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The 9 best Airbnbs in Traverse City for a memorable lakeside vacation

Hit the road for a well-deserved break up in Northern Michigan, where these inviting Traverse City Airbnbs are ready and waiting for your arrival.

Written by
Grace Perry
Contributors
Alex Floyd-Douglass
,
Alys Lloyd
&
Talia Stanton
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Like many Chicagoans, we have a soft spot for Southwest Michigan – Harbor Country and Saugatuck really do hold a special place in our hearts as some of the Midwest's hidden gems. But if you're seeking a break from the Illinois hustle and bustle, you’ll need to keep driving... and driving... and head further north.

Eventually, you’ll reach Traverse City, an area that embodies everything we love about Midwest getaways. Whether it's the breweries, stunning beaches, or even skiing, this haven in northern Michigan is a fantastic escape that might just make you forget about Chicago for a while.

To make sure you have the best stay possible, we've gathered the crème de la crème – the finest Airbnb rentals in Traverse City, just for you. From cozy cabins and chic apartments to newly refurbished farmhouses, these accommodations serve as the perfect launching pad for exploring Leelanau County. Let the adventure begin.

Updated April 2024: If you didn't already have your heart set on booking an Airbnb in Traverse City, these two new Airbnbs are sure to sweeten the deal; look out for the boathouse on the bay and a lakehouse cottage that's been plucked straight from your dreams. 

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Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts, and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The best Airbnbs in Traverse City

1. The private lakefront retreat near Cedar Lake

Step into the Bluewater Bliss Rental – a spacious three-bedroom sanctuary that's seriously got it all. Think two decked-out decks, perfect for sipping morning java or catching those breathtaking sunsets, an optional maid service for that extra touch of ease, a full kitchen with all the trimmings, and three ridiculously spacious bedrooms. There’s even a sleeper sofa in the main living room that pulls out into a comfy queen bed – perfect for large families that need a little extra space.

Rooms? Three bedrooms. Sleeps up to eight guests.
Mood? Modern comfort meets relaxed vibes.
Location perks? You’re just minutes away from the buzz of Downtown Traverse City and the picturesque West Grand Traverse Bay's Clinch Park.
Budget range? Super affordable for large groups.

2. The private beach lodge in Suttons Bay

This is the ideal getaway for a family or a group of friends looking to vacay on their own private beach. The water is shallow but warm, while the cottage has been recently renovated to the height of homey luxury. Spend your days on the water with the provided kayaks before spending time around the beachside fire pit – s'mores and all. Inside your cottage, amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, new beds across the three bedrooms, and two well-sized bathrooms.

Rooms? Three bedrooms. Sleeps seven guests.
Mood? Rustic beach chic.
Location perks? Minutes from your own private beach – what's not to love?
Budget range? Pricey but so worth it.

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3. The forest condo in Traverse City

This stunning and spacious condo Airbnb in a forested area of Traverse City is just the thing you need for a relaxing trip away. Featuring two porches with one above the forest, you'll be surrounded by serene nature. The property sleeps up to four guests in a king-sized bed and a sofa bed, so it's ideal for small groups, families, or a couple. The interiors are very understated, with nods to industrial decor with the exposed pipe and ceiling framing, bringing a bit of urban living to a simplistic and cozy space. It has everything you might need, including a fully-equipped kitchen, living area, and outdoor furniture to allow for al fresco dining and morning brews.

Rooms? One. Sleeps four guests.
Mood? Forest escape.
Location perks? In the heart of The Commons and above a forest with stunning local trails to explore.
Budget range? Mid-range.

4. The luxe barn in Suttons Bay

This renovated luxury barn in Suttons Bay is the best place for a large group of mates looking for a weekend of forest fun. Situated over a peaceful creek, this Airbnb has three floors of space, including four bedrooms and bathrooms, an open-plan living room, and a basement games room. The location here is super central, and you'll quickly realize you're in the heart of Leelanau Wine Country – we think it's time for a trip to one of the 24 award-winning local wineries, don't you?

Rooms? Seven bedrooms. Sleeps 14 guests.
Mood? Luxury meets earthy.
Location perks? Overlooking a tranquil creek with all the nature to absorb as you please.
Budget range? Pricey – but well shared between a large group.

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5. The Sweetbriar home near Lake Leelanau

Just a short walk from Lake Leelanau, this elegant home boasts both rural solitude and the comforts of modern living. Equipped with Wi-Fi and smart TVs, contemporary decor, a walk-in shower, and a stunning wooden kitchen island, the Sweetbriar is nothing short of chic. We’re most enamored by the screened-in porch – equally ideal for curling up with a book on a rainy day and for cocktail hour with friends. The Sweetbriar comfortably sleeps five guests (with two queen beds and an additional twin top bunk).

Rooms? Two bedrooms. Sleeps five guests.
Mood? Coastal chic.
Location perks? Did we mention the private beach?
Budget range? Very well priced for what's on offer.

6. The chic remodeled farmhouse in Leelanau Country

This elegant refurbished farmhouse just might make you forget about city life altogether. Fixed on a 135-acre farm in Leelanau County, this six-guest sleeper once functioned as a grain storehouse – and even still features a cargo elevator. While it retains the old-school charm, this home is far from Jurassic: Wi-Fi, a television, a washer/dryer, and modern kitchen appliances are all included. Cook a big meal with friends in the airy, sun-soaked kitchen, and curl up in the elegant A-frame master suite on the second floor.

Rooms? One bedroom. Sleeps six guests.
Mood? Farm-style living.
Location perks? The farmhouse lives on an active farm so there are endless things to see and do on-site.
Budget range? A great deal for a family.

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7. The Martin House near the Leelenau Trail

Initially built as a farmhouse in the early 1900s, this gorgeous, renovated pad boasts proximity to all the best things about the Traverse City region. It’s a 10-minute drive from the city itself, five minutes from public boat launches, and features a private entrance to the 17-mile Leelanau Trail. With two stories, three bedrooms, five beds (which include a daybed and a trundle), and one-and-a-half bathrooms, the Martin House comfortably sleeps six guests. To make the most of every square inch, the home features a tiny cottage that now functions as a bar/game room.

Rooms? Three bedrooms. Sleeps six guests.
Mood? Rural meets modern.
Location perks? Five minutes from Cedar and South Lake Leelanau and 10 minutes from the beaches of Traverse City.
Budget range? Pricey.

8. The waterfront boathouse on West Bay

Heaven on earth? You'll find it at this mesmerizing home on the bay. Designed to look like the inside of a ship, the place is brimming with character while still feeling exclusive and luxurious. The spacious bedrooms and open-plan living quarters make for a bright and fresh environment – perfect for soaking up as much sea air as possible. Expect to make more than a few trips to the expansive back deck where the views really come into their own. Make use of the bonfire, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards as you please. 

Rooms? Two bedrooms. Sleeps five guests. 
Mood? Paradise. 
Location perks? Directly between Traverse City and Suttons Bay – close to both food and brewery scenes. Right on the water. 
Budget range? Surprisingly affordable for such a gem. 

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9. The modern cottage on South Lake Leelanau

This pristine white lakehouse cottage in Cedar is what dreams are made of, and when paired with the natural beauty it's surrounded by, you've got an Airbnb that you absolutely can't go wrong with. It's virtually impossible to regret booking this property – the fashionable interiors are sure to suite everyone's taste (and expect perfection around every corner, with not a pillow out of place). The outdoor area offers up a private dock, fairy-lit patio, a BBQ, vast greenery, and lake views. 

Rooms? Two bedrooms. Sleeps four guests. 
Mood? A slice of heaven. 
Location perks? Situated between multiple 
Budget range? Reasonable and totally worth it for the full experience. 

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