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12 Best Things to do in Grand Marais, MN | Top Attractions

12 Best Things to do in Grand Marais, MN | Top Attractions

Looking for some activities and things to do in Grand Marais? We’ve got you covered after staying an entire week in this Northern lakeside town.

After spending a week in this glorious North Shore town, I’ve compiled the best things to do in Grand Marais, including fun attractions and places to stay.

Fun & Best things to do in Grand Marais, Minnesota

Grand Marais, Minnesota | Things to do & Attractions [4K HD]
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Grand Marais Lighthouse

Grand Marais Lighthouse

Address: Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.9 out of 5

Grand Marais Lighthouse is a regal tower that emits a navigational light aid from its rear range light and serves as an attraction in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

It was created from the bill for harbor improvements at Grand Marais as an initiated project in 1879.

The lighthouse is one of the most excellent and great spots to visit and explore on Minnesota’s North Shore, where the vast picturesque sea is within reach.

Following the breakwater, the path leads visitors to the beautiful Grand Marais Lighthouse, a little adventure to enjoy.

Lighthouses are majestic and beautiful to view from afar, and Grand Marais Lighthouse is exceptionally one of them.

The beauty of Grand Marais Lighthouse is not a view only to admire from afar but even up close. It is a view to behold where the sky, sea, and tower meet, creating a spectacular view.

See Related: Best Museums in Duluth, Minnesota

Artist Point

Artists Point - Grand Marais, Minnesota

Address: Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.9 out of 5

Artist Point is a beautiful scenery of jagged rock formations located along Lake Superior. It’s one of the best free things to do in Minnesota. It is a lovely destination a few blocks from Grand Marais downtown that is a favorite spot for artists and famous painters in the town.

It was formed and perched billions of years ago, providing excellent access to a lovely seashore along with a narrow but spacious enough walk-through pathway where the fascinating rock formations and tide pools meet.

The Artist’s Point’s scenery makes it the best place for artists to gain inspiration and run their creativity wild because of the spectacular panoramic view of the jagged rocks and the shore.

The Artist Point is breathtakingly stunning and a unique location to appreciate a picturesque view, take photographs, and paint because of its regal rock formations together with the remarkable vibrant colors mixing into the mist, along with the rocks mesmerizing silhouettes.

See Related: Best Minnesota Family Vacations

Pincushion Mountain Trail System

Pincushion Mountain Trail System
Image by Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Address: 1 Pincushion Dr, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Pincushion Mountain Trail System is the perfect place for every outdoor activity lover. It is an impressive highland that provides various adventures to take.

The North Superior Ski and Running Club (NSSRC) established the Pincushion Mountain Trail System to provide a lifetime adventure.

This fantastic destination is an excellent place for outdoor activities, sports, entertainment, and a place to experience a lifetime of enjoyment for all ages.

Outdoor activities such as adventurous hiking, thrilling biking, running, and even nature trips are all possible on the Pincushion Mountain Trail System.

The actions to enjoy in the mountain range from mild to extreme depending on the visitors’ preferences of adventure they want to take.

The Pincushion Mountain Trail System has competitive and non-competitive events, but visitors who want to explore the mountain can join tours.

Dogs are welcome on the trail where dog lovers can bring their pets on a great adventure, but they need to be kept on a leash.

See Related: Best Things to do in Two Harbors

Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Trail

The Gunflint Trail is a popular tourist destination in all of Minnesota. The trail is 80 miles long and takes up to four days to complete. For the most part, the trail follows an old railroad grade for logging purposes that was originally built in the 1940s. You will find many scenic vistas and detours along this route.

Free maps are available in the local shops and you can also purchase a more detailed map from the Grand Marais Chamber of Commerce.

You will find many interesting shopping opportunities only a few miles off-trail as well. There are several antique shops, a glassblower shop, and an art gallery to name a few. The trails run through Little Marais, Canyon, Deep Creek Lake, and the Gunflint Trail State Forest.

The trail can be accessed in many locations so you have your choice of where to start. It is also near or adjacent to numerous lakes that are great for canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming as well.

You should allow yourself at least three days for a trip on the trail.

The trails are off-road, but you will find forest roads that can get you back to civilization quickly if needed. The area is ideal for walking, hiking, and biking. Additionally, there are many people riding horses along the trail as well. Camping is allowed and you may have a campfire in most areas.

See Related: Best Things to do in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Historic Cook County Museum (MN)

Historic Cook County Museum
Image by Jonathunder used under GNU Free Documentation License

Address: 8 S Broadway Ave, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Historic Cook County (MN) is a spectacular museum in Grand Marais, Minnesota that houses great history exhibits in a 19th-century lighthouse keeper’s residence.

To preserve collections of knowledge about Cook Country and the State of Minnesota, history is the purpose of the Historic Cook County Museum.

The Lightkeeper’s House, where the Historic Cook County (MN) exhibits historical collections, was built in 1896.

The house was used as the U.S. Coast Guard Commander’s home after 194, and by 1966 the Cook County Historical Society acquired the property.

Artifacts of Minnesota’s musical heritage, Cook County military history, Lake Superior history, and stories about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp are some of the highlights featured inside the Lightkeeper’s House museum tour.

Today the Historic Cook County (MN) is the main grand history museum of the Cook County Historical Society containing over 50,000 collections of historical memorabilia like important documents, classic photos, and artifacts.

The exhibit in the museum depicts the history and development of the North Shore region.

See Related: Best Museums in Minnesota

Harbor Park

Harbor Park

Address: 110 Wisconsin St, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.9 out of 5

One of the best places to explore, tour, and witness Minnesota’s beauty on the North Shore of Lake Superior is Harbor Park.

It is situated in the great location of Grand Marais which provides a beautiful and inspirational setting for various activities. The Harbor Park is the perfect place for great recreation such as walking, jogging, reading books, creating art, and more.

The Harbor Park a family-friendly place where all ages will enjoy visiting the park, plus the park is open and free to the general public.

Harbor Park has a scenic view of the beautiful Lake Superior perfect location for various community gatherings and a focal point for generations of residents and visitors to experience.

The park also has a garden where various wonderful plants, green sounding, great music, and arts to enjoy. The garden within the Harbor Park is a sanctuary for artists and art enthusiasts, making the park more extraordinary at livelier.

See Related: Best Rental Cabins on Lake Superior

Artist Point Trail

Artist Point Trail

Address: Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Artist Point Trail is a wonderful trail that is essentially used for various outdoor activities like hiking. The course is known to be the state’s best viewpoint providing incredible and breathtaking picturesque scenery.

Every outdoor activity enthusiast will enjoy an inclusive hike at the Artist Point Trail, for it is one of the most satisfying trails to take in alongside incredible scenery and landscape view.

The Artist Point Trail, anytime time of the year, during winter or not, is a great trail to hike and see the beauty of nature, making the hike grand and unforgettable.

See Related: RVShare Review

Visit Cook County – Visitor Information Center

Visit Cook County - Visitor Information Center
Image by Ken Lund used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Address: 116 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Cook County is a wonderful destination, a fascinating place to visit, and a tourist information center situated in the lovely town of Grand Marais, Minnesota.

It is a destination blessed with a wide variety of great places to tour around, a variety of activities, and adventures to experience.

Visiting the Cook Country is an ultimate trip up to take in the northern part of Minnesota.

Northern Minnesota’s wonderful and exciting towns of Lutsen, Schroeder, Grand Marais, and more are the lovely places in Cook County. These communities are all gems in their own way.

Cook County is the home not only to breathtaking and artsy sceneries like its beautiful freshwater lake, the Lake Superior but also is a destination filled with epic and fun adventures.

It has various trails to explore, not just trails but scenic trails not to miss.

The events, great food, music, and other pleasing entertainment make Cook County a one-of-a-kind destination to visit.

See Related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends

Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail
Image by Kjell Olsen used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a wilderness route, extending more than 350 miles through Minnesota’s North Shore. The SHT is about halfway between the northern and southern borders of the continental United States.

The trail was built over a fifteen-year span from 1979 to 1994. It consists of two loops connecting Duluth, Minnesota, to the Canadian border in northeastern Minnesota. Along its route are portions of many federally designated wilderness areas, including the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Quetico Provincial Park.

The SHT passes through some of Minnesota’s most beautiful scenery and yet offers solitude for hikers seeking a getaway. Sections of the trail travel near several large lakes which offer opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

To ensure that the trail remains as wild and natural as possible, hikers are required to carry out all garbage they have packed in. With minimal signage, hikers should rely on maps for navigation.

The SHT passes through remote areas which require a great deal of self-reliance on the part of the hiker.

Grand Marais is the entry point for an overnight hiking adventure on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). The first section of this long-distance footpath travels along Lake Superior’s shoreline, past historic sites such as Hole in the Day’s Cave, and through a series of deep forested valleys.

The trail then ascends the forested slopes of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to its highest point at Marias Pass (elevation 2,475 feet). The Grand Marais section is about 10 miles according and links up with the North Country National Scenic Trail.

See Related: Tettegouche State Park

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply

Address: 22 1st St #818, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply is a place not to miss for outdoor supplies based in Grand Marais, Minnesota. If you are a beginner at outdoor activities and need wilderness gear, the Stone Harbor Shop is the place to go.

It is a wonderful store that not only has high-quality outdoor gear but also provides consulting services and year-round guided tours for various outdoor activities.

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply offers a wide variety of wilderness supplies for various outdoor activities.

From simple fishing to more stimulating activities such as rock climbing or kayaking, you can find anything necessary for your outdoor adventures in the store.

Camping gears, fish holes, and comfortable snowshoes are some of the outdoor gears that can be bought in the store.

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply is a unique and great store because aside from selling wilderness necessities they also allow customers to rent tools from the store.

See Related: Best Camper Accessories

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Cascade River State Park is located about twenty minutes south of Grand Marais. It has five trails ranging from easy to challenging, a picnic area, restrooms, and drinking water. You can also fish at Cascade River and visit the waterfall or take a boat out on the lake.

A popular trail for families is the two-mile-long Cascade River Loop. It is a nice undeveloped area with no elevation gain or loss and has easy to moderate terrain.

The park also has several loops for mountain biking and bikers must stay on the designated path.

Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashless and human waste disposal bags are available at the beginning of each trail or visitors can bring their own sacks.

The best time to visit Cascade River State Park is during the fall when the leaves are changing colors. The park is also open on Sundays, so it’s a great spot for some family fun on your day off.

See Related: Best Things to See and Do in Minnesota

Grand Marais Campground & Marina

Grand Marais Campground & Marina

Address: 114 S 8th Ave W, Grand Marais, MN 55604, United States

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Grand Marais Campground & Marina is a fantastic and perfect base camp for camping enthusiasts in the Grand Marais area.

It’s an awesome campground with excellent access to Minnesota’s most beautiful lake, Lake Superior, and its beautiful surroundings.

Grand Marais Campground & Marina offers a variety of campsites including those on the lakeshore, in town, or at the edge of Superior. All offer different levels of hiking access and great facilities.

While only one is able to take boats, all have incredible scenery and amenities.

Some of the amenities in our campground are fire pits, tables, public water access, toiletries, showers with hot water, and shampoo provided by Reedy Creek Outfitters. There’s also a comfortable tent platform that accommodates two four-person tents or one 10-person tent. Plus biking trails galore!

Hiking trails and biking trails are closed and accessible to the campground, a small side adventure to take while waiting for the sun to set.

The camping ground has all the necessities, the panoramic scenic view of Lake Superior, and an extraordinary caping experience not to miss in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to do in Duluth, MN

Sven & Ole’s Pizza

Sven & Ole's Pizza

Sven & Ole’s Pizza is an absolute staple of downtown Grand Marais and even the entire state of Minnesota. The pizza is delicious and the staff is friendly.

You can tell they care about their customers! The prices are reasonable and they have a great variety. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good pizza place in Grand Marais, Minnesota.

No one goes into this small restaurant on the side of the road without ordering a pizza. They have amazing toppings like ricotta cheese, spinach, artichokes, and basil pesto to add to any pizzas. Their specialty pizzas include ‘The Italian’ and ‘Crazy 4 Cheese’.

The pizza dough is made fresh every day and it tastes as if they use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

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