4 places to find cheap cabin rentals in the South

Scoping out the best area restaurants, hottest theater tickets, and must-do activities are definitely important aspects of the pre-vacation planning process. But whether you're thinking about visiting Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, or the Shenandoah Valley, picking a place to stay trumps it all. The place from which you venture forth to explore each morning can set the tone of the whole stay—and make the deepest impact on your wallet! An affordable cabin rental doesn't just mean money saved that you can use to splurge on an extra attraction; it also means settling into a cozy, home-like ambience and feeling like a local.

Cheap Pigeon Forge rentals

If you love country music, southern home cooking and have never driven past an outlet mall without pulling in, credit card at the ready, Pigeon Forge may fit your notion of a perfect mountain vacation. Located in eastern Tennessee, Pigeon Forge is perhaps best known for its shrine to country chanteuse Dolly Parton: Dollywood. At this Appalachian-themed park, visitors can ride a thrilling roller coaster, check out an 1800s-era schoolhouse, and see an interactive exhibit of Dolly Parton’s costumes and other memorabilia. You’ll hear the twangs of country music from plenty of other venues around town as well, such as the Smoky Mountain Opry. You can choose from a wide range of affordable cabin options here, whether you want to stay right in the middle of all the action in town, or are seeking some peace and quiet in the forest. A cozy 1-room cabin can be a great option, as well as other cabins that have spacious decks and stone fireplaces.

Cheap Gatlinburg rentals

Keep everyone from grandpa to your toddler niece happy when you choose Gatlinburg to rent a cheap cabin. This lively Tennessee town is bustling with restaurants and shops that make the downtown a fun destination, day or night. See who lasts the longest at a haunted house, dare your cousins to try the scariest ride at Ober Gatlinburg, and maybe even try a little taste of locally brewed moonshine. Renting an affordable camping cabin is a great choice if you’re looking to truly explore the Smoky Mountains, which offer unlimited opportunities for hiking, climbing, white water rafting and tubing, and ziplining through the forest canopy. Many trails are easy enough for children and the elderly to tackle, and offer rich rewards like wildflower-shrouded hilltops and views of dusky blue mountain ranges that go on as far as the eye can see.

Cheap Shenandoah rentals

It may be just an hour from Washington D.C., but the stunning Shenandoah Valley not only feels like a land far from any madding crowd; it can also seem far removed from hectic modern life as well. With more than 200,000 acres of protected forests, wilderness, rivers and meadows, it’s safe to say that you won’t need to repeat a trail during your vacation. If you’re a hiker, you’ll be in paradise here. There are more than 500 miles of trails to explore, ranging from hard to easy, up mountains and over to waterfalls. The world-famous Appalachian Trail runs through this area—you can hike more than 100 miles of it right here. Whether you choose to stay in a stunning cabin on stilts or a cozy 1-room or 2-room cabin with a hot tub, you’ll feel right at home.

Affordable cabin rentals in Ellijay

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia are home to some of the most charming small towns in the South. Ellijay is famous throughout the country for its apple farm, where many a visitor has spent hours of fun picking ripe apples and sampling a variety of apple-based treats. There’s a Civil War museum, restaurants where you can feast on authentic southern cooking, and picturesque wineries offering some of the area's best libations. You can also ride vintage railcars, go trout fishing, or test your sense of balance on a swinging bridge. The Appalachian Trail actually begins on Springer Mountain in Georgia, from where you can hike all the way to Maine. Choose one of the many fabulous affordable rentals here, you’ll find plenty to do practically right on your doorstep.