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Your guide to Grand Marais
All About Grand Marais
Situated on the north shore of Lake Superior, less than an hour from the Canadian border, Grand Marais is a small harbor village teeming with natural beauty, rugged landscapes, and a vibrant local art scene. Abundant in hiking and mountain biking trails, Grand Marais is a hub for outdoor recreation in northern Minnesota. The Superior Hiking Trail, The Grand Portage State Forest, Judge C.R. Magney State Park, and Pincushion Mountain Trail Systems are just a few spots sprawled throughout the area, offering exciting ways to take in the dense forests of pine, fir, and spruce trees, spectacular waterfalls, rocky ridges, and sweeping views of Lake Superior’s vast, open waters.
Just north of Artist’s Point, you’ll find a handful of galleries, studios, and shops buzzing with creativity inspired by the rich natural landscape and featuring the work of local artists and artisans. You’ll also find seafood restaurants along the harbor serving locally caught fish, including whitefish, trout, bluefin herring, and Canadian walleye.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Grand Marais?
The spring and summer months in Grand Marais boast idyllic conditions for enjoying outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, and swimming in Lake Superior. In fall, the vibrant shades of gold, crimson, and orange adorn the Superior National Forest, and foliage sprawls throughout the harbor village. Scenic drives through the county are one of the best ways to take in the rich autumn colors. In September, Grand Marais hosts the annual Plein Air Grand Marais festival, which beckons hundreds of artists from around the country to compete and participate in outdoor painting.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Northern lights, they most frequently appear in the late fall and winter. During the winter season, stunning frozen waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and icy lakes serve as the backdrop to skiing, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.
What are the top things to do in Grand Marais?
Featuring rugged shorelines, tide pools, dramatic rock formations, and waters dazzling in shades of blue and green, Artist’s Point offers spectacular views of Lake Superior. The peninsula earned its name from painters who set up their easels amid the rock formations and painted the breathtaking landscape. A short trail leads to the Grand Marais Lighthouse.
Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery
The Johnson Heritage Post Art Gallery, run by the Cook County Historical Society, is housed in a replica of the original Johnson Trading Post and features a range of art from local, regional, and national artists in revolving exhibits in addition to a permanent collection.
The unusual Devil’s Kettle waterfall has long perplexed onlookers. The Brule River, which splits into two, creates a unique effect where one half of the water drops 50 feet before continuing downstream, while the other half empties into a large pothole — known as the Devil’s Kettle — and seemingly disappears underground. To reach the waterfall, you can follow the Devil’s Kettle Hiking Trail, which meanders through spruce and birch tree forests and leads to a bridge that stretches across the rapids of the Brule River.