*Traveling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic increases your risk and the risk of those around you. Please be mindful and observe local restrictions, stock up on supplies and fuel close to home, wash your hands, WEAR A MASK, and practice social distancing with locals. Your safest bet: bookmark this article for 2021.
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Ah, the Catskill Mountains. It’s more than just a scenic retreat for city dwellers. Under New York’s state constitution, this 286,000-acre stretch of forested land is protected by what’s colloquially known as the “forever wild” law. This means it will be preserved and protected for, well, forever. Pretty epic, right?
Located just a couple hours upstate of New York City opposide the Hudson Valley, the rolling Catskills landscape offers no shortage of awesome rental cabins—many of which owned and operated by design-obsessed city dwellers, meaning you'll feel right at home. Tucked away among the deciduous forests are AirBnb rentals a plenty-modern cabins, mid-century A-Frames, cozy cottages, rustic, real log cabins and some that can't quite be described.
And if you're the active type, everything from rock climbing and hiking to fly fishing and mountain biking are all easily within reach, whether you're posted up in Phonecia or channeling your inner artist near Woodstock in the Hudson Valley.
The cat might already be out of the bag, but there’s a lot of reasons to love visiting the Catskills (the legendary Phonecia Diner is reason enough, tbh) and just to be sure, we picked out the nine best Catskills cabin rentals on Airbnb so you barely have to think about it. And if your top picks are booked, spend a night at the Herwood Inn and you will not be disappointed. Who knows? Maybe some of the Catskills' forever wild-ness will rub off on you.
Vibe: Lofty Weekend Goals
Hidden within a thick buffer of pines sits this sculptural modern treehouse that’s characterized by a unique shape with natural light streaming in from all angles. Chill by the wood stove and take in the wide-open views from the living area’s floor-to-ceiling windows and, of course, a nice long soak in the wood-fired hot tub. Just pack lightly, because it’s still a treehouse, ya know?
Vibe: Riverside Rest
Spend a weekend bathed in natural light in this log cabin rental. Walk along the in-house catwalk, sit in the vintage MCM furniture, cozy up by the fire, cook dinner in the full kitchen, read in the loft—there are truly so many ways to enjoy this meticulously designed interior. And outside, there’s a firepit, hammock, bocce set, and a sweet stream bubbling just beyond the cabin's doors.
Vibe: Family Fun
Located at the base of Hunter Mountain, this colorful cabin is a great option for a family or group ski trip. Furnishings are a happy mix of bright textiles and wood and wicker furniture. There’s something for everyone outside, from the lounge area on the deck to the firepit, kids’ playground, and hot tub placed perfectly for some star-gazing. For parties larger than 8 (let's save these for post-COVID, shall we?), a basement studio apartment is also available and contains all the modern charm of the main house.
Vibe: Eco-Friendly Retreat
Dubbed, “The Coolest A-Frame in New York” by the New York Post, this off-grid, solar-powered cabin is hygge to the max. An open-plan kitchen and dining area feels spacious yet cozy, with a clean and modern Scandinavian feel—like a proper A-Frame should. In the living room, gather around a white-painted brick fireplace with a cup of something strong.
Vibe: Contemporary Cabin
From the outside, The Pond House is a stunner of a modern cabin. On the inside, it’s just as cool. The cabin, designed and owned by a Brooklyn-based architect, is defined by corten steel exterior and sleek, largely open interior—which features massive slab dining table and geometric floating shelves crafted from felled sugar maple trees on the cabin’s 19-acre property, among other modern amenities.
Vibe: Forever Wild, Cat
Need a little space? The Wildcat Treetop Cabin is located on 1.5 acres of land with another hundred acres of that forever wild State Forest backing right up against it. Make sure to enjoy the Aztec cone outdoor firepit and lounge chairs out on the stone patio as much as you do the well-furnished renovated rooms that hearken back to its 1940's roots. This is what the Catskills are all about.
Vibe: Your MCM Is My MCM Too
This 1964 restored A-Frame is tastefully outfitted with a retro fireplace, mid-century furniture throughout, a light-filled kitchen and a unique double-spiral staircase. Take in the lakeside and forest views from the various floors of the house or venture into said nature and relax on the spacious patio. Dogs are welcome too, so don’t leave your furry lil friend behind!
Vibe: Urban Outfitters Cranked to 11
Get your barn on in this instagram-friendly, plant filled oasis. Built-in 1845 and recently renovated, this barnhouse/greenhouse maintains that rustic country cottage feel while incorporating elements of mid-century and contemporary design. Highlights include swings, a stony hearth, outdoor hot tub, fireplace and grill, outdoor dining table and many, many indoor plant friends.
Vibe: Modern Rustic
This cheerfully decorated cabin sits on the banks of a creek, close to the amenities of town but isolated enough to feel private. Inside, there are fun details like pink kitchen countertops and a unique bedroom loft, all highlighted by friendly, modern furnishings. Pets are welcome too, so bring your doggie along.
Vibe: Creekside Cutie
On the banks of Stony Clove Creek and tucked away in the trees, this unassuming cabin features plenty of color and charm inside. Full of midcentury-modern furniture and bright textiles, enjoy the cozy interior or make the short trek to a swimming hole in warmer weather. A good option for couples or smaller families.
Vibe: New McDonald had a Farm
“102 years young”, this unique, updated farmhouse features a creekside site, a sprawling garden, a lofted sunroom with a wall of windows, and minimal, yet effective decor. The creek provides plenty of places to explore, but Phoenicia’s main street (and its eponymous diner) is a short drive away for a day out.
Vibe: Rustic, But Make it Chic
For those who want a place that skews more whimsy than modern, escape NYC and book a peaceful weekend at the Pine Knoll Cottage. The wooden paneled walls and large stone fireplace only make this cozy retreat feel warmer. And speaking of retreats, be sure to unroll your mat in the detatched backyard yoga studio, just steps from the cottage. With three bedrooms, this is a good spot to crash with some friends after a ski day at nearby Windham Mountain.
Vibe: Simple and Serene
A perfect combination of good design with a down-to-earth vibe, this tiny home might air on the side of simplicity but it’s clear that every detail was considered. Beautiful wooden beams stretch across the ceiling in nearly every room and white shiplap walls provide a clean and bright aesthetic that effortlessly brings the outside in. Get outside and explore the nearby hiking trails or drive a short ways to meander down the artsy main street of Woodstock, NY.
Despite the no-frills nature of this mountainside tiny house, this cabin adds just the right amount with everything from a plush Queen-sized bed to a full kitchen and a bonafide study—tiny, of course. While the interior offers all the creature comforts you need for a relaxing stay, the property itself is quiet, quaint, and tucked away in the woods.
Vibe: Wasting Away in Margeretville
Newly renovated, this dog-friendly woodland cabin is tucked away off a long, dirt road between Margaretville and Roxbury. Furnished cozily with mid-centrury pieces with some fun wall accents including some unique wall paper, it’s not gonna be hard to spend a weekend holed up in this tasteful space. With 15 acres to explore, an outdoor fireplace and close to the quaint New York towns and skiing in the winter.
Vibe: Studio Solace
Off a private dirt road, this secluded studio is a contemporary oasis for two. Modern farmhouse meets Scandinavian simplicity with exposed beams, a cottage-like bed nook, and an efficient living-space layout. The accompanying deck is just as big as the cabin itself, so plan to spend some time soaking in the incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
Vibe: Quirky Corners
Although relatively unassuming, this woodland cabin packs some fun design punches once you take a closer look. A corn-cob side table, a convex safety mirror in the dining area, a hand-chair in the bedroom-its all happening, subtly. A newly installed barrel sauna awaits in the backyard for some much-needed relaxing and there’s plenty of quaint towns nearby for a day out.
Vibe: Down on the Farm
Built in 1947 and renovated in 2017, this off-grid, pet-friendly cabin is straight-forward but cozy with plenty of natural light and modern-rustic furnishings. On the grounds of a farm, there’s plenty to explore directly outside your door with 1-acre of fenced-in property for your furry friend and beyond, a walking path that leads to a waterfall, the Mongaup River, and 10,000 acres of state land for fishing, birding, swimming, and more.
Vibe: It's Wine O'Clock
Modern and homey, this family and pet-friendly cabin can accommodate up to 8 guests. There’s a fireplace in the living room, on the deck, and in the backyard (with plenty of wood ready to go) for snow days or cozy nights. Hunter Mountain ski area—New York's premiere ski resort—is a five minute drive away—or if you’re staying in and relax.
Vibe: Austere Glamour
An option for a post-pandemic reunion, this house hosts up to 16 guests. The large living area is a great spot to gather, or head down the spiral staircase where there’s a cozy TV area. The modest sunroom provides a great place to chat and nature-watch or head out to the firepit in the backyard.
Vibe: Farm Fresh
On the grounds of Catskill Brewery and formerly the residence of the brewmaster, this cottage combines vintage farmhouse with modern minimalism. Antique appliances, furnishings, and decor all combine to create a peaceful, fresh interior. Get a drink at the brewery itself or explore the quaint downtown of Livingston Manor.
Vibe: Old Meets New
The Watson House is an updated century-old farm house that delivers with its modern style and historic bones. If the bright and airy interior doesn’t boost your mood then some R+R in the hammock or sunroom will certainly do the trick. Keeping in line the country house vibe, an updated carriage house is also available for rent on the property, perfect for the quarantine crew who’d rather have their own space. And best of all, this property is just a short drive from the Peekamouse Mountain trailhead and locally famous Blue Hole swimming spot.
Vibe: An Elevated Escape
Located on painter Reginald Marsh's historic family estate, this two bedroom cabin is a departure from the traditional cabin aesthetic and design lovers will appreciate the concrete walls and mid-century details woven into the layout of this funky retreat. Appreciate both the mixed materials and the easy access to the river, pond, and sweeping mountain views of the Catskills, too. If this doesn't suit your fancy, book the larger Pond House nearby, on the same property.