From Star Wars-themed to beachfront paradise: 10 top Airbnb homes in Florida

Jul 7, 2020

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Editor’s note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

As it becomes clear that travel to many countries this summer is a no-go (see our country-by-country guide to destination’s reopening rules), many of us are spending more time searching for somewhere a bit closer to home for our next vacation. Today, we’ll look at some of the coolest accommodations you can find in Florida that are listed on the popular Airbnb vacation home rental platform. Many have gorgeous locations right on a beach, beautiful private pools, gourmet kitchens and tricked out theater/game rooms. Others — like a floating Tiki hut in Key West and tent camping on an isolated Gulf of Mexico beach — are interesting because they break the mold of traditional accommodations.

Related: How to find the best Airbnb

Before you begin dreaming about your getaway, read about Florida’s different regions so you can choose the one that’s a match for your vacation style. Or, if you want to select a place to visit solely on its proximity to the ocean, here are some of Florida’s best beaches.

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Ocean Glory

Amelia Island, Florida

  • Rates start at $285/night

If you thought you’d never be able to afford a rental home directly on the beach, think again. The octagonal Ocean Glory vacation home is on Fletcher Avenue, the road that parallels North Beach on Amelia Island. Elevated and designed to evoke the feel of a lighthouse, the interior has vaulted and beamed ceilings throughout plus a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors revealing the dunes (just 50 feet away), beach and ocean. The homey living room has plenty of comfy seating areas for a group of 10 and a two-story stone fireplace is a focal point. The master bedroom has a king bed and those same gorgeous beach-view floor-to-ceiling windows and French door leading to the balcony that has two tables seating four each plus two lounge chairs. A second bedroom is outfitted with a queen bed while the third bedroom has two bunk beds. Rental rates for the entire house start at $285 per night but can rise to $400 or $500 per night on holiday weeks and other peak dates.

Related: Florida’s top 10 vacation regions for different types of travelers

Balcony apartment on a historic street

St. Augustine, Florida

  • Rates start at $160/night
  • 4.97/5 rating

St. Augustine in the northern part of the state is a fantastic home base for anyone that loves the beach, visiting nature reserves and checking out historical sites like Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. or Fort Mose Historic State Park, which was built by the Spanish in 1738 as a free black settlement. To soak up St. Augustine’s vibe, pick an Airbnb like this 1,000-square-foot shotgun-style one-bedroom, one-bath balcony apartment on St. George Street, one of the oldest streets in America. You will be right in the heart of things and that includes listening to live music from nearby restaurants. If you’re the type that’s in bed by 9 p.m. or wants a very quiet, chill environment, look elsewhere. But, if you want to feel the pulse of St. Augustine, this is the place for you. It’s located above two of the city’s most popular restaurants, Pizzaelley and The Chianti Room. There’s a patio you can enjoy as well as one parking spot for small/medium car.

Related: TPG’s favorite Florida beaches

A Star Wars-themed theater room in a private residence

Reunion, Florida (Orlando area)

  • The nightly rate starts at $495

Orlando’s theme parks are starting to open. TPG’s own Richard Kerr was at Universal Orlando’s opening day and Walt Disney World begins its theme park reopening starting on July 11. If you’re heading to Orlando soon you may prefer staying in a luxury home like this one with a Star Wars-themed private theater instead of booking a traditional hotel. Isole Carriage House, part of Airbnb’s Luxe collection at the Reunion Resort, accommodates 10 guests via four bedrooms and 5.5 baths. The home has plenty of recreational diversions right on-site, including a beautiful pool with hot tub, a fire pit, outdoor kitchen for BBQs and a shaded porch and balcony — both with ceiling fans. Indoors, there’s a theater room with stadium seating and it’s decorated with a floor-to-ceiling Star Wars-themed mural. There’s also a game room with a pool table and an air hockey table.

Related: Guide to visiting Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World

South Beach luxury

Miami, Florida

  • Nightly rates start at $1,440

Here’s another option if you’re looking for something in the luxury category: a penthouse right on the beach in Miami’s South Beach. Setai Private Residence 2208 accommodates four people with two bedrooms and two baths. What’s so compelling about this Airbnb is the gorgeous setting with floor-to-ceiling, corner-to-corner windows that offer views right on to the beach. The master bedroom has a king-size bed and ensuite bathroom with a jetted bathtub and standalone rain shower. The second bedroom has a queen bed and ensuite bathroom with a standalone rain shower. Both bedrooms have ocean views. While the apartment is gorgeous and you’ll want to spend plenty of time there, guests also have access to some shared amenities at The Setai Miami Beach, such as the swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness center and beach access.

Related: Our 15 favorite Florida hotels

Key West’s floating Tiki Suite

Key West, Florida

  • Rates start at $349/night
  • 4.94/5 rating

We love this fun option in Key West: The Tiki Suite. Technically a houseboat, the suite is designed to look like the type of overwater bungalow you’d find in the South Pacific. Perfect for outdoorsy types, the Airbnb is outfitted with a hammock as well as stand-up paddleboards and snorkel gear. The thatched hut may be humble but has some nice upscale features like Brazilian hardwood flooring, a king-size bed, French doors opening to an ocean view and a high vaulted ceiling, which is a major part of the rental’s self-ventilating design. The unit uses Alexa to automate things like turning on the lights or playing music from your own device. The Tiki Suite also has a roto-molded cooler that can keep ice solid for up to nine days. There’s no kitchen but you will find a K-cup coffee maker and microwave. The bathroom has an electric macerating toilet and a full-height shower.

Related: Famous Florida foods you have to try

A Mirage on the Panhandle

Seacrest, Florida

  • Nightly rates start at $495

The Mirage is an absolutely gorgeous three-story beachfront home with a private pool in Seacrest near Rosemary Beach. The beaches on this part of the Panhandle are some of the best in Florida. Truly, with your own private boardwalk to the beach, it doesn’t get better than this. The elegantly designed five-bedroom, five-bathroom home accommodates up to 15 people. There are two kitchens plus an outdoor grill and two balconies with sweeping Gulf views. This one’s a keeper.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium

Pensacola, Florida

  • The nightly rate starts at $1,500
  • 5/5 rating

This is a really fun Airbnb listing! You and your friends and family can rent Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium for a night. Celebrate a birthday or just enjoy a get-together where you have an inside look at the baseball park. Check out the field, the clubhouse (outfitted with Ping-Pong tables and video games) and batting cage. When it’s time to shut down for the night, there’s one bedroom with 10 beds plus three bathrooms.

Island camping

Dunedin, Florida

  • Rates start at $99/night
  • 5/5 rating

Want to tent camp on an island paradise? This Airbnb host will help you pull that off. The listing is all the rental gear you’ll need to go camping plus the host’s expertise when it comes to selecting public island campgrounds with Gulf of Mexico views. You can select one of three packages: minimalist, basic (+$150) and glamping deluxe (+$300). Some of the nice extras you get in the deluxe package includes a raft, two kayaks/inflatable paddle boards, propane BBQ grill, solar lights and more.

Related: These 12 state parks will make you fall in love with Florida

Gulf-front beauty

Clearwater Beach, Florida

  • The nightly rate starts at $603
  • 4.46/5 rating

This vacation home on North Clearwater Beach has gorgeous sunset views and easy access to the beach right outside your door. The 1,880-square-foot home accommodates up to 12 people in three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Standout features here include a “Tiki hut”-style patio with vaulted ceiling and fan. Relax in the shade with gorgeous ocean views as your vista. The gourmet kitchen, which also looks out over the water, will make the amateur chef in you very happy. And, the open floor plan makes it easy for your group to gather in the kitchen at meals and to congregate around the granite island. The home is less than 2 miles from Pier 60, where you can charter a fishing boat, go shopping or dine out.

Related: 7 ways to upgrade your Florida vacation

Beachfront oasis

Anna Maria Island, Florida

  • Nightly rate starting at $465

With a sleek, modern style, this beachfront home in Anna Maria Island is unique with its indoor/outdoor plunge pool at the foot of the dunes. It’s a perfect spot to bob in the water before or after a beach visit. There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms that can accommodate up to 10 guests. With easy step-out access to the beach, this is ideal for families that don’t want a long haul to get to the water. It’s right out your door. The home also has an elevator, making it perfect for multigenerational families or anyone that needs to avoid stairs. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the home allow for incredible unobstructed views of the beach.

Featured image courtesy of Benchmark Management
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