Too often you see a cute Wisconsin cabin on Airbnb or Instagram and then, after noting the location, realize it’s a few hundred miles from Milwaukee.
Thankfully there are adorable cabins decked out with design-driven décor and tucked into a woodsy or waterfront setting that are only an hour-and-a-half away. It’s easy to practice social distancing when there’s, um, nobody else around and not have to worry about being seated too close to another table at a restaurant or being elbowed in a hotel’s lounge.
From brand-new luxe cottages in Kohler to a tiny house that appeared on TV, here are four options.
1. Cedar Cabin and Log Cabin at Camp Wandawega
Chicagoan Tereasa Surratt’s Wisconsin vacation retreat (where the interior designer hunkers down with her daughter and husband) is also a spot where major brands like Crate & Barrel and Anthropologie — not to mention actress Reese Witherspoon — have hosted photo shoots, drawn to the campy décor with a vintage vibe. When you bunk in the side-by-side historic cabins (Cedar Cabin’s exterior is forest-green and Log Cabin’s white — perfect for a group traveling together) you also get access to the lake’s private beach and Adirondack chairs surrounding a fire pit. Also on the property are a treehouse, tee-pees, sports courts, boats and canoes. Although there aren’t kitchens, you can go old school by grilling outside and using an outdoor washing sink, storing food in an indoor mini-fridge.
2. Rustic Chic Cabin in the Woods
Tucked into the Kettle Moraine State Forest, the Airbnb listing for this four-bedroom, 1.5-bath cabin on three wooded acres says it all: “If Ron Swanson, Nate Berkus and Wes Anderson took a vacation together, we think they’d like to stay here.” Owner Maaike has done a bang-up job with the interior design, including reclaimed wood beams, two large wood-burning fireplaces, an artsy chandelier born out of antlers, Restoration Hardware’s Cloud sofa, emerald-green kitchen cabinetry and brick that’s been hand-treated with lime wash, along with a game room in a converted garage. Also available to guests is a fire pit to roast marshmallows for s’mores, a brick patio and outdoor BBQ space.
3. Lake and Pond Cabins
Aptly named Lake and Pond, The American Club unveiled these brand-new two-bedroom cabins (including full-on kitchens and baths outfitted with, of course, Kohler fixtures) last fall. If you’ve ever golfed at Whistling Straits, this is nearly in the championship golf course’s backyard. Lake has the distinction of hugging the shorelines of Lake Michigan — mirrored in the blue-and-white nautical-inspired décor — and includes a fire pit encircled by Adirondack chairs. Embracing its more secluded setting, Pond’s dark-stained wood walls and earth tones in tapestries match the 1,200-square-foot cabin’s mustard-yellow exterior. Both feature sizable porches and an indoor wood-burning fireplace. Bonus: both are dog-friendly.
4. The Monarch’s Paradise
Tiny houses are all the rage and the subject of many HGTV shows. This three-bedroom, three-bath tiny house appeared on an episode of Tiny House Hunters. No matter if it’s sunny or snowing, the surrounding outdoor space — including the patio with a table and chairs, plus a firepit — is ideal for hanging out. Flooded with natural light throughout, the kitchen is suited for a culinary enthusiast with its deep French farmhouse sink and full-size appliances, along with ample counter space. And in case you’re wondering, yes, there is a flushable toilet and running water.