When the winter wind howls and the crackling fire casts a warm glow, our spirits crave the coziness of a cabin retreat. These aren't the expansive lodges with heated garages, home theaters, and gourmet kitchens; we're talking rustic escapes with wood-burning stoves, winding driveways, and a touch of nostalgia.
My passion for cabins ignited during a 2015 trip to Iceland. The charming cabins dotting the countryside captivated me, and back home in Michigan, I embarked on a journey to explore the world of rental cabins.
Since then, I've visited over 70 cabins across the Midwest, earning the nickname "Moody Cabin Girl." In 2018, I began sharing my adventures through my blog and Instagram account, connecting with over 40,000 fellow cabin enthusiasts.
Here's a curated selection of my all-time favorite rentals for snow-day getaways in Michigan's northern havens:
- Nostalgic Retreat on the Sturgeon River: Embrace retro charm in this A-frame cabin nestled on the banks of the Sturgeon River. The maximalist interior design blends inviting warmth with quirky accents, from the intricate dining chandelier to the seafoam-green couch. After a winter storm, watch deer graze on snow-covered branches from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Quick Facts: 4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
- Scandinavian Oasis Near Downtown: Immerse yourself in Nordic tranquility at KOTI, a community of cabins just outside Traverse City. These minimalist retreats nestled amidst a forested backdrop offer a serene escape, just a short hop from downtown's attractions. Hop on the TART trail (bring your bikes or skis) and enjoy the Scandi vibes as snow blankets the landscape.
Quick Facts: 14 cabins, made up of 2- and 3-bedroom units
- Sanctuary at Sweet Lake: Discover a perfect blend of modern and rustic at this A-frame cabin on a tranquil lake in Lake Ann. The vintage structure has been reimagined, offering cozy interiors and a sense of tranquility. During the winter, hike nearby trails or curl up with a book in a restful nook.
Quick Facts: 4 guests, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
- Acorn Family Retreat: Embrace the whimsy of nature at Acorn Family Retreat, a new cabin tucked on the shores of Lake Huron in Tawas. This beach house-inspired retreat boasts a private beach accessible just steps away, perfect for frosty sunrises. Gather the whole family and pets for a memorable winter getaway.
Quick Facts: 10 guests, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
- Dune Ranch on Lake Michigan: Experience the ultimate secluded retreat at Dune Ranch, offering 100 feet of pristine, private Lake Michigan beach. Mid-century modern enthusiasts will adore the clean lines and minimalistic design of this architectural gem. Sip hot cocoa, watch the sunset, and let the soothing sounds of the waves lull you to sleep.
Quick Facts: 10 guests, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
- Hideaway at Black Lake: Escape into the quietude of the woods at this log house nestled on Black Lake, the seventh-largest inland lake in Michigan. Surrounded by state forest, this rustic retreat offers easy access to hiking trails and Lake Huron. The cozy interior, filled with carefully curated knick-knacks, embodies the essence of a quintessential Northern Michigan family cabin. Winter bonus: The owners decorate for the holidays, adding to the festive atmosphere.
Quick Facts: 16 guests, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
- Vintage Ski Chalet Near Boyne Highlands: Mid-century modern aficionados will delight in this gambrel-roofed chalet, built in 1969. The authentic retro feel is enhanced by antique furnishings and unique finds. During the winter, warm up inside while taking in the view of Boyne Highlands after a day on the slopes. (The ski hill is just a short walk away!) Gather around the fire pit on the upper back deck for cozy s'mores.
Quick Facts: 6 guests, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
- Picturesque Cottage on Spider Lake: Embrace the charm of this cottage on Spider Lake, featuring an open floor plan with ample windows that showcase stunning lake views year-round. Relax on the multi-level deck, the spacious sitting area at the end of the dock, or by the inviting gas fireplace in the living room. The cottage is just a short drive from downtown Traverse City, making it an ideal location to indulge in a farm-to-table dinner before retreating for a restful night.