With a wild Atlantic coastline, stunning coastal beaches along the Outer Banks stretch, and the wild and majestic Smoky Mountains, it’s no telling that North Carolina is a nature lover’s paradise.
With such a diverse landscape, from mountains to beaches, it’s no wonder this state is well-known for its skiing, hiking, and watersports.
But if you love nature and you’re visiting the state, for this reason, staying in a polished hotel room just doesn’t equate to the magic of the outside world. To really appreciate the nature of the state, you should opt for a cabin in North Carolina.
Cabins tend to be located in the most rural areas, nestled among forests, on the edge of beaches, or at the base of mountains. If you want to stay in nature, there is no better way.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of them in North Carolina. So much so, that finding the best one can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, that’s why I’ve written this guide. So that no matter if you’re after a cozy one-room cabin or an extravagant multi-bedroom A-frame, these are the best cabins in North Carolina.
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Staying in a Cabin in North Carolina
One thing is for sure; there is absolutely no shortage of cabins in North Carolina. With such a vast natural environment, you’ll find unique accommodations dotted all across the state, from the mountainous regions inland to the wild coastline.
Cabins have a few things in common – they’re off-the-beaten-track. Naturally, they’re conveniently close to hiking trails, national parks, and gorgeous nature spots.
Typically built using local logs and timber, cabins range from basic to super luxurious. Most cabins fit the classic image of a wooden vacation cabin with wooden walls, ceilings and floors, open fireplaces, and wood burners.
Even the most basic cabins are fitted like normal homes with fully-equipped kitchens and indoor bathrooms with hot water. If you want a super luxurious cabin, you can expect high-end features such as hot tubs, fire pits, and saunas. Many of them have wraparound porches and balconies to take in the gorgeous scenery.
If you’re visiting the state for fishing, hiking, kayaking, or skiing, or are just there to take in the gorgeous scenery, you can’t do much better than staying in one of the best cabins in North Carolina.
What to Look for in a Cabin in North Carolina
What to look for in a cabin all comes down to what you want from your North Carolina cabin experience. For instance, if you’re looking for a quiet and romantic getaway destination, you’ll want to look for something smaller and cozier, with romantic features like a hot tub or soak tub.
If you’re visiting with family, make sure you pick a spot with family-friendly amenities, such as cribs, baby gates, toys, and books for kids.
If you’re travelling on an East Coast road trip, make sure your cabin has parking and that it is accessible with a standard vehicle. Because cabins tend to be remote, some of the roads leading to the cabin may require a 4×4. So it’s a good idea to check this before renting your vehicle.
You should also make sure that the cabin has good cell service and WiFi (unless you want to be off the grid). In rural areas, it’s common for these features to be spotty or non-existent, so don’t assume it’s always provided.
As you might expect, cabins are a form of self-catering vacation rental which means you have a kitchen to prepare and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Make sure that you check what is provided in the kitchen and plan some meals. It may be a long way to the store, so stock up before visiting.
A-Frame Cabin in the Mountains
- > $$
- > 2 Guests
- > Near Asheville in the Mountains
- > Cedar Sauna
Cabin w/ Hot Tub & Mountain Views
- > $
- > 6 Guests
- > In Robbinsville in the Western NC Mountains
- > Baby and child-friendly amenities
Glass Treehouse Cabin
- > $$$
- > 2 Guests
- > Hidden between waterfalls and forests in Banner Elk
- > Cozy indoor fireplace and modern kitchen
Cabin with Lake Views
- > $$$$
- > 22 Guests
- > On the lake in Sherrils Ford
- > Traditional log cabin interiors
Exquisite Cabin w/ Panoramic Views
- > $$$$
- > 12 Guests
- > On top of Eagles Nest, overlooking Elk River
- > Massive entertainment space, playground, and walking trails
Lakefront Cabin w/ Waterslide
- > $$
- > 8 Guests
- > On the banks of Lake Lure
- > Crib, board games, and waterslide for children
Warm Private Room in Jacksonville
- > $
- > 2 Guests
- > 45 minutes from Wilmington and 25 minutes from North Topsail Beach
- > Private ensuite bedroom
The 10 Best Cabins in North Carolina
Whether you’re visiting the state for a chilled family vacation or are looking for an opulent cabin mansion fit for a luxurious stay, you’ll find some of the best cabins in North Carolina.
Best Overall Value Cabin in North Carolina – A-Frame Cabin in the Mountains
- 2 Guests
- Near Asheville in the Mountains
- Cedar Sauna
You don’t get more traditional than the classic A-frame cabin in the neighborhood of Asheville. This style of architecture is simple, practical, and attractive. This cabin has two bedrooms and can sleep four guests. The space is small yet has tons of glass windows, making it feel super spacious and cozy.
It’s a perfect Asheville vacation rental to help you disconnect from your digital devices and spend quality time with your loved ones. You can do so by taking in views of the mountains from the private hot tub or cooking a home-cooked meal in the well-equipped kitchen.
Best Budget Cabin in North Carolina – Cabin w/ Hot Tub & Mountain Views
- 6 Guests
- In Robbinsville in the Western NC Mountains
- Baby and child-friendly amenities
You’ll never believe the price of this affordable cabin in North Carolina. Towering over the mountains near Robbinsville, this cabin has two bedrooms and can sleep four guests comfortably.
The cabin has classic interiors: a stone wood-burning fireplace, wooden cabinetry, and mix-and-match linens. With a fully-equipped kitchen, living room, and dining area, you won’t need to leave the house for anything other than adventure.
The best thing about this property is the outdoor deck, which has a private Jacuzzi and a barbeque. It’s the ultimate setup for a traditional mountain cabin vacation.
Budget Tip: Dorms in North Carolina start from $10USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!
Best Cabin for Couples in North Carolina – Glass Treehouse Cabin
- 2 Guests
- Hidden between waterfalls and forests in Banner Elk
- Cozy indoor fireplace and modern kitchen
This might just be my favorite property on the list. Hidden between rivers, waterfalls, and forest in Banner Elk, this glass treehouse is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.
The cabin has one bedroom perfect for two guests and features a stunning open-plan living area with a modern kitchen and living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring tons of natural light into the space and will make you feel like you’re floating above the treetops.
As one of the best cabins in North Carolina, this space perfectly blends the traditional cabin atmosphere with contemporary interiors.
Best Cabin for a Group of Friends in North Carolina – Cabin with Lake Views
- 22 Guests
- On the lake in Sherrils Ford
- Traditional log cabin interiors
Set on the lake in Sherrils Ford, you can’t do much better than this massive cabin. The spot has six bedrooms and can sleep up to 22 guests, making it the perfect location for a group of friends.
There is plenty of space for entertaining, including a wraparound porch, a huge lounge area, and a spacious garden. Heck, this property even offers access to a shared swimming pool overlooking the lake as well as an industrial-sized kitchen.
Fancy a booze cruise with your mates? Guests can choose to rent a spacious pontoon boat or bring their own vessel, which can be moored at the covered dock beneath the cabin.
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Over-The-Top Luxury Cabin in North Carolina – Exquisite Cabin w/ Panoramic Views
- 12 Guests
- On top of Eagles Nest, overlooking Elk River
- Massive entertainment space, playground, and walking trails
This gorgeous cabin in North Carolina is so luxurious it almost looks like it is an upmarket ski resort hotel. It combines traditional log cabin interiors with a contemporary flair, featuring glass windows, modern furniture, and warm lighting.
The house is built using solid tree trunks that support the glass walls and double-height ceilings. You’ll feel like you’re floating in the mountains even from inside this cabin. The cabin can sleep twelve guests across four bedrooms.
It features a bunch of luxurious amenities you are unlikely to find in just any cabin. For instance, there is a huge entertainment space with a pool table, a BBQ pavilion, a sauna, and a deck with a nine-person hot tub.
Best Cabin for Families in North Carolina – Lakefront Cabin w/ Waterslide
- 8 Guests
- On the banks of Lake Lure
- Crib, board games, and waterslide for children
After a visit to this cabin, your kids will always refer to you as the ‘fun’ parents. Located right on the banks of Lake Lure, this spot has a waterslide and a private pontoon boat that can be rented for an extra fee.
Guests can also make use of the kayaks, hot tub, and outdoor fire pit deck. Of course, there are also life vests provided for the kids – safety first!
Suitable for eight guests spread across three bedrooms, this is the perfect gathering spot to bring your family together. It’s also incredibly well priced for what it offers. This historic cabin in North Carolina was originally built in the 1960s yet has been refurbished with coastal-inspired interiors.
Best Cabin in North Carolina for Backpackers – Warm Private Room in Jacksonville
- 2 Guests
- 45 minutes from Wilmington and 25 minutes from North Topsail Beach
- Private ensuite bedroom with access to shared kitchen and lounge
If you’re backpacking the USA on a budget yet still want to stay in a cozy cabin, this private room will exceed your expectations. You’ll have access to an entire guest suite with an ensuite bathroom.
However, common areas, including the kitchen, living, and dining room, will be shared with the owners. The cabin has a front porch and a garden with a firepit – the perfect place to socialize with your hosts.
It is decorated in a minimalistic style, which oozes comfort and coziness. You can expect traditional log cabin interiors complemented by a mix of modern and wooden furniture.
Beautiful Modern Cabin in North Carolina – Minimalist Cabin on The Outer Banks
- 4 Guests
- Three blocks from the beach on the Outer Banks
- Minimalist Scandinavian style home
There’s something uniquely beautiful about minimalist Scandinavian architecture. This property is a prefabricated structure built with tons of glass, right angles, and abstractly positioned windows.
This cabin in North Carolina is laid out like a bachelor’s apartment. It has one large shared room with a partition divider separating the sleeping area from the living area.
Unlike a classic log cabin, the interiors are ultra-modern. However, this spot still has a few traditional cabin characteristics, including the outdoor shower set under the trees and a cozy firepit.
Best Cabin for Long-Term Travelers – Mountainside Cabin w/ Hot Tub
- 4 Guests
- Views of the Smokey Mountains near Bryson City
- Discounts for long stays
Built from local timber and overlooking views of the Smoky Mountains, this cabin is as classic as they get. When you walk inside, you’ll be greeted with tons of natural light filtering through the double-height windows and doors.
Pretty much the entire place is built from wood, from the ceilings to the furniture to the cabinetry to the walls. Spend some time stargazing from the deck, or cozy up in front of the wood-burning fire on a cold evening.
If you spend longer than a week here, you can benefit from a long-stay discount! This gives you ample time to explore the attractions in the area, such as the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and the Deep Creek Hiking trail.
Cabin with the Best Views in North Carolina – Mountain Cabin with River Views
- 6 Guests
- Just outside Bryson City in the mountains
- Private hot tub overlooking the mountains
Views aren’t lacking in this part of the world. However, this might just be the cabin with the best views in North Carolina. It’s located just a short drive from Bryson City and has spectacular mountain and river views.
It’s a traditional log cabin with warm wooden interiors, a spiral log staircase, and a stone fireplace. The interiors are so gorgeous they make it difficult to leave, however, the best spot to admire the views is from the hot tub or barbeque area on the wraparound deck.
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Final Thoughts on Cabins in North Carolina
It’s no easy task picking the top ten cabins in North Carolina, but hopefully, these options will exceed your expectations.
If you’re still unsure, a favorite cabin in North Carolina of mine is the modern glass treehouse. I’m a huge fan of modern interiors, yet I’m also a sucker for a traditional mountain cabin atmosphere, and this property seems to hit both nails on the head! Plus the views are incredible.
North Carolina is a hotspot for adventure and adrenaline. So, if you’re visiting from overseas, make sure you consider purchasing a good travel insurance plan. There is a lot that can go wrong when you’re doing mountain and watersports, and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!