20 Best Things to Do in Grand Marais, MN

Grand Marais, MN skyline
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Located on the northern shore of Minnesota, Grand Marais is an excellent place for a weekend getaway.

It's a gorgeous city housing diverse communities.

A short trip is all you'll need to understand why the city is one of the most underrated destinations in Minnesota.

The city has plenty to offer—whether you're looking to relax close to natural landscapes or roam around quaint city streets, Grand Marais has it all!

It is an amalgam of offbeat destinations and touristy places.

To help you plan a meaningful trip there, here's a list of the best things to do in Grand Marais, Minnesota:

Enjoy the View from Grand Marais Light

View of Lighthouse in Grand Marais
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Away from the bustling city lies this elaborate lighthouse.

Grand Marais Light is located in a secluded part of the city and makes for a peaceful space.

Visit it early in the morning or during the sunset to bask in its ethereal beauty.

Path leading to Grand Marais Light
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On one side lies the sprawling vibrant city of Grand Marais and on the other the soothing azure lake.

You can walk around the surroundings too as they are equally stunning.

The place might get slightly crowded in the evenings, so be an early bird for a day and experience the best.

While it might be situated a little far outside the city, the whole experience will make your trip worthwhile!

Bright light of Grand Marais Light
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Sort Veggies at the Cook County Market

The Cook County Market is known for its organic farm-fresh produce.

They sell the best quality veggies and loaves of bread in town.

People residing in different parts of the States travel here to buy their veggies.

They are brought directly from the farm and are as fresh as they get!

Apart from the fruits and veggies, you also can get varieties of bread.

If you are staying in an Airbnb and cooking your own meals, then you should definitely drop by to shop for the varied produce.

You would be relishing the most authentic delicacies!

Walk the Honeymoon Bluff Trail

View of Honeymoon bluff trail
Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Honeymoon Bluff Trail is a short trail providing the city's most scenic and romantic views.

Plan a hike here if you want to treat your eyes to nature's endless beauty.

The hike to the lake is easy, almost like an evening walk and the path is well laid out and easy to keep track of.

Go early in the morning to experience a pleasant atmosphere.

You will have to make a slight effort to reach the top, but the view is certainly worth it—you'll want to spend some extra time there to really take in the sights.

Even if you click hundreds of pictures, none of them will be able to do justice to the view!

Test the Fishing Hooks at Beaver House

Are you fond of fishing?

Beaver House is the best shop in town for your fishing needs.

The atmosphere of the place is cheerful and lively.

The owner suggests the best for you, suiting your requirements.

Then, you can head to any of Grand Marais' lakes or ponds and get fishing!

You can also catch some fish and cook something up for dinner.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at World's Best Donuts

Front exterior view of World’s Best Donuts
John2690-john2690, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

True to its name, World's Best Donuts serves some of the best gooey, sugary treats.

Considered the top bakery in town, it serves oven-fresh treats every day.

You can make your purchase online and collect it early in the morning.

Otherwise, it can get pretty crowded, and you'll have to wait for quite a bit.

However, you won't regret standing in line for 20 minutes once you take a bite into your donuts.

When in World's Best Donuts, make sure to try the cinnamon sugar donuts!

Shop for Crafts at Joy & Company

Creativity and uniqueness are crucial elements that form the crux of this company.

Joy & Company focuses on delivering joy and happiness with their eclectic collection.

The art and antique items are beautifully displayed, come at affordable prices, and are locally made.

The items are unique, and you won't find them anywhere else.

Head Over to the Pincushion Mountain Trail

Grass and trees along Pincushion Mountain Trail
drewthehobbit / Shutterstock.com

An open sky and lush greens are a blessing on any day, and the Pincushion Mountain Trail—a well-maintained and easy-to-walk trail—offers just that.

It is an underrated place, and not many people venture into the woods.

Reaching the mountain might be a little tough, but the view from the top is alluring!

View from the top of Pincushion Mountain Trail
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Go early in the morning, as you can catch the sunrise.

Take along enough water to hydrate yourself on the way as it is a long trail with a few obstacles; that said, you should not have too hard a time, and the breathtaking views make up for all the extra effort in the end.

The Pincushion Mountain Trail is a hidden gem in Grand Marais.

Absorb Historic Values at Chik-Wauk Museum

The Chik-Wauk Museum is a historical landmark in the town of Grand Marais.

It is located at the end of Gunflint Trail and is undoubtedly worth visiting.

History buffs need to stop here and admire its display of pieces from the region's past.

It's an interactive museum curated to offer something for people from all age groups.

The museum is primarily dedicated to wildlife and species of birds.

It is a great way to learn something new on your trip.

Rejuvenate at the Banks of Lake Superior

A path near Lake Superior
Craig Hinton / Shutterstock.com

Lake Superior flows across many cities, and it touches Grand Marais, too.

The banks of this lake are located in the Downtown Region.

You can sit back at the banks and relax for hours.

Still waters of Lake Superior
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It is a peaceful spot and will give you a lot of time for yourself.

It is the best place for anyone who is seeking solitude.

The tranquil atmosphere and calm flow of the lake will soothe your mind.

Rocky Banks of Lake Superior
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Stroll Near Artist's Point

Trees reflecting on Artist’s point lake
Robin Férand, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Quite contrary to its name, Artist's Point has no artsy elements.

Instead, it is a gorgeous sunset point in Grand Marais, also known for its incredible scenery.

You ought to spend at least one evening here.

Land near the waters of Artist's Point
Halder / Shutterstock.com

If you love watching the sunset, this particular view is not to be missed.

There are huge rocks near the place where you can sit and enjoy the evening!

After a long day of sightseeing, you can come here to relax and take in a truly unforgettable experience.

Scenic view of Artist's Point
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Sivertson Gallery is a renowned gallery chain in the United States.

If you want to remember Grand Marais, you should consider buying a souvenir from here.

The products are authentic and carry the essence of the town.

It is a big gallery with versatile art and has several art products that will help you with home decor as well.

Every penny will be worth anything you buy.

You can even select personalized gifts here for your family back home.

Relax Your Muscles at Lutzen Reflections

LutZen Reflections Massage Studio is a premium place for massage therapy.

They have excellent masseuses who are skilled in special massage therapies.

If you need to relax your tensed-up muscles, head on over for a full hour of rest and a relaxing time.

Read at the Drury Lanes Books

Bookworms, Drury Lanes Books is your home in Grand Marais.

This small homegrown store has a classic collection of novels, with a few exclusive prints that you won't be available anywhere else.

Isn't that tempting?

They have books for every age group.

There is a separate kids section that contains colorful storybooks.

They also have a collection of biographies and nonfiction books.

For all those who carry a book while traveling, this will be your paradise.

You will surely take a box full of novels back home with you!

Unwind at Voyageur Brewing

Alcohol shots of Voyageur Brewing
Kristen Prahl / Shutterstock.com

A rooftop brewery it is!

Voyageur Brewing is a must-visit restaurant for a snack.

They have wonderful options for liquor and a delectable food menu.

Their Asian tacos are lip-smacking and are among their must-try dishes.

A person grabbing a Voyageur Brewing beer
Kristen Prahl / Shutterstock.com

You can visit Voyageur Brewing in the evening as the atmosphere is lively.

At times, there is live music playing, which further alleviates the mood.

Whenever you visit, sit on the patio on the roof as it offers scenic views of the city!

Experience the History, Mystery, Legends, and Lore of Cook County

Front exterior of the Historic Cook County museum
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to learn more about Grand Marais' past, another great place to check out is the Historic Cook County museum.

Housed inside the former 1896 home of a historic lightkeeper, the museum is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and offers local people much more than just history.

Historic Cook County is a museum with the best exhibits of local people and what they went through during the Second World War, including many photographs from the area.

Back exterior of the Historic Cook County museum
Myotus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It also features local music of different periods and famous people connected to Cook County.

If you enjoy what this museum offers, simply pay a suggested donation for entry (donations are accepted).

And be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to wander through the two-story structure.

Play with the Whole Family at Putt n Pets Mini Golf

If you're an animal lover and a golf enthusiast, then Putt-n-Pets Mini Golf is exactly the place for you.

This great 18 hole course is located west of downtown Historic Grand Marais.

The course is close to the Superior National Forest Ranger Station and also offers lots of opportunities to capture excellent photos of your adventures here.

This charming little adventure showcases amazing obstacles, exciting sights around every bend, and interesting critters.

Play through the many arrangements of parts and elements, such as the chainsaw chiseled bears, a lighthouse, a giant tortoise, a cave, and the Statue of Liberty.

Plus you'll get to see an adorable goat tower—what could be cuter?

The animals you'll see here include chickens, goats, peacocks, turkeys, and different kinds of birds.

Experience More of Grand Marais’s Vibrant Arts Culture

Exterior of Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
McGhiever, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just like with most cities, Grand Marais has its own art scene.

It's a small town, but it's still got plenty to offer in that regard.

For example, the Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery is a nonprofit gallery that focuses on featuring artists from around the area.

They have rotating exhibits just about every month, with local and regional artists contributing their work; and they also have a permanent collection of original art by an early 1900s artist named Anna Johnson.

The Cook County Historical Society runs this wonderful gallery in Grand Marais.

Another art gallery in Grand Marais worth checking out is the Betsy Bowen Gallery.

This art space is full of delicious artwork, including woodcuts and hand-cut cards by Betsy Bowen.

The gallery also houses the workspaces of three other brilliant artists—Stephan Hoglund, Melissa Wickwire, and Jim Sannerud—giving them a great place to showcase their work.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Camp in the Grand Portage State Forest

Front view of a waterfall at Grand Portage State Forest
natmac stock / Shutterstock.com

Are you looking to challenge yourself to hiking or camping on your vacation?

This should be on your itinerary.

Nestled in nature's beauty lies the Grand Portage State Forest, a natural paradise on Earth.

The forest offers pleasant views in every form, be it waterfalls or walking trails.

Lush trees at Grand Portage State Forest
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

There are different types of flowers and wildlife that you will come across while wandering on the property.

The hike is well maintained and easy to take up.

The falls are stunning and brimming with water.

It would be a beautiful sight to watch, and you should definitely plan for a day-long outing here!

A wooden pathway at Grand Portage State Forest
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Grand Marais, MN, is indeed of the most beautiful, scenic, and vibrant travel destinations on earth is all in one place.

Resting gracefully on the shores of Lake Superior, it’s a picturesque rustic town full of natural beauty.

Grand Marais has all the natural comforts you’d ever want from a vacation spot – warm, clear lakes and red pine forests are simply among its best features.

Make sure to take time out of your busy schedule to explore this magnificent destination for a chance to experience everything Grand Marais has to offer!

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