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North Shore Headlands House - retreat house on Lake Superior

Bedrooms 5
Half Baths1
Space 2,500 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 4 nights


About the property

Accommodating parties of 1 to 10 with extraordinary comfort and surroundings.

With our Scandinavian and Japanese heritage showing through the warm wood tones, the house was designed for our own family retreats and is fully licensed for short-term rental. Each of our 5 bedrooms has its own attached bathroom, with a separate powder room off the great room.

The upper floor of the house is wheel chair accessible from the parking area and includes two bedrooms (one with a queen-size bed, the other with two twin beds), and an open area including the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and covered deck. Accessibility features include wide doorways and a curbless shower. Couples and other small groups spend their entire time on this self-contained floor. The lower floor of this hillside house has three bedrooms with queen-size beds, along with a laundry area the guests can use. One of these bedrooms can be configured for meetings/projects instead of sleeping, and it includes a fold out memory foam single sofa bed in addition to a very comfortable techline queen-size Murphy bed. Both upper and lower floors open directly to the outside without any stairs and each bedroom has a view including the lake.

Each bedroom has its own bathroom, three of which contain soaking tub/showers and two of which have dedicated showers. Two of the soaking tubs have picture windows for very scenic relaxation.

The house was custom designed for its unique location on a wooded point to afford generous white water views of this most dramatic stretch of rugged Lake Superior shoreline, and an expanse of south facing windows that generously let in the winter sun. The bay, islets and headlands we see from our windows looking toward Shovel Point of Tettegouche State are spectacular in all weathers and seasons.

Certified for energy efficient construction, the house has in-floor radiant heat, a fresh air exchange system, and naturally soft water from a a 330' deep well. We have a gas fireplace inside, and enjoy wood fires in the lakeside fire pit.

We do not have broadcast TV, though we do have TVs with appropriate players and wi-fi broadband. The kitchen is very well equipped for serious cooking and service for ten, who can all fit around our extending dining room table. We provide all bedding and bath linens, freshly laundered and in place when you arrive. So you can unpack and feel fully at home, each bedroom has a generous closet and dresser drawers, and there are cabinets in the kitchen for your groceries, and a locker to store your coolers, packs, and luggage.

Our use of an electronic code lock adds to your security as we change the combination often, eases your check-in (so you do not need to meet the manager at an exact time) and means all the members of your party can use the code to come and go during your stay.

During the day, your eyes will probably be focused on the coastal views out the window, but note that we do provide information about the generous collection of regional and other artwork throughout the house. '

In addition to the fire pit outside, we have two yoga decks, one near the house, and one tucked in the woods on a trail running to the south of the house along the lake. Several outdoor benches provide places for scenic contemplation.

Guest address is required before confirming a reservation request.

More Details

Jim Hagen
Member since: 2014
Speaks english, french, german, Japanese
Response time
Within an hour
Response rate
Calendar last updated:
24 September, 2018

About Jim Hagen

I grew up in Traverse City, Michigan, a third generation Norwegian to either work commercially on the Great Lakes or at least spend a lot of time on Lake Michigan. Moving to Minneapolis for a career that started in banking and transitioned to being a professor, I was drawn to Lake Superior for its energy and vastness, its world-connected shipping, and the magic of not being able to see the other side. Married to a Japanese-American from Chicago, and having lived in Japan several years, this house was a chance to bring together both some Scandinavian and Japanese design ideas that turned out to not be so far apart.

Jim Hagen purchased this house in 1976

Why Jim Hagen chose Silver Bay

The 30 mile stretch of Lake Superior headlands near Beaver and Silver Bay hosts not just the dramatic Palisade Head, Split Rock Lighthouse, and the coastal cliffs of Tettegouche State Park, but also the hidden islets, bays, and headlands outside our windows that been visited by photographers and artists capturing what is unique about the wilds of the 'sculpted' North Shore.

This immediate stretch of land went on the market in the 1970s after its owner ran into financial headwinds that stopped its plan to build a major condominium - night club resort here. From that risky purchase in 1976 until finally having the resources to build on it starting 2005, the property was a magnificent campsite that never lost its magic for us. It was special enough to be an inspiring and renewing retreat regardless of where in the world we lived.

Two years of building from 2005-2007 was a construction marvel of cliffside construction on bedrock with the challenges of capturing the views, strict environmental guidelines, keeping it accessible to those with disabilities, and putting in our deep well, state of the art septic and other utilities. The result is a combination of location and function well worth the 30 years of planning.

What makes this house unique

The functional layout came about after I had to find rental houses for my own extended family reunions. Priorities became clear: make each bedroom delightful and functional with its own bathroom, have great gathering spaces including a kitchen where people want to be and can cook together, have multiple conversation 'corners' inside and out, keep it accessible for all abilities, invest in windows and mechanicals to keep it comfortable year-round, and scale it all to work well for uses ranging from a two-person weekend get-away to a weeks long retreat for ten.

Just 3.5 hours from the Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport and 1.5 hours from the Duluth airport, many of our guests fly in from afar and find it easy to drive up to the door year-round.

One frequent comment is how amazing it is to come for our magnificent shoreline, and then find that there are also dozens of world class waterfalls and ridgeline hiking trails in the area. I've hiked all 297 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail and explored all the shore's state parks, but there is always a new mountain to climb, lake to discover, or waterfall to admire.

Even with our sense of north woods isolation, we are easy to reach year-round and we have the convenience of nearby stores and restaurants.

While summer and fall are well known as peak seasons on the North Shore, from late October to mid December, guests look forward to the drama of 20' waves crashing into the cliffs and the amazement of watching surfers catch the big ones in their wet suits. Our location right on the water, makes winter a surprising retreat from the frozen cold of much of the Midwest, as the blue water heats the air, and the blazing sun shines through blue skies into our south-facing windows. Winter sports are big on the North Shore, as is reading a good book by the fireplace. As the lake tries to freeze in February and March, the rapidly changing ice patterns take center stage for out toasty front row seats.

Guestbook comments from the owner

What a beautiful serene setting. Your sense of design and style make for a wonderfully restful retreat from the chaos of the world. We had a grand time!
Oct 2011
  • 1 of 11


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house rental in Silver Bay

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 5:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , bath with shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower enclosure
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , bath with shower
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , bath with shower
    Bathroom 5 - toilet , shower enclosure
    Bathroom 6 - toilet
  • For each bathroom, we supply hand and bar soap, toilet and facial tissue, and a hair dryer.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 large double bed , upper floor; views of lake to the east; soaking tub; desk
    Bedroom 2 - 2 single bed , upper floor; views to north; accessible shower; desk
    Bedroom 3 - 1 large double bed , 1 sofa bed/futon , 1 murphy bed , lower floor; soaking tub, views to south/east; desk, table
    Bedroom 4 - 1 large double bed , lower level; views to south; soaking tub, desk, extra sofa
    Bedroom 5 - 1 large double bed , lower level; views to east; shower; rocking chair; desk
  • Each bedroom has its own bathroom, closet, clock, and bedside lamps.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 10 bicycles
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Heated Pool
  • Hot Tub ...
  • Indoor Pool
  • Sauna ...
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • churches
  • festivals
  • library
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • pier fishing
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • snowmobiling
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Kayak, canoe, bike, and snowmobile, and ski rentals are all available as close as Beaver Bay and Tofte. There are many art shows, theater, concerts and other events, year-round. In short, there is a lot to do, and one of the most popular activities is sitting on the terrace or great room, enjoying the scenery, eating well, and having good conversation or just time to think.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(59 traveller reviews)

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North Shore Headlands House - retreat house on Lake Superior
average rating of 5.0 based on 70 reviews

Two years in a row and planning next summer already

  • 5 of 5

Two years in a row and planning next summer already

  • Review Submitted: 18/09/2018
  • Date of Stay: September 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Impeccable, Immaculate, Impressive

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I invited our families to stay at the Headlands House. We had with us 9 adults and one 17-month old -- in all, there were 5 families that needed a room and bathroom of their own. The size of our party and the precariousness of having that many family units in one space is what initially drew us to Headlands House.

But what we saw when we arrived was so much more than we expected! The view upon walking into the main room is stunning -- sweeping views of Superior from nearly every window and serene views of the woods from the windows not facing the shoreline.

The house was filled with light. The furniture and accommodations were comfortable. The owner makes everything easy for his guests -- labeling every nook and providing instructions for everything in the house. Not to mention the house is in pristine condition.

Not only was the house itself amazing, but the location is ideal. Within one-hour of Headlands House is just about every activity any person visiting the Northland could want -- hiking, biking, and visiting the shops and restaurants of a small town like Grand Marais or a bigger town like Duluth.

Great option for bigger, multi-family parties. So, so peaceful.

  • Review Submitted: 03/09/2018
  • Date of Stay: August 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We had a family gathering over a long weekend. The house was even better than we expected. It has five bedrooms each with private bath which is difficult to find. The house was very well stocked from bathroom amenities, linens, cookware, tvs, movies, games erc. There was not one detail that was overlooked. The views of Lake Superior were spectacular. The owner was very helpful and made the entire experience very pleasant.

I highly recommend this home.

  • Review Submitted: 08/08/2018
  • Date of Stay: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Priceless vacation!

  • 5 of 5

This is a ten! Gorgeous views allow plenty of quiet reflection. The house is very accommodating in every way. Our family of 9 gathered at the long dining table for every breakfast and most dinners. Many of us joined at the fire ring in the evenings. Lots of great sights in the area. We hiked every day. Our family voted the house and time together as priceless. We plan to return someday!

  • Review Submitted: 26/07/2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful weekend. The house was as pictured and described. It was fully equipped with everything we needed. It was the perfect setup for our extended family. Each individual family had their own bedroom and bathroom and yet there was plenty of room to gather. The huge dining room was perfect for family meals, games, or just hanging out. The most impressive part of the house was the view....simply spectacular!

Jim (owner) was great to work with. All information was clearly conveyed. Messages were responded to quickly. Labels and notes throughout the house made any questions we did have very easy to handle on our own.

Overall just a great experience.

  • Review Submitted: 18/07/2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Heaven on Earth

  • 5 of 5

My jaw dropped when I first walked into the living room and saw the amazing view. The pictures do not do it justice. The house has clearly been designed around the view of trees, cliffs, and lake. In fact every detail of this house makes the most of the magical setting. In the kitchen, you have such a clear view of the water that you feel like you are on the bridge of a ship. In one of the bedrooms, one window is longer than the other. While we were there, this window perfectly captured Mars as it rose above the lake every evening. The artwork is so gorgeous that my husband ordered a book about one of the artists. The house was also immaculately clean, and the sheets incredibly comfortable. The air was so fresh that breathing became one of my favorite activities. I arrived full of worries, but soon that had melted away, and all I felt was gratitude for being alive in such an amazing spot.

The well equipped kitchen and the five good sized bedrooms, each with a private bath worked very well for our group of 9 people

  • Review Submitted: 13/07/2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
60 Miles
Duluth, Minnesota
Nearest Barpub
7 Miles
Silver Bay Bar and Lounge
Nearest Golf
9 Miles
Silver Bay Golf
Nearest Train
220 Miles
Amtrak, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Nearest Motorway
Old Highway 61
Nearest Restaurant
7 Miles
Northwoods Family Grill
Nearest Ski
30 Miles
Lutsen Mountain
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Crystal Bay (very pretty, secluded, stony beach)
Car: necessary

One of our neighboring headlands, Palisade Head, is a must see you can drive to the top of, and the lake-side trails of Split Rock Lighthouse and Tettegouche State Parks offer some of the most photographed scenery in the Great Lakes area. Inland, the stretch of the 300 mile long Superior Hiking trail that runs from nearby Highway One to Silver Bay, is one of trails most challenging and beautiful, including the state's tallest waterfall, a swinging bridge, ridge views of Lake Superior, and magical views of the inland gems, Bean and Bear Lakes. You can ride from our house on wide shoulders to the longest stretch of the the Gitchi Gami Bike Trail from Silver Bay to Gooseberry Falls, or ride up the shore to gift shops like 'Fish out of Water.' The most gorgeous agate-hunting beach anywhere is at the mouth of the Beaver River - just park at the new Beaver Bay Trailhead Center. Deep 'sea' fishing or a two and half hour cruise on the Wenonah are right here in Silver Bay, or with an hour's drive you can be at Sawbill Outfitters for a full day of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) canoeing that still ends with a hot soaking bath and reclining chair by the fireplace back at the Headlands House. A favorite half day outting includes gallery hopping and lunch at Grand Marais, or a run to Canal Park in Duluth, where you can actually tour one of those iron ore freighters you've probably seen along the horizon from the Headlands windows.

In the winter, downhill skiing/snowboarding at Lutsen (1/2 hour drive) or world-class cross country skiing at Tettegouche State Park (5 minutes) are favorites, but snowmobiling (e.g., to Trestle Inn) and dog-sledding are also moving up on bucket lists. Canoe, kayak, and bike rentals are all available, and if you download a free smart phone app, you can discover the hundreds of area geocaches. Our central location on the North Shore makes a number of day-long outtings an option for guests staying more than a few days. Heading up the shore is the Grand Portage National Monument (fur trading post) or a cruise from Grand Portage to Isle Royale National Park. We are near two important intersections along Highway 61. Highway One (just a mile away) goes inland to Ely, with its Wolf and Bear Museums, galleries and shops. Forest Highway 11, a nationally recognized 'scenic byway' is a relatively new direct shot from Silver Bay to the cities of Iron Range, where the Soudan Underground State Park is an area attraction.

Warning: We find that guests of all ages and levels of ambition start each day looking out the windows at our extraordinary coastal views and come to realize that they are already at the destination, with no need to go anywhere!


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday house around the Silver Bay

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Summer/Color 2018
18 May 2018 - 18 Nov 2018
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add AU$69 per night, per additional guest
Christmas Holiday
21 Dec 2018 - 2 Jan 2019
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add AU$75 per night, per additional guest
Early Summer 2019
17 May 2019 - 21 Jun 2019
3 night minimum stay
High Summer 2019
25 Jun 2019 - 2 Sep 2019
4 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add AU$75 per night, per additional guest
Fall 2019
3 Sep 2019 - 15 Nov 2019
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add AU$75 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add AU$69 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

For parties of 1 to 4 guests using only the upper level, sometimes we are able to offer reduced pricing, especially for near-term reservations, weekdays and during our two-month slower season of April and May.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if cancelled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Owner