Don’t own your own cabin? These resorts will make you feel as though you do.
Heading to “the lake” is such a classic Minnesota rite that those who can’t claim their own shoreline retreat might feel dejected. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Throughout the state, lakeside resorts that rent housekeeping cabins offer a sense of ownership without the upkeep and taxes — for a week or as long as the checkbook and vacation time allow. Here are some of our favorites, including details about Ludlow’s.
Ludlow’s Island Resort
To do: Fish, swim in the lake, rent a boat, hike, play tennis or racquetball, get a massage or just sit on the porch and enjoy the view. The resort has extensive kids’ programs, fishing guides and other activities, such as rides in its Amphicar.
Details: Near Cook, Minn., on Lake Vermilion. The 20 cabins, scattered among the mainland south shore, the island and the far north shore, all have well-equipped kitchens. There’s a pantry on the island for supplies, but the nearest restaurants are by car or boat. High season rates range from $2,750 weekly for a one-bedroom cabin to $4,325 for a five-bedroom.
At Burntside Lodge, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, many cabins date to the 1920s and 1930s. Because of its numerous well-preserved log resort buildings, Burntside is on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district.
To do: Swim at two small sandy beaches, take a sauna, rent fishing or pontoon boats, canoes, kayaks and hydrobikes. Kids’ activities, naturalist programs and guided tours of Burntside Lake and Listening Point, the cabin of naturalist, author and BWCA champion Sigurd Olson.
Details: In Ely, on Burntside Lake. There are 22 rustic-chic cabins scattered across 21 acres; most have kitchens equipped with the basics. The lodge building has a bar, dining room, gift shop, coffee bar and separate library. Breakfast and dinner are served daily; the coffee bar has homemade pastries such as scones, muffins and cookies. High-season rates range from $1,306 to $3,227 weekly.
Camp Van Vac
Rustic log and stone cottages look like they grew out of the wild landscape in the Superior National Forest. The oldest dates to 1917, and the resort tries to keep that old-time feeling alive (though in a nod to modern times, it has a turned one cabin into a communal Wi-Fi center).
To do: Fish, swim at the sandy beach, take a sauna, play ping-pong in the recreation yurt, encounter wildlife on hikes or via canoe or kayak, or just relax in your shaded cottage or on one of the sunny docks.