There's nothing more romantic than a vacation stay in a cabin. 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.
From mountaintop escapes for two complete with hot tubs and fireplaces to huge homes large enough for your extended family close to ski slopes, cabins are a wonderful way to come together while you get away.
And across America, some of our favorite vacation spots are exceptional places to rent a cabin for a few days or a few weeks. Here, we've outlined 9 of our favorite spots to rent a cabin in the U.S.
But keep in mind -- most cabin rentals have a minimum stay, and many have strict rules, including no pets and no group rentals for anyone under 21. Be sure to check the fine print before you book or sign a contract. And some cabins are in areas that may not have WiFi, or aren't accessible during bad weather. Check your contract for what happens when weather keeps you from enjoying your stay.
If you can get there though, there's nothing like curling up in front of a fire in your mountaintop cabin while snow falls outside. Trust me on this.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
Out in Colorado, Estes Park and Grand Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park provide not only great cabins, but also some stunning views. Located in Northern Colorado, both towns are located in the National Park and are home to wildlife, recreation and stunning mountains.
Here you can enjoy hiking and fishing in the summer, or skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Estes Park is a mountain town at the east entrance of the National Park, while Grand Lakes is near the west entrance. At either location, you'll be close to elk and bears, and have access to miles and miles of trails. In Estes Parks, Trail Ridge Road will take you through mountain peaks, forests, and tundra. And the Estes Park Aerial Tramway connects you to Prospect Mountain for views of the valley below. In Grand Lakes, head out to snowshoe or to participate in winter sports -- all year round!
Cabins at Estes Park Cabins and Cottages include quaint little places for just two, up to big homes with room for 10 or more. Grand Lakes Cabin Rentals provides a wide selection of rentals from condos on the lake to multi-family homes near skiing and other activities.
2. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Most people wouldn't think about getting a cabin on the Upper Peninsula, but what's not to love about it? Porcupine Mountains is an area filled with forests, bordered by three of the Great Lakes. Connected to the Lower Peninsula by the Mackinac Bridge, Porcupine Mountain is a great four season vacation spot with cabins on the lake, out in the woods, or in the towns that dot the area.
Sandwiched between the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula is Mackinac Island. Here, you'll find the 1887 Grand Hotel, and the historic Fort Mackinac on a car-free island. Cabin rentals start at about $102 per night, depending on the time of year, and cabin amenities. HomeToGo.com lists 18 different cabins on the island that give expansive views of the lake and offer plenty of local dining options.
3. The Great Smoky Mountains
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.
Aunt Bug's Cabin Rentals includes spots in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Some cabins come with hot tubs on their decks the command views of the Smoky Mountains. Many come with fireplaces, fully-stocked kitchens, and multiple bedrooms. A few even have playrooms with pool tables and other recreation equipment.
4. Hocking Hills, Ohio
One of the midwest's most beautiful green spaces, Hocking Hills State Park offers archery, fishing, caving, hiking, biking, and plenty of other outdoor activities for families or individuals just wanting to get away from it all. And the area has plenty of options when it comes to cabins.
From Comfort in the Woods unique Treehouse that lets you watch wildlife and nature from the deck of a cabin on a 20-foot high platform nestled in the trees, to Liberty Lodge, a majestic 6 bedroom, 3 bath, 5,300 square foot family vacation home with a 7-person hot tub, an above ground pool, and a professional karaoke machine... there's something for every need and every size of group here.
5. Lake Tahoe
Located on either side of the Nevada/California border, Lake Tahoe is a year-round vacation spot. Whether its spending time on the Lake's water in the summer, or hitting the nearby slopes during the winter, there's something for everyone year-round.
Just a few hours from San Francisco, and less than an hour from Reno, Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, known not only for its lakefront and its ski slopes, but also for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. You can visit the Olympic Museum in Squaw Valley while you plan your ski day on the long-distance Tahoe Rim Trail.
6. Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Home to the Amish, the Pennsylvania Dutch Country in southeastern Pennsylvania is a place to experience history -- both interpretive and living. While the area gives visitors an up-close-and-personal view of the Amish and Mennonite communities that live there, it is also close to Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites like Valley Forge and Gettysburg. Waterfalls, covered bridges, and Hershey Park are just some of the attractions you'll find in the area.
While some cabins are located in the heart of Amish farm land, others take you out into the wilderness of the mountains. Cozy Comfort Cabin has a roomy back deck with a gas grill where you can watch the Amish buggies go by, while Beaver Creek Farm Cabins offers a relaxed cabin setting and easy access to amusement parks, live theater, and outlet shopping.
7. The Ozarks
Don't let the Netflix series fool you, there's a lot to love about the Ozarks. Beautiful rolling hills, clear lakes, and ample opportunities for outdoor adventure make the Ozarks the family destination in the center of our country.
The Ozarks cover parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. As part of the Boston Mountains and the St. Francois Mountains, the area is known as the US Interior Highland and is the most extensive highland region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. Covering nearly 47,000 square miles, the Ozarks run from Interstate 40 in Arkansas to the suburbs of St. Louis.
Due to the sheer size of the area, you can rent a cabin on the lake -- Lake of the Ozarks -- or pick one in the mountains. TripAdvisor suggests that if you're looking for a cabin rental though, you should book about six months in advance. In December, cabin rentals were stacking up for dates in May, the site said.
8. Northeastern Georgia Mountains
Northeastern Georgia's Mountain area is THE up and coming spot to vacation, it seems. Featured recently in Southern Living magazine, places like Dahlonega, Dacusville, and Helen, Georgia are all looking like good spots to go to for a getaway that isn't filled with tourists. From wineries, to caving, to spa get-aways, to trips on some of the hottest TV series filming locations, this is a new and exciting place to vacation.
ExploreGeorgia.org, the state's travel and tourism website, lists more than 100 cabins and cottages to rent with varied locations -- from wine country to a hidden mountain retreat where clothing is optional.
9. Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota
Nothing says getting away from it all and getting back to nature like heading out to the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.
Home of Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills are sometimes remote and rustic, sometimes simple and serene. But they are always a wonderful outdoor adventure waiting to happen. In the Badlands, Indian legends, history, and more than 244,000 acres of undisturbed prairie lend themselves easily to a trip back to a time in history that didn't include cell phones.
Black Hills Vacation Rentals can help you find the cabin that fits your needs, from a rustic cabin to a luxury mountain escape.