Feeling overly plugged-in these days with online schooling? All the more reason to get out of the city, rent a cabin in the woods, and hole up with your family all weekend. Get some much needed R&R from distance learning without going a literal distance; each of these remote cabins and Airbnb rentals are super-close to downtown DC.
The Bear Den
Nestled near George Washington National Forest, this cabin gets the most-remote award. You’ll need to pass over a low water bridge and drive up a steep hill (note: a 4WD is a must), but the payoff is stunning valley views and guaranteed quiet. Hike right out the backdoor or enjoy a peaceful afternoon with the board games provided.
Insider tip: PIck up the book Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail: What Will You Find? to help little ones identify trees, birds and more on their nature walks.
The Black Bear Lodge
This cabin is conveniently located near a number of natural attractions including Shenandoah River, Lake Arrowhead, Skyline Drive and Luray Caverns and just a stone’s throw from activities like horseback riding, fishing, golf, and ski slopes. This Airbnb rental comfortably accommodates six people. The best part? It has views for miles.
Insider tip: Invest in a pair of night vision goggles so you can enjoy these views in the dark. These infrared binoculars let you see play Eye Spy with nocturnal animals.
A Frame of Mind Cabin
Get ready to roast marshmallows while watching the night sky at this Berkeley Springs retreat. Less than a two hour drive from downtown DC, this cabin can accommodate 6 guests in 3 recently renovated bedrooms. Enjoy nearby Cacapon Resort State Park, where you can enjoy the sandy shores of the Park’s lake, go fishing, biking, hiking and horseback riding or spend a lazy day at the cabin swinging in the porch swing, resting in the hammock or taking in a family board game.
Insider tip: Pack some kid-friendly fishing poles for lakeside fun. This set include lures, netting and a tackle box in addition to the pole.
Berkeley Springs, WV
This cottage in the woods looks like your typical river retreat, but step inside and you will be wowed by the sleek modern conveniences and decor. Step off the deck and adventure awaits. Hiking, fishing and boating are just steps away; a floating dock beckons visitors to enjoy the river. Note this property is suitable for kids 14 & up.
Front Royal, VA
photo: Cast-a-Way Cabins
If you’re willing to drive a little further for natural beauty, Cast-A-Way Cabin in the Shenandoah Valley should be on the top of your list. There, you’ll score a two bedroom cabin with two queen beds and a double futon, so you can have your privacy while the kids fight over who will sleep in the bedroom and who will take the loft. Bring your book club novel and snuggle up to the gas log fireplace, or jump in the four person hot tub.
6808 South Page Valley Rd.
Cherry Hill Park
Not only is Cherry Hill Park thisclose to DC (30 minutes driving to be exact), but you can catch a bus from a nearby metro every hour on the hour. The cottages at Cherry Hill Park come with WiFi, cable TV, linens, and a full kitchen area. For more luxury, check out their trailers, rustic cabins, or yurts. Keep in mind that staying closer to the city means higher prices, and a cottage can cost $219 a night, while cabins or yurts are about $119.
Cherry Hill Park
9800 Cherry Hill Rd.
College Park, MD
photo: The Treehouse Camp
The Treehouse Camp
The name itself will have your kiddos jumping for joy, and that’s before they hear about the year-round tree cottages, tree houses (three seasons), and…the hobbit house! Each of these sites has its own grill, fire circle, and picnic table. The year-round tree cottages are insulated and have a wood stove for winter heating. Keep in mind that there is a two night minimum, and don’t forget to bring your own bedding and lights!
The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground
20716 Townsend Rd.
Country Acres Retreat
If you’re looking for a mountain getaway with all the accommodations of home, Country Acres Retreat is the place. The retreat overlooks a farm and a lake, and is within easy driving distance of Deep Creek Lake, Wisp Ski Resort, and of course, many parks. The accommodations include three bedrooms and three bathrooms (sleeps 11 including the extra sleeping area), so find another family to cabin with and you’ll easily fill the whole house, while being able to split the $125 night plus $100 cleaning/booking fee. There is a two-night minimum.
562 Foxtown Rd.
photo: Va. Dept. of Conservation via Flickr
Westmoreland State Park’s Potomac River Retreat
Can you say giant sleepover? In addition to their log cabins, the unique Potomac River Retreat at Westmoreland State Park sleeps sixteen and can be a great place to vacation as a pod. Be sure to stake your claim on the master bedroom, and divide the kids and other relatives or friends between the other four bedrooms and two pullouts in the living room—though no matter where everyone ends up, the beautiful view of the Potomac from the deck’s patio chairs will be equally stunning for all.
1650 State Park Rd.
Aquia Pines Camp Resort
For a more historic trip, the Aquia Pines Luxury Cabins near Fredericksburg sleep five and mimic a normal home with air conditioning and heat, cable, a full kitchen, a covered porch, and much more ($128 per night, two night minimum). Or, if you’re looking for a more economical option, secure one of their rustic cabins instead ($58 per night, two night minimum). After you unpack, take your kids to the Civil War battlefields nearby.
3071 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
photo: Duncan’s Family Campground
Duncan’s Family Campground
Unlike a lot of other campgrounds, Duncan’s cabins (sleeps four) and cottages (sleeps six) are full of extra amenities like WiFi, ceiling fans, electrical outlets, and A/C or heat. But don’t worry if you can’t part with your TV or tub—Duncan’s offers rental trailers with everything from a separate bedroom with a queen sized bed to a coffee maker. Easily accessible from Annapolis, Baltimore, and DC, they also offer the convenience of staying close to attractions like the Chesapeake Bay, National Harbor, Baltimore Inner Harbor, and Six Flags.
5381 Sands Rd.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers and Kelly Ann Jacobson