Amazing Minneapolis | Incredible Parks, Museums and More, Oh My

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Travelers who appreciate a mix of urban excitement and outdoor recreation find the perfect vacation destination in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From museums and markets to beautiful city parks, there’s always something to do in this northern metropolis. Check out a few of the best Minneapolis tourist attractions.

  1. Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    If you’re an art lover, a trip to the Walker Art Center and the adjacent sculpture garden offers a unique indoor-outdoor experience. Featuring an array of galleries, a stage and a cinema, the Walker Art Center showcases visual, media and performing arts. You can also grab a bite to eat, get an adult beverage or shop for gifts on site.

    A cooperative effort between the art center and the city’s parks and recreation department, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden features over 40 installations spread over 11 acres. Favorite sculptures include “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” “Woodrow” and “Geometric Mouse.”

  2. Minnehaha Falls Regional Park

    Just north of the airport on the Mississippi River, Minnehaha Falls Regional Park is ideal for connecting with nature. Navigate scenic trails by foot or bicycle to see the majestic Minnehaha Falls, or try your hand at disc golf or volleyball. After taking the little ones to the wading pool and playground, enjoy a pre-packed lunch in the picnic pavilion or stop by the onsite restaurant.

  3. Mill City Museum

    For a one-of-a-kind history lesson, head to the riverfront in downtown Minneapolis. Set among the ruins of an old flour mill, the Mill City Museum offers interactive exhibits and plenty of places to explore, from the observation deck and courtyard to the surrounding waterfront. Before you leave, drop in to the café for a bite to eat and check out the museum store for special mementos.

  4. Paisley Park

    Located just over 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis in Chanhassen, Minnesota, you’ll find Paisley Park, the former home of music icon and Minneapolis native, Prince. After his death in 2016, Prince’s 65,000-square-foot estate was opened for public tours. Just a few of the sights to see include the star’s recording studio, his colorful wardrobe and his guitar collection. After your tour, enjoy one of the artist’s favorite dishes at the museum café.

  5. Mall of America

    A trip to Minneapolis isn’t complete without a detour to the Mall of America in Bloomington, just 15 minutes from downtown. In addition to hundreds of retail shops, this facility offers 60 restaurants and an indoor amusement park. For even more fun, navigate the mirror maze, visit the aquarium or check out the comedy club.

  6. Midtown Global Market

    For an international shopping spree, make a trip to the Midtown Global Market just south of downtown. In this trendy, industrial-style space, you can find shops and stalls representing over 20 different world cultures.

    Just a few of the things you can pick up include fresh produce, baked goods, clothing, jewelry and artwork. When you’re all finished shopping, sit down to tacos, sushi, pasta, a rice bowl or a big, juicy burger and fries.

  7. Ready to enjoy the incredible blend of big-city attractions and outdoor spaces that make up Minneapolis? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

10 Reasons Blue Ridge, GA Should Be Your Next Mountain Getaway

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Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, Blue Ridge, Georgia, is a small yet vibrant town where you can get lost in the great outdoors, soak up the mountain culture, go on an adventure or enjoy a relaxing time in a quiet cabin. In between, you can shop, dine on delicious Southern cuisine or take a train ride through the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest. Not convinced? Well, here are just 10 reasons why Blue Ridge should top the list for your next mountain getaway.

  1. Train Rides

    The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is one attraction you can’t leave town without experiencing. It boards in an old depot and takes you on a four-hour trip you won’t soon forget. Explore the mountains, spend a couple of hours shopping and dining in the charming city of McCaysville and return to Blue Ridge with a new appreciation for the local scenery.

  2. Shopping

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    Speaking of shopping, whether you like antiques and vintage finds, handmade crafts from local artisans or interesting treasures from local boutiques, you’ll find them all in Blue Ridge. Choose from several shops in the downtown area, along with more than 25 antique shops on the road between Blue Ridge and nearby McCaysville.

  3. Dining

    All of that shopping is sure to make you hungry, and luckily, there are plenty of options in Blue Ridge and the surrounding communities. Choose from steaks, seafood, sandwiches, Italian, Mexican, Polish and plenty of sweet treats when you dine in town. No matter your selection, enjoy it with a side of amazing Southern hospitality.

  4. Hiking

    Don’t worry about all of those calories from dining, because there are plenty of hiking options in Blue Ridge to help you burn them off fast. Both the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail run through Fannin County, and the 17-mile Aska Trails that run through Blue Ridge are great for all fitness levels.

  5. Fishing

    Blue Ridge and Fannin County are considered some of the best places to fish in the area. The city has also been named the best spot for trout fishing in the state of Georgia, thanks to the Toccoa River.

  6. Lake Blue Ridge

    Lake Blue Ridge sits on 3,300 acres, and it’s also a popular spot for fishing and boating. During the summer, families fill the beaches that make up some of the 60 miles of shoreline, or you can find them splashing in the clear waters.

  7. Wine Tastings & Breweries

    For something more adult-oriented, try one of the area’s wineries, vineyards or breweries. Many of them offering tastings throughout the week in gorgeous mountain settings.

  8. The Orchards

    Mercier Orchards has been a Blue Ridge tradition since the early 20th century, and it remains one of the town’s top attractions, especially during apple season in the fall. Pick your own apples and other fruits throughout the year, dine in the restaurant, shop in the store or visit the winery.

  9. Festivals & Events

    No matter when you visit, you’re likely to find a festival taking place in Blue Ridge. Some popular annual events include the spring Blue Ridge Mountains Wine & Jazz Festival, Fourth of July fireworks at Lake Blue Ridge, the Labor Day Barbecue and Hometown Christmas.

  10. Seasonal Adventures

    Every season is ideal for visiting Blue Ridge. During spring, the wildflowers are in bloom and the trout are biting. Summers are warm and ideal for water sports like tubing and kayaking. Winter may bring snow and holiday fun. Fall is Blue Ridge’s peak season thanks to the changing colors of the leaves.

Ready to enjoy all the sights and sounds Blue Ridge has to offer? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

7 Perfect Places to Visit on Your Savannah Family Vacation

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Many people think of Savannah as a city of romance, but as it turns out, it’s also the perfect place for a family vacation. From coastal activities to the many museums and historic sites, there’s so much that everyone from your kids to your grandparents can enjoy.

Don’t plan your next Savannah, Georgia, family vacation without adding these exciting sites and adventures to your itinerary.

  1. Savannah Children’s Museum

    When it comes to kid-friendly things to do in Savannah, Georgia, the Children’s Museum usually tops many families’ lists. Located outdoors in Downtown Savannah’s Tricentennial Park, the museum features over a dozen interactive exhibits that are not only fun but are educational, too.

  2. Take a Dolphin Tour

    If you and the kids long for some coastal fun out on the water, try booking a dolphin tour. You’ll go out on a boat with an experienced guide and float around on the Atlantic Ocean, looking for dolphins and other cool marine life. You may also pass some of Savannah and Tybee Island’s famed historic sites and lighthouses.

  3. Oatland Island Wildlife Center

    The animal lovers in your family will definitely want to take a trip to Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Take the center’s trails on a self-guided tour through the beautiful low country. Along the way, you’ll spot cougars, bobcats, deer, foxes, wolves, turtles and other creatures native to the area. There’s even an area where you can pet animals at the Georgia Farm.

  4. Georgia State Railroad Museum

    If any of your family members are into trains, take a trip to the Georgia State Railroad Museum. Also located at Tricentennial Park, you can explore old rail cars, learn about railroad history and take a ride on a historic locomotive.

  5. Forsyth Park

    If you want to take a few hours to relax while the kids burn some energy, head to Forsyth Park. The beautiful 30-acre park has playgrounds, grassy lawns, basketball courts, a café and other spots where you can kick back and enjoy the beautiful Savannah weather.

  6. University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium

    The University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium sits on Skidaway Island, and while it’s small, it’s a great place to learn about the state’s marine animals. Check out both saltwater and freshwater exhibits, and explore the beautiful marshes and Skidaway River that surround the facility to see what kind of wildlife you can spot on your own.

  7. Tybee Island

    Last but not least, no trip to Savannah is complete without a ride out to Tybee Island. Known as “Savannah’s Beach,” Tybee Island is a small island beach town that’s just a quick drive from Savannah. Spend a day splashing in the surf, building castles on the white sandy beaches and eating fresh seafood at the restaurants scattered around the island.

Ready to enjoy all of the incredible options in Savannah? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

Here Are Your Top 5 Romantic Weekend Getaways in Dallas, Texas

Look no farther than Dallas, TX, if you want to plan a trip that’s all about love and romance. Whether you prefer to take to the waterways or eat a luxurious meal while enjoying a view of the city’s nighttime skyline, there are plenty of options to suit your style as a couple. Booking a vacation rental near the following romantic getaways in Dallas can offer you an ultra-private home-base during your getaway.

  1. Nighttime Dallas Skyline

    Taking in the view of the city’s skyline at night sets the mood for a romantic evening. Several places outside the city offer panoramic views of the night lights. Consider spots like Trinity Overlook Park or the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge at the Continental Bridge Gateway Plaza West.

  2. GeO-Deck – Reunion Tower – Downtown Dallas

    See the city from a bird’s-eye view. An incredibly romantic things to do in Dallas is riding the elevator up to the GeO-Deck of Reunion Tower to get a look at the skyline in daytime. The GeO-Deck sits 470 feet above the city, so you can take in expansive views of the area. You may want to capture some memorable photos of you and your partner with the city behind you. Plus, there’s a cafe, bar and express dining area that provide places to sit down and enjoy a cozy meal or drinks while enjoying the view.

  3. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – White Rock Lake

    Commune with nature. Stroll hand-in-hand along the pathways of this 66-acre natural escape. Vibrant colors, peaceful fountains and the shore of White Rock Lake provide beauty to fill your senses. This is a popular venue for weddings, and the space is divided into 11 garden displays that offer unique views of the natural foliage. This site is open year-round, and its appearance changes with the seasons.

  4. Texas Horse Park – Trinity River Corridor

    Saddle up for a romantic ride at the 302-acre Texas Horse Park. Catch a glimpse of how life in Texas looked for early settlers, and enjoy getting away from life in the city. If you’ve never been riding before — or need to refresh your skills before heading out on the trails — the park offers a class on riding followed by an hour-long ride.

  5. Take a Gondola Ride – Mandalay Canal – Irving

    Enjoy playful kisses under bridges and the strains of romantic music played by gondoliers without taking a trip to Venice when you and your loved one hop on one of the gondolas at Lake Carolyn and the Mandalay Canal. Guests are served chocolates and sparkling cider or Italian sparkling water to enhance the dreamy mood during the ride.

Ready to enjoy a romantic getaway in Dallas? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

Fun for the Family | 8 Great Things to Do in South Padre Island

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Water babies and water sports enthusiasts make a big splash during vacations to South Padre Island, Texas. This stunning barrier island off the coast of Texas is famous for its beaches and beautiful waters. It’s also a common destination for people who enjoy the feeling of sand between their toes and sea spray on their faces. On your next visit, consider these eight top things to do in South Padre Island.

  1. Relax on the Beach

    South Padre Island offers year-round mild temperatures and calm waters, so grab your beach towel and head to the beach with your favorite book. You can relax while the kids play by the sea.

  2. Meet the Turtles

    The island is home to Sea Turtle, Inc., a conservation center focusing on protecting all types of marine turtles. Visitors enjoy educational presentations and interactive, child-friendly activities, making this a great family experience.

  3. Go on a Dolphin Tour

    At the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Sealife Nature Center, you have an opportunity to get up close and hands-on with a variety of sea life, such as starfish and crabs, in the kid-friendly touch tanks. Pay a little extra for a guided boat tour to see the playful dolphins in action.

  4. Play in the Sea

    When you’ve had enough of lying on the beach, it’s time to hop in the ocean. The inviting waters are perfect for swimming, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and kiteboarding.

  5. Visit the Water Park

    If you need a break from the beach but you still want to get your feet wet, head to Beach Park at Isla Blanca for more water-based fun. Kids are sure to enjoy the water rides and giant sandcastle play area, while parents have an opportunity to chill in the hot tub bar.

  6. Learn Some History

    South Padre Island has more to offer than sun, sea and sand. To learn more about the history of the area, start by climbing the Port Isabel Lighthouse. Next, visit the nearby Treasures of the Gulf and Port Isabel Historical Museums. By purchasing tickets for all three sites at once, it’s possible to take advantage of discounted entry fees.

  7. Become an Art Buff

    Beautiful beaches and diverse wildlife are a muse for artists, and there are numerous galleries and art projects to enjoy on the island. Visit the Kingfisher Gallery for marine art, or appreciate the work of talented local artists in the contemporary Hunter Gallery. If you have budding artists in the family who want to try their hand at creating a masterpiece, take a master class at the Art Space, or go big with a large canvas project at the Seaside Art Studio.

  8. Walk the Nature Trail

    If turtles and dolphins weren’t enough, you can see more wildlife by visiting the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a boardwalk that stretches from the Convention Center to the Laguna Madre wetlands. Look out for alligators, and see if you can spot some of the 300 species of birds. These fascinating creatures make every walk a dream for nature lovers.

Ready to enjoy the beaches and nature of South Padre Island? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

Getaway Guide | Places You Need to Check Out in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas is a big place with big things to offer up. You’re very likely to find big cowboy hats, big steaks and big entertainment in the nation’s fourth-largest city. This business mecca is home to at least 25 Fortune 500 companies. A mild year-round climate makes it enticing to visit almost any time of year. And although it’s a really big city, it’s graced with Southern charm and hospitality that welcomes visitors.

  1. Check Out the Houston Zoo

    Visit the Houston Zoo and try some of the animal encounters. Wildlife encounters are offered for visitors to have a close visit with animals such as rhinos, reptiles, piranhas and elephants. Participate in feeding a giraffe. Walk around the spacious zoo and see the tigers, large tortoises, bears and salamanders. Check out the African Forest, the Kipp Aquarium, the Wortham World of Primates and the Sea Lion Habitat. The zoo is overflowing with things to do related to animals from all over the world. Families with younger kids can enjoy the Wildlife Carousel ride, a farm petting zoo and water park to cool off.

  2. Visit the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

    Get up close and connect with Mother Nature at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. Hike the five miles of mapped trails and breathe in the fresh air. Birding platforms and observation decks on various trails allow you to observe and photograph the wildlife in the arboretum. The entire area is a whopping 155 acres of native plants and vegetation, wildlife and gardens. The Discovery Room includes interactive exhibits and educational activities. The arboretum is a great place to find a little peace and tranquility during your vacation while learning a thing or two about the natural world and the Texas habitat.

  3. Go Big on Food

    You’ll love the indulgence that many of the restaurants provide in fabulous culinary creations. If you decide to rent a Houston vacation home near downtown, you’ll have the opportunity to try a variety of different restaurants. Some of the dining places to visit that will satisfy your taste buds include Coltivare, where a 3,000-square-foot vegetable garden just outside the door provides fresh, local veggies. The wood-burning oven dishes out delicious pizzas and Italian cuisine in a cozy restaurant with dark wood interior decor. You’ve got to try some famous Texas barbecue, and Killen’s BBQ is an ideal place to do it. Taste the smokey deliciousness in the ribs, the mouth-watering brisket and the house-made sausage. Diners rave about the creamed corn side dish that practically goes with everything. Even the food trucks offer delicious food and some with distinct ethnic flair. In a city like Houston, you have to be good to keep up with the competition. The bars can hold their own too, so save room for an after-dinner drink or two.

  4. Spend Time at The Johnson Space Center

    The Johnson Space Center opened in 1963 as a space hub for NASA. It’s named after former President Lyndon B. Johnson and is a place to explore the world of space shuttles, astronauts and astronomy. You can take a look at the control center, learn about the history of NASA and engage in exhibits. The Starship Gallery has a training module that depicts how astronauts originally trained for living in space. A NASA tram tour takes visitors to see the Saturn V rocket, which is said to be the most powerful rocket ever designed. An Astronaut Gallery showcases real-life astronaut clothing. Educational films and interactive presentations round out the entire astronaut experience. The center is ideal for kids and adults.

  5. Explore Buffalo Bayou

    Buffalo Bayou is a must stop on your vacation to Houston. Just the name itself is a lure for visitors. Vacation rentals in Houston that are located near here would be prime locations to take it all in. The bayou is a slow-moving river surrounded by a park with many attractions. The park offers a skate park, a dog park, a park cistern to tour, a police memorial and a play area for kids. The Waugh Drive Bridge Bat Colony releases 250,000 bats every day at dusk, which might seem a little spooky. But the bats do this every day, and they’re super bug eaters. There are hiking trails and rentals for bikes, kayaks and canoes if you want to fit in some exercise. Take your pick. This is a great place to be outside and see what Houston is all about beyond the big city life.

    When taking your next vacation, Houston offers entertainment, natural adventures, educational opportunities and tantalizing food. Stay for a week or longer. You very well might learn some Texas line dances and start wearing cowboy boots by the time you leave.

Ready to enjoy all that Houston has to offer? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

7 Wonderfully Memorable Places to Visit in Fort Worth, Texas

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Outdoor activities, ranging from swimming to hang gliding, are part of the fun when visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. Attractions in the area are numerous. Things to do in Fort Worth include visiting the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Van Zandt Cottage, Fort Worth Zoo, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge and Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

  1. National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

    Places to visit in Fort Worth include the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, dedicated to honoring extraordinary women of the American West. The museum, situated in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, comprises interactive exhibit galleries, a research library and two theaters. Honorees include Patsy Cline, Georgia O’Keeffe, rancher Fern Sawyer and athlete Jan Youren. The museum is within walking distance to other museums in the Cultural District.

  2. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

    The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, also found in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, displays post-World War II art in all media. The museum’s collection includes videos and photographs, paintings, prints and sculptures. All major, international movements are represented, including minimalism and abstract expressionism. The Modern offers special tours and programs, daily docent-led tours and discounted admission days.

  3. Fort Worth Botanic Garden

    Established in 1934, Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Texas. The attraction features more than 20 specialty gardens that contain over 2,500 species of exotic and native plants.

    The Japanese Garden is a traditional stroll garden with paths that go around ponds and through landscapes. The romantic Rose Garden contains a sandstone structure that comprises the Shelter House, Rose Ramp and Lower Rose Garden. Each garden is unique, peaceful and colorful.

  4. Fort Worth Water Gardens

    The Fort Worth Water Gardens is situated adjacent to the Fort Worth Convention Center. The park features three pools of water: the aerating, the quiet and the active pool. You are welcome to meander through this urban plaza as water flows over massive concrete architecture.


    Alternatively, you can relax under trees that border the pyramid type construction, where you can enjoy the plants that fill the park grounds. This architectural and engineering marvel can be enjoyed year-round.

  5. SeaQuest Fort Worth

    SeaQuest Fort Worth is an aquarium found at Ridgmar Mall, an enclosed shopping mall that contains name-brand stores and boutiques. Exhibits and activities take you on a journey through deserts, rain forests and the depths of the seas. Get up close and personal with residents of the aquarium when you take selfies with the snakes, feed the toucans and much more. Private Sleep With The Sharks encounters for families and adults are lots of nocturnal fun.

  6. Fort Worth Stockyards

    Fort Worth Stockyards provides a glimpse of the American West. The true history of Texas’s livestock industry comes to life, from the original brick walkways to the wooden corrals. You can watch the twice-daily cattle drives and view the Fort Worth Herd steers before and after each cattle drive. Texas cowhands are available for photo ops and questions. Every detail of cattle drives, from saddles to hats, is historically accurate.

  7. Kimbell Art Museum

    Kimbell Art Museum, regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era, is located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District. While the permanent collection comprises fewer than 350 works of art, these works represent a high level of artistic achievement. Masterpieces by Monet, Picasso and Bellini are a few of the paintings that are found in the museum. Collections include Ancient American, Asian and African.

Ready to enjoy the historic and cultural sights of Fort Worth? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

9 Fun Things for Families and Couples to Do in Broken Bow, OK

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Scenic Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is nestled in the southeast corner of the state, with nearby lakes and the Kiamichi Mountains both offering startling views. It’s a prime spot for a family vacation a well as a budget-friendly couples getaway. Broken Bow camping is one of the major reasons travelers flock here, as there are quite a few cozy and quaint cabins for rent, especially during the summer and fall. Whether you opt for cabin rentals or you choose other accommodations, you’ll get to explore plenty of beautiful nature while you’re here.

  1. Fish Tales Winery and Vineyard

    Great for a couple’s adventure, Fish Tales Winery and Vineyard allows you to sample its wine fines as well as go for a tour of the vineyard.

  2. Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area

    The areas around Broken Bow are well-known for their hunting, and this is perhaps the best spot around. With over 200,000 acres, you can access all of it with a Land Access Fee permit, even if you’re from out of town.

  3. Glover River

    The Glover River is a popular spot for kayakers and whitewater rafters, but it’s definitely a challenge. A more simple route for beginners would be the nearby Mountain Fork River.

  4. River Man Trail Rides

    If you’ve never been horseback riding, there’s no better time than the present to learn. At River Man Trail Rides, you can choose from more than 14 horses, and lessons and rides are available any time of year, during any season.

  5. Broken Bow Lake

    One of the main attractions of Broken Bow, OK, is the Broken Bow Lake. Here, you can do everything from hiking to scuba diving. It’s also simply a nice place to spend the day to relax.

  6. Beavers Bend State Park

    Broken Bow Lake and Beavers Bend are so close together that many vacationers try to visit both in the same day. Beavers Bend State Park offers hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and picnic areas and swimming.

  7. Little River National Wildlife Refuge

    While some come to Broken Bow to hunt, other comes to simply watch wildlife in their habitat. With over 15,000 acres that includes lakes and wetlands, Little River National Wildlife Refuge everything from white-tailed deer to alligators.

  8. Lakeview Lodge Trail

    This four-mile trail is absolutely perfect for hikers of all skill levels, including kids. Lakeview Lodge Trail is also a great place to take your mountain bike for a day to bike.

  9. Gardner Mansion and Museum

    Full of pioneer and Indian artifacts, the Gardner Mansion and Museum is a great place to spend the day, while touring the grounds is also a must. The mansion itself was built in the 1880s for a Choctaw chief.

Ready to enjoy the incredible, natural beauty of Broken Bow? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina | Get To Know The Areas Guide

Hilton Head Island vacation rentals put you right in the center of the historic and lovely island with its world-class golf courses, miles of nature trails for hiking and sparkling white beaches. Check out these tips to find the perfect place to stay in Hilton Head Island on your next family vacation. Divided into several beautiful neighborhoods, your first decision begins with which area of the island suits your vacation style.

  1. Sea Pines Plantation

    Whether you’ve chosen an all-inclusive resort or Hilton Head Island vacation rental on the beach, Sea Pines Plantation is a lovely area. Located on the south end of the island, Sea Pines Plantation is one of the older neighborhoods with houses dating back to the 1930s and 1940s right alongside modern and exciting resorts. Four golf courses draw visitors from all over the world for challenging games and spectacular views of the coastline. Biking, hiking and tennis are all available for guests who enjoy a little outdoor adventure, and there’s a wide selection of Hilton Head Island house rentals that make it easy to enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

    Although the Sea Pines Plantation isn’t quite beachfront, the rental rates tend to be slightly lower here than in other sections of the island. The Sea Pines Plantation neighborhood is approximately 15 minutes from the Hilton Head airport, making this neighborhood a great choice for families and singles who are visiting from out of state or flying in to enjoy the summer season. Attractions near the Sea Pines Plantation area include public beach access, two marinas with boat rentals and tours, and plenty of cute boutiques and restaurants.

  1. Palmetto Dunes

    Located a little north of Sea Pines Plantation and offering plenty of beach access, Palmetto Dunes also feature world-class golf courses and hiking and biking trails. This area of Hilton Head Island is situated along a system of lagoons that cover about 13 miles of the island and offers excellent locations for fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. The calmer water of the lagoons surrounded by Hilton Head Island house rentals and modern condos tends to draw guests who have an appreciation for natural beauty.

    Palmetto Dunes has a large selection of vacation rentals that include villas with two or three bedrooms, waterfront homes with decks overlooking the water, and towering condos offering unobstructed views of Hilton Head Island’s beaches. Located just a few minutes from Hilton Head airport and featuring the Shelter Cove Harbor, this portion of the island also has boat tours and boat rentals available similar to those in the Sea Pines Plantation area.

  1. Forest Beach


    Located on the southern and eastern coast of Hilton Head Island, Forest Beach is a beachfront community with vacation rentals right on the beach. This large neighborhood has a good mixture of condos and house rentals perfect for families and singles looking to enjoy the sun and sand. This area tends to be one of the busiest, with plenty of beach access and cute beach bars and restaurants.

    Locals are found relaxing along the Forest Beach seashore, and there are lots of options for entertainment including biking and hiking trails, shopping, tennis courts and lessons at the Van der Meer Tennis University, and swimming in the warm waters of the Atlantic. Forest Beach is also close to the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina with its local theater groups and live shows, along with the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge where visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the South Carolina coast and its myriad of shorebirds.

  2. Harbour Town


    Located on the western edge of Hilton Head Island, Harbour Town is a waterfront community near Sea Pines Plantation with a large selection of Hilton Head Island vacation rentals right on the beach. This residential area also features a good selection of shops, clothing boutiques and restaurants along with a gorgeous harbor filled with rental boats, yachts and fishing charters. Harbour Town has its share of golf courses, tennis and volleyball courts, and other outdoor sport amenities. Hiking, fishing and paddleboarding are popular activities for visitors, along with browsing the shops and enjoying the art galleries and craft stores.

    Harbour Town features Hilton Head Island house rentals that come with easy access to condos overlooking the harbor and the beaches. This area of the island tends to draw families with children, and offers parks with playgrounds, dog parks and doggy day spas for travelers who bring their favorite furry friend. Harbour Town is about 20 minutes from the Hilton Head airport and visitors have access to plenty of public transportation to get from their vacation rental to the beaches.

  3. Folly Field


    The oldest and most luxurious of the Hilton Head Island vacation rentals are found in and around Folly Field Plantation. This area of the island is situated toward the north and the east with some of the most beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Several large resorts play host to visitors who love golf and tennis, and with easy access to the beaches, there are water sports like kayaking, boating and paddleboarding available as well. Folly Field offers a glimpse of the history of Hilton Head Island with gorgeous vacation homes that date to the 1950s adding their own unique architecture to the beauty of the island.

    Visitors enjoy the Hilton Head Island Birding Trail where you can catch a glimpse of the native shorebirds along with sandpipers and osprey. Families with children have space to explore the beaches, and shops offer crafting for days when the weather might not be so cooperative. Hilton Head Island vacation rentals are most plentiful during the off-season and busiest from mid-June until the end of August while the children are out of school.

Ready to enjoy the historic sights of Hilton Head Island? Book your stay on VacationRenter!

7 Wildly Unique Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge sits just a few miles north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. This location makes Pigeon Forge a popular mountain resort town, pulling in visitors from near and far throughout the year. With a wide array of vacation rental homes and cabins, it’s relatively easy to find accommodations that are both rustic and luxurious. While the mountains and a number of amusement parks are high on tourists’ lists of things to do, there are a multitude of other options to enjoy, too. These seven wildly unique activities in Pigeon Forge can help you create some unforgettable memories.

  1. Outdoor Gravity Park

    Pigeon Forge’s Outdoor Gravity Park offers unique adventures for every member of the family. Chances are you’ve probably seen hamsters running in little plastic balls before. Now is your chance to have the same experience! Climb into an OGO, a plastic sphere that houses you while you roll around the park, and take in the expansive green spaces with rolling hills and valleys. With various tracks featuring zig-zag courses, and even a 1,000-foot hill, your ride experience promises to be a thrill to remember. You can navigate the park alone or with a couple of buddies in your OGO.

  1. Forbidden Caverns


    The Forbidden Caverns combine both entertainment and education as you explore the underground world underneath Pigeon Forge. You’ll see natural chimneys, grottos, streams and rock formations on your guided tour. The tours include special lighting effects, sound effects and more. Learn all about how moonshiners used the caves to make moonshine decades ago. The tours take about an hour, and you can also bring a picnic to enjoy in the on-site pavilion. A restaurant and souvenir shop are also located on the grounds.

  2. Hillbilly Golf


    If you’ve never tried Hillbilly Golf, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. The first part of the adventure involves riding an incline tram up 300 feet to the top of a mountain. From there, you have your choice of two 18-hole courses, each filled with unique hazards such as outhouses and moonshine stills. Dodge the tractors and other standard Appalachian obstacles as you make your way through the mini golf course.

  3. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum


    Perhaps you’ve never given much thought to salt and pepper shakers. But if you visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, you may never look at these dining-table essentials the same way again. With more than 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers on display from all over the world, the collection on display is truly astounding. While you tour the museum, be prepared to learn fascinating facts about salt and pepper. You can also learn the various benefits of having a salt or pepper shaker with just one hole, three holes or more holes.

  4. Parrot Mountain and Gardens

    At Parrot Mountain and Gardens, you can touch, see and feed exotic parrots. Watch the colorful birds enjoying their natural habitats in the gardens. Visit the on-site nursery to see tiny baby parrots hatch out of their eggs and receive hand-feedings from employees. If you find a bird you love, you can even sponsor it with a donation. Enjoy lunch in the park while you listen to the parrots call. Explore the gardens and watch the birds flying freely. Don’t miss the ample photo opportunities with the beautiful landscaping and breathtaking wildlife in the park.

  5. Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community

    This area in Tennessee is rich in artisans practicing their specialties. One of the distinctive things about Pigeon Forge is the craftsmen who love to share their creations and allow people to watch as they craft. The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is just that: a place where people can go to watch artisans create their personal magic. The community plans special craft shows throughout the year, and provides an opportunity to both experience and learn about different types of crafts that are popular in Tennessee, such as woodworking, candle-making, soap-making, painting, ceramics and glassblowing.

  1. Sandman’s Workshop


For a truly artisanal experience, spend a few hours at the Sandman’s Workshop. This is the place to find a personalized garden stone or a memorial stone made just for you. The shop also has ready-made items available for purchase as you tour the premises. You can even choose your stone and order the personalization. The artisans on staff complete the work for you while you wait.

Spending a vacation in Pigeon Forge promises to be filled with adventure. While you’ll definitely want to hit all of the major activities, such as national parks, it’s wise to get off the beaten path to learn about the more unique aspects of Pigeon Forge. Be sure to make yourself at home in one of the many vacation rental homes in the area, which make it possible to enjoy all of the comforts of home while you enjoy seeing new sights and forging new memories.

Ready to enjoy the historic sights of Pigeon Forge? Book your stay on VacationRenter!