The Coolest Rental Homes (and Domes and Treehouses) in the Southeast

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Are you searching for a great vacation rental in the Southeast? There are so many locations and houses to choose from, its hard to know where to start! KAG’s Kristina Hernandez compiled this list to help you out. Here you’ll find the coolest vacation homes situated in the mountains, by lakes and even near the beach.

Please tell us we aren’t the only people out there who browse AirBnB and VRBO trying to find super cool houses where we can take our families and have a great trip together. I mean, I do this all the time. All. The. Time.

Because vacation time is so limited (and costly), I tend to rent houses to save on food costs so we don’t have to eat out every meal. Renting a home can be a bit of a gamble but if you try to choose a house with lots of good reviews, the odds will hopefully swing in your favor. Prices often change with the seasons so a lot will depend on what time of year you book.

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So here are all the places I’m dreaming of to take my family for an escape and quality time together within a four-hour drive from Greenville.

Vacation Rentals in the Mountains

Canopy Blue Treehouse

Blue Ridge, GA

This luxury treehouse is stunning. It’s located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Northern GA near the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The treehouse itself is situated on four acres and is over 760 square feet but the deck space is 1200 square feet! Plus, they have a hot tub, fire pit, a swing bed, and gorgeous views. It sleeps six people. Expect to pay at least $365/night with a two-night minimum.

VRBO Canopy Blue Treehouse
VRBO Canopy Blue Treehouse, Photo Credit: VRBO

Oak Ridge Cabin near Helen, GA

Helen, GA

Situated close to Helen, GA and the tubing park, the Oak Ridge Cabin can sleep eight people, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a hot tub. It has over 100 five-star reviews from previous guests, who note the spaciousness of the cabin and the location. This cabin runs about $125/night.

Pilot Cove

These aren’t Airbnbs but they are similar since they have a similar vibe. They are actual homes with kitchens, bathrooms, and even hammocks. The reason Pilot Cove is on my dream vacation home list is because they sit right on the edge of the Pisgah Forest in North Carolina, a gorgeous land with waterfalls, hiking and biking trails, and peaceful quiet. They offer studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom cabins and start at $150/night for the off-season, $175 for peak season.

Pilot Cove

The Bird’s Nest Tiny Home

Blowing Rock, NC

This tiny house sleeps four people and is just so gorgeous. I need to hire their interior designer. It’s located in the mountain village of Blowing Rock, NC, has two decks, and was built with all reclaimed lumber. Expect to pay about $200/night.

Winchester Creek Alpaca Farm

Waynesville, NC

Stay right next to the alpaca pasture at Winchester Creek Farm in this beautiful rental home in Waynesville, NC. It’s just an awesome place to relax, see the animals, and take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy local restaurants, breweries, and hiking. The rental sleeps four people and is around $130-$150/night.

VRBO Winchester Creek Aplaca Farm, Photo Credit: VRBO

Seaboard Coast Line #0843

Clyde, NC

This is an old caboose has been converted into a really unique vacation rental that sits on a 65 acre bison ranch. It has daily bison feedings, llamas, goats, a playground, and hiking trails. The Pigeon River runs in front of the property, where you can wade in the summer. It sleeps up to 5 people and is pet friendly. Expect to pay around $200/night depending on season.

Old Caboose, Photo Credit: VRBO

Glamping Geodesic Dome Tent

Boone, NC

Imagine sleeping in a giant dome, watching the stars at night with your family, and catching trout during the day. You can do all that at this glamping dome outside Boone, NC. It sleeps four, is kid-friendly, and super private as it sits on more than four acres. Rates are between $109 – $140/night.

Sky Ridge Yurts

Bryson City, NC

A yurt is a round tent-like structure with a high ceiling that forms an open dome at the top. Its walls are made of strong, waterproof fabric held up with lattice wood and it’s a typical home for people who live in Central Asia. I first heard of yurts when one of my very best friends stayed in one during her travels abroad and then I saw them on the Travel Channel.  I thought they were super cool but never in a million years would have guessed I could stay in one near Greenville – and that is would be beyond my wildest expectations. The “wow factor” was considerably off the charts as soon as I caught a glimpse of Sky Ridge Yurts driving up the gravel road to the yurt village. Prices vary seasonally and they have various sizes of yurts that fit from 3-6 people.

Sky Ridge Yurts

Edisto River Treehouses

St. George, SC

Accessible only by canoe, these treehouses are quiet, comfortable, and a one-of-a-kind experience. To stay in a treehouse, you have to paddle about 13 miles and you can stay and fish and walk. Saturday night trips are $190/person and any other night is $160/person. Kids have to be at least 11-years-old to participate and you just need to bring food, a sleeping bag, food, and drinking water. Treehouses sleep anywhere from 2-4 people up to 6-8 people. Pets are not allowed.

Bryson City Treehouse

Bryson City, NC

I love treehouses if you haven’t figured that out yet. This treehouse is in Bryson City, NC, a pretty awesome town on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park that has hiking, tubing, breweries, and lots of adventure. This 1000 sq ft treehouse sleeps five people and has a huge patio for relaxing or grilling and is more affordable than most treehouses we’ve seen at $160/night.

Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort

Sevierville, TN

If you’re looking for a really unique experience, you can stay in a covered wagon or tipi at the Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort in Sevierville, TN, right outside Gatlinburg. It is owned and run by a local family who have created just an amazing resort with four authentic Conestoga wagons that heat and air plus three Sioux tipis. They are adding on more, plus a treehouse! Prices are around $199/night depending on season and wagon/tipi.

Smoky Hollow Wagon

Barrel Cabins in Georgia

Helen, GA

Barrel cabins are exactly what they sound like except comfortable. You can rent them at Unicoi State Park in Georgia, about five minutes from the Bavarian town of Helen. Close to tubing, waterfalls, and good food, Unicoi State Park is a great location for a family trip. Prices vary by season.

Vacation Rentals by the Beach

Airbnb near Greenville
Boardwalk at Port Royal Sands

Beachfront Home with Sunset Views

Seabrook Island, SC

Go big or go home with this oceanfront home on Seabrook Island in South Carolina. The huge home sleeps eight people amongst its four bedrooms. It’s directly across from the golf course and you can see the beach, dolphins, and birds from the decks. Price is around $870/night.

Historic Home in Charleston

Charleston, SC

This historic home, built in 1882, sleeps eight people, has a double front porch, reading nook, huge windows, and a large kitchen. It sits right in the middle of downtown Charleston and has rave reviews. It is between $299 – $600 (for holidays) per night.

Isle of Palms Beach Condo

Isle of Palms, SC

With one bedroom, three beds that sleep four people, and a beautiful oceanfront location, this condo is ideal for that lazy beach vacation you’ve been dreaming of. Guests comment on the views and how clean the place is. Nights start at $150 and are higher during the summer.

Daufuskie Island Family Getaway

Daufuskie Island, SC

So this island is at the top of my list of places to visit in South Carolina because it’s such a unique place and is supposedly quite the experience. Why? Because you can only get there by boat. There are no cars on the island so you get around by bike, foot, or golf cart. This home near the beach looks stunning with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Owners will help you set up transportation to the island and golf-cart transportation on the island. This beautiful home on Daufuskie Island will cost you between $290 – $325/night.

Modern 1950s bungalow

Edisto, SC

Relax in this beautiful bungalow that sleeps five and is totally renovated. It’s also right across from the ocean on Edisto Beach. You’ll be paying just under $300/night during peak summer season.

Litchfield by the Sea Condo

Litchfield, SC

If you’re looking for a place that has everything – the beach, the pool, great dining, ocean views, tennis courts, and biking trails, look no further than this three-bedroom rental at Litchfield by the Sea just south of Myrtle Beach. Nights start at $325.

VRBO Litchfield by the Sea
Litchfield by the Sea, Photo Credit: VRBO

St. Augustine Family House

St. Augustine, FL

Situated right outside the nation’s oldest city, this home sits in between the beach and the Matanzas River (the intracoastal waterway), where you can use the home’s dock to launch the included kayaks. The home also has a heated in-ground pool and two bedrooms. It sleeps up to five people. Expect to pay around $375/night.

St. Augustine FL, Photo Credit: VRBO

Lake Vacation Rentals

Lake Keowee Hideaway Home

With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a location right on the lake, your dream family lake vacation begins here. The crystal clear waters of Lake Keowee await at this home where you can swim and kayak in the warmer months and enjoy sunrises all year long. The home has all five star reviews. Expect to pay $400/night during peak summer months and Clemson weekend games.

Luxury Lakefront Lake Hartwell Home

Enjoy gorgeous views of the mountain lake during your morning coffee and then launch the included kayaks from the private cove for a paddle. The three-bedroom home sleeps eight people and rates start at $215/night.

Log Cabin at Lake Lure

I have a thing for log cabins. I think they are super cozy and just plain cool. This one at Lake Lure is the stuff my dreams are made of. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and is located in a private community with a little sandy beach on Lake Lure. And it has a treehouse! Rates start at $189/night.

Lakefront home in the mountains

Both water and mountains! That’s what you get at this lakefront home on Lake Arrowhead in Northern GA. It’s a big house with five bedrooms that sleep 10 people. It also has two kayaks, one paddleboard, two hydro bikes, one canoe, and a water trampoline. You can rent a pontoon boat for an extra fee. It has nearly 200 reviews with a score of 4.9 stars out of five. You can rent it for $450 most nights and a little cheaper during the off-season.

River Pod on the Saluda River

A step up from camping, this river pod at the Saluda Outdoor Center in Easley, SC is great for people who love camping but not necessarily the sleeping-on-the-ground part. Plus, you’ve got tubing here in the summer and entertainment and dining at 13 Stripes Lodge. Rates start at $49/night

Tiny Home on Lake Fairview in Orlando

This tiny home on Lake Fairview in Orlando, Florida sleeps up to three people and has paddleboards and kayaks for guests to use. Rates start at $104/night.

Cabins at Dreher Island State Park

This South Carolina State Park has both villas and camper cabins (bare-bones cabins at a low cost) that sit on the lake. Villas are two or three bedrooms and there are 15 villas and cabins total at the state park. Pets are allowed at five of the camper cabins. Camper cabins start around $45/night and villas about $118/night but price varies by season.

So where are your dream locations for your family?


About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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