I Searched Airbnb For the Best Socially Distanced Rentals
The best getaways—from home and humans.
We are all looking for the perfect getaway, but it’s difficult to find weekend vacations that still allow for social distancing—yes, we want a vacation, but we still want the ability to be a recluse. What this means is no condos and no renting a room in someone else’s home—you need your own space, and a place away from people and crowds. Earlier this summer, Fodor’s spoke with Airbnb to learn about their updated cleaning policies and why this rental site might be just what you need in a time of social distancing. With blackout periods for cleaning and entire homes to yourself, an off-the-beaten-path rental might serve as the safe getaway you were looking for. So we scouried Airbnb to find the best, socially distanced rentals for your next people-free getaway. For more on how to safely travel in the pandemic, download our new ebook, written in collaboration with WebMD.
Kaylee DeCollibus Real Estate Photography
For the California Surfer Looking to Avoid Crowds
WHERE: Gaviota Coast, California
Leave Los Angeles and drive along the Pacific Coast Highway for two hours to find this spacious rental. As all Californians know, it’s rare to find a beach not packed to its brim—this is a beach-lovers state, so the small strips of sand are never bare—but this rental allows hesitant Californians to enjoy the beach worry-free. This three-bedroom property is not only perfectly positioned by the water on Gaviota Coast but offers explorers easy access to some of California’s most stunning hikes. Paddleboard, hit the trails, or just enjoy a moment away from the hustle and bustle (and COVID horror) with this secluded beach rental.
Michael/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Wine Lover
WHERE: Sonoma County
Located at the edge of a vineyard, this four-guest stay will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to indulge. While Sonoma can get busy, this home allows you to stay away from the crowds and enjoy the scenery of this stunning California county. Just a short drive from San Francisco, a stay at this Airbnb means you can pick up some fine wine for the hot tub, enjoy the coast, and float down the Russian River for a much-needed moment of fresh air.
Ronnie and Marlo/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Person Wanting to Live Like a Hobbit
WHERE: Clancy, Montana
This Montana rental, made to look like it rose up from the ground, appears to have been pulled straight from the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. This two-bedroom house (if you can call it a house) is built to make it unclear where the home begins and the ground ends–is it a hill or is it a home?–creating a space where guests can feel one with nature. Not only is it tranquil and unique, but you’ve also got a massive property to call your own (far from anyone else) for the duration of your stay.
Monica/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Amateur Skier
WHERE: Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
A short drive from Taos Ski areas, this apple-orchard adjacent farmhouse is perfect for those looking to spend time outside, whether it be reading, writing, star gazing, or just taking a breath of air that you aren’t suspicious of being COVID contaminated. This is the perfect getaway for wannabe farmers—you get the farmhouse vibe without having to do the farming life, with fresh tomatoes and eggs but no tedious harvesting. And when cold months move in, look to the ski slopes, where your mask will become a necessity for keeping you warm and open space is aplenty.
Sia and Eric/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Person Who Had to Cancel Their Safari
WHERE: Blanco, Texas
If you said that there was a private Serengeti retreat I could explore on the outskirts of two major Texas cities, I would have told you that you were crazy, but then you could have sent this Airbnb listing. In the heart of Blanco, Texas, you can find zebras, antelopes, and ostriches (oh my!). Not only that, but this isolated safari experience comes with a water feature, BBQ area, and 40 acres for you to roam. Weird? Yes. But this Texan safari gives you the fun of the zoo without the crowds (plus, you don’t get to pet an ostrich at the zoo).
Myra/Courtesy of Airbnb
For Midwesterners Whose Ocean is a Lake
WHERE: Waupaca, Wisconsin
Equidistant from two major Midwest cities, Chicago and Minneapolis, this lake cabin is perfect for those looking to escape the city. Waupaca County has the quintessential small-town, downtown strip with fudge shops and antiquing aplenty (though we are escaping the crowds, right?), while this rental gives you your much-wanted space. Waupaca sits on a series of lakes, many within walking distance, one of the more stunning being Lake Marl, well worth the small hike required to get to the dock. Coming equipped with canoes and a dock perfect for tanning or diving, this rental offers the nature-getaway city dwellers need.
Emerald Waters, LLC/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Boater (or Floater) Avoiding Tourist Hubs
WHERE: Rock Island, Tennessee
A short drive from Nashville, this wooded, Tennessee cabin places you right on the river. Start your morning with a coffee on the dock or a dip in the water and end your night around one the ground’s two fire pits. This cozy rental offers you a chance to enjoy the water activities you love in the summer without the crowds that are likely a deterrent. This stay, minutes from Rock Island State Park, puts you near the hikes and waterfalls you love while giving you access to the river other visitors won’t get.
Courtesy of Caitlin Cuppernull | Instagram: @ironsidestudio
For the Family That Usually Goes to Myrtle Beach
WHERE: Newport, North Carolina
Unfortunately, when it comes to the South Atlantic, you’re not going to find much in terms of isolation. Since their reopening, popular beaches throughout Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina have been at max capacity, but that doesn’t mean you should have to say goodbye to your Jimmy Buffet fantasies for the year. This rental places you away from the crowded beaches while still putting you right on the water. Sitting on the shore of the intercoastal highway, this location is a dream for fishers and dolphin-spotters alike. And while it might not be on the beach, the nearest stretch of sand is only a short drive away, allowing you to keep an eye on crowds and pick and choose your days ocean-side.
Greg and Tammy/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Central Parkers Wanting More Space
WHERE: Philipstown, New York
While Central Park offers acres of kept green space to city residents, finding a spot to lounge away from others has become a challenge. A little over an hour North, this rental in Philipstown offers you the space you’ve been desperately craving. Sitting just a short walk from the Hudson River and atop a mountain, you get stunning views with easy access to hikes and water activities. This ranch house is up-to-date but still offers a taste of the country—getting you out of the city without getting down and dirty.
Jan/Courtesy of Airbnb
For the Travelers Who Haven’t Entered the Martha’s Vineyard Tax Bracket (Yet)
WHERE: Fairhaven, Massachusetts
We all want to go to Martha’s Vineyard but, let’s be honest, we can’t all afford the island known for celebrity visit and presidential homes. This isolated beach house offers views of the vineyard without the price (or crowds). Within easy reach of Boston residents, this rental sits near the water and marsh while still offering easy access to the nicer things we’ve come to associate this area with. A stunning home with equally stunning views, you’ll get the New England getaway without the New England crowds or fees.
Kaylee DeCollibus Real Estate Photography