The Sunshine State offers visitors a perpetual vacation with blue skies, breathtaking beaches, bountiful seafood, exciting nightlife, and plenty of culture and adventure all year round. Bolstered by pandemic-led travel market shifts in the US, Florida’s short term rental markets are flourishing, having officially exceeded pre-pandemic rates and occupancy in 2021.
The global pandemic of 2020 and 2021 had a significant impact on travel, housing, and the short term rental markets. Thus, ultimately led to record performance of short term rentals as well as an altered travel landscape. While some cities and states still struggle to recover from the shutdown however others – and Florida in particular – are beating pre-pandemic numbers.
According to Visit Florida estimates, Florida welcomed 36 million visitors in the first quarter of 2022, a 14% increase from Q4 2021. Meanwhile, 118 million domestic tourists visited the state in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic visitation numbers.
Initially projected to recover only in 2024, Florida has been breaking traveler records from quarter to quarter. 1.3 million international travelers visited the state in the period, an increase of almost 169% from Q1 2021 leaving Florida 14 percentage points ahead of the rest of the US to full recovery in overseas visitation. Colombia is now Florida’s biggest internal origin market, bringing in 710,000 visitors in 2021. Hotel revenues also broke the pre-pandemic ceiling, reaching $17.3 billion in 2021 while vacation rental occupancy increased nearly 30% from 2019.
Florida is a mainstay of tourism in the US. It draws a broad range of traveler segments, from domestic and international travelers to corporate travelers and families, young people and old people looking for excitement and calm, respectively. It is home to 200 national and state parks, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries, a category – national parks - that has grown so much in popularity that it is now an Airbnb Category. Apart from beaches, amusement parks, and a lively nightlife, there are also Native American reservations, casinos, art galleries, museums, great shopping, and even better food.
In putting together our list of the best Airbnb markets in Florida, we considered average daily rate (ADR), average occupancy, and average monthly revenue over the past 9 months to ensure consistent average revenue. We also took into account visitor numbers, visitor segments, and other tourism potential factors.
The southernmost point in the continental United States, Key West is a small island. Perhaps the best known of the Florida Keys, it offers fantastic beaches, nightlife, food, water sports, and historic sites. Key West has long drawn eminent personalities with its many charms, from Ernest Hemmingway to President Truman, whose homes are now historic landmarks. Having commemorated its 200th year of settlement in March 2022, the island is decidedly improving its green credentials, with 10 properties having received designation from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program. The Key West International Airport is finalizing plans for a $90 million terminal to be completed in 2024.
According to the Key West Chamber of Commerce, in January 2022, nearly 66,000 visitors arrived by air while 8,529 visited by ferry. Bed tax collections totaled over $30 million in 2021 while ADR of hotels in December 2021 averaged $491.93, one of only 7 times it has crossed the $400 mark. Interestingly, in 2018, lodging accounted for nearly half of the spending of the 2 million visitors who accounted for $1.1 billion in spending.
According to AirDNA data, in Key West:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $576 (February 2022)
Average Occupancy Rate is 87% (June 2021)
Average Monthly Revenue is $9,800 (March 2022)
An unincorporated community in Walton County, Santa Rosa Beach is located along Florida’s Emerald Coast. A distinct beach neighborhood, it offers luxury beach house accommodations, upscale and eclectic dining, and the unique artist colony Gulf Place. It also provides several entrances to Point Washington State Forest. The beach itself is renowned for sugary sands and turquoise waters and has been named one of the ‘Best Beaches on Earth’ for families by Travel + Leisure magazine.
West of Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach is also home to an Underwater Museum of Art that is the first permanent underwater sculpture garden in the country, art galleries, theaters, and Eden Gardens State Park.
According to AirDNA data, in Santa Rosa Beach:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $512 (May 2022)
Average Occupancy Rate is 100% (June 2021)
Average Monthly Revenue is $10,300 (June 2021)
The northernmost of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is the self-proclaimed dive capital of the world and a great sport fishing destination. It is home to a diversity of natural scenic beauty. An island of hardwood trees and winding creeks, it is home to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and is close to Everglades National Park. A favorite of water sports enthusiasts, visitors can snorkel, dive, kayak, swim with dolphins, and take a glass bottom boat from their underwater hotel. Both Miami International and Florida Keys airports are just an hour away.
The setting of a number of movies, Key Largo welcomed 974,000 visitors in 2018 who spent $394 million.
According to AirDNA data, in Key Largo:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $403 (February 2022)
Average Occupancy Rate is 94% (July 2021)
Average Monthly Revenue is $7,900 (February 2022)
With super clean beaches, scenic beach roads, fabulous beach houses, resorts, and restaurants, Miramar Beach has a nostalgic vibe while delivering modern amenities. A census-designated place in Walton County and near the city of Destin, Miramar Beach is a great place to shop, from antiques to retail. Sports-minded tourists can play volleyball on the beach, jet ski in the ocean, or go parasailing when not sunning themselves on a lounge chair. There is also golf, running, biking, and even tennis resorts with award-winning facilities and teaching staff.
According to 2021 data, 5.3 million travelers visited South Walton County, accounting for over 3.7 million room nights and nearly 4.9 billion in direct spending. Two in 3 visitors planned their vacations at least three months in advance. Trip planning sources included vacation rental websites (58%) and search engines (33%). Of visitors who stayed less than 30 days, the average trip length was 5.7 nights.
According to July 2021 AirDNA data, in Miramar Beach:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $362
Average Occupancy Rate is 97%
Average Monthly Revenue is $8,000
East of Pensacola, nestled between Gulf Islands National Seashore and Navarre Beach Marine Park, Navarre is a quiet beach community. Located on Santa Rosa Sound, it is ideal for nearshore fishing. Its 12 miles of pristine beaches are consistently named one of the best in the US and the world. It is also very accessible with free-to-use beach wheelchairs, ADA access mats, and an ADA kayak launch.
Navarre Main Beach or Pier Beach is the most popular of Navarre’s beaches. East Beach is great for a day of family fun. Southside Beach has shallow warm water while Opal Beach, to the west, is ideal for those who prefer a natural beach experience.
According to AirDNA data, in Navarre:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $344 (May 2022)
Average Occupancy Rate is 100% (July 2021)
Average Monthly Revenue is $7,000 (July 2021)
A barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island offers gorgeous beaches, beautiful marinas, fancy golf courses, and resort accommodation. The largest and only developed land in Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is connected to the mainland by bridges south of Naples. It is also home to Tigertail Beach Park which includes a tidal lagoon that is popular for paddle boarding and kayaking.
According to the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, a record number of people visited Collier County in 2021, leaving an economic impact of over $2.5 billion. The highest numbers hailed from Florida itself, followed by the Midwest and Northeast with couples (52%) and families (32%) being the biggest segments.
According to 2022 AirDNA data, in Marco Island:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $398 (February)
Average Occupancy Rate is 98% (March)
Average Monthly Revenue is $6,400 (March)
Blue skies, sugary sand and gentle waters ideal for swimming and water sports make Clearwater Beach a firm favorite among vacationers. Its 2.5 miles of shoreline has been recognized as the best beach in the US and sixth-best in the world by Trip Advisor. Located on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach is part of Clearwater and includes a resort and residential area and a full marina. It is linked to another barrier island, Sand Key, by a short bridge. Clearwater also offers great options for shopping, dining, and sports activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, boating, fishing, and miniature golf. Pier 60, which ends in Clearwater Beach, is a favorite among beachgoers with its playground and fishing pier and hosts the Sunsets at Pier 60 event every day.
In 2021, St. Pete and Clearwater made a record $73 million from tourism, beating 2019’s $62 million. Pinellas County, to which Clearwater Beach belongs, expects 2022 to break the record numbers of 2019. 95% of visitors come from the US of which 33% hail from Florida. Of those who stay the night, 26% choose a private residence while 17% pick a hotel, resort, or motel. Weather (66%), ease of access (55%), scenic beauty (53%), dining (52%), and visiting friends and family (51%) make the top reasons for their choice.
According to March 2022 AirDNA data, in Clearwater Beach:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $334
Average Occupancy Rate is 94%
Average Monthly Revenue is $6,100
The haven for Spring breakers and partygoers, Miami Beach is known the world over for its dazzling nightclubs where the party never stops. Linked to Miami on the mainland via bridges, the island city has wide stretches including South Beach which is popular among international models and celebrities. Also known for its Art Deco Historic district, international swimwear fashion shows, and events such as Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach Pride, and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
In 2019, Miami Beach accounted for the highest number of domestic (44%), international (56%), and resident (35%) overnight visitors to Greater Miami with leisure (68%), business accounting (14%), and shopping (11%) being the primary reason for overnight visits. In March 13-19 2022, Miami-Dade County experienced an average daily room rate of $358.95, up from $250.70 in 2019. Revenue per room and occupancy were also up from pre-pandemic levels. While international visitors have increased however they are yet to recover to 2019 levels as are cruise and international business visits.
According to 2022 AirDNA data, in Miami Beach:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $311 (March)
Average Occupancy Rate is 86% (February)
Average Monthly Revenue is $6,000 (March)
Hollywood delivers beautiful coastline, world-class resorts, grand casinos, bustling nightlife, and plenty of restaurants. Located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, it is a 30 sq. mi area in Broward County. It is home to over 60 parks, 7 golf courses, 7 miles of beaches, the Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, and the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk promenade that stretches approximately 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Named one of the Best Beach Boardwalks in the US by Travel + Leisure magazine, it boasts eateries, inns, a children’s water playground, and the Hollywood Beach Theater.
In 2021 Broward County welcomed 118 million tourists who spent over $18.8 billion. Meanwhile, 80% of Port Everglades, the second busiest cruise port in the world, is located in Hollywood. The port is home to some of the largest cruise liners in the world. The city is also easily accessible from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood international airports.
According to March 2022 AirDNA data, in Hollywood:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is 302
Average Occupancy Rate is 87%
Average Monthly Revenue is $6,100
Naples is rich in visitor offerings, from world-class shopping, sophisticated dining, fantastic culture, and extravagant golf courses to amazing beaches. Perched on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is a great place for families, nature lovers, and beach enthusiasts. The beaches of Naples such as Vanderbilt Beach, Barefoot Beach, Seagate beach, and Naples Pier beach draw over a million visitors each year.
The Gold Capital of the World also delivers calm seas, fun parks and modern facilities that appeal to sports enthusiasts. Home to the historic Naples Pier it is consistently ranked as one of the best vacation spots and places to retire in America. It also offers excellent shelling, skim boarding and kiteboarding and surfing during winter. Naples also has a number of beach parks including Delnor Wiggins State Park, Lowdermilk Park and Clam Pass Beach Park where visitors can spot turtles, swim with dolphins and chill on secluded beaches.
According to 2022 AirDNA data, in Naples:
Average Daily Rate (ADR) is $372 (February)
Average Occupancy Rate is 96% (February)
Average Monthly Revenue is 5,900 (March)