Private Places To Stay Near 9 of the South's Best National Parks

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Luray VA cabin rental
Photo: Vrbo

Whether you consider yourself "outdoorsy" or not, certain special places across our Southern landscape deserve spots on everyone's bucket lists. That includes the towering peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains and the sprawling wetlands of the Florida Everglades. While they might seem like polar opposites, they also share one thing in common: they've claimed a spot within our vast and diverse National Park system.

These rugged and unspoiled gems offer world-class hikes, breathtaking vistas, and ample opportunities for complete seclusion–a perfect recipe for the safe, memorable, and easygoing vacation we all need. If you're ready to check some of the South's best national parks and seashores off your must-see list, here are 9 perfect places to stay in solitude nearby.

01 of 09

If you're headed to…Big Bend National Park

Big Bend Dome Rental
Airbnb

Stay here: Off-Grid Adobe Dome in Terlingua, Texas

Texas's desert gem is known for its dark skies, and there's no better place to stargaze than from this off-the-beaten-path, solar-powered dome house. Located in quirky Terlingua—known for its famous ghost town—the remote escape includes WiFi, a small indoor kitchen, and an outdoor grill. But chances are you won't be spending too much time here. The mountains of Big Bend are just a stone's throw away.

Rent it: $114 per night; airbnb.com

02 of 09

If you're headed to…Canaveral National Seashore

New Smyrna Beach House Rental
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Stay here: NSB Break Villa in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

If you think Florida isn't the best place to avoid crowdy beaches, you haven't met Canaveral National Seashore. This long stretch of barrier island beach is calm and pristine, but it also happens to be somewhat of a hidden gem (except for the sea turtles that nest on its shores). Just north of the park is the laid-back town of New Smyrna Beach, where this home is steps away from the beach. The two bedrooms and multiple decks will give you plenty of outdoor space.

Rent it: $207 per night; airbnb.com

03 of 09

If you're headed to…Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Gatlinburg TN cabin rental
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Stay here: Kozy Creek A-Frame Chalet in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

It doesn't get more charming than a classic A-frame cabin tucked away in the mountains, especially when you throw in faux log siding, natural wood interiors, and a spacious deck where you can hear the sounds of a babbling creek down below. This little hideaway also happens to be well placed: It's just two miles from a ski lodge and eight to the national park.

Rent it: $253 per night; vrbo.com

04 of 09

If you're headed to…Colonial National Historical Park

Charles City VA Home Rental
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Stay here: Hutch's Bluff in Charles City, Virginia

As tempting as it is to live as the locals did in authentic colonial homes, if you want some seclusion during your visit to Virginia's Historic Triangle—Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown—this is a pretty dreamy option. Perched on a blufftop overlooking the Chickahominy River, the two-bedroom A-frame includes updated interiors, an outdoor fire pit, and a private 100-foot pier affording direct river access.

Rent it: $225 per night; airbnb.com

05 of 09

If you're headed to…Congaree National Park

Gaston SC Cabin Rental
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Stay here: Congaree Vines in Gaston, South Carolina

Congaree National Park offers the rare opportunity to witness a bevy of champion trees (the largest known of their kind). But when you're not walking among giants, you can kick back at this rustic cabin set on the edge of a vineyard. You can sip on complimentary homegrown port wine while lounging in a hammock or around the property's fire pit. Yes, please.

Rent it: $84 per night; airbnb.com

06 of 09

If you're headed to…Shenandoah National Park

Luray VA cabin rental
Vrbo

Stay here: Falling Leaf Cabin in Luray, Virginia

If your answer to "mountains or ocean" is forever the former, we've found just the spot for you. Situated on three wooded acres between the Massanutten and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges, this cozy cabin offers endless opportunities to explore the wilderness (or kick back and enjoy the views). Perks of the place also include a large deck with a hot tub, a lofted bedroom with skylights, and a wood-burning fireplace.

Rent it: $222 per night; vrbo.com

07 of 09

If you're headed to…Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs Treehouse Rental
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Stay here: Mountain Air Treehouse in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Made up of a network of ancient thermal springs and historic bathhouses tucked within a scenic mountain range, Hot Springs National Park is a spa lover's dream outdoor retreat. At this modern two-sleeper treehouse, you can soak up the history—downtown Hot Springs is just minutes away—while also enjoying being completely removed from it all.

Rent it: $250 per night; airbnb.com

08 of 09

If you're headed to…Mammoth Cave National Park

mammoth cave cabin rental
Airbnb

Stay here: Charming Lake House in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

As the world's longest known cave system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this natural wonder is an awe-inspiring sight that every Southerner (and beyond) should have on their travel list. If you're taking the family, this rustic eight-sleeper cabin compound is the perfect home away from home. The property, located off a quiet road, boasts three structures, including the main house with a kitchen, a separate bunkhouse, and a pavilion for dining and hanging out among the trees.

Rent it: $131 per night; airbnb.com

09 of 09

If you're headed to…Assateague Island National Seashore

Chincoteague House Rental
Airbnb

Stay here: A Boater's Dream on Chincoteague Island, Virginia

The next-door neighbor to Assateague Island, Chincoteague is a quiet, charming place to get away with easy access to the national seashore's famed wild horses. This two-bedroom cottage is a perfect home base, with front-row views of the Assateague Channel, lighthouse, and wild ponies in the distance. Plus a dock for fishing, crabbing, and tying up a boat or kayak.

Rent it: $120 per night; airbnb.com

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