CABBI Travel Blog

Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe in winter

14 Cozy Winter Cabins in California

Like no other season, winter evokes that ancient urge to hunker down and snuggle up in a cozy, secluded cabin. From foggy shores to pine-scented forests to snow-capped mountains, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite California cabins to settle into for a long winter’s night.

Albion River Inn
View from the cottages of Albion River Inn

Albion River Inn

22 spacious cottages line a coastal bluff near Mendocino with mesmerizing views of the headlands, rocky islets, a wooden trestle bridge spanning the Albion River, and a protected cove where the river flows languidly into the sea. From many of the cottages, you can enjoy the view from a spa tub or the seating area in front of the fire. In winter, the cottages provide an incredible perch for storm watching.

Interior of the Hideout Cabin at Black Bear Lodge
Hideout Cabin at Black Bear Lodge

Black Bear Lodge

In South Lake Tahoe, four spacious cabins are nestled in the pines behind the main lodge. The cabins’ buttery smooth linens, river rock fireplaces, and a well-curated mix of modern and rustic-chic furnishings create a sublime environment from which to watch the snowfall through large windows framed with icicles. An outdoor Jacuzzi is just steps away, sheltered beneath a gazebo trimmed with string lights.

Interior of the Tradewnds cottage at Carmel Cottage Inn
Tradewinds Cottage at Carmel Cottage Inn

Carmel Cottage Inn

Five historic cottages are nestled just a block from Carmel Beach and within an easy stroll of downtown.  The cottages have been lovingly restored. They feature inviting living rooms with toasty brick fireplaces and overstuffed couches, beds draped with beautiful quilts, charming kitchens with retro touches, and outdoor patios. One of the cottages, Log Haven, is one of the oldest homes in Carmel.

Interior of the Creekside Cottages at Circle Bar B Ranch
Creekside Cottage at Circle Bar B Guest Ranch

Circle Bar B Guest Ranch

Located on 1,100 acres of coastal mountain property 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, this off-the-grid dude ranch offers scenic horseback riding and a collection of cottages steeped in rustic luxury. The ranch’s secluded cottages overlook a creekside setting and feature king-sized beds, stone fireplaces, hardwood floors, tumbled marble baths, and private porches. All meals are included in the rate.

The Cottage Inn Lake Tahoe in winter
Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe

Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe

Beneath towering pines, enchanting 1938 cabins line Lake Tahoe’s quiet western shore with access to a private beach. The rustic exteriors belie the warm interiors, which feature gas fireplaces, luxurious bedding, exposed wood beams, honey-hued pine walls, and whimsical décor. Enjoy mulled wine and hors d’oeuvres by the fire at happy hour in the main lodge.

The Cottages of Napa Valley
The Cottages of Napa Valley

The Cottages of Napa Valley

Enjoy your own private cottage in wine country. Nestled along cobbled pathways under mature trees, these eight, free-standing vintage cottages have been beautifully renovated with luxurious creature comforts such as heated tile floors, gas fireplaces, and soaking tubs. Each also has its own wood-burning chiminea on a private patio for roasting s’mores. 

One of the cabins at Highlands Ranch Resort
A cabin at Highlands Ranch Resort

Highlands Ranch Resort

Along the edge of a bucolic meadow, seven cottages stand against a backdrop of snowcapped peaks. Each is outfitted with large windows overlooking the snowy meadow and upscale touches like oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, gas fireplaces, heated tile floors, and private outdoor Jacuzzi tubs. Ten minutes away, Lassen Volcanic National Park offers 150 miles of cross country and snowshoe trails.

Sea View cabin at Howard Creek Ranch
Sea View Cabin at Howard Creek Ranch

Howard Creek Ranch

A relaxing bohemian vibe permeates the rustic cabins scattered across this remote, 60-acre oceanfront farm in northern Mendocino County. Each of the five cabins offers private hot tubs and unique charms, but Sea View is unparalleled for its seclusion. Nestled in the forest high above the ranch, it features sweeping ocean views from its outdoor kitchen, tiered decks, and a hammock strung among the trees. 

Interior of Cottage 9 at Mar Vista Farm + Cottages
Cottage 9 at Mar Vista Farm + Cottages

Mar Vista Farm + Cottages

Just across Highway 1 from the ocean, Mar Vista Farm + Cottages is a working small farm along the “secret coast” of Mendocino County. Ten bright and airy vintage cottages scattered around the property offer cozy fireplaces and full kitchens. Guests enjoy farm-fresh eggs delivered to the cottages each day, use of the edible gardens, an enchanted redwood trail, and private access to a secluded beach.

Bandit's Bungalow at Nick's Cove
Bandit’s Bungalow at Nick’s Cove – Photo by Jackie Greaney

Nick’s Cove

Imbued with nostalgic charm, Nick’s Cove is a collection of meticulously restored bungalows overlooking the placid waters and moody winter skies of Tomales Bay. Handsome antiques, lofty beds, heated bathroom floors, vintage soaking tubs, and wood-burning fire stoves comfort the soul, while soft strains of jazz music drift over from the onsite oyster bar.

Jonagold Cottage at Orchard Hill Country Inn
Jonagold Cottage at Orchard Hill Country Inn

Orchard Hill Country Inn

In the mountains east of San Diego, 12 cottages provide seclusion and serenity on five acres above the small town of Julian.  The inn’s well-appointed cottages feature private porches, lofty beds draped with quilts, and gas fireplaces. Some also have whirlpool tubs. The property also features an idyllic pond ringed by hammocks and Adirondack chairs.

Cottage 4 at Sea Rock Inn
Cottage 4 at Sea Rock Inn

Sea Rock Inn

Just north of Mendocino village, Sea Rock Inn includes a collection of cottages with rustic charm and stunning ocean views. The walls of the cottages are finished with hand-hewn knotty pine and lodge-pole pine trim. Each of the cottages also features cozy gas fireplaces, queen featherbeds, and private decks overlooking Mendocino’s rugged headlands and frothy seas.  

Tahoma Meadows Cottages
Tahoma Meadows Cottages

Tahoma Meadows Cottages

On the quiet western shore of Lake Tahoe, a collection of red vintage cottages is nestled among the snowdrifts and the pines. Built in the 1940s “Old Tahoe” style, the cottages feature homey décor and gas fireplaces. Some also have claw-foot tubs and full kitchens. The cross-country trails at Sugar Pine Point State Park are within walking distance and Homewood Mountain Resort is just five miles away. 

Interior of The Casitas of Arroyo Grande. Photo by Patrick And
Cielo Casita at The Casitas of Arroyo Grande – Photo by Patrick And

The Casitas of Arroyo Grande

Situated atop a seven-acre estate near San Luis Obispo, The Casitas of Arroyo Grande is a collection of luxurious cottages overlooking vineyards and a verdant hillside. The cottages feature Spanish-style architecture and furnishings, kiva fireplaces with inlaid tile, and a full gourmet breakfast served en suite. The property also features a heated lap pool, bocce ball court, and lush gardens.