Photo: Bull Hill Guest Ranch (courtesy image).
Romantic Retreat on the Columbia Gorge
The four-poster beds at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins are handmade from thick logs, and some jetted tubs are set in a pile of stones—picture Paul Bunyan on his honeymoon. Rentals face the brushy, flower-filled meadows of the Columbia River Gorge and come with a heavy breakfast like creme brulee french toast. The couple-minded 10-cabin property welcomes pets but not kids.
Remote Recreation in the Central Cascades
Over the river and through the woods? That, plus up a few big hills and ridges from the parking lot on the highway. Nine A-frames and cozy Alpine Lakes High Camp cabins sit among the private forests east of Stevens Pass, beloved among backcountry skiers who crave seclusion and untouched powder. The summer season offers empty hiking trails, a shared lodge, wee cabins, and a wood-fired hot tub. Never heard of it? Until 2017, the high camp was named for nearby Scottish Lakes.
Tiny Living in Olympia
Bayside Bungalow owner Brittany Yunker Carlson is something of a tiny house evangelist, and she rents her diminutive Olympia-area cabin to show off the delights of living with low square footage. Though the interior is small, there’s a sleeping loft, seating for four, and a six-foot-three-inch kitchen ceiling. Her own fruit trees and a fire circle sit just outside, while the quiet trails of Tolmie State Park next door lead to the rocky beach at the bottom of Puget Sound.
Legendary Village on Hood Canal
First came the darling, shingled-roof huts of Robin Hood Village Resort in 1934, built on the hook end of Hood Canal. Then Disney hired the builder to construct the sets of Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, which looked awfully similar, and the whimsical resort got its name. Circled across the road from a kayak beach on the canal, only two of the 16 cottages are original, but all are a cozy fairy tale size.
Desert Yurts on the Gorge
Why are there almost no lodging options on one of the most stunning stretches of the cliffed Columbia River Gorge? Fortunately there’s SageCliffe Resort and Spa, a collection of a lodge, stand-alone houses on the gorge cliffs, and yurts. The latter have bathrooms and king- and queen-size beds, a marked step up from the camping at the Gorge Amphitheater next door (though the high desert topography mostly mutes the music).
Oceanfront Expanse on the Olympic Peninsula
The empty stretch of Copalis Beach at Iron Springs Resort is more than strollworthy; it’s littered with razor clams below, and airplanes land atop the state’s only beach runway. Though the resort dates back to the 1940s, the cabins are updated—and especially welcoming to dogs, who get treats at the general store.
Horsey Hideaways near Kettle Falls
The cattle drives at Bull Hill Guest Ranch are for real, moving cows around 50,000 acres in the state's northeast corner, fifteen miles from Idaho and even closer to Canada. The business itself was built in 1903, but the nine cabins and two safari-style tents are newer, placed around the property with views of the barns, paddocks, and rolling green hills. The same family has run the ranch for more than a century, serving fresh-baked cookies and buffet meals daily.
Harborside Comfort in the San Juans
There isn’t much difference between the waterfront and the waterview cabins at Snug Harbor Resort, on the western, quieter side of San Juan Island; both are mere steps from Mitchell Bay’s quiet marina. The 20-cabin resort provides free crab pots during the crabbing season, and the common fire pits and boiling pots are ideal for cooking the day’s catch and eating outside. Though the whales and other wildlife are the region’s biggest draw, the wood-sided buildings have giant windows, so being trapped by a Salish Sea storm won’t cause cabin fever.
A Chic Coop in Walla Walla
The fowl who used to reside in the Inn at Abeja's chicken coop would be shocked to see its current iteration: exposed roof beams, gas fireplace, king-sized bed, patio. It's just one of the farm buildings covered to lodgings at the posh winery just outside Walla Walla, on an idyllic property lush with flowers and green lawns. The next-door winery is one of the region's best known, so tastings are only a short ramble away.
Chill Central on Orcas Island
When The Big Lebowski’s the Dude dreams of a perfect vacation, it probably looks something like Orcas Island’s Doe Bay Resort, a waterfront collective of full-service cabins, yurts, and clothing-optional soaking pools on a deck that hangs over an actual babbling brook. Live music enlivens the local-minded restaurant dishing oysters and garden-grown veggies.
Beauty Sleep in Leavenworth
Beds are tucked into all sorts of interesting places at Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Resort, like into alcoves, up on lofts, or in bunk beds. While many rooms are hotel style, in clusters of small buildings, two are stand-alone cabins on Woodpecker Hill: an eight-person mini lodge called the Rookery and a romantic hut. Exempt from nearby Leavenworth’s Bavarian theme, the resort is a sprawl of red roofs, a soaking pool, an organic garden, and a grotto bar.
Trailer Chic in the Methow
It’s called the herd, but don’t fear a stampede—it’s just what owners call the six Rolling Huts that sit atop trailer bases in a sunny Methow meadow. The ultramodern steel boxes boast modular furniture and Wi-Fi, though the canvas tent village located through the trees evokes a more old-fashioned form of camping. The huts, striking with their angled panel roofs and yellow doors, were designed by Seattle architect Tom Kundig (see more of his cabins here).
Cedar Suites at Mount Rainier
Between the stone fireplaces and log furniture, the deluxe cabins at Wellspring Spa embody the classic Northwest aesthetic. Other abodes on the wooded property take a Zen approach, with stone garden statues and mini waterfalls, and one supersized cabin can sleep 14. The spa, cedar saunas, and hot tubs combat the chill of the Rainier-adjacent woodlands.
Sharing a cabin? Check out our 8 rules for splitting a rental.
Barn-shaped Bungalows in Stehekin
Imagine a place so remote you can't even drive there. The settlement of Stehekin sits at the very top of Lake Chelan, where the North Cascades National Park hugs the long, narrow lake. That means a long ferry ride to the cabins of Stehekin Valley Ranch, which has access to more beautiful hiking trails (many) than restaurants (just one). The town's bakery is worth a bike ride, and the ranch itself offers horseback riding, fishing, and massage.
Petite Refuges in Wine Country
In 2015, a Columbia River winery south of the Tri-Cities constructed two tiny houses as part of an HGTV show; the Alexandria Nicole Tiny Houses have since grown to four vineyard abodes on the Destiny Ridge property. One wears a dramatic twisting roof, but the Jet Black Tiny House clearly takes the cake with its wine fridge to hold some Alexandria Nicole syrah.
Hobbit Heaven Above Chelan
Enjoy all the round-door, sod-roof charm of Hobbiton without the bother of that one ring to rule them all. But you don’t have to be a J. R. R. Tolkien fan to embrace the Hobbit House built by a Boise-area dreamer, though renters must endure a 100-yard uphill hike and halfling (i.e., small) accommodations. With Columbia River views from the porthole windows, it turns the Chelan area into a convincing Middle Earth.
Quaint Cottages on Discovery Bay
The Chevy Chase Beach Cabins have nothing to do with that town in Maryland or the guy from Fletch; born Saint’s Rest more than 120 years ago on a homestead outside Port Townsend, the name changed around 1923, and the seven surviving boxy cottages date to the 1930s. Situated between the waters of the northern Olympic Peninsula and the Discovery Bay Golf Club, the homestead offers private access to the beaches that sit below its bluffs.
Floating Cabin in Eastern Washington
No skipper experience required to rent a houseboat at Lake Roosevelt Adventures; it comes with a temporary Washington State Boater's Card and a quick steering lesson. The climate along Lake Roosevelt—a 150-mile section of the Columbia River—is dry and hot during summer months, hence the boat-side slide.