Stretching 500 miles east to west from the Atlantic Coast to the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina is truly one of America’s great outdoorsy destinations. On the ocean, nature lovers will find Cape Hatteras & Cape Lookout National Seashores, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the legendary Appalachian Trail (aka the AT) in western North Carolina. Asheville and Bryson City are two of the most-visited areas for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, fly fishing, kayaking, white water rafting, and general exploring, with Chattanooga offering incredible rock climbing and just about everything else in Nashville.
Access to mountains, gorgeous forests, and a lively craft beer scene make North Carolina an ideal destination for adventure travel. Now add in plenty of rustic lodges, modern getaways, glamping tents, and even a classic mountain cabin rental, and you’ve got the recipe for the perfect outdoor adventure.
We scoured the whole state to find the coolest and most unique North Carolina cabin rentals that are worth embracing as home base for any type of trip. Read on to find the best 20 cabin rentals around NC, curated by Field Mag Editors.
The Wedge House — Kill Devil Hills, NC
Vibe: Groovy Baby
This 70's-inspired modern hideaway in the Outer Banks sits on the border of the 400-acre Wright Memorial National Park and blocks away from the beach for some serious outdoor access. Other highlights include a spacious outdoor shower, a luxurious queen bed with quality linens, a turntable and vinyl collection, cruiser bikes, beach supplies, and the fun, brightly colored interior.
The Ultimate Log Cabin — Black Mountain, NC
Vibe: Luxe Log Cabin
When we think of a quintessential cabin, something like this comes to mind. Lucky for you, our dreams have turned into a reality, and it sits on 17 acres just east of Asheville, NC yet within reach of the Nantahala National Forest and endless other recreational areas. This rustic cabin rental features a stunning stone fireplace, a three-season sunroom with a hot tub, and endless views from every angle (there's also a record player and a pool table). This log cabin is sure to fill all your R&R needs, though it also offers near-perfect access to any outdoor adventure.
Wander Asheville Meadows — Asheville, NC
Vibe: Contemporary Ranch
This contemporary Smoky Mountain chalet is located outside of Asheville in a setting with unobstructed views of the North Carolina mountains. The sleek and well apointed mountain getaway was designed to accentuate the surrounding beauty with an impressive, modernist interior. Owned by full-service STR startup Wander, this Blue Ridge Mountain rental is LUXE—that means impressive wifi, hot tub, fancy bath robes, and yes, a Tesla to use during your visit.
The ModCabin — Asheville, NC
Vibe: Modern Rustic
One of three cabins on the property that each have their own acre of land, this rustic cabin values privacy and comfort, with a full kitchen, hot tub, and outdoor dining area. Featuring miles of trails behind the property, a deck to unwind after all your adventures, and modern yet rustic touches throughout, this lodge keeps its idyllic setting and modern amenities in harmony.
Hello Bungalow — Kill Devil Hills, NC
Vibe: East Meets West
Cali-inspired design meets East coast beach in this cheerful one-bedroom bungalow in the Outer Banks. The mid-mod interior takes inspiration from the post-and-beam structure built in the 60's, while pops of color and cozy bohemian touches infuse some chill California vibes. A short walk away from the beach and a National Park, and a 20-minute drive to Cape Hatteras, there's abundant opportunity to get outside.
River Rock Cabin — Asheville, NC
Vibe: Luxury In the Woods
The River Rock Cabin is a cabin in name and appearance, but not comforts. The place has a deck that overlooks the Swannanoa River, which is literally steps away (and full of trout, so pack a rod). It's a 15-minute drive from Asheville—home to plenty of breweries, restaurants, and the legendary Biltmore Estate—and the Blue Ridge Parkway is also nearby should you want to take a longer jaunt into the hills. (If so, keep an eye out for Linville Falls, a three-tiered waterfall well worth a visit.) It sleeps four, and there's a fire pit outside.
The Starling A-Frame — Swannanoa, NC
Vibe: Bookworm’s Oasis
This cozy A-Frame provides incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and excellent access to hiking from the nearby Rhododendron Ridge Trail. For longer adventures, Great Smoky Mountains National Park—and its charming mountain towns like Maggie Valley & Cherokee—is about an hour away. And if an afternoon indoors is what you're after, the space is stocked with plenty of books to dig into and there's a wood stove to warm the whole place up.
Storybook A-Frame — Boone, NC
Vibe: A Folky-Fairytale Stay
Charming is the first word that comes to mind when looking at this straight-out-of-a-fairytale cabin near Boone. With its bohemian-folky blend and bright interior, this space exudes warmth and hominess. There's a woodstove in the corner and rustic furnishings but no lack of comfort thanks to a full kitchen and lofted primary bedroom. There's a deck out back looking into the woods, and mountains, lakes, and even caves are all nearby. (After shamelessly stalking this cabin’s Instagram, the owners told us that couples are able to use the space for engagement or elopement photos, too, should you be in need of a romantic getaway.)
The Carolina Treehouse — Charlotte, NC
Vibe: Thoughtfully Curated
Hidden in the outskirts of Charlotte, this newly constructed treehouse is a destination in itself. The interior is so carefully curated and aesthetically pleasing that it was even featured in InStyle and Conde Nast Traveler, among others. Sure, the price tag is something to bark at, but the place features a swinging bed, an outdoor shower, a wraparound deck with a built-in trampoline hammock, a swim dock, and a pondside fire pit. So, yeah, worth it.
The Black House — Wilmington, NC
Vibe: Hello Sunshine
Closer to the coast is this home in Wilmington, which we'll classify as an urban cabin. Its dark clapboard exterior belies its abundance of natural light, and the soft shadows that fill the kitchen and living room space are enough to get a photographer's finger twitching. Beyond good light, the Black House has three bedrooms, an open kitchen, and a decked-out backyard. It's pet-friendly, too.
Modern Tiny House in the Trees — Durham, NC
Vibe: City Retreat
This tiny vacation cabin is within driving distance to Durham, famously known for its museums, scientific research, and of course, the Duke campus. After exploring everything from neo-gothic churches to contemporary art in the city, retreat to this modern nirvana tucked away in the outskirts of Hope Valley. There's no TV, but there is a screened-in porch. And, the owners support the One Tree Planted foundation, which allows them to plant a tree each time a guest visits their home.
Mountain Modern — Asheville, NC
Vibe: A Scandinavian Dream
This brand new Scandinavian-inspired luxury cabin is conveniently located where you can take your pick from hiking, biking, or exploring Asheville's food and drink scene. Inside, you'll find a full kitchen and a comfortable space to lounge and get your hygge on.
Glass Treehouse — Banner Elk, NC
Vibe: Couple's Oasis
This airy vacation home in the mountains near the Tennessee border is immaculate. From its rainfall showers and floating wood stove to its firewood nook and tasteful stonework, every detail is considered. Serene waterfalls greet you upon arrival and there's a deck outside that provides access to a fireplace built into the adjoining hillside. All in all, this modern Scandinavian home is equal parts luxury and hygge.
Spacious A-Frame — Swannanoa, NC
Vibe: R&R Ready
It's hard to tell from the rustic exterior that this Smoky Mountain A-frame has a fully finished interior and all the trappings of a cozy indoors experience. Set in a secluded clearing near Asheville, though, there are plenty of reasons to spend the length of a visit outside, one being the property's fire pit. This place looks small but sleeps six, so it's perfect for a group or family vacation.
Artist's Studio — Hillsborough, NC
Vibe: Studio Sweet Studio
Once the studio of a visual artist for the New York Times, this peaceful retreat will get your creative juices flowing with its natural light, welcoming spirit, and remote setting. Located within the owner's garden, and adjacent to a pond, hang out on the property and canoe, fish, swim, or relax in a hammock, or take a countryside drive to the nearby towns of Durham, Hillsborough, and Carrboro.
Treehouses of Serenity — Asheville, NC
Vibe: Storybook Sanctuary
One way to ensure incredible mountain views is to elevate an entire home into the trees, which is what builders did to create this unique property near Asheville, NC. The treehouse has multiple decks, massive windows, and room for four.
Pisgah Highlands Off-Grid Cabin — Candler, NC
Vibe: Off-Grid Overlook
Tucked onto a forested hillside on Pisgah National Forest, this tiny home will get you as close as you can get to North Carolina's stretch of Appalachian Mountains without breaking out a tent. Views are easy to come by on its wraparound deck, but it also has a glass garage door if you'd rather take in the scenery from inside. It's off-grid, which means no Wifi, and sleeps two.
The Cabins at Shope Creek — Asheville, NC
Vibe: Minimalist Mod
Twenty-two acres of forest are steps away from this small yet sleek cabin's front door. It's not secluded in a spooky way though—two other cabins share the property, and the owner's homestead is across the way (and they encourage guests to help themselves to eggs and garden ingredients). The inside is modern minimal with a woodstove and full kitchen, and there's a hot tub out back.
The Copper Cabin — Vilas, NC
Vibe: Creekside Chic
Calling all hikers, fly-fishers, skiers, and boarders: this three-bed, two-bath home is a secluded refuge from city living. The vacation rental is located on two acres of land with a small creek that runs through it and has easy access to nearby ski resorts. Privacy in a group can be key, and this mountain cabin features a bedroom on each level of the home to ensure a restive stay, even if you're traveling with a full group.
The Container Cabin — Otto, NC
Vibe: Mod Containable
One of the most unique spaces on this list, the Appalachian Container Cabin located a little ways outside Bryson City was built out of shipping containers and featured on HGTV’s show Containables. This mountain top tiny home is located deep within the Nantahala National Forest, just off the Appalachian Trail. And with one queen bed and three bunk beds, plus a thoughtfully designed porch space with a rooftop deck, the small but mighty space has some of the best outdoor features we’ve seen. Kudos to the architect!