As the world comes to a standstill as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to hunker down right now, too. In the meantime, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to get back out there.
Forget chocolate and roses. All you really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day is quality time outside and a cozy place to curl up at night. We found some cabins located in ideal places for exploring, making them perfect retreats for adventurous couples.
For Skiers and Snowboarders
First off, there’s the location: you’re five minutes from the slopes of California’s Alpine Meadows and a few more from the legendary steeps of Squaw Valley. On weekends, a free, on-demand shuttle called the Mountaineer that’s operated by the ski resort will pick you up at the cabin and deliver you to the hill. Then, of course, there’s the house itself: a thoughtfully restored, dog-friendly A-frame with two bedrooms, a wood-burning stove, a full kitchen, and a deck overlooking pine forests and snowcapped peaks (from $224).
For Digital Detoxers
Located two hours from Portland, Oregon, near the volcanic peak of Mount Adams, Washington, this collection of tiny cabins dot a campground with no cell service. (Don’t fret: there’s a landline if you really need to make a call.) There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area, from hiking in the Columbia River Gorge to exploring the Guler Ice Cave. Your cabin—which is less than 200 square feet—comes well stocked with a kitchen, a private bathroom, books, and a wireless speaker (from $99). Provisions like marshmallows, oatmeal, and hot chocolate are available for purchase.
For National Park Fans
This sleek one-bedroom cabin (from $393), just five minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island, was recently made available to rent. You can hike through rainforests into a volcanic crater and spot lava flow from previous eruptions. If you’re craving a beach day, you’re just 40 minutes by car from the seaside town of Hilo (don’t miss the stunning 80-foot-high Rainbow Falls nearby). A hot tub, an outdoor fire pit, and a spacious king bed will keep you happy by night.
For Those Who Want to Get Away (But Not Too Far)
If the idea of being in a remote cabin alone in the woods doesn’t sound ideal to you, then consider a lodge next to a full-service hotel, like Eastwind in the Catskills, near the town of Windham, New York. It offers three Scandinavian-style A-frames that are just 220 square feet and come with a queen bed, an attached bath, and access to a nearby wood-barrel sauna (from $299). You may not want to leave the property, thanks to a hip on-site bar and restaurant, but if you do, skiing at Windham Mountain is just a few minutes away.
For Ocean Lovers
Birdwatchers and sea kayakers love Dauphin Island, Alabama, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico accessed via a short ferry ride from Mobile Point or a drive over a three-mile-long bridge. Walk through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, sea-kayak from the marina, or pet stingrays at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Stay at this remodeled A-frame, which has views of the Gulf Coast and is just steps away from white-sand beaches (from $72).
For Hardy, Do-It-Yourselfers
Available for bookings from December through March, this wintertime backcountry hut (from $88) is located on private land in Huntington, Vermont. It’s not fancy: most everything needs to be packed in. You’ll need your own sleeping bag, use a detached outhouse, build your own fire, and melt snow for water. Getting there is straightforward—it’s a 250-yard walk or ski from the road. And there’s a path from the cabin that connects to the 300-mile-long Catamount Trail, beloved by Vermont’s nordic skiers.
For the Whole Family
These nine year-round cabins in Cañon City, Colorado, about two and a half hours south of Denver, come in a variety of sizes, depending on your group. There are 600-square-foot, one-bedroom cabins for just the two of you, or, if you’re bringing the kids, you can opt for a two-bedroom house (from $375). You’ll score views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from your front stoop. The town’s main attraction is the Royal Gorge, a 1,200-foot-deep canyon that runs for ten miles and contains the Arkansas River, a paddler’s paradise come summertime. For a sweet view of the surrounding area, be sure to walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges.