Evolve’s Best Places to Stay for an Amazing Vacation Rental Experience

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
February 27, 2023

When booking a dream vacation, you want to be in one of the best places to stay. But with so many options at your literal fingertips, sometimes that can feel a lot like looking for Waldo in a room full of striped sweaters.

Not anymore.

When we surveyed over 8,000 guests about their 2023 travel plans, the majority — seriously, 82% of ’em — said they want to stay in a vacation home on their trips this year.

Enter: our exclusive, first-ever list of Best Places to Stay. From quaint tiny homes to cozy cabins made for memory-making, these are the most amazing rentals for families, friends, and solo travelers alike. Broken down by category, they’re undeniable fan favorites that consistently receive rave reviews, hold stellar star ratings, and are highly sought-after by guests. All you have to do is book your faves — then pack your bags and go.

Don’t forget: you can favorite your top picks to save and reference whenever it’s time to plan the next 2023 adventure.

Evolve’s Best Places to Stay were chosen based on a variety of selection criteria, including star ratings, guest reviews, booking data, home amenities, and location.

In This Article: 
Best Tiny Home
Coziest Cabin
Best By the Beach
Most Secluded Space
Best Lean Into a Theme
Most Family-Friendly 
Most Wow-Worthy Views

Best Tiny Home

Tiny homes are special because the coziness of a quaint space creates the perfect chance to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life — whether that’s solo or with your favorite human (or even a furry friend). Evolve’s guests and their five-star reviews have spoken, and these are our tiniest best places to stay.

Winner: Quaint Studio Near Hot Springs National Park

Image of a tiny house vacation rental in Hot Springs, AR with an open gate leading into the backyard with patio furniture.

This miniature marvel in Hot Springs, AR entertains national park enthusiasts from all over the world thanks to its ideal proximity (just minutes away!) to Hot Springs National Park. The snuggly hideout is also close to popular thrills found at Magic Springs Theme Park, and sits less than one mile from downtown. There you can roll the dice at Oaklawn Casino, or take a stroll through Garvan Woodland Garden.

When you’re ready to kick your shoes off, it’s easy to do in the private backyard. Those traveling on a budget can also find all the amenities needed to vacation comfortably — and affordably — inside this small treasure.

Runners-Up:

Charming Waterfront Home in Bay St. Louis, MS

Bryson City, NC Cabin with Hot Tub & Views

Tiny homes at the top of your travel list? Book any of these pint-sized properties for a small-but-mighty trip.

Coziest Cabin

A cabin invites you to surround yourself with the sights, sounds, and experiences of the great outdoors. It becomes one of the best places to stay when you throw in a comfy bed and private hot tub, too. You’ll find all that and more inside these top picks.

Winner: Chic Cabin Retreat Near Broken Bow Lake

Image of a large cabin at dusk in Broken Bow, OK with an accessible front porch, decorated with outdoor lighting and surrounded by trees in the forest

Located just three miles from Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake, this top vacation rental in Broken Bow, OK is designed for year-round style. By that, we mean beautiful, modern design in every single room. (Yes, there’s a bathtub chandelier.) 

Here, every retreat comes complete with a private hot tub in front of the fireplace on the covered deck, a second fire for s’mores around the wood-burning pit, and an indoor fireplace to boost the cozy factor even more. Evenings can be spent in the spacious living room or out on the patio — both have wide-open woodland views and their own Smart TV. Or, you could head to nearby Hochatown to taste-test your way through all the wineries, breweries, and local eateries.

Runners-Up:

Cozy Creekside Cabin in Cosby, TN

Peaceful Pet-Friendly Cabin in Brevard, NC

From serene mountaintops to sparkling lakesides, cabin rentals like these make every vacation a cozy one.

Best By the Beach

When you’re staying in the most amazing rentals right by the ocean, it’s beach time all the time. So toss your watches and meet your fam on the sand at these best places to stay by the beach.

Winner: Beach Condo with Sparkling Ocean Views

View from inside a beach vacation rental beach with themed beach decor and an ocean view from the balcony

Inside this sunny condo on the west end of Panama City Beach, FL, you get views of the Gulf with access to all the amenities of Celadon Beach Resort. We’re talking two pools, two hot tubs, a fitness center, and an on-site beach. But take your time deciding what to use first, because the private balcony overlooks the water — and it’s calling your name. With room for six guests, this is the perfect family trip to the quieter side of the city (and sand). Yet, it’s still within easy reach of golf clubs, adventure parks, and tasty oceanside eats.

Runners-Up:

Sunny Virginia Beach Studio Steps From the Sand

Private Galveston, TX Condo with a Babe’s Beach Balcony

Ready to dip your toes in the sand? Find your next blissful beach rental from gulf to coast and beyond.

Most Secluded Space

From tucked-away villas to sheltered chateaus, we narrowed down the most secluded vacation rentals using their local population and distance to a major city — so you can really get away. While they’re hidden from the crowds, these gems aren’t-so-secret anymore.

Winner: Log Cabin Hideout in the Rocky Mountains

Image of a vacation rental cabin in the Rocky Mountains covered in snow with a hot tub in the foreground

The “Burrow” in Blue River, CO is a classic cabin in the woods: there you’ll find snuggly blankets, rustic handmade decor, a backyard fire pit, and a serene forest surrounding the home. Nestled five miles from mountain town Breckenridge, you can soak in the private hot tub, lounge in front of the wood-burning stove, or go into town and ride the gondola up to Peak 8, where there’s Rocky Mountain views you won’t soon forget. With room for nine guests, you can even make it a group getaway any time of year — the high ceilings and open layouts do a great job of helping you feel tucked away while still giving everyone plenty of space to breathe.

Runners-Up:

Meditative Mountain Cabin in Morristown, VT

Pet-Friendly Lakeshore Retreat in Wedowee, AL

Best Lean Into a Theme

What’s better than enjoying a completely unique experience during that once-in-a-lifetime trip? Nothing. Of all the top vacation rentals, these take the cake for the most dedication to their dream theme.

Winner: Dreamy Creekside Treehouse with Private Island Fire Pit

Image of a vacation rental treehouse with a bridge leading to a fire pit in the foreground

Experience your own woodland fairytale in this tucked-away treehouse just outside Cosby, TN. Any duo looking for full-blown forest surroundings (down to the unique kitchen accents!) is sure to enjoy a stay here. You can enjoy soaking in the hot tub with river views from the wraparound deck, or cross the private bridge to warm up by the fire pit on your very own island in the stream. 

For a change of pace, get your fill of adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park — some trails start just four miles from the treehouse. You can also pack your day with fun at nearby Dollywood, before retreating to your refuge in the trees.

Runners-Up:

Epic Dino-Themed Retreat with Hot Tub (& Life-Sized T-Rex!)

Out-Of-This-World Villa with Star Wars Home Theater

From a renovated gas station to a chic shipping container, these unique vacation rentals all provide a one-of-a-kind experience.

Most Family-Friendly

Families need a place to stay that plays to every age and offers fun for all. Get ready for a kid-friendly getaway in one of these winning homes with tons of five stars from families.

Winner: Forested Family Cabin with Spacious Deck

Image of a game room inside of a family-friendly vacation rental.

Nestled in the Stanislaus National Forest outside of Twain Harte, CA, this kid-friendly cabin sleeps eight people (plus your furry family member!) and has all the features that make for memorable moments. Enjoy views from every angle as you whip up a meal in the spacious kitchen, or sit back with some drinks on the fully-fenced deck. Gather for board games in the large living room (games included), then take on arcade favorites and foosball matches in the bonafide game room. 

If outdoor adventure is more your family style, there’s tons of opportunity to explore with nearby trails. You could also take a quick day trip to Yosemite National Park just over an hour’s drive away.

Runners-Up:

Modern Family Escape with Games, Grill, and Fire Pit

Hakuna Matata Cabin with Hot Tub

Your relaxation begins at booking: All of our best places to stay are backed by our Rest Easy Promise, so you know your vacation rental will be safe, clean, and ready for your arrival.

Most Wow-Worthy Views

The best vacation rentals are even better when they come with sights that’ll knock your socks off. “Picturesque” puts it mildly when it comes to these stunning top stays.

Winner: Adobe Studio in Sedona with Panoramic Views

Image from a vacation rental home patio in Sedona, Arizona with a beautiful view of the red rocks and canyons

Wake up surrounded by 360-degree red rock views when you stay in this scenic studio in Sedona, AZ. Colorful and comfortable, the home has everything a a few people need for an epic escape, complete with hike-in/hike-out access to Coconino National Forest

Start your day with coffee on the patio and panoramic sights, or take in the sunrise from side-by-side hammocks. Then make your way to the famous Tlaquepaque arts village just three miles down the road, where you can wander through local artisan shops and galleries in an old-world setting. Head back to laze around in the bright sitting room, and end the evening stargazing through floor-to-ceiling bay windows from the comfort of your bed.

Runners-Up:

Scenic Sevierville, TN Cabin with Private Pond & Fire Pit 

Bright Cabin Near Yellowstone with Stunning Mountain Views

Book Your Best Place to Stay with Evolve

The most amazing rentals should give you that home-away-from-home feel and create the perfect space to make memories that last long after you unpack the suitcase.

Don’t let our list of the Best Places to Stay be your last source of inspiration for 2023’s travel plans. From the top places to travel each season to vacation-worthy small towns across the U.S. — and even can’t-miss roadside attractions you could find along the way — we have what you need to make this year your most adventurous one yet.

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