The Big One: Vacationing with Family & Friends

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jan 28, 2015 | Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Comments: 5 Comments

This is the year you’re going to do it. Gather everyone, make a plan, and find the perfect location for your big, fat, Virginia vacation. Can we help? Here are a few ideas so you’re not digging in the dark.

Arguably the best way for a large group to vacation is to rent a house. You automatically thought, “that’s too expensive,” didn’t you? I did, too, until I broke down that week-away price tag per person. That’s a much more reasonable way to look at it, especially if families are carrying their own weight. Here are houses that will fit the needs of 8 to 20 people. More than that? You might think about booking two houses.



Sunset MarshChincoteagueSunset Marsh is a four bedroom waterfront home complete with a “kid room” so they can all crash together. The screened porch, deck and balcony all overlook Chincoteague Bay.

Amenities include dock and pier, three bedrooms, and plenty of room to spread out.

Sleeps: 10-12
Rates: From $1690 per week | Availability & Inquiry

Chapel Neck FarmhouseMathews – Chapel Neck Farmhouse requires a minimum of three nights’ stay, but trust me, you’ll wish it were four or five. This large farmhouse sits on three acres and boasts three king bedrooms, which means there’s only one fight to be had – which of you will take the bedroom with the balcony?

Amenities include pool, hammock, Chesapeake Bay access from the private deep water dock on North River, fire pit, three and one-half baths, guest cottage that sleeps two more, crab pots, lawn games, and herb garden for your fresh cooking needs.

Sleeps: 8-12
Rates: From $1,500 per week | Availability & Instant Quote

Grandview PointMoneta – Spread out on a great lot and in a large home when you book Grandview Point, a six bedroom, four and one-half bath home equipped to be accessible for all. This gem is waterfront on Smith Mountain Lake and also has glorious mountain views.

Amenitites include gourmet kitchen, two master suites (one with a private deck), game room, three docks, diving board, and is equipped for babies and small children.

Sleeps: up to 12
Rates: Peak Rates are $5,300 per week | Availability & Booking

Claytor Lake EstateRadford – Claytor Lake Estate is a large waterfront property on a quiet cove of Claytor Lake. It sits high above the water with a fantastic view of the dock and deck below.

Amenities include comfortably furnished screened porch, slide for playing in the cove, grill, linens, picnic table, and washer and dryer.

Sleeps: up to 12
Rates: From $765 per week | Availability & Booking

Chesapeake Bay Beach HouseReedville – Two hundred feet of private Chesapeake Bay sandy beach is all yours when you book your week at Chesapeake Bay Beach House. This four bedroom home and carriage house sleeps 14; the carriage house apartment is included with no extra charge. You know what this means? If the grandparents come along, they can enjoy private quarters.

Amenities include two double sit-on-top sea kayaks with paddles, two fully equipped kitchens, hammock, bottled water, beach chairs and umbrellas, outdoor shower, lawn games, bicycles, children’s playset, fire pit, ping pong, and more.

Sleeps: up to 14
Rates: From $2,500 per week | Availability & Instant Quote

James Ross River PlantationUrbanna – This home will wow you with its indoor heated pool, but the views from these four acres are absolutely immense from James Ross River Plantation. You may not be able to choose between being outdoors or in!

Amenities include deck, boathouse and dock, canoe, peninsula feel with three sides of water, screened porches, water views from nearly every room, access to Rappahannock River from the cove.

Sleeps: up to 14
Rates: From $3,200 per week | Availability & Instant Quote

Atlantic ParadiseVirginia Beach – The whole family (or most of it?) can gather into Atlantic Paradise, an oceanfront home on Croatan Beach with pool and hot tub. The spacious floor plan welcomes hanging out, but know in advance that this luxury vacation home is only available to families and there will be no smoking or pets allowed.

Amenities include four bedrooms, three and one-half baths, outdoor shower, billiards, equipped kitchen, laundry, massage chair, fitness equipment, pool and beach toys, bicycles, beach chairs, grill, baby equipment, and some linens.

Sleeps 16-18
Rates: From $3,605 per week | Availability & Booking

** You can find many more vacation homes available through and linked property management companies. **



“The mountains are calling and I must go,” wrote conservationist and Sierra Club founder John Muir to his sister, Sarah, in September 1873. Though he was writing of his explorations on the West Coast, we imagine Mr. Muir would have been in love with Virginia’s mountains as well.

Big Lick RetreatHot Springs – Stoney Bottom Lodge at Big Lick Retreat sits nestled in the mountains and boasts Lake Moomaw views. The Retreat itself is 2,900 acres with nearly 40 miles of hiking trails and private lake access. The Lodge includes four bedrooms with the full range of bed sizes, plus three bathrooms and dining room seating for the whole gang.

Amenities include wraparound porch, wet bar, fireplace, laundry facilities complete with detergent and softener, grill, and lawn games.

Sleeps: 8 to 11
Rates: From $2,380 per week | Availability

Absolute Perfect Escape #1Luray – The largest of the four Absolute Perfect Escape log homes is the first, and it is immense, offering six bedrooms with queen beds and three and one-half baths. The decks and A-frame windows yield sweeping valley and mountain views, perfect in any season.

Amenities include hot tub, game room, fire pit, baby equipment, fully equipped kitchen, and stone fireplace with firewood.

Sleeps: up to 20
Rates:  From $400 per night for two; additional person $25 per night | Availability & Booking

Laurel Point VillaMeadows of Dan – Walk into this three bedroom home with its floor-to-ceiling A-frame window and be blown away by the mountain views. Laurel Point Villa has a stunning, 75-mile Blue Ridge view from the massive deck.

Amenities include three bedroom suites that each have deck access, fully equipped kitchen, grill, gazebo, radiant floor heating, and pets are allowed.

Sleeps: up to 8
Rates: From $2,000 per week | Availability & Instant Quote

Damascus – Between the Trails is a four bedroom, two bathroom house located in Damascus. The home gets its name from the location, centered between the 34-mile Virginia Creeper Bike Trail and the Appalachian Trail. The entrances to these trails are both less than 500 feet from the home, which makes this the perfect place to stay for groups looking for an active getaway.
If you don’t have your own equipment, the home is within walking distance of bike rentals and convenience stores. Plus, the town pool is located right across the street from the property and a pool pass is included with your stay.
Sleeps: 8-10
Rates: $225 per night (weekly discount available) | Availability

** You can find many more vacation homes available through and linked property management companies. **

Published rates are valid as of February 8, 2016. Confirm when booking.

Do you own a vacation home or cabin in Virginia? List it with us for an opportunity to be featured!


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How about a. Cheapskate listing on I can’t afford your house for 5000 a week… 29.99 motel 8 please.. lol. On a beach.

Erna Wilkin
Erna Wilkin

Great ideas! How about a blog on great places for outdoor weddings in VA?