Last updated on August 16th, 2019
Ask any Minnesotan where the best place to go is on the North Shore and they will tell you its gotta be Grand Marais. Why? because there is tons of things to do in Grand Marais MN. It is the gateway to all traveler headed to the BWCA for a fishing or canoe adventure. Hikers on the Superior Hiking Trial will find this one of the first points of civilization before going south. For those sailors, the harbor is a great place to stop and regroup. For romantics, renting a cabin with a lakeside view makes for a great anniversary trip. Anyone camping North of Duluth, you gotta stop there. Here is a quick run down of everything you have to check out.
Things to do in Grand Marais MN
Artists Point Grand Marais
Artist Point Grand Marais is something you don’t want to miss. It provides access to the shoreline along a narrow path of concrete. Following it along, you’ll find tide pools and rocky shores that take your breath away. You can take the path all the way to the lighthouse. Or head the other direction and visit the pine tree covered island. Make sure you have stead shoes and a good hand on your little ones because this is all at your own risk. This location is a favorite for sunsets, storm and great shoreline photographs.
Superior Hiking Trail Passes Through
Take a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. The SHT has a 4.9-mile section of the trail starting at the Gunflint Trail Scenic Overlook From there travel all the way to Cook County Road 58. You’ll pass the Pincushion Mountain Summit. Yes, there is a mountain in MN. Then on to Devil Track River gorge. It’s a steep descended down the gorge so take it easy. It’s home to some fantastic 270-degree overlooks of the area.
Lake Superior Trading
Your one stop shop for outdoor gifts and gear. The place has been built by outfitters and only sell true outdoor equipment. Located right on the water, you won’t miss them on your way into the BWCA. Pick up a map, hat or the water bottle you left behind at home. They also have a wide selection of shoes, clothing, packs and other gear.
Sven & Ole’s
Sven and Ole’s has legendary pizza. They started out in the 80’s as a pop-up shop selling popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and their mom’s homemade brownies. But the brothers couldn’t keep things on the stand fast enough. It wasn’t long before they started the restaurant and they’ve been slowly adding on. Famous now for their Pizza, I can personally attest to the fact that it is some of the best Pizza you’ll find coming back from a week in the BWCA. Be warned though, they are famous for their long waits during tourist season.
Worlds Best Donuts
When they say Worlds Best, they mean it. Stop in and get some donates as they come fresh out of the oil. I ended up making two stops, and you can find out why in The World’s Best Donuts in Grand Marais. Check it out. You won’t regret it.
The Gunflint Tavern
Filled with live music on the weekends, the Gunflint Tavern is the perfect spot to chill and relax with an excellent brew. They use organic food throughout their menu and include dishes like New York Sirloin, Fresh Walleye Fillets, and French Onion Soup. Oh and did I mention they also brew their own microbrews, they have a selection of wine and other specialties cocktails!
Voyageur Brewing Co Craft Beer
Hidden back behind the harbor is Voyageurs Brewing Company. Creating craft beers and that match any seasons adventures. On Saturdays get a tour of the whole operation. And if you think their proximity to the harbor is not ideal, you have ventured onto their rooftop yet. With events held up there like Pints and Poses Yoga held on the roof, you’ll have a hard time finding an excuse not to go.
One of the best parts about Grand Marais is the appeal to everyone, including dogs. Along the harbor, you’ll find courtesy doggy cleanup stations. And a bunch of the restaurants have curbside takeout options, including my favorite one, Java Moose. Just walk up with your pups and enjoy some hot coffee from Java Moose. Strictly cash, but when you’re talking that kind of service who cares!
Best Time to Visit Grand Marais
Summer is known as their ‘Peak Season’. Rates are going to be higher at all the location. MEA, the long weekend in October that kids get off for teacher conferences, rates spike then as well. Also during the Ski season at Lutsen Mountain. Each season bring’s it’s own fun with new activities. Spring and Fall are the best times to hike with the least number of bugs to deal with. Winter is great for snow shoeing and watching the lake freeze into some amazing ice formations. Summer is everyone’s favorite based on the number of people that flock to the destination.
What’s your Favorite Things to do in Grand Marais MN?
The entire north shoreline is filled with different activities. Just a mins north is Devils Kettle at Judge Magney State Park and of course Gooseberry Falls further south. My favorite part about traveling up there is getting to stop at all the random scenic overlooks? What about you, What is your Favorite thing to do in Grand Marias MN?
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