Are you looking for the perfect family cabin rental within a (roughly) three-hour drive of Champaign-Urbana?
When we started to search for cabin rentals surrounding Champaign-Urbana, we realized that there are a lot more than we ever imagined. We made this list to help you start your search.
We hope you can find that perfect cabin for a winter or spring getaway – or plan ahead for summer. Yes, we said summer; now is the time to plan, as some of these locations are booking pretty far out.
Please always call ahead to verify details as amenities and options may change frequently. Rates quoted below may change seasonally; we have kept these recommendations as affordable as possible.
Please note that inclusion on this list doesn’t mean we have personally been to all of these locations, but rely on reader recommendations, as well as reviews (we only include those with 4.75 stars and up – most are more like 4.85 and up).
We’ve focused on cabins that are less than a four-hour drive from Champaign-Urbana; most are less than three hours, and we tried not to go anywhere where folks might get stuck in traffic. All are good for socially distanced getaways.
Note: Photos courtesy of AirBnB. AirBnB links are affiliate links, and chambanamoms.com earns commissions on bookings through those links. Thank you for supporting our small business.
Southern Illinois – Shawnee National Forest
We could probably write up a whole article just on cabin rentals in Southern Illinois, which are way more plentiful than we EVER imagined. This short list focuses on a few that are affordable and meant for year-round use.
What’s to do here? Plenty, outdoors. Year-round hiking, fishing and camping is popular; there are scenic drives, and even Superman to visit in Metropolis. In warmer weather, there’s lots of water activities such as swimming, boating and more. For the adventurous, there’s zip-lining, horseback riding and other thrill seeking activities.
Little Texas Lodge: Yes, we promise this is in Illinois; the Texas theme is just for the house. A convenient home base for many of the natural attractions in the Shawnee Natural Forrest, most within 15-60 minutes away. Family-friendly amenities include a pack and play. “Birds. Wildlife. Geology. Dark sky. Year-round hiking. Quiet comfort in the 3-bedroom lodge. Bring your books and cameras!” Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 3 hours, 15 minutes.
Red Roof Retreat Cabin: This cozy cabin is on the water and has tons of amenities for the money. Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, fishing poles and 2 mountain bikes available with rental. Outdoor deck and view of the night sky “to die for.” This place has a tiny house across the street if you need room for more; winter stays are also well reviewed. The owners of this property also own the Jaybird Treehouse, which we featured in our unique stays around Illinois article. Rents for $126/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 3 hours, 15 minutes.
Hutchins Creek Cabin: This family-friendly two-bedroom, one bath cabin is a great place to “bathe” in nature with your family. Creek stomp right outside the door. Fire pit, multiple decks, and screened-in porch. Hutchins Creek Cabin is located along spring-fed Hutchins Creek, surrounded by Shawnee National Forest Wilderness Areas, and at the south edge of the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Open for rentals starting in May. Typically rents for $130/ night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 3 hours, 25 minutes.
Boutique Southern Illinois Cabin: Described as a “microcabin,” this AirBnb is too pretty for words. It looks like a cozy destination for a small family (note that one of the beds is up in a loft.) Two paddleboards are available. One guest reports: “Often we find Airbnbs to be much less nice than in the posting picture, but this is the first time the pictures don’t do it justice.” Averages $148 night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: three hours.
Want to stay close to home? Check out these cabin options in Mattoon, Effingham, and elsewhere.
Lake Paradise Cottage, Mattoon: Fishing, bird watching, and canoeing in Central Illinois: it’s all here, at this AirBnB that at last read had 20+ 5-star ratings. Best of all: affordability. Rents for $91/night before fees. Here’s one guest’s review: “Great location, beautiful views, and charming decor. My son had the time of his life fishing from the deck. We have already started to plan when we can return next! Highly recommend!” Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 1 hour.
Peaceful Cabin Near the Beach, Effingham: Did you know there is a lake in Effingham? With a beach? This 2-bedroom cabin is right on Lake Sara. There’s four kayaks for use of patrons, and a boat dock to use if you have your own. Fishing too. Great reviews – “Cozy” “clean” “pleasant” “peaceful.” We recommend going to eat at Heron Cove. (Here’s more on what to do in Effingham.) Rents for $115 before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Lake Cabin in the Woods: This cabin has a lake and a (shared) swimming pool (weather permitting), and is surrounded by 20 acres of woods filled with cypress and pine trees. It has a fire pit, a porch swing and plenty of places to lounge. Boats are available upon request. Best of all – highly rated. Located in West Salem, it’s a bit off the beaten path – but not too far from Evansville, Indiana. Bonus: has high-speed internet. Typically rents for around $115/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: About 2 hours, 15 minutes.
A-Frame Chalet in Ingleside: This place is more expensive than most of our selected listings, but it comes with resort-like amenities including a pool, hot tub, tennis court, sauna, sand beach and more. The chalet cabin is in far northern suburbs, but has its own lake on the property, with kayaks and fishing available on premise. There’s also game tables in the basement. Good hiking nearby, at the adjacent Volo Bog State Park. From a reviewer: “A fantastic “A” frame cabin slightly off the path but close enough to make a quick trip if you need anything. This was the winter weekend trip we needed to relax by the fire and entertain ourselves with some games.” Cost: ($200-275/night before fees, depending on multiple factors) Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 3 hours, 15 minutes.
The Cabins at Pine Creek, Oregon, IL: If cozy isn’t your thing and you prefer a little more elbow room – or perhaps you have a large family – this cabin might be the right option for your traveling group. Three real bedrooms, lots of beds, and more elbow room characterize this cabin. Bonus: jacuzzi tub. Oregon is located near multiple state parks, including Lowden State Park, home of the iconic Eternal Indiana sculpture (also called Black Hawk Statue) by famous artist Lorado Taft (who designed the Alma Mater). Tons of five-star reviews! Rents for $225/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Starved Rock Area:
Starved Rock Area Luxury Family Cabin: This is a true cabin, without bedrooms, but has three beds and can sleep up to four comfortably. Enjoy a whirlpool tub, covered porch w/porch swing, outdoor fire pit and more. 10 minutes from Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessien State Park. Wanna unplug? There’s no wifi here, but that’s one of the few amenities this place doesn’t have. Rents for about $158/night before fees (there are several others available in the same complex). Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about two hours.
A beautiful option year round, Galena is about four hours from Champaign-Urbana. As this is a popular place for cityfolk, beware that prices tend to be a bit big city here too – so our recommendations are outside of town, where it’s not so expensive. What’s to do? The town is quaint (and has made a huge effort to be safe), the fall colors are beautiful, there’s skiing, and summer brings lots of typical resort town recreation.
Homestead Hideaway, Elizabeth, IL: This 2 bedroom, fully loaded cabin can fit up to six guests and is about 15 minutes from Galena. Fireplace, fire pit and porch located in the woods. From a review: “The cabin is great. Very secluded and clean. It has all the amenities you want.” (But no WiFi, if that matters to you.) This is a duplex so another group is below. Roughly $205/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: three hours, 45 minutes.
Highview County Escape: This cabin is located on a hilltop of a generational family farm. “Feel free to explore the acres of wooded areas with mowed paths and open space with wildflower patches and berries in the summer. Relax in the hot tub located on the west deck during the sunset or a starry night.” Be aware it’s not in Galena, but 30 minutes away. Rental for $178/night, this place is popular and books fast. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about three hours and 30 minutes.
Mississippi River Getaways
Floating Mississippi River Cottage, Sabula, Iowa: Evidently, this cottage actually floats! It has charmed many families, who have enjoyed the river views, fishing from the docks, and the screened in porch. In true cabin style, there are multiple beds but not an actual bedroom. Rental for $155/night, this place has open dates starting in May. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about three hours and 30 minutes.
Cozy A-frame Guest House, Quincy: This stylish cozy cabin gets rave reviews for its amenities and hospitality. Guests are told not to miss the back patio area, with its great view to watch the sun set over the pond. Two bedrooms. Reviews indicate that kids toys are available and that there are cows and chickens nearby. Kids love the loft. Rents for $126/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about three hours.
Sitting by the Bay in New Boston, IL: This cozy cabin packs a lot into a small space, and is a great location for those who want to explore the river area and enjoy the outdoors. Rental includes use of 3 kayaks and one canoe. “Quirky and fun decor and space. Lots of board games and other entertainment options.” This newly renovated cabin has one traditional bedroom and two lofts. Note this is next to the river, but doesn’t have a river view. Affordable; rents for $75/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about three hours.
Indiana State Parks
One of the things about Indiana State Parks is that they typically offer very affordable cabin rentals – and plenty of them. These are typically no-frills rentals, often called primitive. But they can be very budget-friendly, and socially distanced. Be sure to read the fine print about what the cabins actually come equipped with; be prepared for anything (like bringing your own pillows/sheets/towels/silverware). All cabins are reserved through this website.
Rustic Cabin Get Away, Veedersburg: This affordable rental – with 40+ 5-star reviews – is just over the Indiana state line, and not far from Turkey Run State Park. Plenty of room to bring the family and then some. “Looks very rustic outside but so stylish and cool inside.” Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about one hour
Serene Cabin near Turkey Run and Shades State Parks: Private retreat on 4+ acres of beautiful woods, ravine with view and stream, minutes from Turkey Run State Park, Shades State Parks and covered bridges. Cabin is a short walk to Jackson Covered Bridge, the longest single span covered bridge in the USA. Three bedrooms, Rents for $189/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about one hour, 15 minutes.
Log Cabin + Guest House on a Pond with Hot Tub, Terre Haute: Missing vacationing with family? If you want to travel with another grandparents or other family members/friends but want different places to sleep, this cabin and guest house near Terre Haute sounds like a good option. Plan ahead for this one. The wraparound deck, screened-in porch, round hot tub and stocked fishing pond caught our attention (and plenty of other great amenities). What’s near Terre Haute, you ask? Well, the underrated Shakamak State Park for one thing. There’s also a children’s museum and some other interesting parks. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about 90 minutes
Rock Ridge Log Cabin – Brown County, Indiana: Sit in the hot tub under the stars in this private yet well located log cabin, that has room for six. This cabin comes complete with a separate “teen/tween” shed with an air hockey table, puzzles and games. Multiple five-star reviews with words like “authentic” and “perfect getaway.” Brown County, Indiana is one of the most scenic locales in the state, with plenty of rolling hills, hiking trails, and streams. It’s not far from Columbus, Indiana, home to unique and historic architecture. Rents for around $200/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about 2 hours, 45 minutes
Lakewood Cottage, Warsaw Indiana: Want water views, without the inflated waterfront prices? Do you have a bunch of kids? This is the place for you. This rental has just under a 5-star pristine rating. There’s a nice deck for outdoor dining and grassy backyard, too. Two kayaks are available for use in warmer months. Bonus: fast WiFi. Very affordable rate of $89/night before fees. Distance from Champaign-Urbana: about 3 hours, 20 minutes