Maryland does two things well: crab cakes and football. And while those two are absolutely delightful, maybe it’s time to get out and test a lesser-known feature of the state. We’re talking about the outdoors. With miles and miles of coastline and a wild, tree-lined interior, the state is beautiful. For those who aren’t ready to brave a tent under the stars, we have a few recommendations for awesome, budget-friendly cabins in Maryland.
Just west of Baltimore, and one city over from the adorably named West Friendship, is Ellicott City. Primarily known as a suburb, Ellicott City’s location also grants it access to a number of outdoor activities. Chief among these is Patapsco Valley State Park and Centennial Park, home of Lake Centennial. Because of the thriving nature scene, it’s perhaps unsurprising that our first favorite cabin is in these parts. The Charming Cabin is aptly named, being striking on the inside with vibrantly painted walls and exposed wood beams that were hand cut by axes in 1855.
This cabin is quite literally older than the United States of America! Just by being in this quaint home, visitors are transported back in time and can experience a little piece of history. The log cabin is now on a working farm, and with that comes some fun idiosyncrasies. For one, the hosts encourage guests to bring their horses with them on their stay. Also, visitors can head over to the farm store to buy (extremely) fresh beef, pork, and chicken. Just be sure to watch out for the fences, they’re electric.
When one looks at the map it may seem like this cabin’s location, Keedysville, is in the middle of nowhere, but it is actually close to a number of destinations that might interest out of towners. For history buffs tours of Gettysburg are just about an hour away, while Harper’s Ferry, in one of West Virginia’s best state parks, is also an easy drive. It’s also walking distance from the Antietam Battlefield. For more recent history, Washington DC is just over an hour away. Meanwhile, those trying to get outdoors can follow the cabin’s path to Antietam Creek where they kayak, tube, or go fishing. This cozy little cabin is also just seven miles from the Appalachian Trail.
There are not many places in the United States where someone looking for a vacation rental can find something that is affordable and has direct beach access. Both those things are features of the Summerlee Cottage. Those staying here can wander down a short path right to the edge of the sea where they can utilize the private stretch of shore. While the beach access is on the Chesapeake Bay, it is also generally close to Point Lookout State Park where the Potomac River intersects with the famous bay. The house itself is smartly decorated and has a great seating area outside amongst wild greenery — all for a price around $100 per night.
Perhaps the listing in this group with the best cabin feel, this accommodation on the Patuxent River near the town of Lusby gives off major woodsy vibes; it may be the wooden interior or more likely it’s the giant bass replica hanging over the fireplace. Out back, the cabin opens up on to a portion of the river that is calm and lined with private docks from neighboring homes. Solomons, a slightly larger town, is nearby and is a fantastic place to rent a boat or a kayak.
This affordable cabin in Oakland, Maryland, is nestled amongst the trees just over the West Virginia border. The area is situated perfectly for outdoor recreation. In the summer, Deep Creek Lake is just 14 miles from the tiny home, and serves as a nice place to take a cooling dip. Meanwhile, in the wintertime, Sugarbush is in between multiple ski resorts including Wisp Ski Resort, Canaan Valley, and Timberline Ski Resort. However, because of the cabin’s remote location, to reach it in the snowy months visitors must be equipped with an all-terrain or four wheel drive vehicle. The home has designed itself based on the tiny home phenomenon but it is still very cozy and has every amenity needed for a great stay.
Another charming cabin in the woods surrounding Oakland, this particular example is newly built and ready to accommodate guests looking for a romantic getaway, a family retreat or maybe a hunting trip with friends. This may not be our cheapest budget cabin option but with seven beds the cost can be split and potentially only cost each person $25 (USD). After a day of adventuring, be sure to gather around the fire pit and get some tasty food on the grill while admiring the stars through the forest canopy.
Our priciest Maryland cabin on this list — mostly due to its location right on the Chester River — this Rivershore Retreat is still a steal. Not only does the house back on to the shores of the pristine river, it also has a full acre of land that makes it a great family destination for kids to play. With access to its own private dock, visitors can arrive by boat, as well as make use of the cabin’s three kayaks and two inner tubes. Just a one-mile walk across the local bridge is Chestertown, a historic 18th century town, home to great farmers markets and restaurants.