California is one of the country’s premier vacation destinations. Blending exquisite natural beauty, perfect year-round weather, and countless world-class attractions, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect location to rent a cabin. Besides the iconic redwood forests of the North and pristine beaches of the South, you’ll find scenic, secluded lakes, charming mountain towns, fascinating plants and animals, and so much more. There’s no shortage of rustic or luxury California cabin rentals available, many that are located in or near the Golden State’s most picturesque areas. Let’s take a look at seven of the best places to find cabin vacation rentals in California.

1. Lake Arrowhead

boating
Source: Flickr / Ming-yen Hsu

Whether you’re seeking rustic wood cabins or luxury vacation rentals, Lake Arrowhead will not disappoint. The gorgeous mountain town is set on a stunning deep-blue alpine lake that’s perfect for sailing, canoeing, or kayaking. While there are plenty of public areas, much of the lake and its shoreline are independently owned, and many of the cabin rentals include private docks and boats. Lake Arrowhead is a haven for vacationers who love the great outdoors, and there’s a huge network of scenic trails just waiting to be explored, including the popular Pacific Crest Trail. While you’re in town, explore the unique shops at Arrowhead Village, and then visit indigenous and endangered creatures at the Wildhaven Ranch.

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2. Shaver Lake

Shaver Lake
Source: Flickr / Jeff Rosen

Located in California’s Sierra National Forest, Shaver Lake vacation rentals are a paradise for anyone who loves outdoor adventures. During the summer, the water sports really come alive, but thanks to California’s consistently warm climate, you can enjoy cabin vacation rentals in the area all year. Spend the day fishing for dinner on a lazy pontoon boat, or zip across the lake on a high-speed jet ski. Hit the trails on a mountain bike, or explore the rural lakeside views by horseback. Other popular activities in the area include rock climbing, disc golf, and off-roading.

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3. Wrightwood

California mountains
Source: Flickr / Nancy <I’m gonna SNAP!

Nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains, Wrightwood is a sleepy mountain town with plenty of rural charm. If you want a tranquil escape in nature, Wrightwood is a fantastic place to look for wood cabins. For a gorgeous aerial view of the area, head to Ziplines at Pacific Crest. During the winter, enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or tubing at Mountain High Ski Resort and Tubing Park. Strap on your hiking shoes and enjoy exploring Big Pines Recreational Area & Angeles National Forest. If you’re looking for something fun to do in the area, stop by Grassy Hollow Visitor Center for information on all of the area’s attractions.

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4. Idyllwild

California cabin
Source: Flickr / Gary Minnaert

Known for its beautiful nature and thriving arts community, Idyllwild is the perfect place to look for vacation rentals, offering a quaint, rural area that still has plenty of local culture to take in. Located in the San Jacinto Mountains, the pine-shaded town is known for its granite outcrops, which make Idyllwild a favorite destination for rock climbers. Take a scenic hike to Suicide Rock, or if you’re up for something more challenging, head up to Tahquitz Peak. Both trailheads are just 10 minutes from the center of town, but keep in mind that both hikes require at least half of a day. If you prefer to ride a bike, head to The Hub for mountain bike rentals.

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5. South Lake Tahoe

south lake tahoe
Source: Flickr / m01229

South Lake Tahoe is a thriving community that’s known for its fantastic food, gorgeous views, and thrilling water sports. If you want to spend the day on the water, go to Ski Run or Tahoe Keys Marinas to rent a boat or paddleboard, or just enjoying swimming and relaxing on the lake’s beachy shores. For an unforgettable experience, take a helicopter ride tour around the picturesque area, or enjoy the view from a gondola. South Lake Tahoe boasts plenty of one-of-a-kind shops and world-class eateries, so spend some time strolling through popular areas, such as The Crossing, The Village Center, The Chateau at the Village, or Heavenly Village.

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6. Big Bear

big bear lake
Source: Flickr / Don Graham

Socal’s Big Bear Lake area is a popular getaway for Los Angeles residents, as it’s only two hours away. It’s the perfect location for vacation cabin rentals that still provide convenient access to the big city. During the winter, you can‘t beat the skiing and snowboarding at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. During the summer, explore over 60 miles of cross-country trails by bike or on foot. The lake offers 22 miles of shoreline with six marinas placed throughout. Boat rentals are readily available, including leisurely kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, as well as high-octane motorboats for water skiing.

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7. Julian

california lake dock
Source: Flickr / Hamza Daoui

Julian is located a half hour east of San Diego, and the breathtakingly beautiful drive should not be missed. It’s a fantastic mountain town with roots in gold mining. Located in the Cuyamaca Mountains, Julian has that classic Wild West feel that’s perfect for travelers looking for vacation rentals that are a little different than the typical SoCal beach rentals. You can even ride around town in a horse and buggy. Head for the hills, where you’ll find The Eagle Mining Company. During the fascinating tour, you’ll learn all about California’s rich gold mining history, and the whole family can try their luck panning for gold. If you want to bring home an awesome souvenir, go to Julian Olde Time Photos, where you can dress up in vintage costumes and use antique props to create authentic black-and-white photographs. While you’re in Julian, stop by The Julian Pie Company for some of the best pie you’ve ever tasted.

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