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20 Best Small Towns to Buy a Vacation Home

Ready to buy a vacation home? Ask yourself whether you want to be on a lake, at the beach, in the mountains or close to a historic town square. Then, choose from one of these 20 small towns for the perfect getaway.

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Photo: Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Decisions, Decisions

When you’re considering a vacation home, you have a lot of choices. Many US destinations check boxes for beautiful scenery, plentiful activities, exciting food scenes and ample outdoor recreation choices, whether on the lake, on the beach, in the mountains or near national parks.

Over the last couple of years, Vacasa, a full-service vacation rental management company, has evaluated the top markets for buying vacation homes. They looked at factors like rising home prices and rate of investment return, as well as destination trends. A notable preference among potential vacation homebuyers is waterfront destinations that can be reached by car.

Read on for 20 of the best small towns in the US to buy a vacation home, and find out what sets each destination apart.

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Photo: Erin Gifford

Lake Anna, Virginia

If you’re all in on lake life, then Virginia’s Lake Anna may be for you. This 13,000-acre reservoir in Spotsylvania County is one of the largest in the state, attracting pontoon boats, jet skis, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. At Lake Anna State Park, spend the day in the sun at the swimming beach or hike across miles of forested trails. Order up a burger or salad at The Cove at Lake Anna. Sit outside and watch the boats come and go as you listen to live music. Off the lake, get in a round of disc golf at Loriella Park.

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Photo: Travel Texas / Michelle Michimani

Port Aransas, Texas

Port Aransas – also known as Port A – may be the original destination for island life. At least the town bills itself as such. Not only is Port Aransas among the best beach towns in Texas, it’s also a favorite among vacation homeowners thanks to chill vibes and sandy stretches of pristine coastline. Port Aransas is home to Mustang Island State Park, which has a paddling trail, campsites and stargazing programs. Port Aransas Beach is noted as a sport fishing destination, which is ideal for those eager to catch tuna, sailfish or blue marlin.

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Photo: Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches

Palm Coast, Florida

Allow yourself to be awed by colorful sunrises, sandy stretches of coastline and picturesque formal gardens in Palm Coast. Located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Palm Coast is just an hour south of Jacksonville and has so much to offer vacationers. Stroll the stunning nature trails at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, then laze the day away at one of the pristine beaches. For golfers, there are eight golf courses in Palm Coast. This is a wonderful destination for birders, too, thanks to its location on Florida’s Great Birding Trail. Keep your eyes open for roseate spoonbills and wood storks.

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