While some vacationers want to head to the most popular tourist destination to be in the midst of all the action, others are looking for the city less traveled.

For vacation rental homeowners, staying on the heels of the latest travel trends and popular vacation spots may help in boosting return over time.

ERA Real Estate, a worldwide real estate franchising leader, recently released its list of the less traveled markets for vacation property owners who are looking to purchase now. These “hidden gem” markets have something unique to offer both property owners and travelers.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Nashville, Tennessee

Attracting generations old and young, Nashville is a mecca for travelers and residents alike as home prices and the cost of living is fairly low. The Music City has long attracted country fans to its world-class attractions in its city center, and today it is even a highly sought-after destination for alternative and rock fans.

The downtown center of Nashville and its surrounding communities are home to plenty of outdoor recreation like the 1,200-acre Radnor Lake or the 14,000-acre Percy Priest Lake. The city is chock-full of historic sites, family-friendly attractions, and some of the nation’s best nightlife and food.

According to Altos Research, a California-based real estate analytics company, the median single-family home value is $350,240 as of July 3.

Lake Norman, North Carolina

Located about 15 miles from Charlotte, the Lake Norman region is considered to be made up of the towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville, all of which surround the lake. The 34-mile-long lake boasts 520 miles of shoreline, making for ample lakeside real estate and surrounding properties with easy access to the water.

This area is well-known to locals who spend their summer months here, but it has remained a secret in the shadows of Lake Gaston, the Emerald Isle and Topsail Island. Because this region is so close to the urban hub of Charlotte, vacation-home owners can attract a range of guests interested in a little R&R as well as a night out on the town.

Kennewick, Washington

Speaking of the best of both worlds, Kennewick is both an active traveler’s dream and wine enthusiast’s epicenter. Located in southeastern Washington state, Kennewick is known for having 300 days of sunshine a year as a part of the Tri-Cities region.

The region is home to plenty of outdoor amenities such as hiking and biking trails, prime fishing spots and more. It is also within close proximity to the Columbia River and the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Home prices are reported around an average $215,000 making Kennewick a very affordable option for real estate investors.

Other communities noted by ERA Real Estate for their ideal conditions for vacation real estate include Kingsland, Georgia, and Amelia Island, Florida.

Email Kimberly Manning.

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