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The Best Places to Rent a Cabin for Thanksgiving

The Best Places to Rent a Cabin for Thanksgiving

While we love a good airstream and a cozy cottage, Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to run away and rent a cabin in California.


5 min read

November 12, 2021

While we love a good airstream and a cozy cottage, there is something about Thanksgiving that makes it the perfect occasion to run away to a cabin in the woods. Maybe it has something to do with all the chaos surrounding the holiday or the chilly weather that beckons for a serene destination, but either way, we’re grateful to have so many options when it comes to places to explore. From waterfront escapes, to wooded wonderlands, to desert retreats, the state is full of opportunities for Thanksgiving getaways in California

Nothing celebrates the coming of winter quite like sipping hot cocoa by the fire while being surrounded by California’s giant redwoods, prickly Joshua trees, or brisk coastal breezes, so it’s time to throw a dart at a map and rent a cabin for Thanksgiving wherever it lands. Given the number of incredible cabin rentals in California, choosing where to go this Thanksgiving is a difficult decision—but once you do, it’s all about the mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, and family time. 

Renting a Cabin For Thanksgiving in Northern California

The majestic, natural beauty of Big Sur makes it the picture-perfect place to rent a cabin any time of the year.

Big Sur Cabins


The iconic beauty of California’s Central Coast makes the region an ideal destination any time of year. While the crashing waves and inviting wilderness might make it seem like a summertime spot, there is more to Big Sur than meets the eye. Should you encounter a fairly dry year, this rugged locale provides a stunning backdrop for any Thanksgiving feast. But, in rainy years, it’s best to save this road trip for sunnier days; the gorgeous cliffs and rolling hills make this area prone to landslides, which can make getting to a cabin for Thanksgiving more of a challenge than you might expect. 

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Yosemite Valley Cabins

Meandering streams, cascading waterfalls, cool nearby towns, and invigorating forest scents overwhelm the senses as you enter Yosemite National Park. Between hiking, camping, and climbing, there are numerous ways to spend a long Thanksgiving break here. Take in the rugged wilderness and enjoy the intimate family time without any distractions at one of California’s most idyllic cabin-rental destinations; Thanksgiving cabin rentals have never been so adventurous.

Northern California’s Mendocino County is a diverse and beautiful location that draws in visitors and permanent residents from all over North America.

Mendocino Cabins

Featuring incredibly fresh air, swaying trees, rugged coastlines, and stunning vistas, Mendocino was made for outdoorsy folks. Because of its remote location, this destination allows visitors to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of civilization. Mendocino also boasts endless options for Thanksgiving cabin rentals, from glamping tents to traditional wooden cabins. Make sure you visit Glass Beach, Van Damme State Park, and Russian Gulch State Park while you’re there for Thanksgiving in California to be surrounded by the most beautiful sceneries.

Santa Cruz Cabins

Thanks to the nearby mountain range and sweeping coastal views, Santa Cruz is home to some of the best cabins in California. The gorgeously wooded areas, cooler beach temperatures, and laid-back vibe of this Central Coast town make you feel like you’ve traveled to California’s northern edges—but with a much shorter drive. Leave the crowds behind and head up into the mountains or over into the unincorporated neighboring towns to be transported to your own world as you rent a cabin for Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz. Or, if the weather is warm enough, rent an oceanside abode, stroll along its beaches, catch some waves, and explore the historic boardwalk.

From dramatic lakefront estates to charming ski cabin rentals, you'll find the ideal Lake Tahoe vacation rental for your getaway.

Tahoe Cabins

With its endless outdoor adventures and interesting landscape, Lake Tahoe will always be a favorite vacation spot of ours. Thanks to its high altitude, Tahoe and the surrounding mountains typically experience several inches of snow around Thanksgiving—making it the ideal time to break out the snowboards, skiis, and sleds for some wholesome family fun. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving getaways in California are all about?

Thanksgiving Cabin Rentals in Southern California

Idyllwild Cabins

When it comes to unexpected mountain towns, Idyllwild takes the cake. Located near Palm Springs, about two hours inland from Anaheim, this small town is about as far as you can get from city life. The refreshing scent of pines and cedars fill the air as you wander around the quaint shops, art galleries, and local eateries. Make the most of your time in the San Jacinto Mountains by snowboarding or going for a nice hike before you leave your Thanksgiving cabin rental.

Joshua Tree National Park offers many amazing vacation rentals for a weekend glamping in the Golden State.

Joshua Tree Cabins

There is nothing quite like spending the cooler months in the Southern California desert. Joshua Tree National Park doesn’t get as cold as its mountainous neighbors, so the region offers a fantastic hiatus from icy temps. Since September through May is the park’s busy season, it’s important to plan ahead—expect to have plenty of company as you rent a cabin for Thanksgiving, explore the hiking trails, and embark on many desert adventures. Stay in Pioneertown, Palm Springs, or just outside Joshua Tree, and your Thanksgiving vacations will never be the same. 

Big Bear Lake Cabins

With its high-altitude location, stunning lake, and cozy ambiance, Big Bear is one of the best places to celebrate Thanksgiving in California. Since it is a four-season vacation destination, there are plenty of cabins (and other lodging options) to choose from that the whole family will love. The cold winds invite you to bundle up for an afternoon walk, bake pies with grandma, and roast marshmallows over the fireplace before admiring the Christmas lights that pop up soon after Thanksgiving.

Marvel at the breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains from the doorstep of your Lake Arrowhead cabin rental.

Lake Arrowhead Cabins

Aptly dubbed as “The Alps of Southern California,” Lake Arrowhead is a beautiful destination to rent a cabin for Thanksgiving. Located within the magnificent mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest and within close proximity to some of the state’s next ski resorts, the small town creates a comfortable yet au naturel environment. Stunning wildlife, natural stillness, and picturesque scenery make up the gorgeous community. So, whether you’re spending Thanksgiving in California with your family or significant other, this gorgeous SoCal lake will make your getaway as dreamy as can be.

Yucca Valley Cabins

Yucca Valley is another awesome desert getaway destination you should consider for cabin rentals in California. A land of hidden gems and unconventional attractions, this cool SoCal spot boasts a large variety of quirky and comfy cabins for Thanksgiving. Check out Bob’s Crystal Cave for a one-of-a-kind installation, visit the nearby Pioneertown, and have yourself the most irregular Thanksgiving getaway in California.

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