St. Louis, MO | Charming Vacation Rentals Across America

Dibs on the cottage accommodation (left) at this bed & breakfast!  I loves me some exposed brick!  If you’re going to go to St. Louis, you may as well stay close to everything the city has to offer.  This accommodation in the Lafayette neighborhood (trust me, it’s pretty cool) puts you close to just about anything you want to see in and around the city. See more info on their personal website.

How cool is this place? It’s like going back in time! Originally built in 1880, it was restored/remodeled 101 years later. They don’t build houses like they used to! To think that the original owners probably loaded up in their horse-drawn carriage to go to the 1904 World’s Fair right there in their home town – awesome!

Despite the image portrayed of St. Louis (or was that East St. Louis?) in National Lampoon’s Vacation, St. Louis is a great old city. I’d still recommend steering clear of East St. Louis, though. Definitely see the Arch, the St. Louis Zoo (FREE), a multitude of museums, and so much more.  Here’s a list of 25 things to do in St. Louis.

How do I know so much about St. Louis, you ask? It’s my home town! I was born there and spent most of my life (so far) there. Yep! I lived in the City of Flowers … Florissant. I recommend trying St. Louis’s own Imo’s Pizza while in town. Another St. Louis restaurant for yummy Italian food is Pasta House. Their salad is to D-I-E for! I could go on and on, but my mouth might start to water!

Harpers Ferry, WV | Charming Vacation Rentals Across America

Right away, I saw “history” written all over this rental from the photo alone. What looks like two units is actually opened up into one house. Built in the 1830s, it was once used as an Army infirmary/hospital. Now it’s a stop on the Harper’s Ferry Ghost Tour! Knowing that people died in the building may freak a lot of people out and turn them off to renting a possible haunted house, but I would absolutely stay here!

With 3BR/2.5BA, the home sleeps 7-9 people. The only down-side I can see is the 65 stairs to to and from available parking. However, if you sweet talk another driver in the family, you might get them to drop you off at the front door and then go park the car!

Did I mention history already? Harper’s Ferry is full of history! Amazing how things like that didn’t mean a thing to me when I was young, and now I love it. Though the house was renovated, they did leave a lot of historic value – exposed brick walls and beam ceilings on the lower level (some of the original hand-strewn beams as well). Yet they offset all the darkness of the brick and beams by painting the window frames and mantle white. There, my friends, is that contrast that I’m always looking for!

Annapolis, MD | Charming Vacation Rentals Across America

This one was very hard to find, and I’m feeling the pain felt by other travelers trying to search VRBO.com for rentals. The search feature was changed earlier this year so that the results would bring the viewer to the same index pages where you may further break down your sort by number of bedrooms, how many the property sleeps, photos (default), and also by availability. That’s great! However, now it’s not a free text search. It searches first by destination and then by amenities, such as property type (house, cottage, condo, etc.), and anything else that may be listed under the Features & Amenities section of the listing. It will not find random words in the headlines or descriptions.

I tried using Google to search free text. For example: “VRBO, Maryland, 2BR, cottage, historic, charming” and then clicking on “More results from VRBO.com”. That worked fairly well, but it was cumbersome. Today I thought of something different that helped as far as searching headlines at least. I made a very broad search for just “Maryland, 2BR” in the Search by Destination/Amenities field on VRBO.com. The results were numerous, which was exactly what I wanted for my next step… F3 (CTRL + F)! I told my computer to find “historic” among these results.  BAM! There it was.

This 2BR/1BA has a lot of white inside, but it’s pulled together enough to keep it’s charm. This search was extremely difficult because so many houses were very white and downright bare inside. Even houses that had beautiful curb appeal were just blah inside. Between the white walls and the early 80s or grandma decor, oh man! I was just not impressed with the listings I was finding in Maryland, and that really surprised me. Once I clicked on this listing, I knew I found the perfect fit for me!

West Palm Beach, FL | Charming Vacation Rentals Across America

After searching through VRBO.com‘s West Palm Beach listings and dreaming this morning, I had a thought! (Yes, that happens to me occasionally.) I could start my mornings off with rental home browsing – one location each morning to find a home to feature. It could be as simple as a link on my Facebook wall, but definitely at least one home featured in a blog weekly. By a show of hands, how many of you think I can keep up with something like this? Oh, come on!

So today’s little charmer is this Spanish Mission Style cottage in the Grandview Heights Historic Neighborhood of West Palm Beach. With two bedrooms, 2 baths, a sunroom, and a pool privately surrounded by hedgerows, it’s perfect for a getaway! This is the kind of place I’d be searching for if I could swing a trip to Florida. I don’t need to stay in a high-rise condo overlooking the ocean, where I have to share a pool with a bunch of screaming kids splashing water and flipping floaty noodles around. If I want to see the ocean, I know how to get to the beach! I’d much prefer the quietness and privacy of a home like this, where I can take a morning dip or late-night swim without bumping into strangers. The nostalgia of the home itself, built in the 1920s, speaks to the history buff in me. There’s something a bit glamorous about an old house, and I would definitely stay in this one!

Perhaps I’ll do a separate series on huge, modern homes with their open (i.e., wasted) space. There are some that are beautifully decorated, but I find a lot of them just flashy and cold. For now, I think this is probably more than I have time for. So I’ll keep this one under my hat for a bit.