Gather the clan in a cozy cabin. Here are five to consider:
The Ranch at Emerald Valley
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Set amid 100,000 acres in the Pike National Forest, guests of this high mountain, luxury ranch can choose from richly appointed one-, two- or three-bedroom cabins so cozy you’ll have to force yourselves away from the fire and out the door to meet Reba, the fly fishing dog. She’ll eagerly assist you in casting for trout on one of two well-stocked lakes.
Later, give Reba a rest while exploring the surrounding area on horseback or hike to nearby lookout points. Challenge the gang at the archery center or fireside for a masterful game of chess.
Share stories of adventure while enjoying fresh, gourmet fare at the dinner table or around the fire pit.
Priest Lake, Idaho
Check in to one of 30 cedar log cabins on the tree-lined shores of this pristine lake resort for an unforgettable family vacation. Hike through old-growth forests, check out the local waterfalls, paddle a canoe, go kayaking or test your balance on a paddleboard.
Relax on the beach or claim your Adirondacks on the grassy lawn. Explore the nooks and crannies of the 25-mile-long lake tucked within the Selkirk Mountain Range or relax by the fire on a fall day warmed by cups of hot, steaming cocoa. Open year-round, the resort offers the opportunity to enjoy the sports of the season or the perfect ambience in which to unplug and recharge.
Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch
Check into a “cowboy authentic” cabin on a Gold Medal stretch of the Colorado River (or spread out in the ranch house) before gearing up for a week of western fun. Days are filled riding into the nearby hills, practicing skills in the arena, fly fishing and mountain biking. Guests 13 and older can whip across the river at speeds up to 35 miles an hour on the ranch’s 1,500-foot-long zip line. Evening entertainment includes game night, talent shows, hayrides, campfire sing-alongs and stargazing while curled up in riverside log furniture.
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch
Paradise Valley, Mont.
Fall asleep under Montana’s Big Sky inside a ranch cabin that dates back to the late 1920s. Each boasts its own unique characteristics, including stone fireplaces, picture windows with stunning views or meandering streams gurgling just out the door.
A popular destination for multigenerational families, you’ll dine on gourmet food, opt for rafting, hiking and fishing on the nearby Yellowstone River or ride horseback on scenic trails crisscrossing the 6,000-acre landscape. There’s also the chance to tee it up on the ranch golf course.
Historic Harding Cabin
Mount Sterling, Ohio
History buffs, take note! You can check into what was once the private hideaway of President Warren G. Harding in Ohio’s Deer Creek State Park. The restored yet rustic multilevel cabin reportedly served as a getaway for Harding and his close circle of friends known as the “Ohio Gang.”
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the cabin was constructed on the banks of Deer Creek by U.S. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty at the close of World War I.
With a full-length screened porch overlooking the 1,277-acre lake, it’s easy to imagine why Harding might have retreated to the picturesque spot to gain a little perspective.
Other unique cabins throughout the Ohio State park system provide affordable opportunities for families to enjoy a relaxing getaway in a natural environment.