Things to Do in Grand Marais MN – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to Grand Marais, MN, a hidden gem nestled on the shores of Lake Superior. This charming town offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, artistic flair, and small-town charm. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, Grand Marais has something for everyone. Join me as we explore the top things to do in Grand Marais and uncover the beauty and excitement this picturesque destination has to offer.

Can’t-Miss Attractions

Grand Marais, MN, nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, offers a plethora of captivating attractions for visitors to explore. Here are the top 5 must-see attractions in Grand Marais:

1. Artist’s Point: A scenic peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior, Artist’s Point is a haven for nature lovers and photographers. This iconic spot boasts breathtaking views of the lake, surrounding cliffs, and the historic Grand Marais Lighthouse. Visitors can witness stunning sunrises and sunsets, making it a perfect location to capture the beauty of the North Shore.

2. Superior National Forest: Spanning over 3 million acres, the Superior National Forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With miles of hiking trails, pristine lakes, and dense forests, this natural wonderland offers endless opportunities for exploration. Visitors can partake in activities such as camping, fishing, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting, immersing themselves in the tranquility of the wilderness.

3. Grand Marais Harbor: The bustling harbor of Grand Marais is a hub of activity, with colorful fishing boats bobbing in the water and seagulls soaring overhead. Stroll along the boardwalk, lined with charming shops and galleries, and soak in the maritime atmosphere. Visitors can watch the sunrise over the lake, savor fresh seafood at local eateries, or embark on a scenic boat tour to fully experience the charm of this coastal town.

4. Cascade River State Park: Just a short drive from Grand Marais, Cascade River State Park is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The park features cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear streams, and lush forests, creating a picturesque setting for outdoor adventures. Hikers can explore a variety of trails that lead to stunning overlooks and scenic vistas, providing a glimpse into the natural beauty of Minnesota’s North Shore.

5. North House Folk School: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region at the North House Folk School. This unique institution offers a diverse range of classes and workshops on traditional crafts, such as woodworking, boat building, and fiber arts. Visitors can learn from skilled artisans, participate in hands-on activities, and gain insight into the time-honored skills that have shaped the community. The school’s picturesque campus overlooking Lake Superior adds to the overall experience, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking to connect with the local culture.

From the rugged beauty of Artist’s Point to the serene wilderness of Superior National Forest, Grand Marais, MN, is a treasure trove of attractions that cater to every traveler’s interests. Whether you seek natural wonders, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, this charming lakeside town has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Grand Marais today and embark on a journey of discovery in this enchanting corner of Minnesota.

One-day trip

If you’re looking for exciting day trips within a 2-hour drive from Grand Marais, MN, you’re in luck! Here are five fantastic destinations to consider:

1. Lutsen Mountains:
Located just an hour’s drive southwest of Grand Marais, Lutsen Mountains is a popular ski resort in the winter, but it offers plenty of activities in the summer too. Visitors can enjoy scenic gondola rides, hiking and mountain biking trails, and stunning views of Lake Superior.

2. Grand Portage National Monument:
Less than an hour’s drive northeast of Grand Marais, Grand Portage National Monument is a historical site that showcases the history and culture of the Ojibwe people and fur traders. Visitors can explore a reconstructed fur trading post, hike to High Falls, the highest waterfall in Minnesota, and learn about the area’s rich heritage.

3. Cascade River State Park:
Just a short 20-minute drive southwest of Grand Marais, Cascade River State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park features picturesque waterfalls, rugged hiking trails, and stunning views of Lake Superior. It’s the perfect destination for a day of outdoor adventure and relaxation.

4. North House Folk School:
Located in Grand Marais itself, North House Folk School offers a unique cultural experience for visitors. The school offers a variety of classes and workshops on traditional crafts and skills, such as woodworking, boat building, and fiber arts. Visitors can learn a new skill, explore the campus, and shop for handmade goods at the school’s store.

5. Artist’s Point:
Situated right in Grand Marais, Artist’s Point is a scenic spot that offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior and the surrounding shoreline. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore, admire the work of local artists, and enjoy a picnic while taking in the beauty of the area.

These five destinations offer a mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and natural beauty, making them compelling choices for day-trippers looking to explore the diverse attractions within a short drive of Grand Marais, MN.

Restaurants and bars

When visiting Grand Marais, MN, be sure to check out these 5 exceptional dining spots that offer a delightful culinary experience:

1. The Lighthouse Grill: Enjoy stunning views of Lake Superior while savoring their famous Walleye Tacos, a local favorite known for its fresh flavors and generous portions.

2. Harbor House Grille: Indulge in their mouthwatering Blueberry BBQ Ribs, a unique twist on a classic dish that perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors, all in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

3. Crooked Spoon Cafe: Treat yourself to their delectable Wild Rice Burger, a vegetarian delight that captures the essence of the Northwoods, served in a charming setting that exudes warmth and hospitality.

4. Angry Trout Cafe: Delight in their signature Lake Superior Whitefish Chowder, a creamy and comforting dish that showcases the best of the region’s fresh seafood, all while supporting sustainable and local fishing practices.

5. My Sister’s Place: Experience homestyle cooking at its finest with their famous Swedish Meatballs, a hearty and satisfying dish that embodies comfort food, served in a cozy and inviting setting that feels just like home.

For a taste of the local cafe and bar scene, don’t miss these 2 must-visit spots that offer a unique and memorable experience:

1. Java Moose: This charming cafe is a favorite among locals for its artisanal coffee blends and cozy atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee while taking in the sights and sounds of Grand Marais.

2. Gun Flint Tavern: Known for its extensive selection of craft beers and live music performances, this lively bar is a popular hangout for both locals and visitors alike, offering a vibrant and welcoming ambiance that makes it a standout destination in town.

Interesting Facts

Grand Marais, MN is a hidden gem nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, offering visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Here are three surprising and interesting facts about Grand Marais:

1. Artist Haven: Grand Marais has a vibrant arts community, attracting artists from all over the world. The town is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and the renowned Grand Marais Art Colony, where visitors can take classes and workshops. The stunning landscapes and picturesque surroundings have inspired generations of artists, making Grand Marais a haven for creativity.

2. Outdoor Paradise: Nature enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Grand Marais, with its proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This vast wilderness area offers unparalleled opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and camping. Visitors can also explore the nearby Superior National Forest, known for its diverse wildlife and pristine forests. Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or a casual nature lover, Grand Marais has something for everyone.

3. Lighthouse History: Grand Marais is home to the historic Grand Marais Lighthouse, which has guided ships along Lake Superior’s rugged coastline since 1922. The lighthouse offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding area, making it a popular spot for visitors to explore. History buffs will appreciate learning about the lighthouse’s role in maritime navigation and its significance to the local community.

Overall, Grand Marais, MN is a charming destination with a rich cultural heritage and abundant natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in the arts, outdoor adventures, or local history, this picturesque town has something to offer every visitor.

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