MY TOP Vacation Spots


After filming 26 episodes of my new show “Vacation House For Free”,  I have seen many different vacation spots.  Some places I have never heard of before,  but after filming there, I fell in love.  Here are my 3 top spots that you and your family should consider visiting.

3)  Southold, Long Island, New York   

This is on the “north fork” of Long island and has some of the most beautiful coastlines and countrysides I have ever seen.  It is a place that seems frozen in time.   Southhold was settled by the English in 1640 and has kept much of its old town charm intact.  There is no shortage of activities which include spending the day on a boat or wine tasting in over two dozens wineries.  Being from California, it is really tough to impress me with wine but I have to say, Southold had some of the best red blends I have ever tasted.  

Don’t Miss:  Be sure to head to the town of Greenport. Quaint downtown shops and amazing seafood restaurants.  Noah’s restaurant is the place to go for dinner.

Southold, New York

Southold, New York


2)  Key Largo, Florida 

First of all, nothing beats the weather in Key Largo.  You can find days to tan even in the middle of winter.  The calm waters make it one of the best places to snorkel and scuba dive in the world.  Most hotels offer a private beach for the kids to swim in and you can rent every type of water sport imaginable.  One of my favorite moments while filming there was when i rented a standup paddle board at sunset.  The crystal clear water revealed sea turtles, fish and amazing coral reef beneath me while i paddled out amongst the mangroves.  The restaurants and hotels are reasonably priced too, so it is definitely one of the most affordable tropical vacations you can find.  

Don’t miss:  Rent a WaveRunner and take a guided tour through the mangroves, a really incredible and unique experience!


Key Largo, Florida

Key Largo, Florida

  1. Sedona, Arizona 

This place is magical.  As you drive along the main road the surrounding landscapes reveal some of the most majestic landscapes in the world.  If you love to hike, this is the place to go.  There are tons of trails to choose from for any level of explorer.  Some of my highlights are driving up to the top of Airport Road to see the incredible sunset and sitting on the top of Bell Rock to watch the sun rise.  Also, try the Elote Cafe for some incredible Mexican food that will knock your socks off.  The energy that surrounds that place is incredible.   The Native Americans say the valley is a place to heal and reenergize.  I don’t know about you,  but for me, that is exactly what I want in a vacation.

Don’t miss:  Take the hike to Devil’s Bridge.  It is a three hour hike,  but once you get to the top,  it is worth every step.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

2015 Home & Garden Show Tour Dates

Spring will be upon us before you know it and with it comes home and garden shows.  I was finally able to free up some days and appear at a few of them.  Here are the dates...

Des Moines Home Show : February 13th - 15th

Annapolis Home Expo : February 21st-22nd

Salt Lake Tribune Home & Garden Festival : March 6th - 8th

I will be talking about my show "Yard Crashers" on DIY Network and giving you tips on how to design the backyard of your dreams.  I will give you simple solutions for your yard that you could complete in one day that will impact the look of your yard dramatically.  For those of you that will be at the Des Moines show, you will find a discount code below.  Buy tickets online at: 

Come on by and say hello! 

When a vacation home is right for you

I believe that one of the best investments you can make is in real estate, but I found over the years that with a vacation home you invest in something much more valuable...your family.  The memories and connections made in a vacation home over the years will last a lifetime.  Here are three reasons that taking the plunge and buying a vacation home for your family, might be one of the best things you have ever done.


Repeat costumers

Many families I chat with say that they find themselves coming back to the same spot every year.   By being accustomed to your surroundings, you relieve the stress of having to find accommodations in an area you are unfamiliar with.  You also know exactly where to find all the best restaurants, shops, bars and how to get to the market without breaking out the GPS.  I don’t know about you, but it usually takes me a few days to get comfortable with the area, which means I don’t start relaxing until day three.  With your own vacation home, you unlock the door, drop your bags and let the vacation begin instantly.  Also think about all the money you can save by skipping the pricey restaurants in town and cooking your family meals right in a fully equipped kitchen.  


The growing family

I don’t have kids of my own, but I can only imagine rounding all the children up, driving to the airport, going though security, getting on a plane and praying your child isn’t “that kid” who cries the whole plane ride can all be beyond stressful.  Many of my vacation home buyers, purchase their property within driving distance just for that reason.  Heck, I had a couple buy a vacation home two hours away from their primary home for that very reason.  So if you live close to a lake or a quick drive to the ocean and have a large family, a vacation home would be perfect.  You will save on airfare as well as your sanity.


Seeing beyond the dust

The best way to make your money work for you, is buying a property that needs some work and fixing it up yourself.  So you can’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and tackle some projects.  There are a few benefits to this beyond just saving money.   You can tailor the rental for the market first and foremost.  With a vacation home you aren’t necessarily renovating your vacation home for your family, but for many families that will rent from you.  This enables you to scout the nearby market, see what rents and then tailor your rental to fit those needs.  You can also hand pick the materials going into your rental so that it withstands the rental traffic.  Tile floors, stone counters and durable cabinets are just a few materials that will ensure your rental lasts through the peak rental season year after year.


"Vacation House For Free" on HGTV

My new show "Vacation House For Free" is now airing on HGTV Sunday's at 10 p.m. eastern / 7 p.m. pacific.  Watch as I take my real estate and contracting skills to the best vacation spots in the U.S. to help people buy the vacation home of their dreams and then make it pay for itself.  I would say a green vacation is in everyone's wheelhouse.  It's all the elements you love about home improvement television wrapped in one neat 60 minute package.  Here is a summary of what you guys will see:

"Matt Blashaw realizes couples' wishes to own a vacation HOME MORTGAGE free. The secret? He helps them shop for and renovate a "diamond in the rough" home in their dream location to command top dollar as a vacation rental. The end result? The couple rents out the renovated home for maximum income part of the year, covering all their annual expenses. For the rest of the year they live in a Vacation House for Free"

You too can have the vacation home you always wanted and you can get it for free.  Tune in and find out how!

"Vacation House For Free" on HGTV Sunday's at 10 p.m. 

"Vacation House For Free" on HGTV Sunday's at 10 p.m.