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Chalet on the Shore in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

15 lakefront Airbnbs to rent for a summer getaway from Chicago

From shore-side chalets to quaint cottages, these lakefront Airbnbs are just begging to be booked for a summer vacation

By Annalise Mantz
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There’s a seemingly endless list of things to do in Chicago (trust us, we know), but sometimes you just have an inexplicable need to get out of town. So when you start to get that city version of cabin fever, you should book one of these beautiful lake houses on Airbnb for a weekend getaway near Chicago. There are loads of different architectural styles and aesthetics, from cute tiny houses to charming log cabins to opulent shore-side chalets. If you’re looking for a more chilled escape, you might want to stay at a summer home on a lovely-smelling lavender farm; if water sports and hiking expeditions are more up your street, you might want to book one of the lakefront properties with a private dock or boat slip. We’ve got vacation envy already.

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Lakefront Airbnbs near Chicago

The Summer House at the Lavender Farm in Fennville, MI
The Summer House at the Lavender Farm in Fennville, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

1. The Summer House at the Lavender Farm in Fennville, MI

The fields of lavender surrounding this bright-white modern abode function as a natural form of aromatherapy. The loungers in the backyard would be an ideal spot for an outdoor nap, while the Japanese garden would be a lovely place to get some reading done. Home cooks will love the sleek open concept kitchen and backyard grill, too. From $350 per night

Airbnb
Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

2. Four-story lakefront estate on Lake Geneva

Come on, look at it! Sure this is going to cost a little bit of your hard-earned cash but really, if you’ve got it then this is just about as good as lakefront Airbnbs near Chicago get. And if the price might look a bit of a stretch? Remember ten of you can bed down here, so grab a group and treat yourselves to some serious lakefront luxury.

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The Oriole in Saugatuck, MI
The Oriole in Saugatuck, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

3. The Oriole in Saugatuck, MI

Since it's not far from white-sand Oval Beach, the trail to Mount Baldhead and a plethora of local art galleries, this tiny house would be the perfect home base for a weekend of exploring all Saugatuck has to offer. The candy-apple red cottage might be small, but it has everything you need for a romantic getaway: a screened-in porch, queen-sized bed, kitchenette and outdoor hot tub. From $165 per night

Chalet on the Shore in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Chalet on the Shore in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

4. Chalet on the Shore in Sturgeon Bay, WI

This Door County home has a vintage nautical vibe, thanks to views of Sturgeon Bay, lake-themed decor and a shape that mimics the hull of a ship. Make good use of the rowboat, kayaks and fishing gear at the backyard pier, then bust out the board games after night falls. From $484 per night

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Lake Michigan Writer’s Cabin in Kenosha, WI
Lake Michigan Writer’s Cabin in Kenosha, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

5. Lake Michigan Writer’s Cabin in Kenosha, WI

Whether you plan to work on your novel or prefer to spend your days boating around Lake Michigan, this peaceful cabin would be a lovely place to spend a weekend. Take advantage of the nearby dock to canoe, kayak, jet ski or boat on the pristine waters, or stay on dry land if you just want to soak up the sunshine. From $59 per night

Waterfront Four-Story Lake Home in Lake Geneva, WI
Waterfront Four-Story Lake Home in Lake Geneva, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

6. Waterfront Four-Story Lake Home in Lake Geneva, WI

This contemporary lake house has every creature comfort you can imagine: six bedrooms that can sleep up to 10 people, a great room centered around a fireplace, a sunny outdoor deck, a pool table, a bar, flat-screen TVs, old-school arcade games, a sauna, a fitness room and even a private pier. It sounds like the ultimate set-up for a family vacation, bachelor party weekend or girls’ getaway. From $1,300 per night

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Wren House in Traverse City, MI
Wren House in Traverse City, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

7. Wren House in Traverse City, MI

If you care just as much about a home’s aesthetic as you do its location, reserve this yellow bungalow outfitted with impeccable mid-century modern decor. One-of-a-kind touches like an antique abacus and sketches of Scandinavian rulers adorn the walls, while vintage velvet chairs and minimalist bed frames fill the rooms. Best of all, you’re just a short bike ride away from Traverse City’s boutiques, restaurants and brewpubs. From $132 per night

Beautiful Log Cabin on the Bay in Traverse City, MI
Beautiful Log Cabin on the Bay in Traverse City, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

8. Beautiful Log Cabin on the Bay in Traverse City, MI

For the ultimate rustic getaway, rent this traditional log cabin in northern Michigan. Kids of all ages will love walking into the waters of Grand Traverse Bay from the private sand beach, grilling up some burgers on the deck or roasting marshmallows by the outdoor firepit on the bluff. From $193 per night

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Lake Breeze in Lakeside, MI
Lake Breeze in Lakeside, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

9. Lake Breeze in Lakeside, MI

This charming two-bedroom home boasts both a private beach and lap pool, so you have plenty of options for swimming. A group of friends could while away the hours playing cards by the fireplace, whipping up meals in the open-concept kitchen and sipping drinks on the deck. From $265 per night

Tiny Lake Cottage at Cypress Resort in Antioch, IL
Tiny Lake Cottage at Cypress Resort in Antioch, IL
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

10. Tiny Lake Cottage at Cypress Resort in Antioch, IL

Test drive the tiny house lifestyle in this pint-sized cottage from the 1950s. The 329-square-foot home was literally sliced in half years ago to accommodate a changing lot line, creating a funky but charming studio layout. What it lacks in size it makes up for in location: The property offers 480 feet of beach access, plus a floating pier and boat launch. From $125 per night

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Greenwood in Union Pier, MI
Greenwood in Union Pier, MI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

11. Greenwood in Union Pier, MI

This cozy one-bedroom hideaway in Union Pier is just a short walk into town, where you’ll find small art galleries, cute cafes, local wineries and a well-loved public beach. After you return home for the evening, you can kick back on the screened-in porch, by outdoor fire pit or beside the wood-burning fireplace. From $133 per night

Artist’s East Side Oasis in Milwaukee, WI
Artist’s East Side Oasis in Milwaukee, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

12. Artist’s East Side Oasis in Milwaukee, WI

Two blocks from both the Downer Avenue shopping district and Bradford Beach, this second-story residence has an eclectic vibe to match Milwaukee’s vibrant art scene. (Think palm print furniture, vintage wall art, a spiral staircase and a gorgeous maroon AGA range.) Four beds and a couch can comfortably sleep up to seven people, so you can round up the whole crew for a weekend getaway. From $198 per night

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Retreat Cottage With Pool in Lake Geneva, WI
Retreat Cottage With Pool in Lake Geneva, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

13. Retreat Cottage With Pool in Lake Geneva, WI

With an in-ground pool, outdoor fire pit and personal theater, this four-bedroom cabin certainly offers plenty of entertainment options. You’re also a short one-mile drive from Lake Geneva, where you can get your fill of sailing, paddle boarding, swimming, jet skiing and other water sports. From $350 per night

Waterfront Home With Deck and Fire Pit in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Waterfront Home With Deck and Fire Pit in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

14. Waterfront Home With Deck and Fire Pit in Sturgeon Bay, WI

This Sturgeon Bay vacation property has not one, not two, but four decks. Massive windows open up the living room to plenty in natural light and waterfront views, while two large bedrooms can comfortably sleep as many as six guests. During your stay, don’t miss the chance to take the ferry across Death’s Door to Washington Island, a tiny community off the northern tip of the peninsula. From $203 per night

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Airbnb
Airbnb
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

15. Como Lake house, WI

You want a motorboat with your Airbnb? You got a motorboat with your Airbnb. But to be fair this glorious pad on Lake Como would be a draw even without the speeder. It’s at the end of a private road so you’ll get plenty of peace and quiet but if you want to venture out? There’s a great hiking trail on the Hermansen Conservatory just a few hundred yards from the house, plus downtown Lake Geneva is three miles away. 

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