A cabin in the woods is such a serene—and, let’s face it, enviable—concept that countless works of literature have been written about life in the forest. And yet, the literary attempts to describe the peace only felt in the woods always pale in comparison to being surrounded by unadulterated natural beauty. When the leaves start changing colors in the fall, the blissful experience of natural beauty seems to increase tenfold for travelers who love to take refuge in the woods. So, if you’re craving an escape to the great outdoors and a hearty dosage of exceptionally beautiful fall foliage, it’s time to sift through luxury cabins in foliage hotspots and book a quick trip.
Here, some of the best luxury cabins in the U.S. to rent during prime foliage season:
The Hunter Barnhouse, Catskills, New York
An Instagram favorite, often touted by brands like West Elm, The Hunter Houses are two gorgeous vacation listings in the Catskills, just a couple hours north of New York City. There are currently two Hunter Houses—The Greenhouse and The Barnhouse—with a third in the works. The larger, more luxurious retreat is The Hunter Barnhouse, which sleeps eight. The Barnhouse interiors feature gorgeous plant life, a farmhouse-style kitchen, indoor swings, and 19th-century wood paneling country house dreams are made of. Outside, you’ll find a hot tub, a brick-lined cooking hearth, and clusters of trees bringing fall colors to the landscape right outside your front door. Available for rent on Airbnb.
Grand Beach Estate, Lake Michigan, Michigan
Rivaling all other luxury cabins is Grand Beach Estate, a sprawling seafaring mansion on Lake Michigan. The 9,000-square-foot house borrows Americana-esque New England architecture for a beachy, Connecticut harbor town feel. But in this case, instead of looking out to a sandy Cape Cod beach, you’re in view of Lake Michigan. The heated pool looks out at the lake and a gorgeous smattering of trees, just waiting for the leaves to turn. In addition to putting travelers in the heart of Lake Michigan foliage country, the estate has a Peloton and a game room with ping-pong and foosball. Available for rent through Inspirato.
[KAB-IN], Woodstock, Vermont
Defined on the listing as a “refined log cabin located one mile from the heart of the village in Woodstock, Vermont,” the [KAB-IN] is cozily entrenched in dense New England forest. The three bedroom, two bath renovated farmhouse is decorated with a tastefully trendy palette, from the exposed, rustic cabin wood right down to the kitchen’s marble countertops and SMEG fridge. Enjoy the Vermont foliage offerings while lounging on your Adirondack chairs, positioned overlooking your own personal trout pond. Available for rent on Airbnb.
Cider House Orchard Stay, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
For a quintessentially American fall experience, staying at Old Hill Cider House is an absolute treat. This is a chic and ultra-romantic autumnal hideaway, rather than a spot to take the whole family. The cider house is “steps away from the first row of Summer Rambo Apple Trees at Showalter's Orchard” and a short walk from the Old Hill Cider tasting room. With beautiful reclaimed wood accents and light fixtures, a patio and an outdoor fireplace set overlooking the Shenandoah Valley, and a lofted boudoir, the orchard house makes for the sweetest couple’s getaway. Gaze at the colorful leaves from the brick patio in the morning, picnic under the apple trees at Showalter’s Orchard, and sit by the crackling fire toasting marshmallows as daylight gives way to dusk. Available for rent on Airbnb.
Lark Bunting, Aspen, Colorado
Lark Bunting is such a gorgeous luxury cabin that it’s actually nominated for a Plum Guide award. The three-floor Aspen lodge has seemingly never ending mountain views, and from the end of September to early October, you’ll see the trees clustered along the mountain face transform the terrain with vibrant colors. While you’re in the Rocky Mountains, enjoy the nearby hiking trails (perfect for leaf-peepers with a good DSLR) followed by a stint in the Lark Bunting’s private hot tub, which accommodates up to six guests. Available for rent on Plum Guide.
Villa Menantic, Shelter Island, The Hamptons
The Hamptons and Suffolk County don’t get the foliage credit they deserve. From mid-October to early November, red and gold-colored leaves illuminate the trees in this summer hotspot, making The Hamptons a perfect shoulder season destination. Shelter Island, just a five-minute ferry ride from The Hamptons proper, offers much more seclusion while still preserving your much-needed access to the mainland. On seven acres, Villa Menantic sits right on the waterfront and has two private porches, “panoramic sea views from every room,” and kayaks and paddle boards available for guests. Bring seven friends or family for an unforgettable and fully secluded experience where you’ll tap back in to the beauty of Mother Nature. Available for rent on Plum Guide.
The Treehouse, South Lake Tahoe, California
On the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, just a stone’s throw from Heavenly Village, sits The Treehouse, a majestic cabin with exposed-looking wooden exteriors and an expansive deck lined with towering pine trees. The Treehouse is “tucked away in a high-end neighbourhood on the ridge, [and] it boasts incredible views.” And that’s not an overstatement; the elevated treehouse offers superior foliage vantage points and a generous view of the sun setting over Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the autumnal hues framing the lake from The Treehouse’s outdoor hot tub or terrace. Available for rent on Plum Guide.
Luxury Home with Outstanding Views, Lincoln, New Hampshire
In Lincoln, New Hampshire, two hours north of Boston, this home is perched amid forested mountains with a 45-foot deck and breathtaking panoramic foliage views. The four-bed, three-and-a-half bath rental sleeps 10 and has a fireplace and seven-person hot tub on the premises. The luxury cabin nestled into Loon Mountain has floor-to-ceiling windows for prime leaf-peeping, and this home away from home is a few minutes from downtown Lincoln. Available for rent on Airbnb.