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- Lakeside homes boast natural beauty, tranquil seclusion, and many come with private docks for boats.
- Lakehouse rentals are popular, but we found top-rated Airbnbs priced between $58 and $950 per night.
- Book with confidence knowing that experts consider a private Airbnb to be safer than a hotel.
Domestic trips amid the great outdoors continue to be the top choice for US travelers and as such, lakes offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.
These sun-kissed waters are often framed by bucolic woodlands or mountains and are the ideal antidote to city life. As a travel guidebook writer, I’ve visited and researched many of the regions listed below and have been consistently struck by their rural beauty.
For a family vacation or new work-from-home base, we compiled Airbnb lake homes that are close to outdoor activities both on and off the water. Though, if you do prefer a hotel, read our guide to the best lake hotels in the US.
Jump directly to Airbnb lake houses by region here:
- The best lake houses in the West
- The best lake houses in the South
- The best lake houses in the Midwest
- The best lake houses in the Northeast
- FAQ: Booking a lake house on Airbnb
- More great summer getaways
These are the best lake houses on Airbnb, sorted by location and price.
Secluded cabin in the woods in Oregon
Peace and tranquility await in this relatively remote cabin that sits in prime woodlands located a couple of minutes’ drive to the shores of Upper Klamath Lake in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The scenic Cascade Mountains and Crater Lake National Park provide a picturesque backdrop, and this traditional, A-frame cabin offers rustic comfort.
The wooden interiors and open beam ceilings reflect the woodsy surroundings, and after a day of exploring or hiking, lay back in the cabin’s hammock and listen to nature. The property comes with decks, a fire pit, a grill, and a picnic table.
Arty bungalow in California
Bombay Beach near the Salton Sea is the lowest neighborhood in the US, at some 223 feet below sea level. It is also a thriving artistic hub, and the local homes reflect this creative character.
This vintage-style bungalow is like an art installation in itself with striking geometric exterior stripes, eye-popping art pieces, and a rooftop abstract installation that makes the home hard to miss.
Inside, wood paneling and a burnt orange color palette frame a myriad of photos, paintings, and other original art pieces. The Salton Sea, which is actually a lake, is right outside, and after dark, the night sky becomes a canvas for stargazers. This home is a slice of inspirational solitude for creative minds.
Dazzling chalet in California
A classic, Alpine, double A-frame aesthetic built with modern architecture in mind awaits at this Lake Tahoe Airbnb. Light floods in through the huge windows and shines across this spacious, sleekly designed spot.
Douglas Fir flooring and white, Scandinavian tiling make for a clean, contemporary interior and cast iron bathtubs, a full kitchen, and open plan living spaces add to the allure. The home is ensconced by the surrounding forest and Lake Tahoe is just at the end of the lane, a couple of minutes’ walk away. Tahoe City, a couple of minutes by car, has plenty of options for boat or kayak rentals.
Entire lake house in California
A large family would love this huge, four-bedroom house with a host of on-site activities including a pool table, darts, videos, and board games. The property, built over a double lot, enjoys a plum location two minutes’ drive from Lake Almanor with its beaches and country club. A boat slip is available over the summer months, and the location on the peninsula makes the entire lake accessible.
There are multiple living rooms and a garage was converted into a games room. Farmhouse-style slate fireplaces and striking diagonal wooden wall panels create an evocative, comfortable interior and tall trees provide shade over the various decks. Fire up the grill and serve up a family dinner in the picnic area, graced by woodlands and fresh country air.
Log home with a hot tub in California
With 4,000 square feet of space for up to eight people, this indulgent home offers strong value for families and groups. All the wood in this log cabin-inspired home was locally sourced, and cathedral ceilings and craftsman-like paneling complement wood-burning fireplaces to complete the look.
Nearby Big Bear Lake is just a couple of minutes drive down the hill, and the slopes of Bear Mountain are all ripe for exploration. The town of Big Bear Lake, about 10 minutes by car, has all the rental facilities you might need for a day out on the water. It would be a delight to return home to this cozy, cottage-like house with its outdoor hot tub and comfy living spaces.
Waterfront home in Arizona
It doesn’t get much closer to the water than this. Lakefront views are available from almost every window in this impressive home that’s actually located on an island within Lake Havasu City.
Recently remodeled, there is a Queen-size bedroom and additional pull-out sleeper, a sleek bathroom, a fully-equipped kitchen, high-speed Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Though the real draws are outside where an expansive deck is furnished with a large table, plush couch seating, a grill, and outdoor speakers.
From there, private stairs lead directly down to the water with a buoy to tie a boat in front of the home. Dock rentals are also available for a small fee for 24 foot or smaller boats.
Lake house on a quiet cove in Alabama
The lake views come at you from every direction thanks to the large, light-giving windows that grace this beautiful, waterfront property. On the placid waters of Lake Martin, the three-bedroom house comes with a large deck and a private dock with an upper deck and boat slip, so boat owners can bring their vessels and moor up overnight.
White painted wooden ceilings and traditional hardwood floors frame a classic-looking interior, with classy, cream-colored soft furnishings and open plan living and dining rooms. Subtle, aquatic-themed accessories and touches like a vintage cocktail bar and an antique kitchen table make for a refined look, and there are playful additions such as an indoor swing seat.
An island escape in Florida
Guests have to bring their own boat or take a water taxi to reach this secluded cottage that dates back to the 19th century. Set on five private acres on St John’s river leading into Lake George, Florida, the property comes with a private deck, a boat lift, and prime access to superb fishing.
The large, open-plan living and dining rooms mix contemporary furnishings with exposed wooden ceilings and wicker baskets, wooden barrels, and a farmhouse-style kitchen. There’s a family-sized table for eating the catch of the day and the vintage flair evokes a lodge-like aesthetic. It’s truly a place to get off-grid and enjoy the surrounding nature.
For an easy meal, boat three miles upstream to the locally-loved seafood and steakhouse restaurant, Renegades on the River.
Unique bayou home in Louisiana
With a name like The Pelican’s Retreat, you’d likely expect a lovely coastal location and easy, marine-adjacent living. You’d be right here, as this three-bedroom house sits on the water at the end of Bayou Bonfouca, which leads into the expansive Lake Pontchartrain.
Inside is bright and breezy with a turquoise and white color palette, and there’s a fully equipped kitchen with an air fryer and Instant Pot for cooking up whatever you catch. Later, unwind than in the six-person hot tub.
Comfy cottage in Michigan
This cottage is two minutes from the waters of Saginaw Bay, one of the most scenic corners of Lake Huron in Michigan. There’s a beach within a mile of the property and the hosts provide five bicycles and two 10-foot kayaks to explore with ease.
Staying here feels all-American with a red, white, and blue exterior, traditional white fence, and a farmhouse-style aesthetic that includes gingham curtains, wooden cabinets, crocheted bedspreads, and country chic dressers. Though, you’ll likely spend most of your time outside on the furnished deck with its own barbecue grill.
140-year-old farmhouse in Iowa
Country living is easy in this historic farmhouse with preserved original fittings, some of which date back to the late nineteenth century. The shores of Lake Red Rock are just a couple of minutes away, and Des Moines Airport is less than 30 minutes by car.
The house enjoys beautiful craftsmanship, from the elaborate woodwork around the staircase and window frames to stained glass windows and original edged glasswork on the front door. Large evening meals are best enjoyed on the huge, three-tier deck with its own gazebo and gas grill.
Lakefront condo in Missouri
This two-bedroom condo is a nice option for families given its location within The Ledges Condominiums, a popular lakeside community situated right on the Lake of the Ozarks main channel at the 21-mile marker. Staying here comes with access to two lakeview pools, a sandy beach, a playground, and easy fishing or swimming from the on-site docks.
Inside, the place appears modern and spotless with bright and airy rooms that offer an impressive vantage point to watch the water and passing boats. The master bedroom is lined with oversized windows next to a King-sized bed with a flat-screen TV, Roku, and a private bathroom. A second bedroom has two additional beds.
The open living area flows to the kitchen and also includes a sofa bed and sliding glass doors that lead to a patio with panoramic views of the main channel.
Garden cabin near two lakes in Michigan
Lake Fanny Hooe is kind of an aquatic annex to Lake Superior, separated only by a thin stretch of land, so in effect, you’re getting access to two lakes for the price of one. This thoughtfully designed cabin is right on the water with a shared boat dock, its own beachfront, and multiple decks around the property to enjoy the views.
As well as having its own dock, the cabin has craftsman-built wooden interiors, hardwood floors, and wood-burning heaters for a sumptuously cozy quality. Exposed beams, a wooden kitchen island, and slate bathrooms add to the decor. There are trails surrounding the cabin that are good for year-round hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and skiing.
Modern A-Frame home close in Michigan
Curated design and impeccable taste are on show here, just a few hundred feet from the shores of Lake Michigan. This gem of a cottage comes with quirky, pebble-dashed and wooden exteriors made from reclaimed materials from a historic rollercoaster.
Charming interior design comes together with midcentury modern armchairs, modernist lamp stands, an understated stone fireplace, and cool ceramic tiles. Lake Michigan is just beyond the woodland, and very accessible via service roads within a couple of minutes by car.
Tiny lake house in Pennsylvania
The fashion for tiny house living has been an enduring one, and this bungalow just a few minutes from Lake Erie is a wonderful example. Small but exquisitely formed, the house is near the shores of the fourth-largest Great Lake — at the end of the street, it’s just a couple of minutes’ drive. Downtown Erie is also close with a plethora of rental outlets for whatever aquatic adventures you’re planning.
Low-slung leather sofas have a cool midcentury look, while wooden kitchen cabinets resemble an update on the classic craftsman style. Wicker hampers, woven rugs, and charmingly folksy artworks add character. There’s even a dedicated workspace to accommodate the rise in remote working.
Private sanctuary in Upstate New York
A lakeside spot in upstate New York is a prestigious perch, and the price for this lovely apartment makes it a real bargain. Panoramic Irondequoit Bay views stream in through the windows, and the property comes with access to its own basic but perfectly functional dock for boaters.
The interiors are a contemporary symphony of white and cream shades, giving the place more of an urban vibe rather than rustic, which is a refreshing alternative to most vacation rentals in the area. There’s a beautiful white-tiled bathroom, a gourmet kitchen, and a shared on-site exercise room for guest use. The great outdoors is on the doorstep and ample fishing waits in the nearby waters.
Vineyard villa in New York
Flanked by local wine and brewery trails and the stunning coastline of Seneca Lake, this villa in upstate New York is a sweet spot to kick back with a nice bottle of vino. In fact, you can enjoy it on the balcony overlooking the lake itself, which is just a couple of hundred feet away.
The home is spread over two stories with dark hardwood floors, a shared fire pit and grill, and French doors that open up onto the aforementioned balcony with gorgeous lake views.
Mountain view chalet in New Hampshire
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in New Hampshire and is surrounded by the foothills of the White and Gunstock Mountains. This striking Alpine chalet is set back from the lake shores, just under 10 minutes down the winding hillside roads. Once there, Lakeshore Park has boating and fishing equipment rentals.
The property has notable features such as its overhanging roof, a popping blue paint job, and tall chalet-style windows through which light pours in. The place comes with an exterior shower, hot tub, outdoor fire pit, and a huge wraparound deck. Rustic yet contemporary, other fun touches include a foosball table.
Sebago Lake getaway with private waterfront in Maine
With skiing at nearby Shawnee Peak in the winter and the glorious Sebago Lake in warmer months, this spot has year-round appeal. A ferry service is five minutes’ away to whisk you across the waters to picturesque Frye Island, a lovely jaunt for lunch or dinner.
The property comes with 190 feet of private waterfront and its own basic dock. Take out a kayak or just relax in the hammock with a good book. The house is also very tastefully appointed, with gorgeous hardwood floors, a statement slate fireplace, and lots of colorful, abstract modern art.
FAQ: Booking a lake house on Airbnb
Where are the best lake houses?
Many of the best lakes are found in the US, across the country, from the aptly named Great Lakes to smaller, but no less enthralling bodies of water throughout regions such as California, the South, and dotted around the Northeast.
Is it safe to stay in an Airbnb?
A lake trip is also well-suited to social distancing. If you’re wondering if Airbnb is safe, private home rentals are considered by most experts to offer a higher level of safety compared to hotels. They minimize interactions, and hosts are required to follow enhanced cleaning procedures. However, there are still risks and we recommend following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing, double masking, and washing your hands frequently.
What is Airbnb’s cancellation policy?
During an evolving period such as the pandemic, it’s important to be aware of cancellation policies and make sure you’re protected should your travel plans change or if someone in your group were to fall ill.
Know that there are no blanket policies on Airbnb and the cancellation policy differs from home to home, set by each individual host. Here’s a closer look at Airbnb’s cancellation policies.
How do I book a lake home on Airbnb?
Search for lake houses on Airbnb based on state and town you want to visit, and filter by date, neighborhood, price, bedrooms or bathrooms, and more. For a true lake home, you’ll want to select an amenity filter such as ‘Waterfront’ or ‘Beachfront.’ For a full breakdown on how to book on Airbnb, click here.
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