A secluded cabin without the commute.
That’s what Ann Behning and her late husband were seeking after they moved to Minnesota from Washington, DC. “We wanted a cabin but we didn’t want to drive,” she said.
They found what they were looking for on Big Island. The cabin was small — 720 square feet — not winterized and accessible only by boat. But it was set on 100 feet of sandy-bottom Lake Minnetonka lakeshore, tantalizingly close to their year-round home in Bloomington.
“It’s a fun place to go, and so convenient,” Behning said of their in-town cabin. “You feel like you’re in northern Minnesota. You don’t know you’re in the city.”
For more than 20 years, Behning has enjoyed hosting children, grandchildren and great grandchildren at her Big Island retreat, which is now for sale, listed at $475,000.
Yes, “it’s crazy on the Fourth of July,” she said, when a flotilla of boaters turn part of the shoreline into one giant floating party. But most of the time, it’s quiet and peaceful on the island. Nearby is Big Island Nature Park, a 56-acre preserve operated by the city of Orono on what was formerly a veterans camp, and before that, a turn-of-the-century amusement park.