*I received a stay at Cedar Valley Resort to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.
Mark and I survived ten years of marriage together! To celebrate our accomplishment we wanted to use this opportunity to get away from everyday life. We arranged with relatives to take our four kids for a few days. All we had left was to decide where we wanted to go. While we love going up north around the Duluth area it’s a good five hour drive from where we live and we didn’t want to spend most of our time driving. We both agreed we wanted to go to the Lanesboro, Minnesota area. We used this opportunity to stay overnight at a resort I had always wanted to try! Our ten year anniversary was the perfect occasion to stay at Cedar Valley Resort in Whalan, Minnesota!
Driving into the town of Whalan, MN we immediately noticed the quaint buildings that are so common to bluff and mountain towns. We were reminded of the mountain towns we lived in while living in Colorado. Whalan’s main street ended at the driveway of Cedar Valley Resorts.
We were immediately impressed with the well kept grounds and maintained buildings. As we drove up to the office we noticed rows of bikes, kayaks, and river tubes.
When we walked into the office we were greeted with a warm friendly welcome from John, Brittany, and their golden lab. Son-in-law and daughter to Sheryl and Larry Johnson, the owners of the resort. After swapping stories and getting all the must see’s and do’s of the area we were given the key to our cabin. We were more than ready to settle in for the afternoon and evening.
We walked onto the porch of our cabin and noticed that each of the cabins have a huge playground in front of each of them (which almost made me miss our kids). Each cabin also has it’s own grill, fire pit, and porch swing. Bird feeders hang from the trees and the finches, blue birds, and wood peckers all vi for a spot on the feeders.
From the seat of the porch swing you can hear the water flowing in the river near by, hawks and eagles soar over head, and and we got a glimpse of a deer or two cross the lawn. We would see the occasional biker as they biked the bike path that is a hop, skip, and jump away and runs along the river.
Taken in by the beauty of our surroundings it took us a while to even turn the lock on the door to our cabin. We wanted to take in the scenery as much as possible! Once we were ready to venture into our cabin we were blown away by the beauty of the wood and the openness of each of the spaces.
As we settled in we made full use of the kitchen. We were impressed to discover it included a fridge, stove, microwave, coffee pot, toaster, and dish washer. Mark was super impressed with the dish washer. He said, “that’s genius, the last thing I want to do on vacation is dishes”!
I immediately turned on the gas fire place adding warmth, charm, and the true cabin feeling we were looking for. After turning on the fireplace it was time to check out every inch of our cabin.
The cabin had four spacious bedrooms, two rooms had queen beds while the other two bedrooms had a queen bed and a bunk bed. Cleanliness and quantities of bathrooms is important to us when we vacation as a family of six. While this trip was a romantic getaway for us, we realized the two bathrooms (one downstairs and another one upstairs) would have made our stay easier if our kids had been in tow. Two living room areas and a dinning room complete with the longest table I had ever seen! The cabin was refreshingly clean and organized, immediately putting my mind ease.
Once we were settled into the cabin we went for a walk along the bike/walking trail in front of the resort. The river and bike trail are close enough that they are easy to access and far enough away that they would not be a concern if we had brought our kids with us. The river running along the path was clear and majestic. We were fortunate enough to see a buck with huge antlers wading in the water. Mark was in his glory as he put his photography skills to use capturing the river.
When we got back to our cabin we were ready to get supper going. Mark set to work starting the grill while I prepped our supper of beef kabobs, garden salad, and spinach artichoke dip with fresh grilled bread. It was a feast indeed. The kitchen made our supper a cinch to prep and put together. Thankfully the office sells necessities because I realized I had forgotten to back our salad dressing for our supper. I ran up to the office and discovered they sold soaps, q-tips, razors, and thankfully salad dressing!
We also purchased our charcoal, lighter fluid, and firewood from the office store as well. The kind owners delivered our bundle of wood with a smile. They were truly happy to help us out in any way we needed it!
After we cleaned up supper Mark went to start our fire. This was the God hug moment for Mark. While we sat around the fire God put on an amazing lighting show! The sky lit up, delighting our hearts, and souls. Whenever Mark and I have a chance to get away we always run to the wilderness. It is in the forest, on the river, and with lightening shows that God speaks to our hearts. He reminds us of his power, love, and strength.
After the firewood died down and the cool November wind picked up we were ready to head into our cabin to enjoy our Four Daughters Zinfandel wine we had picked up on our way to the resort. We had also picked up gorumet cupcakes to enjoy with our wine. We got in our comfy clothes, found a great movie on tv to watch, snuggled, and enjoyed our delicious treats.
The morning found us toasting bagels, eating fresh fruit, and drinking savory coffee we had brought along with us. It was a wonderful morning to ease into the day.
It was finally time to pack up and prepare to check out. Before we headed out we wanted to talk with Larry and Sheryl about bringing our family back for another get away. They suggested with the size of the group we would bring that the Loon cabin would be more comfortable than the Bear cabin we had stayed in. We asked if we could look around in the Loon cabin, they said of course, and they were of course right. The Loon cabin will be the perfect cabin for our family,my parents, and my two sisters families. This cabin had six bedrooms, three bathrooms, two huge dinning room tables, two large sitting rooms, and twice the space.
We will indeed be back to enjoy this family owned and operated resort with our family in tow! We were indeed refreshed, rested, and our relationship deepened on our precious get away. We were indeed blessed to be able to enjoy time away from the stresses of life, responsibility of kiddos, and focus on each other. It’s amazing how in the day to day of life we forget that we were once best friends. Cedar Valley Resort helped us to remember not only our friendship, but that we are truly each others best friends. Our relationship was refreshed, our hearts, and stomachs full. We were ready to head back to the life we are so blessed to have.
Thank you Cedar Valley Resort for helping us to reconnect and be ready to dive back into life! We’ll be back!
Are you looking for a family friendly resort with tons of activities for the whole family, family reunion, church retreat, or other large function? Cedar Valley Resort can handle small or large numbers! They are truly experts with any overnight stay you would need. Only minutes from Lanesboro,Minnesota this unique beautiful resort is a definite family friendly destination! For more information check out their website, Facebook page, or call them directly at 507-467-9000.