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Unveil Iowa's Best Kept Secrets: 15 Cozy Cabin Escapes

Ever dream of cozying up in a cabin, with Iowa's heartland stretching out like a patchwork quilt? Unpack the ultimate Midwest comforts in these 15 charming cabin retreats. Adventure awaits!

Tobi Miles
September 14, 2022

When planning your next cabin getaway, you should consider planning it to the lovely midwest state of Iowa. Whether you’re looking to catch the famous Iowa State Fair, get lost in corn mazes, or simply relax in the scenic midwest, Iowa has it and more.

From rustic, humble abodes to luxurious resort style accommodations, there is a cabin for your needs in Iowa. Get stunning river and forest views, grill some barbecue, and enjoy a fairytale getaway. Tiny homes, sleek and modern, perfect for couples, and large multi-room cabins built for groups are waiting for you in this cozy, fun midwestern state. 

Of course going on a cabin retreat into the forest is a treat, so why settle for anything less than perfect. Parsing through loads of listings and guides can be overwhelming. So, let us help you narrow it down by going over what we think are the 15 best Iowa cabin rentals.

We’ll go over what’s unique about each listing, the price of staying the night, and where you can book your trip. We’ll try to share the most important information, but there’s only so much we can fit, so click the link on any of the listings that stand out to you. Let’s get started!

1. Trout River Log Cabin

Credit: Airbnb

This rustic 19th century cabin was built in the Norwegian style and offers a scenic farm stay. Open from April to October, the cabin offers a cozy stay within its limited space and loads of grounds to explore. You can enjoy privacy while still being near a lot.

The cabin is small, measuring just under 20 sq ft, but it makes the most of its limited space. Inside you’ll find a fully functioning kitchen, space for two to sleep, and complimentary organic Kickapoo coffee and tea. There’s also of course a fully functioning bathroom and shower.

Outside of the lovely cabin, you can relax on the small porch and look out at the farm. Guests are also welcome to fish and swim in the nearby Trout River. Hikers and explorers will also be happy to know that guests are welcome to wander and poke around the farm as much as they want.

The farm has won awards for its great conservation practices, so exploring the greenery and river are sure to yield some great memories. This cabin is an ideal, lowkey getaway for explorers and outdoor lovers.

Address: Decorah, Iowa
Price: $118+/night

2. Cozy Log Cabin on Secluded Acreage

Credit: Vrbo

Spacious and rustic, this handcrafted log cabin is an ideal getaway for groups or whole families. Sleeping up to eight, and located near one of the Smithsonian’s 20 best small towns to visit, this cabin promises a fun and relaxing retreat.

Here you can enjoy relaxing in the spacious interior while warming up by the floor to ceiling fireplace. Sip some delicious local coffee, prepare a meal in the full kitchen, or relax in the loft bed upstairs.

Outside, guests can participate in some of the best outdoor activities Northeast Iowa has to offer. Go hiking, fishing, kayaking, or in the winter months, snowmobiling.

For a more tailored experience, Knotty Pine Guest House is also conveniently located near three golf courses. It’s also only a short drive from downtown Decorah. So whether you’re an outdoors expert or a big shopper, you’ll find something for you near this lovely log cabin.

Address: Decorah, Iowa
Price: $175/night

Related Read: 20 Top Treehouse Rentals in Minnesota

3. Cedar Bend Cabin

Credit: Vrbo

This spacious and well appointed cabin offers a rustic yet modern escape by the water. Relax with up to three other people in the luxurious hot tub right on the river. Inside you’ll have everything you need and will be mere steps from the water at all times.

Whether you’re hoping to fish, canoe, or swim, you’ll have easy access to the water to do it all. When you’re done, warm up by the fire pit or shower and relax in the cozy heated interior of the cabin.

Guests can also enjoy a meal prepared in the full kitchen out on the patio on the water. For those that need to stay connected, the cabin also comes with Wi-Fi and TV. Here you can escape to the wild and still stay inside the loop.

The cabin is also pet and child friendly, so this cabin is great for the whole family. Aquatic and forest fun is waiting for everyone at this cozy cabin.

Address: Floyd County, Iowa
Price: $185/night

4. Hickory Lake Getaway

Credit: Vrbo

Located on a fully operational farm overlooking a private lake, this cozy 500sqft cabin is the perfect couple’s retreat. Sit on the ambiently lit porch, head out onto the water, or relax by the firepit and listen to cows mooing in the distance.

Inside guests will find a modern interior with a comfortable living space and cozy loft bed. The cabin has everything you’ll need no matter what time of year you’re visiting. For winter visitors, there’s even a wood stove to heat up by.

Those hoping to head out into the water will have access to two complimentary kayaks and a canoe. This is great for being out on the water or fishing. However, it’s recommended that you avoid swimming in the water as there are some large snapping turtles.

Address: Davis County, Iowa
Price: $149/night

Related Read: 45 Best Camping Spots in Minnesota

5. Private Lakeside Cabins

Credit: Vrbo

This small, secluded Southern Iowa cabin sits right on a large pond, open for guests to use. Sleep up to four guests and enjoy a comfortable visit any time of the year. Relax in the bin gazebo, roast marshmallows, or go out on the water mere steps from your abode.

The pond is perfect for floating, swimming, kayaking, or fishing. The cabin even comes with a few kayaks for guests to use. Outside, guests will also find the unique tin gazebo where there is outdoor seating and a grill.

Just beyond this, you’ll have access to a private dock where you can launch a kayak or go swimming. Nearby, guests will also find plenty of trails to hike.

Those willing to make the short drive, will also find several other attractions in the area. Head to the brewing company for a drink or go golfing at the Bos Landen Golf Club.

Address: Marion County, Iowa
Price: $125/night

6. Mississippi River Cabin

Credit: Airbnb

Enjoy a true Mississippi riverfront experience in this spacious modern cabin. Located on the Riverview RV park, you’ll be near several park amenities and will be right on the water.

The river also offers great fishing opportunities, whether you’re renting the pontoon boat, sitting on the riverbank, or fishing from the private dock. Beside the water, the park also has loads to offer everyone in your traveling party.

There are picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, and more. Just outside the cabin, guests will also have access to the private deck where they can watch the water while grilling or relaxing.

Inside, guests will have room enough for six people and everything they could need. You’ll have a Roku, Wi-Fi, full kitchen, and several comfortable mattresses. There’s also a jacuzzi tub for those still looking for some water relaxation after the river.

The cabin has central heating and AC, so you can visit any time of the year. Pets are also welcome with a fee, so bring along your furry friends to enjoy the river fun.

Address: Bellevue, Iowa
Price: $182/night

Related Read: Top 40 Best Camping Spots in Wisconsin

7. CR Station Train Caboose

Credit: Airbnb

From the moment you lay eyes on this cabin, you’ll be enchanted. Built from an old train caboose, this little cabin manages to pack in equal parts utility and charm. Watch the sunset from the conductor's chair, enjoy fresh fruit, and more in this one of a kind abode.

Guests to the CR Station Train Caboose will find its small space used to the fullest. You’ll have everything you need to prepare a meal in the kitchen, running hot water, and more. There’s even barware for making cocktails.

Of course the real appeal of this stay is the restored train caboose. Guests will be delighted by the original handrails and conductor’s chair, where you can enjoy a drink or watch the horse pasture.

Outside, guests are welcome to enjoy fresh raspberries and apples from bushes and trees. Guests are also welcome to pet and feed these apples to the horses over the fence. Plus, the cabin is located only a short drive from the city, so you’ll always have something to do.

Address: Decorah, Iowa
Price: $147/night

8. Village Creek Lodge

Credit: Vrbo

This massive lodge is the ideal getaway for large groups looking for some Mississippi River fun. It sleeps up to 18, and has enough to do inside and out to keep everyone happy and comfortable. 

At the lodge guests will have access to everything required for a peaceful and fun getaway. Play some pool in the downstairs entertainment room. Relax by the fire pit or go swimming in the large above ground pool. 

Inside guests can sit by the wood burning stove in the spacious living area, or prepare a meal in the full kitchen. Those looking to relax can soak in the jacuzzi tub, or sit out on the large deck overlooking the fields outside. 

This space is truly spacious, modern, and outfitted with something for everyone to do. If that’s still not enough, the lodge is located only a short drive from historic Lansing, Iowa where there’s restaurants, bars, and places to shop. 

Address: Lansing, Iowa
Price: $170/night

Related Read: 21 Best Romantic Midwest Getaways

9. Tiny Home with Big River View

Credit: Vrbo

The waterfront, tiny home vacation of your dreams awaits at this accommodation. Custom built, and carefully fitted with everything you need, this is an ideal vacation for those that don’t need a lot of space.

Guests to this tiny home will get to enjoy being right on the water. Go fishing right on the property, or rent a boat to go further out on the water. On the property guests will also have access to a private picnic area overlooking the river.

Inside, the tiny home can sleep up to four. It has a loft bedroom, cozy living space, bathroom, and decently appointed kitchen. There’s also Wi-Fi, heat, and AC, so you can stay connected and enjoy a retreat here any time of the year. 

Address: Bellevue, Iowa
Price: $158/night

10. Rural Rapids Cabin

Credit: Vrbo

Bring the whole family plus friends to this spacious log cabin in the Whiterock Conservancy’s wilderness. Sleep up to 16 in this large cozy cabin and enjoy everything it and the area has to offer.

Here all your guests will be treated to a cozy rustic experience. Warm up by the two-way fireplace, share a meal at the large table, or prepare it together in one of two kitchens. Inside there are several large open spaces with places to congregate with friends and families.

Outside you’ll be treated to beautiful forest scenery, a lovely deck, and a yard for the kids and pets to play in. Just a short drive away are golf courses, parks, the city, and much more. 

Whether you’re looking to go shopping, go golfing, get out on the water in a kayak, or something else, you won’t be far from it. This massive space is built for a crowd and will have something for everyone.

Address: Guthrie County, Iowa
Price: $369/night

11. Beautiful Cabin on Working Bison Ranch

Credit: Vrbo

Surround yourself and your family with majestic bison in this beautifully handcrafted cabin. Up to seven guests can rest within the cabin’s cozy bison themed interior. Relax in the sounds of the ranch and nature, or head to the onsite store for some bison delicacies.

The cabin is spacious and has several cozy living and sleeping areas. Here guests can congregate comfortably, prepare meals, or head outside for a multitude of activities.

Onsite, there’s a retail store where guests can enjoy bison burgers, jerky, farm fresh eggs, and more. Beyond that, the cabin is only a short drive from loads of dining and recreation options.

Address: Grinnell, Iowa
Price: $165/night

12. Thornwood Cottage

Credit: Vrbo

This small cottage makes the most of its space to create an intimate and comfortable stay. Split across two floors, the cabin has space enough for four and amenities for all. Relax by the fire pit, or charge your fishing boat with the onsite hookups.

This space is perfect for those looking for a cozy stay with close friends. The cabin is newly remodeled and serves as the perfect home base for a fishing or hiking trip

The cabin is fully heated and air conditioned as well, so you can plan a trip any time of the year. The area is great for snow activities, so you’re in for some fun no matter when you visit.

Address: Lansing, Iowa
Price: $75/night

13. Cabin on the Big Sioux River

Credit: Vrbo

This massive open cabin offers the very best of rustic luxury. Sleep up to 10 within its open floor plan and enjoy everything this magnificent cabin has to offer. Warm up by the huge 17 foot fireplace or look out at the forest from massive windows or balcony.

Inside guests will have access to every appliance and comfort of home. Several beds and couches spread out through its three floors mean everyone will fit comfortably. 

One side of the cabin features massive windows and a balcony where you can look out over the river valley. You might even catch a glimpse of Sioux Falls in the distance. This is a luxury retreat for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors any time of the year.

Address: Lyon County, Iowa
Price: $395/night

14. Rustic Cabin River Retreat

Credit: Airbnb

Escape to this rustic cabin on the water where you can relax to the sound of the river and nature all around.

Sit in one of the rocking chairs, warm up by the stove, or roast some marshmallows in the fire pit outside. While it’s not recommended that you swim in the river, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of it. 

The river is right outside, so you’ll hear it while you grill, sleep, and relax. This is an ideal couple’s retreat where you can take it easy.

Address: Janesville, Iowa
Price: $145/night

15. Waterfront Getaway

Sleep up to eight in this beautiful, modern waterfront cabin. Space and comfort is at the forefront of every inch of this cabin, and you and your guests won’t be disappointed.

Warm up by the large fire pit, soak in the ambiently lit hot tub, or relax on the comfortably outfitted deck. All of this is available with a beautiful view of the river and forest beyond.

This cabin truly offers everything you could ask for and makes for a perfect retreat for the whole family. There’s something for everyone within this luxurious retreat.

Address: North Liberty, Iowa
Price: $224/night

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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