6 popular spots for scenic cabin rentals in California

Disneyland may style itself “the happiest place on Earth,” but for nature lovers and outdoorsy types, that title might belong instead to California’s most beloved lakes, mountains, and state and national parks. From Yosemite National Park’s legendary sequoias and granite monoliths to Big Sur’s unparalleled Pacific Ocean views, the Golden State has no shortage of natural attractions, so make sure you’ve got enough memory on your phone for all the photos you’ll no doubt want to take. As for where to bed down, plenty of California cabin rentals provide cozy, peaceful shelter amid lush mountains and forests.

Vacation homes in North California

Cabins in Northern California will serve you well on a trip to visit wine country or see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. They also make a warm, cozy base for experiencing California’s natural wonders, from Lake Tahoe’s deep blue waters to Yosemite National Park’s record-setting landscapes.

Cabins for rent in Shasta Lake

Apart from being the largest reservoir in California, Shasta Lake is also one of the state’s most popular destinations, especially in the summer. Featuring nearly 370 miles of shoreline, the lake offers fishing, jet skiing, swimming, and more. If you need a break from the water activities, you can kick back in your Shasta Lake cabin rental with a book or a cocktail, and bask in the views of snow-capped Mount Shasta. While you’re in the area, you can tour Shasta Dam, the country’s second-largest concrete dam, and visit Lake Shasta Caverns, an underground cave network that’s only accessible by boat.

Yosemite National Park getaway cabins

Words aren’t enough to capture the awe and reverence that Yosemite National Park commands. The third-oldest national park in the US—and perhaps the most famous of the lot—offers majestic sights that you won’t soon forget, from the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove, to the 3,593-foot-tall granite monolith aptly called El Capitan, to Yosemite Falls, North America’s highest waterfall. There’s a ton of ground to cover, and you’ll likely be best served by a cabin rental that’s right inside Yosemite National Park, or as close to it as possible.

Rental cabins in Lake Tahoe

Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the second-deepest in the US and the largest of the country’s high-elevation lakes. The area is a veritable outdoor playground in summer, when swimming, boating, and various adrenaline-pumping water sports are on the menu, along with hiking Emerald Bay State Park for the incomparable views over the lake. Winter brings powdery exhilaration on the slopes, and you can soothe your tired ski legs in your Tahoe vacation cabin’s hot tub at the end of the day.

Vacation home rentals in South California

SoCal’s surfing beaches are some of the most popular throughout the state, and the desert landscapes of Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park offer unique backdrops for your travel photos. Cabins in South California also put you close to the breathtaking views of Big Sur and the powdery slopes of Big Bear.

Vacation cabins in Big Sur

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur is one of California’s most beautiful stretches of coastline—you’ll want to pull over frequently to snap photos or simply take in the view. Cabin rentals in the area put you close to attractions like the oft-photographed Bixby Bridge, the unconventional Henry Miller Memorial Library, and the 80-foot McWay Falls, which cascades over a cliff in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Don’t forget to scan the skies every so often, as you might catch a glimpse of a majestic California condor in flight.

Lake Arrowhead cabin rentals

Visitors looking for a blend of beautiful natural scenery and chic shopping and dining will find it in Lake Arrowhead, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains. You can begin your visit by exploring Lake Arrowhead Village, a charming waterfront spot whose varied shops and services include independent boutiques and outlet stores. Families can check out the outdoor attractions and adventure trails at SkyPark at Santa's Village. You can also spend the days sailing, fishing, and horseback riding before heading back to your Lake Arrowhead rental cabin.

Cabins for rent in Big Bear

Also in the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear is a popular SoCal escape for families, thanks in large part to being just 2 hours' drive from Los Angeles. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts are the premier skiing and snowboarding haunts in this winter playground. In warmer weather, Big Bear Lake, sitting 6,759 ft above sea level, offers boating, fishing, and various water sports. No matter which season you visit, a Big Bear cabin rental makes sure you’re well placed for lots of outdoor recreation.