Help me come up with my dream vacation destination
January 17, 2019 7:04 AM   Subscribe

I've had a particular type of vacation in mind for a long time that I actually want to make happen...I'm sure it exists, but I'm not sure where! Help me figure it out! Snowflake details within!

So, something I've wanted to do for a while is just rent a specific type of house in a specific type of place and hang out for a while. There are two options: one is a small house for maybe 2-4 people, and another option would be a bigger house for say 8-14 people...the latter being if I can convince more friends to do this with me :)

The above is pretty simple, the "hard" part is just I'm not sure about the place! Here is what I have in mind: a house nestled on a wooded mountain. The feeling of isolation from the world. Ideally, the house would have a view...for example, a room with large windows where I could read, drink coffee with friends, etc. Is there's ocean nearby even better. I really love houses that ceiling to floor windows that span a whole room. Definitely not roughing it -- I'd like the house to have heat/ac (whichever applies), electricity (though not necessarily internet, though that may make it harder to convince other people to go :). I'm not looking it to rough it, really...I want to feel extremely cozy while feeling relatively remote.

The isolation doesn't have to be real, it just has to *feel* like it when I'm on the property, if that makes any sense. Having a town or city or whatever near enough by is, of course, very helpful. But I mean, it'd only be a week or two, so presumably we'd take everything we need...but still, especially if the group was rather large, it'd be nice to have the option to go stock up if necessary!

So I mean...I think all of that is pretty straightforward? I'm just not sure what wooded-mountains-with-views type places would be nice, and would have the sort of accomodations I described above.

FWIW, I can speak English, Spanish, and Mandarin (and will probably be fluent enough in Japanese by the time I do this), so a country where one of those languages are spoken is definitely a plus. Season-wise, anything is fair game, and I'm open to hearing from people about when is particularly nice. Otherwise I imagine spring or fall, though it does sound pretty romantic to do the above in a place where it's snowing, the elements are ravaging but we are inside drinking tea in the heat watching it all through those big windows...

Oh, I realize I didn't mention budget. I mean, just throw stuff out there. I don't think the above is going to end up being extremely expensive, especially if I had a group of people to split it between. So I'm open to more or less anything
posted by wooh to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Sea Ranch on the Northern California coast.
posted by lovableiago at 7:07 AM on January 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I might be biased but if you search Maine vacation rentals you might find things that look like the picture in your mind.
posted by wellred at 7:17 AM on January 17, 2019

I've done this sort of thing in Scotland (on the west coast, Fort William way). The houses aren't always completely isolated but you can certainly achieve that. It has mountains and pine forests, or you can do the coast (also with woods).
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 7:36 AM on January 17, 2019

Yes, Fall in Maine is exactly what I pictured when I read this. Vermont and New Hampshire would also have similar houses, but less ocean access. Fall is popular there because of the colors, but the only place we had a hard time getting a table for dinner was Bar Harbor, Maine.
posted by soelo at 7:37 AM on January 17, 2019

I stayed here on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a couple of summers ago and just loved it. You really cannot beat the view. This particular cottage may be too small for your group but the super nice owner has several others similarly placed.
posted by JanetLand at 7:58 AM on January 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had a vacation with my friends like this, it was magical. If you search vrbo for Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA, USA, you’ll get some places nestled up in the hills, view of the ocean, isolated feel but able to drive to get groceries. When we did this in May the weather was so perfect I decided to sleep outside in a hammock. Absolutely recommend, I just wish I could remember the address of the place we stayed at!
posted by lepus at 8:09 AM on January 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Since you didn't specify your location or budget, I will just throw this out in case it works for you. Beavers Bend, Oklahoma is known for its cabin getaways and almost exactly matches what you are describing. There is not an ocean, but there is a lovely lake. It is in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, in the Ouachita mountain range. The area is also known for fall foliage along the Talimena Scenic Byway. There are luxury cabins of all sizes available, most with hot tubs, and while the cabins are secluded, the small town in the surrounding area has the amenities you would need. The last time I stayed there it rained the entire week and we were all perfectly happy staying inside the cabin playing board games or sitting out on the wraparound back porch, that was level with the treetops, watching the rain.
posted by roadrunner9 at 8:14 AM on January 17, 2019

well, you didn't mention a budget so Telluride area

seriously though, mountain resort areas in the summer or fall are wonderful and reasonably priced. no ocean in the Rockies, but you can find any range of homes in many places and many of the more luxurious are built specifically so you have a view of the scenery. Try the area around south fork or pagosa springs, possibly lake city, ouray or gunnison. All of those are colorado. there are also great homes in the lake tahoe area.
posted by domino at 9:31 AM on January 17, 2019

I am part owner of an old beach house. It is located on a bay in Alabama, in a semi-rural area. The closest gas station is 5 miles away, the closest food store is 10 miles away, and the nearest Walmart is 20 miles away. The Gulf beaches are 45 minutes drive. Airports are one and two hours away. This is probably not the degree of isolation you are looking for, as the bay is lined with houses. However, one can get into a boat and paddle upstream beyond the houses in about an hour.

In any case, there are 5 bedrooms and the dining table seats 14. There is a broad porch that wraps around the house, where you can lie in a swinging bed, or a hammock, or sit in a rocking chair. Watch the shore birds, see the osprey and pelican. If you are lucky, dolphins will swim by.

Bring friends, cook food, make drinks. Go for a paddle or a swim. Let the humid, warm air relax you. Wait for the rain, and enjoy it from the porch.

This is my personal dream vacation destination. Let me know if you want to hear more.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:34 AM on January 17, 2019

Lundy Island - off the SW coast of England. It has several interesting properties that match your brief, no cars, enough of a boat journey to feel cut off, and a fine pub.
posted by rongorongo at 9:41 AM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

You should be able to accomplish this at any reasonably-sized ski resort. The larger size house is especially common, and if you go in the offseason, it could be quite affordable. One of the nice things about ski resorts is that they're far from cities, but not far from civilization. You can have your secluded house where it seems like there's no one within ten miles, but at the same time there's public transportation to dining and shopping. Ive done the no-wireless thing before this way, just going to the lodge every couple of days to check email and social media.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:46 AM on January 17, 2019

You could definitiely do this in California (central or north coast, Marin, Sierras) or Oregon (if the coast isnt critical check out Ashland). No specific recommendations as this is pretty easy to find (I grew up there).

Oooo, actually Orcas Island WA is great for this - ferry ride from Seattle, chack Airbnb. Any of the San Juan Islands, Vashon, Whidbey maybe?

You can also find this in Japan and Tasmania if you're wanting a bigger trip.

Slightly different vibe, but New Mexico above the treeline is absolutely gorgeous in winter, as was Flagstaff. Very cozy.
posted by jrobin276 at 12:11 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

When I read your description, I immediately thought of a film I saw many years ago that still gives me similar dreams:

Enchanted April

posted by dancing leaves at 12:19 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Love this thread. If it it were me, I'd rent out the entire Encanta Lavida lodge at Cabo Matapalo in Costa Rica but you'd need to love the surf and the topics... its my favorite place I've ever been.

You could go to Folegandros and rent a vacation home as well... its sublime.
posted by specialk420 at 5:44 PM on January 17, 2019

I’m going to second Sea Ranch. It’s near a small town called Gualala which has more than enough amenities for stocking up (gas/groceries/a few restaurants) but the way the rentable houses in Sea Ranch are layed out and built makes it feel like you’re completely alone. It’s truly a wonderful experience.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:39 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest the San Juan Islands or better yet, the Northern Gulf Islands & Discovery Islands.
posted by jgirl at 6:52 PM on January 17, 2019

I stayed here, with 8 adults and 2 kids, for 3 nights for my husband's 40th. It was amazing, and perfect! Sounds like what you may be looking for.
posted by fyrebelley at 10:02 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

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