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Shady Rest Acres

100%
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· Brownsville, Minnesota
23 acres
3 sites
1 Lodging
2 Tent
Once the site of the historic V.J. Fetzner Brewery from the late 19th Century. The land is now used as a hobby farm, honey bee sanctuary and nursery to a unique tree species normally not found in Southeastern Minnesota.  Remnants of the brewery are still visible. Foundation walls outline the massive structure of the brewery. Nestled in the center of the foundation is the entrance to the sixty-seven foot deep cave that once held barrels of beer and can be accessed by canoe only.  Hops have been located on the property and are believed to be ancestors of those raised to make the beer once stored in the cave. The pond that provides access to the cave was dug out in the early 1990's to create a fish out for the Spring Hills Trout Farm that used to exist across the highway. Some of the original brood stock still exist and continue to naturally stock the pond. It is not uncommon to see fish that are five to ten pounds in size.  The residents house is built to scale to the original brew master's house. While the house is only twenty-four years old it looks as though you have taken a step back in time. The name Shady Rest was given to the house by the Brew Master's wife. We thought it was appropriate to keep the name alive. Shady Rest Acres is comprised of twenty-three acres of beautiful woodlands and pasture that are protected forever in the Minnesota Land Trust. The pasture is home to Scottish Highlander cows, two miniature donkeys, five sheep, four goats, honey bees and a flock of chickens. Scottish Highlanders were selected for both their grazing and browsing abilities. They are very docile and make excellent pasture mates to the smaller species sharing the pasture. The cows are excellent forest managers. They clear out invasive species such as Honey Suckle, Buckthorn, and Barberry which can often be difficult to manage. A guided tour with the host can be taken to meet the pasture animals. The forest is comprised of many tree species. Some are unique in that they normally do not grow in this region of Minnesota. The yellow birch is a species normally found in Northern Minnesota. It's bark is golden in color and glistens when the sun hits it just right. We have a cluster of several yellow birch including one that is so big that the bark no longer looks golden but instead is grey and very rough. Years ago the largest of these trees made excellent wood for turning bowls. Blue Beech (musclewood) can also be found on the property. As the name indicates the bark is shaped like muscles. Songbirds and some other species will use different parts of the tree as a food source. Towering white pines also speckle the landscape. Mother pine requires at least two humans arm lengths to encircle the whole tree. She is a favorite resting spot for the barred owl. There is oak, elm, maple, ceders, poplars and numerous other species. Honey bees are an integral part of the landscape. We partnered with a friend and started raising honey bees two years ago in order to do our part to keep pollinators thriving.  Their hives are located in the pasture where it has the perfect amount of early morning sun to get them moving and afternoon shade to balance out the summer heat. It is not uncommon to see them pollinating garden plants, trees and wild flowers around the property. One of their favorite feeding spots is the acre and a half prairie which offers a range of plants including big blue stem, wild indigo and baby blue stem, to name a few. Not only are honey bees essential to the food chain but they also provide a very enriching experience when they are observed moving about their hives. There is nothing more relaxing and fascinating than watching these amazing creatures.  
Activities
Biking
Boating
Fishing
Hiking
Natural features
Beach
Cave
Forest
Lake
Available sites
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Location
Brownsville, Minnesota, United StatesTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
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Hosted by Patty & Michelle B.Joined in December 2017
100%
249 ratings · 189 reviews
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Jordan B.recommends
October 31, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Staying at the studio was such a delightful weekend getaway. Patty and Michelle were so kind. We loved being around their farm animals and cozying up by the wood stove. They also gave us nice recommendations for local hikes and food options! Definitely recommend staying here.
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Robert J.recommends
October 9, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Just so lovely
Staying at Patty and Michelle's was glorious! We we were so comfortable in the studio. Our family fell in love with all of the furry and feathery friends on the farm. We took the canoe into the cave and walked around inside. We watched the trout, water striders, and birds. Listened to some vinyl while we lounged as we put a puzzle together. It was such nice place to spend a weekend. We didn't want to leave.
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Savannah B.recommends
September 19, 2022
Heart's Content
Our favorite getaway…ever!
This was our third time staying on Patty & Michelle’s property and it did not disappoint (it never does). Staying at Heart’s Content is our favorite way to relax and enjoy quiet time in nature. We were visited by many of the animals that call Shady Rest Acres home, including the donkeys, dogs, cats, and chickens. Patty and Michelle let us know that Mid West Music Fest was happening in La Crosse during our stay and we made the short drive into town to check it out. It was a great experience and we decided that we’ll have to come back during MWMF weekend every year! ♥️
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Andrew J.recommends
September 19, 2022
Life is Good
Uhhhh, yeah.
Beautiful land, adorable highland cows, friendly donkeys, helpful hosts, canoeing in a brewery cave, the cleanest Porta potty I have ever laid eyes on....and Willow.
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Daniel L.recommends
September 18, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Can I rate this place six stars? My band and I loved staying here! What a magical plot of land. Very welcoming and accommodating hosts, a lot of friendly dogs, cats, & chickens, and stunning landscape. This studio wad more well-equiped even than most Airbnbs I've stayed at which made it a very comfortable place to relax and unwind. We made use of the grill and the electric griddle for our meals (the knifes are super dull so a pocket knife came in handy) and the coffee maker was nice and clean. Comfy temps from a window AC unit during the day and opening the windows at night. Great area for biking around as well as long as you like hills! Overall I can't say enough kind things about this place. Thanks for having us!
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Ethan L.recommends
September 5, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Relaxing for sure
Patty and Michelle have crafted a wonderful studio retreat to reconnect with nature and enjoy some peaceful time to recharge. With the addition of the kitchenette and 3/4 bath to the studio it really is a perfectly self sufficient hideaway that is ready for your next adventure.
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Riley K.recommends
September 4, 2022
Life is Good
Immaculate vibes
Patty & Michelle were so friendly and sweet. Everything at Shady Rest Acres was lovely, and I wish I lived there! I loved all the animals and how much space we had to ourselves at our site. Would definitely stay here again!! Patty & Michelle please adopt me!!!
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Mary R.recommends
September 2, 2022
Life is Good
Beautiful scenery and relaxing!
This campsite offers you amazing access to the stars and open space for a campfire and hanging with the animals. Patty and Michelle are excellent hosts and really made us feel welcome. We will be back!!
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Mary R.recommends
September 2, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Beautiful spot!
This is our second time to visit Patty and Michelle. They are such amazing hosts and offered so much to us to enjoy. We frolicked in the creek, took the boat in the pond, loved on their fur babies, swooned over the stars, and so much more. They really make us feel comfortable and give us great tips for enjoying the area. I really can’t say enough about how lovely they are and how beautiful their land is. Visit and you can’t be disappointed! It’s super kid friendly too!
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Kristin P.recommends
August 21, 2022
Heart's Content
Gorgeous property with animals!
This was our first Hipcamp experience and it exceeded our expectations. Patti and Michelle have a gorgeous piece of property, what a gift to be share this with the world. The property was beautiful and serene. Great hiking int he area. The bluffs are breathtaking! We felt in complete privacy despite being on someone’s land. They had a canoe there to use on the river that flows through the property and there’s a cave which was really cool! Rustic and peaceful. The animals were friendly and the donkeys loved us. I’ve never spent time on a farm so it was a neat experience to walk around and explore the area. The animals are in their own area (they don’t wander into your site or anything) but if you explore, they sometimes come out :). The property is beautifully manicured. We enjoyed the stay and would highly recommend this spot for southeast Minnesota camping!
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Daniel T.recommends
August 21, 2022
Life is Good
Amazing hosts. Amazing land. Kid Friendly. We took my nephews (ages 3 and 6) camping for the first team and they had such a blast. Make sure you take the canoe into the cave — such a cool experience.
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Alan L.recommends
August 16, 2022
Heart's Content
I loved the private space and all the amenities (table, firewood available, adorable furry friends). Highly recommend!
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Molly G.recommends
August 11, 2022
Heart's Content
We loved feeling unplugged on the beautiful bluff hillsides! The kids loved the farm animals, the shaded spot was great, and the pond/canoe/paddle boat/cave was pretty cool! Hosts made it an easy stay!
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Scott J.recommends
July 25, 2022
Heart's Content
Something for everyone
I’ve been trying to find a site that would help me share the camping experiences I had as a child with my kids- a site that’s not too far from provisions while making you feel like you’re off the grid. Heart’s Content struck that balance for us, and the girls are ready for another trip in the fall. Patty and Michelle were gracious hosts, and their property was amazing. We can’t wait to go back.
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Kelly O.recommends
July 14, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
This place is more than we could’ve expected! I spent a magical and relaxing two nights on the beautiful hobby farm with my two year old daughter. We both enjoyed it immensely and it’s a very special experience to share with your child! From the very thoughtfully setup studio to the charming animals and beautiful scenery. Fantastic pizza pub in a historic building minutes from the farm, short drive to the Root River Trail for bike rides, and an International Owl Center. All highly recommended! The owners Patty and Michelle couldn’t have been more welcoming and gracious and will show you around the farm as time permits. Pro tip: if the gates to the pasture are open (Patty and Michelle will let you know what’s accessible during your stay), walk up the hill to that area at dusk and bask in the fireflies and stars.
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Sharon P.recommends
June 21, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
We stayed in the studio and it was lovely. Very clean and comfortable. Our hosts were very inviting and made our stay very relaxed.
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Traci M.recommends
June 12, 2022
Heart's Content
Wonderful!
Fantastic stay at a large, well shaded snd drained site. This a nature lovers farm with lots of flowers, trees and animals around. Gorgeous views on the way in and beautiful forested hillsides. I swear they have the cleanest portapotty I have ever been in. And as a solo female camper I felt safe and welcome. Absolutely recommend!
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Amanda E.recommends
June 9, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Beautiful location and accommodations. Great place to unplug and relax. Family friendly. Patty and Michelle are great!
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Vanessa A.recommends
June 5, 2022
Life is Good
Love!!
Had a perfect three days in my campervan. The animals are kind and calming! The hosts, Patty and Michelle, made me feel welcomed and part of the community. Got to see the shearing of their sheep. Will stay again.
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Kerry P.recommends
May 31, 2022
Life is Good
Patty and Michelle's campsite was perfect! They were great communicators and fun to chat with. The campsite is in an ideal setting with plenty of privacy and great animal watching (the site overlooks the farm animals' pasture). The cave and land were fun to explore and the amenities were exceptional-tasty water, port-a-pot, great table and sizeable fire pit. I would highly recommend this campsite to anyone looking for a relaxing experience.
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Mitch E.recommends
May 28, 2022
Heart's Content
⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Sharon S.recommends
May 23, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
A wonderful experience
Loved the studio, the hosts, the property and animals!!! Had such a nice, quiet, relaxing stay. Very comfortable beds too!
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Annie S.recommends
February 22, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Friendly hosts and animals
We loved our stay in the Bee Relaxed studio. It was so spacious, private and cozy. The wood stove was such a fun feature. Outside the studio, Patty and Michelle gave us a personal tour of their land with all the dogs and a couple of cats in tow. They were so open and friendly about their lives and we enjoyed hearing about the farm and petting the donkeys. It wasn't too cold to take the canoe out and check out the cave either. We would definitely come back to stay in the studio or try out one of their two tent spots during warmer weather.
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Catherine W.recommends
February 11, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
The area is beautiful and the studio is so spacious! Patty and Michelle were lovely hosts and we can't wait to visit this area again!
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Sophia Z.recommends
February 6, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
What a beautiful place! Such kind people, animals, and a lovely room to stay in. We came in the winter and it was very warm and cozy, and we even got to canoe into the brewery cave despite the snow. Patty and Michelle were so kind and made sure we had everything we needed. We’ll definitely be coming back.
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Katie H.recommends
February 1, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Had a lovely time staying with Patty and Michelle! The studio is clean, homy, and the wood stove is absolutely wonderful in the winter. There are some good hikes nearby, including a beautiful overlook of the river less than 15 minutes away. The dogs are all very friendly and Patty was very welcoming and has a lovely stories about the property and its history (we didn't get a chance to see Michelle). Can't wait to go back sometime in the summer as well!
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Amy J.recommends
January 23, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Patty and Michelle’s studio is incredible! My six year old son and I could only stay for one night, and I wish it could have been longer. The land surrounding the house and studio is serene and breathtaking, even in the dead of winter. Patty couldn’t have been more welcoming when we arrived, introducing us to their four dogs. The studio was so cozy and beautiful inside, and had everything we needed and more. You can really tell how much Patty and Michelle care about the land and it’s history. Looking forward to coming back with my other son so we can do more exploring!! Thanks again for having us.
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Martha F.recommends
January 18, 2022
Bee Relaxed Studio
Patty and Michelle have a beautiful place! The friendly donkeys are fun to meet, and Michelle pointed out a few deer up the hill to me (thank you!). The studio is lovely--the record player is an especially nice touch. The kitchen area is well equipped, and Patty mentioned they're putting in a kitchen sink soon, so it's only getting better. I visited in January, but I'd love to come back sometime in the summer when canoeing is more inviting to see inside the cave.
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Toni K.recommends
November 8, 2021
Bee Relaxed Studio
Serenity at it’s Finest
Always a retreat for us to escape the crazy of life! Since we have visited three times, we told Patti & Michelle we are no longer visitors. We are family!! Love this place and we’ll be back 1-2x each year as long as the keep open their little heart of a home to others!
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Chad P.recommends
November 7, 2021
Bee Relaxed Studio
Glorious mornings in a beautiful setting. This is a great place to get away from it all.
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