10 cozy cabin rentals that offer a comfy take on summer camping.

The arrival of camping season can inspire cheers from some members of the family, but tears from others. Fortunately, there’s a solution to the great divide: redefine your definition of camping. 

Renting a cabin can elevate your camping experience from down and dirty to a relaxing rustic retreat with creature comforts like comfy beds, covered porches and a nice, hot shower. Tried and true camping fans will still get to enjoy time around the campfire and find all kinds of fun in the great outdoors, and everyone will go home a little happier.

Here are some great cabin options for your summer travels in Ontario’s Southwest.

Rustic Retreats

Oakwood Escape in Dunnville offers a selection of canvas prospector-style tents that allow guests to “glamp” in comfort with cozy beds, luxurious bedding, handmade furniture, dishes and cooking equipment and picture-perfect views. Outside the tent there is a covered porch with Adirondack chairs, barbecue, firepit and picnic table. There are shared flushable toilets, an outdoor shower with on-demand hot water and an outdoor sink. Oakwood Escape has an authentic working farm feel. Guests can even pick fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden. There is also an on-site pond and acres of Carolinian forest for exploring.

Fun fact: Fresh eggs are supplied every day courtesy of Oakwood Escape’s hens.

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In Norfolk County, Long Point Eco-Adventures’ 10 “Pods” offer a fun alternative to traditional tent camping. Fuel up with a complimentary hot buffet breakfast. After a day of outdoor adventure including activities like zip lining, kayaking, and mountain biking, relax on the private deck enjoying the amazing view of Lake Erie’s Long Point Bay. At night, enjoy a Stargazing Tour at the Long Point Observatory before crawling into your Pod’s comfy bed. Read about a blogger’s relaxing stay in a Long Point Pod.

Fun fact: Long Point is such a one-of-a-kind natural landscape it has been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

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Just 45 minutes from London, Texas Longhorn Ranch is another great option for a one-of-a-kind rural retreat. This bed and breakfast near Strathroy offers overnight accommodation in private covered wagons complete with comfy beds and luxury linens. Guests can enjoy a scenic horseback ride along the Sydenham river, cool off in the huge outdoor pool and relax by the campfire at night. As guests must be over the age of 21 and there are no pets, no televisions, no loud music, this is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a few days of serenity.

Fun fact: Texas Longhorn skulls, horns and hides are available for purchase right from the the Ranch.

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Campers Cove Campground, just down the road from Wheatley Provincial Park and an easy drive to Point Pelee National Park, offers six 12-foot x 12-foot log cabins that each sleep two adults and three children. Interior cabin comforts include a double bed and bunk beds, a bar fridge, air conditioning and an electrical outlet. Outside there is a covered porch, picnic table, charcoal barbecue, fire pit, water tap and another electrical outlet. The campground offers 1,200-feet of beautiful beach, clean washrooms and shower stations, a camp store, a snack bar, daily activities for kids, weekend dances, group campfires, movies and more.

Fun fact: On-site kayak and bike rentals make it easy to get out and explore the area.

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Otter River Farm’s rustic cabins and bunkies offer a rural retreat that’s just an eight-minute drive to the beach in Port Burwell. Hike and explore on ten miles of groomed trails, enjoy catch-and-release fishing on two on-site ponds, swim in the spring-fed pond or bring your own canoe or kayak and paddle down the scenic Otter River.

Fun fact: Cabin rental options include an old train station and a cabin made from bales of straw that are both solar powered.

Otter River Cabin

Rock Glen Family Resort, which is just a 40-minute drive from Sarnia, is situated beside a beautiful waterfall and is just a half-hour drive to the sandy beaches of Grand Bend. The family-friendly resort offers a collection of six cabins for rent. All are equipped with a three-piece bath, dishes, pans, a coffee maker, kettle, toaster and microwave, and an outdoor barbecue.

Fun fact: Right across the road from the resort there is one of North America’s largest deposits of fossils, which makes for an awesome afternoon of exploring.

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Less Rustic, More Comfort

If you’d like a rental option with a few more creature comforts, consider renting a trailer at Knights Beach Resort on the shores of Lake Erie in Haldimand County. The park offers 20-foot trailers with air conditioning, a full kitchen with dinette, a washroom with stand-up shower, a private bedroom with a queen bed, a pull-out double bed and a bonus single bed. Outside, the trailer sites have a picnic table, a barbecue and fire pit with Adirondack chairs. The resort offers plenty of outdoor fun including wagon rides, nature trails, volleyball courts, a playground and over a half mile of excellent sandy beach.

Fun fact: The on-site Surf Shack Bar and Grill serves up great local perch.

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If you’d like to be close to the quaint lakeside village of Erieau, Molly and OJ’s Lakeside Cabin Rentals is a great option. These cabins are just steps from the beach and feel more like small cottages, complete with basic kitchens, linens and towels. Read about one blogger’s summer stay at Molly and OJ’s cabins.

Fun fact: It’s an easy walk to get to Bayside Brewing Company to enjoy a pint of Long Pond Lager.

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More Cottage Than Cabin

Bayside Vacation Resort offers seven comfortably furnished (think stainless steel appliances and flat-screen televisions) cottages on the shores of Lake Erie that sleep two, four or six and are just minutes away from the beautiful beach at Long Point Provincial Park.

Fun fact: Bayside has package rates available for group bookings. What a fun location for a family reunion!

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Stone’s Throw Cottage, in the quaint village of Harrow, offers an ideal location for touring the wineries of the Essex Pelee Island Coast region, exploring some of the area’s world-class birding sites and enjoying nearby Colchester Beach. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a gas fireplace and a wrap-around deck with amazing Lake Erie views will make you feel like you’ve escaped to a beach house in the Hamptons.

Fun fact: Nearby Amherstburg is one of Ontario’s oldest towns and a great destination for some afternoon strolling and shopping.

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