The foothills and towering mountain ranges of North Carolina provide the perfect backdrop for a rustic cabin retreat. Though the state spans from the Appalachians to the Atlantic shore, the mountains offer everything from sprawling getaways for large groups to cozy boltholes for two. If you‘re looking for cabins to rent in North Carolina, here are the best – bookable on Culture Trip.
Founded in the 1900s as a country retreat for the gentleman elite, this 26-acre (11ha) estate with a large lake at its heart blends old-world charm with outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re boating, fishing or swimming, the grounds provide entertainment year-round. Hike the nature trails or canoe across the lake. Choose snug, comfortable private suites, cabin rooms and historic cottages blending period charm and outdoor space hugged by soothingly leafy grounds. Tuck into stoneground grits with cheddar at the homey Season’s restaurant.
A proper log cabin should be rustic, it should be in the woods and it should be snug. The 11 Nantahala cabins, tucked away in the Great Smoky Mountains, scratch all those itches. The cabins are located in the Nantahala Gorge, and you’ll truly feel as if you’re surrounded by nature, wrapped by the forest canopy, with the roar of the Nantahala nearby. Cabins range from studios to three-beds for up to eight guests. Use them as your base for hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, zip line tours, trout or bass fishing, horseback riding, jeep tours, boating on the lake or even gem mining.
In 1884, the discovery of a spring said to possess healing properties at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains led to the creation of a small rustic health resort. Many of the cabins built for early-1900s visitors still stand today, updated with modern conveniences such as private baths and kitchenettes, yet retaining many of their original charms. Choose from budget (the smallest) to treehouses and family cabins. At the farm shop, stock up on grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs and soaps made with spring water.
With over 400 secluded acres (162ha), this retreat close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Spruce Pine offers cabins and camping. Pick from all-wood retreats with anything from one to five bedrooms, made homely and charming with Americana and rustic timber; you won’t find any games rooms or hot tubs here. Instead, it’s all about nature – viewing the forest from the water bobbing downstream on a tubing trip on the North Toe River, or hiking up the waterfall trail.
Keen to find out how the village of Chimney Rock got its name? Climb the 535-million-year-old granite monolith in the state park for panoramic views across Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Set on a wooded hillside overlooking the Rocky Broad River, the views from these riverside cabins aren’t bad either. Drink coffee on your private balcony or cozy up beside the outdoor fireplace. Make sure you sample the shrimp corn fritters at the forest-view restaurant.
Serenity and action meet in Asheville, where zip lining, white-water rafting, river kayaking & SUP blend well with exploring the best food and craft beer in the area. The region is home to countless small breweries and independent restaurants; seek out the best barbecue joints for pulled pork, ribs, turkey and chicken smoked over hardwood. Kick back in one of two luxurious self-catering cabins, both sleeping six, complete with gas fires and hot tubs.
Take to the water at the marina at this rural resort, where you can rent a boat, fish or paddleboard on Fontana Lake. Book into a homey cabin, all stone and wood with vaulted ceilings, and make the most of facilities such as a minigolf course, swimming pool and lazy river, and a relaxed bistro that sources local produce, including grilled meats.
If you like your beer, go no further. This country motel has its own taproom to grab a brew in after a long day of exploring. Try the new weekly options, and nurse your beer out on the porch. Knotted timber, handmade wooden furniture and artsy rugs and throws create cozy comfort at this lodge, cabin and RV park well placed for exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Gorge Wilderness, Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain all close by.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.