Written by Olivia Elsher
A cabin escape offers so much more than your typical vacation. Instead of being cooped up in a tiny hotel room, you have an entire home away from home. It’s the next best thing to having a second property and who’s to stop you from playing pretend during your holiday? The folks in Martha’s Vineyard have nothing on Central Pennsylvania’s natural beauty, especially in the fall.
Even though you have plenty of space, it won’t do to pass the entire week lazing about your temporary homestead. Leave room for R&R but plan some fun activities to put that spring back into your step after laboring too long without a break. Here are four tips for how to make the most out of your cabin vacation.
1. Get Active Outdoors
Are you traveling to a cabin by the lake? If so, take advantage of boat and canoe rentals to get your family out on the water. It doesn’t matter if you fish or brave the rapids — something about aquatic life soothes the weary soul.
Ensure you review boat safety rules so that you have an enjoyable experience:
- Wear a lifejacket: They’re musts, even on peaceful waters.
- Get educated: Listen to the instructions for the type of vessel you rent.
- Prepare yourself: Leave a float plan for someone on shore and ensure you have supplies like a first aid kit, anchor, and signal flares on board.
What if you get hopelessly seasick, even when the lake’s as smooth as glass? Don’t neglect land-based adventures. You’ll find numerous gorgeous hikes in Central PA, such as the Boyd Big Tree Conservation Area. Study a map before you leave so you know what you’re in for — blue and white marked trails are suitable for nearly anyone, while black diamonds and doubles offer serious challenges.
2. Have Fun With the Whole Family
One beautiful part of a cabin vacation is all the activities. Most lodging establishments have various playgrounds and sports courts for younger family members and the young at heart. Bring your ball and play some pickup hoops, perhaps betting on who does the dinner dishes over a game of horse.
Get brave — don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. For example, why not try a zipline park and sail through the treetops like a bird? Some facilities with ample rock croppings have spare crash pads to borrow if you want to give bouldering a go — it’s like mountain climbing without all the ropes, carabiners and vertigo-inducing heights.
3. Rustle Up Some Down-Home Deliciousness
You don’t have to drop a bundle on takeout or fancy restaurants when you’re on a cabin vacation. There’s a full kitchen — why not rustle up some down-home deliciousness your whole family will love?
For example, many cabin lodging facilities have plenty of barbecues onsite — you might have one on your back patio. Why not grill up some steaks? You can do sous-vide cooking without a machine and it will make the most unforgiving cuts taste as tender as if they came from a 4-star restaurant.
What’s for a side? How about using that cabin kitchen to whip up some Pennsylvania Dutch potato salad and fresh corn on the cob? Finish with apple pie — having access to a freezer means you can add that scoop of French vanilla ice cream to the top.
4. Set a Relaxing, Romantic Ambiance
You can’t make the most of your cabin vacation without using your lodging’s most romantic feature — the fireplace. Most cabins come equipped with a traditional model or a wood-burning stove, offering a cozy ambiance. Make fire-starting easier by picking up a few Duraflame logs before you arrive — some facilities prefer you use this fuel.
Your cabin might not have a television or internet connection, but it’s better to unplug. Download a romantic playlist to your phone before you depart and bring your speakers. A little background music helps you set the scene for relaxation. Are you taking a romantic getaway? A few candles can make snuggling by the fire all the sweeter.
Enjoying Your Next Cabin Vacation
A cabin getaway is much more than a typical vacation. You get to explore some of the unique scenery only Central Pennsylvania offers while spreading out in spacious, comfortable surroundings.
Enjoy the beauty of the rural countryside and make the most out of your cabin vacation with the above tips. Who knows? You might enjoy this rich region so much you decide to call it home.