Best Places for Short-Term Rentals in the US

Curious about top locations for short-term rentals in the U.S.? Discover the most lucrative markets and essential investment insights in our comprehensive guide.

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Ever considered the Finger Lakes region of New York for short-term property rentals? You’re not alone. It’s one of many U.S. locations experiencing a boom in this market. 

Our detailed guide will help you navigate this complex landscape, exploring locations from the coastal charms of New York to the wilderness allure of Alaska. You’ll learn about the unique selling points of each location, potential revenue, and essential investment considerations. 

So, are you ready to uncover the secrets of the most lucrative short-term rental markets in the U.S.?

How to Choose the Best Place to Own an Airbnb

Choosing the best place to own an Airbnb hinges on several key factors. You’ll want to contemplate rental demand, regulations, potential revenue growth, and the level of competition in the market.

Let’s guide you through these deliberations to help you make an informed decision.

Rental Demand

When it comes to selecting the best place for your Airbnb investment, understanding rental demand metrics can give you a distinct edge. You’ll want to check out metrics such as the booked listing growth rate and the trailing 12-month occupancy rate. 

These figures shed light on how frequently properties are booked, and how demand varies over time. It’s vital to know if a location is sought after by tourists or business travelers.

Look at trends in these metrics too. If there’s steady growth, it’s a good sign that demand is strong. But if these metrics are in decline, it might be best to steer clear. 

So, before you make your investment, do your homework. Analyzing rental demand will help make sure you pick a winning Airbnb location.


Understanding local regulations is essential before you plunge yourself into the Airbnb investment pool. Different cities, counties, or states have unique laws governing short-term rentals. 

Some places may have restrictions on the number of days a property can be rented out, require specific permits, or even prohibit short-term rentals entirely. 

It’s pivotal to conduct thorough research to make certain you’re not violating any rules. Reach out to local authorities or consult a real estate lawyer for exact information. In addition, consider the community’s stance on Airbnb. 

Some neighborhoods may be more welcoming than others, which can affect your business. Remember, choosing a location for your Airbnb isn’t just about the potential for high returns, it’s about navigating the regulatory landscape successfully.

Revenue Growth

To maximize your Airbnb revenue growth, it’s essential to carefully select the right location for your investment property.

Consider areas with unique qualities that attract travelers, such as coastal access or historical significance. Keep an eye on market predictions too. 

AirDNA, for example, expects growth in RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Rental), indicating promising returns for Airbnb owners.

How to Increase Airbnb Revenue

But, don’t overlook potential challenges. Increased home values may affect your investment’s profitability. Still, with the right data at your disposal, you can make informed decisions.

Evaluate factors like occupancy rates and revenue changes, evaluating their impact on your potential income. 

Remember, the aim is to find a balance between an affordable investment and a property that promises solid, sustainable revenue growth.


Choosing the best place to own an Airbnb isn’t just about selecting a picturesque location; it’s also about understanding the competitive landscape of the short-term rental market. 

You should consider the level of competition in potential areas. Over-saturation can drive down prices and make it harder for your property to stand out.

Research the average occupancy rates in the area. High rates can indicate strong demand, but they could also mean fierce competition. Look at the types of properties that are getting booked. Are they similar to yours, or do they offer something different?

Consider local regulations as well. Some cities have strict rules about short-term rentals, which can limit your ability to compete. In contrast, more relaxed regulations could lead to a flood of competitors. Be smart about your investment.

Best Places for Short-Term Rentals in the US

Looking to invest in short-term rentals in the US? It’s essential to explore locations like Fairbanks, Alaska, Savannah, Georgia, and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. 

These spots offer unique attractions and lucrative opportunities for property owners like you.

Fairbanks, Alaska

If you’re considering an investment in the short-term rental market, Fairbanks, Alaska, presents a unique opportunity with waterfront properties offering wilderness adventures and various seasonal activities. This northernmost city in the US is a dream for nature lovers, providing spectacular views of the Northern Lights and wildlife. 

Rental properties here are in high demand, especially during the summer and winter solstice seasons. The tourism industry thrives with attractions such as the Chena Hot Springs, dog sledding, and ice sculpture competitions. It’s a market ripe for investment. 

Top owners in Fairbanks earn triple the median revenue, making it a promising venture. So, if you’re planning to invest, Fairbanks, Alaska could be an ideal choice for a profitable short-term rental business.

Savannah, Georgia

Steeped in rich history and boasting a vibrant culinary scene, Savannah, Georgia offers a promising market for short-term rental investments. 

You’ll find the city’s charm irresistible, with its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and picturesque squares. This southern gem’s appeal isn’t limited to its aesthetics, though. It’s also a thriving economic hub, attracting countless visitors annually for both business and pleasure.

Vacationers are often drawn to rentals near downtown or close to the city’s historic sites. This demand makes it an attractive location for potential investors. Be mindful, however, of understanding local regulations around short-term rentals. 

Despite potential challenges, Savannah’s unique appeal and steady visitor base make it a top contender in the nation’s short-term rental market. Consider Savannah as your next investment opportunity.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

As you turn your investment gaze to the Midwest, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin emerges as a top choice for short-term rentals in the US. Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World”, it’s a hit with families, drawing in scores of tourists every year. 

Its bustling summer season, thriving indoor waterpark scene, and variety of family-friendly attractions make it a magnet for rentals. You’ll find a wide range of properties, from cozy cabins to large family homes. The consistent demand, coupled with the area’s affordable real estate, spells a promising return on investment. 

Additionally, Wisconsin’s friendly regulations for short-term rentals make operations smoother. So, if you’re looking for a lucrative, family-oriented rental market, don’t overlook Wisconsin Dells.

Austin, Texas

Shifting our focus south to the Lone Star State, you’ll find Austin, Texas, a city renowned for its vibrant music scene, thriving tech industry, and cultural diversity, also boasts a flourishing short-term rental market.

The city’s eclectic neighborhoods, enticing food scene, and abundant outdoor activities attract diverse travelers, making it a hotspot for short-term rentals. With a steady stream of tech conferences and music festivals, Austin guarantees a consistent flow of renters year-round.

Regulations around short-term rentals are also relatively relaxed, giving you less red tape to navigate. Capitalize on Austin’s appeal by investing in properties downtown or near popular sites like Zilker Park or South Congress Avenue. With Austin’s continuous growth, it’s an ideal time to engage in the short-term rental market.

Santa Barbara, California

Heading west to the Golden State, you’ll find Santa Barbara, California, a top pick for short-term rentals with its stunning coastline, rich cultural history, and year-round Mediterranean climate. This scenic city offers a unique blend of relaxed beach town charm and upscale sophistication. 

You’ll find an array of rental options here, from quaint bungalows to luxury oceanfront properties. The city’s thriving arts scene, historic landmarks, and numerous vineyards provide ample entertainment for your guests. 

Plus, the near-perfect weather guarantees a steady stream of tourists year-round. If you’re an investor, you’ll appreciate the robust short-term rental market. Santa Barbara’s strong tourism industry coupled with its high-quality accommodations make it a sound choice for your short-term rental investment.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

If you’re looking for a prime location for short-term rental investment, set your sights on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. 

This charming coastal town offers a blend of beach-town relaxation and exciting attractions like the boardwalk, making it a hit with vacationers. It’s known for its beautiful sandy beaches and vibrant culinary scene, ensuring a steady stream of visitors year-round. 

With a cap rate of 6.46% and a median home price of $618,000, Rehoboth Beach presents a lucrative opportunity for investors. Its annual gross rental revenue averages $58,992, signifying a healthy return on investment. 

Despite the higher home values, the demand for rentals here remains strong, solidifying Rehoboth Beach’s status as a top choice for short-term rental investments.

Portland, Maine

While Rehoboth Beach offers coastal charm, you might also want to contemplate Portland, Maine, another appealing option for short-term rental investments. 

With its vibrant arts scene, historic charm, and excellent seafood, Portland draws an eclectic mix of visitors. Plus, it’s a gateway to the rugged beauty of Maine’s coast, hiking trails, and ski resorts – a year-round destination.

Properties here have solid rentability, thanks to a strong tourism industry and consistent demand. Vacation rental properties, particularly those near the waterfront or downtown, can fetch high rates. However, be mindful of local regulations – Portland has made efforts to regulate short-term rentals. 

Still, with careful planning, you could make a tidy profit from a short-term rental in this picturesque New England city.

Find the Best Places to Invest in with Analysis Tools

Looking to make a savvy investment in the short-term rental market? Analyzing potential locations with tools like AirDNA and Mashvisor can give you a leg up. 

They provide key metrics like rental demand and revenue growth, helping you pinpoint the best places to invest in the US.


If you’re looking to invest in short-term rentals, AirDNA‘s analysis tools can help you pinpoint the best locations across the United States. Their thorough evaluations consider factors such as rental demand, revenue growth, occupancy rates, and potential regulatory risks.

By using trailing 12-month occupancy rates and booking growth rates, AirDNA helps you understand the market and make informed investment decisions. They also evaluate the profitability of a property against its costs, taking into account potential rental income and operating expenses.

Whether your sights are set on locations like Florida, Ohio, or South Carolina, AirDNA provides the data you need to identify promising markets for your investment. This way, you’re not just investing, but investing wisely.

Learn more in our in-depth AirDNA review.


When it comes to finding the best places to invest in short-term rentals, Mashvisor’s analysis tools can be your game-changer. This nifty platform leverages big data, providing you with an insightful snapshot of the rental market. It helps you identify profitable properties by examining factors like rental income, occupancy rates, and return on investment.

With Mashvisor, you’re not just shooting in the dark. You get a clear vision of potential investment opportunities across various US cities. It’s user-friendly and packed with features that simplify your search. 

You can compare neighborhoods, estimate expenses, and even forecast returns. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a newbie, Mashvisor’s robust analytics tools can make your investment journey smoother and more profitable.


Finding the best place for short-term rentals in the US can be a challenge. This guide is your roadmap to navigate the thriving rental landscape, spotlighting the top vacation markets, rental demand metrics, and key investment considerations. 

From the coastal allure of Finger Lakes, NY, to the rustic charm of Fairbanks, AK, we’ve got you covered. Equipped with this knowledge, you’re now ready to make your mark in the lucrative short-term rental market. Happy investing!

All data presented above are taken from AirDNA’s Market Insights (can be accessed with a free subscription)

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