Vacation Rental Backyard Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
July 17, 2023

When we crunched the numbers to reveal which amenities got the most bookings nationwide, outdoor space made the top 10 in every region of the U.S. That means guests are looking for room to relax al fresco — and booking it. And the right vacation rental backyard ideas can turn your home into a traveler’s paradise.

The great news: a few key updates can make a major impact on your guest experience — leading to better performance and five-star reviews. Here are 14 Airbnb backyard ideas to create a must-book outdoor space at your rental property.

In This Article:
Important Tips for Every Rental Backyard
Ideas for Your Patio and Backyard Dining Spaces
Ideas for Your Outdoor Entertainment Spaces

Important Tips for Every Rental Backyard

Summer backyard with a pool, pool chairs, and pool house surrounded by bushes and trees, creating a great guest experience with one of the best rental backyard ideas

There are a few things owners should always have in mind when creating an ideal outdoor living space. Use these tips to establish a clear baseline for a successful backyard makeover.

1. Keep It Clean

It’s natural to focus cleaning efforts on your vacation rental’s interior, but owners should address outdoor areas, too. Cleanliness is often the top guest complaint about outdoor amenities, so make sure your backyard gets some love with a cleaning routine that helps you avoid negative feedback.

2. Consider Your Climate

Whether you have a snowy mountain ski home or a sunny beachfront abode, vacationers enjoy getting fresh air while staying protected from the elements. Think about how you can make time spent outdoors more comfortable and convenient for guests in your home’s environment. If you get lots of sun, avoid metals and choose lighter colors to help on hot days. In a humid area, steer clear of wooden furniture that can mold and deteriorate more quickly.

3. Put Safety First

Some outdoor amenities require more care and caution than others. If it flows (water features), glows (fire features), or grows (vegetation), you need to take extra precautions to keep your guests safe and happy. A great starting point: always include instructions for hot tubs, grills, and fire pits, and make sure all outdoor areas are well lit and meet reasonable safety standards.

4. Cater to Your Ideal Guest

Consider the guests who would be happiest in your home, and go the extra mile to meet their needs. For example, if your home has a lot of bedrooms, you might set up the backyard for families and large groups. If you’re aiming to attract pet-friendly travelers — which recent data shows is one of the most popular guest amenities — cater your backyard to four-legged friends, too.

5. Plan for Maintenance

From the landscaping you choose to the amenities you offer, upkeep should always stay top of mind. It’s important to think about who will help maintain your home’s outdoor space and how often it’ll need attention. Then, set clear expectations with your service crews, because avoiding gaps in your property maintenance keeps your home five-star ready in every season.

6. Make Your Spaces Unique

Designing one-of-a-kind areas can leave a lasting impression with guests. Whether it’s the special touches you add through decor or the unique activities you provide for entertainment, look for vacation rental backyard ideas that offer experiences your guests will remember (keep reading for a few of our favorites).

Ideas for Your Patio and Backyard Dining Spaces

Backyard porch of southwest style home with an outdoor dining table surrounded by bushes and trees.

An outdoor paradise has plenty of space for relaxation and gathering, including an open-air dining or lounge area. Here’s a few Airbnb backyard ideas to inspire a feast.

7. Choose Comfortable Furniture That Lasts

The key to pleasant backyard dining is comfy, durable furniture — think modern, weather-resistant seating (whether that’s dining chair cushions or lounge-worthy couches). And whatever you do, don’t use furniture discarded from your primary residence. Guests will notice: our experts say outdated pieces and furniture wear and tear are among the most common complaints for these spaces.

8. Match Your Home’s Capacity

Outdoor dining spaces and lounge areas should accommodate every traveler staying in your home the same way your interior does. Provide enough seating and table surface to meet the needs of your max occupancy, and make it easy for outdoor gatherings to happen without a hitch. (The same goes for outdoor wares, like plates and cups).

9. Offer Outdoor Plates and Cups

Stock your shelves with outdoor-friendly dishes, cups, and mugs so they aren’t easily cracked or damaged. This also helps avoid shattered porcelain or broken glass, which is especially important near pools and on lawns where bare feet are even more likely to roam.

10. Add a Few Homey Accents

Your patio and outdoor dining area should be an extension of your home’s aesthetic. Bring that cozy and inviting vibe outside with weather-friendly decor elements like an area rug, patterned throw pillows, potted plants, or metal wall hangings. (If you’re willing to invest a little more, you could also add a bar or cooking area to create an even more memorable experience).

🐾 Pet-friendly plus: Include a dog bed, plus food and water bowls, so furry friends can join for hangouts.
👪 Family-friendly spin: Consider plasticware so no one worries about broken glass.
💗 Romantic twist: Add flameless candles to set the mood (and avoid real candles, which can look used more quickly). 
Star booster: Install umbrellas or awnings to provide shade and shelter, no matter the weather.

Ideas for Your Outdoor Entertainment Spaces

Outdoor fire pit area surrounded by lawn chairs, next to a covered patio, since fire pits are one of the best rental backyard ideas.

While outdoor living spaces make the top 10 most-booked amenities, locations throughout the country also get bookings for features like complimentary outdoor gear, landscape views, hot tubs, and pools. Here are a few rental backyard ideas to create an atmosphere that brings the fun.

11. Get the Grill Ready

Guests often book a home specifically for the grill, so make sure yours is always clean and ready for use. Give easy-to-follow instructions for how to turn it on, install propane if necessary, and properly clean the grates between visits. Better yet: provide all of the necessary accessories, like spatulas, tongs, and aluminum foil.

12. Warm Up the Space with a Fire Pit

Our research shows fire features are the most popular amenities for travelers, so adding one can get your home more bookings. Plus, a fire pit offers light, warmth, and entertainment — all while giving your vacation rental an upscale feel. Provide instructions on how to safely use yours, then make fireside nights even more fun with s’more ingredients and skewers at the ready.

13. Make a Splash with a Pool or Hot Tub

As one of the top amenities for guests across the country, hot tubs can have an especially large impact on your home’s performance if maintained at high standards. And private pools add an extra splash of fun, too.

Like all your amenities, guests expect water features to be clean, safe, modern, and ready for use, so keep yours in pristine condition for five-star impact. Heat hot tubs in advance of guest arrival, and leave instructions nearby to guarantee the smoothest experience. You can also offer large towels and water toys for an extra dose of poolside excitement.

14. Keep the Yard Relaxation-Ready

Even on a budget, well-mowed grass and a few reclining lawn chairs can turn a lawn into a sanctuary. Go the extra mile by hanging a hammock or adding a peaceful reading bench. Think about plants or succulents for some extra flair, too. Just remember: unless you have automatic watering systems, it’s best to choose resilient plants that won’t need as much upkeep during busy seasons.

🐾 Pet-friendly plus: Fence in your yard to make it safe for pets, and clean up any poop that may have been left behind. 
👪 Family-friendly spin: Provide pool or yard games like corn hole, frisbee, basketball, or badminton to encourage backyard fun.
💗 Romantic twist: Leave warm blankets for the patio or make your hot tub more secluded for snuggles beneath the stars.
Star booster: Stock plenty of charcoal, propane, or firewood for easy guest use.

See Success Beyond Your Rental’s Backyard

Rental backyard ideas for your Airbnb can help you create a review-worthy space and get started on the path to success. But making your home a must-book stay takes a few more secrets — from nailing your marketing and fine-tuning your pricing to getting Evolve’s free downloadable guide to earning more.

Inside you’ll find: 

  • Exclusive marketing strategies we use to hit revenue goals
  • A deeper look at creating the perfect listing and setting smart policies
  • Impressive data insights that prove just how much of a game-changer the right approach can be

We’re here at every stage of your journey to make starting, managing, and growing your business even better.

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