11 Most Wanted Second-Home Spots in the U.S.

What makes one of the 11 most wanted second-home spots in the U.S.? It should be close to the activities you value most, whether hiking or boating or boutique shopping, and it should be affordable for your family. America is dotted with places known in the press as “playgrounds for the wealthy” — Jackson Hole, Vail, Nantucket, Southampton. But you don’t have to be wealthy to buy a second home, or at least . . . not that wealthy, especially when your second home can be used as a rental property.

lake, winter, california, nevada, tree, goeology, boulder, sunset, lake tahoe, water, snow, nature, landscape11 Most Wanted Second-Home Spots in the U.S.

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To rank the most in-demand destinations for vacation homes, I’ve tallied extensive data from real-estate sites Zillow — which indexed towns by their closeness to attractions like beaches, golf courses, and national parks — and Trulia, and then added list information from the Washington Post and Barron’s. In some cases, several communities very near each other appeared across the lists, and I consolidated those into one umbrella area. (If I hadn’t, even more of the top 11 would be in Florida!)

Communities received points for each of the lists on which they appeared. The resulting list includes places all over the country and in a variety of levels of affordability, with much more realistic family value than the 8 most secluded homes in the world. I think the list also works as a way to choose a vacation spot, especially for families who like to have a vacation experience that’s like everyday life in a more special or beautiful place.

Start saving those pennies for these most wanted second-home spots in the U.S.