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Taking time to smell the roses (and local eats!) across America
We surveyed 1,001 travel enthusiasts in the U.S., and only 13 percent of people said they take trips for one to two weeks at a time. If you’ve resolved to take more time to relax and reflect in the new year, we’ve got some ideas for your next extended vacation. Travel far or near, but don’t rush a great getaway!
Get inspiration from these nine cities and scope out some vacation rentals where you may never want to leave. What are vacation rentals? They’re accommodations that come with a variety of amenities, and they make it easy to feel right at home, whether your rental features a fully equipped kitchen, laundry services, or long-term booking deals. Sounds like the perfect way to get to know the best one-week vacation destinations in the country!
1. Orlando, Florida
Why you need at least a week: In sunny Orlando, you could visit multiple worlds, all in a week! In our survey, more travelers said they wanted to visit Orlando than any other U.S. city, and it’s not hard to tell why. Each amusement park is at least a full day’s entertainment: Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, and LEGOLANDÒ Florida Resort are just a few of the most popular parks.
Get to know the local scene: Stay in one of Orlando’s foodie districts for great energy and fewer crowds. Savor the city’s unique dining on Restaurant Row, located on Sand Lake Drive. Vines Grille has an elevated happy hour experience with craft cocktails and live jazz music seven days a week. When you’re on vacation, every hour is happy hour!
Already requesting your days off? These vacation rentals in Orlando will be your home away from home.
2. Monterey, California
Why you need at least a week: Monterey is the ideal place to soak up exquisite scenery and relax to the sounds of the Pacific Ocean in the background all week long. While you’re in the area, set aside some time to take a day trip to San Jose, just 70 miles to the north, or drive 29 miles south to Big Sur for more outdoor adventures.
Get to know the local scene: Relax on the waterfront in Monterey Bay, or skip the sand with long walks on the Monterey Peninsula Recreational Trail. You can even become a regular at the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, NBD. The marine experts lead daily tours that get you up close with sea otters, jelly fish, sharks, and more. Stop in for a different tour each day, and bring the kids!
Check out these luxury vacation rentals in Monterey, and catch the next wave to California!
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Why you need at least a week: You’ll want plenty of time to explore Philadelphia’s multicultural venues, old and new. Visit the National Museum of American Jewish History to learn more about the country’s Jewish heritage, and follow the footsteps of abolitionists, Native Americans, and suffragists as you walk through Independence National Park to the Liberty Bell.
Get to know the local scene: Philadelphia is home to Reading Terminal Market, the oldest farmers market still in business in America (since 1893). Don’t miss Pennsylvania Dutch eats from Beiler’s Doughnuts & Salads — yeah, you read right — the first Amish vendor to join the market. Try a new flavor every day!
If your walking shoes are laced up and your mouth is watering, pick from top vacation rentals in Philadelphia and head for the City of Brotherly Love.
4. Louisville, Kentucky
Why you need at least a week: Louisville is surrounded by stellar scenery! Located just 85 miles south of Louisville, Cave City is your gateway to Mammoth Cave National Park. And when you crave natural beauty without the commute, stay closer to downtown and bike or hike through the Parklands of Floyds Fork.
Get to know the local scene: Louisville’s distillery scene is bustling, and you’ll want to take your time sampling the local libations. Rabbit Hole is known for their bourbon (of course) and the artistic experiences you’ll have at their distillery and tasting room, located in the NuLu District. Take a tour, join an event, and enjoy sweet sips.
Is Kentucky’s gorgeous landscape calling? Book a Louisville vacation rental and experience the best of Southern hospitality for yourself!
5. Nags Head, North Carolina
Why you need at least a week: You’ll want to squander a lot of your time on Pea Island Beach, of course, but don’t stop there! Feeling daring? Hang glide off the dunes at nearby Kill Devil Hills, and take a diving excursion to the Triangle Wreck; a tanker and freighter that that sank in the late 1920s. There’s so much to do and so little time!
Get to know the local scene: Get some crunchy Cayman conch fritters at Tortugas’ Lies, a beloved seafood place with Caribbean flavors and big personality. Hey, don’t let the party stop there. Hang out like a local at TRiO for bistro eats, fine wine, and live music three to five nights a week.
Check out these vacation rentals in Nags Head, and treat yourself to a dreamy seaside retreat.
6. McCall, Idaho
Why you need at least a week: Located on the south bank of Payette Lake, McCall is a rustic resort town with countless outdoor activities for all ages. Plus, the best vacation rentals here include cabins! Go paddle boating or jet skiing on the lake, take a guided walk through Ponderosa State Park, and in the winter, ski Brundage Mountain. Then rest lakeside between your adventures!
Get to know the local scene: The city may be rugged, but the dining is refined. Located in a renovated boarding house and newspaper office, Anchor is the place to go for delicious surf and turf in a stunning setting. Chase your dinner with a tasting flight at McCall Brewing Company, or try a new brew each night. You’ve got time.
Does McCall sound like the ultimate destination for your next getaway? Book your stay in one of McCall’s top vacation rentals.
7. Chatham, Massachusetts
Why you need at least a week: Explore the entire Cape! Head north to comb the 40 miles of golden sand along the Cape Cod National Seashore and swing by Provincetown for one of their fun theme weeks. Drive west to circle the bay, stopping in charming towns and visiting Plymouth Rock on the mainland — the site of the first Pilgrim settlement.
Get to know the local scene: You’ll want to stay here forever simply to take in the natural beauty and not feel obligated to do anything. But if you must do something, wander through the preserved historical downtown and the town’s coastline. The beaches are busy with water sports during the warm months and covered with snow in the winter — it’s a stunning sight.
Escape to the Cape and stay in a luxury vacation rental in Chatham.
8. Ely, Minnesota
Why you need at least a week: Between hiking to Kawishiwi Falls, stargazing under a dark sky, and floating on Bear Head Lake, set aside a couple days in Ely to learn about wolves at the International Wolf Center. The IWC hosts presentations and activities throughout the day for all ages. Don’t forget to slow down and inhale that fresh wilderness air.
Get to know the local scene: Eat local to feel local. Insula is owned and run by Executive Chef Daniel Vollom and Sarah Wigdahl-Vollom, who are committed to serving gourmet comfort foods — like French onion grilled cheese — made from locally sourced ingredients.
Browse these Ely vacation rentals and find your habitat among the wolves of Minnesota’s Vermillion Iron Range.
9. Phoenix, Arizona
Why you need at least a week: Phoenix is known for its mountain views in every direction — you could tackle a new mountain trail every day for a week. Piestewa Peak Park is a great place to start for beginner to intermediate hikers. While you’re in the area, step back in time 650 years and learn about Arizona’s earlier communities at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, located just 55 miles southeast of downtown.
Get to know the local scene: In downtown Phoenix, you’ve got to eat and drink at Breadfruit & Rum Bar, and follow your meal with a rum tasting flight. Nearby Downtown Chandler boasts Las Palmas Cantina, where the grilled vegetable taco board is vegetarian Mexican food at its best. How many tacos can you eat in a week? It’s time to find out!
Your journey to the Valley of the Sun starts with the right place to stay. Check out Phoenix vacation rentals here and be on your way!
Where are you taking your next long vacation? Let us know in the comments!
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Kohleun is a fan of high tea in Scottish villages and low tide on Coronado Beach, and she can’t get enough of rolling vineyard vistas. These days it’s no easy feat to pull her away from the California coast, but she can be wooed with Moroccan cous cous and ancient palace ruins. As a writer, Kohleun has a passion for sharing the intricate details of a journey well traveled, whether it involves crossing continents or exploring close to home.