10 Top Illinois Cabins

July 10, 2018

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Feel the urge to get out into nature? To feel the wind in your hair? Hear the birds? Watch smoke rise into the night sky from the bonfire you just lit?

Sometimes we just want a simpler slower pace of life. A chance to catch our breath and reconnect with nature and the people. And we’ve got you covered, with this guide to the best Illinois country cabins.

From the pine forests of Northwestern Illinois, to historic log cabins set in rolling meadows, and an enchanting tree house in a 200-year-old oak tree in Southern Illinois, we’ve found the cutest, the quaintest, the coolest and the quirkiest cabins Illinois has to offer. Pack your bags people, we’re heading out of town!

Giant City Lodge, Makanda

Giant City Lodge

The 34 cabins offered at Giant City State Park include 12 one-room cabins and duplex cabins nestled in the bluffs near the lodge, featuring a living room and deck overlooking the woods below. An outdoor swimming pool is on site. Giant City Lodge's full-service restaurant features a popular all-you-can eat chicken dinner.

With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park at Makanda is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Spectacular woodlands and sheer sandstone walls create a challenge for rock climbing and rappelling, as well as hiking.

Giant City Lodge is closed Dec. and Jan.

Kishauwau Country Cabins, Tonica

Kishauwau Country Cabins in Fall

Just an hour and a half drive from Chicago near Starved Rock State Park, you’ll find these comfortable cabins set in 65 acres of woodland on a bluff above the Vermilion River.

These cabins are popular for an eagle watching winter getaway, as they’re a top spot for catching sight of bald eagles soaring over the river. You’re only ten minutes away from Starved Rock so you can be up with the dawn and beat the crowds to the trails, or head to Utica, for wine tasting at the local wineries, exploring the local shops, and antiquing.

The cabins are cozy, clean and well equipped, and the owners welcome dogs, so you can even bring your pooch.

Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages, Galena

Hawk Valley Retreat & Cottages, Galena

If there’s a prettier setting for a rustic getaway in Illinois, we’re yet to find it.

Hawk Bay Retreat offers four country cottages set in meadows and gently rolling hills. A creek runs through the property, and you can follow pretty walks, winding under pine trees, along the pond, and by a screened gazebo.

Your hosts Wendy and Hal are keen bird lovers, and robins, larks, oriels, cardinals, goldfinches, and hummingbirds throng the grounds, and make the dawn chorus a delight.

Hawk Bay Retreat is celebrated for its generous homemade breakfasts. The waffles are particularly delectable! A wonderful, peaceful getaway.

Augustus Chetlain Home and Log Cabin Guest Houses, Galena

Augustus Chetlain Log Cabin Guest Houses

Stay in an original historic log cabin from the 1800s, built on the boyhood estate of Augustus Louis Chetlain, the first man in Illinois to volunteer as a Union Army soldier at the outbreak of the American Civil War.

Two miles from Main Street Galena, these rustic cottages combine historic charm with contemporary comforts. Relax in front of a log fire, watch the sunset from your porch, or enjoy a stroll around the property. Rave reviews from happy guests enthuse about the romantic ambience.

Shawnee Forest Treehouse

Shawnee Forest Treehouses

Near the Garden of the Gods is a treehouse cabin that will make you feel like you're sleeping in the clouds - literally.

Yet modern amenities make this romantic getaway less roughing-it and more relaxing-it: it has granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, fiber wifi, a smart TV and even a hot tub!

With a handmade spiral staircase and a gorgeous cable suspension bridge connecting the private hot tub with the treehouse, this distinctive experience is one you cannot miss. 

Nauvoo Log Cabins

Nauvoo Log Cabins

Experience a pioneering weekend in Nauvoo staying in authentic hand-built log cabins. With vintage interior details like antique iron beds, hickory cabinets, and bunks built from logs, you can choose from a lodge that sleeps 13 (complete with double-covered wagon!) to intimate little cabins perfect for romantic getaways.

The real star of the show is Nauvoo itself, a historic community nestled beneath the white walls of the Nauvoo Temple, with more than 30 sites from the 1840s, and a wealth of hands-on activities and experiences from oxen rides to rope-making, summer shows and pageants telling the story of Nauvoo.

Rocky Comfort Cabins, Makanda

The Hobbit Cove Round Door Rocky Comfort Cabins

A quirky collection of cabins along the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

Two fanciful Hobbit House inspired cabins will make you feel like you’ve slipped into the pages of the Lord of The Rings, and the French Colonial Creole House combines influences from New Orleans to create a romantic fantasy of a getaway. Check out their TripAdvisor reviews where enthusiastic Tolkien fans have penned odes to their stay. Now that’s guest satisfaction for you!

You’re only a short stroll through the woods to Blue Sky Winery, offering wine tastings, sandwiches, soups, pizzas and snacks. Sip your way through local varietals on their beautiful outdoor terraces and admire the view out over the forest. You’re also a short drive to Carbondale. Home to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale’s busy historic district bustles with shops and restaurants.

Rim Rock’s Dogwood Cabins, Elizabethtown

rim rocks cabinsThese delightful cabins in the Shawnee National Forest are memorable for their rustic porch screens, and for their outstanding onsite menagerie, with llamas, miniature donkeys, goats, free-range chickens and guinea fowl. Some days deer and turkey come in from the forest and mingle with the domestic animals. It can get busy. And they welcome pets!

You’re close to a multitude of great trails. The Garden of the Gods is just round the corner, and Cave in Rock State Park, and guest favorite is the eponymous Rim Rock Trail, a beautiful loop track that meanders along a creek, under bluffs, and past mossy rocks. Then head back to your snug cabin and light your fire pit, stocked with free wood by your thoughtful hosts.

Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, Elizabethtown

Timber Ridge Outpost & Cabins, IllinoisHow often do we get to fulfill childhood fantasies? And when we do, how often are those fantasies not quite as cool in real life as you imagined they’d be as a kid?

Well this one’s different! Stay in a treehouse at Timber Ridge in Southern Illinois, and you won’t be disappointed. With two cabins built in the treetops, one nestled in the boughs of a 200-year-old White Oak, Timber Ridge treehouses blend comfort with whimsy for a genuinely memorable getaway.

In surroundings like this, everything becomes magical, from sipping a coffee on your deck in the forest canopy while birds sing around you, to snuggling under your blankets by a wood fire, listening to rain falling on the roof.

Hundreds of delighted visitor reviews testify to Timber Ridge’s enchantment, and it’s also clear that your hosts, Marty and Elizabeth will go out of their way to make your stay special. So, pack your bags, head to Southern Illinois, and live that dream. You’ll be glad you did.

Ashton Ridge Cabins, Makanda

Ashton RidgeBuilt on a high ridge, these cabins enjoy a sweeping vista over the Shawnee National Forest. On a clear day, they say you can see eight miles over the trees and sandstone bluffs of the Illinois Ozarks.

A lovely place for a getaway at any time of the year, our favorite time to visit Southern Illinois is in the Fall, where we combine the twin pleasures of leaf peeping with wine tasting on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail.

Giant City State Park is crisscrossed with lovely trails, and you get tired of hiking and wine tasting you can mix it up with horseback riding, rock climbing, ziplining, or fishing.

As you head off for some well-deserved R&R in your secluded Illinois cabin, don’t forget to share your experience with us on the Enjoy Illinois Facebook page. #EnjoyIllinois and we’ll all be inspired by your adventures.

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