The 10 Best Cabin Rentals in Iowa for a Weekend Away

Posted by
Kristen Arendt
June 23, 2021
Updated August 19, 2022

iowa cabin rentals
Photo: VRBO

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Though you might traditionally associate cabins with the mountains, don’t discredit the charm of an Iowa cabin stay.

Tucked away in the rolling green hillsides, bluffs, woods, and fields of the state, these cabins have plenty of solitude and tranquility — and great access to nearby outdoor recreation. From riverside retreats to cozy woodland oases, these rural corners of the Hawkeye State offer their own memorable kind of Midwest wilderness allure.

1. 1920 Country Cabin

Iowa 1920s cabin rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Unwind at a luxuriously upscale log cabin.

  • Location: Cumming
  • Sleeps: 7
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $121/night

Enjoy the solitude of rural Iowa in this beautifully remodeled 1920s era log cabin. Situated on two, peaceful countryside acres, this cabin is anything but rustic. From the chic indoor spaces to the stellar front porch and private outdoor deck, this cabin has lots of places to kick up your feet and relax. You might want to call dibs on the hammock.

“Absolutely lovely home! The yard is to die for! The outdoor seating area is so relaxing and inside the house feels like something straight out of Pinterest.”

Mary Jo, Polk City, IA

And even though you’ll feel way out in the country, you are a short 25-minute drive from the shops and restaurants of downtown Des Moines. Or if the great outdoors is more your style, bring your bike to hit up the Great Western Bike Trail or lace up your running shoes to go tackle some of the area’s rolling hills.

For a scenic afternoon outing, plan a drive on the Madison County Covered Bridges Scenic Byway for some iconic Midwest sightseeing.

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2. Trout River Log Cabin

Trout River Iowa cabin rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A quirky cabin with cool history tucked in the rolling hills of a family farm.

  • Location: Decorah
  • Sleeps: 3
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $125/night

This reclaimed historic log cabin, which was originally built in the 1850s, has loads of charm and is in a stunning location. Though the space is small, you still get plenty of personality packed in the interior of this cozy and beautifully restored cabin. Pull up a rocking chair on the front porch to enjoy the views overlooking the Trout River Valley.

“Serene, simple and cozy abode. Perfect place to unwind and relax. Plenty to see and do nearby from hiking to fishing to shopping and more.”

Kim, Ames, IA

For a more boots-on-the-ground exploration, you can head out for a hike to explore the farm. With options for birdwatching, fishing, and swimming on the property you don’t need to leave the farm to have a memorable adventure. Although if you do want a taste of civilization, downtown Decorah and the highly touted Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. are a short drive up the road. Bring your road or mountain bike for an afternoon cycle.

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3. Knotty Pine Guest House

Knotty Pine Iowa cabin rental
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A roomy log cabin with luxury lodge vibes.

  • Location: Fort Atkinson
  • Sleeps: 8
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $160/night

This spacious, hand-crafted log home mixes rural charm with modern luxury. The vaulted ceilings and limestone fireplace definitely kick the backwoods charm up a notch. Plus, with space for eight, you can bring the whole family along on to this cabin getaway.

The property is located 18 miles away from the town of Decorah where you can find shops, museums, fine dining, and tasty brews. And you are in the heart of northeastern Iowa’s bluff country, meaning no matter what season you visit, you’ll have your pick of outdoor activities like biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and snowmobiling to explore the Driftless area.

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4. Whiterock Conservancy Log House

Whiterock Conservancy Iowa cabin rental
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A full-scale family retreat in the middle of the Midwest wilderness.

  • Location: Guthrie County
  • Sleeps: 16
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $228/night

Planning a family reunion? This remote log home is the perfect place to plan a vacation for your extended family (or a crew of friends). The large and spacious cabin offers just the right mix of relaxation and recreation to satisfy everyone in your party.

Situated in the middle of the 5,500-acre Whiterock Conservancy, you have your pick of hiking, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, or paddling to fill your days. A great spot for wildlife viewing and birding, you can often catch a glimpse of your wildlife neighbors right from the back deck. At night, pull up a chair around the fire pit for an evening under the stars.

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5. Big Sioux River Cabin

Big Sioux Iowa cabin rental
Photo: VRBO

Why you should stay: A decked-to-the-nines modern home overlooking a stunning river valley.

  • Location: Larchwood
  • Sleeps: 10
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $365/night

This spacious log home is a “cabin” in name only. With the modern amenities and plenty of space to spread out and relax, this magnificent home has some truly memorable features — including a hot tub, back deck, and living room space that looks like it came straight out of a magazine.

“This was the perfect getaway for our family. My kids can’t stop talking about it. The fall colors were beautiful, we loved hiking the property, and the campfire was such a blast for the kids.”

Jenna G

The house is set on 95 private acres where you can strike out on foot (or horseback) to explore the area. There are several large firepits, great for roasting s’mores, and you can head right down to the shores of the river to get a full dose of scenery. And if you want a day out on the town, you can easily pop across the state line to Sioux Falls.

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6. Cabin in the Woods

Iowa cabin in the woods rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: If you build an idyllic cabin, they will come.

  • Location: Earlville
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $135/night

This cozy cabin has some real backwood charm — both inside and out. You will enjoy the rustic wood interior of a true log home as well as the great outdoor spaces included the shaded front porch and large, open firepit in the backyard.

“We absolutely loved our stay in the cabin in the woods. The location was perfect and quiet and the house was so spacious, tidy, and totally unique.”

Rachel, Denver, CO

If you’re a baseball fan (or a movie buff), the big draw might be a trip to the “Field of Dreams” movie site, 15 minutes up the road. If you’re looking for some fresh air, you’re in luck too, as the area is home to some prime Iowa wilderness areas, including nearby White Pines Hollow and Backbone State Park.

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7. Hidden Hollow

Hidden Hollow Iowa cabin rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Get back to nature in a cozy cabin designed to feel like a meditation retreat.

  • Location: McGregor
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 3 nights
  • Rates from: $230/night

If you’re looking to escape the daily grind, this delightfully renovated farmhouse offers some serious R&R. The cabin, which is ideal for a family vacation or a romantic getaway, has a bright and homey feel that you’ll enjoy no matter the season.

The cabin is tucked away in a quiet valley on 158-acres with prairies and woodlands to explore. Head out the front door for hiking, kayaking, or birdwatching. In the winter, bring your snowshoes. And though the historic towns of McGregor and Marquette are not far away, you may find that once you escape to Hidden Hollow, you won’t want to leave.

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8. Cozy Cabin by the Pond

cozy cabin by the pond Iowa rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A private getaway right on the water.

  • Location: Durango
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 2 nights
  • Rates from: $126/night

If you’re looking for a secluded stay to unplug and unwind, this pond-side cabin is the perfect stay. With its mix of cozy and rustic decor and some nice added touches like farm-fresh eggs for breakfast, you’ll find it easy to kick up your feet and relax. The view overlooking the water from the back deck doesn’t hurt either.

And if you’re feeling up for an afternoon out, you are a short drive from Dubuque, Iowa’s oldest city, where you can plan an outing to one (or more) of the local wineries, head out hiking or biking on the Heritage Trail, or hit up the shops, museums, and restaurants in downtown.

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9. Winery & Vineyard Rustic Cabin

winery vineyard rustic cabin Iowa
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: Stay at a working vineyard in the heart of Iowa farm country.

  • Location: Keota
  • Sleeps: 6
  • Minimum stay: 1 nights
  • Rates from: $100/night

This renovated weekend cabin is a great way to take a trip back in time to the rural Midwest. Though the interior is basic, it is comfortable and offers everything you need for a relaxing, simplified stay. You might just find that you ditch your screens for a tranquil afternoon overlooking the wide, open fields from the back porch.

“Picturesque views, kind hosts, comfortable bed, and WINE just a few feet from the front door. Really GOOD wine. Perfection.”

Kimberly V, Maloy, IA

Located at Wooden Wheel Vineyards and Winery, this cute cabin offers a unique experience, highlighted by free wine tastings and a tour of the winery. You can even help out at the vineyard if you feel inspired! Or simply take a stroll through the quiet property to fully unplug.

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10. Coon Creek Cabin

Coon Creek cabin Iowa rental
Photo: Airbnb

Why you should stay: A rustic retreat in the Iowa countryside.

  • Location: Blairstown
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Minimum stay: 1 night
  • Rates from: $89/night

This quiet cabin is all about getting you back to nature. From the rustic decor to the large fire pit in the backyard, you’ll find it easy to get out in the great outdoors. Be sure to take a stroll at sunset to soak up some of the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

For hunters, the cabin is close to the Iowa River Corridor, where you can find 10,000 acres of public hunting. Families will love a trip to Benton County Hannon Park where you can go fishing or swimming in the summer. And even though you really are in the heart of the country, in under an hour you can drive to either Cedar Rapids or Iowa City if you find you want to head into town.

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