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Wisconsin’s Canoe Bay Puts Cottage on Sale


Tucked into the woods of northern Wisconsin, on the former grounds of a children’s summer camp, Canoe Bay quickly inched into luxury status after its unveiling in 1993. With some of the cottages designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé (architect John Rattenbury), a superior wine list, a lakefront setting, and farm-to-fork cuisine, the property puts a glam spin on small-town Chetek, Wisconsin, just two hours from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

In October, the latest cottage—a 400-square-foot structure dubbed Escape—opened to guests. With the new Escape package (from $348/night, double occupancy), accommodations, including a queen bed, living room with fireplace, and screened-in sleeping porch, are met by all-inclusive meals. Dinner is served nightly in a dining room, with wines sourced from Canoe Bay’s redwood wine cellar, while breakfast and lunch are delivered to your door in a box crafted by a local Mennonite woodworker.


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Activities on the property range from canoeing to bicycling in the warmer months to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Year-round, massages can be booked right in your cabin. Also available is an extensive library of books, available in a cozy building nearby, where mugs of tea are always available, as are large picture windows boasting wilderness views.

Owners Lisa and Dan Dobrowolski—who chucked their Chicago careers in the television business to realize their dream of becoming inn owners—want to make the opportunity to bunk in Escape available to the masses, not just those who visit Canoe Bay. An exact replica of this entirely portable cottage (it’s on wheels) can be delivered to addresses across the country. The base price is $79,990 for standard features. Delivery time is estimated at around 120 days and a foundation is not required, just utility hookup. While Canoe Bay’s 300 acres and three private lakes can’t be transported, the posh accommodations now easily can be.

Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for, along with new hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living, and American Way. In 2006, she co-authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.

Photo credits: Courtesy of Canoe Bay

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