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Lakefront Vacation Rental Properties

Explore the charm and potential of lakefront vacation rentals. Uncover what makes these properties unique, their varied types, popular locations, common amenities, and activities.


By Karolyn Hutson

Published on July 4, 2023

Investing in these waterside wonders can be rewarding as a second home and a profitable rental. As a second home, a lakefront property offers a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When rented out on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO, these properties offer an oasis to city dwellers, nature lovers, and families alike. They promise guests the allure of waterfront views, abundant outdoor activities, and the seclusion that often comes with being nestled among nature.

Are you curious about the various types of vacation rental properties?
Our overview of different Airbnb property categories can get you started.

What’s Special about Lakefront Vacation Rentals

Lakefront vacation rentals carve out their own niche in the holiday home market, offering a unique charm that’s hard to replicate. The essence of a lakefront property – its location – provides guests with immediate access to the lake and its myriad of activities. Whether kayaking at dawn, an afternoon of fishing, or simply unwinding by the water with a book, these homes offer a sense of peace and adventure.

Investing in a lakefront vacation rental is an excellent idea for a multitude of reasons:

  • Unique Market Positioning: Lakefront properties offer something different from beach or city rentals – they draw in guests seeking tranquility and outdoor adventure.
  • Year-Round Appeal: Unlike beach properties, lakefront homes can offer year-round attractions, from water activities in summer to ice fishing or snow sports in winter.
  • Strong Rental Returns: Lakefront properties’ unique appeal and versatility can command competitive rental prices, making them a lucrative investment.

In short, lakefront vacation rentals offer an unmatched blend of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and investment potential.

Types of Lakefront House Vacation Rentals

Lakefront vacation rentals are as varied as the landscapes they inhabit. They range from cozy cabins perfect for romantic getaways to expansive lodges suitable for large family gatherings. The unique charm of these homes often lies in their architecture and design, inspired by the natural surroundings and catered to the comforts and needs of a vacation experience.

  • Cabins: Often quaint and cozy, these are perfect for couples or small families, providing an intimate lakeside experience.
  • Cottages: These properties are typically larger, offering more space for families or groups while maintaining a charming, homely aesthetic.
  • Lodges: For large family reunions or groups, lodges offer the necessary space and often come with luxury amenities such as hot tubs and game rooms.
  • Lakefront Condos offer a modern twist on lakefront living, often located in townships or communities, with shared amenities like pools or marinas.

Each type offers a unique take on the lakefront experience, catering to a wide range of guest needs and preferences.

The United States has countless lakes, each providing unique opportunities for lakefront vacation homes. From the vast expanses of the Great Lakes to the charm of New England’s water bodies, the country offers a diverse landscape for lakefront properties.

Common amenities for lakefront Airbnb rentals

When it comes to amenities in lakefront vacation homes, they tend to revolve around maximizing the enjoyment of the natural surroundings. As such, expect features encouraging outdoor living, such as barbecue grills, outdoor dining areas, fire pits, and private docks.

Yet, what can truly set lakefront homes apart are the unique amenities tailored to the location. These specialized amenities are what can make a stay truly memorable for guests.

  • Private Boats: Having a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard ready for guests adds an extra layer of convenience.
  • Fishing Gear: A well-stocked tackle box and rods can attract fishing enthusiasts.
  • Hammocks and Loungers: These provide perfect relaxation spots by the lake.
  • Outdoor Games: Horseshoe pits, volleyball nets, or croquet sets for some fun group activities.
  • Binoculars: For guests who enjoy bird-watching or just want a closer look at the surroundings.
  • Hot Tubs: Perfect for unwinding after a day of outdoor activities.

Activities and Attractions Near Lakefront House Rentals

Staying at a lakefront house rental opens up a world of outdoor activities and attractions. From the obvious allure of water sports to hiking trails and local attractions, there’s something for everyone.

  • Fishing: A popular activity on any lake, certain lakes may also have specific species of interest.
  • Water Sports: Kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, or even sailing on larger lakes.
  • Hiking Trails: Many lakes have beautiful surrounding trails perfect for leisure or challenging walks.
  • Wildlife Observation: Many lakes are home to a variety of bird species and wildlife.
  • Picnics: A lakeside picnic is an idyllic way to spend a sunny afternoon.
  • Local Attractions: Depending on the location, guests might also enjoy visiting nearby vineyards, farmer’s markets, or historic sites.

How Much Does a Lakefront Vacation Home Cost?

The price of lakefront vacation homes can vary dramatically, depending on factors such as the lake itself, proximity to the water, size, and condition of the home, and local market conditions. Broadly, you could be looking at anything from $200,000 to well over a million dollars for a lakefront property.

  • South Lake Tahoe, California: $400,000 – $1,500,000
  • Branson, Missouri: $250,000 – $700,000
  • Lake George, New York: $300,000 – $1,000,000
  • Grand Haven, Michigan: $500,000 – $2,000,000
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota: $300,000 – $1,500,000
  • Sandpoint, Idaho: $350,000 – $1,000,000
  • Austin, Texas: $400,000 – $1,500,000
  • Burlington, Vermont: $300,000 – $1,200,000

These price ranges are a rough guide and can fluctuate based on the factors mentioned earlier.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Lakefront Airbnbs?

Various factors influence the cost of lakefront vacation rentals. At the heart of it, location is key – both the general geographic area and the home’s exact location within that area.
Proximity to the Water: Properties directly on the water’s edge are often priced higher.

  • View: Homes with unobstructed lake views command a premium.
  • Size and Condition: The size of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the home impact the price.
  • Amenities: Properties with added amenities, such as private docks or luxury fittings, can demand higher prices.
  • Location: Properties in sought-after locations or near popular tourist destinations are often more expensive.

Understanding these factors can help investors make informed decisions when investing in a lakefront vacation home.

How to Make Your Lakefront Property Stand out to Guests

Creating a memorable experience for your guests is key to making your lakefront rental stand out. This goes beyond just providing a clean and comfortable home.

  • Create a Local Guidebook: Share your favorite local spots for dining, activities, and attractions. This not only helps guests but also promotes local businesses.
  • Provide Lake-Ready Amenities: Offering lake gear such as life vests, inflatable rafts, or even a paddleboat can enhance your guest’s experience.
  • Personal Touches: Small gestures like a welcome basket with local goodies, board games for rainy days, or a telescope for stargazing can go a long way.

Our Thoughts

Investing in a lakefront vacation home is more than just purchasing a property. It’s about creating an environment where memories are made, the pace of life slows down, and the beauty of nature takes center stage. Whether you’re a guest seeking a tranquil escape or an investor looking for a rewarding endeavor, lakefront vacation rentals offer a world of possibilities.

Written by

With over six years of short-term rental hosting experience, Karolyn has helped hundreds of guests have an enjoyable experience. I love writing and am passionate about real estate, hospitality, and photography. Karolyn holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and enjoys sharing her experiences to help others.