Rules, Regs and FAQs


We wish for our guests to enjoy a peaceful, fun and safe vacation in this Land of Delight.

We therefore thank you for your cooperation to adhering to the ground rules set forth by Garvin’s Cottages.

Compliance with these will help preserve the serenity and safety for all our guests.

Rules & Regulations

Garvin’s Cottages is not responsible for any accidents, injuries or illness that occurs while on the premises or its facilities, nor responsible for the loss of personal belongings or valuables of the Lessee.  By accepting this reservation, it is agreed that all guests are expressly assuming the risk of any harm arising from their use of the premises or others whom they invite to use the premises.

Garvin’s Cottages is family-oriented and has a designated ‘Quiet Time’ of 10PM to 9AM. (We want you and all our guests to have fun and enjoy their time at the Lake, but please keep in mind that the units are not only in close proximity to each other, but exist in a residential community.  We ask that you please be courteous and keep the noise level to a minimum between the hours of 9AM and 10PM – most notably if playing music in your cottage, at the dock, or on your docked boat’s sound system.)

We’re animal lovers too, but pets are not permitted.

Each cottage possesses two (2) parking spots.

At no time are garbage bags to be left outside of the cottage. Garbage bags are to be closed tightly and disposed of in the cans  provided. These are emptied Mon, Wed, and Fri, however, to prevent the cans from overflowing between pick-ups, it is necessary for guests to break down boxes/flatten milk containers, etc. prior to tossing in the can.

Unless loading or unloading passengers or gear, tying boats to the end of the dock is prohibited. Such instances should take no longer than a few minutes; therefore, boats are not to tie up until their passengers are ready to embark.

Jet Skis are not permitted.

The cottages are on a well and septic system.  There may be times when the water may have an odor.  The septic system is very effective - however, it will clog up or overflow if improper material is flushed.  Please DO NOT FLUSH anything other than septic safe toilet paper.  (This is identified on the TP packaging, and is sold in most stores.)  No feminine product, diaper, etc. is to be flushed at anytime.

All fish cleaning (scaling, etc.) must be performed in the designated Fish Bar and not in the Cottage.

Cottage amenities, appliances, etc. are to be used for their intended purposes only. (Pillows, Blankets, etc. are not to be used outside of the Cottage.)

Cottage property and all furnishings are to be kept in good order.

Smoking is not permitted in the Cottage.

In the event of a power outage, absolutely no use of sinks, toilets, or shower is permitted by any Cottage.  Due to the nature of the septic system, damage will occur if used during a power outage.

Floating Lanterns or Fireworks of any kind (including sparklers) are not permitted on the property.

As adorable as they are, feeding of the ducks is discouraged. Their defecation in the water near shore can cause ‘swimmers itch’.

Erection of tents on the property is not permitted. (Also, as beautiful as it can be under the stars, due to the wildlife that roam at night, guests are encouraged to sleep in their cottage and not outside in a sleeping bag.)

Use of/or parking Campers (of any kind) is not permitted on the property.

Please call to confirm availability of the Dock outside of the regular Summer Season.  (Dependent on weather, the dock may be available as early as April and as late as November.)

On the day of departure, Lessee is to vacate the premises no later than the stated check-out time, leaving the Cottage in the condition as when arrived.  (This includes ensuring all doors & windows are closed and locked; heat turned off; all trash removed; and BBQ grill cleaned.)

Lessor will not provide ‘first-right-of-refusal’ for renting the Cottage for the following year should Lessor feel that the Lessee violated or disrespected the Rules of the property.



Why can’t we go over the listed maximum occupancy if all the adults can sleep in beds and all the kids on the floor (in sleeping bags) or on air mattresses?

Some of the reasons for enforcing the maximum occupancy rule include – property size, parking, holding/septic tank capacity, and insurance reasons – as well as to respect our other renting guests and lake neighbors … the cottages are not only very close to each other, but exist in a residential area, so noise is always a concern as well.

Can we invite others to come and visit us at the cottage?

We pride ourselves on being a fun and relaxing family vacation destination, therefore out of consideration for our other renting guests, they may only visit with you at the property for a maximum of 3 hours per day. There are numerous parks and beaches in the area where your group can gather and spend the entire day together though … please see the LINKS page for these and other such locations.

What items for use at the Cottage should we bring?

Sheets/Pillow Cases

Kitchen and Bath Towels

Septic-safe toilet paper

Paper Towels

Trash Bags

Food Storage Bags (e.g. Ziplocks)

Outdoor dining materials (e.g. paper plates, cups, etc.)

Kitchen & Bath Soaps

Flashlights (in case of a power outage)

Fan (if needed, as the units are not air-conditioned)

Charcoal (for the BBQ grill)

Lawn Chairs


Does the refrigerator have an automatic ice maker?

No, sorry, we’re still rustic in that category. There are 2 ice trays in the freezer however.

What is the swimming area like?

Our large swimming area has a sandy bottom that gradually gets deeper (there are no steep drop-offs).  The water depth at the end of the docks is approximately 4 feet deep.

Do you have an air compressor for blowing up the floaties?

No.  You may fill them up at Buntings Gas Station in Cedar however.

Can we recycle our plastic bottles, etc?

The waste management system for the county does not conduct special ‘recyclable’ pick-ups, however they have provided containers for us to dispose of these items in our town of Cedar.  The recyclable dumpsters are located just north of the Cedar River bridge, on the east side of the road.

The State of Michigan permits the sale/purchase of fireworks/sparklers/floating lanterns, etc., so why can’t we be allowed to use them on the property?

There are numerous reasons, most notably for the safety of all guests, cottages, docks and boats.  (Floating lanterns/fireworks, if gone awry, can be a fire threat … and sparklers, if forgotten and left on the ground, could end up being shot out from under the landscaping equipment, potentially seriously injuring a person.)

Where is the nearest boat launch?

If you’re bringing a boat that does not require much of a draft (e.g. rowboat with an outboard motor), you can launch it just north of the cottages, at the Solon Township Park (which, in city terms, is a couple of blocks away).  If you have a larger toy, you’ll have to launch it at the other public site that is approximately 4.5 miles north of us.

Who is required to have a Michigan fishing license, and where can I get one?

As of December 2015, the Michigan DNR website stated, “You must purchase a fishing license if you are 17 years of age or older to fish. If you are under 17, you may fish without a license, but you are required to observe all fishing rules and regulations.” Click here for DNR License Items and Fees (there are resident and non-resident fees). Click here to purchase them online. You may also purchase them at our local Cedar Hardware store.

Does Michigan have restrictions on boat and personal watercraft (PWC) operators?

Yes.  Please click here to read that information.

Where can I obtain the Official Boating Handbook of the Michigan Dept of Natural Resources?

Click here.

Can we bring a hammock and/or our own outdoor lounge chairs?

Yes.  Lounge chairs are recommended.

How is the terrain for bike riding?

The area is absolutely gorgeous – BUT - because the cottages reside off a two-lane highway (speed limit 55), that is also very hilly with many twists and turns, we recommend that you take your bikes to off-road trails dedicated for this purpose, or rent a bike in Suttons Bay, Leland or Traverse City.

Can we fish off the end of the docks?

Yes, as long as no one is swimming or sunning at that time.  Please make sure that no hooks or potentially harmful items are left behind afterward.

Are there any restrictions as to what time of day we can go swimming?

No, you may go swimming whenever you’d like … just remember there is no life guard on duty.

Where can we buy bait for fishing?

The closest places would be in Cedar, at the Hardware store or Bunting’s Market, or at Narrows Passage in the village of Lake Leelanau.