National Parks may get all the attention when it comes to column inches and high-profile outdoorsy vacationing, but that doesn't mean that State Parks are any less worth your while. In fact, they offer an incredible range of natural wonders to explore, as well as outdoor activities to take part in, whether you're interested in strolling along white sandy beaches, hiking through otherworldly canyons, or mountain biking in acres of lush, green forest. The choice of accommodation is similarly broad, and you'll find everything from rustic cabins to elegant villas in which to lay your head.
Gulf State Park cabins
Set on the Gulf of Mexico in southern Alabama, Gulf State Park 's 6,500 acres offer miles of beaches, rugged backcountry trails, and a freshwater lake. Days here can be spent either hiking and biking, or swimming, boating, and waterskiing in the warm waters,. The park is also home to some of the best fishing in the state, whether you opt for saltwater fishing from the 1,540 ft long fishing pier or freshwater fishing in the waters of Lake Shelby. While the park itself is home to campgrounds, for a little more comfort you could opt for a private cabin rental, which you'll find both in and around the park. There's everything from log cabins among the trees to posh waterside homes.
Shenandoah River State Park cabins
A 1,600-acre wilderness of hills, woodland, and river frontage, with views of Massanutten Mountain to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east, Shenandoah River State Park is fully primed for outdoor activities. There are some 24 miles of hiking trails here, as well as a zipline, and paths suitable for biking and horseback riding. If being on the water is more your thing, then you can canoe, boat, and swim in the river. If you're not keen on staying in the park's campground, there are plentiful private rental cabins in the area, from secluded mountain cabins to cottage rentals in local towns and villages.
Pennsylvania State Park cabins
If you want to explore Pennsylvania's great outdoors, you're in luck. There are over 100 state parks here, making up over 300,000 acres of land. Among the most popular are Ricketts Glen State Park, which is famed for its numerous waterfalls and rocky walking trails; Hickory Run State Park, which sits in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains and features trout streams and boulder-strewn plains; and Cherry Springs State Park, a designated Dark Sky Park, whose skies are perfect for stargazing. Needless to say there are plenty of rental options around these parts, from basic wood cabins with log burners to modern brick cottages with up-to-date amenities.
New York State Park cabins
New York State has outdoorsy opportunities aplenty, as well as a whole host of cabins and other vacation home rentals from which to enjoy it all. It has an award-winning park system and is home to 180 parks, covering everything from beaches, to forests, to mountains, with many parks open year-round, showcasing both summer and winter activities. Minnewaska State Park Preserve is one of the best-loved parks in the region and has a stunning natural landscape of woods, lakes, and waterfalls, as well as dozens of hiking trails. Saratoga Spa State Park, meanwhile, is notable for its collection of classical architecture. There's a theater, arts center, and 2 museums here, as well as the usual walking trails.
Virginia State Park cabins
Virginia is home to hundreds of cabins, cottages, and villas for every budget within easy striking distance of its 38 State Parks. The most visited of all is First Landing State Park. A bucolic 2,888 acres set on Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach, it's home to beautiful white sand beaches, as well as hiking and biking trails through lush woodland. Westmoreland State Park, meanwhile, extends some 1.5 miles along the Potomac River, where you can fish, boat, or swim, if you're not a fan of hiking trails. Staunton River State Park, one of the 1st designated parks in the state, centers around Buggs Island Lake, the largest in Virginia, which offers freshwater fishing, boating, and many other aquatic activities.