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Overview

Beauty spot of Minnesota’s North Shore Drive, Grand Marais is transformed into a series of Impressionist paintings in the morning light. Against the backdrop of a curve in the bay, one couple enjoys a picnic breakfast on the beach. Another watches as their children kick back at the Lake Superior waves. Up the road at the North House Folk School, one of the year’s 270 half-, full- or multi-day courses is in progress, with participants learning how to do bead embroidery, make Norwegian knives or build traditional wooden boats.

Art collectors flock to the Sivertson Gallery in search of regional art. The Gallery has been in existence for ...

Beauty spot of Minnesota’s North Shore Drive, Grand Marais is transformed into a series of Impressionist paintings in the morning light. Against the backdrop of a curve in the bay, one couple enjoys a picnic breakfast on the beach. Another watches as their children kick back at the Lake Superior waves. Up the road at the North House Folk School, one of the year’s 270 half-, full- or multi-day courses is in progress, with participants learning how to do bead embroidery, make Norwegian knives or build traditional wooden boats.

Art collectors flock to the Sivertson Gallery in search of regional art. The Gallery has been in existence for 30 years, and along with the more than a dozen galleries in town handles work of artists who have been attracted by the area’s aesthetics and decided to stay. Other shops near the lakeside promenade range from quaint and unusual to sophisticated — even the Ben Franklin carries merchandise unlike that found in most of the chain’s stores. Lodging includes posh cottages and condos, mid-price motels and a large harbor-side campground. Mealtime presents a tough choice because of a banquet of options – from Sven & Ole’s Pizza to fresh fish at The Angry Trout.

A meander through the city’s residential neighborhoods reveals that there’s no cookie-cutter sameness about its houses either. Brightly painted homes with flower gardens stand next to places like the Grand Marais Art Colony where classes are offered year-round and the Arrowhead Center for the Arts. The Center’s 250-seat theater is the venue for the North Shore Music Association-sponsored performances and Grand Marais Playhouse productions such as Noel Coward’s Blythe Spirit. Hiking along the Gunflint Trail (the trailhead is just blocks from downtown) is a popular pastime, as is the 42-mile bicycle ride from Grand Marais to Grand Portage. One of the points of entry to the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area is also nearby.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    April through September