Jules Undersea Lodge
Key Largo, Florida
The only way to get to Jules is to strap on an oxygen tank and scuba your way there -- hows that for remote?!
Inside your watertight cabin 21 feet below the lagoons rippling surface at Key Largo Undersea Park, youll settle in with must-have creature comforts including a hot shower, a kitchen, and room service if you prefer. PLUS, youll have a view of the amazing creatures living all around you, through 42-inch windows. Theres even a Marine Biologist on hand to teach you all about the habitat and its residents.
Beginners can get Open Water Certified in the 30-foot deep protected lagoon, while advanced divers go exploring.
LeConte Lodge - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Strap on your Timberlands -- youre going to have to hike to this lodge thats located 5 miles outside Gatlinburg and 5 miles up.
Seriously *UP* -- youll be hiking about 6,400 feet into the clouds that shroud the Great Smoky Mountains to reach this camp thats older than the national park it calls home. And in keeping with their hell-and-gone location and 19th-century origins, Le Contes 7 cabins and 3 lodges are lit by kerosene lamps, since they have no electricity. You should know there are no showers or baths, either. You get a wash basin and sponge in your hand-built rough-hewn log cabin at the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States.
You also get the best views in the Smokies, absolute escape from it all, quiet simplicity, and communal activities from hearty shared meals to the thrice weekly made-the-whole-thing-worth-it gatherings to greet the llama caravans that bring the lodges supplies.
Ludlow's Island on Lake Vermillion
Anchors aweigh! Suitably enough, only a boat can get you to this family-owned retreat on a private island in The Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Remote? Yes. Spartan? Dont make us laugh! This place is woodsy-as-it-gets and equal parts absolutely fantastic. The 20 classic Northwoods cabins, each unique, have multiple baths, wood-burning fireplaces, decks, and screened porches. And the setting? Just wow. They rest at the waters edge under a thick, ancient pine and birch.
Lake Vermilions extra-large muskies make fishing the big draw here, but no way the only one. Exploring the wild and wildlife, swimming and kayaking in the pristine lake, zip-lining, slipping away to the Finnish sauna -- it goes on and on.
Plus, the completely secure private island setting makes it a dream for kids to run free and parents not to have to worry At All.
Wolf Cove Inn
Poland Spring, Maine
The loons are calling But you dont have to be a loon to go to this remote B&B.
Just the fact that its in Maine makes it remote, and once in that out-of-everythings-way state this lakeside escape itself is well off the beaten path. But you wont need to long-distance hike or scuba or boat your way to it -- just your car will get you there.
And yet, as easy as it is to reach, this little piece of heaven on Lake Tripp is far and away from the madding crowd. Nestled in the Polar Star states southwest corner, about 30 miles north of Portland, you can truly get away from the crazy world without needing to be an intrepid adventurer. Thats a big draw, lets be honest, for most escapists.
What to do once there other than relax and detox? A few ideas -- launch yourself in a canoe or kayak from the private dock on the 560-ft private shorefront, talk nature walks through the perennial gardens and pine groves, get pampered at the spa, and take amazing day trips through mountain passes to waterfalls and rocky coastlines.
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge
Ozark Mountains, Parthenon, Arkansas
And now, for our pièce de résistance favorite remote vacation rental -- a cave.
Okay it really is way, way cooler and luxurious than that sounds. In fact, its pretty awesome (and commensurately priced). This hole in the wall (ha!) in the Ozarks is a 6,000 sq. ft. residential complex on 256 private acres that you rent out in its entirety for 10 guests. Bedrooms, baths, a kitchen, living room, dining room, yard, firepit, pond -- even a helipad -- this is a fully-loaded, one-of-a-kind spot for a glamorous adventure.
Set high up on a mountainside bluff, the valley views are gorgeous and sweeping. Hiking, canoeing, fishing, helicopter rides, and horseback riding are all on the activities menu. The cool waters of Buffalo National River are 12 miles away for kayaking and incredible nature hikes. World-class trout fishing is 45 minutes away at White River.
Needless to say no spelunking gear needed!