The 25 best places to buy a vacation home in the US, ranked

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A vacation home not only serves as a perfect getaway, but as a great investment - especially if you buy one in the right place.

Property management company Vacasa recently released their 2019 report on the top places to buy a vacation home. To determine its rankings, Vacasa looked at home sales data in vacation destinations across the US and overlaid it with actual performance data for thousands of vacation rental properties.

Turns out, the mountains and the beach are battling it out for top spots. Vacation home buyers are loving both the Great Smoky Mountains and Florida beaches - but they're also buying everywhere from Oregon and Hawaii to Vermont.

Read more: Rich millennials are buying vacation homes before starter homes. There are 3 things you should consider before buying one, says a financial expert.

Below, see the top places in the US to buy a vacation home, ranked in order of increasing average investment property returns.

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25. Destin, Florida, is located along the state's Emerald Coast on a peninsula separating Choctawhatchee Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.

25. Destin, Florida, is located along the state's Emerald Coast on a peninsula separating Choctawhatchee Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.

Median sale price: $484,154

Average nightly rate: $324

Total annual guests: 16,526

24. Cocoa Beach, Florida, is located along the state's Space Coast and is near several state parks.

24. Cocoa Beach, Florida, is located along the state's Space Coast and is near several state parks.

Median sale price: $370,406

Average nightly rate: $298

Total annual guests: 2,012

23. Waikoloa, Hawaii, on the state's Big Island, is home to several luxury resorts and a few golf courses.

23. Waikoloa, Hawaii, on the state's Big Island, is home to several luxury resorts and a few golf courses.

Median sale price: $575,422

Average nightly rate: $336

Total annual guests: 2,359

22. Seaside, Oregon, located an hour and a half northwest of Portland, has plenty of cottages and condos on the beach, in town, or along an estuary.

22. Seaside, Oregon, located an hour and a half northwest of Portland, has plenty of cottages and condos on the beach, in town, or along an estuary.

Median sale price: $373,258

Average nightly rate: $245

Total annual guests: 18,859

21. Ellijay, Georgia, an hour-and-a-half north of Atlanta, is known as the state's Mountain Biking Capital — and it's home to plenty of log cabins.

21. Ellijay, Georgia, an hour-and-a-half north of Atlanta, is known as the state's Mountain Biking Capital — and it's home to plenty of log cabins.

Median sale price: $230,418

Average nightly rate: $212

Total annual guests: 4,489

20. Rhododendron, Oregon, in the Cascade Mountains, isn't far from Mt. Hood and five ski resorts.

20. Rhododendron, Oregon, in the Cascade Mountains, isn't far from Mt. Hood and five ski resorts.

Median sale price: $315,744

Average nightly rate: $208

Total annual guests: 8,330

19. Harbor Springs, Michigan, situated along Lake Michigan's shores, is a summertime hot spot.

19. Harbor Springs, Michigan, situated along Lake Michigan's shores, is a summertime hot spot.

Median sale price: $256,303

Average nightly rate: $344

Total annual guests: 891

18. Orange Beach, Alabama, located along the Gulf of Mexico, has beachfront condos and attracts water-sports enthusiasts.

18. Orange Beach, Alabama, located along the Gulf of Mexico, has beachfront condos and attracts water-sports enthusiasts.

Median sale price: $475,026

Average nightly rate: $276

Total annual guests: 12,181

17. Scottsdale, Arizona, located just outside of Phoenix in the heart of the state, has desert-style homes near prime hiking spot Pinnacle Peak.

17. Scottsdale, Arizona, located just outside of Phoenix in the heart of the state, has desert-style homes near prime hiking spot Pinnacle Peak.

Median sale price: $513,301

Average nightly rate: $360

Total annual guests: 18,863

16. Kihei, Hawaii, is the most populous town in South Maui and offers plenty of water activities.

16. Kihei, Hawaii, is the most populous town in South Maui and offers plenty of water activities.

Median sale price: $708,161

Average nightly rate: $375

Total annual guests: 2,580

15. Marathon, Florida, one of the most popular vacation spots in the Florida Keys, is known for its fishing, seafood, and coral reefs.

15. Marathon, Florida, one of the most popular vacation spots in the Florida Keys, is known for its fishing, seafood, and coral reefs.

Median sale price: $614,779

Average nightly rate: $400

Total annual guests: 1,743

14. Warren, Vermont, encompasses Sugarbush Resort, one of New England's largest ski resorts.

14. Warren, Vermont, encompasses Sugarbush Resort, one of New England's largest ski resorts.

Median sale price: $262,003

Average nightly rate: $303

Total annual guests: 5,088

13. Panama City Beach, Florida, located in the state's panhandle, stretches along the Gulf Coast for 27 miles.

13. Panama City Beach, Florida, located in the state's panhandle, stretches along the Gulf Coast for 27 miles.

Median sale price: $347,430

Average nightly rate: $243

Total annual guests: 63,855

12. Gulf Shores, Alabama, located right at the state's southern tip, is filled with stilted condo buildings.

12. Gulf Shores, Alabama, located right at the state's southern tip, is filled with stilted condo buildings.

Median sale price: $345,135

Average nightly rate: $268

Total annual guests: 23,278

11. Blue Ridge, Georgia, in the mountains of the northern part of the state, boasts the Toccoa River — perfect for tubing and kayaking.

11. Blue Ridge, Georgia, in the mountains of the northern part of the state, boasts the Toccoa River — perfect for tubing and kayaking.

Median sale price: $257,892

Average nightly rate: $225

Total annual guests: 6,022

10. Big Sky, Montana, is a small-town resort community in the mountains that stretches across 5,800 acres.

10. Big Sky, Montana, is a small-town resort community in the mountains that stretches across 5,800 acres.

Median sale price: $585,000

Average nightly rate: $453

Total annual guests: 12,219

9. Fort Bragg, California, located in the northern part of the state on the Mendocino Coast, sits between the Pacific Ocean and Jackson State Forest.

9. Fort Bragg, California, located in the northern part of the state on the Mendocino Coast, sits between the Pacific Ocean and Jackson State Forest.

Median sale price: $449,211

Average nightly rate: $300

Total annual guests: 8,673

8. Key West, Florida, is a small island featuring Cuban-style homes and no shortage of attractions, from historical sites to good restaurants and outdoor activities.

8. Key West, Florida, is a small island featuring Cuban-style homes and no shortage of attractions, from historical sites to good restaurants and outdoor activities.

Median sale price: $763,109

Average nightly rate: $527

Total annual guests: 49,070

7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular Southeast vacation rental destination along the Atlantic Coast.

7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular Southeast vacation rental destination along the Atlantic Coast.

Median sale price: $213,950

Average nightly rate: $209

Total annual guests: 5,968

6. Dauphin, Island, Alabama, is an affordable and tiny island with plenty of adventurous activities and bird watching.

6. Dauphin, Island, Alabama, is an affordable and tiny island with plenty of adventurous activities and bird watching.

Median sale price: $345,281

Average nightly rate: $269

Total annual guests: 8,205

5. Kissimmee, Florida, just over half an hour south of Orlando, is in close proximity to outdoor shopping malls and world-famous amusement parks, like Disney World.

5. Kissimmee, Florida, just over half an hour south of Orlando, is in close proximity to outdoor shopping malls and world-famous amusement parks, like Disney World.

Median sale price: $264,863

Average nightly rate: $239

Total annual guests: 6,609

4. Whittier, North Carolina, is a small town in the Smoky Mountains near the Tuckasegee River with numerous whitewater rafting tours.

4. Whittier, North Carolina, is a small town in the Smoky Mountains near the Tuckasegee River with numerous whitewater rafting tours.

Median sale price: $171,261

Average nightly rate: $174

Total annual guests: 1,169

3. Davenport, Florida, situated in between Tampa and Orlando, is located amid a network of lakes.

3. Davenport, Florida, situated in between Tampa and Orlando, is located amid a network of lakes.

Median sale price: $255,390

Average nightly rate: $217

Total annual guests: 7,806

2. Killington, Vermont, located in the central part of the state, has world-class skiing and snowboarding.

2. Killington, Vermont, located in the central part of the state, has world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Median sale price: $208,828

Average nightly rate: $432

Total annual guests: 9,378

1. Sevierville, Tennessee, just north of Pigeon Forge, is located in the Smoky Mountains near Dolly Parton's Dollywood. The city also has underground caverns.

1. Sevierville, Tennessee, just north of Pigeon Forge, is located in the Smoky Mountains near Dolly Parton's Dollywood. The city also has underground caverns.

Median sale price: $239,976

Average nightly rate: $274

Total annual guests: 30,381

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