New England Vacation Rentals

Cottages, Cabins and Condos, Oh My! Find Your New England Home Away from Home

Plum Island Vacation Rental House
© 2007 Kim Knox Beckius

Looking for a home away from home for a week or more at one of New England's scenic destinations? The Internet can make your search for a springtime cottage, a slope-side ski chalet, a mountainview autumn cabin hideaway, or an oceanfront summer vacation condo less time consuming.

Vacation rentals are a popular alternative to other New England lodging options, particularly for summer vacationers who want to get away from it all. Rentals--cottages, condos, cabins, chalets, lodges, and single- and multi-family houses--provide a level of seclusion and privacy that is impossible to achieve at a hotel, bed & breakfast or motor inn. Renting a home at your vacation destination also allows you to live more as a New England native than a tourist. And, if your rental accommodations come with a working kitchen, you just might be able to save substantially on the cost of vacation dining, particularly if you are traveling with children.

Even just eating breakfast in can save a family hundreds of dollars over the course of a week-long vacation.

Keep in mind that most vacation rentals in the New England region, particularly in popular summer destinations like Cape Cod and the Islands, require a minimum stay of a week or more, though some are available for shorter periods during off-peak seasons. You'll also want to be sure to inquire about what is included with your rental--some properties require you to bring your own linens. Establish up front, too, when you can arrive and when you must vacate the property for the next renters.

What will you find among the listings in this guide to New England vacation rentals?

Everything from a private island available for rent in Connecticut, to an adorable log cabin that sleeps four in Maine, to a six-bedroom Hyannisport hideaway in Massachusetts, to a classic New England farmhouse in New Hampshire, to a Victorian cottage in Newport, Rhode Island, to a mountainview apartment in Vermont and even a cottage tucked away behind a stone castle in neighboring New York State.

You'll also find links to real estate agencies that specialize in vacation rentals that may be able to help you with your search and to vacation rental directory sites, where individual property owners advertise the availability of their rental units. Many of these sites offer helpful reviews and commentary posted by previous guests to guide your decision-making.

How far in advance should you book a New England vacation rental?

For summer hot spots, start your rental research at least two months in advance. Many vacationers return to favorite rentals year after year, so availability can be scarce for peak weeks. That said, don't shy away from investigating rentals if you're planning a spontaneous trip: It's not impossible to find a rental property with last-minute availability.

Happy vacation home hunting!