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Details: Near Ely, on Burntside Lake. The 25 cabins have running well water, but no bathrooms, so bring a flashlight for nighttime trips to the restrooms. Kitchens are equipped with small gas cookstoves, refrigerators, dishes and utensils. Beds are furnished with fresh linens; bring kitchen and bath towels. High-season rates from $500 weekly.
Crow Wing Crest Resort
At this delightfully quirky mom-and-pop, a Thursday night potluck luau, an owner who is also reflexologist (think foot massage), another who is an aromatherapist (class offered each week) and a congenial atmosphere make for a devoted following.
To do: Activities range from drum circles and yoga to Norwegian volleyball and craft hours for kids. Try a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, canoe, fish, water ski, eat ice cream or pizza in the century-old lodge, swim from the beach to the floating raft and take a lakeside sauna. A playground and small antique carousel (rides for a quarter) entertain the kids.
Details: In Akeley, on 11th Crow Wing Lake. There are 19 cabins equipped with kitchen essentials, but bring kitchen and bath towels and soap. High-season rates range from $395 weekly for a two-person sleeping cottage (walk to bathroom in the lodge; no stove) to $2,878 for a modern four-bedroom spacious cabin.
northern pine lodge
Rocking chairs line the expansive porch of the 100-year-old lodge and a covered deck overlooks the sandy beach at this old-school lake resort.
To do: Play miniature golf, basketball, shuffleboard, tennis on a clay court and a handful of other games. Swim, kayak, paddleboard, fish, compete in a sand castle contest or hang out at the lodge, the heart of the resort with a library, Wi-Fi and daily programming.
Details: Near Park Rapids, on Potato Lake. The 21 units, including cheerful green clapboard cottages and large log cabins with stone fireplaces and cathedral ceilings, line the lake around a private peninsula. High-season rates range from $825 to $2,595 weekly.
Sugar Beach resort
Peace and quiet — except for the crashing waves of Lake Superior — prevail at this North Shore getaway.
To do: Climb around the resort’s 1,000 feet of rugged, rocky shoreline, roast marshmallows at a campfire on the rocks, hike many nearby trails, head a few miles north on Hwy. 61 to Lutsen’s Alpine Slide or keep going until you hit Grand Marais.
Details: In Tofte, on Lake Superior. Most of the 14 cottages have fireplaces; all have fully equipped kitchens. Rates range from $66 nightly for Evergreen, a small cottage on the entry road, to $249 a night for a two-bedroom (plus loft) log cabin on the shore. All but Evergreen require a two-night stay.