Ten unique Airbnbs, vacation rentals, and more in the Blue Water Area

From lake houses to downtown apartments, entire farms and private islands, St. Clair County has its fair share of incredible — and incredibly unique — places to stay for a night, weekend, or even longer. And as we enter these dog days of summer, we thought we’d take a tour of the region and its hundreds of vacation rentals, ideal for visiting friends and family or even a “staycation” — for those craving a little change of scenery. It was tough to limit this list to just ten properties, but we think it offers a fair representation of the different types of vacation rentals available here on the Thumb Coast.

Photo: VrboPrivate Island across from Harsens Island

Located in the middle channel across from Harsens Island, this private island home is available to rent with a three-night minimum — but that doesn’t seem like a hard sell. How often do you have access to a small, private island? With a newly renovated house, this rental is only accessible by boat, which means that you’ll either have to bring yours or have the host set you up with a pontoon at the nearby Middle Channel Marina. Either way, it sounds like an adventure.


Photo: AirbnbHappy Little Farmhouse Bungalow, near St. Clair

Looking to enjoy some time in the countryside? This farmhouse outside of St. Clair offers a bucolic retreat from the city lights. Sitting on four acres of a working farm, guests of the Happy Little Farmhouse have the added benefit of fresh, organic eggs laid each day by the chickens out back. The farm also offers space for campers to pitch their tents.


Photo: AirbnbSwan River Haven, Ira Township

If water sports are your thing, look no further than the Swan River Haven. Guests have the ability to not only rent this canal-side home, but also gain access to their 13-person pontoon boat, tube and flotation pad, jetskis, and kayaks.


Photo: AirbnbWaterfront House, Algonac

Have a boat of your own? This house located on the north channel of the St. Clair River allows you to pull right up, dock, and check-in. Boasting “prime walleye fishing,” the property is outfitted with a multi-level deck, several grills, a fire pit, and plenty of other amenities to keep everyone outside and enjoying the waterfront.


Photo: AirbnbMemories Manor, St. Clair

Ever wanted to rent a room in a historic Victorian mansion? Well, how about the whole house. Memories Manor offers up their entire property for short-term rentals, allowing for family reunions, company retreats, and any other large groups to give their guests the opportunity for a truly unique stay. Built in 1880, the mansion is on top of the hill in St. Clair, just a quick walk to downtown.


Photo: VrboLake House, Algonac

Located on a private canal that leads to Anchor Bay, this lake house also offers guests the ability to steer their boats right up to the backyard. A boat launch is less than one mile away. This rental is also dog-friendly, which is not always the case with such listings. A gated deck and dog pen prevents Fido from practicing his doggy paddle.


Photo: AirbnbHistoric Queen Anne apartment, Port Huron

Located in the heart of Port Huron’s historic district, this upper flat of a classic Queen Anne-style home is just blocks from downtown Port Huron, making it an easy walk to the city’s many shops, restaurants, nightlife, and waterfront. The white brick interior with reclaimed wood accents lends a contemporary feeling to this otherwise historic structure.


Photo: VrboA-Frame Studio, Algonac

Who doesn’t love an A-Frame? A two-bedroom with one bath, this little charmer seems ideal for a romantic getaway or quiet work-from-home change of scenery. Updated interiors offer a fresh feel and views of the St. Clair River, which is located just across the street, are always a draw.


Photo: HipcampSimpson Family Farm, Fort Gratiot Township

Pigs, ducks, and hay bales: The Simpson family has opened up their working farm to campers, allowing guests with tents and campers to set up on their property for a unique agriculture-themed vacation. Pick fresh, organic vegetables from the Simpson family’s two-acre garden, or visit their neighbors for freshly laid chicken eggs and locally-sourced honey. And being in Fort Gratiot Township, you’re still only a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lake Huron and its beautiful beaches.


Photo: VrboDowntown Apartment, Marine City

With its theaters, independent shops, restaurants and bars — and of course the waterfront — downtown Marine City is a premier destination around these parts. And this private apartment allows immediate access to all of it. What’s not to love?


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