Cottage Life in Minnesota

10 Joys of a Cottage Life in Minnesota

Experience the charm of rustic living with our exploration of the top 10 joys of a cottage life in Minnesota. Nestled between the serene Boundary Waters and the breathtaking North Shore, Minnesota provides an idyllic retreat for those seeking peace and nature. Our journey will reveal the simple pleasures and profound moments that define cottage life in this beautiful state. This article celebrates the tranquility, charm, and natural splendor that Minnesota’s cottages offer. Prepare to be inspired and perhaps find your own sanctuary amidst Minnesota’s woods and waters.

Nostalgia in Every Corner

At home, there’s a need to maintain appearances, but in the cottage country of Minnesota, everything takes on a relaxed vibe. Old fishing reels, vintage books, a TV from the 1980s without a remote, and other relics find new life here. We even have a canoe that’s been with us for over four decades, still gliding across the lake every year.

Fireside Gatherings

A simple fire pit, whether a ring of stones or a metal bowl, sets the stage for unforgettable evenings. Gather around for beers, stories, and laughter. Kids learn the art of roasting marshmallows, hotdogs, and even popcorn over the open flame, making every night a communal event.

Embracing the Natural Yard

Instead of manicured lawns, we let nature reclaim the old gravel driveway, allowing grass and wildflowers to flourish. The two tracks leading up to the cottage add to its rustic charm.

The Warmth of Knotty Pine


Knotty pine paneling and cabinets, aged over fifty years, add a warm, buttery hue to the interiors. We’re careful not to overdo any brightening, as it could disrupt the cozy, vintage feel.

The Welcome Home Smell

Returning to the cottage after time away always comes with a unique aroma. It might be a bit musty or dusty at first, but as soon as the windows are opened or a meal is started, it feels like home again.

The Pantry Time Capsule


The pantry often feels like a journey into the past. We’ve discovered canned goods from the early 80s hidden in the recesses. Each item is a small piece of history, making every meal a nostalgic experience.

From Privy to Shed

Back in the 1950s, many rustic cottages transitioned from outhouses to septic fields. Some old privies were transformed into storage sheds, though you can still spot an original outhouse here and there, a nod to the past.

Bringing the Beach Inside


By the end of summer, the vacuum is usually full of beach sand. It’s part of the cottage experience—sand tracked in from the lakeside is a small price to pay for days spent by the water. However, it can be a bit of a surprise when it ends up in your bed!

The Little Store Tradition

A trip into town can feel like a hassle, especially with tourists. That’s why we cherish the little local store, just a short bike ride away. It’s a place filled with childhood memories, smelling of bait, new t-shirts, sweet candy, and newsprint. You can find almost everything needed for a perfect day at the lake.

Keeping Wildlife at Bay

Minnesota’s wildlife has a knack for getting into the trash. One night, we heard a commotion and found three young raccoons in a tree, next to a tipped-over garbage can. Small wire mesh enclosures have become essential to keep these critters out.

Financial Benefits of Owning a Cottage or Cabin in Minnesota

The allure of owning a second home has never been stronger. With the second home market experiencing a surge, many are considering the benefits and implications of this investment. Indeed, in many states like Minnesota, where second home ownership is high, many workers flocked to their northern Minnesota cottages during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2021-2022. Indeed, Wisconsin is also a haven for vacation cabins.

Final Thoughts About Cottage Life in Minnesota

Living the cottage life in Minnesota means embracing simple joys and creating timeless memories. Whether it’s fireside gatherings or trips to the local store, these moments define the beauty of cottage living. Discover your haven in the heart of Minnesota’s natural wonders, from Ely to the shores of Lake Superior.