City stay comes complete with a sauna, fireplace, poker set, pool table, a massive deck on each level and, of course, an indoor theater for the Big Game. 

Looking for more to do in Park City? We’ve got a list for that. Check out our Top 35 Things to Do in Park City.

4. Grand Contento – Temecula, CA

Welcome to Grand Contento, which is exactly what you’ll be after a stay at this show stopping Temecula Airbnb. This home comes with a pool table and a massive private theater with room for up to 25 people. Have some stragglers in your group that are rooting for the opposing team? Perfect! Put them in the guest house where they belong. When you’re ready to be civil again, cheers to your vacation in the outdoor seating area.

5. Sycamore – Smoky Mountains, TN

One of our favorite things about our cabins in the Smoky Mountains is they all come fully loaded. Sycamore is a 6 bed, 6.5 bath stay with room for up to 18 guests. It shows its playful personality with modern rustic interiors, an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, private home theater, pool table, al fresco dining, and an idyllic fire pit.

6. Oak and Luna – Big Bear, CA

You’re scoring big, and it’s not just in the game. Come to Oak and Luna for idyllic views of the great outdoors of Big Bear. Kick your feet back and relax while you watch the Super Bowl in this 6-person indoor theater. After a game well done, chill out in the hot tub and cheers to the good life.

First time going to Big Bear? Check out our 43 Best Things to Do in Big Bear!

7. Black Rock – Scottsdale, AZ

Is it hot in here or is it just this home? Black Rock is a star-studded stay located in Paradise Valley. Seen all across our socials and known for that stunner infinity pool, this home is something you’ve just got to see to believe. When you’re not deep in the football zone, relax by the fire pit or play a game of pool and enjoy the views of the desert around you.

8. Timberline – Lake Tahoe, CA

Bring your A game to this Lake Tahoe A-frame. Timberline is the perfect place to lounge while you’re waiting for Rihanna to come on stage. A trip here entails hot tub seshes, plenty of deck hangs, s’mores by the fire pit, a game or two of billiards, and IG-worthy interior design. This home’s theater comes with 9 seats that recline, so we hope you’re ready to get cozy.

If you’re craving a more adventurous vacation, check out our 47 Things to Do in Lake Tahoe.

9. River Rock – Breckenridge, CO

Colorado is calling. Text the group chat and tell them you’re headed to River Rock. If it weren’t for this Airbnb’s extra cozy movie theater, let it be for that lovely hot tub on the deck where you can sit and watch the snow fall. Extend your stay past the game day weekend and head to the nearby Breckenridge Ski Resort where you can spend days soaking up all Breckenridge has to offer.

10. Indio Escape – Coachella Valley, CA

Is it time for the halftime show yet? That’s what you’ll be saying while you’re waiting to soak up all there is to offer at Indio Escape. This Coachella Valley Airbnb comes with a modern fire pit, pool, hot tub, and dining table perfect for those lax al fresco moments. The movie room also comes with a mini-arcade – so you get maximum game time.  

11. Paramount Place – Austin, TX

Everything’s bigger in Texas… especially the Airbnbs. Paramount Place is known for its easy access to downtown Austin and all it has to offer. When you’re not watching the game in the cozy movie theater, try walking the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge for a different view of the city.

ISO a full Austin itinerary? Find your next adventure in our 31 Best Things to Do in Austin.

12. Pinot Point – Temecula, CA

Pinot?! This wine pairs well with pretending to know what’s happening in the game. Pinot Point is a 5 bedroom home with an infinity pool that pours off into views of the rolling Temecula hills. Make sure you’re stocked up on beer – there’s more than enough seating for everyone to have a “cheers” outside after you’ve spent the game day in this Airbnb’s private theater.

There’s a lot more where that came from! Click here for our full collection of homes with movie theaters – and may the best team win.

Increase Bookings From Pet Owners: How To Run a Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental

Allowing pets in your vacation rental can be a rewarding decision. It’s no surprise that Americans love their furry friends and loyal travel companions—70% of US households own a pet and since November 2021, over 3 million pets have stayed at an Airbnb. So, why not tap into this large market to fill up your booking calendar and increase your rental income? If you’re on the fence about making your vacation rental pet-friendly, we’ll cover the perks, how to protect your home, and how to drive more bookings from pet owners. 

Why you should allow pets 

There are many benefits that come from allowing pets in vacation rentals. When you partner with AvantStay, your pet-friendly rental will shine on our platform. Only 37% of AvantStay homes allow pets, and we showcase these properties with a dedicated filter and “pet-friendly” icons (check out our pet-friendly vacation rentals collection that makes it easy for travelers to find the perfect pad for their pooch). In addition, owners with pet-friendly homes often enjoy: 

Increased earning potential

Not all vacation rentals allow pets, so you can charge higher ADRs for this special accommodation. You can also charge guests non-refundable pet fees—for example, AvantStay charges $150 per pet

Guests booking longer stays

Because guests won’t have to leave Fido at home, they’ll likely book longer stays without the stress of boarding or finding a pet sitter. 

More repeat guests

Finding the perfect pet-friendly vacation rental can be tough, so guests will likely be eager to book again after having a positive experience at your home. 

How to make your vacation rental pet-friendly

While you may be dwelling on the cons and what-ifs of allowing pets in your vacation home, there are simple measures you can take to protect your rental property and create an exceptional experience for guests and pets alike. 

Keep it clean

Hire a reliable housekeeping team who will thoroughly clean between each stay. Add extra steps to your cleaning checklist for pet-friendly vacation rentals, like deep cleaning the floors and furniture. 

Prepare your space 

Pet-proof your home as much as possible so your vacation rental can go the distance. Invest in HEPA air purifiers to reduce odor and dander, opt for tile or laminate flooring over carpet, purchase washable area rugs, and choose furniture with easy-to-remove (and wash) coverings. In addition, make sure your backyard is secured so pets can enjoy themselves off-leash. 

Update your house rules 

Update your house rules to reflect your pet policy. Be sure to include the number of pets allowed, any weight or breed restrictions, and off-limit areas for animals. If you have any fees or security deposits that cover pet accidents or damages, list those here as well. 

Provide pet-friendly amenities

Impress your guests and reel in five-star ratings by supplying pup-approved amenities. Make sure you include these on your listing page or pre-check-in communications so guests don’t waste time packing them themselves. Consider providing: 

  • Water and food bowls
  • Dog bed
  • Waste bags
  • Chew toys
  • Leash 
  • Grooming supplies
  • Treats 
  • Stain and odor removers

How to boost bookings from pet owners

Once your vacation rental is equipped to welcome pets, showcase it to the world. These simple tips can help you reach more pet owners and increase bookings. 

Update and optimize your listing

When updating your headline and description, incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to further boost your reach to pet owners. Research search terms (“keywords”) that are popular in your market and add those to your listing. Some examples could be “dog-friendly Joshua Tree vacation rental” or “private beachfront cottage – pets allowed.” 

In addition, entice potential guests to click “book now” by showcasing your pet amenities and listing nearby dog-friendly activities and attractions. Include these in your welcome book and pre-check-in communications so guests can easily access them. 

Market to pet owners  

Give your marketing strategy a revamp to make your pet-friendly rental shine; these tactics can help you target more pet owners. 

Leverage niche listing sites

While you should list your home on all of the top distribution platforms, you can reach more pet owners by using pet-friendly listing sites. A popular option is BringFido, a pet travel and lifestyle brand that connects pet owners with more than 500,000 pet-friendly places, including vacation rental homes. 

Tap into social media

Social media is a great way to reach new audiences and keep your past guests engaged. Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are popular among travelers looking to plan their next trip, so be sure to show off your home and its pet-approved amenities across these sites. Also, ask guests to capture photos of their pets enjoying your vacation rental so you can share them across your accounts. 

Use paid advertising

Social media ads can amplify your reach to pet owners. Facebook and Pinterest make it easy to narrow your target audience. You can choose to show your ads to your ideal guest by using filters like location, age, interests, and more.

Pet-friendly vacation rentals by AvantStay 

Making your property pet-friendly can be rewarding, but can also take a lot of work and is not without its risks. We set the new standard for vacation rentals by delivering a consistent, high-quality vacation experience for both homeowners and guests. One of the ways we’re able to do this is with our experiences and upgrades. Guests can use our app to schedule mid-stay cleans, request amenities like treats, toys, and dog beds, ask for custom pet-friendly itineraries and local recommendations, and much more. This level of service drives some of the highest ratings in the industry, repeat guests, and allows us to charge premium daily rates.

For homeowners, you have the choice to allow pets in your vacation rental or not, but you’ll always receive best-in-class care with AvantStay. At your home, our local operations teams manage maintenance, upkeep, and surveillance, while our housekeeping team professionally cleans after every stay in adherence with CDC cleaning standards and our 100-point cleaning checklist—say goodbye to unwanted pet hair! 

Although guests are responsible for treating your property respectfully, there may be instances in which damages or pet accidents occur. We ensure any issues are fixed promptly and work with guests to determine what happened and collect the necessary payment. 

Employing a combination of our best-in-class care, streamlined back-end operations, and elevated hospitality brand, AvantStay helps you earn more revenue than any other property management company. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s returns—it’s that simple.

Interested in learning more about AvantStay’s management services? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your 2023 PTO

It’s the beginning of 2023, meaning your PTO days just hit the refresh button. If you’re like us, you want to make the most of your days off this year. In this article, we’ll dive into four of the most common amounts of days off and tell you exactly how to spend them – so you have no excuses. Don’t be like 55% of Americans and waste days off, take them all this year and take them with us!

If you have 10 days of PTO…

You’re not working with the most here so you need to make your weekends count. Try taking off a Friday and a consecutive Monday so that you’ll have extra long weekends. Combine these long weekends with holidays you also already have off, and you’re able to get some 5-day weekends you deserve. For your weekend getaways, try this:

Joshua Tree – 2 days off

You have Memorial Day off already, so request 5/26 and 5/30 off and enjoy a desert-dwelling getaway. Stay at Lava Rocks for its pool and hot tub where you can decompress after a day of exploring Joshua Tree.

Fort Lauderdale – 2 days off

Easy to access from a nearby Miami airport, Fort Lauderdale makes for a great getaway during a weekend as Florida-friendly as the Fourth of July. Try a stay at our beachfront home Casa Bermuda and enjoy a five-day weekend when you take off Friday 6/30 and Monday 7/3.

Palm Springs – 2 days off 

Take off Thursday 11/9 and Monday 11/13 in between Veteran’s Day for a five-day vacay in the Southern California sunshine. Stay at one of our Palm Springs Hotels like Hotel El Cid.

Charleston – 2 days off 

Treat the fam to Thanksgiving done differently at one of our Southern comfort homes, like Live Oak in Charleston. Take off Friday 11/24 and Monday 11/27 for five days off.

Our homes are perfect for hosting events like Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving! Click here to see why AvantStay makes the best place to have your holidays.

Austin – 2 days off

Escape the winter in this heated TX destination. Invite the fam and take off 12/26 and 12/29 for a 5-day vacation! Stay at Barton in Austin where the views are almost as good as the feeling of warmth in December. 

If you have 14 days of PTO…

Oregon Coast – 5 days

Let’s start your PTO out with one of our favorite destinations. Try taking 5 days off (Monday-Friday) in the late spring to enjoy the OR Coast during its best season. There’s so much to explore on the Oregon Coast so you want to make sure you have enough time! Stay at The Purcell House to experience the cutest breakfast nook you’ve ever seen. With views where the mountains meet the ocean, this stay’s one you’ll never forget.

Temecula – 3 days

Hello, summer! Craving a vineyard vacation? We feel that. Take off Wednesday-Friday this summer for a 5-day vacation to Camila in Temecula. With its indoor/outdoor koi pond, pool, hot tub, views of the mountains, and room for up to 20, this stay came to impress even the snobbiest of wine-o’s (not that that’s you!)

San Diego – 2 days 

Fall’s coming in hot at this point and you need a decompression session from your busy summer. Take 2 days off (Friday and Monday) for an extended weekend in San Diego. Stay at Camden: an elevated Californian villa with lavish living in a beach town setting. Looking for things to do during your trip? Check out our 32 Best Things to Do in San Diego!

Breckenridge – 4 days

Okay, so everyone knows you need at least one ski trip a year. For yours, take 4 days off (Tuesday-Friday) in mid-November for a powder-filled trip with plenty of time to ski, snowboard, and après ski your little heart out. Stay at Frontier in Breckenridge where you have room for up to 16 guests, a hot tub, and views that look even better IRL.

ICYMI: we have ski-in/ski-out homes, too. Check them out here.

If you have 20 days of PTO…

Maui – 5 days

Wowee, let’s escape winter and go to Maui! Start your 2023 off with a lovely getaway to Hawaii. Take off 5 days (Monday-Friday) for a full week off. Stay at Hono Hideaway where you can spend mornings cozied up in bed looking at the beach through the panoramic windows. Enjoy days spent by the beach and yummy piña coladas at the bar downstairs. 

Nashville – 3 days

If you have a bachelorette party you’re either throwing or joining this year, may we suggest the bachelorette capital of the world? Bring the girls to Nashville. We suggest y’all stay at 121 Hotel and buy out the full hotel for a rodeo-ready bach getaway. Make this weekend a long one by taking 3 days off: Thursday, Friday and the following Monday (to recover, duh).

Not partaking in the bachelorette festivities this year? No worries, Music City has plenty to do. Check out our 33 Best Things to Do in Nashville.

Big Bear – 3 days

Take an extended weekend trip by taking off 3 days (Wednesday-Friday) and stay at Avalon Pines in Big Bear. This home is giving us all the summer camp vibes, minus the crowded bunk beds and wasp stings. When you’re not basking in the glory of the forest around you, check out our list of Things to Do in Big Bear – we give you 43 options, so you’ll never run out.

Destin – 4 days

Take 4 days of PTO off in August when the crowds slightly start to slim down in Destin. Stay at our beachfront home, Destiny on the Sand. Enjoy the best of the best views, walking distance to restaurants and shops, and 33’ of beach frontage. And what’s better than a private beach? Nada! See ya there.

Park City – 5 days 

Park City is best enjoyed in the winter. Come here in December and stay at Conifer. If you convince the fam to join, try taking off the 5 days between Christmas and New Year’s (12/22 and 12/26-12/29). With these days off, you’ll technically get a full 11 days off – meaning plenty of times to hit the slopes. 

If you have unlimited days of PTO or work remotely… 

Go ahead and just make a bucket list. We picked 5 destinations you’ve gotta see for yourself. No matter how long you want your getaway to be, our stays in these destinations are ready for you and the crew. We’ll bring the luxe amenities, you bring the vibes. Meet you in… 

Sedona, AZ

Brr, it’s cold! Let’s escape the snow and take a trip to Arizona. Try a stay at Roca Roja in Sedona. This stay has views for days and room for up to 12 guests. Enjoy days spent exploring AZ and a hot tub perfect for soaking away those post-hike aches. 

Lake Tahoe

You should have at least one California cabin vacation a year – we don’t make the rules. Between March and May, stay at Tamarack in Lake Tahoe to check off your cabin stay and enjoy all those summer camp cabin vibes, but this time, with drinks of your choice. 


Warm welcomes, it’s summertime! Head to Hawaii in July and stay at Hale Lokahi in Oahu. Wake up to views of the mountains from your bedroom suite and spend days lounging by the beach or enjoying any of the activities from our 51 Best Things to Do in Oahu.

Hudson Valley

Let’s head upstate! Once you’re ready for another vacay after your trip to Oahu, book a relaxing trip to Cortland in Hudson Valley. This 5-bed country home comes complete with its very own pool, fire pit, and lake. Get the group chat ready – this stay can fit up to 9 guests.

Smoky Mountains

Ever been to the Smoky Mountains? Regardless if you answered yes or no, you’ve gotta go this year. The Smokies are a must-see, especially during peak fall foliage season (mid-October to early November). Stay at Haywood and enjoy your very own indoor pool, movie theater, 3 levels of decks, and views you’ve only dreamed of

The Best Things to Do in Sedona

What is Sedona Known For?

Sedona is an Arizona desert town near Flagstaff known for its famous red rock formations, native American history, sacred and spiritual points, and energetic vortex sites. There are many reasons to make Sedona your next getaway destination. Uptown Sedona offers plenty of unique southwestern shops, art galleries, spas, and restaurants, while West Sedona provides plenty of opportunities for exploring natural landmarks, top hiking trails, and scenic parks for bird-watching and picnics. As for outdoor adventure, there is no wonder why Sedona is also known as “red rock country” with stunning scenery that can be explored by hiking trails, horseback riding, jeep tours, biking, and more!

Traveling to Sedona 

The best time to visit Sedona is March through May when temperatures are warm but not too hot. We recommend spending at least 3 to 4 days in Sedona. Visitors sometimes come to Sedona on a quick trip from Phoenix, but if you have a few days, a longer stay in this quaint desert town is worth it. There’s no shortage of fantastic areas to explore with Sedona as the perfect home base, you can easily work in a day trip to visit Flagstaff or the world-renowned Grand Canyon. 

Top Attractions in Sedona

Explore our list of the must-see things to do in Sedona to plan the perfect itinerary for your next adventure out west. 

Explore Sedona’s Natural Landmarks

The natural landmarks in Sedona are one of the top attractions to see. Most of these can be easily seen while driving, while others can only be accessed from a hiking trail.

Bell Rock

Many visitors come to hike this popular landmark. Bell Rock is one of the most famous red rock formations with a moderate 3.6-mile hiking trail perfect for families with kids to see breathtaking views of the Courthouse Butte Loop and Bell Rock. 

Cathedral Rock

You can see Cathedral Rock by driving into Sedona from the Red Rock Scenic Byway along Highway 179 or by a short hike. This impressive natural site is one of the most photographed red rock formations found on the south side of Sedona. If you take the 0.7-mile hike and climb to the plateau you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of Verde Valley. 

Devil’s Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is a landmark with beautiful views to be seen by jeep or 4×4, or with a moderate hike. It can be busy during peak season, but certainly worth the visit to get a photo on the bridge. 

Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a top destination for hikers and spiritual visitors. This landmark was built as a Roman Catholic church from 1954-1956 into the red rocks of Sedona within the Coconino National Forest. This is a free attraction where you can go inside the chapel to visit amazing works of art. The Chapel is not only a top attraction for hikers, and art but is also a well-known Sedona vortex site. 

Mesa Airport

Visitors are drawn to Airport Mesa for the amazing views while hiking the 3.2-mile loop trail. This trail is perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running. This landmark is also an energetic vortex site with an excellent view to watch the light change at sunrise and sunset. 

Source: Go Backpacking

Enjoy a Scenic Drive

Discover the best scenic drives in Sedona along the Red Rock Scenic Byway and the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road. Sedona is one of the most beautiful areas in Arizona with incredible red sandstone formations to be seen from hiking trails,  Jeep tours, and while driving. Make the most of your drive and pull off to one of the nearby vistas or trailheads for incredible sightseeing and photo opportunities.

Red Rock Scenic Byway

The Red Rock Scenic Byway is often referred to as the “museum without walls” because you can easily view some of the most famous landmarks in Arizona on this drive along with stunning scenery. This 7.5-mile scenic byway starts after exit 298 off interstate 17. You can see Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. If you choose to make a stop to visit Coconino National Forest you’ll be rewarded with many scenic overlooks. Be careful on this scenic drive because the scenery can be very distracting!

Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road

Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road is notably the most beautiful scenic drive in Sedona. It is a breathtaking 14-mile drive along route 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona that reaches 4,500 feet from Sedona to Mogollon Rim. Passengers should take advantage of the many photo opportunities on the way. Get the most out of your adventure and pull over to explore the trails and vistas along the way. 

Source: Sedona Bizmag

Explore one of Sedona’s Scenic Hiking Trails

Without a doubt, hiking is one of the best things to do in Sedona. For most visitors, hiking is at the focus of a vacation to Sedona. Sedona hiking trails can vary from easy to challenging. They each offer a rewarding experience with spectacular views.

Hikers enjoy Sedona because it offers a variety of canyons, vortex sites, natural arches, hidden caves, and some of the highest mountain peaks.

Sedona’s list of hiking tails is extensive, so much so that in fact you could spend weeks here and never run out of new trails to explore. 

Our Favorite Hiking Spots in Sedona

Devil’s Bridge Trail

Bell Rock

Courthouse Butte Loop

Cathedral Rock

Boynton Canyon Trail

Soldier Pass

Slide Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park

Source: Earth Trekkers

Take a Jeep Tour

Pink Jeep tours are one of the most iconic ways to experience the canyon views, vortexes, and red rocks of Sedona. You don’t need to take a Pink Jeep to experience the sights, but they’re experts and take all of the guesswork out of planning your off-roading experience to ensure you hit all of the best viewpoints. You can choose between a variety of expeditions including a journey through Antelope Canyon or a more historically focused tour of cliff dwellings in the area. If you are a more advanced outdoor explorer and prefer a more independent experience, then renting your own Jeep for a self-guided tour of the red rock formations may be the best move. 

Source: Audley Travel

Visit Energetic Vortex Sites

Feel uplifted by these supernatural energy spots in Sedona. Thousands of travelers come to Sedona every year to experience these famous vortex sites that are said to provide a meditative, mind and body wellness experience to enhance creativity. For many, it is common to feel a tingling sensation in your fingers or have an emotional experience from the magnetic fields of the vortex site.

Vortex Sites in Sedona 

You’ll find the most popular four vortex sites located at Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing, Airport Mesa, and Boynton Canyon. You can get to these vortex energy centers by booking a vortex tour, taking a 4×4 or Jeep, or hiking.

Source: Sedona Vortex Adventures

Stay in a Luxury Vacation Home 

Book a luxurious vacation home in Sedona. Surround yourself with the stunning colors of Sedona’s incredible landscapes with gorgeous sunsets and sunrise views from Roca Roja. The night sky in Sedona is equally stunning being in a designated dark sky community. Book your stay at the Pyramid where you can stargaze and locate all of your favorite constellations and the crescent moon from the jacuzzi without the typical light pollution of other destinations. 

Roca Roja by AvantStay

Make Sedona your Next Getaway

Are you ready to immerse yourself in the heart of the Arizona desert? With dozens of trailheads, national parks, and colorful views to experience year-round, we recommend booking your stay to experience all of the natural beauty of Sedona and the southwest!

5 Stunning A-Frame Airbnb Vacation Rentals

A-frame homes are a style we will never grow tired of. There’s something about coming home to a cabin with vaulted ceilings, exposed roof beams, and a loft space – it just feels right. Whether you’re ISO a trip to a cabin for a friends’ reunion, a birthday, or simply to get away from it all, we’ve come up with the best AvantStay A-frame Airbnbs in California – all complete with those cozy cabin vibes you’re yearning for.

If you find yourself looking for a travel experience that values your privacy, safety, and cleanliness, maybe it’s time to try AvantStay, your new travel BFF for group travel.

AvantStay is a gem in the short-term vacation rental world. We display our signature style in over a thousand homes with award-winning interior design, seamless group travel experiences, upgrades and experiences at the touch of a button, and a unique pay-per-person feature on the app. While all AvantStay properties can be booked through Airbnb, they can also be booked directly through our website. 

Apart from its top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo locations – places you’ve been dying to check out, and experiences you’re ready to check off your bucket list – like a stay at an A-frame! Let’s get to it.

Mountaineer – Lake Tahoe, CA

Your dream cabin just entered the chat. Meet Mountaineer, a Lake Tahoe A-frame cabin tucked away in the tall pine trees. This home features an expansive deck with lounge chairs, a BBQ, and an open floor plan with gorgeous natural light inside. Ideal for a quick getaway with your close friends, this stay has room for up to 6 guests.

Want inspo for what to do during your trip? Check out our 47 Things to Do in Lake Tahoe.

Wildhaven – Lake Arrowhead, CA

Located just minutes away from the lake you’ll find the inviting A-frame that is Wildhaven. Deep in Lake Arrowhead, this stay comes with all you need for an idyllic cabin retreat: a fireplace, billiards table, bar, board games, two balconies, a fire pit, and plenty of places to kick back and relax. Invite up to 10 guests and green light your getaway to this lovely Lake Tahoe Airbnb.

Midnight – Lake Tahoe, CA

A-frame, but make it modern. Midnight is a remodeled cabin situated in the pines of Lake Tahoe. If you’re craving a ski sesh on your next vacation, definitely head here – this stay is close to Olympic Valley. With its wood interiors, cozy furniture, and tall ceilings, Midnight is bound to be one of your favorite woodsy getaways yet.

Sun and Snow Chalet – Big Bear Lake, CA

Invite up to 9 of your best friends and head to Sun and Snow Chalet in Big Bear Lake. This stay is ideal for those who like a little bit of everything, whether that be snow, sun, or lake days. Only 2 miles away from the Snow Summit Ski Resort, this Big Bear Airbnb makes for the perfect decompression session after a long day on the slopes. When it’s warmer out, take a short trip to the lake and have yourself a day!

Looking for more ideas on what to do during your trip? Check out our Best Things to Do in Big Bear!

Horizon – Lake Tahoe, CA 

An A-frame vacay is definitely on the Horizon. This Lake Tahoe Airbnb is one of our favorites with its exposed wood interiors, ample natural light, and breathtaking lake views. Invite up to 8 guests to this cozy California cabin where you’ll spend afternoons dining al fresco, cheffing it up on the wood-fired oven, and chilling out with either a hot tub or billiards sesh (or both).

Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

Ready to plan your next family spring break trip? From islands with southern coastal charm to San Diego’s iconic parks and attractions, we have a complete list of ideal spring break destinations. Whether you are looking for a peaceful day spent on one of the best beaches in the world or an adrenaline-fueled zipline tour through the jungles of Hawaii, we have all the vacation ideas you need for booking Spring Break 2023!  

Check out our list of the best spring break destinations for families in 2023!  

San Diego 

A hub for both outdoor adventure and family fun, San Diego is a supreme spring break destination for families. In the spring, San Diego boasts idyllic temperatures for time spent outdoors with highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s.  

Make yourself an itinerary of activities to include in your spring break plans like spending the day at the San Diego Zoo or walking through iconic Balboa Park. With more than 1,000 acres of stunning gardens and park space, Balboa Park is also home to museums, restaurants, and the Spanish Village Art Center. LEGOLAND California is another theme park in the area which features an amusement park, water park, and plenty of kid-friendly attractions and shows.

For those seeking days spent on the beach, Mission Beach is a family-friendly hub for surf, sand, and sun. Or make the drive to La Jolla to see the gorgeous beaches, get in the water to snorkel, and even spot some sunbathing sea lions. Find a La Jolla vacation home with stunning ocean views or browse all of our San Diego rentals to find your ideal spring break getaway. 

Vista by AvantStay

Key West 

Spring-breaking families looking for a tropical destination need look no further than Key West, Florida! Key West is both a tropical oasis and a melting pot of culture, history, and family fun! The weather during spring break in Key West ranges between the high 70s and low 80s making it perfect for days spent soaking up the Florida sunshine. 

Some of the can’t-miss activities include snapping a picture at the Southernmost Point of the continental United States which is marked with an on-land buoy. Also on the southern side of the island, South Beach is a popular spot for families seeking a quiet destination for surf and sand. For a busier beach scene, Smathers Beach is one of the most popular on the island and a prime destination for snorkeling, sand volleyball, and more. Or perhaps you are looking for the privacy of a private pool? We have plenty of gorgeous homes like Casa de Rosalie that offer an island escape for your family complete with a private pool!  

For a day trip away from the island, get on a boat to Dry Tortugas National Park! The national park consists of 7 islands and miles of open water making swimming and snorkeling the best way to view the protected park area. On land, stroll Fort Mason which was built in the late 19th century and is one of the largest masonry forts in the United States.  

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory invites families to come stroll amongst dozens of species of butterflies and tropical birds in the botanical gardens. And after a day of family fun, water sports, and unique historical sites, stroll Duval Street which is home to a variety of restaurants and boutiques with coastal flair. Start planning a Key West spring break and find a vacation home! 

Source: Key West

Hilton Head 

Enjoy a quiet, quaint spring break on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island! Renowned for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and charming coastal towns, Hilton Head makes for an ideal family spring break destination. With spring weather ranging in the low 70s and high 40s, spring break offers warm weather and plenty of opportunities for family fun.  

Book one of our Hilton Head vacation homes for rest and relaxation during your spring break vacation. We offer both Hilton Head homes with private pools as well as spacious properties with room for the whole family. We recommend a stunning vacation home like Lido which boasts six bedrooms, a private pool, and a beachfront location.  

Once you decide to explore outside of your vacation home, hop on a bicycle to pedal around on the more than 60 miles of bike paths the island offers. Other family-friendly Hilton Head activities we recommend include dolphin-watching excursions, water sports like SUP boarding, kayaking, jet skis, parasailing, and more. Hilton Head is also a renowned destination for golfers, so we recommend booking a tee time for your family or opting for mini golf to include the younger kids in your group. Start planning a Hilton Head spring break to experience the magic of Hilton Head!  

Lido by AvantStay


And finally, Hawaii is a spring break destination unlike any other. We feature vacation homes on both Maui and Oahu offering two different experiences on the Hawaiian archipelago. Hawaii is known for having pleasant warm weather year-round, and springtime is no different. Enjoy temperatures that range in the low to high 70s and plenty of activities for younger kids.

Cross Hawaii off of your bucket list by planning a spring break vacation for the entire family!


Oahu is the most populated island of Hawaii and is a paradise for family fun and adventure. During your stay in one of our oceanfront rentals, head out to explore the white sand beaches, snorkel, or explore a family-friendly attraction like Kualoa Ranch where you can take horseback, ATV, or zipline tour! Or if you are looking for an active way to find gorgeous views, select one of Oahu’s hiking trails in a state park to follow and enjoy the journey!

Oahu is also home to other kid-friendly activities including the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Honolulu Zoo, and treating yourself to delicious shaved ice. To experience all this and more, book an Oahu vacation rental for your next spring break!

AvantStay in Oahu


Maui is a quieter island than Oahu but offers no less excitement when it comes to stunning beaches and fun things to do! Maui’s most iconic beaches include Ka’anapali Beach, Wailea Beach, Napili Beach, and Honokalani Beach with its picturesque black sands. Maui’s peak whale-watching season falls between January and May which means that your spring break trip may overlap with an opportunity to see the blue whales.

For a road trip of adventure, drive the Road to Hana which offers breathtaking views, winding single-lane turns, and a handful of waterfalls. And if you want to trade your flip-flops for hiking boots, we recommend adventuring in the Iao Valley! Find your home-away-from-home in one of our Maui vacation rentals!

Hono Hideaway by AvantStay

Choose Your Own Spring Break Vacation Destination 

Don’t see your dream spring break destination on this list? We also offer properties in other destinations that are perfect for a family vacation such as Lake Tahoe, the Emerald Coast, Colorado, and Cabo San Lucas. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in selecting a vacation rental, offering travel tips, and ensuring your spring break is one to remember!

AvantStay’s 2022 Year in Review

We know you’re a trendsetter but figured you’d like to see your year in travel anyway. Below we’ve gathered facts you’ll love about our guests, where you traveled with us and some of our fave moments from you in your vacation era. 

Total Number of Guests 

You have a lot of friends. 300,000 of you stayed with us!

Dakota House in Joshua Tree

Top 5 Booked Destinations

We would never pick favorites, but if we did, your top 5 destinations would be: Isle of Palms, Nashville, Telluride, Big Bear Lake, and Palm Springs.

Palmetto in Isle of Palms, Charleston

Favorite Day of the Week to Book

Your fave day to book was Wednesday. Did you wear pink?

The Marley Hotel in Palm Springs

Most Booked Day 

We had the most bookings on August 10. Leo season must have had you feeling confident in your decision-making skills – how on-brand!

Roca Roja in Sedona

Busiest Vacation Days of the Year

You certainly knew how to holiday. Our most booked days this year were for Thanksgiving day and the day after (so you could decompress from all that feasting).

Colina in Temecula

Longest Stay

Some of you really made yourself at home. Our longest stay was 201 days in Key West.

Source: Key West

Favorite Homes

You fell in love with just about every home, but particularly the ones in Joshua Tree. Our top rated homes this year was Jackrabbit Ridge.

Jackrabbit Ridge in Joshua Tree

Most Unique Concierge Service Requested

While all of our concierge requests are unique, one really stood out. 

For this San Diego bachelorette weekend, we crafted a total surprise for the bride with tons of fun like: custom robes for their at-home spa day, champagne welcome towers, a boozy brunch, private chef dinners, two nights of VIP Table Service at San Diego’s most popular clubs, a beach bonfire, custom cookies, custom pool floaties, and three full days of a private driver and party bus around San Diego.

Vista in San Diego

Best Event at Our Homes

ICYMI, our homes are perfect for events. With tons of sprawling properties with luxury amenities like pools, private lakes, outdoor kitchens and more, our events team is here to help you plan your dream celebration.

Not to fan-girl, but we kinda did during the Camp Poosh event at Buena Vista in Coachella Valley. From archery to Ephemeral Tattoo, a camp store, friendship bracelet making, and a star-studded guest list, this event really had it going on.

Buena Vista in Coachella Valley

Best Use of Employee Travel Credits

We take just as much pride in our homes as we do our stellar roster of employees. As a small token of our appreciation, our employees get  travel credits to stay at our properties so they can get an IRL experience of the brand they rep.

One of our employees really stood out using her travel credits this year. Our Social Media Coordinator, Taylor,  used her credit to give her parents an anniversary trip to 121 Hotel in Nashville. Happy anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Vance!

Visiting Arrington Vineyards in Nashville

Most Liked Instagram Post

You loved following us on IG, but the fan fav was this reel from our home Moana in Temecula. See for yourself by clicking the picture below.

Moana in Temecula

Most Liked TikTok Post

We’re proud of you for making the transition to TikTok. Here, our best video was this one where we used our astro-knowledge to decide where you should travel based on your star sign. Click the picture below to check it out.

Hacienda at Coachella in Coachella Valley

Most Unique Home Amenity 

Amenities are kind of our thing. True to 2022, our most unique amenity of the year has to go to the pickleball court at Date Palm Estate in Coachella Valley. We obviously like to stay on-trend so we had to add one to this stunner of a stay.

Date Palm Estate in Coachella Valley

Most Requested AvantStay Swag 

So you hopped up out of bed, turned your swag on, and landed on a favorite swag item of ours. Our most requested swag item was this OOO hat, which in a totally unbiased opinion, we think makes for the best way to let your boss know you’re taking time off. 

OOO Hat from the AvantStay Store

And that’s a wrap, 2022! Thanks for all your stays and shared experiences – we can’t wait to see you next year!

35+ Best Things To Do in the Berkshires Year-Round

Located in western Massachusetts, the Berkshire Mountain range is part of the Appalachian Mountain system. While cities like Boston and vacation destinations like Cape Cod receive much attention, don’t overlook the Berkshires for your next getaway.

From daring outdoor adventures to awe-inspiring museums, the small towns within the Berkshires make for an idyllic place to escape, even for a day trip thanks to its close proximity (less than three hours!) to both Boston and New York City. 

So take a peek at the 35+ exciting, educational and physical activities we’ve gathered for you in the Berkshires. Whether you’re a local looking for something new or a visitor hoping to explore, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for… And then some! 

Hike Mount Greylock

mount grey lock in the daytime

Hikers won’t get bored in western Massachusetts, especially when sleeping amongst the slopes

The first on our list is Mount Greylock, the highest point in the entire state. This nearly 3,500-foot summit is located in the Mount Greylock State Reservation, where you can see almost 100 miles and five states. 

Several hikes will take you to the top. Some are harder but quicker, while others are easier but longer. You get the gist. In the summer, you can even drive to the summit.

Enjoy live music at Tanglewood

The name Tanglewood might sound familiar if you’ve ever browsed a summer concert tour schedule. This outdoor amphitheater in Lenox is a popular stop for acts of all kinds.

Tanglewood isn’t just for rock concerts, though. It’s the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and often features classical performances. Lawn tickets for these events tend to be reasonable. Pack a blanket and picnic and enjoy the warm mountain air.

Tanglewood also has an outdoor center and year-round events besides what’s happening on the main stage. Check them out for tons of opportunities for cultural enrichment.

Walk, run, or bike the Ashuwillticook Branch Rail Trail

One way many New England towns are choosing to utilize unused rail tracks is by converting them into pedestrian trails. The Ashuwillticook Branch Rail Trail in Cheshire, Lanesborough, and Adams is one of them. 

At ten feet wide and more than 12 miles long, there’s room for all activities. The trail offers spectacular views of the Hoosic River, the Cheshire Reservoir, and the flora and fauna of the area. There are parking lots and restrooms (parents rejoice!) at a few designated stops. 

Explore Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge State Park features North America’s only natural white marble stone arch. It was formed by a massive glacier more than 13,000 years ago. The enormous natural bridge stretches over a 60-foot gorge. It’s a must-see for geologists and rock enthusiasts alike. 

Take a guided tour or explore on your own with a myriad of walking and hiking trails. 

Best places to see fall foliage

Depending on the time of year you visit, the Berkshires gives us breathtaking displays of fall foliage.

One of the best places to see it is the October Mountain State Forest in Lee. The largest protected forest in Massachusetts, it has numerous hiking and walking trails. It’s also dog-friendly if you plan to travel with your pup.

We already mentioned Mount Greylock, but keep reading to learn about Monument Mountain, Onata Lake, and other tremendous places with gorgeous views of autumn leaves.

Pick apples at Hilltop Orchard

Of the many seasonal outdoor activities in the region, we might love apple picking the most. Hilltop Orchards in Richmond is a terrific place to do it. 

Not only do they have apple picking in the fall, but there are several other year-round activities that include sampling some of the region’s most delicious apple products, including apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, and apple pies. Also available? A winery and cidery on-site. Head onto their hiking trails for gorgeous Berkshire views when you’re done.  

Ski Jiminy Peak

Jiminy Peak is one of the best places to ski or snowboard in the northeast, but this ski resort is also much more. They maintain numerous ski trails for both beginners to black diamond skiers.  They even make their own snow to extend the season as long as possible and offer night skiing.

Outside of winter, hiking trails, an aerial adventure course, and mountain biking await. The lodge is open year-round and is always a bright yet cozy place to hang out.

Learn about local ecology at the Berkshire Botanical Garden

The Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge is old and enormous. Started in 1934, it covers 15 acres. You can visit year-round, where they grow plants in greenhouses, indoor gardens, and outdoor fields.

There’s a special children’s discovery garden that welcomes little hands, an herb garden, and more. In the summer, tours depart daily at 11 a.m. 

Stroll the Housatonic River Walk

Located in Great Barrington, the Housatonic River Walk is more than a gorgeous trail with stunning views. There are other things to see along the route, historic places included. 

In addition, the city intends the park to be part of a native plant and tree restoration. Experts monitor growth in the park and help remediate the land. Check their website for periodic public events, including opportunities to help with ecological efforts.

Get your thrills at Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

If you have kids with a lot of energy to burn, take them to Catamount Aerial Adventure Park. This impressive climbing complex has multiple outdoor courses built into the trees. They have a zipline on several courses, and they’re graded according to the difficulty level.

Grab your skis or snowboards in the winter because Catamount is another fantastic Massachusetts ski resort. 

See Bash Bish Falls

It might have a silly name, but Bash Bish Falls is quite breathtaking. The Bash Bish Falls State Park is located very close to the New York border in Mt. Washington.

Once inside the park, follow one of several trails to its centerpiece: the dual waterfall. You’ll find it has a calming yet inspiring energy as it flows into the emerald-blue pool. If you’re hoping to spend more time, Taconic Park on the New York side has camping and other amenities. 

Enjoy Onata Lake (or one of many others)

Run by the city of Pittsfield, Onata Lake has a long shoreline packed with things to do. Try kayaking, canoeing, or other watersports at one of the rental shacks along the shores.

You can also relax at one of the many waterfronts; the lake is excellent for fishing.

Hike up Monument Mountain for stunning views

Mount Greylock might be the highest point in the state, but the summit of Monument Mountain is no less breathtaking. Known as Squaw Point, gaze out upon the Housatonic River Valley and southern Berkshires from this spot in Great Barrington.

Several hiking trails will take you to the summit, with varying degrees of difficulty. It’s a rather steep 720-foot ascent so make sure your body can handle it.

Explore Pittsfield State Forest

Pittsfield State Forest is another protected outdoor area that you can take the family to or head out solo for peace and quiet. There are several walking trails, and you can also hike, bike, or even ride your horse. There are even campsites if you’re looking for somewhere to stay.

In the winter, rent snowshoes to explore many of the trails, which remain clear and well-marked. It’s a terrific opportunity to see wildlife and enjoy views of the snow-capped mountains.

Learn about animals of the Berkshires at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

The Massachusetts Audubon Society runs the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox. They have more than 1,000 acres of protected wetlands, marches, and forests where you’ll see unique Massachusetts wildlife. 

There are seven miles of hiking trails with views of Pike’s Pond and the Housatonic River. Enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surrounding area once you reach the summit of Lenox Mountain. 

Don’t forget about the animals! Your family can see tons of wildlife on your own or on a guided tour. They also rent canoes and have programs for kids and adults.

Sample local beers

The brewery game is strong in western Massachusetts! There are several small, independently-owned craft breweries in the Berkshires where you can quench your thirst. Many breweries also double as restaurants and have play areas for kids.

These are some of the region’s most popular breweries:

Sip local cider and wine

In addition to breweries, the Berkshires are also home to some incredible wineries and cideries. Hilltop Orchards, discussed above, makes delicious hard cider from the apples they grow on-site. It’s also home to the Furnace Brook Winery.

Check out these other destinations:

While we’re on the subject of local libations, recreational cannabis is legal in Massachusetts. For those who partake in the high life, the Berkshires is home to several dispensaries where visitors 21 and over can enjoy cannabis. 

Experience history at the Red Lion Inn

Located in the heart of downtown Stockbridge, the Red Lion Inn is one of the Berkshires’ most historic places to stay. It has operated since before the 1800s. 

Presidents and other historical figures have graced its halls and stayed in its rooms. It was a crucial Revolutionary War meeting place and has seen debates about virtually every major event in American history. Some people even believe it to be haunted! 

Not to mention, you don’t have to be a guest to check it out. Enjoy access to a lounge, bars, and a restaurant on site. Staff is usually enthusiastic about bringing visitors up to speed on its history.

Renew your body and mind at the Kripalu Center

If you enjoy yoga classes or meditation for the relaxing, calming effect it has on your body and mind, spend some time at the Kripalu Center. They hold day or weekend-long retreats, as well as frequent workshops on topics related to wellness and holistic healing.

View modern art at Mass MoCA

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, also known as  Mass MoCA, is one of many places to view fine art in the Berkshires. It has masterful works of art, including large-scale installations like EJ Hill’s Brake Run Helix or Amy Hauft’s exploration of our relationship to the landscape in 700,000:1 Terra + Luna + Sol.

The entire family will enjoy a visit to Mass MoCA. For adults, there’s a brewery on site and many public presentations and educational seminars. Kids can visit Kidspace and the Artbar for hands-on creative time. Docents give guided tours throughout the day.

Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum

You’ve likely seen his art even if you haven’t heard of Normal Rockwell. The Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge is exceedingly well-done. There are over 900 original paintings created by the artist at this museum alone!

Learn about his work at the Saturday Evening Post and tour his studio at his last home, converted to this museum after his death. 

See the Clark Art Institute

The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of the Berkshires. Its curators work diligently to represent significant art movements in Europe and the US so local residents can experience them close to home.

See masterpieces from the Renaissance, French impressionism, and the 20th century. The Clark also puts together clever, creative, and unique exhibits that rotate throughout the year. 

The grounds are almost as beautiful as the art. The marble museum looks stunning against its natural backdrop, whether cloaked in snow, bursting with greenery, or painted in autumn colors.

Learn about Shakers at the Hancock Shaker Village

The Shakers were an important religious sect and community in the northeast United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn more about them at the Hancock Shaver Village in Pittsfield.

This particular Shaker community dates to 1783. Many of their original structures remain, while others have been meticulously recreated so that you’re able to understand  how this unique group lived and how their religious and social values played out in their day-to-day lives. 

Schedule a guided tour or explore on your own.

Discover the Berkshires in-depth at the Berkshire Museum

Learn about the Berkshires and its people at this Pittsfield History Museum. It aims to do more than just display history. Instead, its many rotating and permanent exhibits show how art, history, science, nature, and other forces that intricately connect and impact our lives.

This mission lends itself to hands-on activities and exhibits. There’s plenty for kids (and adults) to touch, experiment with, and learn from. Be sure to check out special events before you go.

Get some art, history, and outdoors at the Chesterwood Museum

The Chesterwood Museum in Stockbridge (open May-October) is the former home of sculptor David Chester French, whose most famous work is undoubtedly the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

At this artist’s retreat, he designed and worked on many of his pieces. There are dozens of bronze and marble sculptures on display at Chesterwood. You can tour the home and learn about French’s work and the world in which he created it. The grounds are also open to visitors.

Visit Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount

Although her most famous book is The Age of Innocence (1921), Edith Wharton was a prolific author. She was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in literature and is representative of the art movements and culture of the Gilded Age.

The Mount wasn’t just Wharton’s home; she also considered it one of her most significant accomplishments. She designed the entire home and lovingly selected the furnishings. Today, take a tour and learn about Wharton’s life, work, and world.

See where Melville wrote Moby Dick

You might imagine Herman Melville writing his most famous novel in a cold, coastal New England town, but he was actually at Arrowhead in Pittsfield, where he decided to gaze at mountains rather than waves.

Members of the Berkshire Historical Society have restored the home to what it would have looked like when Melville worked on his magnum opus. Take a guided tour of the house or explore the grounds on the nature trail.

Experience luxury at Ventfort Hall, the Museum of the Gilded Age

Several homes and historic sites in the Berkshires connect to the Gilded Age, but this historic landmark is wholly dedicated to it. Ventfort Hall is an awe-inspiring mansion built in 1893. It has 15 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and several opulent spaces for entertaining visitors.

Museum officials have restored many of the rooms to their original glory with period-appropriate decor. Schedule a tour year-round.

Get more Gilded Age at Naumkeag

Even if you have no interest in the Gilded Age, Naumkeag is worth a visit. This home is remarkably well-preserved and looks nearly as it did when workers and designers completed it in the 1880s. 

Back then, the Choate family used it as a summer “cottage” even though it has more than 40 rooms. You can only see the home by guided tour from April to October, so be sure to schedule ahead.

Equally as impressive are the grounds. Luckily, you’re able to explore these on your own during the warmer months of the year.

See a Shakespeare play at Shakespeare and Company

See a show at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox if you love classical theater. They have a full range of performances in their season, including Shakespeare (obvs) and other types of plays like stand up comedy shows and holiday musicals. 

If you’re local, check out their educational programs. They have classes for actors of all ages. 

Catch the Williamstown Theater Festival

If you love the performing arts, there’s a great deal to love about the Berkshires. The Williamstown Theater Festival lasts all summer long at Williams College in Williamstown. 

This spectacular residency program features classes and performances by top names in the industry. It also has some major donors and sponsors. Best of all, you’re supporting young artists by seeing a show.

See a dance performance at Jacob’s Pillow

Jacob’s Pillow is one of the most unique dance centers in the world. In addition to being a National Historic Landmark, Jacob’s Pillow offers sign-up and drop-in classes. They teach all skill levels in many types of dance.

Check out their annual dance festival that brings thousands of people to the Berkshires every year, including some of the most innovative dancers, choreographers, and other artists, or attend a lecture or public event (most of which happen year round!). 

Browse books at The Bookloft

Book lovers rejoice! The Bookloft in Great Barrington is one of the coolest independent bookstores in the northeast United States. 

Designed to be a comfortable, welcoming place for visitors, even non-readers will enjoy this shop where you can browse everything from the classics to local authors. The Bookloft also does a lot to support local authors and artisans in the community. 

Check out other great shops

The Berkshire region is a mecca for anyone who loves to check out small, independent shops. Several towns have vibrant downtown areas, including Stockbridge and Great Barrington. Once there, spend hours browsing everything from blown glass to pet accessories to clothing.

Satisfy your appetite

With so many wonderful things to do in the Berkshires, you’re sure to work up an appetite. Luckily, the region offers many delicious options. 

Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Housatonic or Pittsfield

One of our favorite places in the Berkshires is this old-fashioned bakery in Housatonic. Everything is lovingly handmade using old recipes. The Pittsfield Berkshire Mountain Bakery also does pizza.

John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, South Egremont

Enjoy a meal in the picturesque gardens of this 18th-century farmhouse. John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant truly brings the farm to the table with al fresco dining on the beautiful, pastoral grounds. 

If you love the farm-to-table experience, consider staying in an old farmhouse.

Six Depot Roastery and Cafe, West Stockbridge

If you love coffee—really love coffee—then this West Stockbridge coffee shop is the place for you. Six Depot Roastery and Cafe takes their coffee very seriously. From the ground size to how you prepare it, coffee snobs will love this spot.

Moreover, all of their beans are sourced ethically and sustainably. Grab a bite to eat and one of the best cups of coffee you’ll ever taste. 

The Prairie Whale, Great Barrington

At The Prairie Whale, enjoy delicious, locally-sourced meals that  always showcase what’s fresh and seasonal in the region. It’s a fun place to hang out with ample outdoor space and patio games. 

Enjoy your time in the Berkshires

Clearly, there are so many things to do in the Berkshires. Whether you and your travel companions like history, consider yourselves foodies, or want to experience the outdoor beauty of the Berkshires, there are tons to do for all ages.

Browse the listings and activities above, and start planning your getaway to the Berkshires now. Remember, it all starts with the perfect accommodations.

The Best Things to Do in Sonoma County

If you’re planning a trip to Sonoma County, California, explore this guide for inspiration as you build your list of things not to miss for your next vacation.

Sonoma is a historic city located in Northern California about 45 minutes from San Francisco and known for amazing vineyards, wineries, and sustainable farming. Whether you’re planning a quick day trip or staying for a week, there’s plenty to explore along the Sonoma Coast and historic Sonoma with shopping, wine tasting, bike tours, and other outdoor activities. 

Check out our list of the best things to do in Sonoma for your next vacation.

1. Relax & Refresh

Somehow time slows down in Sonoma. The down-to-earth nature and rustic vibes fill the area, creating the perfect setting to unwind and relax. Settle into your Sonoma vacation rental, pour a glass of pinot noir or chardonnay to enjoy a delicious farm-to-table lunch, and admire the beauty of the redwood trees.

Gable by AvantStay

2. Explore Sonoma Valley Wine Country

Sonoma Valley wine country offers world-class wine, making it one of the most popular attractions in northern California. This destination is home to 60,000 acres of vineyards in over 18 wine regions, offering different flavors that will appeal to everyone. 

The Sonoma County Terroir includes eighteen American Viticultural Areas which represent the diversity of this famous region and offer a larger variety of grapes than other notable wine destinations.

Traveling with a group? Booking a wine-tasting tour is one of the most fun things to do for a group of friends, family, or even a couple. Buena Vista Winery is one of the best in Sonoma. Be sure to book in advance for your group to secure a spot. 

Enjoy discussing your favorites in the tasting rooms post-wine tour to decide on which wines you’ll choose to bring home to your cellar.

It is easy to create your entire getaway around the theme of wine, if that’s your passion. There are plenty of guided tours and walking tours, and with Napa Valley nearby it is easy to explore both wine making regions over the same weekend.

Explore Group Vacation Rentals Near Sonoma Wine Country

Chardonnay in Sonoma, CA 

Belleza in Glen Ellen, CA

Cabernet in Sonoma, CA

Source: Sonoma Magazine

3. Visit Bodega Bay for the Day

Bodega Bay is famously known as the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and this Sonoma County destination also offers a perfect day trip for whale or bird watching. 

Start your day with a beautiful hike at Kortum Trail. This trail is easy for beginners who want to take in a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. From March to April, you may even see a whale! For a delicious bite to eat, check out Fishetarian Market for fresh raw oysters or fish and chips.  Enjoy an afternoon treat with a stop by Patrick’s Salt Water Taffy to satisfy your sweet tooth. Before heading back to your Sonoma vacation home, boost your energy with a coffee or chai latte from Captain Davey’s Ice Cream and Espresso.

Source: Sonoma County

4. Kayak The Russian River in Guerneville

Not only is the Russian River great for swimming, paddling, and kayaking, it is the perfect spot to simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the waterway. There’s plenty to explore after a day on the water. Whether you stroll through charming Guerneville for local boutiques, cafes, galleries, and farm-to-table bites to eat, or you head out to explore Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve—you can’t go wrong. 

Source: Smarter Travel

5. Visit Sonoma Breweries & Distilleries

Sonoma County is known for wineries, but did you know there are also plenty of excellent breweries and distilleries to enjoy? Explore the Sonoma beer trail to experience the best beverages in Sonoma County from Petaluma to Healdsburg. You’re sure to find some of the best craft beers on tap in Northern California.

Source: Sonoma County

6. Wildflowers in Sonoma Valley Regional Park

If you’re a fan of wildflowers, February through May is the perfect time to explore spring blooms in Sonoma County. You’ll find hiking trails named after flowers at Sonoma Valley Regional Park. Take an early hike through these stunning trails and prepare a picnic lunch from the local farmers market with local pinot noir or chardonnay from a Sonoma winery. You’ll be sure to find a variety of beautiful flowers to gaze at while you relax in nature. 

Source: Press Democrat

Experience the Best of Sonoma Valley  

Ready to experience all of the beauty, fun, and charm of Sonoma Valley has to offer? Sonoma is an excellent destination to visit with something fun to experience in every season. Use this guide to plan your next getaway and book your Sonoma vacation rental to enjoy all this lovely area has to offer.

If you’re looking for other recommendations in the area, be sure to check out our other resources:

Sonoma Country Wineries

Sonoma Vacation Rentals

Belleza by AvantStay

How To Start an Airbnb: The Ultimate Guide [How To Maximize Your Revenue in 2023]

Starting an Airbnb business can be a lucrative venture. According to Airbnb, the average income for US hosts recently rose to $13,800, an 85% increase from 2019. Not a bad chunk of change for an additional income stream. However, the money won’t be flooding in the moment you begin your new hosting gig; there are a lot of moving parts when managing a vacation rental, and the hosts that go above and beyond are the ones that outperform the rest. If you’re ready to take on the role of a vacation rental host, this guide will teach you how to start an Airbnb business and maximize your revenue. 

Getting started — Airbnb business basics

Before starting your Airbnb business, there are a few crucial boxes to check, from complying with local short-term rental laws to budgeting for taxes and Airbnb fees. 

Short-term rental permits 

Before you attempt to start an Airbnb business, make sure your local government allows short-term rentals. Every state, county, and city has its own short-term rental laws. These often change, so make sure you’re fully up-to-date and understand the current rules and regulations in place for your market. 

You’ll likely need a general business license or short-term rental permit. These ensure your vacation rental is compliant with zoning restrictions and meet the local health and safety requirements. You’ll also need to get permission from your landlord or homeowners association to rent your home on a short-term basis. 

Short-term rental taxes

The IRS will recognize your Airbnb venture as a legitimate business, so you’ll need to keep track of your income and expenses for your federal tax return. You’ll likely be able to deduct expenses from running your Airbnb business, including utilities, property repairs, cleaning services, and more. 

In most locations, Airbnb automatically collects and pays occupancy taxes on behalf of hosts. This isn’t the case in all jurisdictions, so check to see if your listing is eligible

Also, consider working with a tax professional to make sure you’re always in good standing with the IRS. 

Airbnb fees

While it’s free to list vacation rentals on Airbnb, most hosts pay a fee of 14-16% for each booking’s subtotal. This percentage can be higher depending on location, your cancellation policy, and if you’re an Airbnb Plus host. Keep the hosting fee in mind when setting your price. 

How to start an Airbnb — next steps 

Assuming you already have a home to rent on Airbnb, whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property, the following steps will help you kickstart your Airbnb business. 

Prepare and furnish your space

A well-stocked thoughtfully designed and furnished Airbnb not only creates a positive guest experience but leads to better reviews and increased bookings. Make sure you tackle the following before welcoming your first guests: 

Assemble a network of local support teams

From housekeeping to landscaping and maintenance, create a solid team of local contractors that you can trust to keep your Airbnb property in pristine condition. Build a strong relationship with these folks as they’ll be your right hand running a successful Airbnb business. Some team members to consider: 

  • Housekeepers
  • Repairman
  • Plumber
  • Electrician 
  • Landscapers
  • Accountant 
  • Property Manager

Strategically price your Airbnb 

Pricing your Airbnb property for market and seasonal trends is one of the trickiest parts of running a vacation rental. If traveler demand is high in your market, you could lose money by pricing your home too low. On the other hand, if your home is priced too high, you could lose potential bookings. Research your local market so you can accurately and competitively charge for bedroom count, amenities, views, proximity to local attractions, and other key features. 

Create and optimize your listing 

Your Airbnb listing is your first touchpoint with potential guests. Start with your title, description, and keywords. Your title should describe your vacation rental and leave potential guests compelled to click your listing. Then you can use your description to paint a picture of the guest experience at your home, including all the details that make your property unique.

When writing your headline and description, incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to further boost your reach. Research search terms (“keywords”) that are popular in your market and add those to your listing. Some examples include, “private beachfront home in Destin” or “dog-friendly Scottsdale vacation rental.” 

Don’t just list amenities—describe how guests can make their own memories at your home! Do you have a private hot tub perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring? Or a patio with an ocean view paired well with morning coffee or evening cocktails? Use these in your Airbnb listing to encourage travelers to hit “Reserve.” 

In addition, splurge on a professional photographer to take high-resolution photos of your vacation rental that accurately reflect the space, amenities, views, and what guests can expect when they walk into your Airbnb. Photos help guests imagine themselves in your space and create their own stories. 

How to become a Superhost on Airbnb 

Airbnb hosts that go above and beyond to create an exceptional guest experience are given a Superhost badge and additional promotions to reach more guests. 

Every three months, Airbnb checks if you’ve met their requirements for the past year so you can earn or keep your Superhost status (no application needed!). To qualify for an Airbnb Superhost badge, you must:

  • Host at least 10 trips, or have 3 reservations that total at least 100 nights
  • Maintain a 90% response rate or higher
  • Maintain a 1% cancellation rate (1 cancellation per 100 reservations) or lower
  • Maintain a 4.8 overall rating

Partner with an expert vacation rental manager 

Running a successful Airbnb business can be expensive, tedious, and time-consuming. So, why not partner with an expert who can do all the work for you? 

AvantStay has been a top-rated Superhost for 22 consecutive quarters, so we know what it takes to take your home to the next level and maximize your revenue. We offer the first hands-off approach for vacation rental owners, using our proprietary tech suite to power bookings, operationalize in-field management, and activate an elevated guest experience. 

In addition, guests can use our app to request upgrades and experiences like mid-stay cleans, fridge stocking, arrange private chef-catered dinners, wine tastings, in-home spa treatments, transportation, and more. A pristine home paired with our personalized guest services drives higher satisfaction, more five-star reviews, and repeat visitors. 

If you’re interested in learning more about AvantStay’s best-in-class care and how we can maximize your revenue, our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

How To Set Vacation Rental House Rules

Regular maintenance and upkeep are essential to vacation rental home care, but making sure that guests respect your home is an important part of running a successful vacation rental. Limit any chances for confusion or misunderstanding by providing straightforward, concise vacation rental house rules. This will influence how guests treat and leave your property so you’ll never have to worry about its condition. A cared-for home will generate positive reviews, increase bookings, and make you more revenue. Keep reading to find out what you should include in your house rules. 

Why it’s important to set vacation rental house rules

Vacation rental house rules are essential to protecting your home—and your guests! Set clear expectations before guest arrival so you’ll never have to worry about crazy parties disturbing your neighbors, pet accidents, or any damage to your property. Include these rules on your listing page so potential guests can decide if your home is a good fit for their vacation, while also limiting the time you’ll spend answering questions. Setting vacation rental house rules puts you in charge and holds everyone accountable. 

Things to consider

Even with house rules in place, there’s still a chance that guests may break them. Make sure you define the consequences of breaking any rules, whether it’s a fine, eviction, or both. Include a note with your rules and in the rental agreement. Here are some other things to consider when establishing your vacation rental house rules: 

  • Be straight to the point. “Please refrain from bringing your pets,” is more likely to be broken than “no pets allowed.” 
  • Make your house rules easily accessible. Include them on your listing page, in your welcome book, and any pre-check-in communications.
  • Remember that this is your guests’ vacation. It may be tempting to write rules for every little detail in your home, but don’t overwhelm or limit your guests. Set boundaries that still allow your guests to enjoy themselves and your home. 

Examples of vacation rental house rules

Every vacation rental property is unique, so create rules that are specific to your home’s location, layout, and amenities. From pets and parties to smoking and quiet hours, be sure to clearly lay out what guests can and can’t do. Here are some examples of common vacation rental house rules. 

Typical AvantStay house rules

Club 25

In order to book this property you must be over 25 years old.

Humans Only

Sadly pets are not permitted at this property. Unauthorized pets may be subject to a fine.

Thank You For Not Smoking

This is a smoke-free home. Violation of the no-smoking policy will result in forfeiture of the full security deposit and damages liability up to $2,500.

Respect Community Rules

Please be considerate of your neighbors and mindful of noise levels. Noise violations may result in fines. Please also note we do not provide speakers or sound systems.

Other common rules 

There are several areas of concern that apply to most vacation rental homes, so be sure to include rules for the following: 

  • Check-out time
  • Maximum occupancy
  • Parties and events
  • Off-limit rooms or areas
  • Electronics and appliances
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Decks and balconies 
  • Parking/garage use 
  • Trash and recycling

Superior home protection with AvantStay 

If you’d rather ditch the stress of keeping your home secure, partner with an experienced vacation rental manager who can keep your home in pristine condition via best-in-class technology and a local team on the ground 24/7. 

Every AvantStay home is equipped with cutting-edge smart (IoT) technology that remotely monitors everything from entry surveillance to noise to occupancy, all to ensure your home stays safe and protected. 

In addition to our smart home technology, we have procedures in place during all stages of the guest journey to prevent issues. This includes:

  • Tech-enabled identity verification in the booking flow
  • Fraud detection and prevention technology through our credit card processor
  • An in-house Trust & Safety team that monitors reservations for suspicious activity
  • Dynamic entry codes via smart locks
  • Noise detection technology with operational processes triggered upon alerts
  • Entryway monitoring through Ring cameras
  • Our local team is available for dispatch to your home 24/7

Interested in learning more about AvantStay’s management services? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

18 Best Restaurants in Coachella Valley

Located in California’s northern Riverside county, Coachella Valley has some of the best eating establishments in California. With growing popularity due to music festivals, film festivals, and sporting events, resort cities like Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, and Palm Springs are home to some of the best food California has to offer.  

Our list of the best restaurants in Coachella Valley will help you find dishes certain to please any palate. From sleepy patio breakfasts to happy hour appetizers and elegant entrees prepared by executive chefs, read on to see what culinary delights await.


Located in Indio, California, this popular American-style eatery serves comfort food in hearty portions. Their specialties include traditional french toast, honey-dipped fried chicken, and the popular ribeye dinner with made-to-order onion rings. Breakfast is served at 7 a.m., with an early dinner finishing the day by 8 p.m.; takeout is available for those who want to dine on the go.

Sloan’s in Coachella Valley

The Vintage Coffee House 

This quaint, locally owned coffee shop can be found on Jefferson Street in Indio, not far from the golf courses and polo club. Delicious handcrafted coffee and tea drinks decorate the menu with an enticing array of pastries, snacks, and sandwiches. Consistently high ratings and reviews give this spot a definite thumbs up. Open 6 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily. 

Taco Shop 760 

No list of the best restaurants in Coachella Valley would be complete without this locally owned and operated gem that uses fresh ingredients from the surrounding area. Open from 8 a.m.- 9 p.m., you’re able to enjoy authentic Mexican food and drinks from sunup to sundown. Can you say, “tacos for breakfast?!”. The original location is off of Highway 111 in Indio, however, due to its popularity, two more locations are available to enjoy –  46490 Calhoun St in Indio (yes, this one is inside a convenience store/butcher shop) and 48975 Grapefruit Blvd in Coachella. 

The Cantina 

Located at the stunning El Dorado Polo Club in Indio, this restaurant offers American and Mexican dishes enjoyed on an outdoor patio that delivers one of the most exquisite and unique dining experiences in the Coachella Valley. 

Whether watching the polo action or enjoying the breathtaking mountain view from the field-side outdoor seating and bar, the menu offers a variety of drool-worthy, sharable small plates, salads, sandwiches, and specialty cocktails. Make sure to check when it’s open as operating hours depend on the season. 

Food Dept 

While not technically a restaurant, we had to include this idea. The Food Dept is the place to go for a customized, one-of-a-kind dining experience while staying in the Coachella Valley. Chef Stephen Lee, known for his appearance on FOX’s MasterChef, Season 6, crafts a menu to suit any occasion, from a simple picnic, a weekend brunch, or an evening of formality. 

Based in Palm Springs, Food Dept will travel to your residence or location for an incredible, curated experience that will leave you wanting more. 

Chez Pierre Bistro 

Located in Palm Desert, Chez Pierre Bistro offers authentic French fine dining in the desert. With an eclectic menu and extensive wine list, the reviews and ratings all point towards a 5-star memory.  

We recommend reservations, as the wait time can be lengthy due to the popularity of this restaurant by locals and travelers alike. Open from 5- 9:30 p.m. daily.

Il Giardino 

The greater Palm Springs area, home to Leonardo DiCaprio, offers exhilarating vibes and an enticingly beautiful landscape that provides an unforgettable backdrop to some of the best restaurants in Coachella Valley. 

Il Giardino’s authentic, homemade offerings are prepared by Italian chefs who pay extra attention to taste and presentation. From an afternoon snack to a full dinner complete with wine and dessert, Il Giardino’s dining room is open from 5-9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and closed on Sundays. 

Eddie V’s 

Touted as an excellent seafood restaurant in Palm Desert, Eddie V’s also has the reputation of being a delectable steakhouse, serving some of the most highly rated steaks in the area. Fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks are only some of the menu’s highlights. 

Mini filet mignon sandwiches are available daily during Happy Hour, and gluten-free options are listed from appetizers through full meals. Open daily at 4:00 p.m., dinner ends at 10:00 p.m., except Fridays when hours extend until 11:00 p.m. 


Don’t let the name or the rooster fool you. This lovely Palm Springs eatery brings the flavor of Southern France right to your table. Locally sourced and made fresh daily, the menu changes frequently and has offerings such as crepes, french press coffee, and Croque Madame for early-hour diners. 

Dinner is prix fixe with selections such as seared crab cakes, duck cassoulet, and a vast array of signature cocktails. Open from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. for the best breakfast and lunch, the restaurant reopens from 5:30- 9:30 p.m. for dinner.

Le Vallauris 

Housed in a downtown Palm Springs historical building, this classic French restaurant offers dining alfresco for a romantic setting both indoors and out. Chef Jean-Paul Lair prepares dishes around a whiteboard á la carte menu, a three-course prix fixe dinner, or a Gourmet prix fixe option. The menus change every Thursday. 

The wine selection is excellent, and selections will pair perfectly with any meal. Open daily from 5- 9:00 p.m., with special Sunday brunch hours from 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. 

Le Vallauris in Coachella Valley

IW Coffee 

This Indian Wells spot serves coffee made from small batches of locally roasted beans from Joshua Tree Coffee Company. Specialty coffee drinks, teas, pastries, bagels, and their ever-popular avocado toast highlight the menu with friendly service that will leave you smiling. 

Gluten-free options and sugar-free options are available, as well as cozy indoor and outdoor seating. Open daily from 6:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

IW Coffee in Coachella Valley

Workshop Kitchen & Bar 

The Palm Springs location mirrors its sister location in Los Angeles. Owned by Chef Michael Beckman, Chef de Cuisine Beren Ekine-Huett, and Sous Chef Matt Berman, they specialize in an exotic mix of dishes from small plate appetizers to a dry-aged 18 oz ribeye dinner for two. 

The bar is a true adventure in creativity, and foodies will rave about this James Beard awarding winning restaurant. Workshop Kitchen and Bar is open from 5- 10:00 p.m. daily. 

Wilma & Frieda 

Voted the best breakfast, brunch, and farm-to-table menu over multiple years is this delightful restaurant named after two grandmothers. 

The menu explores comfort food with a twist, and features items like a short rib scramble and  blackberry custard french toast. With locations in Palm Springs and Desert Springs on the Gardens on El Paseo, Wilma & Frieda is open daily from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., while its Palm Springs location has dinner hours Thursday through Saturday from 5- 9:00 p.m.  

Soul of Mexico 

Ready for the best margaritas in the Coachella Valley? Then you’ve come to the right place. Located off of Jefferson Ave in Indio, this locally owned and operated spot adds taste and authentic flair to their menu items with selections such as a trash burrito (a little bit of everything!), enchiladas, a kid’s menu for the smaller guests, and fried ice cream to finish the night.   

Locally owned and operated, the staff Remember to try their Tamarindo Margarita or a Soul-Strong Margarita. Open daily from 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. 

Soul of Mexico in Coachella Valley

Pho Vu Restaurant 

If pho is what you’re craving, then look no further. Located in La Quinta, this casual dining atmosphere offers dine-in or takeout options, including pho (noodle soup), bun (vermicelli bowls), bahn mi (sandwiches), com dia (rice plates), and other Vietnamese specialties. Known for its friendly service, this gem always hits the spot. Open daily from 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. 

Kennedy’s Store & Deli 

Follow the locals! This La Quinta spot is easy to miss in a location with bountiful places for Mexican food. However, don’t ignore this taco stand. 

There is no seating, but don’t let that deter you from grabbing an order for an impromptu picnic in the beautiful area surrounding La Quinta. Where else can you find a shrimp and octopus cocktail, a cold beer, tamales, burritos, and freshly made-to-order tacos ready in a snap?! Answer: Nowhere! 

Open from 6:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. 

Copley’s on Palm Canyon 

Featured on OpenTable’s top 100 list for outdoor dining restaurants, Chef Copley defines their menu flavors as upscale American cuisine with nuances borrowed from Europe and the Tropics. 

Situated in a lovely cottage formerly owned by Cary Grant, this stellar restaurant offers unrivaled outdoor seating perfect for any size dinner party. Because it’s only open for three hours a day (5:30- 8:30 p.m.), reservations are highly recommended. 

Copley’s on Palm Canyon 

Raspados Esmereldas 

Every list needs a dessert shop, and this one is no different. This sweet treat restaurant is located in Indio and operated by a husband and wife team. It has an incredible flavor selection of raspados made with fresh fruits and local ingredients, perfect for cooling off during those hot weather days. 

You can swing by after dining at one of the other restaurants on this list, or you can make a whole meal out of dessert! 

With a reputation for welcoming service, scrupulously clean conditions, and raspados that cannot be beaten, they are open daily from 11:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.

Final Thoughts

With endless culinary possibilities, the Coachella Valley clearly offers some of the best in California cuisine. From freshly brewed coffee companies to comfort food cafes and James Beard award winning eateries to innovative Mexican fare, we’re certain you’ll find your next favorite on our list. Your palate will thank you. 

Planning a trip and not sure where to stay? Be sure to check out our plentiful selection of Coachella Valley vacation rentals.

America’s Finest City: 32 Best Things To Do In San Diego

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Laguna Mountains on the southern California coast, San Diego is the Golden State’s second-largest city and home to postcard-perfect beaches, rich Spanish colonial history, chic eateries and breweries, and vibrant, locally inspired arts and culture scene.

It’s also frequently overshadowed by nearby Los Angeles and San Francisco, which makes it one of California’s best-kept secrets and the perfect place to visit year-round. It’s never too crowded, the weather is idyllic, the locals are welcoming, and you’ll never run out of fun things to do.

If you love fun in the sun, San Diego is an outdoor paradise with over 70 miles of palm-lined beaches like Mission and Pacific Beach, dozens of mountain parks and protected areas, desert hikes, oceanfront boardwalks, biking trails, and endless opportunities for watersports like surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding, boating, and sailing.

For culture aficionados, San Diego is California’s creative hub. Balboa Park is the city’s cultural epicenter featuring 17 museums and performing arts venues. It’s also home to two Tony Award-winning theaters as well as countless historic sites, art galleries, and gardens while also hosting dance performances, film festivals, and other cultural events year-round.

For families, San Diego is California’s Orlando, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego, Sesame Place San Diego, LEGOLAND California, and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There are also dozens of museums for all ages, including the Maritime Museum of San Diego, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the USS Midway Museum.

So, whatever brings you to “SoCal”, piques your interests, satisfies your cravings, or gets your heart racing, here are 33 top fun things for locals and visitors to do in the San Diego area to savor everything this picture-perfect city has to offer.

1. Balboa Park

Balboa Park in San Diego

No destination is more iconically San Diego than Balboa Park. Established in 1884 and sprawling across 1,200 acres of impeccably manicured grounds, gardens, and trails just northeast of downtown, this National Historic Landmark fuses nature, culture, sports, history, and the arts into something for everyone. It’s home to 17 museums, an aerial tram, sports complexes, concert stages, dog parks, playgrounds, a puppet theater, Japanese gardens, several award-winning restaurants, and of course, the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park should be your first San Diego stop if you are looking for stunning scenery, rich history, and an endless array of things to do.

2. San Diego Zoo

Set in the middle of Balboa Park on 100 acres, the San Diego Zoo is one of the largest, most visited, and most famous zoos in the world. Featuring more than 3,500 animals, 700,000 plants, 650 rare and endangered species, and dozens of “bioclimatic” exhibits like the Gorilla Tropics, Lost Forest, and Sun Bear Forest, it’s also one of the most diverse. Visitors (and locals) can explore the zoo on a three-mile guided bus tour, the aerial tramway, or stroll through the zoo’s endless maze of interconnected paths and trails. Families also shouldn’t miss the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, where kids can interact with hundreds of live animals.

3. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Spread across 1,800 acres thirty miles northeast of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience wild nature face to face and witness some of the rarest African and Asian “mega” animals roam free as if they were living in their natural habitats—all without needing a passport. Perfect for families, kids can watch a cheetah run at full speed, see endangered birds like the Andean condor, take the African Tram Safari, come face to face with lions, tigers, gorillas, giraffes, and elephants, and learn about rare wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. 

4. SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego

If you want to create the memories of a lifetime, SeaWorld San Diego is a can’t-miss destination for adults and kids alike. Located in the middle of shimmering Mission Bay on over 2,000 acres north of downtown, SeaWorld is one of the largest marine parks in the world, offering jaw-dropping live animal shows with dolphins and whales along with dozens of massive aquariums and habitat exhibits that feature some of the rarest marine mammals in the world—including Emperor penguins, sea turtles, beluga whales, and walruses. SeaWorld also offers several rides and rollercoasters on the water to double up the fun.

5. LEGOLAND California

A short drive north up Interstate 5 (or a little longer up scenic coastal Route 1) from San Diego past the beach towns of Encinitas and Del Mar is LEGOLAND California. This 128-acre theme park can literally keep your kids entertained for an entire weekend, which is why in addition to sixty different attractions, rides, and shows, it also includes its own LEGO-themed, 250-room hotel—the first in the country. The SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park next door, featuring seven slides, also ensure that when you’ve had enough LEGOS, you’ll still never run out of things to do.

6. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove and its adjacent offshore Marine Reserve and underwater park is without exaggeration one of the most scenic spots in America for watersports and beach lovers to put their toes in the sand for a day. Not far from tony La Jolla Shores, which is a local Mecca of fine dining, boutiques, and surf shops, visitors can enjoy a kayak or paddleboard rentals, charter a boat, scuba dive in the kelp forests, pack a picnic, listen to sea lions bark, or photograph the sun dropping into the Pacific Ocean. Just remember to pack your sneakers in addition to your flip-flops—parking, especially on the weekends, is a challenge. 

7. Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave

Sunny Jim's Sea Cave in San Diego

Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave is one of La Jolla Cove’s top things to do and one of the coolest places to visit in the San Diego area. Dating back to 1902 when a local German settler first dug out the cave from the underlying rock from the surface—and named by Frank Baun who wrote The Wizard of Oz—the cave offers one of the most unique and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the sunset through a wide rock window at sea level. To get there visitors need to navigate down (and back up) 145 stairs through the eerily lit cave itself which is half of the fun. 

8. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve just north of La Jolla Cove (and adjacent to the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course) is 2,000 acres of coastal state park and one of the most stunning, protected stretches of the Pacific Ocean front wilderness remaining along the Southern California coast. If you love hiking, wildlife, quiet, and feeling the sunshine on your face, the 2.3 Torrey Pines Beach Trail Loop traverses across a high plateau above a saw tooth landscape between rugged cliffs, canyons, and tide pools and is one of the best places to see the sunset over the Pacific in the San Diego area.

9. Point Loma

One of the West Coast’s first lighthouses built in 1855 and demarcating the western entrance to San Diego Bay, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is one of the most iconic symbols of San Diego’s seafaring and maritime history. When it was built on top of a cliff at what is now Cabrillo National Monument it was the tallest lighthouse in the U.S. Today, the lighthouse offers multiple oceanfront hiking trails and one of the most stunning 360-degree views of downtown San Diego and on a clear day, visitors can see all the way to Mexico. 

10. Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego’s rich place in Spanish Colonial history and the settlement of North America is one of its most underrated attractions, especially for those with a penchant for understanding how we all got where we are today. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led the first European expedition that explored what is now the West Coast of the U.S., and in September 1592, he landed at what is now San Diego Bay. Cabrillo National Monument was built in 1949 in his honor and today it’s one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in San Diego with views both east overlooking the city and west over the Pacific Ocean. 

11. Embarcadero

Embarcadero in San Diego

The Embarcadero (a.k.a. the “landing place”) is the beating heart of downtown San Diego’s bustling waterfront, home to some of the city’s most famous maritime visitor attractions and museums including the USS Midway Museum, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s also home to over 50 chic eateries and boutiques, playgrounds, splash fountains, and waterfront parks and piers making it the ideal place to spend an afternoon or evening on the water or watch the sunset over Coronado Island.

12. USS Midway Museum

Docked on Navy Pier along the Embarcadero, the USS Midway Museum is one of San Diego’s most jaw-dropping attractions and the most visible symbol of the city’s rich naval heritage. The now-retired U.S. Navy aircraft carrier was part of America’s active fleet from the end of WWII all the way until 1992, making it the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Visitors to the museum can explore deep into the bowels of the ship including the engine room, officers’ sleeping quarters, the galley, and the brig while reliving six decades of naval and world history through a guided audio tour. The 4-acre flight deck also houses more than 20 historic aircraft.

13. Seaport Village

After an afternoon exploring the USS Midway, Seaport Village just south along San Diego’s Embarcadero is the perfect next stop if you’ve built up an appetite or just want to spend a few more hours discovering the city’s world-famous downtown waterfront. This quaint village modeled after a traditional West Coast seaport features over 70 shops and chic boutiques as well as dozens of restaurants ranging from fine dining to American fare to Mexican food. If you’re looking for a waterfront stroll at any time of day or one of the city’s best views of San Diego Bay, Seaport Village is a must-visit. 

14. Maritime Museum of San Diego

Maritime Museum of San Diego

In the other direction north of the USS Midway Museum is the Embarcadero’s next best place to visit—the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Showcasing one of the world’s finest collections of historic sea vessels, this floating museum pays homage to the history of nautical architecture and maritime exploration through many of the actual ships that plied the world’s oceans over the past 300 years. The museum’s Holy Grail and not to be missed is the Star of India built in 1863 and the world’s oldest active sailing ship. If you’re a maritime or seafaring buff this is definitely bucket list stuff. 

15. Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is San Diego’s longest and most famous city beach, stretching for over a mile on Point Loma just minutes from downtown. It’s also one of the city’s most vibrant, bohemian beach towns where surfers, sunbathers, volleyball players, and weightlifters gather year-round on the boardwalk, and fishermen while away the hours on Ocean Beach Pier—the longest concrete pier on the West Coast at almost half a mile. A few blocks inland Newport Ave, Bacon St, and Abbott St bustle with local taco shops, surf boutiques, farmer’s markets, and craft beer pubs. If you want a true taste of the “SoCal” lifestyle Ocean Beach is it.

16. Waterhorse Charters

San Diego is surrounded by and historically rooted in the ocean, and there’s no better way to see and experience the city than from the water. So, if you’re looking to get out on San Diego Bay, cruise around Coronado Island, deep sea fish offshore, go snorkeling through kelp forests, scuba diving into sunken wrecks, whale watching, or simply enjoy the sunset over the Pacific Ocean on a slow, champagne cruise, Waterhorse Charters can make that happen. 

17. Compass Balloons

It’s impossible to go to San Diego without wanting to see America’s Finest City from the water. But what about getting a sweeping bird’s eye view of the San Diego skyline, its picture-perfect beaches, Balboa Park, the desert mountains, and the California coast from a few thousand feet in the air? Compass Balloons, an award-winning hot air balloon company with decades of experience can make that unforgettable trip possible. Compass offers group tours as well as private rides for anniversaries, weddings, and birthdays. All you need to do is pop the champagne and let the hot air do the rest.

18. iFly San Diego

If you’ve always wanted to skydive or feel what it’s like to defy gravity, but aren’t so keen on jumping out of a real plane from 15,000 or landing in a parachute, iFLY San Diego in Mission Valley is the perfect way to get the whole family’s adrenaline pulsing—especially on the rare day that it rains in San Diego and you need to find family-friendly activities indoors. This heart-racing virtual skydiving experience lasts for an hour in an enclosed wind tunnel and offers training programs if you’re eventually interested in doing the real thing. No prior experience is necessary.  

19. San Diego Air and Space Museum

The San Diego Air and Space Museum located in Balboa Park celebrates the evolution of aviation, space flight, and aerospace technology while paying homage to the place San Diego has played in that history including the Coronado Naval Air Station where scenes from the original “Top Gun” movie as well as the recent sequel were shot. The museum’s exhibits feature models, pictures, and video galleries of astronauts and pilots who pioneered air and space exploration and also include actual historic aircraft including a Spitfire Mk. XVI, and an A-4 Skyhawk jet. If your kids want to grow up to be “Maverick” (a.k.a. Tom Cruise) this is the place to start.

20. Fleet Science Center

Located along the famed El Prado in the center of Balboa Park and named for aviation pioneer Reuben H. Fleet who founded the U.S. Air Mail service, the Fleet Science Center is one of the crown jewels of San Diego’s museums. It pioneered the first IMAX dome theater in the world and set new standards for planetarium projection technology (and still does). Today, the Fleet remains one of the top places in San Diego for families and kids to spend a day with more than 100 interactive and hands-on exhibits ranging from outer to inside the human body. 

21. San Diego Museum Of Art

San Diego Museum of Art

Just down Balboa Park’s El Prado from the Fleet Science Museum and housed in a jaw-dropping Spanish Colonial building is the San Diego Museum of Art, one of the largest and oldest art museums in the western U.S. founded in 1926. For art aficionados visiting the San Diego area, there is no better place to immerse yourself in the works of Italian, German, and other European artists—and specifically Spanish art. The museum includes dozens of permanent collections featuring rare, one-of-a-kind pieces as well as historical memorabilia, documents, artifacts, sculptures, and paintings dating back to 5000 B.C.  

22. California Tower

The California Building and adjoining California Tower are among the most recognizable and architecturally significant landmarks in San Diego, built as the grand entrance to the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition. Today, the California Building houses the Museum of Us and the eight-story, 198’ California Tower offers some of the most stunning 360-degree views of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean coastline, and the surrounding mountain landscapes from the top. Combining elements of Baroque and Gothic architecture in its ornate façade, blue-and-gold dome, and multi-colored tiles and carvings the California Building and Tower are also breathtaking in themselves to behold. This is definitely one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in San Diego, especially in the morning and late afternoon light.  

23. Coronado Island

Built in 1969, the bridge from downtown San Diego to Coronado Island curves and arcs more than two miles over 180’ in the air, and is one of the city’s most visible architectural landmarks with views from the top stretching all the way to Tijuana. On the other side, Coronado Island itself is one of the city’s toniest spots to eat, shop, people watch, and dig your toes in the sand whether it’s for a day or a weekend. There are five postcard-perfect beaches on the island’s Pacific Coast side (one is dog friendly). Just make sure you bring your earplugs if you’re going to Coronado Beach proper. The “Top Gun” pilots taking off from the North Island Naval Air Station might blow your ear drums out.

24. Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Colorado in San Diego

The Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island is a San Diego icon and living architectural legend. Built in 1888 and infused with the memories of guests across two centuries, the now 4-star Hilton hotel is a Victorian gem and one of the last surviving grandiose hotels on the West Coast from that era (most of the others burned down). Over its more than 140 years in operation, “The Del” as it’s otherwise known has hosted Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Oprah Winfrey among dozens of other celebrities so don’t be surprised if you rub some A-list elbows when you stay or dine here.  

25. Mission Basilica San Diego

Founded in 1769 and known as the “Mother of the Missions”, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá was the first Roman Catholic mission built in California by Spanish friar Junípero Serra, marking the beginning of Christianity in the American West. Today, it’s one of the most historic and picturesque must-see landmarks in San Diego if you want to get an understanding of Spanish Colonial influence on the settlement of Southern California and the arc of San Diego’s history. The Mission is open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm for self-guided tours.

26. Old Town San Diego

No trip to “America’s Finest City” would be complete without visiting Old Town San Diego, the earliest European settlement in California and San Diego’s oldest neighborhood. Sprawling across 230 acres roughly halfway between Mission and San Diego Bays, Old Town features over 32 interpretive historic sites, 75 boutiques, 30 different restaurants ranging from fish tacos and brunch to Italian and sushi, gift shops, as well as ten hotels all within walking distance of one another. There is no better place in San Diego to get a feel for the city’s rich Spanish and Mexican history while enjoying an endless array of fun things to do.  

27. Little Italy

San Diego is a city of neighborhoods and one of its most historic and famous is Little Italy which got its name from the Italian tuna fishermen who settled here back in the 1920s. Today San Diego’s Little Italy is the largest in the U.S. at more than 48 square blocks and for visitors a veritable feast of patio cafés, restaurants, brew pubs, boutique art galleries, chic shops, upscale hotels, urban wineries, and beautiful Amici Park. The Little Italy Mercato is also the largest farmer’s market in the San Diego area with over 200 vendors open Saturday and Wednesday. 

28. Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslam Quarter in San Diego

The 16-square block Gaslamp Quarter is the heart and soul of downtown San Diego and the city’s most famous neighborhood for nightlife, live music, and entertainment. Originally called “New Town” (as contrast to Old Town), the streets were the first in the city to be lit with gas lamps—hence the neighborhood’s name. Today, the Gaslamp Quarter bustles with nightclubs, cocktail lounges, bars, and restaurants drawing locals and visitors alike. The Spreckels and Balboa theaters host music, comedy, and drama shows, while high-end nightclubs like the Oxford Social Club are famous for A-list sightings—like Snoop Dogg.

29. Catch A Padres Game at Petco Park

Most major league baseball stadiums, especially the newer, more modern ones, tend to be located outside of downtown in more industrial or fringe areas where there’s still space to build. Not so with San Diego’s Petco Park. Built in 2004 and located just a few blocks east of the Gaslamp Quarter, it’s one of the best places to visit if you love sports and live events. Home to the San Diego Padres, Petco Park also hosts concerts, rugby, soccer games, and other special events. If you’re spending a few hours in the Gaslamp Quarter you can also get into the park just to explore when no other events are scheduled.

30. Mission Trails Regional Park

Along with Balboa and Mission Bay parks, Mission Trails Regional Park is often called the “third jewel” of the city of San Diego’s park system. Started in 1974 and located eight miles from downtown, the park encompasses more than 8,000 acres of natural and developed recreational areas, rugged hills, valleys, and open areas as well as over 60 miles of hiking trails, offering visitors and locals a quick way to escape San Diego’s hustle and bustle. Visitors can also enjoy boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding on Lake Murray, camping in Kumeyaay Lake, and learning about San Diego’s history at the state-of-the-art Visitor and Interpretive Center.

31. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

There’s no better place in San Diego to watch the sunset after a day of sightseeing than the eponymously named Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Just south of Ocean Beach on Point Loma, it features one of the most beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast along with 68 acres of protected land, bluffs, canyons, and trails to walk, hike, meditate, or do yoga. If you’re lucky you also might just catch a glimpse of the cliff divers who frequently congregate here at sunset. 

32. Belmont Park

Bekmont Park in San Diego

Belmont Park on Mission Bay is one of the oldest amusement parks on the West Coast built in 1925 and a must-visit if you are coming to San Diego with kids. Located right on the water, Belmont Park’s slides, carousels, zipline courses, plunge, and other rides attract millions of visitors every year. The centerpiece of the park is the Giant Dipper roller coaster—one of only two wooden roller coasters remaining on the West Coast featuring views of the San Diego skyline and mountains in the background that might just take your breath away faster than the roller coaster itself.

Planning a trip to San Diego? Be sure to check out our San Diego vacation rentals.

7 Sunny Vacation Spots to Beat the Winter Blues

Seasonal depression back and worse than ever? We feel that. But this winter doesn’t have to be all bad. We’ve compiled our favorite destinations for you to escape the cold and spend your days soaking up the sun – because you deserve it!

1. Coachella Valley, CA

Come to Casa Palmera in Coachella Valley for an escape from your average winter. Spend days in bikinis sipping margaritas by the pool and hot tub, or chef it up in the outdoor kitchen. Get the group chat ready – this stay can fit up to 14 guests and it’s here to provide you all you need for the perfect winter getaway.

2. Destin, FL

Beach day anyone? It’s always sunny and 75 here at Seas To Tango in Destin. This Tuscan style home is a 2 minute walk to Destin’s Miramar Beach and comes with a lovely landscaped backyard with a pool, gas grill, and BBQ grill. If you’re craving a shopping spree, head to Silver Sands Premium Outlets where you can shop til you drop. 

3. Joshua Tree, CA

Winter doesn’t exist here at Jackrabbit Ridge. Located in the desertscape that is Joshua Tree, this vacation home is all you need for a mid-February escape. Enjoy al fresco dining, days spent grilling, ping pong, a charming brick fireplace, and plenty of lounge areas. 

Looking for more to do on your trip? Check out our Top 32 Things to Do in Joshua Tree.

4. Maui, HI

A winter wonderland, minus all that pesky snow and ice. Hono Hideaway is a 3 bedroom condo in the Ka’anapali Shores Resort in Maui. With gorgeous views of the beach from your bedroom, fully remodeled spaces and a spiral staircase, this Hawaii stay is straight out of your dreams.

5. Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Entering your snowbird era? Try a trip to Sea Breeze in Fort Lauderdale. Enjoy yard games like cornhole and bocce ball. Decompress with sounds of the ocean mixed with sounds of the pool’s waterfall. Spend sunsets by the fire pit and cheers to a winter done right

If private pools are your forte, check out our top 5 Fort Lauderdale Airbnbs with Private Pools.

6. Scottsdale, AZ

Spoil your group with a trip to Sol House in Scottsdale. This lovely vacation home is one of our favorites for escaping the cold days. With its backyard pool, cornhole, fire pit, and modern interior design, it’s sure to be a winner to you, too.

7. Austin, TX

Looking to cross Austin off your bucket list? The winter months are ideal for a trip to ATX. If you’re one of those who wants to move to a city as soon as you visit, proceed cautiously to Dawson. With its lagoon-style pool, views of Lake Travis, and expansive decks, you might be convinced to migrate down south after a stay here, too. 

For more gems of Austin, check out these 6 Unique Austin Airbnb Alternatives.

An Itinerary of the Best Things To Do in Isle of Palms

Is there an Isle of Palms getaway in your future? We have your guide to the top things to do for your Isle of Palms itinerary! From enjoying time on the beach, kayaking, and other outdoor activities to sightseeing and exploring the history of the area, there are plenty of fun things to keep your group entertained. Check out our list of the best Isle of Palms attractions and things to do during your next beach vacation.

Spend the Day at Isle of Palms Beach 

The beach is a must during any Isle of Palms vacation. The Isle of Palms County Park features a public beach park with all of the amenities needed for relaxation and family fun. Head to this centrally located beach park on the island to stroll the boardwalks, take a swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean, and even join a game of sand volleyball! For those looking to sit back and relax with their beach read, umbrella and chair rentals are available to ensure a perfect setup for you and your family. You can even stay beachfront at an AvantStay vacation home like High Tide or Derby.

Source: Conde Naste Traveler

Whether you are an expert on the greens or a novice looking to practice your swing, you’ll enjoy a round of golf on the Wild Dunes Links Golf Course. The oceanfront, 18-hole golf course is one of the best in all of South Carolina and was designed by renowned architect, Tom Fazio. Book a tee time or lesson at this oceanfront golf course for a morning of outdoor fun during your Isle of Palms vacation!  

Source: Charleston & Resort Islands Golf

Reel in a Catch on a Fishing Charter 

Get out on the water with an Isle of Palms fishing charter. Trust a local captain to be your guide to navigate either inshore waterways or offshore waters and assist you in casting fishing lines to reel in prized catches of redfish, tarpon, spotter trout, flounder, and even the occasional shark! Experienced anglers or first-time fishermen will enjoy an expedition led by a knowledgeable local angler.

Source: Charleston Charter Fishing

See the Island by Kayak, Paddleboard, or Boat

And if you want to get out on the water without casting a fishing line, jump in a kayak or on a paddleboard. Watersports enthusiasts can find plenty of ways to explore Isle of Palms whether they are out on a kayaking expedition, paddleboarding, or experiencing a wildlife tour with Barrier Island Eco-Tours.

Source: Coastal Expeditions

Admire the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse 

Known locally as the “Charleston Light,” Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse has been a staple of the South Carolina shoreline since 1962. Today, the lighthouse continues to shine nightly to guide passing ships while during the day the lighthouse is a popular sightseeing destination. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but the nearby beach access is a popular spot to pose for photos and to view the iconic structure. The nearby Sullivan’s Island Life Saving Station is a historic site that provides further architectural interest and charming grounds to explore.  

Source: Visit Historic Charleston

Explore Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park 

Experience the history of Charleston Harbor at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Park. The park consists of a series of fortifications along Charleston Harbor and Sullivan’s Island. Fort Moultrie has a history stretching back to before the Revolutionary War when the forts were utilized as a quarantine station checking every passenger coming into the harbor including Africans who were enslaved. In 1776 the fort was attacked by the Royal Navy. Fort Sumter marks the location of the first shots of the Civil War on April 12th, 1861 and became a significant factor in the Siege of Charleston. Today, guests are able to visit these historical sites and learn the history from rangers of the park. 

Source: Fort Sumter Tours

Enjoy Oceanfront Cuisine 

IOP is a hub for delicious coastal and low country cuisine. Enjoy an ocean breeze and delicious seafood dishes at a local beachfront eatery. Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill which offers ocean views, casual beachside eats, and a rooftop bar. During peak season, live music can often be enjoyed at this popular beach grill. For a romantic setting with a menu filled with southern specialties, head to The Boathouse! Sit down to enjoy dishes such as raw oysters, surf & turf, and pan roasted scallops that can be paired with a seasonal cocktail or a glass of wine. Delight your taste buds during a stay in an Island of Palms vacation home like Crawdad or Orchard.  

Source: Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill

Stroll Through Charleston 

Known for its cuisine, history, nightlife, shopping, and more, Charleston sits a ~40-minute drive away from IOP, making it an ideal day trip during your vacation. Plan a day to head inland to explore Charleston’s landmarks like Rainbow Row, The Battery, Charleston City Market, King Street and so much more. Downtown Charleston is a hub for foodies, shopping, and stunning parks filled with oak trees. Take a walking tour to get the most out of your day in Charleston and really learn the history of this unique coastal city! 

Source: Our Escape Clause

Dance the Night Away at The Windjammer 

After the sun goes down, dance the night away at The Windjammer. A live music venue located on IOP’s Front Beach, The Windjammer invites visitors to enjoy performances from local bands, tribute bands, and more. The Windjammer also offers a menu of casual beach cuisine, so you can combine dancing with snacking on shrimp baskets. Check the event schedule to see what live performance you want to jam along with during your next beach vacation.

Source: Post and Courier

Experience the Best of Isle of Palms  

Ready to experience the beauty, history, and fun that awaits on Isle of Palms? Make your own itinerary of Isle of Palms must-dos to prepare for your beach vacation.  

High Tide by AvantStay

7 Gorgeous Hilton Head VRBO Alternatives

Looking for a top-tier Hilton Head retreat but you’re overwhelmed by the options on Airbnb or Vrbo? We’ve got you covered! 

AvantStay offers a large selection of upscale escapes, complete with inspiring design and plenty of available upgrades via the app. With consistent experiences, group-friendly amenities, and incredible interiors, there’s no guesswork needed here.

Hilton Head offers 12 miles of gorgeous shoreline, tons of outdoor areas and preserves, and a luxe culinary and golf scene. There are plenty of beaches, nature, entertainment, and shopping to explore on the island, while the mainland remains easily accessible just over the bridge. Something as simple as a scenic drive is enough to take your breath away as you pass East-coast woods and babbling rivers. If you’re looking for something more exciting, there’s plenty of fresh seafood, live music, and rich history to explore.

With homes near the beach, surrounded by golf courses, and with incredible ocean views, AvantStay’s options are endless. No matter what’s on your “must-haves” wishlist, these seven vacation rentals have you covered.

1. Lido – I want the beach in my backyard.

A quick stroll down your private boardwalk puts you on the shores of Singleton Beach. At Lido, sandy shores are literally in your backyard. When you’re done lounging near the waves, a beach-facing pool and hot tub, unique indoor putting green, and a game room with billiards and shuffleboard are all waiting back at home.

vacation home in hilton near beach

2. Beachwalk – I need lots of space.

With three stories and seven bedrooms, Beachwalk has enough style and space for your entire group. The beach is minutes away, and you’ll even have a private pool and pier overlooking open space right outside. Bonus! This stunning home has a deck and/or balcony on each level, so everyone has room to take in the fresh air and Hilton Head sunsets.

vacation home in hilton head with outdoor pool

3. Dory – Put me near the eats!

If you’re looking to experience the best of Hilton Head’s food scene, Dory lands you near some of our favorites. From fine seafood to casual bites, there’s something here for any palate. At home, you’ll find a private pool and hot tub, game room and yoga studio, and rustic yet contemporary beachy decor.

modern vacation home in hilton head with outdoor pool

4. Hilton Lagoon – I’m ready to hit the green.

Surrounded by lush courses, Hilton Lagoon puts the best of the area’s golfing at your fingertips. Choose from multiple championship and luxury golf courses, all nearby. Back at home, your backyard features a private pool surrounded by greenery, giving you a luxe sense of privacy after a day of perfecting your swing.

hilton head vacation home backyard with pool

5. Sandpiper – I want to fall asleep to the sound of waves.

Modern design with crashing waves right outside. At Sandpiper, chic details like a spiral staircase, wide hammock, and interior fireplace combine with unbeatable backyard beach access to give you a Hilton Head experience like never before. Throw open the windows. There’s no shortage of fresh, salty air here.

bedroom of hilton head vacation home

6. Osprey – Give me chic neutrals and coastal-inspired design.

Osprey boasts a contemporary aesthetic like no other. From al fresco meals at the gorgeous outdoor dining table to music sessions near the guitar and record player, every corner of this home feels like a photo op. Chill out among the bright neutrals in the front living room and sunny dining area, or get moody with the darker decor in the second family area. 

After lounging by your private pool, head out to explore Harbour Town, where you can enjoy restaurants, shopping, watersports, live music, and the famed cane-striped lighthouse.

dining room of hilton head vacation home

7. Sea Pine – I love tons of outdoor space.

With three massive deck areas, Sea Pine gives you space to spread out. Gather around the fire pit, dine under open skies at the outdoor table, or grab a lounger under an umbrella. Huge sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room bring the outside in, where you’ll find stone finishes, modern decor, and four bright bedrooms. Late-night hangouts are a breeze in the airy game room featuring billiards, a wet bar, and a double-sided fireplace. 

aerial photo of hilton head vacation home

Ready to plan your trip to Hilton Head? Be sure to check out our Hilton Head vacation rentals.

10 Vacation Homes with Stunning Mountain Views

Here at AvantStay, we don’t think the good views should stop after your hike. We’re firm believers in staying at a vacation home that makes you feel on top of the world, day and night. In this roundup, you’ll get to see 10 of our favorite vacation homes with mountain views. Whether you’re looking for a getaway in wine country, Tahoe, or the Smokies, we’ve got you covered.

1. Sugarland – Smoky Mountains, TN

A stay in The Smokies is always a good idea. Bring the whole crew to Sugarland where the views are plentiful and the activities are too. Enjoy swims in the indoor pool and movie nights in the home theater. With room for up to 28 guests, there’s room for everyone (even your in-laws).

2. Camila – Temecula, CA

It’s wine country wonderful here at Camila. This Temecula oasis has plenty of outdoor seating so you and your group get max mountain views while you enjoy your new fav local wine. Inside, you’ll enjoy a koi pond, foosball, billiards, and lovely architecture. Cheers with a hot tub sesh as the sun sets and you’re reminded you just booked your best vacation rental yet.

3. The Purcell House – Oregon Coast 

Welcome to your dream Oregon Coast escape. Soak in the panoramic views on this home’s wraparound deck. Cozy up with your book of the moment in the yard. Take a turn on the tire swing. Walk five minutes down to Manzanita Beach. Where the mountains meet the ocean is where you, too, will experience the perfect harmony that is The Purcell House.

4. Belleza – Sonoma, CA

ISO your next WFH destination? Meet Belleza –  a Sonoma stay with gorgeous architecture, design, and even better balcony views (ideal for making coworkers jealous of your Zoom background). Spend days lounging by the infinity pool or prove who’s grill master under the shaded grill and chill area. In the spirit of showing off, take your shot at pouring shots and making delicious cocktails at the chic wet bar. 

5. Juniper – Lake Tahoe, CA

Not to be dramatic, but picking a favorite mountain view from our homes in Lake Tahoe was probably the hardest thing we did today. After some intense meetings, we agreed on Juniper. This stay comes with a wonderful swing, hot tub, al fresco dining, and the type of view you wish you could bottle up and save forever. Inside, you’ll enjoy warm cabin vibes and space for you and up to 9 guests. 

If you feel like leaving the views and exploring Tahoe, check out our top things to do on your trip.

6. Cherry Ridge – Breckenridge, CO

Can you believe we made it this far into the list without mentioning our Colorado stays? Neither can we. While we have many gems in the Rockies, Cherry Ridge has to be our dream stay in Breckenridge. This vacation home has massive windows and a spacious deck – ideal for taking in the views around. Enjoy a hot tub soak after a day of skiing or head inside to cozy up by the fireplace for some après-ski drinks. 

7. Canopy – Park City, UT 

Looking to cross Park City off your bucket list? Make your way to Canopy, a luxurious cabin in The Unitas. Spend days on the slopes and evenings posted up in the spa and sauna. When you’re craving a chill night, play a game of pool or watch movies in the home theater.

8. Snowdrift Cabin – Telluride, CO

First, we want to thank the photographer that ventured out in what appears to be a snowstorm to get these pics. If you had any doubt in your mind, this should confirm that it does in fact snow here. Aptly named, Snowdrift Cabin is a Telluride vacation home with grade A prime ski access on Lift 10’s Galloping Goose trail, an extra large deck, hot tub with views and a toasty fireplace inside – basically, this house is all you need when you’re looking to have a ski trip. 

9. Views at Wolf Lodge – Big Bear, CA

The most properly named stay? Right here. Views at Wolf Lodge is a Big Bear vacation rental featuring a hot tub and fire pit on the deck, a sauna, and a ping pong table for those who enjoy a little friendly competition. While there is plenty to do on your trip to Big Bear, we don’t blame you if you stick around at home all day to really take in the views around you.

10. Juliet – Asheville, NC

Real mountain lovers know all about Asheville and its wonders. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find the cozy cabin we call Juliet. This stay comes with two decks (so double the views), large windows, a movie room, and a covered hot tub. Vacation like a true Southerner with happy hours spent on the porch sittin’ on your rocking chair, deciding which trail of the mountains you’ll conquer tomorrow.

10 Black Friday Deals for Travelers: Tech, Gear, and More!

We’ve made our list—and checked it twice—of the best 2022 Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals for the traveler in your life. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift or looking to score an awesome deal for yourself (no judgment), we’ve compiled the top deals out there for any type of traveler.

1. Apple Airtags

You’ve made it to your destination.. but did your luggage make it too? There’s nothing like that sinking feeling of finding out your suitcase was left behind, or even worse, lost by your airline. Pop an Apple Airtag in your luggage on your next trip and have the peace of mind of tracking your bag every step of the way.

Purchase a 4-pack of Apple Airtags on Amazon for $79.99, regularly $99.99.

photo of an AirTag
Source: Apple

2. Kindle Oasis

Stop scrolling your social media and pick up a book—or an eReader if that’s more your style. The 7” Kindle Oasis is on sale this Black Friday and comes with a massive price cut. Read your favorite book while 40,000 feet in the air or beachside with a margarita in hand. Either way, you’ll feel great knowing you saved nearly $95 during the Black Friday sale.

Snag a Kindle Oasis on Amazon for $184.00, regularly 279.99.

photo of someone holding a kindle
Source: CNET

3. Apple Airpods Pro (2nd Generation)

What will be the soundtrack of your next getaway? If it’s absolute silence, we don’t blame you. The perfect item to drown out the crying babies and snoring seatmates on a long flight, the Apple Airpod Pro earbuds offer active noise cancellation to ensure the smoothest of flights.

Get the Apple Airpod Pro (2nd Generation) on Amazon for $199.99, regularly $249.00.

photo of airpods
Source: IGN

4.  S-Zone Antitheft Bag

You don’t need to compromise style for safety. With the S-Zone Antitheft Bag, you can have both. This leather backpack comes in a variety of colors and features a zipper compartment that lays flat against your back—ruining any pickpocketer’s day. This bag is perfect for the traveler who often finds themselves in large crowds or in busy cities while on their adventures.

The S-Zone Antitheft Bag is marked down from $85.99 to $79.99 on Amazon. Plus, you can check off the 15% coupon for an additional $12 in savings.

photo of antitheft backpack in black leather
Source: S-Zone

5. Away Luggage

If you’ve been eyeing a new piece of luggage, now’s your chance to save big. Away Luggage is offering $50 off when you purchase two suitcases, and $100 off when you purchase three. It’s the perfect excuse to buy one as a gift and to treat yourself, too. All colors, styles, and sizes are included in the offer, available now through November 28th.

photo of Away suitcase set
Source: Conde Nast Traveler

6. Trtl Travel Pillow

Forget what you know about travel pillows. The Trtl Travel Pillow is made to completely support your head for maximum comfort. The pillow is designed to prevent neck pain, strains, or aches so you can feel refreshed after a long flight.

Get the Trtl Travel Pillow 15% off this Black Friday or check out one of Trtl’s VIP bundles where you can earn up to 40% in savings.

photo of girl wearing neck pillow

7. Ankur USB Charger

If you planned on taking advantage of some tech deals this Back Friday, you may want to invest in a portable charger. This Ankur charger allows you to charge up to 3 devices at once, with either a USB A or USB C output.

Purchase this Ankur USB charger for $44, down from $59.99—plus apply a $3 coupon for additional savings.

photo of portable charger
Source: Amazon

8. Sand Cloud Towels

Save your sanity while also saving marine life. There’s nothing worse than laying on the beach with a towel covered in sand. These stylish Sand Cloud Towels are sand-resistant and ultra-absorbent to keep you comfortable while sunbathing at the beach. Not only that, the company donates 10% of all profits toward marine conservation so you’re bound to feel good inside and out.

Get 30% off sitewide during this year’s deal at Sand Cloud!

girl sitting on Sand Cloud Towel looking at beach
Source: The Surfrider Foundation

9. AvantStay Vacation Rentals

We may be biased, but this is our favorite travel deal of all. Now through Cyber Monday, you can save between $250-$1,500 on AvantStay vacation rentals. The more you spend, the more you save—so it’s the perfect excuse to extend that vacation you’ve been planning to take.

With over 1,500 homes in 100+ destinations, AvantStay vacation rentals offer group-friendly spaces that could fit the whole family. When you stay at an AvantStay, you can expect an elevated vacation rental experience, with homes packed with fun amenities, 24/7 guest support, upgrades, experiences, and beautiful design to create the perfect backdrop for your Instagram selfies.

Sonoma, CA vacation rental by AvantStay
Blue Steel by AvantStay

10. AvantStay Swag

Hats, T-Shirts, and more! So you took advantage of AvantStay’s Black Friday Deal and booked yourself a vacation. Now, you may want some new swag to pack along in your suitcase. Take advantage of 15% off in the AvantStay swag store where you can find some of our most favorited items, like our “Out of Office” hat.. or even travel gear for your jetsetting pup!

Use code “BFCM15.” Offer valid on any order $25 or more, limit one per customer, expires 11/28/22 at midnight.

dog with scarf and AvantStay dog toy
The AvantStay swag store has plenty for you and your pup!

AvantStay Unlocked: Powerful Vacation Rental Marketing and Distribution

AvantStay Unlocked: Powerful Vacation Rental Marketing and Distribution 

Promoting your vacation rental home on online travel agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb or Vrbo is one of the easiest ways to reach more travelers and drive more bookings. However, many short-term rental owners don’t realize that these platforms, along with Booking.com and Tripadvisor, are just the tip of the distribution iceberg (there are over 400 OTAs!).  

AvantStay’s marketing and distribution capabilities go far beyond OTA promotion—we also leverage the power of social media and top influencers, leading brand and corporate partnerships, and a guest network that we’ve built over time. With our industry-leading reach, powerful social presence, and renowned partnerships you’ll connect with more guests, land more bookings, receive higher ratings, and increase your revenue.

Professional listings and distribution

When you partner with AvantStay for vacation rental management, we handle every step of your listing creation and promotion to get your home maximum exposure. Our in-house photographers and stylists collaborate to capture every aspect of your home, amenities, and key revenue drivers during a complimentary professional photo shoot.

Next, we create an aspirational, bespoke listing built to show off your home to the world. Our Listings & Distribution team has cultivated strong relationships with leading online travel agencies, which allows us to enhance your property’s listing performance against market competitors. Your listing is optimized for visibility and conversion across more than 65 distribution channels, including:

Top-performing OTAs

  • Airbnb
  • Vrbo
  • Booking.com
  • Expedia
  • TripAdvisor

Exclusive access to premium OTAs

  • Homes & Villas by Marriott International
  • Luxury Villas & Homes
  • LaCure
  • Luxury Retreats
  • Plum Guide

Besides these top-performing distribution channels, over 40% of AvantStay guest bookings come through our website, which has seen a 172% increase in booking volume year over year. Our strong brand equity, creative marketing strategies, and high repeat-guest rates are key drivers of our direct bookings.

National hospitality brand

Our elevated brand with a focus on experiential group stays resonates with travelers everywhere. Further, our responsive and guest-centric customer service delivers a consistent, premium experience that makes guests want to book again and again.

Elevated brand standards

Delivering a consistent, first-class vacation experience for every guest is the standard at which we operate every day. We ensure that each home is stocked with anything guests might need during their stay, including an array of high-quality consumables and thoughtful localized welcome packages. 

In addition, guests can use our app to request upgrades and experiences like fridge stocking, schedule mid-stay cleans, book a private chef or in-home massage, and more. This level of service leads to more five-star reviews, repeat guests, and ultimately more bookings.

Powerful social presence 

Besides distribution across popular booking sites, we tap into the power of social media to promote our homes to travelers who are eager to plan their next vacation. With over 300,000 combined followers, your home will be featured across popular social platforms (Instagram, TikTok, etc.) to our highly engaged audiences. We also work with leading influencers to further extend this reach and drive more bookings. 

Partnered with the best

Our in-house Partnerships team unlocks new opportunities that help source group bookings year-round. Partnerships drive brand engagement, increase the number of value-added services we provide to guests, and improve distribution and reach.

Value-added services & in-home brand partnerships

We enhance the guest experience by offering exclusive in-home products and experiences that allow us to charge higher ADRs and earn higher ratings. Some of the top brands we work with include Gopuff, Jacuzzi, Daily Harvest, Allianz, and more. 

Corporate partnerships, events, and retreats

We partner with national and local brands to drive guest demand as one of their preferred accommodation brands. We plan and execute corporate retreats and exclusive events (like Coachella brand parties) for companies big and small across the nation. Our corporate offsite and event offerings are a unique service that allows us to expand your home’s distribution to more guests beyond leisurely travelers. 

Amplify your reach with AvantStay 

There’s a lot that goes into managing a successful vacation rental. Running your listings across multiple OTAs and activating a vacation rental marketing strategy is the best way to be sure you maximize earnings, but it can be tedious and complicated. Why not work with an expert who will take charge and give you instant access to all of the top OTAs, national partnerships, and over 300,000 social media users? 

When you partner with AvantStay and leverage our industry-leading reach, you’ll connect with more guests, land more bookings, receive better reviews, and earn more revenue. It also extends beyond the listing and marketing—we pair that with our proprietary dynamic pricing models and in-house Revenue Management team, full-service permitting and compliance support, a software suite that gives you full visibility into your home, and so much more.

Interested in learning more about AvantStay’s vacation rental management services? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!

The Best Vacation Rentals on Golf Courses – Luxury Rentals for Your Next Getaway

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants? In case he got a hole in one!

Okay, we promise to not be that cheesy, but with a topic like golf, it’s kind of hard to steer clear of the dad jokes. Whether you’re living your cart girl fantasy (no judgment), or genuinely like to play golf, these vacation rentals on golf courses are here to set the par for your next getaway. 

1. Greg Norman Estate – La Quinta, CA

Night swims are a must at this Coachella Valley home. Hop into the hot tub and cheers to views, brews, and a good day on the course. Located on the 2nd fairway of the prestigious Greg Norman Course in PGA West, this vacation home is the perfect retreat for the golfer in your life (and if you’re in this article, it’s safe to say you have one). Enjoy poolside days with a nice breeze provided by the misters and a huge built-in bar for your crew’s wannabe bartender. With views of the mountains, desert, and course, the Greg Norman Estate is a sight for sore eyes.

2. Fairway Ski and Golf Retreat – Park City, UT

Fairway Ski and Golf Retreat is a 4-bed stay with room for up to 10 guests. Conveniently positioned in between the golf course and ski lift, this retreat brings all you need for an active getaway. After a day filled with all Park City has to offer, enjoy a nice soak in the hot tub. Retreat indoors for a fireside sesh where you and the crew can get the game plan for whatever tomorrow brings – and if you check out our Park City guide, there’s a lot on that list.

3. Quinta Green – La Quinta, CA

This one’s a true winner. From its sleek interiors, to its hot tub and hammock, to an oh-so inviting pool, Quinta Green in Coachella Valley is looking a lot like your next vacation home. This stay is stacked with 7 rooms, 11 beds, and room for up to 16 guests! Here you’ll be surrounded by golf courses, day spas, and dreamy mountain ranges. Looking for more to do during your stay? Check out our 25 Best Things to Do in Coachella Valley for an itinerary-style guide. 

4. Clint at Brasada Ranch – Powell Butte, OR

Clint is located within the Brasada Ranch community in Central Oregon. Enjoy the community’s elevated golf range, indoor gym, day spa, basketball court, indoor pool, beach volleyball court, putting green, and TBH so much more but we really need to tell you about this house! This stay has a beautiful deck with a BBQ and fire pit overlooking the mountains. The interiors are warm, welcoming, and you’ve got room for you and up to 12 guests. When you’re done re-reading the list of amenities, maybe you’ll even have time to check out Mt. Bachelor for some skiing. 

5. Moonshine – La Quinta, CA

Come to Moonshine for an unforgettable Coachella Valley vacation, with a pool that flows seamlessly into the PGA Golf Course so you can either watch the birds above or aim for birdies on the course. Filled with modern interiors, a cozy fireplace, and an outdoor kitchen, it’s no wonder Tyra Banks used to live in this decadent home. We’re assuming she was an entertainer, too, because this stay comes with all you need to host the gathering of your dreams with tons of indoor seating, a wet bar, foosball, and a lavish outdoor seating area.

About AvantStay: If you find yourself looking for a travel experience that values your privacy, safety, and cleanliness, AvantStay is the perfect fit. Apart from their top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo locations—places you’ve been dying to check out, with experiences you’re ready to check off your bucket list—like staying on a golf course.

Top 12 Gifts for Vacation Rental Homeowners

Vacation rental amenities can turn a great guest experience into an unforgettable one. Happy guests leave positive reviews which drive more bookings, repeat guests, and ultimately more revenue.

If you know someone with a short-term vacation rental, or maybe you want to treat yourself, consider gifting them one of these vacation rental amenities to elevate the guest experience and maximize their home’s value. From birthdays to Mother’s or Father’s Day, check out our top 12 gift ideas for vacation rental homeowners.

Mega Four in a Row

vacation rental amenities like connect four and cornhole

$100 at Saks Fifth Avenue

The Mega Four in a Row set is perfect for poolside lounging or cozy family game nights by the fire. This stylish take on a popular classic comes with a hand-painted pine playing board and 42 wooden chips. Standing at 18.75 inches tall and 23.5 inches wide, the Mega Four in a Row set is larger than the original but can easily be moved around your short-term vacation rental for impromptu game sessions.

Mega Jumbling Tower

giant jenga game at a vacation rental

$120 at Saks Fifth Avenue

The Mega Jumbling Tower is another great addition for vacation rental backyard hangs. Fun for all ages, this natural timber stacker includes 45 gold and white hand-painted blocks. At the start of gameplay, the tower stands at two feet tall, so be sure to give your guests plenty of space for stacking and the inevitable tumbling.

Cornhole boards

AvantStay home backyard with vacation rental amenitites

$315 at Elakai

Add some friendly competition to any backyard barbecue with these mahogany cornhole boards. This two-by-four-foot regulation cornhole board set features a premium-grade plywood deck with a solid mahogany frame. These boards are lightweight and portable with built-in carrying handles, so guests can easily set up or move the game throughout the space.

Poker table

poker table with card game at a vacation rental

$1,800 at Pottery Barn

Raise the stakes of game nights at your short-term rental with a poker table. Guests will appreciate the rustic yet modern design of this mahogany table, doubling as a statement piece post-game. With built-in beverage holders and the option to complete the set with matching chairs, the only things missing are your deck of cards and poker chips.

Foosball table

AvantStay guests enjoying a game of foosball

$3,000 at CB2

Bring the arcade to your short-term vacation rental with a sleek, modern foosball table. At nearly five feet in length, this fast-paced game can easily fit in a dedicated game room, covered patio, or main living space. The table is made from burl wood and stainless steel and can accommodate two to four players at one time.

Shuffleboard table

AvantStay home living room with shuffle board table

$2,650 at Fairview Game Rooms

Shuffleboard is an old-time favorite and a great addition to your vacation rental amenities. At nine feet in length, this table is on the smaller end of shuffleboard tables so you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much space. There’s also a handy storage cabinet built into one of the pedestal legs to keep extra pucks and sand out of sight.

Multi-use ping pong table

ping pong table in AvantStay rental backyard

$2,000 at Wayfair

Maximize your short-term rental living space with a multi-use ping pong table. Guests can go from ping pong tournaments to dining al fresco in seconds with this convertible indoor/outdoor table by simply removing the steel net. When ping pong isn’t in play, this table can be used as a dining or conference table, comfortably seating 10 to 12 people.

Pool table

pool table in AvantStay home

$6,500 at West Elm

A pool table is an essential piece for any short-term rental game room. This pool table from West Elm is built-to-last and withstand guest use, crafted from solid wood, leather drop pockets, and spill-resistant felt. Complete with a rack and accessories kit, this table comes ready for pool sharks and rookie players alike.

Rolling patio cooler

AvantStay home patio with cooler and drinks

$250 at Permasteel

Give guests the option to move the fun from the pool to the ping pong table (and everywhere in between) with a rolling patio cooler. This stylish, steel cooler can hold 80 quarts, equivalent to 100 12-ounce cans plus ice. Your vacation rental guests won’t have to pause the party with this convenient cart, equipped with a bottle opener, cap catcher, and insulated basin that keeps drinks cold for up to 36 hours.

Around the Block bikes

bikes at AvantStay home backyard

$350 at Sixthreezero

Bikes are a great vacation rental amenity that gives guests the freedom to explore nearby attractions. The Around the Block bike by Sixthreezero is a low-maintenance bike built for comfort—perfect to have ready for guests who want to cruise to the beach, check out the local farmers’ market, and more. These bikes are available in multiple speeds and are ideal for casual to up-tempo rides.

Pedestal fire pit table

AvantStay home with fire pit

$1,800 at West Elm

From deserts to mountains to beaches, a fire pit is a must-have for any short-term vacation rental outdoor space. This luxurious centerpiece is perfect for outdoor lounging, wine nights by the fire, and family s’more sessions. The fiber-reinforced concrete frame is covered in a weather-resistant sealant to withstand all elements. Powered by propane, the fire pit will instantly warm up your space with a simple push-button spark ignition.


pop-a-shot basketball game vacation rental amenity
Source: CB2

$2,500 at CB2

If you’re looking for that wow factor for your short-term rental, look no further than this revamped arcade-classic basketball game. Featuring black genuine leather, brass backboard, and black nylon chording, this deluxe basketball game is so luxurious you won’t want to miss a shot—baskets or photo ops.

Unwrap a first-class guest experience

Furnishing a short-term rental and selecting the best vacation rental amenities for your guests can be hard work. Luckily, when you partner with AvantStay, you get access to our award-winning interior design and procurement services. Our designers review every home added to the portfolio and create memorable and inspiring designs that transform spaces and maximize value.

We help procure and install furniture and arrange bedrooms and common spaces to maximize occupancy. Our designers also curate experiential elements like those listed above so guests get the most out of their stay, driving positive reviews, more bookings, and increased revenue.

If you’re interested in learning more about our vacation rental management and design services, our team is ready to help. Get started today!

Ski-in/Ski-out Vacation Homes: Luxury Rentals for Your Ski-Town Stay

Breathe in, breathe out… Ski-in, ski-out! Nothing’s better than waking up, putting your gear on and heading directly outside to hit the slopes. After you spend the day getting your (ski) on,  kick back at a vacation home where you can have apres ski moments you’ll never forget.

All vacation homes included here are within walking distance to the slopes of their respective towns. Other than being in the perfect location for powder days, these group friendly ski-town stays come with modern interior design, guest support at your fingertips (via our app), and add-on services like fridge stocking, private chefs, and at-home massages—all perfect for full relaxation after the slopes. 

Bronson – Lake Tahoe, CA

Starting this round-up strong with one of our personal faves. Meet Bronson, a Lake Tahoe, CA stay located right on Olympic Valley. Less worrying, more skiing—this home comes with snowshoeing equipment for your stay. We provide two sets of snowshoes with two adult poles and one set of child poles. With room for up to 12 guests, everyone can come and enjoy this vacation home’s expansive deck with a fire pit, hot tub, and views of the ski lift above!

Snowdrift Cabin – Telluride, CO

Snowdrift Cabin is a secluded Telluride, CO vacation spot. Filled with traditional wood beams, this cabin vacation rental has prime ski access on Lift 10’s Galloping Goose trail, gorgeous sunset views of the San Sophia ridgeline, multiple expansive decks, a hot tub, and loft area. Downstairs, you’ll find a dedicated rec room with a gas fireplace and games for the whole crew. Be sure to take advantage of Mountain Village’s Dial-a-Ride service where you can enjoy a free ride to the Village Core and the Gondola connecting to the Town of Telluride.

Slopeside – Park City, UT

Come to Slopeside for a perfect Park City, UT getaway. This vacation home comes with a lovely hot tub, fireplace and oversized windows in the living room for maximum coziness. Better yet, this stay is only a stone’s throw away from the Silver Star ski lift. For more to do in Park City, check out our guide of Top 35 Things to Do in Park City!

Cimarron Lodge – Telluride, CO 

Tell the crew you’re ready for a trip to Telluride, CO. This Cimarron Lodge unit is located right on the slopes. Enjoy days not spent waiting in line to ski with this ski-in/ski-out condo situated along the San Miguel River. Bring up to 8 guests and enjoy your apres ski with a hot tub happy hour. Looking for more to do on your trip? Check out our Top Things to Do in Telluride.

Twin Chutes – Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge, CO is calling! Twin Chutes is a 4 bed stay with room for up to 12 guests. Conveniently located next to the ski lifts, this stay provides great ski access and even better Colorado mountain views. This condo comes with great amenities like a hot tub, billiards table, gym, and fireplace! We even give you a guitar—so for those who like songs around the campfire, you’re in luck.

Slopeside at Sundance – Telluride, CO

Looking for a traditional woodsy cabin? Slopeside at Sundance (not to be confused with Slopeside in Park City mentioned above) is a Telluride, CO vacation home located adjacent to the slopes and true ski access directly onto the popular Sundance ski run. Wake up to window views of the pine trees, and sip your morning coffee on the picturesque patio. After a long day of skiing, decompress in the sauna to let the heat melt away any and all soreness.

Feeling motivated to get your ski on? We don’t blame you! If you’re looking for even more places to ski-in/ski-out, check out our collection of Ski-in/Ski-out Vacation Homes.

About AvantStay: If you find yourself looking for a travel experience that values your privacy, safety, and cleanliness, AvantStay is the perfect fit. Apart from their top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo locations—places you’ve been dying to check out, with experiences you’re ready to check off your bucket list—like staying at a ski-in/ski-out home!

Smoky Mountain Vacation Rental Outperforms Market Competition

Challenge: Help short-term rental stand out in a saturated market to drive more bookings and maximize owner revenue 

Living room in AvantStay vacation rental hom


Dave is a short-term rental investor with several homes in the Pigeon Forge area. He reached out to AvantStay in 2021 for our vacation rental management services when he learned about our dedicated local support teams and elevated guest offerings. 


Chart of AvantStay performance vs. Smoky Mountain market performance

Solution & Results

Game room in AvanStay Smoky Mountain vacation rental

Vacation rentals in the Smoky Mountains tend to be similar, so Dave wanted to work with a company whose offerings would set his home apart from the competition. Leveraging our award-winning design and procurement teams, industry-leading distribution, and exclusive guest services like in-app upgrades and experiences, Dave’s home consistently outperforms his market cohorts.

After 15 months with AvantStay, Dave’s home has generated over $390,000 in gross revenue, drives steady bookings at high ADRs, and receives praise from guests on cleanliness, communication, and value. 

“Josh, the area manager, went above and beyond to make sure every detail was perfect,” said AvantStay guest Theresa C. “We were welcomed with beautiful flowers in every room, new family board games, a s’mores kit, and wine. We requested to have a cooler brought over and one was delivered within hours, including ice! The level of service AvantStay provides is amazing!”

Interested in learning more about vacation rental management with AvantStay? Our experts are ready to help! Unlock your vacation rental’s full value and get started with our team today.

6 Unique Austin Airbnb Alternatives

Austin, Texas is known for its bustling nightlife, tasty tacos, and plenty to do outside. Whether you’re ISO a trip here for warmer days, a girls’ getaway, or simply to see what all the fuss is about, we’ve come up with the best AvantStay Airbnbs in Austin – all with unique vacation rental experiences you can’t get anywhere else, guaranteeing a top-of-the-line vacay.

AvantStay is a gem in the short-term vacation rental world. We display our signature style via hundreds of homes with award-winning interior design, seamless group travel experiences, and a plentiful selection of in-app upgrades and experiences. While all AvantStay properties can be booked through Airbnb, they can also be booked directly through our website. 

Apart from its top-of-the-line technology and innovation, AvantStay homes are in primo locations – places you’ve been dying to check out, and places you’re ready to check off your bucket list – like ATX! Let’s dive in.

1. Barton – For the Outdoorsy Type

Trust us when we say pics don’t do Barton justice. This Lake Travis stay is located just a short drive from Austin proper. With an infinity pool overlooking the water, a living room patio with views for days, and a hot tub ready for happy hour, this 8-guest home is here to impress. Spend mornings soaking in the lounge chairs and evenings roasting s’mores over the firepit. Take a deep breath in, and enjoy Austin without all the hustle and bustle.

Looking for more fun things to do outside? Check out our Guide to Austin Hiking for nearby hikes and views.

austin vacation home on lake travis

2. Ramsey – For the City Slicker

Ramsey is an East Austin vacation rental located in the sweet spot of everything you need to experience in ATX. Take a short ride to the lovely Lady Bird Lake or bring a picnic basket to chill out at Zilker Park where they host the annual SXSW Conference and Festival. Other than being near all things Austin, this home also comes with the cutest casita poolhouse in the back, and TBH we can’t stop thinking about it.

austin vacation rental with a pool and hot tub

3. Hudson – For the Explorer

Hello, Hill Country! Come to Hudson for a slice of Texas paradise. Located just a 20-minute drive from downtown Austin, this vacation rental comes bearing gifts of lake views, a private pool, and gorgeous interiors. With inspo from European design, you’ll find yourself perfectly blissed out within the home’s three levels featuring a pool table, clawfoot tub, and wet bar. Invite the whole crew, Hudson’s got room for up to 12 guests!

austin vacation rental with views of lake travis and a pool

4. Melody – For the Architect

Make your way to Melody. You’re only a short drive from East Austin, and therefore close to the water wonderland that is Barton Springs, when you stay at this Austin Airbnb alternative. This home shows its personality via unique architecture, brand new outdoor deck and sparkling drum set. Enjoy cozy sunsets on the private balcony with a fire pit, drinks in the spacious kitchen, and maybe even a sesh on the Peloton bike in the living room.

vacation rental in austin with interesting architecture

5. Dawson – For the Water Bug

Down for a trip to Dawson? We thought so. Take a trip here for pool and hot tub hangs, a dreamy view of Lake Travis, and plenty of space for up to 10 guests. Unlike most vacation rentals, you don’t have to race to get to the primary bedroom first. With the AvantStay app, you and your friends can reserve bedrooms before you arrive! This is something we highly recommend while staying here, because the views from this clawfoot tub in the primary are one in a million.

vacation rental in austin with a pool and lake travis views

6. Paramount Place – For the Movie Star

Saving the best for last? Guilty as charged. Text the group chat and let them know you’re ready to make your Austin debut at Paramount Place. Conveniently located next to the Paramount Theatre on South Congress, this downtown ATX home comes with five floors, room for 10 guests, a movie theater, dedicated game room, a gourmet kitchen, and best of all: a rooftop hot tub. Once you stay at Paramount Place, your vacation standards will never be the same. 

rooftop austin vacation rental with a hot tub

The party doesn’t stop here. While these Airbnbs in Austin are here to impress, we understand that your travel itinerary is, too. If you’re looking for more activities for the whole crew, check out our perfectly curated list of 31 Best Things to Do in Austin!