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Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin: Fires, Flannels, Food and Football

November 3, 2020

Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin: Fires, Flannels, Food and Football

November 3, 2020

Fires, flannels, food and football.

These four words sum up the perfect weekend that we had recently. Now, more than ever, it was the best way to unwind and relax together in a new-to-us cabin. It’s no secret that the northwoods of Wisconsin hold a special place in our hearts and we’re looking for any reason to visit when we can!

Alderwood Resort is located on Alder Lake in the Manitowish Waters chain of lakes. Their Instagram account is one of the first accounts we started following when we started our blog a year ago and we fell in love with their photos alone. (It’s been visited by so many awesome entrepreneurs and photographers so they’ve acquired quite the collection of awesome photos!)

Located on 700′ of lake frontage, the four cabins of Alderwood Resort sit nestled in the trees with their own private docks, campfire rings, and plenty of old-school lakefront resort amenities. About a half mile down the road, the Brick House sits on the same Alder Lake and was the perfect house to spend our snowy (!!) October weekend hunkered down in.

The Brick House at Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin

As the weekend approached, we planned out our meals and divided up breakfasts, lunches and dinners between our three families. We’d invited our good childhood friends to spend the weekend with us, as they live in Illinois and visits have been far and few between. (After receiving negative Covid tests, we were all able to enjoy our time together knowing we were being as safe as we could during a weekend spent indoors together!)

The town of Manitowish Waters has SO much to do – the Win-Man trails for biking, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and the Heart of Vilas County trails being our favorites. For some of the outdoor adventures and activities we’ve done, reference this past post of ours. We went into this weekend with the intention of doing very little in the way of dining, shopping, and exploring the town – we wanted to focus on the quality time with our families and friends and have zero plans on the agenda. The best surprise came when northern Wisconsin received several inches of snow in the days leading up to our visit! Snow pants, boots and winter gear had to be pulled out as we packed for the trip and the kids’ excitement level made it even more fun.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and spent 3 nights in the Brick House. An added bonus was the flexible check-in and check-out times, as the owners gave a buffer on either end of the reservations to safely clean and sanitize the home between guests, which we 100% appreciate. The kids’ favorite thing to do when arriving is run through the house and check out all the rooms and get “their” beds set up. It felt a bit like the old show, The Real World, on MTV when we all arrived at the same time and chose bedrooms as we settled in for a long and fun weekend!


The Brick House has two indoor wood-burning fireplaces in each of it’s two living rooms. With only one TV in the house, we settled into the main living room with the TV and spent most of our time in there. The other living room had huge bay windows overlooking the lake, along with another cute fireplace, and the kids took over this room as their “play room”. It was also the perfect spot for morning coffee! A screen porch off the main living room was awesome and would be a good reprieve from the summer mosquitos – just too chilly to utilize the weekend we were visiting.

Huge bay windows overlooking Alder Lake from one of the living rooms

In addition to the indoor fires we had each night and most of the day on Sunday, we spent many hours around the outdoor fire ring. It snowed on and off the entire weekend and high temperatures were only in the 30’s. It was brisk but we had so much fun around the fire in our snow pants. There were plenty of Adirondack chairs and places to spread out, even with our group of 6 adults and 5 kids.

Flannels (and other cozy things)

While it was only October, we know that winter comes early in the northern Wisconsin. Prior to leaving, we consulted each other in our group text thread to see if any of us were actually planning on bringing jeans or “real clothes” for the weekend. Nope. Flannel pajamas, cozy hoodies, boots, scarves, hats… it was a basic girl’s dream weekend.

Basic girls, as mentioned above. 🙂

The kids spent their days mostly in pajamas as well. With nothing on the agenda, they were content to play indoors and throw on some winter gear when they wanted to head outside. Many footballs were thrown, snowmen were built, trees were climbed, and hikes around and near the property were enjoyed by everyone.

Bartling’s Cranberry farm is just down the road. It’d be a fun thing to see during cranberry harvesting operations!
Trekked around the property to explore in the snow one afternoon

All five bedrooms were nicely decorated and had such a cool old-school cabin vibe. It was apparent that this charm was intentional and it was so clean and well-maintained with some modern touches in the decor. There were so many personal touches sprinkled throughout the home, like the bag of coffee from a local shop called Anne Marie’s to the handwritten notes left by the owners welcoming us. It was so perfectly done.


As the weekend approached, we planned out our meals and divided up breakfasts, lunches and dinners between our three families. Of course, we forgot to take any photos of the meals we made for the weekend! Trust us when we say that all the meals were delicious! (Maybe a “meals for a winter cabin weekend” blog post would be good? Yeah?)

Friday night was enchiladas while we watched the Badger football game. Saturday dinner was wedge salads and ‘Zuppa Toscana’ soup – perfect after a day spent outside in the snow. Chili simmered on the stove all afternoon during the Packer football game on Sunday.

During summer trips, our goal is to keep it super easy and quick when it comes to meals. We don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning up when on vacation. (Here’s a post with our summer go-to meals when we’re on vacation). However, we mind this a lot less in the winter and time spent together in the kitchen is fine by us. It was much easier for each family to shop and bring everything for their assigned meals and avoided too much duplicate food.


Going back to our early college days, there was an annual fall weekend where we’d all meet up together in Green Bay, Wisconsin to attend and cheer on the Packers at Lambeau Field. Obviously that’s not happening this year so we had the perfect compromise and were able to still spend our fall tradition weekend together watching the game. The Badgers played Friday night and Packers played Sunday. Despite a Packers loss, it was still an awesome day.

Packers, snow, northern Wisconsin, and beer & Bloody’s with the best friends

It’s not even usually about football itself, but the time spent together and the anticipation and excitement around the game. It’s so nostalgic for us and always a weekend we look forward to. Eating chili, drinking beer and Bloody Mary’s, and wearing our green and gold sweatshirts was the next best thing!

Annual trip to watch the Packers in Lambeau – just missing a few good friends this weekend! (Photo from 2012)

The front yard at the Brick House was really spacious and set back from the road, with a long circle driveway. The yard became our football field and the guys played many, many games of catch and tackle football in the snow.

Front yard of the Brick House at Alderwood Resort

It was one of those weekends that we never wanted to end. This year, more so, with everything going on in the world, it was so nice to get away and relax. The quality time spent together with our friends and our kids was so needed. We cannot thank Becca and David enough for their generosity in hosting us at the Brick House, and know that we are huge fans of Alderwood Resort and cannot wait until we can return for more fun.

Our photos will never do justice, so visit their Instagram account and website for the amazing photography of the cabins and amenities. We’ve got some major cabin envy and cannot say enough good things about the place! They have so many good places to see and things to do, along with a complete list of amenities and photos of the cabins on their website. Click here to visit their website: Alderwood Resort

As always, you can get an inside view on our weekend through our Instagram stories – we’ve saved them all in the “Alderwood Wknd” bubble at the top!

If you enjoyed this cabin weekend post, here are several other similar ones you might like about our past weekends away:

To shop a few of our favorite items from the weekend up north, click the links below to see our LIKEtoKNOW.it page. Know that these links are affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you purchase through our link. This is at no cost to you and helps support our blog. We will only share products we use and love so the opinions are our own.

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