Away from the pleasant clutter of Grand Marais, the drive back and forth to Hovland is almost traffic-free and fast. Hovland is also nicely close to Grand Portage (about 17 fast miles).
Rental cost/night (in at 3pm on 1st day; out by 12 noon on last day): for two people, $225/night plus 7%; for 3 people, $275/night plus 7%. 3 is the maximum number of people accepted, and 2 nights is the minimum time for a rental. All payments non-refundable. For payment methods, contact VRBO.
The most beautiful stretch of the beautiful Great Lakes, the North Shore of Lake Superior offers a truly uncluttered, authentic big lake/big woods vacation. Nothing urban or suburban, here! You'll walk the (safe) forests on a few of the 400 miles of hiking trails, poke around the stores and restaurants in the town of Grand Marais nearby, sit on the shore, and then see more nighttime stars than ever in your life (maybe even the Northern Lights).
Our private shoreline is flat ledgerock, easily accessible. (Nowhere on the North Shore is there 'beach sand.')
Our Guest House sleeps up to 3, with a sweeping lake view. The decor, in handcrafted hardwoods, is light and airy and includes a large living room/dining room with fresh wicker and wooden furniture, an ample kitchen fully equipped, and a washer-dryer. No wi-fi, no TV.
This cabin was designed and built by top Cook County builder Clarence Kemp for his wife and himself. Hand-done millwork, detailed combinations of area woods, a free-standing stove-style fireplace, and lots of large windows give this guesthouse a very cabin-y feel. Two of the sleeping rooms are upstairs, one with a king-sized bed and the other sleeping/sitting room has a single hide-a-bed and a tiny balcony. On the garage level is the other bedroom, with a full-sized bed and a porthole window. This room is more suitable for an older child or a single adult, and there is no bathroom on this level. No vehicle has ever parked in the three-car garage, and we use the space as an extra living room. There is a special patio and a large area of the shore reserved for the guests in this building. The footprint of the cabin is 1000 square feet (all but the one bedroom is upstairs).
Our second VRBO website describes the Main House (listing #254232) nearby on this more than three acre wooded, Lake Superior property. The two structures are not attached and are completely private from each other - they can be rented separately or together. You can see one building from another from some but not all windows.
Judge Magney State Park
Only 4.5 fast miles away to the west, lovely groomed trails lead to waterfalls, a canyon, then along the river.
Only 10 quick miles away to the west, a smaller river winds through the northwoods with several wooden bridges.
Grand Portage Fort and Interpretive Center
Just 17 miles to the east, this living history center has a full fort, wigwams, authentic birch bark canoes, and, nearby, the Pigeon River waterfall.
To the east 17 miles, this town has the feel of a frontier, but with two different boat tours, four great places to eat (and several good ones), and Sivertson's Art Gallery. Stroll out Artist's Point, too.
Chicago Bay Mercantile
At 1.5 miles away, this friendly roadhouse has a grocery and a small deli with great sandwiches and pizza.
Early spring (mid-April through end of May) means great rock-hounding, the fiercest level of water in the waterfalls, and the blooming of the first wildflowers.
Summer (June 1 through mid-August) suggestions include looking for wildlife, including butterflies, wildflowers (the most are in June), the Perseid meteor shower (mid-August), warmer star/galaxy gazing, and great breezes off the lake.
Fall (mid-August though mid-Nov.) lasts longer now and the first half of Nov. is “the new October.” It features berry season (late Aug.-early Sept.), lightning over the lake, mushroom season (first half of Sept.), and leaf color. Shipping lanes move much closer to shore by September—so watch boats!
Best Times For…
Wildflowers (the true boreal forest ones)—mid/late May-mid/late June
Bears—May and June, when the yearling male bears are dispersing and looking for a territory and a furry girlfriend, in kind of a random way (they may pass by, going about their own business)
Moose—any day at dawn and dusk around an inland lake, or fall rutting season when roaming around more
Naniboujou—the brunch on Sundays, 8 am-2 pm
Bald Eagles and ravens—before the trees leaf out and then after they’ve lost their leaves (easier to see and they for sure aren’t engaged in vigorous “childcare”)
River Otters—dinner time at Angry Trout in Grand Marais (ask if they’re around today)
Birds (boreal species)—late May-mid-June
Butterflies—July and August, 10 am-4 pm
Dragonflies—July and August
Grand Marais summer events (three top):
Dragon Boat Festival (races in the harbor); Wooden Boat Festival (beautiful!); Fisherman’s Picnic (carnival)—look on web
Grand Marais fall events (two top): fall birding events/classes at North House Folk School; Crossing Borders (many North Shore artists have their studios open, from Duluth to Canada)—look on web
Closed in winter.