Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Wed May 18 2016

What Are the Top US Cities for Summer Vacation Rentals?

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | May 18, 2016

What Are the Top US Cities for Summer Vacation Rentals?

PHOTO: Boston, Massachusetts is just minutes from each of the top two cities for vacation rentals last summer. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

The rise of short-term rental service Airbnb has undoubtedly boosted the accessibility and ultimately the popularity of vacation rentals among travelers. 

Travel search website Hipmunk revealed the results of its second annual analysis of summer hotel and vacation rental bookings Wednesday, highlighting the top U.S. cities for vacation rentals based on data from 2015.

"In many places, vacation rentals save travelers money, but it’s surprising to see just how big those savings are even in some very popular destinations," said Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein in a statement. "Plus, in some places, there just aren’t many or any hotels. 

"Vacation rentals are making summer travel easier and more accessible to many more people."

Millennials Spur Vacation Rental Boom

While vacation rentals aren't limited to a particular generation of travelers, millennials tend to make up a significant portion of bookings.

"When a high fraction of visitors to a given destination are young, that translates into a big boost for rentals there," added Goldstein. 

READ MORE: How Hotel, Airbnb Rates Compare Around the World

After all, Hipmunk's study found that many cities with a higher population of people under age 35 experienced a vacation rental boom last summer. For example, 57 percent of all 2015 summertime lodging reservations in Boulder, Colorado were vacation rentals, compared to 45 percent in Portland, Oregon and 31 percent and 30 percent in San Jose, California and Seattle, respectively. 

In addition to techy urban areas, Hipmunk found that many beach towns and college towns have experienced a boom in vacation rental bookings as travelers seek more affordable and flexible accommodation options. 

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Vacation Rentals (based on savings compared to hotels)

1. Somerville, Massachusetts

2. Cambridge, Massachusetts

3. East Hampton, New York

4. Gulf Breeze, Alabama

5. Buffalo, New York

6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

7. Boston, Massachusetts

8. Fort Walton Beach, Florida 

9. Fort Collins, Colorado

10. St. Louis, Missouri 

While Fort Collins, Colorado saw the lowest average booking price for a vacation rental last summer at just $71, travelers in Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts saved the most, shaving 63 percent off of the average booking price for a hotel.

READ MORE: Does Airbnb Have a Discrimination Problem?

East Hampton, New York featured the highest average booking price for a vacation rental last summer at $327. However with the city's average booking price for a hotel at $765, vacation rental guests still saved a whopping 57 percent.

Summer savings for vacation rental guests in the remaining cities in the top 10 ranged from 49 percent (Fort Collins and St. Louis) to 54 percent (Gulf Breeze, Alabama).

Travelers still weighing their options ahead of the summer can click here to view Hipmunk's breakdown of the top 100 vacation rental cities. 

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