Pack a good book, ready the hiking boots, and set the GPS for the countryside, because cottage rentals offer a bit of rest, relaxation, adventure, and seclusion in one. This guide runs through the most enticing aspects of this type of accommodation, along with some of the enchanting destinations and locations you can expect to find them.

Alluring locations for cottage rentals

Prepare to be amazed at the sheer wealth of places where cottage rentals make their home. From wind-lashed coastlines to snow-capped mountain ranges, there seems to be no end to the backdrops you can pick from.

Lakeside cottage rentals

It doesn't matter if you prefer an ice-cold glacier lake in Montana or a pine-shrouded alpine lake in the Sierra Nevada, there's something truly special about choosing a cottage for that waterside experience. In the remotest locations, you can even find secluded cottages that mean you'll have stunning lake views and boating jetties all to yourself.

Coastal cottage homes

Salt-washed coastal cottages are a ticket to the shore. They pop up on the barrier isles of the East Coast and pepper the surfer inlets of California. If you're heading further afield, there are also plenty of cottage homes in famous coastal destinations like Cornwall in the UK, and the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, offering a slice of local life that's bathed in fresh ocean breezes.

A cottage rental in the mountains

If you're eager to feel like a real mountain dweller on that next expedition to the peaks, a cottage might just be the best way to go. You can find little hideaways sitting snug in the heart of the NY Adirondacks. You can find them tucked beneath the haze of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina. Come winter, ski cottages also come into their own. They have on-slope locations in states like Vermont and Colorado – a fine alternative to a fully-fledged chalet.

Exciting features of cottage rentals

Vacation cottages bring something to the table that's simply not on offer in traditional hotel or resort stays. With heritage-rich design features, long tales to tell, and even the occasional Jacuzzi for good measure, there are plenty of nuances to get excited about.

Choose cottages with hot tubs

Cottages with hot tubs promise to take that outing into the great outdoors to the next level. There's really nothing quite like topping off days of hiking the Appalachian Trail or watching the waves roll in across the Maine coast than by soaking in a steaming bath under the stars.

Indulge in cottages with pools

Just because you're opting for a quaint cottage, it doesn't mean you'll have to forgo all the creature comforts of a luxury vacay. That's where cottages with pools come in. Some will have their own private splash pad, while others might be part of a larger rental complex that has a shared pool and spa facility.

Find historic cottage rentals

Because so many cottage rentals are old, these are often the places for travelers who love to feel a part of history. Moss-clad log cabins hide between the fir forests of Idaho, for example. There are stone-clad fisherman's huts down along the salt-scented shores of Cornwall and Ireland. And there are elegant Antebellum options in the heart of historic Southern towns like Galveston.

Below there's just a taster of the sort of amazing places that open up when you decide to choose a cottage vacation rental. There's something for all types here, whether you're after bracing views of the Atlantic coast or jaunts to dense forests in the depths of New England.

Upstate New York cottage rentals

The real joy of Upstate New York cottage rentals is that you shouldn't have to stray far from the Big Apple to find somewhere that's surrounded by wild nature. Even the centuries-old towns of the Hudson Valley have their own log cabins and chimney-topped abodes. Go further and it's about finding homes fringing the Finger Lakes or nestled in the woods close to roaring Niagara Falls.

Your cottage vacation rental in New England

It's possible to really immersive yourself in the historic region of New England and its beautiful backcountry by choosing cottage rentals. Quaint and cute with plenty of years behind them, these types of stay can have you lazing on decks by the sloshing waters and clam chowder taverns of Nantucket Harbor. Or, they can be an escape to the color-changing forests of Vermont come fall, when there's nothing more enticing than snuggling by a real-wood fire as the leaves drift down outside.

A beachside cottage rental in Florida

Steer clear of the built-up resorts and tread lesser-known Floridian sands – that's the way to discover the quieter coastal getaways where cottages take over from big condo blocks. On the Panhandle, you'd do well to stick to Rosemary Beach and the chilled city of Seaside. On the Atlantic shore, you could consider surf-washed Cocoa Beach and the Caribbean-flavored Florida Keys.