Rustic retreats?
February 16, 2022 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Do you have any recommendations for rural vacation spots? I’m normally a city person, and love traveling to and exploring new cities. But I’ve been dreaming about hanging out in the country for a while.

I have a preference for warmer weather, or at least not freezing (so no ski cabins, hah), and would need to find somewhere somewhat affordable and relatively safe for solo female travelers. There doesn’t need to be much to do - I just want to be surrounded by nice scenery and feel like I’m solidly out in the country. Bonus points for good food!

Any suggestions? Pretend COVID’s not a thing - I’m not going any time soon, but I need to fuel my escape fantasies. Thank you!
posted by catcafe to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
AirBnB is lousy with this kind of thing.

Can you post a general region/metro area where you're based to help narrow things down some?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 AM on February 16, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure what your parameters are for affordable, but here are some of my favorite places to be out in the forest. Check out, or specify 'cabin' on Airbnb.

Santa Cruz CA
Guerneville CA
Bend or Olympia OR
Snohomish WA
Couer d'Alene ID
Sapphire NC
Yellow Springs OH
Beacon NY
Nelson BC
Steamboat Springs CO
Paonia CO
posted by ananci at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was also going to ask what country/continent you are in, because that might affect where you are willing to travel.

My country vacation experience is Canadian, so it tends to be more wilderness (rocks and trees and water) than farm-country. I can report that all of Ontario is safe for a solo female traveler, with the caveat that backwoods camping is not really safe for any sole traveler. We're cold in the winter, but very warm (hot even) in the summer, and there are nice cabins and places that one can stay in places like Muskoka, Algonquin, etc.

There are also nice resorts and bed & breakfasts in our various bits of wine country (Niagara on the Lake, Prince Edward County).
posted by jb at 8:48 AM on February 16, 2022

This is the only way we're traveling at this point. Well, more or less - we rent a campervan and then find interesting places to take it both in state/county campgrounds and hipcamp sites. Hipcamp isn't just tent/rv sites, you'll find cabins, trailers, yurts, glamping tents, treehouses, etc. We just stayed at a place in inland San Diego County on a ranch that has rescue horses and other farm animals, amazing views, hiking (and also just good walking, if you're not a clamberer), and they had an a-frame glamping cabin with a covered deck and cooking area that would tick pretty much all your boxes. All of this was within 25 minutes of any grocery/drug/sporting goods/restaurants you could need, as well, and is probably no more than 90 minutes from landing at the SD airport.

Memail me if you want the exact listing, and I can also point you to several options I saw and didn't take, if you happen to be interested in Southern California as a destination. As a warning, it's not "hot" here until July really, at this point we had frost several mornings up at higher elevations and it was too chilly and windy for sitting around the fire outside, but days are generally pleasant and mild.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:56 AM on February 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

A ski cabin in the summer may be exactly what you want. Will likely he cheaper and less crowded than during ski season.
posted by COD at 10:20 AM on February 16, 2022

Great idea! Now I'm tempted to make similar plans when I feel like COVID is a bit more under control. Here are a couple of ideas that I can vouch for:

Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle is really spectacular, and very out of the way (nowhere near as busy as the Grand Canyon). They have rustic cabins for rent on the rim of the canyon which gives an excellent view - you'll have to book in advance though since they're very popular. If you're staying here you'll be way out in the country, but there are some smaller towns nearby if you're looking for food or supplies.

If you stay at Palo Duro and are up for a roadtrip, it would also be worth checking out Caprock Canyon (it's the same canyon, just a different part). They have a buffalo herd roaming the park and the drive there has some nice scenery if you take highway 207.

I've never been to Terlingua TX, but it's high on my list - I have my eye on Basecamp Terlingua. Apparently the sky is very dark at night - great for star watching.

The other part of the US I can speak about is the PNW. The Kalaloch Lodge cabins sit right on the edge of the ocean on the Olympic Peninsula in WA. Pretty remote and spectacular, and close to lots of impressive rain forest scenes. Go in the summer if you prefer it warm, for sure. The Lake Quinault Lodge is also very pretty if you prefer things a bit less rustic.
posted by owls at 10:24 AM on February 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

We've really enjoyed Upper Peninsula Michigan and the greater Asheville, NC areas.
posted by schyler523 at 10:30 AM on February 16, 2022

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