Welcome to the Heart of the Lakes, an area in central Minnesota where you’ll find over 26 lakes in just a 10-mile radius. Which for some, is not incredibly surprising if you know that Minnesota is also called ‘The Land of 10,000 Lakes’.
But as you can imagine, it’s an incredibly popular area when the temps start rising. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Minnesota has beautiful summers. And with all the lakes nearby, it’s one of the best places to be.
If you’re in the midst of looking for a cabin rental while in Minnesota, I’ve got the perfect spot for you. This hidden gem is nestled on beautiful Lake Sylvia, which is a cozy lake just outside of South Haven, Minnesota. The lake is known for its clear water and gorgeous sunrises/sunsets. And technically, it’s two lakes (East and West Lake Sylvia) that are connected by a channel. So if you have a boat, it’s a fun lake to explore. Especially with the small islands sprinkled about.
It’s on West Lake Sylvia where you’ll find a charming stone cottage that brings comfy cozy and country chic all together in one.
Before we get into the details, let’s start with this visual first: Do you remember Kate Winslet’s charming Rosehill Cottage in The Holiday? Well, it’s not only one of my favorite movies, but like everybody else who watched it, I fell in love with that snug little cottage that was nestled in the countryside near Surrey.
And it reminds me so much of the cottage on Lake Sylvia. But instead of scenes like Cameron Diaz rocking out to the Killers’ Mr. Brightside, I was playing Norah Jones on the Bose, with all the windows open, enjoying the crisp fall air flowing up from the lake.
The cottage has two bedrooms and one bath. The first bedroom is the master, with access to the back deck where you can enjoy the sunrise in the morning.
I loved the yellow-painted armoire that was the perfect spot to hold my weekender bag. And the cozy bed with ‘SWEET DREAMS’ printed on the pillows was a lovely touch.
And it’s true – You’ll have a great night’s sleep! Only to wake up to an even sweeter morning. Because as the sun comes up, it filters in through the windows, which casts a dreamy haze into the bedroom.
But the best part is when the sun reflects off the water; the reflected light starts dancing on the ceiling, which is such a nice way to start the day.
The other bedroom in the cottage would be a perfect spot for the kiddos, as it’s more of a bunk room. With four bunks to be exact.
As a kid, I know I would have loved this room. And of course, I’d call top bunk, because it’s always more fun to climb a ladder before snuggling into your bunk for the night.
In the bathroom, you’ll find a blue antique dresser that’s been transformed into a vanity, a linen rack, and a shower that includes complimentary bath soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.
But my favorite room in the cottage was the kitchen and living room. I loved how open the space was, with the light-colored wood and the beamed ceilings.
Here’s where the cottage especially felt very country chic with all the rustic decor.
In the living room, I loved the red slipcover over the couch, the bookcase full of books, the little writing desk, the nautical pillows on the chairs, and of course, the stone fireplace.
And in the kitchen, my favorite features were the deep copper sink, the pots and pans hanging from the ceiling, and the sweet breakfast nook, which makes for the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast in the morning or to play a board game in the evening.
During the day, I’d relax on the sofa (it’s the comfiest sofa!), listen to music, and read a book. And at night, I’d heat water in the kettle for tea or hot cocoa and turn on a movie.
That’s all to say that it’s really just the coziest spot. And it’s so incredibly quiet. You could easily take a nap on the sofa as you listen to the waves lap against the shore, the sound of the cicadas humming in the background, and a light breeze coming in off the lake.
And let’s not forget about the lovely deck out back!
When I wasn’t napping or cuddled up on the sofa during the day, I was spending my time out on the deck. Especially on the swing, where I’d read a book, enjoy the lake views, and watch the boats pass by.
At night, string lights will automatically turn on out on the deck, which makes for a nice ambiance to enjoy a glass of wine before the sun goes down.
For more seating options, there’s also a private deck above the boathouse, which is another great spot to relax or eat outdoors on a nice day.
And off to the side, on a small lawn, there are colorful chairs set up around a fire pit, where you can roast S’mores and share stories around a warm fire.
I hope by now I’ve painted the picture: This lovely stone cottage on Lake Sylvia is such an incredibly peaceful and relaxing spot. I felt so refreshed after my stay. And also a little sad to part ways with such a lovely place. But I know I’ll be back again soon.
Honestly, I think part of the “refresh” was due to the cottage not being equipped with WiFi. And I wanted to note this because I think it’s probably important to some people. But for me, someone who is always plugged in, I was finally able to disconnect for a while. And instead of being absorbed by a screen, I got lost in a book and was more present than I’ve been in a long time, which allowed me to truly enjoy the cottage and the lake to the fullest.
Things To Do Near Lake Sylvia
Eat at The Thayer. It’s just a quick ten-minute drive to the nearby city of Annandale, Minnesota.
Go kayaking. The cottage has kayaks that you can use. Just ask your host Jane. She’ll show you where they’re located.
Take a day trip to the Twin Cities. The cottage is just over an hour’s drive to Minneapolis / St. Paul, where there are all kinds of things to do. You can stroll down Nicollet Avenue, walk across the Stone Arch Bridge, check out Minnehaha Falls, head to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, take in a show at the Orpheum, go on a shopping spree at the Mall of America, and more!
Taste test at nearby wineries/breweries. Yes, that’s right! We have wineries and breweries nearby. For beer, head to Spilled Grain Brewhouse (in Annandale) or Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery (in Waconia). For vino, head to the Winery at Sovereign Estates (in Waconia) or Millner Heritage (in Kimball).
Hike in the Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve. Depending on the season, you can hike, bike, snowshoe, and ski through the park, which has miles of rolling hills, lakes, and marshes you can explore. Check your map once you’re at the cottage – It will be nearby.
The Best Time To Book The Cottage
So when are you planning your Minnesota getaway? Regardless of the time of year, the stone cottage is a great place to stay year-round. But make sure you book in advance, but the place fills up quickly! Especially during the summer months into the new year.
You can easily reserve your stay at the stone cottage via VRBO. And when you book, please add a little note saying you heard about the cottage from my blog!
- SUMMER – Of course, this is an amazing time to stay at the cottage, because it really lets you enjoy everything that Minnesota lakes have to offer. You can go boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and more. And to beat the summer heat, the cottage comes equipped with an A/C unit, so you’ll be as cool as a cucumber all day.
- FALL / AUTUMN – Just imagine sitting out on the deck on a warm fall day, enjoying the spectacular view of the yellow, orange, red, and green trees scattered across the lake. Hot apple cider in hand, of course. Fall is my favorite season in Minnesota, because it’s still warm out, and you’re getting all the leaves changing color.
- WINTER / HOLIDAYS – This place is magical during the holidays. Your host, Jane, decorates the place around Christmas, so you can really get into the holiday spirit while sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace. And not to worry about the cold outside – This cozy cottage comes equipped with heat, so your tootsies will stay warm and toasty all day.
So what are you waiting for? Book your stay at the lovely lakeside cottage today. For me, it was such a charming little spot that offered such a peaceful and relaxing getaway. And I know it will for you, too!
If you have any questions about the cottage feel free to message me. Otherwise, your host, Jane, will be in touch with you via VRBO too. Enjoy!
Let’s go places,
All photos on this blog are mine. Feel free to share but please credit me with a link back to the blog. Much appreciated and thank you for your support!
I have collaborated with the host of the stone cottage for this post, but all opinions are mine.