Consider the Cabin

This winter, we’re feeling cozy cabins galore. We bet you’re wondering, “how can a woodsy hideaway be better than a bungalow on the sandy shoreline?” But hear us out: while the beach will always be our first love, an off-grid cabin retreat is probably more accessible (and achievable) as a getaway during the depths of winter. There are even opportunities to show off cute new swimsuits if there’s a hot tub involved, so why not consider the idea? Here are a few recommendations to help jumpstart your cabin-getaway planning.

Northeast:

Gather Greene

Just far enough away from the Big Apple to make it feel remote, Gather Greene is nestled into a forested spot between the Berkshires and the Catskill mountains in Coxsackie, New York. While originally conceived as a space for events––its open-sided, airy main pavilion was perma-booked for weddings galore even before the pandemic pushed everyone’s socializing outside––this retreat also features 17 sleek mini-cabins for standalone rental. These little gems are the opposite of a blah international hotel chain: this is a female-led operation that knows how to prioritize! The micro cabins are pared down to the (elevated) essentials like a comfy king size bed, a shower-equipped bathroom, and top-notch coffee.

Grogkill Cabin

While cabin options in upstate New York are pretty solid all around, we’re particularly captivated by the Grogkill Cabin in Woodstock, NY. This beauty is all Little Red Riding Hood (or maybe her grandma’s house?) on the outside, with a mix of comfy yet design-y features on the inside. Built by a Norwegian couple, this two-story cabin home is full of koselig (the Norwegian term for the feeling of being cozy and finding joy in the little things––it’s that country’s equivalent of hygge) details like wood-beamed ceilings and a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace. It’s totally snug while also somehow being bright, clean-lined, and full of light, too. Consider us ready to book!

Southeast:

Modcabins

Get the idea that cabins need to look like they’ve been built by a legion of forest trolls out of your head right now. There’s more to this type of dwelling than cobbled-together timber and dubious-looking chimneys. To prove our point, we think you should check out this sleek hideaway from Modcabins, a family-run company that’s amassing a tiny empire of midcentury-style cabin rentals. Pets are welcome and children will delight in the hand-picked crate of toys, but adults can appreciate the Jetsons-esque fireplace and outdoor hot tub (our rec: bring along the Dusty Green Peekaboo Cutout Bikini when it’s time to soak). It’s located only 7 miles from downtown Asheville, North Carolina, so you can head to the city for a night if all of that solitude seems a touch too chill.

Kokomo Farms

We know this may come as a shock to those folks living outside of the state, but Miami is not the only appealing location in Florida. Nor are cabins relegated solely to forested areas up north. Combine these two facts and you’ve got a recipe for a unique getaway at Kokomo Farms in the non-coastal town of Live Oaks, which lies nearish to the Florida-Georgia line. The farm is a home for rescued animals––from horses to pigs, dogs, birds, and more––and a retreat for overstressed humans alike, with a charming treehouse to rent. This space is adults-only, which is for the best considering it’s truly open-air (kids could fall out), situated amidst the branches of a tree hung through with Spanish moss. Leave your aerie for a sunset soak in the hot tub, perhaps while wearing the Yellow Gingham Ruffled Bikini, which lends a touch of country romance to any dip.

Midwest:

Whitetail Woods Camper Cabins

We were basically bowled over when we realized that some of the loveliest cabins that we’ve laid eyes on were actually part of a public park. The Whitetail Woods Camper Cabins in Farmington, Minnesota, are 227-square-foot modular treehouses located inside of the Whitetail Woods Regional Park––and bookable for around $80 a night. These red cedar and pinewood lodgings are somewhat more spartan; you’ll need to bring your own linens, the restrooms are in a separate building, and grilling outdoors is the only cooking you’ll be able to do. But for those who prefer the comforts of heating, lighting, and wi-fi to a frigid tent in the woods, these mod treehouse cabins are totally the way to go. The design is unbeatable, and miles of hiking trails, activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding lay right outside the door.

Treehouse Cabins at River of Life Farm

While we’re just as hooked as you are on Ozark, the noir-ish show with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, take a deep breath and remember that what you see on television is not a documentary. A vacation in the Ozarks is more likely to include outdoor pursuits like hiking, boating, and fly fishing, especially if you’re booking one of the country-cute treehouse cabins at the River of Life Farm resort. For the romantically inclined, the Kingfisher cabin feels just right; there’s a whirlpool tub built for two, and the room is done up with cozy staples like a carved wood canopy bed and a fireplace made from local stone. This porch overlooks the North Fork river, so you could (in theory) catch and cook a fish dinner in the kitchenette, but it’s perfectly fine if you and your sweetie prefer to heat up some pizza rolls and call it a day.

Northwest:

Odell Guesthouse

Like us, you probably have A-frame content rolling through your social media feed at the speed of Class-V rapids. Also like us, this is likely creating a yearning to hole up in an ultra-cozy triangular lodging in no small way. Let’s all give in and head to the Odell Guesthouse in Hood River County, Oregon, just over an hour outside of Portland. The all-white surfaces of this A-frame cabin are clean-looking, but never feel antiseptic. Instead, this A-frame is inviting and warm, with shiplap ceilings, a fireplace that’s ready to host a roaring blaze, and an elegant four-poster bed. Views from this charmer alternate between the volcanic (!!) Mount Adams in the Cascades to the north and the orchards of Hood River County’s Fruit Loop, where you can pick your own produce at nearby farms starting as early as April. But we’re not sure we can wait that long to get there!

Alpine Road Residence

If the Alpine Road Residence in Mt. Baker, Washington represents the dream of Cabin Life, we’re never going back to reality. The classics are all here: pine wood paneling? Check. Old-timey stone chimney? Loft bedroom? Check, check. But there’s also a real kitchen––complete with dishwasher––and a full-size laundry set up. This is especially convenient if you’ve been hitting the slopes at the nearby Mt. Baker Ski Area or hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs right through the area. (Does that name sound familiar? It’s because it’s the location explored in Wild by Cheryl Strayed and detailed in the movie adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon.) After all that outdoorsy fun, throw on the Maroon Wrap One-Piece Swimsuit and plop yourself into the outdoor hot tub for a revitalizing soak.

West:

Juniper Hideout A-Frame

California is a bit of a conundrum. There are big cities and ghost towns; lush vineyards and one of the hottest, driest places on earth (we’re looking at you, Death Valley). All of these elements are part of the Golden State’s appeal, along with a bumper crop of adorable cabin rentals. If we had to choose a fave, we’d pick this the Juniper Hideout A-Frame cabin on Green Valley Lake,approximately two hours inland from Los Angeles. Snuggled into the woodlands surrounding the lake, this A-frame is decorated in a highly ‘grammable mix of classic cabin (stone fireplace, wood paneling) and retro-inspired styles (emerald green cabinets, tufted sofa, vintage felt pennants). Even though everything in it is quite distinct by itself, it somehow makes sense all together––kind of like the state itself.

Getaway Big Bear

There’s a reason that Getaway is the premier mini-cabin experience in the U.S.A. these days. There are outposts near many major cities, and the in-cabin experience is remarkably consistent no matter which location you choose. You’ll always find clean linens, a proper bathroom, heating, cooling, and a stocked kitchenette, all styled with a modern-meets-rustic vibe. But you’re not really going for the cabin itself, since Getaway prioritizes nature and disconnecting from the daily grind. Spread out over 60 acres in Running Springs, a small town close to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest, this outpost is just the thing to get stressed Angelenos out of their cars and off the grid. We have to agree: the vast expanse of wilderness seems more appealing when you have a comfortable spot to lay your head.  

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