The Best Cabins for a Secret Getaway Are Hidden Across the Country
Book one of them for natural scenery, fresh air, and sweeping vistas.
Feeling a little cooped up? No one would blame you. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has relegated us to our homes, which became our offices and gyms, schools and studios, child-care facilities, and even wedding venues. But with the vaccine rollout underway and warm weather on the horizon, planning a trip is beginning to feel like a viable activity again. In fact, recent survey data from Travelocity shows that 60 percent of travelers say they're ready to roam again and are planning a post-pandemic trip within the next several months. Consider spreading your wings at a retreat with freestanding quarters, where the only folks you'll interact with will be the ones in your group.
Airbnb and Vrbo are great online marketplaces to find this kind of standalone single-family lodging (look for "entire home" on listings to ensure you'll have the place to yourselves, and read reviews to scout hosts), while companies like AvantStay and Evolve Vacation Rentals manage bookings for unique and professionally cleaned rentals designed for just that—private, short-term stays. And for those looking to disconnect from the hubbub of their busy, Zoom-filled lives, Getaway offers nature-surrounded hideaways (which sport cellphone lockboxes for going fully off the grid) within a short drive of several big U.S. cities.
What's more, many popular destinations and hotels across the country boast incredible standalone residences of their own. Look to these spots nationwide to give yourself (and your home) a much-deserved spring break:
Calistoga's historic Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort just had a full-property refresh—and with a visit to one of its renovated cottages, you and your family can, too. Now called Dr. Wilkinson's Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs, the resort is home to spring-fed mineral pools, volcanic-ash mud baths, and a tranquil garden, not to mention a brand-new Southwest-inspired restaurant called House of Better, which is serving up enchiladas and fish tacos alongside house-made kombucha, adaptogenic tea, and wines from nearby Napa. To find a different kind of urban oasis, head to The Charlie Hotel in West Hollywood, once owned and redeveloped by Charlie Chaplin. You'll spend the night just like a famous Angeleno: Each of the English Bungalow-style accommodations is named after a celebrity who once stayed there.
Wake up in a faux lighthouse or greenhouse, or even a tree house suspended 35 feet above the ground, at Winvian Farm, in Morris, where each of 18 luxe cottages (each complete with a steam shower, and in-room, farm-to-table breakfast) has a distinct theme. Also on the property, you'll find a spacious spa and pool, as well as 113 acres of green space bordering the 4,000-acre White Memorial Conservation area. Hop on one of the mountain bikes that comes with your rental to make the most of an afternoon exploring.
Serenbe, a sustainable wellness community in Chattahoochee Hill Country (outside of Atlanta) anchored by a 25-acre organic farm and surrounded by nature trails, was practically designed with the cottage-vacationer in mind. While there's a boutique inn on site, the property also features 23 standalone homes for short-term stays with anywhere from one to eight bedrooms, most of them easily accessible from the inn grounds by way of a five-minute walk through a wildflower meadow. And you won't have to leave Serenbe for anything once you arrive, as the community has its own spa, pool, yoga studio, art gallery, and even a consignment store for eco-conscious shopping.
Sleep under the stars without worrying about the elements in a chic A-frame cabin at Tops'l Farm, in Waldoboro, which sports 10 of them, each fitting two adults with the option to add cots for a couple of kids. You'll find plenty of breathing space outside—83 acres of forest to be exact—and cozy accoutrements inside: fresh linens, organic bath goods, and lanterns for sunset adventures. A weekend stay (Friday and Saturday nights) comes with a farm-fresh dinner and breakfast both days, as well as access to canoe rentals, and oftentimes, yoga and meditation classes. Add-ons like s'mores bundles and campfire skillet kits are available, too, via the "Pack My Cooler" booking options.
Channel the free-spirited vibe of the 1960s with a stay at the new Hotel Beatnik, in Ocean Springs—an eco-focused creative community made up of a nanobrewery, bookstore, and garden-to-table restaurant. Although the mini-hotel's planned opening ended up coinciding with the height of the pandemic, it is totally cut out for our current distancing-based culture: Four floating cabins comprise the property, each of them decked out with a wet bar, swing bridge, private outdoor shower, and rocking chairs overlooking the pool.
If a certain TV show piqued your interest in the Ozark Mountains, make your getaway to Big Cedar Lodge, in Ridgedale, where 83 log cabins with wood-burning fireplaces and heated stone floors ring Table Rock Lake—a national bass-fishing hotspot. And if fishing's not your thing, you'll find all sorts of other water activities, too, from waterskiing and tubing to wakeboarding and even yacht tours. To cap off a packed day of activities, each night, you'll be greeted with the resort's beloved "wish cookies" (Pepparkakor, also known as Swedish gingersnaps) at turndown along with a recipe card to recreate them once you've headed back home.
The three Scandinavian-inspired Lushna suites at Eastwind Hotel & Bar, in Windham, take glamping to a new level of chic: A-frame windows invite the Catskills in, and a deck, firepit, and hammocks outfit the outdoors. The amenities in each four-person cabin—from Faribault wool blankets to hooded Pendleton robes—are curated for maximum hygge, and an on-site cocktail bar offering direct-to-cabin deliveries keeps the good vibes rolling past nightfall. At new and nearby locale, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls, you'll find an entirely different kind of escape—one steeped in fantasy and whimsy. A magical waterfall on-site inspired the owners (former NYC theatre set designers) to create eight bespoke fairytale-like towers, including one with a massive canopy bed resembling Cinderella's ballgown and another sporting all the gothic décor of Dracula's Transylvania.
Take respite in the rolling Powell-Buttes range with a stay at one of the 65 individual cabins at Brasada Ranch. Surrounding them are endless acres of high-desert trails for an active excursion on foot or on horseback, as well as dreamy outdoor hot tubs for melting away stress. The cabins range in size from two to four bedrooms, and all include patios, BBQ grills, and fireplaces. Looking for something a little smaller scale? Try My Tiny House Village on for size. Situated on an old Christmas tree farm about a 30-minute drive from Portland, and at the heart of the North Willamette Valley Wine Country, this mini community of four small cottages is ideal for a solo or couples' getaway in nature—and particularly for anyone who relishes an excellent cup of vino.
Book the 1847 MackRail caboose at Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens, in Spartanburg, for a voyage back in time: The historic train car has been converted into a wood-paneled queen suite with a sitting area and curtained bay window. A cedar-scented conductor's bathroom completes your private quarters, which also sport a deck and entryway to four acres of on-site gardens. Or choose to stay in a unique room with a view on neighboring Daufuskie Island, where an 1873 lighthouse has been restored to a guesthouse with two bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a porch overlooking Calibogue Sound. You'll have the white sandy beach and putting greens practically to yourselves as this tranquil island community (pop. 400) is only accessible by ferry and navigable by golf cart.
Get fully immersed in the woods of Richland County at Candlewood Cabins, where the floor-to-ceiling windowed Glass House and Meadow Cabin put you face-to-face with nature (but with all the perks of a climate-controlled space). Five other cabins at this property often recommended by travel-agency Allcall range in size from one to four bedrooms and include rustic touches like wood-burning stoves and soaking tubs, as well as modern upgrades like smart TVs, central AC, and Wi-Fi. To get some extra elevation, head northwest to Hawks View, home to five cottages perched on wooded bluffs above the limestone cliffs of the Mississippi River Valley. Crafted with storm-felled timber, the breezy accommodations are aptly named after hawk varieties, and have sweeping windows and decks for enjoying the birds-eye view of the water below.