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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

The Sweetest Cottage on Lake Michigan

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Cottage, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 4)

(We are ready for the season! The spring thaw has brought a little of the beach back, but there's no guarantee it will last. Feel free to write to me to check on its status. The sulphur-smelling water in the cottage that garnered a few complaints last year has been resolved with a new filtration system. Come to the Warm House and chill out.)

A small, rustic cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan. Built in the 1930s, it remains very 'up north' feeling, almost like a Hollywood version of a cottage in all its simplicity and woodiness. This is a soulful getaway from the busy world. Watch the sunrise over the lake, walk for miles on the white sand beach (water has been high for two years). Rest, read, write, draw, paint, play board games, build sand castles. In winter the place is transformed into a different, but equally beautiful kind of landscape with ice formations along the lake and crispy moonlit nights.

There is no television or internet here, but there is a stone fireplace and an area to make beach fires at night. The stars are the brightest you've ever seen. If you need to detox from a fast paced urban life, this is the place to reconnect with nature and the ever-changing beauty of the lake. People often say that this is one of the most beautiful places they have ever been in the world.

The cottage has one bedroom with a full-sized bed and bathroom. It has a bunk room for the kids near the second bathroom. It also has a pull out couch. The kitchen is large. Outdoors, a stone patio overlooks the lake. You can grill here and enjoy morning sun rises and coffee. Beach chairs are provided as well as a blow-up sea kayak and water toys.

On rainy days or when you crave an outing, Sheboygan is only 13 miles north. There are several excellent restaurants here and a world class contemporary art center. State parks are within five miles on either side of the cottage. The small town of Kohler has the Kohler Design Center, where they showcase upscale bathroom fixtures. Sheboygan also has a small children's museum and an indoor water park for restless rainy days with the kids.

The cottage is best suited for two people but four works too. Well-behaved dogs are welcome guests, especially if they aren't too hairy.

This fall we installed a water filtration system to eliminate the sulphur/iron smell that had become increasingly strong.

Keywords: Cottage, lake house

More Details

Debra Brehmer
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 24, 2018

About Debra Brehmer

I own a contemporary art gallery in Milwaukee called Portrait Society and also teach college art history/writing part time. I have three children and a dog. This cottage is our most special place in the world.

Debra Brehmer purchased this cottage in 1994

Why Debra Brehmer chose Oostburg

The cottage is only 45 minutes from where I live in Milwaukee and it has a beautiful beach. The minute you step into it, you are 'away,' both mentally and physically.

What makes this cottage unique

This place offers total relaxation and a profound connection to the sand, sky, water and woods. The colors are brighter up here and the air smells good. Walking on the beach is immensely soothing and pleasurable. It is indeed a magical place. Even after owning it for 20 years I still marvel over this place. We have intentionally kept it low-tech. I have children and when we are at the cottage, I like them to unplug as much as possible. (Full disclosure: I also need to unplug). We have annually debated the internet issue and have finally decided not to install it at the cottage. There is, however, a new cafe in town (two miles away) that offers wifi and does not seem to mind if people camp out at the tables. My favorite coffee shop to work at in Sheboygan is called Paradigm, 1202 N. 8th Street.

Guestbook comments from the owner


I felt compelled to write you a note to let you know how much we enjoyed our time at your cottage. My daughter has lived in the area since she went to college at Lakeland and in those 10 years I felt as though

I had come to know the area pretty well. But, sitting outside this morning waiting for the sunrise, listening to the waves, and enjoying the music of the wind as it passed over the birch and through the pines reminded me that new discoveries are often in the places we are most familiar with. What a treat.

My two sons, ages 16 and 7 had a blast and watching them together with their sister brought an incredible amount of joy to this father’s spirit. There is no greater gift than to see my 3 kids enjoying, loving, and caring for each other. The solitude of your home here created a space that opened everyone up to a more meaningful visit. Much as a warm blanket protects us from the drafts of the cold, this space shrouded us from the meaningless distractions of our everyday lives. While it was only for 24 hours, it was exactly what we needed, just at the time we needed it, and it reminded us of how deeply we love one another and what a blessing we are in each other's lives.

I could go on but rather than consume your precious time I’ll leave you with those thoughts and my appreciation for sharing your home away from home with us.

Aug 2009
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Oostburg Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Lakefront
  • Away From It All
  • Fireplace
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Towels Provided
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1.5
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Full size bed (1) new mattress April 2014, Sleep Sofa or Futons (1), Bunk Beds (1)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Toys
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
  • tennis


Excellent! 4.3/5 -
(21 traveler reviews)

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The Sweetest Cottage on Lake Michigan
average rating of 4.3333335 based on 22 reviews

Warm and cozy in a snow storm. Rustic peacefulness.

  • 4 of 5

You have to be a small family who enjoys a very rustic experience. There is no TV or internet. However, mobile data works well. Bring movies to watch on your computer. There is an external DVD player. The cabin is right on Lake Michigan but the water was high so no beach. Since we encountered a ice and snow storm we were grateful for the warmth and coziness of cabin. Beds were comfy. Kitchen had everything you would need to cook there. Loved the peace and quiet - but it was off season. Sit on patio overlooking Lake and watch Bald Eagles fly by. Good birding!

  • Submitted: Apr 21, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

I took my husband to this cabin as a surprise for his 51st birthday for the weekend of March 16-18, 2018. It was cold, clear, and sunny! We both really enjoyed the old-time feel of this magic little cabin right on the shore of Lake Michigan. It is small, truly cozy, and decorated with a superb, funky sense of style - wonderful 1940s flea-market finds and a lot of wonderful twig decoration. It has a huge fireplace which we took full advantage of - very romantic! The fireplace does leak smoke into the cabin from time to time, even with small fires, and the owner may have to address this problem soon. The kitchen is well stocked with utensils, pans, pots, etc. We took our dogs but we needed to keep them on their leashes as there are many homes nearby in close proximity. Although there did not appear to be a high occupancy rate at this time of year, I imagine that in the warmer months it will be much busier. The cabin is directly - as in right on - Lake Michigan and the views and sounds are amazing! This place is EXACTLY what I pictured and hoped for when I was looking for a small, cozy cabin to rent! The owner, Debra, is very nice and communicates very well. Finally, we LOVED the fact that there was no internet or TV and it made our "escape from Chicago" that much more special!!

  • Submitted: Mar 18, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful view! Lovely area, quiet and peaceful.

  • 2 of 5

A beautiful location and view, but the cabin had a few issues. For one, there is no carbon monoxide/smoke detector in this 100 year old cabin! This made me really nervous since we had the heat on. The was a smell that never went away. It appears to be a combo of sulfer (the rotten egg smell in the well water was very strong), mold (there is moldy rotting wood next to the bed) and maybe septic? We used the water only for washing our hands and dishes, we skipped the shower completely since we only stayed 2 nights. Then there is the bed, which in my opinion is the #1 most important feature of a vacation rental. It was HORRIBLE! Stiff, sunken in the middle and the frame was too short for my 5'11 body! We paid over $600 for 2 nights, woke before sunrise the second day and drove home so we could sleep.

  • Submitted: Oct 22, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I feel terrible that your weekend was affected by the water smell and bed size! The water has indeed taken on more sulphur, iron smells this summer. Now that the busy rental season is complete, I'm having a filtration system installed to correct it. And the bed is a full size bed as stated in the information. The mattress is only two years old, BUT it does have a head and foot board which makes it hard to extend feet if you are tall. The cost of the cottage is $180 a night, the $600 mentioned above includes the security deposit which will be returned and the vrbo charges and taxes. The cottage is a special place and we aim to make every stay as cozy and peaceful as possible!
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Vintage Lake Cabin

  • 3 of 5

This little cabin has a lovely view of Lake Michigan, and a very sweet patio overlooking the water. When we arrived, we took the few steps down to the beach, as we anticipated long beach walks and spending time by the water. However, the lake was very high and we were disapponted to find NO beach whatsoever, a fact we felt should have been conveyed to us when we rented. The cottage is quirky and in need of some repair. We enjoyed the fireplace in the evenings, and found Kohler State park, local mom and pop restaurants, fine museums, and nearby towns for entertainment during the day. If you are longing for a very rustic cabin and quiet, lovely views, you will love this spot.

  • Submitted: Sep 26, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so glad you enjoyed your stay, minus the beach. The water has been higher than ever this year and I did forget to write to you to mention it as I tried to do with other reservations. I hope you and the beach will come back next season!
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Charming cottage, beautiful view!

  • 4 of 5

We enjoyed our stay! The cottage was cute and comfortable. The kitchen was equipped with everything you might need. The view from inside and out was beautiful! We were a bit disappointed that the lake was so high, so there wasn't much beach for long walks and campfires. But, it was good swimming and relaxing by the water.

All in all we had a very good time!

  • Submitted: Aug 28, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Susan, Thank you for letting us know about your stay. So glad you enjoyed it. Hope you will come back next year when, hopefully, there will be more beach. I'm glad you got to swim! Debra
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A Rustc cabin of a type slowly vanishing from the scene with a wonderful terraced view of the lake

  • 4 of 5

Even though the Lake is very high this season, and the weather unseasonably cool (for mid-August) -- the cabin is snug and comfortable with a great view of the water and the horizon and a good fireplace, and heating and cooling. Nicely situated between two lake front parks, close to a grocery store, and resturants, and well stocked with necessities, books, a CD player, and a truly wonderful terrace. A great place for those of us who want to disconnect from the hi-tech world for a week or two and regain our sanity. Great for writing, reading, kayaking, or woods-walking at Harrington beach State Park.

  • Submitted: Aug 22, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for sharing your experience Scott. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Come back any time! I'm putting together a guide to area Supper Clubs for next season. Should be fun.
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The cottage is about 10 miles south of Sheboygan. It has state parks within five miles to the north and the south. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan is renowned, a must-see.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning $100
Pet Fee $50
Refundable damage deposit $150
Tax Rate 5.6%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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