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Cozy Historic Cabin Walk/Bike to Town Nestled in the Woods Year 'Round Retreat

(15 Reviews)

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Last updated: 04/12/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:3-5 nights
  • Sleeps:4
  • Bedrooms:1
  • Bathrooms:1
  • Property type:House
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:Yes
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

About the Property

House, 1 Bedroom + Convertible bed(s), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-4)

McFarland House is a cozy cottage home nestled in the woods yet right on the main road to town. Previous guests listed location as one of their favorite amenities. Comfortable, secure and private, McFarland House has been lovingly remodeled (No more carpet!! Hardwood floors!), thoughtfully furnished and arranged so it can be your home away from home. It comfortably accomodates 4. McFarland House boasts a strong and reliable WiFi connection (available June - December). The family can stream favorite videos and if this is a 'working vacation' for part of the family, rest assured, you can remain as connected as you want to be.

Throughout the home you will find art work created by local artisans. The house features the following living spaces:
- a wide front porch with comfy loveseat for that early morning cup of java or sunset sip of tea
- a living/dining area with table and 4 chairs, futon style couch (that can fold into a queen sized bed) and big matching chair. Book shelves feature books of local interest, games, puzzles and family oriented DVDs. The hearth boasts a 23' TV monitor which is hooked to a blue ray DVD player so you can stream your favorite shows or movies.
- a cozy kitchen equipped with: drip coffee maker, microwave, toaster, 4 burner range with oven, refrigerator, dishware for 8, T-fal stainless steel cookware, cutting board, bowls, muffin & cookie pans and more.
- a transition room to bath and bedrooms providing a side door for egress to private outdoor patio area complete with grill and picnic table
- 2 adjoining bedrooms: one with queen sized bed, a dresser, and a TV / writing or computer area with a charming secretary desk making this well lit room an ideal writer's retreat. The other bedroom has an adult bunk bed (2 single beds one atop the other, 6' long) and 2 small dressers. Ideal for families or the young at heart who have always wanted to try a bunk bed.

Family and pet friendly (dogs only), we have recently (May 2014) remodeled the house to reflect its origins. McFarland House began its life as a cabin on McFarland Lake. When the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was created, the house was moved to Grand Marais and an addition was added. In response to guest suggestions we removed the carpets to eliminate lingering pet odors and were delighted to find: hardwood floors in the living/dining and transition rooms AND painted shiplap in the back bedrooms. You can now experience the house as it was meant to be: hardwood in the original house; painted wood in the addition, and much better air quality! (Allergic to pets? Please contact us for our other vrbo listing #445941 Charlie's Haven - it is pet free!)

Looking for a quiet retreat where you might sit back, relax, reflect and think creative thoughts? Or are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for a staging area for day trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Superior Hiking Trail? Taking a class at the North House Folk School or the Grand Marais Art Colony? Why not share the house with fellow students and make a friend (or 2)? Is your family looking for the economy of making meals at home with enough space for some to be able to stretch out on a couch while others play games around the dining room table, while another uses your computer in the back room?
McFarland House is set up and ideally situated to meet your needs.

McFarland House is less than a mile from downtown Grand Marais, directly across from the paved multi-use trail (walk, bike, snowmobile). It is an easy 15 minute walk to shopping, restaurants, downtown music venues and any festival that might be happening around the harbor area. Enjoy a small town festival, listen to music on the deck of a number of downtown restaurants and come home to your quiet, secure home away from home. You're a 5 minute walk to the RV / Rec. Park where you can find ball fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, fire pits ( we do not allow campfires on our property), nature walks and a pebble harbor beach for rock picking or to launch your boat. Walk to the Putt 'N Pet golf and family center, check out the Superior Forest Information Center, both less than 5 blocks away.

Whether you enjoy the outdoors as an angler or photographer, bird watcher or hunter, cross country skiier or snowmobiler, hiker, biker, ATV entusiast, canoeist, kayaker, or motor boater you will feel welcome here. Is the wilderness a place of spiritual renewal for you? inspiration for your art? a physical challenge? We understand the many ways people like to experience the wild in all its seasons. Come up in the spring to do some early bird watching - see the first loons on the big Lake. Enjoy the many rushing waterfalls along the scenic North Shore Drive. Summer brings us a number of unique small-town festivals like the Grand Marais Arts Festival, Dragonboat Festival, Fisherman's Picnic, and Grand Portage August Pow-wow. Many people come up in summer just to relax and be 'cooler by the lake'. Comb the beach for Lake Superior agates or driftwood. Skip rocks in the harbor. Try something new: kayaking, charter fishing (lake trout, cohos and other big fish), pleine air painting, moose viewing from a Beaver that lands in the harbor. Or take a sunset sail on the Hjordis schooner. Autumn brings another bird migration; this time the majesty of countless hawks and eagles, as well as the beauty of changing leaf color. Winter activites abound up here: downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, winter camping, snowshoeing, ice fishing and Lake Superior is often at her most spectacular spewing huge waves and creating hauntingly beautiful ice sculptures with dawn and dusk lighting to delight and challenge the photographer in you.

With all these sources of natural beauty, it is no wonder that Grand Marais is a hub of creativity, home to many artists, photographers, writers, and crafts artisans. Many offer studio visits and tours. Downtown is home to a number of galleries: The Sivertson Gallery, Betsy Bowen's studio and gallery, Johnson Heritage Post to name a few. Special events, meet the artist and gallery hops occur year-round.

Perhaps the most profound experience we can offer you who visit this area is that of silence. There is nothing more renewing than the gentle sighing of wind through the pines or the lap of water on rock. Even in the middle of what can be a very busy summer, life gets very quiet up here after dark; especially at McFarland House. Give us a try; we're sure you'll want to return!

Keywords: Cottage, Clean, Comfy, Close to town, bikepath close, snowmobile trail access, family and pet friendly, quiet retreat, 3 season porch, outside patio, close to Lake Superior, arts community, ski, snowshoe, hike, bike, North Shore, Minutes from Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness


Member since: 2011

Speaks: english
Response time: Within 24 hours
Response Rate: 80%
Calendar last updated: 04/12/2017

Property Type

  • 1 story
  • House
  • 1200 sq. ft.

House Rules

  • Max. occupancy 4
  • Minimum Age Limit For Renters:


  • Children Welcome
  • Non Smoking Only
  • Pets Considered

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


  • Long-Term Renters Welcome
  • Wheelchair Inaccessible

Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4, Beds for 2-4

  • Bedroom 1: 1 queen

    Main bedroom adjoins sitting area which can sleep 2....moreless

  • Convertible bed(s): 1 sleep sofa /futon

    This room adjoins master bedroom, no door between....moreless

  • The master bedroom sleeps 2. Adjoining that room (no door between) is a sitting room with sofa/futon that folds down to a queen sized bed to sleep another 2. There is a door between these 2 rooms and the rest of the house. There is a sofa/futon in the living/dining room that could sleep another 1-2, however maximum capacity of the house is 5 with owner approval....moreless

Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom

Other Amenities

  • There is an outdoor patio area with picnic table to seat 4. The front screened-in porch provides a relaxing sitting area summer and some of autumn/spring (it is not heated for cool weather use). Bird feeders are strategically placed for year-round viewing and stocked to accomodate seaonal avian guests (hummingbirds in summer; seed eaters year-round). Deer, snowshoe hare, grouse, ravens and owls are regular visitors. An early season bear is occasionally possible to see. Wolves and coyotes can be heard at night. (dog owners- keep your canine leashed and close). Within walking distance is a family center putt-putt golf course, summer season outfitters and Superior National Forest information center....moreless


  • Books:

    Assortment of books available, many with regional interest....moreless

  • DVD Player
  • Games:

    Some games & puzzles are available for a variety of ages and interests....moreless

  • Television
  • Video Library:

    Modest number of DVDs are available....moreless


  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Churches
  • Library
  • Live Theater
  • Marina
  • Museums
  • Playground
  • Recreation Center
  • Restaurants

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/Bank
  • Babysitter
  • Fitness Center
  • Groceries
  • Hospital
  • Laundromat
  • Massage Therapist
  • Medical Services

Leisure Activities

  • Antiquing
  • Beachcombing
  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horseshoes
  • Miniature Golf
  • Scenic Drives
  • Shopping
  • Sight Seeing
  • Sledding
  • Wildlife Viewing

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Basketball Court
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Ice Skating
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Parasailing
  • Pier Fishing
  • Rafting
  • Sailing
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowmobiling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Water Tubing


  • Dining:

    Dining area adjoins the living room....moreless

  • Dining Area
  • Seating for 4 people


  • Internet:

    High speed wireless internet access is provided....moreless

  • Linens Provided:

    Bedding and linens are provided....moreless

  • Living Room:

    The living area adjoins the dining area....moreless

  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking For RV/Boat/Trailer:

    Parking for RV or Boat/snowmobile trailer is possible on the grounds with owner approval. RV cannot to be used as a domicile. Seasonal restrictions may apply....moreless

  • Towels Provided:

    Bath towels for 4 are provided not to leave the premises; please bring your own beach towels....moreless

  • Wireless Internet


  • Coffee Maker:

    Drip style coffee pot....moreless

  • Cooking Utensils:

    Stainless steel pots & pans, baking pans, quality kitchen knives & cutting board make cooking a pleasure at McFarland House....moreless

  • Dishes & Utensils:

    Dishes to accomodate 4 guests....moreless

  • Kitchen:

    Separate kitchen from dining area. ...moreless

  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items:

    Basic spices (salt, pepper, sugar); starter roll of paper towels, coffee filters....moreless

  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster


  • Lawn / Garden:

    Front & back lawn areas; guest access to the back lawn only....moreless



Write a review 4.9
from 15 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Off Peak Winter
Jan 4 - Apr 30, 2017
3 night min stay
$685 $1,200
Spring Shoulder
May 1 - Jun 9, 2017
3 night min stay
$685 $1,600
Peak Season
Jun 10 - Sep 5, 2017
5 night min stay
$725 $2,900
Autumn Shoulder
Sep 6 - Nov 21, 2017
3 night min stay
$685 $1,600
Winter Holidays 2017
Nov 22 - Dec 3, 2017
3 night min stay
$685 $1,600
My Standard Rate
3 night min stay
$685 $1,600
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay

Additional information about rental rates


  • Refundable cleaning fee $60
  • Towels $25
  • Pet Fee $10
  • Booking Fee $25
  • Tax Rate 11.787%


We ask for a deposit to place your dates on the calendar: $200 for weekly or longer, $140 for shorter rentals. The remaining amount is due in 2 payments - one 60 days, one 30 days prior to arrival. We ask that you pay your deposit with a credit card, and you are welcome to make final payment(s) by check and save the booking fee ($25) Pay Pal Invoicing is available.

If you would like for us to provide bath towels, please add $20 (couple), $25 (family).

Excellent quality Wifi is included in the rental price for all but Off Peak Winter months (Jan 3 - April 30) when it is available at an extra cost. Please ask for details.

Note on pet fee: $10 per night per dog; some restrictions apply. Please ask for details.

More details on terms will be provided in your booking packet and are subject to change until the Agreement has been signed.

Manager's cancellation policy:

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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Last updated: 04/12/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


90 Miles
Nearest Airport
Duluth, MN
1 Miles
Nearest Barpub
Gunflint Tavern
3 Miles
Nearest Golf
Gunflint Trail
Grand Marais, MN, USA
Nearest Motorway
Highway 61
1 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
The Angry Trout
1 Miles
Nearest Ski
Pincushion Mountain
1 Miles
Nearest Beach
Grand Marais Recreation Area

Car: Recommended

Gallery Hopping, Traditional Crafts education at North House Folk School, Art classes at Grand Marais Art Colony, bird watching, small town festivals June - August, 19 miles from Pow-Wow in August, agate hunting on Lake Superior beaches, dog sledding within 10 miles, see moose, see eagles,see loons, canoe in Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, waterfalls all along the scenic North Shore drive, minutes from Rec. Park activities: indoor pool sauna picnic areas pebble beach, in summer sail The Hjordis schooner, in autumn go leaf watching, spring bird migration, huge autumn hawk migration, geological places of interest, close to Superior Hiking Trail access points, mountain bike race, snowmobile races up the Gunflint Trail, fishing tournaments, ice fishing


Manager info

Year Purchased: 2006

About: I am a musician. My work is demanding, I often put in very long hours, and I am around lots of people lots of the time. I need a place where I can unwind and be by myself, yet not altogether isolated. Grand Marais is just the place for me. I get inspiration from gazing upon the vast expanse of clean clear blue water of Lake Superior. You don't need to be in a house right on the lake - the lake is a presence wherever you go. My house is a long city block away from the lake, making it cool in summer - no air conditioning needed. I like to sit out on the back lawn or patio, under the huge red and white pines that surround the house and put my feet up with a good book on my kindle.

Why Grand Marais, MN, USA:
My work is intense at times, taking me around the world, or trapping me in my studio for days at a time. My mom lives in Grand Marais and when this property came up for sale she suggested I take a look. I bought it in 2006 and although I don't get up as much as I'd like, I know that when I can get up there, I can kick back, be anonymous and take the time to do what I enjoy. I know that my visit will leave me relaxed and renewed.

The Unique Benefits at this House:
I love to fish. Fishing relaxes me like no other activity. There are so many opportunities for me to fish - quietly from a canoe on a wilderness lake or river where I might not see another boat or person all day. Or I can experience the excitement of reeling in one of 'the big ones' (salmon or lake trout) from a motor boat or charter on Lake Superior. At the end of the day I know I have a quiet place (bug free) and a comfortable bed - a home away from home. Although Grand Marais is such a small quaint harbor town, I can find the finest coffee and restaurant food equal to or better than what I've found in big cities around the world. My house is minutes away from it all.

Contact us

Speaks: english
Response time: Within 24 hours
Response Rate: 80%
Calendar last updated: 04/12/2017

Send email


  • Spring/Summer at McFarland House

    Spring/Summer at McFarland House

  • McFarland House living/dining area.

    McFarland House living/dining area.

  • Dining Table

    Dining Table

  • Cozy private patio, grill & table.

    Cozy private patio, grill & table.

  • View to kitchen

    View to kitchen

  • Master bedroom

    Master bedroom

  • Surrounded by lupines

    Surrounded by lupines

  • Grand Marais Harbor

    Grand Marais Harbor

  • Grand Marais Harbor winter

    Grand Marais Harbor winter

  • Winter view from the rear

    Winter view from the rear

  • Living area

    Living area

  • McFarland House Spring

    McFarland House Spring

  • Bedroom


  • McFarland House in Winter

    McFarland House in Winter

  • Sunny 3 season porch

    Sunny 3 season porch

  • Living Room Futon

    Living Room Futon

  • Full view of property

    Full view of property

  • Spare bedroom futon

    Spare bedroom futon

  • Another view: Grand Marais Harbor

    Another view: Grand Marais Harbor

  • Winter view front

    Winter view front

  • Hearth


  • Secretary in Spare bedroom

    Secretary in Spare bedroom

VRBO #355006

This listing was first published here in 2011.

Date last modified - Friday, April 14, 2017

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