As we head into the fall and winter seasons, our excitement level about campfires, skiing and cozying up in a cute cabin with the boo is at an all-time high. Combining the glamour of renting a house with the outdoorsy-ness of camping, cabins can be an easy way to get away from it all without having to deal with all the bugs and other adventurous aspects of the getting back to nature.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
Stay near Rocky Mountain National Park and enjoy hiking or snow sports with altitude. Estes Park is a favorite mountain town at the east entrance of the park, and Grand Lake and its surrounding recreational area is at the west entrance.
2. Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and it’s full of exciting outdoor opportunities, like hiking, cycling, water sports, and even winter sports. Located along the California/Nevada border, it’s a diverse year-around destination that has lots of cabin rental options to choose from. You can often find local homeowners who have transformed their beautiful properties into authentic rentals for travelers.
3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
One of TripAdvisor’s most popular cabin vacation destinations, Gatlinburg sits snugly on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s something for everyone in this elevated resort town. Outdoor recreation includes hiking, fishing, camping and wildlife sightseeing—or book an exhilarating, off-road ATV tour. The ski resort Ober Gatlinburg opens its eight trails during the winter months for ski and snowboard fanatics. Attractions in town range from theater, arts, museums, mini golf and even a theme park. You might like to taste local liquors on a distillery tour or join a guided waterfall hike of the Great Smokies National Park
But to make the most out of your getaway, opt for a Gatlinburg cabin rental in the hills—you’ll be close enough to experience downtown’s tourist-friendly scene, yet secluded enough to embrace Mother Nature.
4. Rolling Huts, Washington
Arranged in a small cluster along the Methow River, these designer one-room cabins (from $135/night) look out on the ponderosa-studded North Cascades. All have woodstoves and wi-fi, as well as stylishly understated interiors featuring wilderness materials. “Rolling Huts” is a playful reference to the site’s trailer-park zoning (hence the wheels on each cabin). The riverside plot is the perfect home base for fishing, biking, climbing, rafting, and skiing the Methow Valley wilderness.
5. Lake Michigan, Michigan
Lake Michigan’s shorelines covers over 200 miles of the southwestern coast of Michigan. Check some of the beautiful cabin vacation rentals in Grand Haven, Holland, South Haven, St. Joseph, Muskegon, Silver Lake Sand Dunes and Saugatuck. While you’re here, we recommend taking the 7.5 mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at the Great Lakes park for some spectacular views.
6. The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
From eastern Tennessee to Western North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains form a sprawling national park that encompasses lush forests and beautiful mountain waterfalls, among other things!
Of course, nearby is Gatlinburg, American’s eastern mountain vacation tourist spot. Loaded with tons of fun things to do, Gatlinburg combines all the outdoorsy fun of a mountain retreat — think skyways and Ober Gatlinburg — with the kitschy fun of a beach vacation, complete with homemade fudge, touristy t-shirts and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. If outdoor activities are your style, you’ll enjoy hiking along the Appalachian Trail, as well as miles of other trails. Make sure to visit the observation tower atop Clingman’s Dome; it provides 360-degree views of the mist-covered mountains.
7. Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Lancaster County
There is nothing like the peace and quiet of cabin vacations in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Lancaster County has plenty to offer in the way of sights like covered bridges and experiences in Amish markets and farms. Some of the best cabins can be found in Gettysburg, Elizabethtown and Mifflintown.
8. Golden Gate Canyon Park, Colorado
One of the most unique and peaceful places to rent a cabin in the mountainous state of Colorado is Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which has a picturesque landscape and comfortable cabins that are perfect for nature lovers. You’ll enjoy a natural gas heater and electricity in some cabins and a full kitchen with multiple rooms for larger groups. Peak season runs between late May and early October. The Twin Lakes Recreation Area and the massive Rocky Mountain National Park are also great places to rent a cabin in Colorado.
9. Hocking Hills, Ohio
Amongst cliffs, gorges, rock shelters and waterfalls lies Hocking Hills, a romantic retreat with traditional countryside cottages for all types of travelers. Cabins often come with a hot tub, fireplace and an outdoor patio with killer scenic views.
Summer months offer hiking, canoeing, ziplining and ATVs, while the fall foliage could make National Geographic jealous. If you’re planning a vacation here, don’t forget a camera.
10. Cowboy Cabins, Colo
A late-1800s Rocky Mountain mining town that by 1918 had become a crumbling ghost town, Dunton was restored in the 1990s and converted into a stunning mountain retreat. Today, 13 luxurious cabins (from $600/night) dot the picture-perfect 187-acre property surrounded by southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, where biking, hiking, fly-fishing, rafting, kayaking—and, come winter, heli-skiing—adventures await. After a day out, enjoy a chef-prepped meal and soak in natural hot springs.
11. Cornwallville, NY
This Catskills log cabin is a true upstate beauty. Hand-built and surrounded by 28 acres of pristine woodlands, the cabin boasts a Viking stove and Miele dishwasher alongside more traditional touches like a woodburning stove. Take a quiet walk along babbling Thorpe Creek to a secluded swimming hole, or hike along the creek to explore magnificent waterfalls upstream and down. From $250 per night
12. Big Bear Lake, California
Located just two hours away from Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake offers a great getaway from big city living. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, but Big Bear is also great for the special events held every month and their unique antique stores.
13. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Perhaps most famous for its world-class skiing, Jackson Hole is a great setting for cabin camping at any time of the year. The Fireside Resort at Jackson Hole Campground offers cozy cabin rentals with a rustic appeal and modern amenities. This is a luxury cabin accommodation, but it’s also authentic and pet-friendly. Consider renting a Jeep to go off-roading in the area, renting a bike, or giving the favorite local pastime of fly fishing a try before you head back to your cabin at night.
14. Blue Ridge, Georgia
Families looking for an intimate getaway in a small, secluded mountainside town can stop searching. Blue Ridge, located in the Appalachian Mountains, is a hidden gem. One TripAdvisor traveler summed it up best. “You must visit here. Hiking for hours, countless deer, waterfalls, tubing in the spring and snow in the winter. Log cabins with Jacuzzi tubs, a fire pit out back, fireplace in the living room and still movies and cable to unwind from all those festivities.”
15. Irwin, ID
This little cabin in the woods is rustic but charming—a simple one-room structure with a queen-sized bed, and a hammock, charcoal grill and picnic table outside. Perfect for an ultra-secluded romantic getaway, the cabin is located right on Snake River and both Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park are just an hour’s drive away. From $95 per night.