When Colleen and James Lee of Greenwood looked for lakefront property on Lake Superior's North Shore in 2004, there was not a single "for sale" sign to be found. So the couple took their search south. Instead of rocky shoreline, they found sandy shores, bluffs and sea caves on the south shore near Port Wing, Wis., where they built a 3,000-square-foot log-sided home.
The house, which is on the market for $749,000, is also for rent at www.vrbo.com/164661. It sleeps 10 and rents for $300 to $375 per night.
Distance: About 3 1/2 hours from Minneapolis.
Best part: Sitting on the beach, watching the sunsets and ore boats.
Worst part: Dodging deer while driving at dusk. It's like playing a "Buck Hunter" video game, said Colleen.
Winter fun: There are snowmobile trails just outside the property, cross-country ski trails at Valhalla south of Cornucopia (20 minutes away), and snowshoeing trails at Meyers Beach, where kayakers go to visit sea caves in the summer. In the winter, the caves are sometimes accessible on foot, depending on ice conditions. There are dog races sponsored by the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and there is ice fishing off Bark Point (12 miles from Port Wing).
Family traditions: Besides holidays, James has an annual get-together with his side of the family, and Colleen has an annual weekend with her four sisters.
Area must-see: Bayfield, Madeline Island, sailing around the Apostle Islands, kayaking to the sea caves. The beaches at the south shore are warm enough for swimming in the summer.