You know you’re from the Great Lakes region of the country when your go-to plans for the weekend involve some variation of going “Up North.” Whether it’s the boathouse on Lake Bemidji or the family cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, we all have that special spot with the well-worn dock and wood-burning stove that hold our dearest memories. In the spirit of Midwest nostalgia, below are 10 cozy cabins you can rent on Airbnb that are sure to flood you with all the Up-North-feels you remember from childhood.
Lilla Norr, which translates to “Little North” in Swedish, is a clever minimalist take on the A-Frame Cabin. This place looks straight out of a Scandanavian interior design magazine yet retains the cozy and familiar cabin charm we all know and love. Located in the Central/East region of Minnesota and restored from an old A-frame, this cabin was built with sustainability in mind.
Located right on the shore of Lake Superior, this quaint and cozy micro-cabin is the perfect weekend getaway for two. Agua Norte is built with stunning White Pine timbers sawed and treated by the owners themselves (who also live on the property). Some notable features include a sauna (available November-March), a skylight over the master bed for stargazing, and a view of Five Mile Rock. Best of all, you’ll likely be greeted by Lua, the resident Cattle Dog.
Atlas is a beautiful, private cabin located on Adney Lake. There is a living room, fire place, kitchen and bathroom located on the main level. On the lower level, there is spacious bedroom with a queen and a bunkbed. Lastly, upstairs, there is a loft bedroom with a king bed (and a stunning view).
About 30 minutes North of Grand Marais, MN, you can find this adorable Mokki-style cabin in the woods. Although bare bones in terms of plumbing (there’s an outhouse), this tiny cabin is rich with character, has a cozy sauna, and is surrounded by giant windows that bring in tons of natural light and a stunning view of the trees (especially in the fall). Past guests recommend nearby hiking spots such as Grand Portage State Park as well as Mt. Josephine and rave about the local trout-fishing.
True North Cabin on Lake Superior in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is a two-acre private retreat. At the end of a small circle driveway nestled into the forest, you'll be welcomed by the sound of waves as you arrive at our renovated cabin. You'll have all the amenities for a memorable vacation stay. Explore the rocky conglomerate shore and be inspired by freighters, local wildlife, and starry skies with the perfect vantage point to see the northern lights.
If you're looking for a cozy, wifi-free spot tucked away in the woods, check out this craftsman style cabin. With beautiful glass windows overlooking the Pere Marquette river, you can enjoy watching an early morning sunrise from the comfort of your own home. Make use of the cabin's kayak, canoe and fishing poles during your stay, or simply disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. No matter your preference, consider this your own quiet retreat.
This cozy cabin is just what you need to unwind. Located in a private setting yet within minutes of several towns. The cabin is located close to 3 lakes, including Torch Lake. A 5 minute walk to Grass River which is perfect for canoeing and kayaking.
Just 10 miles from Hayward, this Devil’s Lake cabin is peaceful with 6 acres of hardwood forest and great views of a 40 acre private lake. This New Cabin is perfect for a getaway that is quiet but close to town. There is a Wood burning stove with wood provided. It is in a peaceful location with a fire pit for campfires and a beautiful view of the lake.
Overlooking a small pond and Mill Creek in the valley below, The Water Villa offers guests beautiful views of the countryside.
Enjoy your morning cup of coffee as you stare off into a breathtaking Lake Michigan sunrise. Relax by a fire on the beach, swim in the warm waters of Rowley’s Bay, kayak the sandy shore, and wake to the sounds of seagulls and waves. This unique cabin is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in a wooded setting just a short drive to Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Great off-the-beaten-path bike routes, restaurants, hiking, and all the fun of Door County is conveniently located near the property.
Welcome to Hilhaus! Hilhaus is an Aframe cabin on a one acre lot, feels like an 'in the woods getaway' but close enough to town that you get all the amenities you could be looking for. Enjoy your morning on the back deck, cozy up in the swinging hanging chair, or unwind around the fire pit out back. Perfect for a couples weekend, family getaway, or mountain biking retreat!
Welcome to Haven on Ida - with stunning views of Lake Ida, and perfectly cozy accommodations. Built in 2017, our cabin has everything you'll need for a relaxing vacation, from a fully equipped kitchen, a large screened in porch, two cozy bedrooms, free parking, fast WiFi and gorgeous views of the lake! Walk down the steps to the private sand beach, swimming area, and dock. Our cabin is perfect for long summer days, fall bonfires, and winter getaways!
Enjoy a serene forest experience within the heart of Cuyuna country at our spacious and stylish cabin, Sagamore Reserve. Built in 2021, this property features 2.5 acres of dense, old-growth forest while offering guests direct access to the area’s award-winning mountain bike trails. Inside the cabin, guests will enjoy our spacious living area, modern kitchen, large walk-in showers, and cozy bedrooms. Enjoy your morning coffee on the patio, then unwind with a campfire under the stars.
One thing we can all agree on - heading north on the weekends every summer.
One thing we can’t seem to agree on - where we are going?
Are we going to the cabin?
Or are we going to the cottage?
That escape to the Northwoods is something we all look forward to, but can’t seem to agree on between state boundary slang. Most of us here based in Minnesota tend to call it our cabin, but that's typically due to family and cultural tradition (seeing as how many of our neighboring states refer to their home-away-from-home as their cottage). According to Google, the official definitions are:
Photo: @davey Photo: @sojourner_215
noun: cottage; plural noun: cottages
1. a small simple house, typically one near a lake or beach.
* a dwelling forming part of a farm establishment, used by a worker.
On the other hand...
Photo: @the.cwolf Photo: @mattmaderic
noun: cabin; plural noun: cabins
1. a small shelter or house, made of wood and situated in a wild or remote area.
As you can see, according to the experts, it all comes down to this: cottages are multipurpose homes typically around a body of water, while cabins are wooden structures tucked away in the woods. Cottages are also finished homes typically having running water, electricity, and other modern amenities. Cabins on the other hand are not expected to have these amenities and are usually placed remotely.
According to us lake-minded people, they’re both a place to spend the summer months with friends and family, soaking up the warm weather and escaping from the weekly responsibilities back home. In the end, as long as we're all enjoying our time up north, we can collectively agree on how great it is to escape to the lake - no matter what you want to call it.
It’s tough to beat a Sunday afternoon in the Fall when you can throw on your favorite long sleeve and get outside. Last weekend we rallied some close friends together for a good old fashion game of two hand touch. Competition was heated as usual. After the game we got the bonfire going and shared a few stories until the sun went down.https://vimeo.com/111067291
For our latest escape we rallied a crew of our friends to soak up the last of Summer at
The Quarry in St. Cloud, MN.https://vimeo.com/107777978
The second excerpt from our new Lifestyle Crew series.
Jake Zboril shares his experience fishing at Porterfield Lake, a hidden gem thats been a part of his family for 3 generations.
Check him out at @jzborilphotographyLast week a buddy and I packed our bags for a weekend fishing trip to Porterfield Lake in southern Marquette County, an area that’s been apart of my family for 3 generations. My grandparents used to fish and hunt around the area since the 50’s. My father’s been coming here his whole life, and I've been going since I was a kid. It’s a lake not known by many and there are only a handful of cabins out here, making for an ideal fishing getaway. I work midnights at my full time job, so when I got off work at 7am on Friday it was time for Kyle and I to head North. Sleep was an afterthought at this point. There are two routes you can take up to Porterfield Lake, the short way or the scenic way through Michigan and over the Mackinac Bridge; naturally we took the scenic way. The campsite we stayed at used to be a State Forest campground, but has since been abandoned. Many of the roads have been blocked with large rocks, but over the years people made there own trails, which is how we got to our campsite. The jeep took a slight beating from the rough roads but I think she’ll be aright. After all, that’s what they’re made for, right? We got to the lake just before dark and set up camp. It doesn’t get much better than sitting around the fire overlooking the water after a long days drive. Fishing started bright and early the next morning. We were after the Bluegills but caught some Pike and Bass. We kept things simple and used live worms as our bait. By the end of the trip we tallied around 25 fish. The best part about our trip was having the entire lake to ourselves - something you can’t find all too often. After a relaxing weekend, we packed up on Sunday morning and headed home with a cooler full of fish and a greater respect for the North Woods. - Jake Zboril Where's your go-to fishing spot? Let us know below!
Looking for something awesome to do this weekend? This Friday and Saturday we'll be co-sponsoring the 10,000 Lakes Wakesurf Open in part of the World Series of Wakesurfing, the biggest organized wakesurfing circuit ever and it's being held this year right here in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River.
Some of the top wakesurfers in the world will be competing along with local and semi-pro talent.
Swing by our booth this Friday or Saturday and catch up with the GL Team, get a first hand look at our brand new Sunwashed shirts, and enjoy a perfect day under the sun to watch some of the best Wakesurfers in the world compete at the highest level. Details below!
When: August 15th + 16th
Where: 1501 W. River Road, Minneapolis MN 55411
See you there!
Spencer + David
The first excerpt from our new Lifestyle Crew series.
Jack Swift, Paul Nordquist, Matt Rock, and David Brown share their story as they set out to explore beautiful Northwest Wyoming
May 26 2014
We had all just finished finals after our sophomore year of college and were eager for an adventure. So with the car packed to the brim, we left our hometown of Minneapolis at 5 pm and by 8:30 pm we had made it to our first campground in Fargo North Dakota.
May 28 2014
5:00 am - 5:30 am
There was plenty of wildlife to enjoy driving through Yellowstone National Park to our campground, but most common were the buffalo. After a full day of driving we arrived to the Madison campground in Yellowstone, we feasted on a smorgasbord meal and finally got some well-deserved rest.
May 29 2014
In the morning, we were awoken to the sound strange grunts and growls. Groggy eyed and curious, David unzipped our tent to find a group of bison casually strolling though our campsite. Matt prepared us breakfast as we sat and watched the bison graze past us.
On the drive to Old Faithful, we saw some beautifully colored hot springs. Paul was hit with a facefull of sulfur-smelling steam coming off of the water. At around 11:30, we witnessed the famous Old Faithful blow steam a hundred feet in the air, a magnificent sight to see.
After a full day at the park, we came home to our campsite to relax on the stone beach.
After Matt and David called it a night, Paul and Jack went out onto the shores of the vast Jackson lake to shoot the dreamlike stars that you can only find in a place like this. We’ve never seen anything so beautiful.
May 30 2014
The drive to our next destination, Jenny Lake, was flanked by the Tetons.
When we arrived to our campsite, Matt took a dip in 40 degree Jenny Lake. It was a bit frigid to say the least.
May 31 2014
June 1 2014
2,270 miles later we arrive back home in Minnesota. Exhausted, smelly, and sore, but thrilled by our Journey to Jackson.