Summer or winter, there’s nothing like heading up, up, and away into the mountains. Let’s explore some charming cabin vacations down South where the welcome’s warm and the scenery is second to none.
Southern Mountain Getaways With Small Town Charm
We’ve chosen 15 charming mountain towns where you can have a fantastic getaway, whatever the season. These places are blessed with a small-town air and breathtakingly scenic backdrops of forested peaks and endless sky. Take your pick of quaint cabin vacations in the South, whether you fancy fall foliage, winter snow, spring greenery, or summer splendor. That’s the wonderful thing about the great outdoors—it’s open all year round!
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to get that cozy mountain rental sorted. There’s plenty of choice, ranging from cabins with forest views to quaint downtown apartments just steps from the local restaurants. When you book a vacation rental, you have access to amenities like a full kitchen, bubbling hot tub, and loads of space, so you can check in and feel right at home.
Here are 15 southern mountain getaways we think deserve a closer look. When you’re finished browsing, vote for your favorite at the bottom of this list!
Time for an adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Start with a ride on the Unicoi Zip Line or an afternoon of horse trekking on a Chattahoochee Stables tour. Add a few rounds of mini golf, some tubing on the river, and maybe a vineyard tour to round a perfect day during your mountain getaway. Evenings in Helena are meant for kicking back with a beer and a plate of the Bavarian-style cuisine this place is famous for.
First stop in Mountain View should be the Ozark Folk Center State Park, where you can learn about local history, traditional craftsmanship, and folk music. Leave some time to browse the antique stores in the afternoon, then at the end of the day catch some live folk music, especially exciting in the warmer months when the musicians spill out into the town and play in the open air.
Come to Brevard to experience the stunning natural beauty of Transylvania County. With its tumbling waterfalls and cycling trails with jaw-dropping views, this mountain getaway is sure to delight. Spend a day kayaking on the French Broad River and retreat to your private cozy cabin as the sun goes down.
“We felt like it was just us on that mountain. Sitting in the chairs on the huge back porch with a steaming cup of coffee was just what I needed. The view was breathtaking. The cabin was perfect.”— FlipKey Reviewer
Hiawassee is perched on Lake Chatuge, a beautiful spot for boating, jetskiing, fishing, and more. This really is a four-season cabin getaway, with the Georgia Mountain Fair in summer, the blooming rhododendrons at Hamilton Gardens in the spring, eye-catching leaf tours in the fall, and foggy lake vistas and snowbound scenery in winter.
Book your Highlands rental and set out to discover the Nantahala National Forest. Go fly fishing in the Chattooga River, enjoy a round of golf with mountain views at the Old Edwards Club, and drive right under the Bridal Veil Falls. In town, you can stroll around the art galleries and round off your day with a meal at Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bistro.
Hot Springs is a top choice for snow sports, with good snowboarding and skiing amenities on offer at the Homestead Resort. Alternatively, take your bike out along the Hidden Valley Trail or rent some clubs and hit the Cascades Golf Course. Whether you prefer snow-covered slopes in the winter or verdant mountains during the summer, Hot Springs offers mountain getaways like no other.
A picturesque mountain town cradled by the Appalachians, Birmingham welcomes outdoorsy types, so pack your mountain bike or hiking gear. You’ll need them if you plan to explore Oak Mountain State Park—the Red Trail is particularly recommended for avid cyclists. Locals recommend filling up for breakfast at neighborhood favorite Bogue’s and relaxing with a craft beer in the evening.
“Great location. Beautiful home. Clean. Well stocked with everything needed to relax. Even stayed an extra night because it was so nice. Would come again and recommend.”— FlipKey Reviewer
When visiting Pigeon Forge, you must take a driving tour to fully appreciate the epic scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains. Wind along the tree-lined roads, and be careful not to miss Cades Cove, a valley where you’ll find pioneer log cabins and grist mills, and maybe some white-tailed deer or coyotes. There’s also the Dollywood theme park and water park, part-owned by local country-singing legend Dolly Parton.
The main attraction in Slade is Natural Bridge State Park, with its sandstone bridge and scenic hiking trails. Next door you can see the geological delights of the Red River Gorge. From spectacular cliffs and roaring waterfalls to fields of beautiful wildflowers, there’s nothing quite like a mountain getaway in Slade. Book your cabin rental to get one step closer to discovering it all.
Here in the Blue Ridge foothills, you can pan for gold in the river, sample the goods in a local winery, and explore the historic center filled with 19th-century buildings. Make sure you stop in at the Dahlonega Gold Museum for some fascinating gold rush history. Ready for an adventure? Leave town and head west to see the impressive 600-foot Amicalola Falls and wander through the surrounding state park.
Asheville is a breath of fresh air, any time of year. For a bit of local history, take an audio tour of the grand Biltmore House, then set off on a hike through Craggy Gardens, culminating in a picnic with soaring views. When you’re not exploring the beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, retreat to a comfy cabin on the outskirts of this majestic mountain town.
“The barn is the most beautiful cabin I have ever seen. We enjoyed our stay & will be back again soon!” — FlipKey Reviewer
Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and known for its flowing natural springs, Eureka Springs is an idyllic cabin vacation destination down South. Spend a day soaking in a spa or choose a high-octane tour of the treetops with Ozark Mountain Ziplines. Just 11 miles north you’ll find the Promised Land Animal Park, complete with a petting zoo for the kids. With its awe-inspiring beauty and vibrant downtown packed with enticing shops and places, this alluring mountain town boasts something for everyone.
From summer hiking to winter skiing, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the Shenandoah Valley. Grab a mountain cabin hideaway to make the most of those inspiring valley views, and spend your days touring the wineries, seeing the splendid formations in the Luray Caverns, or fishing in the Shenandoah River.
Burnsville’s a friendly little place, known for its quaint town center, its local arts and crafts scene, and its farmer’s markets. Hop in your car to track down the area’s 200 Quilt Blocks, painted squares mounted on local buildings. This charming mountain town is just a short drive to lovely Asheville and a couple of hours’ drive from our next and final pick, Gatlinburg.
“The cabin exceeded our expectations. It is especially clean, and most importantly, comfortable. There is a home away from home feel to the cabin. It was far enough away from the noise and close enough to be convenient to the attractions of Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.” — FlipKey Reviewer
A family-friendly vibe, lively center packed with places to eat, and the splendid Smoky Mountains right at your doorstep—Gatlinburg ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable mountain getaway. Try your hand at horseback riding, fly fishing, and black bear spotting along 800 miles of hiking trails, and don’t miss the waterfalls of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.