Few things are relaxing as time spent at a log or timber home … unless, of course, it’s time spent at a log or timber home on the water
. Whether you prefer to sunbathe alongside a placid lake, try your luck at reeling in the big one on the banks of a river or streak across an open waterway in a ski boat, one thing is for shore (we couldn’t resist!) — each of these spots are ready to provide the perfect setting for your new log or timber home.
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Timberpeg photo by Joseph St. Pierre
Spring-fed Lake Winnipesaukee promises year-round fun. With towns surrounding the largest of New Hampshire’s lakes, there is entertainment aplenty, from old-fashioned boardwalks and antique stores to restored mills, plus more refined offerings, such as art galleries and fine restaurants. Layers of mountains serve as the backdrop of this stunning natural setting, so if you prefer your water frozen, this is the spot for you. Ice fishing, skiing and snowmobiling are favorite winter-weather activities, while leaf-peeping is swoon-worthy in the fall. Why we love it:
With four full seasons to enjoy, no matter the time of year, you’ll have the perfect view from your great room windows.
Pamlico County, North Carolina
Adobe ©Eifel Kreutz
The Outer Banks may get all the press, but that just makes the Inner Banks — the adjacent area protected by the state’s barrier islands — a coastal treasure hidden in plain sight. Considering the county is located along the Intracoastal Waterway and is surrounded by the Pamlico Sound and a trio of rivers (the Neuse, Bay and Pamlico), it’s no surprise that all manner of maritime pastimes happen here. In the town of Oriental, one of nine towns in this coastal county, sailboats outnumber residents three to one. While each area in the county has slightly different offerings, the pace in each is laid back and the focus is all about the water. Community events range from regattas and chowder cook-offs to sport fishing tournaments. There’s even a festival celebrating the humble Croaker fish. Why we love it:
You’ll find property aplenty at prices that won’t break the bank.
Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, Lakemont is a mountain community with a Mayberry-feel and an 835-acre lake known for old-fashioned family fun, from fishing and jet-
skiing to kayaking. Neighboring Clayton creates an attractive town-and-country mix, with its thriving funky-quaint downtown district, which includes an ample variety of restaurants, shops, art galleries and more. Why we love it:
You won’t find any pretense here: From the food to the hospitality, it’s simple southern living at its finest. All you’ll need to complete your log or timber home lifestyle is a rocking chair and a glass of sweet tea.
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Adobe ©Benjamin Coy
Along this Lowcountry stretch of the Atlantic coast, windblown grasses rise knee-high, while Spanish moss drapes low from live oaks. Salt-water marshes and easy access to pristine beaches keep the water front and center in this low-key former fishing village — though all of the convenience of city life lies just 15 minutes away in Myrtle Beach. This coastal town was recently voted as one of the top 10 affordable places to retire by realtor.com for its mild climate, plentiful health care facilities and cultural amenities.
Why we love it: The area’s storied past includes being a one-time lair for the infamous pirate Blackbeard. Today, it’s known as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.” (After all, you’ll need fuel for your home planning and building!)
Learn more: visitmyrtlebeach.com/plan/neighborhoods/murrells-inet/
Hot Springs, Arkansas
“No other navigable river in America is so removed, so hidden away from the common haunts of humanity…” While we appreciate the moody sentiment shared here by William Least-Heat Moon, a travel writer, about the Ouachita River, we are glad that he isn’t altogether correct. In fact, the Ouachita River hugs the city of Hot Springs where you’ll find dining, shopping and cultural spots galore. Why we love it:
Offering more than the usual boating and fishing on the river and nearby Lake Hamilton, the area is known for its mineral-rich, healing waters and public bathhouses, bringing new dimension to “weekends on the water.”Learn more: hotsprings.org
Grand Haven, Michigan
Photo: Adobe ©Michael
If all of the waterfront locales in the Great Lakes regions were gems, Grand Haven might be the crown jewel. Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, it has earned the nickname, “Coast Guard City, USA” proving that water isn’t just a recreational activity here, it’s a way of life.
Why we love it: The area’s historic charm — which is bolstered by nostalgic storefronts and a bustling waterfront walkway that ends at an iconic red lighthouse — make it the perfect backdrop for a log or timber frame home.
Learn more: visitgrandhaven.com
Lake Travis, Texas
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that goes for Lake Travis in Texas’ famed Hill Country. With 270 miles of shoreline, you’ll never feel cramped even on the busiest summer weekends, and you may even be able to snag a frontage property without a neighbor in sight. Why we love it:
Other log and timber frame homes dot the water’s edge, so you’ll feel right at home on this laid-back stretch of shoreline where every day feels like a vacation.
Talbot County, Maryland
This slice of land on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is so pretty it feels like a postcard come to life. In addition to 600 miles of heavenly Chesapeake Bay waterfront perfect for crabbing, boating and fishing, you’ll find a smattering of walkable villages oozing both Old World charm and a vibrant community life.
Why we love it:
You can soak in the quiet, relaxed-pace of a coastal town while enjoying easy proximity to two major metro areas; both New York City and Washington D.C. are reasonable commutes away. The area is rich in history, with roots dating back to the 1600s, making a log or timber home a perfect fit.
Clallam County, Washington
The range of natural discoveries possible in this single northernmost section of the Olympic Peninsula feel wild, primordial — even other-worldly. Hidden coves and tide pools brimming with sea life, snow-capped peaks, drifted-covered beaches, towering evergreens and stretches of bucolic farmland all can be found in this incredibly diverse coastal region.
Why we love it:
A nature-oriented lifestyle is a must in these parts, and after all, isn’t that what log and timber home living is all about?
Flathead Valley, Montana
Photo: Heidi Long
Rugged beauty and outdoor adventure collide in this nature lover’s paradise. Glassy lakes and white-capped rivers hemmed in by towering mountains provide plenty of water recreation, from white-water rafting to fly fishing. But there is plenty to do on dry land, too. Stay active year-round by hunting in the fall, hiking along fields of wildflowers in the spring and skiing, snowboarding or snow-shoeing in the winter. A smattering of towns — Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls, to name a few — each has its own special charm but all make it easy to understand why locals refer to the valley as “the last stop before heaven.” Why we love it:
Full days of outdoor fun make coming back to your log or timber home that much sweeter.