Long before the tiny-homes craze there was a fondness of log cabins. In 1916, John Lloyd Wright (son of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright), invented Lincoln Logs. In creating this National Toy Hall of Famer, Wright brought the cabin concept into every other American living room. The first set even came with instructions on how to build Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Abraham Lincoln’s abode.
A century later, our cabins can be accused of being too contemporary. However, they still conjure up feelings of comfort and a connection to nature. Whether you’re already a cabin living enthusiast or you’re just bored with hotel rooms, here are 10 cabins worth escaping to this winter.
1. Civil War-Era Cabin
Travel back to the 1860s at this cabin built of beams repurposed from historic square-hewn log homes that survived the Civil War. One of the rental properties available at Missouri’s Top of the Rock resort, the 1,100-square-foot labor of luxury and love—the work of Amish craftsman and local carpenters—has commanding views of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake. It’s a two-story home where good things come in twos. There are two master bedrooms, two bathrooms and two grand porches with golf course views. The hardest part of staying here is deciding whether to soak in the traditional copper tub or to stand under the stars in the outdoor shower made of stone. The Civil War-era cabin is bookable through Big Cedar Lodge for $500/night.
2. The Observatory at Alta Lakes
Accessibility is not the biggest selling point of this backcountry cabin perched at 11,300 ft. in the Colorado Rockies. In winter, snowmobiles or cross-country skis are required to reach this dirt road retreat aptly named for its views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains and Telluride ski area. The cabin, which has been seen in commercials and on the cover of Nordstrom’s winter catalog, has two bedrooms and a sleeping loft with double bunk beds. Still, when they’re not soaking in the agate-lined hot tub, guests spend most of their indoor time around the massive wood-burning fireplace or detoxing in the sauna. Rates at the pet-friendly Observatory start at $750/night. (The price includes a complimentary oxygen supply for those needing help acclimating to the altitude.)
3. Tiny-House Cabana
Located in Coldwater Gardens, a popular agrotourism destination in Florida’s Panhandle, the Tiny-House Cabana is perfect for travelers looking to stay in a labyrinth of shitake mushrooms, European honey bees, giant sunflowers and the latest aquaponics and hydroponics projects the five-acre property is undertaking. The climate-controlled one-bedroom cabin is designed for a seamless transition from forest to front door, so many of its premier features are outside. The outdoor kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances while the outdoor shower is so minimalistic you’ll swear you’re rinsing off in the rain. Rates start at $135/night and the cabana’s neighbors include glamping tents and a modern treehouse.
4. Baptism River Inn
For cozy cabin vibes combined with bed and breakfast hospitality, book one of the four rooms at Minnesota’s Baptism River Inn. Located along the Baptism River, three miles inland from Lake Superior and hours away from any major city, this new log property is ideal for anyone who wants to be in, or one with, the woods. The nature-themed rooms, Evergreen, Sunset, Northern Lights and River, all share exposed beams but offer different amenities including balconies, whirlpool tubs and a wood-burning stove. One of the best parts of staying here is sharing a homemade breakfast with other guests and gathering around the communal fireplace for card games. Rates start at $159/night.
5. Phillips Ridge
Okay, calling Phillips Ridge a cabin is a bit misleading. Consider it a cabin on steroids, or better yet, 10 cabins on steroids. This 10-bedroom luxury log home looks down on, literally, the ski resort community of Jackson Hole. In addition to typical cabin amenities—fireplaces, antler art, tree trunk beams and quilted bedspreads—Phillips Ridge has a few fancy features including a fitness center, two-lane bowling alley, 12-seat movie theater, 40-ft. wall of windows and a pub complete with billiards table and fully stocked bar. Want to take the party outside? No problem. The outdoor terraces feature a snow-melting system so even in the dead of winter it’s easy to enjoy Wyoming’s fresh mountain air. Rates start at $9,284/night.
6. Skamania Lodge Tree Houses
Imagine a tiny timber home on stilts and you have Skamania Lodge’s new tree houses in Washington’s wild and wooded Columbia River Gorge. Starting at 20 ft. above the forest floor, these two elevated cabins are at eye level with the surrounding canopy of Douglas Firs. They are both reached by staircases, and one of the cabins is even ADA accessible. Both feature fireplaces, king-size beds, private bathrooms and outdoor decks. Yes, these are not the treehouses from your childhood, unless yours had flat screen smart TVs and minibars. Down below, guests can make s’mores in the gas fire pit or nap the afternoon away in the strategically strung (for scenery) hammocks. The tree houses opened in September and rates start at $399/night.
Luminhaus is a contemporary cabin the property owners refer to as a “modern mountain retreat” and “art gallery in the woods.” Constructed from a kit, the two-bedroom rectangular home features an extremely open floor plan and is named for the sunlight that reflects off the white, window-filled walls. A larger-than-life birdhouse, designed for kids, functions as the property’s playhouse, and a raised wooden platform features a picnic table for outdoor dining. Luminhaus is located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, so the only traffic to worry about comes from travelers driving the scenic Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway or hiking the Appalachian Trail—both of which are just minutes away. Rates start at $200/night.
8. Escape Vista
Thinking about downsizing to a cabin but not sure if tiny home living is for you? Consider a test stay vacation in the ESCAPE VISTA mobile cabin parked under the Spanish Oaks of Texas Hill Country. The VISTA is one of four RV models Wisconsin-based designer ESCAPE Homes says it can build and deliver in less than 90 days. Within the maple walls are 160 square feet of living space, but it feels much bigger thanks to panoramic 240-degree windows that bring the outside in. Featuring a dining/work table, bathroom and room for one queen-size bed, the VISTA retails for $46,600. But again, before buying, rent one for $210/night through Bella Green Bed & Breakfast in Pipe Creek, TX.
9. Cowboy Heaven Cabins
Don’t let the name fool you, these Montana cabins are better suited for ski bunnies than rodeo fans. Conveniently located on the side of a mountain, at 8,200 ft., they offer ski-in and ski-out access to Big Sky and Moonlight Basin—i.e. 5,800 skiable acres comprising the second largest ski resort in the country. Set among second homes the size of small castles, these 900-square-foot traditional cabins seem humble. But inside, the decorators spared no expense, especially when it came to technology (think ultra HD 4K TV). The cabins decks are also well-appointed—complete with ski rack, 6-person hot tub and propane grill for après ski appetizers. Starting at $249/night, the cabins are available from Big Sky Vacation Rentals year round.
10. Tamarack Cabins
Forget about cookie cutter, cabins come in various sizes and styles at the 92-year-old Tamarack Lodge in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The historic cabins range from cozy studios to three-bedroom efficiency structures crafted in traditional 1920s-era national park “park-itecture.” On the other end of the spectrum, the deluxe cabins were all built within the last decade and feature modern furnishings, custom tiles and new appliances laid out under vaulted ceilings. All are a stone’s throw from the shores of Twin Lakes and within skiing distance of Tamarack’s cross-country ski center. There are 35 cabins available for rent year round with rates starting around $169/night.
Katie Jackson is a travel writer. When she’s not working, she’s chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus.