Saturday, March 5, 2011

An Authentic Up-North Experience at "Sunset Beach"

 Welcome to "Sunset Beach", our cabin property spanning two lakes: Pelican and Markee, a retreat of towering pines, sugar-sand, big smiles and a new, unending source of family memories.

A Breathtaking View. Here is what you get to wake up to every morning - the view from the back porch (which has a gas grill). A few steps to the fire pit, a lit, sandy path takes you down to the beach. Everywhere you turn there's another Kodak Moment. 

The Main Cabin, with stairs leading down to the "Fire Pit" and lake.

Plenty To Do. At Sunset Beach you are exactly 8 minutes from downtown Nisswa, where you'll find great shopping, amazing restaurants - plenty of things to do and see if you've had your fill of the water (which is hard to imagine). Check out what's going on in Nisswa here, courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce.

A Non-Stop Party. Minnesotans love the water (no kidding!) and you'll find plenty of people who share you love of the "Up North Experience". It's an antidote to stress and anxiety - just spend a few days on Sunset Beach and you'll come back to work with a whole new appreciation for the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

 Yoga on the Beach! The sand is like something you'd find in Florida or Hawaii - hard to imagine it's only a 2 hour drive from the Twin Cities.

"Sunset Beach" has a sweeping, panoramic view of Pelican Lake. Every sunset is an unforgettable Technicolor Memory.

Minnesota's Best Kept Secret? Every day is different, every sky is unique and dazzling. Just sitting on the beach and taking in a sunset can be memorable moment. Your stress and tension will melt away as you watch the spectacle from Sunset Beach. Cell phones optional.

A panoramic view of Pelican Lake from shore. You can walk 40-50 feet out into the water and still be knee-deep in clean, sparkling water. Click on any photo for a full-screen version.

Second bonus-lake. Here's a panoramic view of Markee Lake from your (second) dock.

The Beach. Soft, sugar sand - throw in a couple of Adirondack Chairs and a good book and you're set.

You've never seen water like this. Scientists have tested the (spring-fed) lake, and determined that it's one of Minnesota's cleanest lakes, and one of the 10 cleanest lakes in America! Here's a link to the Pelican Lake Property Owners Association. No pretentious million dollar mega-mansions here. Just great neighbors, modest, well-kept cabins and lake homes. A welcoming neighborhood of year-round residents and summer guests, all flocking to Pelican Lake to get away from the noise and make their own family memories....

As Good As It Gets. From an article in the July 14, 2005 edition of the Lake County Echo: "Pelican Lake and Little Pelican Lake are among the cleanest lakes in Minnesota. Pelican Lake and Little Pelican are in the top 10 of the cleanest lakes in the U.S. You've never (ever) seen water this clean.

The Sunset in "Sunset Beach". This is why we call it Sunset Beach. In the summer the setting sun illuminates the woods with an amazing, golden glow - something you have to see to believe. The entire beach lights up, almost as if it was lit from within. Every sunset is unique, every moment a memory you'll never forget.

Perfection. Pelican Lake is a special place. Smaller boats, smaller, more modest homes, but there's something authentic about this lake. There's only one problem: once you get up there you won't want to leave...

Two lakes for the price of one? Markee Lake is smaller than Pelican, but teaming with bass and sunfish, a pocket of tranquility in the Great North Woods.

Markee Lake is a retreat within a retreat. When a stiff north wind is blowing on Pelican - Markee is calm, like a sheet of glass, gentle and welcoming. Now you have two options for getting on the water.

There's still time to make your own family memories.

 Like to fish? You won't do any better than Pelican Lake. Northern, bass, walleye - the lake is a magnet for fishing enthusiasts who don't want the craziness of Gull or the Whitefish Chain. Pelican Lake may just be the best kept Up North Secret in Minnesota.

A Shore Lunch Every Day. Yes, anyone can catch (remarkable) fish on Pelican Lake. You won't be disappointed when you take the kids out to your favorite fishing hole.

Water Sports 401. The only challenge at Sunset Beach? How to occupy your time. Let's see, should I take out the pontoon, or waverunners, maybe do a little kayaking, take the kids "tubing", or just sit on the beach and contemplate the options? A nice problem to have...

Tubing on Pelican. During the summer water temperatures are a comfortable 75-79 degrees, perfect for taking the kids out with their best buddies.

Living on the water. Wakeboarding, sailing, kayaking, fishing, swimming in one of the cleanest freshwater lakes in America - there's always something to do at Sunset Beach.

You don't need a motor to have fun on Pelican. Take your significant other out on the kayaks for a little exercise - a great way to see the homes on the lake and soak up a Minnesota summer.

Decisions...decisions. So much to do. So little time.

Loitering on the lake. There's even a hammock, with a million dollar view of one of the nicest beaches you've ever seen in your life. No problem grabbing a quick nap at Sunset Beach.

 The "Bunkhouse", a separate Guest House, with living accommodations on the upper floor, and a heated 2-car garage below - perfect for friends and family that want to join you for an Up North Adventure!

The Bunkhouse has central air, a renovated bathroom, and the ambiance of a 3-star hotel nestled in the North Woods.

 There's never a shortage of things to do at Sunset Beach. In the winter the big draws are ice fishing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, on the lake, and hundreds of miles of groomed trails nearby.

Don't feel like cooking? Drive 7 minutes (or snowmobile in 6 minutes) to Breezy Point for Sunday brunch. There's great entertainment on the lake, and now you have some real options how to get there!

Winter Magic. The Brainerd Lakes area is amazing, year-round. You'll never have a shortage of things to do to pass the time or bring the family together.

 The "Fire Pit", between the Main Cabin and Pelican Lake. It's a great magnet for conversation. Huddled under the stars on a cool, summer evening it's a great spot to gather the family and review the day's adventures.

Hand-carved wooden seats pull family and friends together at the fire pit. After the sun sets gather the people you care about in front of the fire and watch the stars come out. You'll even sleep better up north, serenaded by crickets and the soft murmur of the lake.

Deer, porcupines, white and black squirrels, there's no shortage of wildlife at Sunset Beach. During the evening hours the call of the Loons is hauntingly'll never forget your first encounter with Minnesota's state bird.
Fishing on Markee. How many properties have TWO lakes to choose from? It's a nice problem to have: "do we hang out on Pelican or Markee? Hmmm..."

Smile Factory. Turn off the TV, no texting, tweeting or video games necessary to pass the time. Our boys bonded up at the lake, they grew closer, united by family memories, fishing, tubing, water sports, snowmobiling, biking, hunting and a million other things to do on a warm summer day. Put your kids in a fishing boat with some fresh bait (and the obligatory life preservers). Odds are they'll come back with Big Smiles (and dinner).

Family Magnet. The only potential problem you'll have at Sunset Beach? Keeping your relatives away. It's a perfect place for family reunions and weekend getaways. The comment we kept hearing: "we had no idea it could be this good."

Plenty of Options. One of the great things about Sunset Beach? The shoreline on Pelican slopes gradually. Even small children can safely play in the lake. The drop-off is more than 50 feet away from the beach. It's shallow enough that you can bring your waverunners right up to the dock.

Smile Factory. The thing about Sunset Beach: you won't be able to stop smiling. It's that good.

Want to do something nice for your kids? They'll thank you (every other day) for investing in a cabin on an amazing lake. After your first Up North weekend you'll understand why mild mannered Minnesotans evacuate to their favorite destinations to unwind (and rediscover each other in a bucolic setting). The only hard part: when it's time to pack up and go home.

Beach Blast. Some of the up-north "beaches" can be pretty rough, rocks and pebbles that make it painful walking along the lake. Not so at Sunset Beach. You have never seen sand this soft. And look at what you can do with all that sand!

A 4th of July Like No Other. Every July 4 all the people who live on Pelican Lake decorate their boats and pontoons and have a celebratory parade on the lake, capped off with barbecues and fireworks! It's one of the wonderful traditions that drew us to this very special Up North Secret.

All Aboard. Yes, we have a blast on the lake. The 4th of July is a definite highlight. Bring along your own accessories, just as long as they're red, white and blue!

Memory Maker. Invite your friends up north for a 2 or 3 day weekend. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect up at the lake. It's a great way to catch up with your buddies (who can have plenty of privacy in the Bunkhouse).

An Up-North Retreat. Pelican Lake is a throw-back to the 1950s and 1960s, when you could (safely) let your kids go out, unsupervised. Neighbors look out for other neighbors. It's a North Woods Adventure the way it was meant to be. Carefree. Safe. Welcoming.

Family Room. The decor is "Up North Chic", a combination of animal heads on the wall, and plenty of over-sized couches and chairs for relaxing around the HD television or fireplace. All the comforts of home, in your own up-north estate.

Sun Porch. The Main Cabin has a cozy room facing the lake, additional room for the kids, a dining room, even a small office area where you can set up your laptop and check e-mails (if you must).

Wood-burning Fireplace. The fireplace is capable of keeping the entire cabin warm, even during the coldest days of winter. We turn off the heat in the main cabin during the winter and enjoy the Bunkhouse. During the summer days the trees shade the property - it never gets (stinking) hot, but a small air conditioner in the sun porch can be turned on if it gets too hot. Better yet, take a dip in the lake!

Fully-functional, modern kitchen, with a touch of charm. Natural pine cabinets, newer appliances - a brand new grill out on the back porch (facing the lake) will get the job done come meal time.

Sunset Beach comes with 3 bedrooms, capable of sleeping 6. Two sleeper-sofas brings the count up to 8 (with room to spare). The Master Bedroom is on a private, separate wing on the upper floor, with a commanding view of the lake below.

Bunkhouse. Think Hyatt or Four Seasons Hotel - only nestled in the North Woods of Minnesota. The bunkhouse has all the amenities you need; with a pull-out sofa it can easily sleep 6. It even has a mini-kitchen, and enough storage in the lower level garage to park all your toys.

 The Bunkhouse comes with a built-in kitchenette, with refrigerator and sink. Simple, cozy - a perfect place to park the in-laws or friends who want their own privacy during their Up North Getaway.

Cozy and Practical. The Bunkhouse is freshly renovated, all the comforts of home, a 20 second walk to the Main Cabin. On a rainy day pop a DVD into the HD television to entertain the kids. Plenty of options, inside and out.

Bunkhouse Bathroom. A master woodcrafter helped us create a North Woods Experience for the bunkhouse, the bathroom is a work of art!

Pelican Lake
Crow Wing County
Watershed: Pine
Surface Water Area:  8,253 Acres
Shorelength: 22.7 Miles
Maximum depth: 102 ft.
Median depth: 22 ft.
Accessibility: North shore, South shore,West shore and NWshore
Shoreland zoning classification: General Development

Pelican Lake is about 15 minutes north of Brainerd, a straight shot up Highway 371. It takes a little over 2 hours to reach Pelican from the Twin Cities (depending on traffic), but shooting up the (new, 4 lane) Highway 371 is a breeze, at Nisswa go east until you reach Pelican. More good information from

Fisherman Alert. According to the Minnesota DNR, Pelican Lake is teaming with desirable fish. Here's a list of what is in the lake. Click here for a high-resolution map of Pelican Lake. According to the DNR:

"Pelican Lake , at 8,253 acres, is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the Brainerd area. The lake is heavily developed with 22.9 homes/cabins per shoreline mile in 2009. Two resorts remain on the lake along with a youth camp. There are four public accesses and a public swimming beach that provide recreational opportunities. The maximum depth is 104 feet and about 47% of the lake is 15 feet deep or less. Shallow water substrates consist primarily of sand, although areas of gravel, rubble, marl and silt are also common. The aquatic plant community is quite diverse, and with 38 species present, is critical to maintaining healthy fish populations. Emergent plants such as bulrush are important for shoreline protection, maintaining water quality and they provide essential spawning habitat for bass and panfish species. Submerged plants provide food and cover needed by fish and other aquatic species.....Northern pike abundance (8.07/GN) rose into the "high" category for the first time in 2009. Pike showed a statistically significant increase in abundance over the 2006 catch of 3.93/GN. Fish aged 2-4 comprised 84% of the catch. Size averaged 21 inches and 2.16 pounds compared to 23 inches and 2.99 pounds in 2006. Pike at least 24 inches long comprised 13% of the catch, while 3% were at least 30 inches long."

Water Clarity. According the MN DNR you can see more than 12-20 feet - even out in the middle of the lake you can often see the bottom of Pelican Lake. You won't find that on too many lakes these days.

Pelican Lake Recreation Compass. Click here to see a terrific interactive map, courtesy of the MN DNR. You can find the nearest trails, parks and National Forests. A very useful tool.

Location. Location. Location. Not only does "Sunset Beach" span 2 lakes, but the beach faces northwest - which means you get the full benefit of every summer sunset - a FREE SHOW in comfort and privacy of your own yard - there's nothing like it.

Pelican Lake Road winds around the southern shoreline of Pelican Lake - you're about 1/4 mile away from the public beach. One advantage: Pelican Lake Road is quiet, not a short-cut for other up-north residents. It's perfectly fine for biking, walking and running. Two lakes? It's nice to have options.

 Evening Glow. It was another amazing day on the lake. Pelican Lake pulls families together. Having a cabin is an investment that goes beyond dollars and cents. It's the best memory-maker on Earth. At the end of the day it's time to reflect, share memories, plot and scheme what you're going to do tomorrow.

All the benefits of Up North Living, without the hassles. Other lakes may be more "prestigious", with more big-buck homes. It depends what you're looking for. If you want to show off, see who's home (or boat) is bigger, check out Gull or the Whitefish Chain. If you're looking for a quiet retreat, without all the pomp and circumstance - just clean water, great neighbors, and endless options, consider Pelican Lake.

Peace and quiet. If you're looking for a family magnet, a way to guarantee amazing family memories, and a place to get away from the utter insanity of the city, you can't do much better than Pelican Lake. If it's so extraordinary why are we selling? We bought another lake property,  close to my 3 new businesses. With my demanding schedule we're finding it tougher to get up to Pelican. It's only reluctantly that we're putting this remarkable property on the market.

 Life is short. Soak it up. Hope to see you and your family up north soon.

We call it our "little slice of Heaven." You won't regret your decision to spend some
quality-time up at Sunset Beach.