Skip to main content

Attention Lynyrd Skynyrd fans: the Van Zant house is now an AirBnB

Inside the Van Zant house
(Image credit: VHT Studios/AirBnB)

Opportunities to stay in a home where legends lived don't come along every often, but on a leafy backstreet in the Hillcrest neighbourhood of Jacksonville, FL. sits the house where Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant grew up. And it's on AirBnB. (opens in new tab) 

The house, which sleeps up to six guests, was purchased by local investor Todd Smith in 2015, and three years later the Florida Department Of State declared it a historical site. A sign was erected outside, confirming the property as the former home of Lynyrd Skynyrd founder Ronnie Van Zant, current Skynyrd singer Johnny, and .38 Special founder Donnie, and the home was listed on AirBnB last year.

"That house was our life, that neighbourhood was our neighbourhood," Johnny Van Zant told in 2018 (opens in new tab). "We all learned how to play drums in that house, we all learned how to swing on the swing-set out there – that's where we learned to sing. We didn't have 700 channels like today. We didn't have nothing but four channels. We weren't super rich."

The house's current amenities include WiFi, board games and a BBQ, while a framed photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd looks down from the lounge wall and a gold disc of Skynyrd's 1977 album Street Survivor hangs in one of the bedrooms. It's priced at $274 per night.  

After Lynyrd Skynyrd became famous, the brothers' parents stayed living in the house, and both died there: mother Marion in 2000 and father Lacy in 2004. Local resident Gene Odom - who grew up with the Van Zants and later worked for the band, surviving the plane crash that killed Ronnie – still gives tours of the property.   

Last week, owner Todd Smith launched a Kickstarter campaign (opens in new tab) in order to raise $15,000 to "beautify the front of the house with a driveway, sprinkler system, and new landscaping." 

Fraser Lewry
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.