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An inspiring place, near Grand Marais

Bedrooms 1
Space 768 sq. ft.
Property type bungalow
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

One bedroom, One bath, 3 night minimum, 3 person maximum

Casa Whimsey is just ten minutes from Grand Marais, nestled into the woodsy ridgeline, at the end of a residential neighborhood. The front of the house overlooks bountiful flower gardens, while the bedroom and screen porch reveal an elaborate view of the boreal forest and bog: headwaters of Rosebush Creek and home to moose, bear, ravens, bald eagles, wolves, pine martens, and chipmunks. Zillions of peepers serenade May-June.

Liz Sivertson
Member since: 2013
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
22 June, 2017

About Liz Sivertson

John Gruber and Liz Sivertson are your hosts. John is a landscaper and carpenter, and dad of two tall children. Liz is an artist known mainly for her painted depictions of woodland animals, and the local characters in this unique Northern environment. Casa Whimsey was first built as an art studio in 1991, and over the years became Liz's primary residence. In 2004 Liz and John joined forces, when John added plumbing and a bedroom, and the place has evolved continually into the colorful homestead that it is today. In recent years John and Liz have moved to a bigger home to accommodate their ever-changing interests, making Casa Whimsey available for rent.

Liz Sivertson purchased this bungalow in 1991

Why Liz Sivertson chose Minnesota

Grand Marais is more than just a quaint fishing village situated on the most picturesque harbor on Lake Superior. As Howard Sivertson aptly puts it, 'Grand Marais is the Culture Capital of the Wilderness'. About 65 years ago, painter Birney Quick started the Grand Marais Art Colony, inviting artists into the town from Minneapolis and St. Paul. World class jazz piano man, Frank Gillis, soon followed Birney with an entourage of jazz musicians flowing in from other places, too. Those guys got the culture really sizzling, and it hasn't simmered down since. At Casa Whimsey a colorful array of walls humbly present artwork by artists Howard Sivertson, Jan Sivertson, Liz Sivertson, Betsy Bowen, Joyce Klees, Marce Wood, Tom McCann, David Gilsvik, Dan and Lee Ross, Kari Vick, Sterling Rathsack, Kat Corrigan and Noah Prinsen, (to name-drop a few). A variety of home grown and lively music can be heard in o'er county, almost nightly! Now with the North House Folk School, and the amazing new facility at the YMCA, this place really inspires and nurtures the creative spirit, even when it's cold outside.

What makes this bungalow unique

Casa Whimsey is only 3.5 miles from the hip and arty fishing village of Grand Marais. Live music, wonderful restaurants, and live theatre makes Grand Marais the 'Culture Capitol of the Wilderness'. Star gaze from your bed after a day of kayaking on one of the many small nearby lakes, or on primo Lake Superior. Casa Whimsey overlooks a boreal bog, the headwaters of Rose Bush Creek, and bizzillions of peepers (frogs) serenade May and June. The living room includes a daybed (twin), upright piano, and shakers for music makers, a vintage big-butt TV for watching DVDS (no TV connection), cozy couch, mirror ball/spot light, and classical guitar. Fresh chives, rosemary, thyme, oregano, lavender and a variety of mints right outside the door, handy for you to clip and use in your culinary inventions. Also out front, and you don't have to like mosaic sculptures or colorful blooms, but it sure helps. The screen porch is stellar, especially for morning coffee and afternoon cocktails.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday bungalow in Grand Marais in West Cook

Property Type:
  • bungalow
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 768 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , It's a small bathroom but the shower stall is 45'' wide.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed , 1 Single Bed , one bedroom with queen bed, and twin daybed in living room
  • Small bedroom overlooks the wilderness, and big sky view for star gazing! There is a curtain separating this from the rest of the living area (no door).
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • Miniature golf
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • Kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(36 traveller reviews)

An inspiring place, near Grand Marais
average rating of 4.9444447 based on 36 reviews

Loved our visit to Casa Whimsey

  • 5 of 5

Although we never had the chance to meet Liz or John, we felt like we were staying at a friend's house. They had left an anniversary card and some treats that were thoroughly enjoyed. The colors brightened up the rainy days and it was so cozy that I sort of wished it were snowing! The cottage is clean and well maintained with most of the comforts of home. We usually stay on the lake when we're on the north shore but the view of the woods was lovely and I didn't feel like we were missing out. I hope to return soon!

  • Review Submitted: Oct 20, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0


  • 5 of 5

Casa Whimsey is a vibrant cottage! We enjoyed the eclectic art and the serene vistas. It was a wonderful place to relax and refresh.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Little Falls, Minnesota

Excellent get-away for those who enjoy solitude. But still close to town for all that fun.

  • 5 of 5

Impeccably kept, whimsically appointed, cozy and comfortable. Adorable sculpture garden out front and non-human vista off the screened in deck out back. Access to the Superior Hiking Trail is a reasonable walk from the house. Everything you need is right there. We loved it and would stay again in a heartbeat!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much, Bobbi and Hank! Your sparkling review is beautifully worded, and very much appreciated!! Liz and John
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1 0
Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK

A unique home

  • 5 of 5

Casa Whimsey oozes character and charm, both inside and outside.

The attention to detail is impressive and helps to create a true 'home from home.' It is perfectly placed for exploring Grand Marais and other nearby attractions but coming home to the comfort of Casa Whimsey rounded off the days perfectly.

We picked peas and beans from the garden, admired the art work and appreciated the glorious view. Indeed, if we were not living so far away (UK) it would be a regular holiday home.

Thank you for a truly special stay!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for your raving review, Ian. If you and yours are ever back in this neck o' the woods (or world) again, please know you are always welcome! Cheers, Liz and John
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0 0

inviting, pleasureful, peacful, joyful, inspiring, sensual, humorious, delightful!

  • 5 of 5

We learned of Casa Whimsy on line and we found the description matching the reality of the cottage. Located near Grand Marais, Casa Whimsy offered a space to stay near one of our favorite places to vacation because it has an art community, great food and shopping. Casa Whimsy, itself, offered color, art, location and solitude that myself and 2 friends who were looking for to celebrate our birthdays. We were not disappointed!!! A personalized birthday card welcomed us and a bottle of cooling bottle champagne completed the warm greeting! The cleanliness of the cottage did not go unnoticed and was appreciated. Also, the cottage was well appointed and had everything we needed for our stay. The quiet, the fire, the comfortable beds, the screened in porch, the breeze, the fire pit and the art displayed in and out of the cottage was admired by all of us! We will return!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 28, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Karen! Wonderful of y'all to give us such a raving review! THANKS TONS for all the praises here, in front of everybody ;-) We hope that you make this an annual event, or just come back again for the heck of it. Liz and John
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A beautiful home away from home

  • 5 of 5

Driving up to this property, I was awestruck with the beauty of it. The colors, the garden, the trees; everything was just perfect. The cabin was the perfect space for two, with interesting quirks that made it fun to explore each room in depth. My husband and I spent just as much time at the cabin as we did exploring the Grand Marais area. Being a musician, he really appreciated the instruments and CD collection you provided, while I thoroughly enjoyed the colorful walls and art. We spent most evenings watching the sunset on the screened-in porch, and cooked meals in your kitchen. It was great eating breakfast in front of that big bay window, staring at the trees and garden around us.

All in all, it was the best 5 day vacation I've ever been on and I will surely return to this cabin again. And I will recommend it to all my friends and family!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 27, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Kristin for this fabulous review! John and I never tire, reading how much appreciated the place is. Cheers, Liz and John
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Nearest Airport
4 Miles
Nearest Barpub
3.5 Miles
Gunflint Tavern
Nearest Golf
18 Miles
Superior National
Nearest Motorway
3 Miles
Highway 61
Nearest Restaurant
3.5 Miles
Angry Trout
Nearest Beach
4 Miles
Car: necessary

Located just 3-1/2 miles from the artsy, hip town of Grand Marais, Casa Whimsey has easy access to everything. Hiking trails and lakes and streams for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and boating abound in all directions. From Whimsey a person can easily find themselves immersed in a pristine wilderness setting, and in a short time be listening to live music at a local pub, enthralled in a world class art gallery, strolling through one of the many unique gift shops, or dining in one of Grand Marais' excellent restaurants.

Some things you should know:

Case Whimsey is located at the end of a residential neighborhood. It is generally peaceful and very private, with a panoramic view of gardens and forest. The "people neighbors" will leave you alone, but you may hear mowers or kids playing. The "furred neighbors" include coyote, timber wolf, moose, fox, and bear. Although you'd have to be really lucky to see any of these wild guys, you have a good chance of hearing the yip of coyotes.

coming from the southwest:

follow hwy 61 past the Cascade River rest stop 1.8 miles to Pike Lake Road/Co Rd 7.

Drive 5.6 miles and go north/left on Co.Rd 6

Drive 1.1 miles and turn right on Brandon Lane

Take a short drive to end of Brandon Lane, #101

(last driveway on left, bright blue house=Whimsey)

to Grand Marais from Casa Whimsey:

Down Brandon Lane, left on Co. 6 for 1.1 miles,

left on Co Rd 7 for 2.5 miles to the Gunflint Trail, turn right into town.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday bungalow in Grand Marais, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
1 Jul 2017 - 30 Sep 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights

Additional pricing information

cleaning fee £46.38 + Tax
Tax Rate 12.38%

We sometimes bend the "three person maximum" rule to accommodate a small child at a nominal surcharge. Please arrange with us in advance, and we will consider your request.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
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