The Top 10 Markets for Airbnbs

Natasha Khullar RelphNatasha Khullar Relph

Mar 27, 2024

The Top 10 Markets for Airbnbs

The vacation rental industry is thriving, drawing real estate investors seeking varied revenue streams. However, choosing the ideal city is crucial for profitable short-term rental properties.

Beyond the usual hotspots like Florida and New York, lesser-known cities can hold equally promising opportunities for starting or expanding your Airbnb business. Here’s a list of the best cities in the United States for lucrative Airbnb investments.

1. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, is celebrated for its distinctive southern charm, historical significance, and scenic coastal landscape. With a backdrop of picturesque beaches and a renowned culinary scene, Charleston appeals to a diverse range of travelers seeking a blend of heritage and modern leisure. The Airbnb market in Charleston thrives thanks to its year-round appeal, drawing visitors with its mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. The average occupancy rate for vacation rentals in this market is 63%, with an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $290. Airbnb hosts can find consistently high demand, particularly during peak seasons and cultural events, ensuring a steady flow of guests.

2. The Poconos, Pennsylvania

The Poconos, in Pennsylvania, can be a hidden gem for savvy Airbnb investors eyeing promising Airbnb markets. The Pocono Mountains attract between 27-30 million visitors annually, with leisure being a predominant reason for travel. Why is this region ranked as a sought-after Airbnb destination? With its accessibility to travelers from multiple states, the area ensures high occupancy rates year-round. The area also offers single family residential vacation homes in tranquil locations like The Pasquin. The ADR peaks at $459 in December, with a 55% occupancy rate in July.

3. Slidell, Louisiana

Nestled on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain, this vibrant city offers a rich history, diverse culture, and proximity to New Orleans, making it an appealing alternative to the bustling city. Slidell’s thriving tourism sector and cultural events significantly contribute to its local economy, presenting opportunities for short-term rental owners to earn substantial revenue, especially during peak seasons. Thanks to a smaller market size with fewer active Airbnbs than nearby New Orleans, investors have the chance to establish a competitive presence and capture a significant share of the local market. A promising ADR of $231 and an estimated 58% occupancy rate can offer hosts a consistent flow of bookings throughout the year, ensuring steady revenue.

4. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga stands out as an exceptional Airbnb market with its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural tourist attractions, and a thriving downtown scene. Known for its stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and rich history, Chattanooga offers an array of attractions that cater to diverse visitor interests. Chattanooga’s allure lies in its picturesque setting along the Tennessee River, featuring iconic landmarks like Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee Aquarium. Vacation rentals predominantly feature entire homes, averaging 3.2 bedrooms and accommodating around six guests. ADR peaks at $189 in October, reflecting strong demand during specific months.

5. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah’s allure lies in its captivating historic district, inviting visitors to explore its rich past through guided tours and serene walks along tree-lined streets. This charming city boasts antebellum architecture, lush parks, and scenic riverfront views, offering travelers a unique experience steeped in history and southern hospitality. With a steady ADR, Savannah’s appeal remains consistent among travelers seeking a historical escape. According to Mashvisor, short-term rentals in Savannah, Georgia, can be highly lucrative, generating over $3,400 monthly.

6. Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii, stands as an enticing Airbnb hotspot renowned for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant cultural offerings. This tropical paradise captivates visitors with its azure waters, volcanic vistas, and diverse outdoor pursuits. Maui reigns supreme in investment appeal due to its exceptional metrics — an enviable combination of exceedingly high occupancy rates and robust revenue growth. It remains consistently high in demand among travelers willing to pay a premium for its allure. A glance at AirDNA reveals Maui’s short-term rentals boast an average nightly rate of around $478.

7. Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

The Kenai Peninsula, an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, boasts diverse adventures, from fishing the Kenai River to exploring the unspoiled wilderness of Kenai Fjords National Park. Its rugged landscapes and abundant wildlife attract visitors seeking an authentic Alaskan experience. During peak seasons, the Airbnbs in Kenai Peninsula commands an average nightly rate of $262 with an impressive 80% occupancy, translating to monthly short-term rental (STR) income of $6,288 — far exceeding the average long-term rental rate of $1,338. The region’s appeal as an outdoor haven amid Alaska’s scenic beauty and wildlife-rich landscapes offers a lucrative opportunity for short-term rental investments, catering to travelers seeking an unforgettable escape.

8. Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River, Florida, combines natural wonders and recreational activities that draw in visitors seeking unique experiences. Crystal River’s appeal lies in its extraordinary wildlife encounters and an array of water-based activities, ensuring consistently high occupancy rates, especially during peak seasons. The region’s ADR of $187 highlights its attractiveness to travelers seeking immersive nature experiences and aquatic adventures, supported by an occupancy rate of 42%.

9. Gulfport, Mississippi

Located along the Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Mississippi, offers a serene coastal retreat with diverse cultural experiences. Its beachfront allure attracts visitors seeking both tranquility and vibrant community interactions. Gulfport maintains a consistent demand, especially during peak seasons, boasting an average occupancy rate of 37%. The city’s ADR of $190 caters to beachgoers and cultural enthusiasts, offering experiences for various traveler interests. This unique blend of coastal charm, cultural richness, and scenic landscapes positions Gulfport as an appealing short-term rental market.

10. Joshua Tree, California

Located near the famous national park, Joshua Tree is a magnetic destination for nature enthusiasts and artists, owing to its distinctive desert landscape. The area has seen substantial growth, with short-term rental demand skyrocketing by 54% between 2019 and 2021, ranking Joshua Tree among California’s top two fastest-growing markets and America’s top 25, according to AirDNA. Permits issued in 2021 surged to 958, a significant increase from 2019, while the listings on Airbnb and Vrbo doubled in four years, totaling 2,043 in Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley. With an ADR of $244, Joshua Tree’s appeal lies in its serene desert allure, attracting visitors seeking artistic inspiration or outdoor adventures. The monthly Airbnb rental income averages $4,505, providing a solid return on investment.

These highlighted ten cities represent just a fraction of the potential investment opportunities across the United States. Beyond these, numerous US cities hold promising potential. Among the sought-after Airbnb locations are vibrant cities like Austin, Washington DC, Orlando, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Nashville, offering potential investors distinct attractions and market dynamics. With the financial capacity to explore these markets, investors can uncover many lucrative opportunities in these and many other thriving American cities.

If you’re not ready to purchase your own vacation rental, however, don’t fret. You can still get a piece of this growing market through Arrived’s many vacation rental properties, including The Oasis in Tennessee and The Hammock in Florida.


The opinions expressed in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice.

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