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The Allure of National Parks Vacation Homes

Unearth the allure of owning a National Parks vacation home. Learn what makes these properties unique, the types available, popular locations, and how to make your property stand out. Get insights into the costs involved and factors affecting them.


By Karolyn Hutson

Published on July 1, 2023

Imagine waking up to the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, and the serenity of nature. That’s the reality of owning a vacation home in a National Park. These properties are not just homes but gateways to the wilderness, offering unique experiences that city accommodations can’t match. As an investment, National Parks vacation homes can be lucrative, given their appeal to nature enthusiasts and city dwellers seeking a tranquil getaway. The demand for such properties on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO is continually growing, making them a worthwhile consideration for your portfolio.

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 National Parks Vacation Rentals

National Parks vacation rentals stand out for their unique blend of comfort and adventure. Unlike typical vacation homes, these properties offer direct access to nature’s wonders, from breathtaking landscapes to diverse wildlife. They provide a unique opportunity for guests to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and reconnect with nature.

  • Unmatched Scenery: National Parks are known for their stunning landscapes, which guests can enjoy right from their vacation homes.
  • Wildlife Encounters: These properties offer a chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, a rare experience for many city dwellers.
  • Peace and Tranquility: Guests can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing vacation from the city’s noise and distractions.

Investing in a National Parks vacation home can be smart due to the growing demand for such unique experiences, the potential for higher rental rates due to their exclusivity, and the potential for property appreciation, given their limited availability.

Types of National Parks House Vacation Rentals

National Parks vacation rentals come in various forms, each offering a unique charm. From rustic cabins to luxurious lodges, there’s something for every type of traveler.

  • Rustic Cabins: These properties offer a traditional and cozy experience, often featuring wood-burning fireplaces and quaint decor.
  • Luxury Lodges: These are more upscale options, offering modern amenities while still maintaining a connection with nature.
  • Camping Pods: These are perfect for the more adventurous guests, offering a camping experience with some added comforts.
  • Treehouses: For a truly unique experience, treehouses offer an elevated view of the surrounding nature, and a childhood dream come true.

Each type of rental has its unique appeal and caters to a different segment of travelers, making it essential to consider your target market when investing.

National Parks vacation homes are scattered across the country, each offering a unique experience. Here are some popular locations:

Luxury meets nature in national parks vacation homes
Luxury meets nature in national parks vacation homes
  • Estes Park, Colorado: Known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, this city offers stunning mountain views and a variety of outdoor activities.
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee: Located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is known for its charming cabins and vibrant local culture.
  • Moab, Utah: This city is a popular base for exploring Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, offering a unique desert experience.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine: This coastal town is the gateway to Acadia National Park, offering stunning ocean views and a charming New England vibe.
  • Jackson, Wyoming: Located near Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, Jackson offers a mix of adventure and luxury.
  • Yosemite Village, California: As the name suggests, this city offers direct access to Yosemite National Park, one of the most visited parks in the country.

Each city offers a unique experience, making it essential to consider your target market and the type of experience you want to offer when investing.

Common Amenities for National Parks Vacation Rentals

National Parks vacation rentals often come with amenities that enhance the guest’s experience. These can range from basic comforts like fully equipped kitchens and cozy fireplaces to outdoor amenities like BBQ grills and hot tubs. Some properties even offer unique features like telescopes for stargazing or equipment for outdoor activities.

More unique amenities for National Parks vacation homes include:

  • Outdoor Fire Pits: Perfect for roasting marshmallows or warming up on a chilly night.
  • Wildlife Viewing Platforms: These allow guests to observe wildlife from a safe distance.
  • Hiking Gear: Providing hiking gear can encourage guests to explore the surrounding trails.
  • Picnic Baskets: For a romantic or family outing in the park.
  • Nature Guides and Maps: These can help guests navigate the park and learn about the local flora and fauna.
  • Bikes: These can provide an alternative way for guests to explore the area.

Activities and Attractions Near National Parks House Rentals

National Parks vacation homes offer a plethora of activities and attractions for guests to enjoy. From hiking and wildlife viewing to photography and stargazing, there’s something for everyone.

  • Hiking: National Parks are known for their extensive trail networks, offering hikes for all skill levels.
  • Wildlife Viewing: From bird watching to spotting larger mammals, wildlife viewing is a major draw for many guests.
  • Photography: The stunning landscapes provide ample opportunities for photography.
  • Stargazing: With minimal light pollution, National Parks are perfect for stargazing.
  • Picnicking: Many parks have designated picnic areas where guests can enjoy a meal amidst nature.
  • Cycling: Some parks have bike-friendly trails, offering a different way to explore the park.

These activities attract guests to your property and encourage longer stays, increasing your rental income.

How much does a National Parks vacation home cost?

The cost of a National Parks vacation home can vary greatly depending on the location, size, and type of property. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200,000 to over $1 million on average.

  • Estes Park, Colorado: $350,000 – $800,000
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee: $200,000 – $500,000
  • Moab, Utah: $300,000 – $600,000
  • Bar Harbor, Maine: $400,000 – $1,000,000
  • Jackson, Wyoming: $500,000 – $1,500,000
  • Yosemite Village, California: $400,000 – $1,200,000

These prices are just estimates and can vary based on various factors.

What factors affect the cost of National Parks vacation rentals?

Several factors can affect the cost of National Parks vacation rentals. These include the property’s location, size, condition, and proximity to the park. The type of property (e.g., cabin, lodge, treehouse) and its amenities can also impact the price.

  • Location: Properties closer to popular parks or with better views tend to be more expensive.
  • Size: Larger properties with more bedrooms and bathrooms typically cost more.
  • Condition: Newly built or recently renovated properties usually command a higher price.
  • Amenities: Properties with unique or high-end amenities can often be priced higher.

Understanding these factors can help you make a more informed decision when investing in a National Parks vacation home.

How to make your National Parks rental property stand out to guests

Making your National Parks rental property stand out to guests involves more than just offering a clean and comfortable space. It’s about creating a unique and memorable experience that guests can’t find anywhere else. This could involve offering unique amenities, providing personalized services, or even just showcasing the natural beauty of your property’s surroundings.

  • Offer Unique Experiences: Consider offering guided nature walks, wildlife spotting tours, or even photography classes. These unique experiences can make your property more appealing and memorable. Cost: $100 – $500 per experience.
  • Personalized Services: Offering personalized services like grocery delivery, private chef services, or customized activity recommendations can make guests feel special and well taken care of. Cost: Varies depending on the service.
  • Highlight Natural Beauty: Make the most of your property’s natural surroundings. This could involve designing outdoor spaces that highlight the view, using decor reflecting the local flora and fauna, or even providing binoculars for guests. Cost: $50 – $500.

Our Thoughts

Investing in a National Parks vacation home can be a financially and personally rewarding venture. These properties offer a unique blend of comfort and adventure, making them highly appealing to a wide range of travelers. Whether you’re looking to invest in a rustic cabin or a luxury lodge, a National Parks vacation home is perfect for you. So why wait? Start your journey towards owning a piece of nature’s paradise today.

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.