So it's, and you want to get away to a rustic nestled deep in the woods. * You see yourself basking in the glow of a small crackling fire, while cuddling with your sweetie on the sofa. * Outside a crisp evening breeze portends the change in seasons. * Or, maybe you imagine walking through an autumnal forest under azure skies, dry leaves crunching underfoot, while squirrels and birds scurry about.
How do you find these memorable spots? Turn on your computer, access your favorite search engine, and type in the keywords "." Unfortunately, when you see the magnitude of choices, your vision flies southward like a flock of migrating geese.
Take a gander at our selections instead. You just might locate the idealfor your fall getaway. Most offerings provide photos, rates, and agreement details.
Circling the Smokies
According to the number of sites listed for the areas of North Carolina and Tennessee around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, these states are the number one destination forrentals in the United States. We selected a few sites that stand out above the rest.
On the Tennessee side, look for locales near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge at www.gatlin burgchalets.com. Many of their chalets feature whirlpool tubs and pool tables, in addition to fireplaces and decks with wonderful views. Townsend, about 15 minutes from Cades Cove, has a wide selection of cabins and homes in Laurel Valley, a gated golf course community. Check out the choices at www.white oakrealty.com.
Maggie Valley, in North Carolina, is smaller and less crowded. Browse Johnson Branch Cabins at http://hay wood.main.nc.us/~keno/. If you prefer the cosmopolitan air of Asheville, visit www.willowwinds.com, a site devoted to 21 new luxury rentals located between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Biltmore Estate, 45 minutes from the national park.
Look to www.turnstonecabins.com for log cabins between Dillard, Georgia, and Franklin, North Carolina. Adjacent to the Nantahala Wilderness Area, they are made of hand-hewn logs with dovetail notched corners, pine floors, and tin roofs. Visit www.wildernessview cabins.com, and check out the new luxury rentals between Ellijay and Chatsworth, Georgia, each on its own 5 acres with outdoor hot tubs and stacked stone fireplaces (wood provided).
West Virginia's tumble of forested hills also hides quaint destinations at Summersville Lake and the Gauley and New Rivers area. Examine the details at www.westvirginiacabins.com. Nearby you'll find white-water rafting, horseback riding, llama trekking, rock climbing, and mountain biking. For anglers in search of supreme trout fishing, go to www.barnettcabins.com for rentals on Stamping Creek in Pocahontas County.
Visitors to the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, may want to enjoy the independence of their own. Log cabins with whirlpool tubs, wood-burning stoves, decks, and kitchenettes can be found at www.eureka cabins.com.
Slip into the wide-open spaces of the Texas Hill Country. Four simply appointed cabins on the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels are featured at www.oakhillriverinn.com.
Staying on the Wild Side
Explore the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area in Tennessee by horseback. The cabins at www.bigsouthforkcabins.com offer stalls for your steed or horses for hire.
You will also find rustic cabins at the National Forest Service Web site. Although the accommodations are not as plush, the locations are ideal. Look forrentals in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia, as well as the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia and the Ocala National Forest in Florida at www.fs.fed.us/recreation/permits/ cabinrentals.htm.
A couple of Web sites offer nationwide rentals. At www.cabins.com we discovered intriguing locales. The best Virginia selections came from www.mountain-lodging.com. This site lists so many Shenandoah Valley rentals they alternate offerings every 10 days.
Even the most loyal Southerners escape to destinations outside our region from time to time. We found three worthy ones.
Take a hike in the forests of New York's Adirondack Mountains. Go to www.canadalakemarine.com to findrentals on lovely Canada Lake. Two of their cabins are accessible by boat only.
You can skip the crowded resort scene in Hawaii by reserving aat www.hawaii-travelers.com, where you will find beachfront estates, homes, and condos for rent.
For those of you who really have a desire to get away from the crowd, check out www.denali flying.com. The Denali Flying Service offers fly-in cabins in Alaska. They also offer Iditarod tours for the March 2002 mush race. Happy Trails. Annette Thompson
September 24, 2006