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Grand Marais, Mn: Gateway to the Gunflint Trail

A quiet evening on the Grand Marais harbor Grand Marais MN
A fall evening at Grand Marais Harbor

Grand Marais, Minnesota is one of our favorite travel stops on our tours around Lake Superior.


It is the last town of any consequence before the Canadian border. So if you are heading further north this is a good place to get groceries, gas and other provisions (one caveat: sometimes we have found gas prices at the border store or the Grand Portage Casino Convenience Store cheaper than in Grand Marais). It is also a fun place to spend a few days.

Grand Marais Beach


The Grand Marais harbor beach during a summertime festival. It is actually in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of most attractions.


Grand Marais Gunflint Tavern

The Gunflint Tavern
, on main street, overlooks the harbor. It offers a generous selection of brews on tap plus fine sandwiches and related fare largely drawn from the organic and whole food spectrum. It's upper deck is a favorite spot on nice days.

Gunflint Tavern Grand Marais


One late September, during our fall color tour of the North Shore we stopped in the Gunflint Tavern to have some lunch and brews. Tasty sandwiches and top-notch service.

 

The Beaver House (left picture below) is the place to go for fishing lures, bait, and fishing advise. Its selection of lures tops many big city fishing shops.

The World's Best Donut Shop (right below picture) cranks out a gizzilion donuts, long johns, and danish pastries a day - served up with good, no-nonsense coffee. It's on our must stop list every time we visit Grand Marais.

Beaver House Grand Marais, MN


Worlds Best Donuts Grand Marais, MN

trading post grand marais

The Trading Post (in the background) is a place I have a hard time keeping a safe distance from Jo. It's awful easy to drop mega dollars on books, clothes, maps, gifts, gear and other goods.

Next door is a gourmet coffee and ice cream shop.

Grand Marais Dragon Boat Festival

 

 

Entertainment on the Grand Marais beach during the Grand Marais Dragonboat Festival.

Our favorite stops and things to do in Grand Marais and vicinity:

  • Browsing the Ben Franklin store: floor to ceiling shelves with more stuff per square foot than practically anyplace else you've ever been - and lots of it is pretty good quality too.

  • Dining lakeside at the Angry Trout Cafe and catching an early breakfast at the Blue Water Cafe.

  • Visiting the North House Folk School workshops and bookstore.

  • Hiking out to Artists Point (just keep walking past the Coast Guard Station) and the nearby Sweetheart Bluff Hiking trail (accessible from the Municipal Camp Ground).

  • Stocking up on trail mix and other munchies at Cook County Whole Foods Coop.

  • Nearby hiking trails: Pincushion Mountain and Devil Track River gorge.

  • Boundary Waters (BWCA) Visitor Center.

  • Camping at the Municpal Campground & RV Park on the lakeshore; walking to downtown along the lakeshore.

paradise beach

Agate Hunters. Some Great Agate Hunting and Rock Picking Beaches are north of Grand Marais.

Checkout the Grand Marais Visitor Center - just down the street from the Beaver House - for maps, brochures, places to stay and more info on things to do in Grand Marais and up the Gunflint Trail.


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