Finding a cozy cabin getaway on a mountaintop overlooking a sparkling lake or near an urban city with a significant history is an easy and enjoyable task when you search for the perfect Alabama cabin rental. Breath in the area’s natural beauty as you boat, swim, fish, and hike on numerous lakes and along the pristine coastal shoreline, or feel the brisk breeze on your face when you ski and snowboard at Alabama’s only ski resort.

1. Mentone

This tiny town atop Lookout Mountain has the quaint appeal of the bygone 19th century era. Take a short walk along a paved walkway that overlooks the spectacular 104-foot DeSoto Falls as it splashes into an emerald pool. Snap some photos of the 1884 National Register of Historic Places, the Mentone Springs Hotel with its wraparound porch and Gothic-style turrets. Browse through the shops at Log Cabin Craft Village and pick up some handmade arts and crafts from local artisans. You can golf and horseback ride in summer and ski in winter at the Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort.

2. Guntersville

Literally surrounded by water, this mountain-lake jewel of a town is an ideal vacation rental destination. The Lake Guntersville State Park offers hikers nice views of the lake in a serene and relaxing environment with plenty of wildlife. Have a kayak delivered to your log cabin and head out for some spectacular bass fishing on the Tennessee River, or spend a day zip lining at the aerial adventure park. Discover the history of the Tennessee River Valley and dam while you browse small indigenous artifacts and the mineral collection at the Guntersviolle Museum and Culture Center. One mile upriver from Guntersville, visit Hambrick Cave, one of the largest gray bat maternity colonies for this species. Accessible by boat only, at dusk nearly 60,000 bats emerge from the cave, a thrilling sight you don’t want to miss.

3. Fort Payne

Fort Payne, a charming mountain valley town in northeastern Alabama is close to Mentone and offers the same spectacular scenery and activities at the DeSoto Falls State Park and year-round fun at the Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort. Historic Fort Payne is home to the country music group Alabama and fans get a kick out of visiting the group’s fan club and museum. Rich in Native American history, a historic Cherokee Nation cemetery lies at the edge of the modern city. The Little River Canyon National Preserve is located in the DeSoto State Park, and you can hike and explore as you walk through forested uplands, along canyon bluffs and rims, over boulders, and by pools in this southern Appalachian oasis.

4. Eufaula

High on a bluff overlooking Lake Eufaula in southeastern Alabama, Eufaula hugs the border between Alabama and Georgia. Gather some area history at the Shorter Mansion and Museum with its stunning Greek Revival columned architecture and Civil War era displays. In the fall, have some fun at the old-school, pro-family Bakerhill Haunted House, a nonprofit that donates a percentage of its profits to the local fire department. Spend time at the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge that protects endangered and threatened species such as wood storks. You can hike or bike through several habitats including wetlands, open water, and grasslands. You are sure to spot wildlife at every turn so keep your eyes peeled for bobcats, coyotes, beavers, otters, reptiles, amphibians, and a variety of migratory waterfowl.

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5. Gulf Shores

Unwind on the gorgeous 21-mile white sand beaches in Gulf Shores. Set up your umbrella and blanket gear on Orange Beach while you enjoy the clear Gulf of Mexico waters that invite you to swim, parasail, water ski, paddleboard, and build a few sandcastles. Keep a lookout for the Loggerhead turtles that nest at the beach from late May through October, and keep track of the flora and fauna you find as you follow the pristine trails on the beach that lead to Wade Ward Nature Park. Winter or summer, there’s plenty to do including a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, where you walk easily on wide paths, partake in a picnic, and have some hands-on encounters with lemurs, kangaroos, and sloths. At the mouth of Mobile Bay, be sure to visit the historic Fort Morgan, established in 1834, which was still an active post during World War II.

6. Scottsboro

Scottsboro sits in the northeastern corner of Alabama where the mountains meet the lakes. Fish in Lake Guntersville, spend a day golfing, or pack a lunch and feed the squirrels in a city park. Harken back to the days of old when you tour the Cathedral Caverns State Park on a 90-minute, 1.5-mile adventure, then do some gem mining in the custom-made flumes where you discover your ‘find’ may include ocean shells, fossils, and rough-cut gemstones. Stop by the Scottsboro Freight Depot Museum, one of three remaining pre-Civil War depots in Alabama. Travel to the Sauta Cave National Refuge Wildlife Refuge for a quiet evening of bat watching as thousands of gray bats emerge from the cave’s entrance from May through September. This refuge has the largest summer colony of this endangered species.

7. Mobile

Mobile, home to the original Mardi Gras, is a city born to celebrate. This coastal town, once called “Paris of the South” hosts dozens of year-round festivals including the Sweet Tater and Bluegrass in September, Oktoberfest, and the November Pecan Festival. Must-sees include the World War II-era USS Alabama that rests in Battleship Memorial Park and the historic 1720s replica of the French Fort Conde positioned on the site of the original. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic neighborhoods that are lined with magnificent giant oak trees, or paddle down Mobile’s delta system for a birds-eye-view of the city. Don’t miss a chance to explore the Mobile Carnival Museum where you see first-hand how Mardi Gras floats are constructed, the designs and inspirations behind crowns, scepters, and robes, and get a behind-the-mask view of a street party aboard a rocking float.

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