How many loaves of bread have you made in quarantine? Still counting? You’re not alone. From banana bread to sourdough, recipe searches are surging as people pick up cooking as a new at-home hobby. And, with many still not ready to dine out, it’s no surprise that travelers list a great kitchen (along with outdoor space) as a key feature of the perfect vacation rental.
The best memories are made gathered around the table, after all. So to fuel both your travel and dinner inspiration, we’ve rounded up six James Beard–worthy kitchens from coast to coast that will make all your culinary dreams (safely) come true.
Whidbey Island Modern Farmhouse
This Pacific Northwest island, famous for its shellfish, is sure to be a hotspot for anyone in search of a seafood-fueled getaway. Can you imagine a clambake on that waterfront patio? So can we. You’ll be prepping in a stunning open layout, where the kitchen, dining room, and living area flow together, and there’s no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. A copper hood and wooden beams bring warmth to the modern design, contrasting with the crisp white cabinets and countertops. Plus, that view will never get old.
Heaven on Haines
San Diego, California
The kitchen in this ultramodern, ocean-view vacation rental redefines California cool. Pull up a stool at the expansive bar, a perfect venue for avocado toast in the morning or a chilled glass of local rosé in the evening—courtesy of the wine fridge. The updated kitchen has a roster of chef-level appliances, including a double freezer, six-burner gas stovetop, and a dishwasher to make cleanup a cinch. Just remember the golden rule: the cook gets a pass on doing dishes.
Hiawatha On Star
This stunning Star Lake vacation rental will make you feel like you’re in the center of a Pendleton ad. The kitchen’s wood-paneled walls, granite countertops, and wool-upholstered chairs are the perfect surroundings for the hearty meal you’ll need (and want) to whip up after a day of fishing, hiking, and fat-tire biking in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Finish the day with dessert around the campfire or a nightcap while stargazing on the furnished deck.
While the indoor kitchen here is well stocked and impressive on its own, it’s all about the outdoor cooking possibilities at this Scottsdale oasis. Kick back and take in the game on the outdoor television as you prepare a Southwest-inspired feast on the gas grill. Another can’t-miss feature is the wood-fired pizza oven, which delivers perfectly blistered pies in a flash. Get ready for everyone to send compliments to the chef.
Bar Harbor, Maine
With the gourmet amenities of this Maine vacation rental’s kitchen, not far from Acadia National Park, you’ll be firing up the stove before you can say lob-stah. East Coast charm runs through the airy, open kitchen with tiled backsplash, stainless steel appliances, and a spacious island for “sous chefs” to help prep. Kids, we’re looking at you. Try bass fishing at nearby Hamilton Pond to bring home a fresh catch and bragging rights, or head to the docks and see what the boats are hauling in that day.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
It may not be what you imagine when you think “classic Southern kitchen,” but we’ve got one word for you: skylights. Picture the Kiawah Island sun streaming in as you try your hand at any number of the state’s signature dishes—like Frogmore stew—in this epicurean haven. With an efficient floor plan, the contemporary kitchen has a coastal cool palette that matches the rest of the cottage, but spares no expense when it comes to finishes. Stainless steel appliances, ample storage, and a custom island are just a few of the amenities that will make cooking easy-breezy in this beachside vacation home.