Grand Marais is French for “Great Marsh”, the name referring to a marsh that was situated in the town long ago which it seems has mostly been filled in. It has a nice harbor (see photos above and below) and many people like to sail from it onto the unpredictable waters of the Great Lakes. Grand Marais Harbor is protected by Artist’s Point, a barrier island formed by lava. It’s a gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a pristine nature preserve. The Superior Hiking Trail passes near the town.
The town is a great place to explore for a few hours or even for a weekend getaway, with a nice harbor-front walk. It has lots of good eateries and an especially great donut shop, World’s Best Donuts. Grand Marais has a number of popular events including The Dragon Boat Festival held during the last weekend in July and the Fisherman’s Picnic held during the first weekend in August.
Grand Marais has received a number of national tourist recognitions, including USA Today’s 2017 Best Midwestern Small Town, Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America and National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s “Coolest Small town”.
Join me now for a stroll around Grand Marais:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance the slideshow)