Tourist Cabins: West Shore Cabins, North Hero, VT

Summer is winding down, but fall in Vermont is a perfect time of year to visit. The humidity has decreased, the leaves are changing, and you can readily find apple cider doughnuts to go with your craft beer. Take a drive on U.S. Route 2 and you’ll pass through the Champlain Islands (or “the Islands”). The Champlain Islands offer a completely different feel than central Vermont. The land is flatter, mountains are in the distance, the lake is visible for much your drive, and fall arrives a bit later than in the mountain towns. It would be a lovely time of year to stay in a tourist cabin on Lake Champlain. I’m happy to report that there are more tourist cabins operating in Vermont!

The West Shore Cabins are operating tourist cabins located adjacent to Lake Champlain on U.S. Route 2 in North Hero, part of the area known as the Champlain Islands. What began as the West Shore Inn in 1927, became the West Shore Cabins in 1945. At that time it was run by the Donaldson family who saw how a motor court would be a good economic venture as automobile traffic increased in the mid-20th century.  Some cabins were relocated to this site and others were constructed on site. Today the family operated business offers five cabins for daily or weekly rentals from May – mid October.


West Shore Inn postcard. Image via West Shore Cabins.


The vintage sign between the lake and U.S. Route 2.


West Shore Cabins sit on U.S. Route 2 with a clear west view to Lake Champlain and its sunsets.


The cabins retain much of their historic integrity including siding, porches, windows, and fenestration.


Novelty siding, exposed rafter tails, screened porch and a barbecue out front; Cabin 5 is adorable.


Cabins 4 and 5.


Cabin 1.



The cabins are set back from the road, with no obstructions to the lake views.


Ca. 1880 (with later alterations) residence associated with the owners of West Shore Cabins.

Happy end of summer! Let me know if you find more tourist cabins and/or stay in one!


One thought on “Tourist Cabins: West Shore Cabins, North Hero, VT

  1. restoringhome says:

    Can’t believe coming across this. I haven’t seen these in years – we stayed in one of these cabins over a decade ago! It was our first trip to that part of New England, and it was magical! We was supposed to be a day trip to Burlington. On a whim we decided to drive over to these islands and find a place to stay overnight. We were naive in thinking there’d be a hotel or lots of B & B’s. There was nothing, and it was 8:30 in the evening, in September. We kept driving and happened upon these cabins. Not our usual fare, but we were desperate. We knocked on the door of the residence and a lovely woman answered and to our delight said there was just one left. Then she asked “how did you find us?!” as though they were a well kept secret. Then, she said she takes cash or check only. We weren’t sure we had enough, and then she said something you will probably never hear anywhere else – she told us not to worry, we could just send her a check when we get home! She said she had just done that for a young couple from Denmark,and had just received their payment. No problem! As it turned out we did have just enough cash for the night, and the general store down the road was open for another half hour and, she said, they take credit cards. The general store was that wonderful old kind with wood floors and shelves and gourmet sandwiches, and rich smelling coffee. We bought lots, then ate our sandwiches in rocking chairs that creaked on the front porch of our little cabin and watched the sunset color the sky and and reflect in the lake across the street. The next morning we had a terrific breakfast at the same general store amidst the throngs of people who are lucky enough to make this island their summer home. This place was nothing like New England to us, the homes, the architecture, even the shale stones in the lake evoked an other-worldly feel that we will never forget. Even if it’s not on your list of places to visit – or to stay – I highly recommend at least one day exploring these islands, and one night in these delightful cabins.

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