A Guide to Log Cabins in Northern California: What to Visit and Where to Stay

Yosemite in the background

California is more than just sunny beaches. In fact, The Golden State is full of historic and modern log cabins that are well worth exploring! In Northern California especially, you can find century-old cabins along with newer rentals to enjoy in any season. This guide will help you discover the most scenic log cabins to visit and rent during your NorCal vacation!

Historic Log Cabins to Visit in Northern California

If you want to explore unique and historic log cabins in California, check out the following on your next trip!

Alum Rock (San Jose)

Completed in 1916, the Alum Rock cabin was designed as a memorial to the early pioneers during the Gold Rush. Today, it remains a beautiful cabin in a pristine nature reserve that feels quite different from the nearby bustle of Silicon Valley.

Pioneer Log Cabin (Golden Gate Park, San Francisco)

Built from Redwood logs that floated down a NorCal river in the 1800’s, the Pioneer Log Cabin offers a beautifully rustic break from the energy of the surrounding city. It’s located within the vast Golden Gate Park and has a large recreation area with picnic benches, grills, wild flowers, and other nearby attractions.

Fort Ross (Sonoma)

Originally used as a Russian fur-trading outpost, Fort Ross is a wooden fortress nestled directly on Sonoma’s rugged coastside. Within the fortress gates, you’ll find log cabins with working fireplaces and various historical tools on display. This is an essential location for cabin lovers and anyone with an interest in Californian and Russian history!

Jack London’s Cabin (Oakland)

Built in Klondike, Alaska in 1898, and then torn down and reassembled in Oakland as a gift in 1965, Jack London’s Cabin is both historical and completely out of place on Oakland’s sunny waterfront. However, if you love cabins and quirky history, it’s definitely worth a stop!

The One-Log House (Humboldt)

Built in the 1940’s, the One-Log House really stretches the definition of a log cabin, but it’s odd enough to warrant a visit! This cabin is built inside of a giant hollowed out Redwood log which was then placed on wheels. What started as a traveling attraction soon became a permanent fixture in Humboldt County, and it remains one of the oddest houses in a state known for unique creations!

Where to Rent a Log Cabin in California

While the previous cabins are great for visiting, there’s nothing better than renting one of your own to enjoy on your next trip! Whether you’re traveling solo, with your friends or family, or on a romantic getaway, a log cabin in California can provide the perfect peace and tranquility needed to create an unforgettable vacation. Here are some important regions where you’re guaranteed to find countless cabins for rental!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe sits high in the Sierra mountain range and features a beautifully blue lake surrounded by pine forests and exciting towns. The lake stretches between California and Nevada, and the two most popular regions for house rentals are North Lake (in CA) and South Lake (in NV.)

All sides of the lake feature an assortment of hotels and private cabins, and many come complete with their own fireplace and rustic decor. Choose a lakeside cabin where you can ski and swim on the same day, stay in South Lake for casinos and nightlife, or go deeper into the forest for a more private experience. You can also check AirBNB along I-50 (which runs into South Lake) and I-80 (which runs into North Lake) for more cabin options in the small towns just outside of Tahoe. Whether you want to head up in the winter for some warm fireplace vibes or in the summer to swim and catch a glimpse of wild bears, Lake Tahoe log cabins are incredible year round!

Sonoma County

Known for its wine, coastal views, and sweeping hills alongside the Russian River, Sonoma County offers plenty of log cabins in a variety of settings. Stay near some wineries and enjoy fine dining, or relax in a more rural setting where you can see California’s countryside in all its glory!

Mendocino County

Mendocino County is right alongside the rugged Pacific Coast, and it offers everything from historic downtowns to beautiful nature preserves featuring rolling hills, creeks, and plenty of unspoiled nature. There are many rentals of all sizes with great amenities that are perfect for romantic evenings or large-group getaways. With options near the coastline and deeper within the forests, Mendocino is one of the best places to rent a log cabin in California!

Humboldt County

With vast Redwood forests, soothing creeks, and a gorgeously foggy coastline, Humboldt County is an essential stop for any fan of log cabins! Stay warm next to your cabin’s fireplace at night, then wake up to explore the Redwood State Park or drive along the Avenue of the Giants for an unforgettable experience!

With an amazing array of historical, modern, and even quirky log cabins, Northern California is an unexpectedly great place for all cabin lovers! Whether you wish to enjoy the summer fog on the coast or the snowy winters up in the mountains, you can’t go wrong by visiting or renting a cozy log cabin in California today!

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