If you are one of the many people that will most likely be opting for a local destination on your next vacation (like 70% of HomeExchange members say they will), there are innumerable beautiful destinations to explore across the United States. Once travel restrictions are lifted and we can begin traveling again, many people will most likely look for those less crowded, less "touristy", local destinations. With thousands of home exchanges in the US, it's not hard to find your next vacation just a drive away from home in a lesser-known destination with plenty of space for the family to relax and stay entertained.
Traveling with HomeExchange is a great way to safely travel with family and friends this summer. Take the worry out of planning with our flexible last-minute pandemic cancelation policy and just focus on enjoying your vacation. You also have the benefit of enjoying your own private space, with a kitchen and yard of your own, and no busy communal spaces like in a hotel or resort. Browse house swaps in your dream US destinations, or check out our recommendations below for lesser-known places for your next vacation.
Paso Robles has it all: it’s a fun spot for a girls’ trip with wineries and olive groves, a romantic getaway option full of history, a lake and picnic spots, or a vacation with kids with a family water park. There are dozens of wine tasting tours to choose from and you can tour vineyards and wineries, trying the zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and Rhône-style wines the region is known for. When you’ve had your fill of vino, an olive oil tasting will round off a memorable (and delicious) vacation.
Park City is known for its excellent skiing, but there’s much more to do even if you don’t want to hit the powder. Nature lovers will adore Park City for its 400 miles of maintained trails for mountain biking and hiking, snowmobiling, tubing, fly fishing, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, river rafting and golf. The city’s historic district boasts boutiques, art galleries, a museum, and plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from.
When you’re seeking a beach getaway, Hilton Head Island and the Atlantic Ocean await, with gorgeous beaches at every turn! If you’re more of a history buff than a beach bum, Hilton Head Island is oozing with history, including historic museums and Civil War monuments. The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a perfect place to spot deer, birds, and alligators, while the Coastal Discovery Museum is a fun spot for all ages to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area.
Located near Washington D.C. but away from the bustle of the city, Loudoun has something for everyone: vineyards, white water rafting, and historical homes. There are inviting golf courses, hiking and biking trails, and wineries— Loudon’s Wine Trail includes nine! Foodies will love the city for its trendy restaurants with farm-to-table concepts, craft beer, and more must-hit spots than you can tackle in one trip.
Located in southwest Florida, Naples has miles of beaches with fine white sand, ideal for a relaxing, tropical getaway on the Gulf of Mexico. Naples offers high-end shopping, golf courses, a swamp sanctuary, the Naples Zoo, and a botanical garden. Don’t miss the Naples Pier, a popular fishing destination and one of the best places to watch dolphins and pelicans, with tons of restaurants to choose from.
Burlington has fun activities to keep the whole family entertained: amazing skiing, escape rooms, a cinema drafthouse, indoor skydiving, mini golf, ziplining, paintball parks, and more! There will never be a dull moment, but when you’re ready to decompress the lakes, state parks, and wooded, forested parks with trails will let you relax and enjoy the natural beauty of New England. Vermont is known for its cheese, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and maple syrup— what’s not to love?
Just 1.5 hours from Portland, Cannon Beach is a small coastal city with stunning trails, beaches, coves and a lighthouse. If you’re looking to escape busy, stressful life and unwind in a small city with views of tufted puffins, rocky state parks, and boutiques and small businesses downtown, Cannon Beach will be an oasis. The city has a small town beach charm and is easy to explore by bike or on foot.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a refreshing retreat in nature on the shores of some of America’s top beaches. Featuring a 100-mile stretch of islands, the Outer Banks are home to fantastic swimming, kayaking, surfing, stunning natural parks, and local lighthouses to discover. You’ll explore local coastal villages, eat the catch of the day, experience history, and see the best sunsets of your life.
Tucson experiences 350 days of sunshine a year, so you can enjoy beautiful weather while tasting some of the best Mexican food this side of the border. The whole family will be awed by Saguaro National Park and its cacti, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum with its interactive outdoor exhibits, and the Tucson Botanical Gardens with its impressive butterfly house. Trendy, bustling, and full of natural beauty, Tucson is sure to impress and inspire its visitors.
From barbecue restaurants to blues music, St. Louis has plenty to entice all ages. Spend a day indulging in the more “touristy” activities, like seeing the Gateway Arch, touring the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and chowing down on toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake. There’s plenty for kids, too, like the zoo, art museum, and science center, which are all free, or the Magic House Children’s Museum chock full of interactive exhibits.