Best Places for Vacation Rental Properties in Minnesota – 2024

Overview of Minnesota Vacation Rental Market

In Minnesota, the vacation rental market thrives due to the state’s reputation as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” offering a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor activities. Providers such as Airbnb and VRBO are popular platforms where guests can find a variety of rental options ranging from cozy cabins to spacious houses.

Rental Types:

  • Cabins: Ideal for experiencing Minnesota’s natural landscapes.
  • House Rentals: Suitable for families and larger groups.
  • Condo Rentals: Often found in urban areas, providing modern amenities.

Unique homes are a specific draw in the area, with architecture and styles reflecting the rustic charm of the region. In addition to standard rentals, the market also caters to specific needs offering pet-friendly rentals for travelers who wish to bring their animal companions along.


  • Most properties offer amenities like Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and entertainment systems.
  • Higher-end rentals might include features such as hot tubs or private docks.


  • Seasonal trends affect availability, with summer and fall being peak seasons due to favorable weather and outdoor activities.
  • Planning in advance is recommended, especially for properties in high-demand locations.

The Minnesota vacation rental market is well-positioned to provide a variety of accommodation options for its visitors, showcasing the state’s allure as a top destination for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation.

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Top Destinations for Vacation Rentals in Minnesota

Minnesota offers a diverse range of vacation rental destinations, from the serene shores of Lake Superior to the dynamic cityscapes of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Nature enthusiasts and city explorers alike can find their perfect getaway spot.

The Charm of Lake Superior and Its Surroundings

Grand Marais is a gem on the shores of Lake Superior, boasting spectacular views and a wealth of activities. Vacation rentals here provide access to Grand Portage State Forest and the Pincushion Mountain Trail System, ideal for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

The Urban Appeal of Minneapolis

Minneapolis is well-loved for its vibrant arts scene, extensive park system, and the iconic Chain of Lakes. For travelers seeking urban excitement, vacation rentals in Minneapolis offer a convenient and comfortable base to explore the Mall of America and enjoy the city’s renowned dining and shopping options.

Saint Paul: Cultural and Historic Attractions

Saint Paul, the state’s capital, entices visitors with its rich history and cultural landmarks. Vacation rental guests can immerse themselves in the charm of Summit Avenue, home to the largest concentration of Victorian architecture in the country, and attend events at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Natural Beauty of Ely

In the heart of the Superior National Forest, Ely is an enclave for outdoor lovers. It’s near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, providing a tranquil setting for vacation rentals. Ely’s remote cabins are particularly appealing for those looking to disconnect and engage with nature.

Seasonal Considerations for Rental Properties

Choosing the right season for a vacation rental property in Minnesota is crucial as each offers unique attractions and activities that can appeal to different guests’ preferences.

Winter Wonderland: Skiing and Snow Activities

Winter in Minnesota transforms rental properties into cozy retreats near ski resorts and snow-laden landscapes. Guests frequently seek rentals that offer easy access to cross-country skiing trails and snowmobiling paths. Properties that emphasize their proximity to winter sports facilities or that boast amenities like fireplaces and hot tubs often see increased bookings during the snowy months.

Summer by the Lake: Sun, Water Sports, and Relaxation

Summer months bring about a surge in demand for homes on or near the myriad of lakes in Minnesota. Vacationers are drawn to properties that facilitate water sports, fishing, and swimming. Lake houses with docks, boats available for use, and outdoor entertainment areas are particularly popular, as guests look to maximize their time in the sun and on the water.

Fall Getaways: Festivities and Fall Foliage

During the fall, the changing foliage is a spectacular draw. Rental homes that offer stunning views of the autumn colors, especially those in wooded areas or by the water, attract guests looking for a tranquil getaway. Proximity to apple orchards and pumpkin patches can also be a major plus, as they align with the season’s festive activities.

Spring Retreats: Golfing and Nature’s Reawakening

Spring in Minnesota is marked by the reawakening of nature and the reopening of golf courses. Properties that are situated near golfing destinations can appeal to those looking to hit the links in the fresh spring air. Rentals are also sought out by fishing enthusiasts eager to partake in the early season’s promise of abundant catches.

Property Types and Amenities

Minnesota offers a diverse range of vacation rental property types to cater to different preferences, complete with a variety of amenities that can enhance any stay from comfortable to luxurious.

Lakefront Cabins and Cottages

Lakefront properties provide a quintessential Minnesota experience, often featuring private docks, easy access to wateractivities, and stunning views. Cabins and cottages range from rustic to modern, with common amenities such as a fire pit, a fireplace for cozy evenings, and high ceilings that give an open, airy feel to the living spaces. Many offer Wi-Fiand a grill for barbecues by the lake.

Luxury Condos with Urban Amenities

Situated in the heart of Minnesota’s bustling cities, luxury condos offer amenities that cater to the urban traveler, including rooftop poolshot tubs, and state-of-the-art laundry rooms. Spaces are designed with sophistication, providing high ceilings and expansive windows for panoramic city views alongside sleeper sofas for extra guests.

Pet-Friendly Homes and Cozy Couples’ Retreats

Catering to both pet owners and couples, these vacation rentals offer the perfect blend of convenience and comfort. Amenities can include pet-friendly spaces with fenced yards, fireplaces for romantic evenings, and well-equipped kitchens. Couples’ retreats might feature a hot tub and a cozy environment tailored for two.

Family-Friendly Stays with Spacious Interiors

For families needing extra space, these properties offer 4 bedrooms or more, a washer and dryer for everyday convenience, and large living areas with a fireplace. Kid-friendly amenities like a pool, games, and outdoor areas with a grill are common, while Wi-Fi connectivity keeps everyone entertained.

What to Consider When Booking a Vacation Rental

When selecting a vacation rental in Minnesota, tenants should focus on comprehensive research, strategic location, and clear understanding of the rental framework. These pillars will guide one’s decision for an ideal stay.

Reading Reviews and Evaluating Ratings

Reading customer reviews and evaluating ratings are essential for gaining insight into past guests’ experiences. Look for comments on cleanliness, amenities, and the host’s communication. Reviews often touch on proximity to grocery storesand restaurants, helping guests gauge everyday convenience. Prioritize rentals with high ratings and transparent feedback profiles, as they often reflect a reliable and quality experience.

Checking Proximity to Key Attractions

Guests should consider the rental’s proximity to Minnesota’s key attractions such as the Mall of America, the Minnesota State Fair, and outdoor activities like golf and fishing spots. Use mapping tools to check distance and accessibility ensuring the location aligns with the vacation goals. Being close to attractions can enhance the convenience and enjoyment of your trip.

Understanding the Rental Terms and Policies

Before committing to a rental, guests must thoroughly comprehend the terms and policies. This includes cancellation policies, check-in/check-out times, and any house rules. Make sure the rental terms are agreeable and there are no hidden fees or strict regulations that could impact the stay. It is also wise to clarify the expectations around damage deposits and additional charges.

Activities and Experiences Near Vacation Rentals

When considering vacation rentals in Minnesota, guests have access to an array of activities and experiences. From water sports on the myriad of lakes to the bustling Minnesota State Fair, there is something for everyone.

Water Adventures on Minnesota’s Many Lakes

Minnesota boasts over 10,000 lakes, each offering its own unique set of water-based activities. Vacationers can enjoy days filled with kayakingcanoeing, and fishing. Rentals often provide direct access to lakes, complete with available kayaksor canoes, and lead you to peaceful mornings on the water or exciting afternoons catching fish.

Exploring Outdoor and Cultural Events

The state is a hotbed for outdoor and cultural festivities, including the famed Minnesota State Fair, which showcases the state’s rich agricultural heritage and live entertainment. Apart from this, visitors can experience local art galleries, summer concerts, and seasonal celebrations that often take place within a short distance of many vacation properties.

Enjoying Local Cuisine and Dining Options

Minnesota’s vacation spots serve as an epicenter for food lovers, where they can sample a variety of local and international dishes. Restaurants near vacation rentals offer fresh caught fish from the surrounding lakes, wild game, and traditional Scandinavian dishes, providing a treat for the taste buds of those looking for an authentic culinary experience.

Retail Therapy at Mall of America and Local Stores

For guests interested in some shopping, the Mall of America, the largest in the United States, provides numerous options under one roof. Smaller local boutiques and craft stores give visitors a glimpse into Minnesota’s local arts and the chance to purchase unique souvenirs.

By staying at a vacation rental in Minnesota, travelers are never far from the best activities and experiences the state has to offer, including engaging in water sports, attending local events, savoring diverse cuisine, and indulging in both grand scale and intimate retail experiences.

Getting Around: Transportation and Access

In Minnesota, vacation rental guests benefit from a mix of urban accessibility and scenic remoteness, allowing them to experience both the vibrant city life of Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as the tranquility of the state’s lake regions. Whether one prefers the convenience of public transit or the independence of a rental car, the state’s transportation infrastructure caters to a variety of preferences and needs.

Accessibility to Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul

For those staying in vacation rentals close to Downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, the cities offer an efficient network of transportation options. The Metro Transit system, which includes light rail lines such as the Green and Blue lines, connects key areas within the Twin Cities. One can easily reach major attractions like the historic West 7th neighborhood or the bustling districts encompassing sporting venues and theaters.

Navigating Lake Regions and Remote Areas

Exploring the charming Chain of Lakes or heading towards the serene town of Ely necessitates a personal vehicle due to limited public transit reach. These picturesque areas, known for their outdoor activities and natural beauty, offer scenic byways perfect for road trips. The St. Croix region, renowned for its river valley views, is similarly more accessible with private transportation.

Rental Vehicle and Public Transit Options

Visitors have the flexibility to choose from various rental vehicle options, ranging from economy cars for city travel to SUVs for crossing rugged terrain near remote cabins. Public transit, while predominantly serving the Twin Cities, does provide connections to some suburban and metropolitan areas. Buses and trains are readily available for those preferring not to drive, with schedules and routes accessible online for trip planning.

Local Insider Tips for the Best Stay

For those seeking a unique accommodation experience in Minnesota, considering unique homes such as luxury tree houses offers a memorable and different perspective of the state’s natural beauty. They should ensure that these properties come with all the amenities necessary for comfort without compromising the novelty of staying amidst nature.

When guests choose to stay within the bustling neighborhoods, the West 7th area in St. Paul offers a vibrant mix of culture and convenience, with its rich selection of local eateries and shops. They should look for vacation rentals that allow easy access to both the tranquility of the Mississippi River as well as the excitement of city life.

Here are some insider tips for selecting the best locations:

  • Seek Local Knowledge: Get recommendations on stays from local Minnesotans for an authentic experience.
  • Prioritize Accessibility: For seamless travel, ensure your rental is well-connected to local transport.
Local AmenitiesProximity to shops, restaurants, parks.
Unique StaysTree houses, cabins, locally-themed rentals.
Cultural HotspotsLook for properties near West 7th for a mix of dining and entertainment options.

Travelers should opt for rentals that offer detailed guides and resources about the local area, so one can easily discover hidden gems. By selecting places with high ratings and positive reviews, they can be confident in the quality of their stay.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common inquiries potential investors and vacationers have about vacation rental properties in Minnesota, offering insight on locations, profitability, and amenities.

What are the top lake cabin rental options in Minnesota for large families or groups?

For large families or groups seeking lake cabin rentals in Minnesota, properties offering spacious accommodations with multiple bedrooms are in high demand. A prime example would be a cottage with 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, suitable for up to 16 guests, ensuring a comfortable and private experience.

What considerations should be made when looking for affordable cabin rentals in Minnesota?

When on the lookout for affordable cabin rentals in Minnesota, travelers should consider the location’s proximity to desired attractions, the availability of essential amenities, and off-peak season rates. Exploring options on platforms that offer a variety of vacation rentals may help find a budget-friendly choice.

Which resorts in Minnesota offer cabin rentals within their premises?

Several resorts in Minnesota provide the convenience of cabin rentals within their premises, combining the rustic charm of cabin living with resort amenities. These often include onsite restaurants, recreational activities, and easy access to natural attractions.

Can you suggest some prime locations in Minnesota known for excellent cabin stays?

Minnesota boasts several prime locations for cabin stays, including Grand Marais, which is lauded for its scenic beauty and outdoor adventures. Here, travelers can enjoy attractions like the Grand Portage State Forest and Sivertson Gallery, all the while staying in a welcoming community renowned for its hospitality and lakeside cabins.

How profitable is the vacation rental market in the Minnesota region?

The vacation rental market in Minnesota is lucrative, especially in areas close to popular lakes and state parks. Factors like property size, location, and unique amenities significantly influence profitability. Vacation rentals that are well-managed and strategically marketed have the potential to yield a substantial return on investment.

When searching for a cabin to rent in Minnesota, what amenities are most recommended?

Top recommended amenities for a Minnesota cabin rental include a fully equipped kitchen, free Wi-Fi, comfortable living spaces, and outdoor features like fire pits and dock access. Additional luxuries such as private pools or hot tubs enhance the rental appeal, especially for families and groups looking to enjoy a memorable stay.

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