More than just a quintessential friendly Midwestern state with a strong passion for college football (but really, there’s no denying that Hoosier love), Indiana is a fairly large state with a wide variety of major cities and outdoor recreation opportunities. When planning a visit, it’s helpful to think of Indiana, or Indy, as it’s affectionately called by locals, as a state with two different regions: north and south. And there's plenty to explore in each.
The northernmost part of Indiana has natural features like lakes, forests, and quaint settings perfect for cabin life. It’s also home to Indiana Dunes National Park, an impressive 15-mile-long stretch of shoreline and dunes along Lake Michigan’s gin-clear waters. Here, hikers, beachcombers, and nature lovers alike can enjoy 15,000 acres worth of hiking trails, sandy beaches, and diverse wetlands on lake's scenic shores.
Indianapolis sits in the heart of the state, with the Brown County State Park, Hoosier National Forest, and historic downtowns located just below in southern Indiana. And because this is the Midwest, we’d be remiss not to mention this is also where you can find major campuses like Indiana University Bloomington, so you can expect city centers to have that distinct college town influence. And because college towns tend to draw in throngs of visitors, you can definitely expect to find cabins and design-minded stays for all those out-of-towners, too.
If you’re looking to visit Indiana during the warmer months, take a trip during July and August, when the temps typically stretch into the high 80s. But the early fall might be the best time to visit Indiana (and therein, a cabin in Indiana), thanks to September and October’s pleasant conditions that allow for plenty of time spent outside with low humidity and nice, long days.
Ready to book an outdoorsy escape to the Hoosier State? Check out the following expertly curated picks for the best rental cabins in Indiana.
Vibe: Amish you were here
It doesn’t get much more quaint than being located squarely in the heart of Indiana’s Amish Country. Despite having a horse and buggy for neighbors, this thoughtfully-designed cabin has all the modern day amenities and creature comforts one could want. Vaulted ceilings and large picture windows create a lofty feel that complements the clean yet rustic interior accented with modern furnishings.
Vibe: Central Indy
Situated on eight acres of pine forest is a traditional log home that brings in all the uber-cozy cabin vibes. Heated stone floors and a fireplace are inviting during the colder months, while a large wraparound front porch with views of the river is hard to ignore in the high season. Plus, you can squeeze in a few more friends in the loft-meets-modern-farmhouse guest house on the property.
Vibe: Welcome to the lake house
Red plaid linens, warm wooden beams, and board and batten walls give this lakefront cabin a cozy, campy feel that will take you way back. There’s a private lake just steps outside the back door, where you can do some proper dockside relaxing in one of the Adirondack chairs, or as the host recommends, catch your own dinner.
Vibe: Anything but rustic
Decidedly modern, this two bedroom getaway avoids the classic cabin-in-the-woods decor on purpose, opting instead for MCM furnishing, plywood walls, and a glass-fronted facade that lets the sunlight stream in. If a log cabin isn’t your style, this contemporary retreat is the perfect spot to unwind in a peaceful natural setting with the cute downtown of Nashville, Indiana a short drive away.
Vibe: Top 10
Paying homage to the Midwest’s vibrant arts scene, this wood-wrapped luxury cabin showcases a curated selection of artwork made by local artisans in Indiana and Chicago. The overall neutral palette has bright pops of color and other creative touches that complement the 200 acres of peaceful woodland landscape surrounding the Dunefarmhouse. It was named one of the “Top 10 AirBnB Rentals in the Midwest” by TimeOut magazine from 2019-2020.
Vibe: A tiny escape
Not far from the Dunefarmhouse, this tiny home in the woods is 750 square feet of total rest and relaxation. Part of the Tyron Farm Community, there are neighbors, however, it still provides plenty of privacy and seclusion for those who want a quiet escape or romantic getaway. Wander around the expansive wooded property or get cozy in the living room while taking in the views of the prairie.
Vibe: The party cabin
Just a mile away from the heart of downtown Nashville and about 30 min from Bloomington and Lake Lemon, is a traditional log cabin that’s big enough to host large groups or a family vacation. A stone and wood aesthetic creates an undeniably rustic feel accented by a large central stone fireplace, plus the covered wraparound porch practically begs for some rocking chairs. Yet, the real piece de resistance is the 6-person indoor jacuzzi, because how else are you supposed to relax?
Vibe: No wake on the lake
This simple lakeside cabin was designed for slow and uncomplicated living in a serene slice of Indiana paradise. Enjoy long, lazy days lounging around the cabin’s cozy interior or serenely kayaking on the lake (no motors, no wake), and spend your nights on the outdoor patio gathered around the fire pit or relaxing in the hot tub, gazing at the stars.