What To Avoid When Booking Northern Minnesota Cabin Rentals

Northen Minnesota cabin rental

Lake Superior is one of the most popular vacation places in the country. It attracts thousands of visitors each year for the fishing, hiking, kayaking and nature trails. Late May to June are the least crowded and the rates are usually lower at this time of year. If you are planning to get a cabin rental in Northern Minnesota for your Lake Superior vacation, here are some tips on what to avoid.

Do Not Skip The Descriptions When Booking Northern Minnesota Cabin Rentals

A living room inside a Northern Minnesota cabin rental

Usually, the owner writes descriptions for cabin rentals in Northern Minnesota to show vital information regarding the place.  A poor-signal-to-noise ratio may be overcome by other comments like “Its perfect here!” “Just show up in your most comfortable gear!” etc.  However, when you keep reading there is often some actual useful information like “no on-street parking, property has driveway for small cars or motorbike,” or “no airconditioning in master suite.” Check for the hard facts that might get buried underneath the praises.

Read The Reviews Carefully

Read the reviews on the Northern Minnesota cabin rental you are eyeing

On a similar note, a lot of positive reviews may feature information that is buried as you read more closely. A typical Northern Minnesota cabin rentals could have four or five star ratings and quick reviews such as “our stay was perfect, ” but delve deeper and you might find out about comments featuring “ hot water heater too small,” “could have used more seating” etc.

Never Trust Pat Phrases for Locations; Refer to Mapping Services

Always check the map when locating a Northern Minnesota cabin rental

It is not unusual to find comments such as “just a few steps to…” can be quite open to interpretation so to speak.  In my traveling experience, the comment may mean anything from right outside your door to several Olympic sized swimming pools away. To avoid this, confirm the blurb by checking out Google Earth or Street View, or even a simple mapping application to learn more about the property.

 Never Trust The Online Calendar

Call the renter if the Northern Minnesota cabin rental is available

More often than not, online calendars for lots of properties are not well maintained and are almost an afterthought for many property owners. For instance, a late cancellation, which was not updated in the online calendar, may have set your vacation a few weeks back. Always send a quick email to the owner to verify the availability of the property.

Never Underestimate Additional Fees

Always ask the renter of Northern Minnesota cabin rental of detailed billings

More often than not, the rate you see on the main search page may just be the starting point. It is not until you have actually picked your dates that you’ll know the final per-night price.  This is especially true if you intend to travel or stay during a weekend or on a high-demand season.  Moreover, many vacation rentals often require a non-negotiable “cleaning fee”, and there are some that would require renters to pay for cable or Internet.  It is your responsibility to know the actual and possible fees prior to finalizing your booking arrangements.

Never Fail To Ask If They Accept Credit Cards

Ask the renter of Northern Minnesota cabin rental is they accept credit card payments

On a historical note, most cabin rentals are check or cash transactions. Only lately have a lot of owners begun accepting plastic, often through the listing sites themselves. Any veteran traveler will tell you that using a credit car provides a lot of protection that is not usually available otherwise like holds and chargebacks.

Never Assume Owner Is Readily Available

Never expect renters of Northern Minnesota cabin rental to meet you at the property

If you know how many times you’ve checked with the front desk during a typical stay at the hotel, you will know how important it is to have somebody to talk regarding your rental. This is particularly important if there is an issue with the property.  Make sure to avail of any emergency contact information if the plumbing breaks or God forbid; the Internet goes on the Fritz.

The Top 5 Restaurants in Phoenix

Kai Restaurant Bar in Phoenix
Kai Restaurant Bar in Phoenix

Phoenix is known for great shopping, golf courses, spas, nature trails and fine dining.  The top restaurants in Phoenix are known for having 2 main constituents for success: the highest quality ingredients and outstanding execution.  If pizza is what you’re looking for then Pizzeria Biancois where pizza fans from all over the world converge and check out the award-winning menu of wood-fired pies.  For steak lovers, there is Durant’slocated near downtown Phoenix.  You will love the authentic Mexican cooking offered by Barrio Café Gran Reserva. You will definitely love the awesome tasting menu at Binkley’s Restaurant, where the average multi-course dinner can last for up to 3 hours. Lastly, there is Kai Restaurant, just south of Phoenix located at the Wild Horse Pass Resort. The superb menu offers a creative and refined take on Native American food, with rare native ingredients sourced locally.

5 – Pizzeria Bianco

The restaurant is inspired by Naples in Italy. There is a wood-fired brick oven for creating some of the most delicious high quality traditional Neapolitan pizza. The restaurant was placed on the short-list by many New York critics as one of the best pizza places in the country.  Each pizza masterpiece is created from scratch using only the finest of ingredients. Lots of people dine at this famous restaurant so there is a wait for your pizza. The restaurant only accepts reservations for parties of six or more people.

4 – Durant’s

What is the secret of a restaurant that has become a staple on Central Avenue for several decades? The answer is fantastic steaks, the best martinis and the most amazing service around. The restaurant is a classic steakhouse place with dark wood, leather booths and flocked wallpaper that is inspired by its earlier years.  Enjoy the 48-oz mesquite-broiled porterhouse and the 20-oz Delmonico, which are absolutely divine.  There are also the crab cakes, calf’s liver, broiled scallops, lamb chops and prime rib to enjoy.  The restaurant has a good wine selection and you will love the smell of garlic bread, which gives the place its character.

3 -Barrio Café Gran Reserva

Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva in Phoenix

This art-filled Mexican restaurant is located in the colorful Grand Avenue Arts District. It is helmed by acclaimed Phoenix chef Silvana Salcido Esparza.  The restaurant features a vintage setting with beautiful mural- embellished walls. The service is friendly yet unobtrusive. Get to enjoy the fantastic view of the downtown Phoenix skyline while you enjoy a fantastic tasting menu, the restaurant is known for.  They also feature a good collection of Mexican and Mezcal wines.

2 – Binkley’s Restaurant

If it is fine dining you crave, Binkley’s is the place that offers a creative, interesting and one-of-a-kind experience.  This is the latest project of Kevin Binkley, the James Beard Award-nominated chef. Located in midtown Phoenix, it offers an ever-changing multi-course tasting menu. If you are dining at Binkley’s, be sure to set aside 3 hours to go over 20 courses. The experience begins on the patio, and then moves into the bar section and finally resting in the very comfortable, quietly refined dining room that provides patrons with a full view of the kitchen.  You can enjoy watching Chef Binkley work his magic on a modern seasonal American menu using French techniques.

1 – Kai Restaurant

Ranked by Trip Advisor as the best restaurant in Phoenix in 2018, Kai is so noteworthy on multiple levels that it is extremely difficult to begin attempting to describe what they do. The notable crew includes such luminaries as Consulting Chef Janos Wilder, Executive Chef Michael O’Dowd and Chef de Cuisine Jack Strong.  They have created a menu using only home grown ingredients found only on local tribal farms to be put on dishes that has a Native American taste to it.  Try the seared prairie squab and oxtail-merquez sausage frittata with cuitlacoche sauce and charred tomato crema. The grilled buffalo tenderloin with smoked corn puree is a feast for the senses.  The same is true with the scarlet runner beans, saguaro blossom and cholla buds.  Leave all your inhibitions at the door and be prepared to have a fabulous gastronomic experience.


Police Quickly Arrest Suspect in Bus Stop Crash

Downtown Phoenix

A quiet street in Phoenix became a scene from the latest Hollywood chase movie when a man tried to evade arrest after crashing a pickup truck at a bus stop and severely injuring a 17-year old bystander.  Based on a statement by officials, a 17-year old boy sustained serious injuries when a man stole a pickup truck and then rammed it into a bus stop and hitting a teenager quietly waiting for a ride while trying to evade police. The incident occurred at around 9 am, Tuesday, near 19thAvenue and Bell Road.

Dropping Plates

According to witness Bob Carter, he was eating inside an IHOP when all of a sudden he heard the sound of a big crash. According to Carter, “I thought it was somebody dropping plates or something like that.”  It was not long before Mr. Carter and others in the restaurant realized that something seriously wrong was going on outside.  Based on the statements of Phoenix Police officials, the suspect in the incident was identified Wednesday morning as Matthew Jennings, a 33-year old man who stole a truck and drove it westbound along Bell Road near 19thAvenue. According to the police, the suspect rammed the pickup truck at a bus stop, where the 17-year old teenager was patiently waiting for a ride home. The teenager, according to police, did suffer some serious injuries.

Everyone Trying to Help

According to the witness, when everyone saw what happened, they immediately went to the boy in order to help him. However, they waited till the fire department finally arrived so the bus stop could be safely lifted up. Carter said, “And then, everybody was trying to help the guy that was underneath there, and they waited ’till the fire department out there to help lift up the bus stop,”

Tried to Evade Police

The police said that the suspect, Matthew Jennings was attempting to evade arrest by slamming into another truck until the truck caught fire.  The entire scene unfolded in a dramatic viewer video where firefighters rush in to try and put out the blaze. Based on an eyewitness account at the scene, the suspect got out of the truck and then tried to elude police by running on foot into a car dealership area. There in the grounds of the car dealer was where the police were able to finally apprehend him.

Credit is given to the quick reaction time of the police. Carter said that after he hit the bus stop and no more than ten seconds after that, around 5 police cars flew by with a couple of cars stopping to check if anyone was injured. The rest chased the suspect and quickly apprehended him.

Arizona’s Best Tourist Spots to Visit

Arizona sits in the heart of the American Southwest. It is filled with quaint old towns, cosmopolitan cities and numerous natural wonders. Among the natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is the place that tops the list. However, if you go deep within the state, you will discover there are a lot of unique places and interesting people to meet. Scenic destinations like Sedona and Phoenix. Learn about Native American culture, ghost towns from the Wild West era and panoramic views of the country.  Arizona is also home to numerous lakes, deserts and mountains. There is a world of possibilities for the adventurous traveler.

Grand Canyon in Arizona

The Grand Canyon

One cannot be but inspired by the awesome natural wonder that is the Grand Canyon. Just looking out at the magnificent endless ridges of colorful cliff walls and ravines, you know there is nothing to top this magnificent natural wonder.  In the afternoon sun you will discover the beautiful glow that the sun casts on it to reveal shades of yellow, red and orange. This is definitely one of the most popular attractions not just in Arizona but in the entire country as well.  A lot of visitors are able to view the canyon coming from the South Rim, where a number of lookout areas are strewn along the edge of the canyon. The North Rim offers an entirely different view but the road is closed during the winter season. If you prefer a one-of-a-kind view of the canyon, nothing beats a spectacular helicopter ride over and through it.  Be sure to check it off your bucket list when you visit Arizona today.


If you want to be mesmerized by stunning red rock mountains and buttes, Sedona is the place to go as it has one of the most panoramic settings in the entire state of Arizona. Just a 1.5-hour drive from Phoenix, Sedona is known to be a very popular day trip adventure. You can drive into town coming from the south via the Village of Oak Creek, which is quite stunning by itself already.  Sedona’s main street is filled with art galleries, restaurants and tourist shops. A fun way to spend your afternoon.  All around town you will find superb mountain bike and hiking trails. Try the Jeep tours, one of the most popular activities here.  There are also numerous Native American dwellings to discover scattered around the area.

Sedona is mostly known as a spiritual haven. It is quite popular due to the presence of a energy vortexes found in a number of known sites. There are New Age shops and UFO tours as well.

Monument Valley

Aside from the Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic images that you have probably seen of the Southwest are the sandstone buttes that dwarf Monument Valley.  Overlapping between Utah and Arizona, these jagged rock formations, sand dunes and stone spires are what make up the iconic image of the area.  Located in the center of the valley is the Navajo Tribal Park.  There is a huge visitor center including a 17-mile self-drive route along a one-way gravel road through the park.  If you want to see the area in detail, there are also guided tours available.


The capital of Arizona is a major destination during winter for golfers and vacationers that want to relax at a resort spa destination or bask in the heat of the desert sun. Phoenix Metropolitan Area includes Scottsdale and Mesa; there are superb shopping opportunities, casual and fine dining restaurants, desert parks and more.  Top places to check out include Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West and the Heard Museum.