Rustic or fancy, cabins abound for a midwinter getaway
Where do you go to get away from the interminable buzz of electronics, sights of grimy suburban snow and back to the sounds of nature and clear night skies?
Whether a two-room rustic or an upscale glass aerie, a cabin-centered getaway is a seductive surrender to wilderness living, if even for a few days.
This kind of cabin fever is intoxicating, a place to linger and leave behind the flurry of schedules and the tedium of another winter weekend at home.
Beautiful settings, simple or luxe shelters and warm family feelings are waiting for you and your country bumpkins.
Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, Ohio
Get a heaping helping of hospitality at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge (maumeebaystateparklodge.com) in northwestern Ohio and a getaway that has something for everyone. The lodge offers several cabin types, including four-bedroom cabins that sleep up to 11, perfect for large families or multi-generational groups. Two-bedroom cabins are lofted with a living area, kitchen, bathroom with shower and two bedrooms on the first level and a second story loft with two twin beds. Two two-bedroom cabins are pet-friendly so you can bring your furry child along, too. On the shores of Lake Erie and just 10 minutes from Toledo, the lodge offers all kinds of indoor recreational offerings: Wallyball courts, indoor game and fitness room, soft play area for kids and an indoor pool with splash features. You can often find families hanging out in the lobby playing board games or cards and in the state park's Nature Center with a two-mile boardwalk with interpretive signs and displays inside. Northwest Ohio is a wetlands habitat, and bird-watching is a popular activity during the winter months. There's a full-service restaurant and lounge, too, if you want to take a break from cooking in your cabin. Browse the website for lodging specials and packages. The drive from Chicago checks in at around 4½ hours.
Candlewood Cabins, Wisconsin
Drive about 30 minutes from Spring Green, Wis., and you're in the hushed wilderness surrounding Candlewood Cabins. In 1995, Susan and Norbert Calnin purchased a cabin originally built by Norbert's brother on land adjacent to theirs in Richland Center, Wis. "We bought the cabin mostly to rejoin the property that had been a part of the original farmstead and starting a getaway was not part of the plan," Norbert explained. After a number of upgrades, they established "Candlewood Cabin" (now dubbed Hillside Cabin) and found that they had to turn down so many potential guests that they added buildings — Log Cabin with a wood burning stove and the distinctive Glass House with panoramic views of the woods. The unique units coupled with quiet seclusion have become a sought-after retreat for families and couples. "We have many families coming to enjoy a time in the woods away from the rat race," explained Susan Calnin. "There is no cable TV and only the Log Cabin has Internet so many parents comment on how much they enjoy the face time with their kids." What the family can do is explore the Calnin's 80 acres on snowshoes, build snow people, play board games in the coziness of your cabin, visit nearby downhill and cross country skiing sites if you bring your own gear and even ice fish on one of the nearby rivers or lakes. Rates are $155 per night for the Log and Hillside cabins, $115 for the Glass House; all units are two-night minimum.
French Lick Cabins at Patoka Lake Village, Indiana
Show our neighbors to the east a little love and consider a stay at French Lick Cabins at Patoka Lake Village in southern Indiana. A great place to disconnect from 21st century frenetic ways, the cabins are pet- and family-friendly and southern Indiana offers plenty of action. You can head to Paoli Peaks for skiing, boarding and tubing; explore Marengo, Squire Boone or Bluespring Caves and Caverns; see the historical French Lick and West Baden hotels (and adults might like the casino); and search the skies for eagles along Patoka Lake. Get in on Paoli Peaks ski/tube packages with a cabin stay starting at $319 for two nights of lodging and tickets for two people skiing or tubing. Call (888) 324-5350 or visit plvlogcabins.com.
Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Colorado
Those who love winter activities and long for a mountain setting can find the cabin of their dreams in Colorado through Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Many Wyndham Vacation Rentals ski properties include storage space for ski equipment, gas or wood-burning fireplaces, private decks with hot tubs, heated underground parking and astounding mountain views. Perks like fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryer units help to cut costs, too. You'll feel as though you're the master of your own cabin, whether cozy or luxurious, while feeling secure by staying in a professionally managed property. Wyndham Vacation Rentals created its own "Vacation Rental Bill of Rights," a list of six tenets that address renter concerns from accurate property descriptions and customer service to cleanliness and real-time bookings. In other words, you're enjoying total privacy but if and when you need anything, a property representative is available to accommodate. Now through April 15, you can save 15 percent, 20 percent or even 25 percent on cabin home accommodations in Breckenridge or Keystone. This offer is valid on your choice of private cabin homes from the list of eligible properties. Enter promo code HOMES when you book, and you'll receive the discounted rate based on your length of stay. Go to tinyurl.com/anaan7x or call (877) 346-4450.
Wilderness Territory, Wisconsin
The older kids may go ballistic when you tell them the next getaway takes place at a cabin in the woods ("Bor-ing") until you mention the woodsy part is in Wisconsin Dells and the cabins are at the ever-expanding Wilderness Territory ("Hooray"). The 35 Wilderness Cabins are fully furnished log cabins, with 3,012 square feet and are available in two designs: a two-story, four-bedroom model and a three-story, five-bedroom model with walkout lower level and sauna. The authentic, hand-laid log cabins also feature four bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens with granite countertops, a four-person hot tub, a family room with fireplace and a deck. Some of the four-bedroom cabins also have home entertainment centers which include a 120-inch movie screen with front projection system, Dolby Digital Surround Sound and DVD player. You may not need that, however, because you enjoy full access to all facilities at the Wilderness, including the indoor waterparks, with a free shuttle to whisk you around the resort. Rates vary by cabin size and fluctuate depending on demand so the best thing to do is to go to Wildernessresort.com for rates and to check availability.
Namakanipaio Cabins, Hawaii
For those with kids who have flexible schedules, a cabin awaits in paradise: Namakanipaio Cabins, located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii Island). Stay in a cabin that's tucked into a fragrant eucalyptus grove 4,000 feet above sea level located among some of the most fascinating biologic landscapes on the planet. Ten Camper Cabins were refurbished in 2012 with new flooring and beds, as well as campground facilities. The rustic, one-room wooden cabins contain one full bed and a bunk bed and offer a camping experience without having to set up a tent. Rates are $55 per night. Continuing eruptions of Kilauea Volcano and intermittent eruptions of Mauna Loa mean a family hike can take you past fascinating geologic features including fountains of spatter, just-formed cinder cones, glowing craters and rivulets of lava. Other activities include a visit Pu'uloa, the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific, and exploring the summit of Klauea volcano via the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive. For booking and other details, go to hawaiivolcanohouse.com/cabins-campsites or call (866) 536-7972.
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