Top 15 Must-Do Grand Marais MN Activities For Unforgettable Adventures

Things To Do In Grand Marais MN

Starting the quest for the perfect adventure in Grand Marais, Minnesota, can seem overwhelming at first. We’ve walked in those shoes too but soon discovered that this charming North Shore harbor village packs a punch with its array of activities.

Our guide is your ticket to 15 must-experience gems that will elevate your trip from good to unforgettable. From state parks brimming with natural beauty to local art scenes bursting with creativity and outdoor adventures that quicken the pulse, get ready to enjoy the fun!

Key Takeaways

  • Cascade River State Park offers family-friendly hikes to see seven waterfalls and has trails for more challenges.
  • Experience incredible views of the sunrise at Artist’s Point, where the sky dazzles in colors over Lake Superior.
  • Try fresh donuts from World’s Best Donuts, known for their delicious treats since 1969.
  • Enjoy skiing or snowboarding on the North Shore with stunning views and plenty of trails at Lutsen Mountains.
  • Spot the Northern Lights around Judge Magney State Park during late March for a breathtaking sight.

Must-do Activities in Grand Marais, MN

Things To Do In Grand Marais MN - A tranquil waterfall in Cascade River State Park, Grand Marais, MN, with lush greenery and towering trees.

Discover the stunning beauty of Cascade River State Park with a refreshing hike through its picturesque trails, surrounded by lush forests and gushing waterfalls. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Grand Portage, exploring its National Monument and learning about the area’s significance to indigenous communities.

Experience an awe-inspiring sunrise at Artist’s Point, where Lake Superior meets sculpted rock formations for a breathtaking start to your day. Indulge in mouthwatering donuts from World’s Best Donuts, a local favorite that promises a delightful treat after your adventures.

Encounter the mesmerizing BWCA Waterfalls, offering serene glimpses of nature at its finest.

Hike Cascade River State Park

We love taking our families on hikes at Cascade River State Park, located near Cascade Lodge. This park offers a family-friendly trail where you can see seven waterfalls in just a mile of walking.

It’s perfect for those of us looking for an adventure that isn’t too tough but still breathtaking. The park also has longer trails if you’re up for more of a challenge and crave scenic lake views.

For those who enjoy mixing history with nature, the area around Cascade River State Park is rich in stories. Exploring here means not just seeing the beauty but feeling part of something bigger—each waterfall and trail carries tales from the past.

This place truly captures the spirit of Grand Marais, Minnesota, with its combination of natural wonders and historical depth.

Visit Grand Portage

We make sure to stop by Grand Portage State Park, where we catch breathtaking views of the High Falls—the tallest waterfall in Minnesota. It’s just an hour away from downtown Grand Marais, making it a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

The park also houses the Grand Portage National Monument and offers a chance to hike Mt. Rose and see the powerful High Falls on Pigeon River.

During our visit, we explore the natural beauty and history at the national monument. We find ourselves amazed by how water has shaped this landscape over thousands of years and how people have connected with this land throughout history.

Walking paths lead us through lush forests to towering falls that crash into deep pools below. Every corner offers new sights—from delicate wildflowers to eagles soaring high above.

Watch the sunrise at Artist’s Point

We wake up early and head to Artist’s Point. This place offers stunning views of the sunrise, lighthouse, and harbor. It’s one of Grand Marais’ most beautiful spots for catching the first light of day or the last rays at sunset.

Here, the sky lights up in vibrant colors, reflecting on Lake Superior’s calm waters.

As we stand at Artist’s Point, we watch as the sun peeks over the horizon. The lighthouse stands guard as daylight spreads across Cook County. Each moment feels special here, surrounded by nature’s beauty.

This experience adds a magical start to our day in Grand Marais Minnesota.

Get donuts at World’s Best Donuts

Get ready for a delightful treat at World’s Best Donuts, a family-owned and operated shop since 1969. Located right in downtown Grand Marais, this small, red-and-white shop is known for its delectable donuts.

Skip the long lines and head there early for an unforgettable breakfast experience.

Explore the BWCA Waterfalls

Discover the captivating beauty of BWCA waterfalls with canoe day trips to remote overlooks. Witness the grandeur of High Falls on the Pigeon River and bike to Fall River Waterfall via the Gitchi-Gami State Trail along Lake Superior.

Immerse in nature’s wonders as you venture into these hidden gems, embracing a sense of adventure and tranquility amidst stunning landscapes.

Outdoor Adventures in Grand Marais

Ski or snowboard on the North Shore, witness the Northern Lights display, and go on a Schooner outing on Lake Superior. Hike along the stunning Superior Hiking Trail and experience thrilling snowmobile tours.

Skiing and Snowboarding on the North Shore

When planning a trip to Grand Marais, MN, skiing and snowboarding on the North Shore should be at the top of your must-do list. With over 400 inches of annual snowfall and stunning lake views, Lutsen Mountains offers four interconnected peaks for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy.

The mountain boasts 95 runs spanning over 1,000 acres with something suitable for all levels of ability. Moreover, it’s home to the Midwest’s only true gondola along with a variety of ski-in/ski-out accommodations and dining options.

In addition to Lutsen Mountains, visitors can explore other terrain parks in the area or take advantage of Nordic skiing trails that showcase breathtaking scenery. Experience exhilarating winter sports against a picturesque backdrop – from beginner trails through old-growth forests to challenging routes overlooking Lake Superior.

Whether you’re an avid skier or just want to try something new, Grand Marais has it all for your next outdoor adventure.

Northern Lights Viewing

We recommend viewing the Northern Lights near equinoxes, particularly in late March. The optimal time for witnessing this natural wonder is often between 9 pm and 4 am. Judge Magney State Park and Drummond Road are the recommended spots for a breathtaking aurora borealis experience.

Schooner Outings on Lake Superior

Schooner outings on Lake Superior are a must for anyone seeking unique adventures. The Hjordis Schooner offers a 2-hour sail, accommodating up to 6 guests as per Coast Guard regulations.

It’s part of the Lake Superior Education Program at the North House Folk School, making it not only exhilarating but educational too. Soak in the beauty of Lake Superior and enjoy the serenity that comes with sailing near Grand Marais.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience sailing on one of North America’s great lakes—Lake Superior is renowned for its stunning views and calm waters offering an unforgettable adventure.

Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail

Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail is an adventure through 310 miles of Northern Minnesota‘s natural beauty. The trail offers chances to spot moose, wolves, and even the Northern Lights.

It suits day hikes, trail runs, overnight backpacking, and section hiking.

Snowmobile Tours

Snowmobile tours in Grand Marais offer an exhilarating way to experience the stunning winter landscapes. Hungry Jack Lodge provides awe-inspiring snowmobile rentals with breathtaking views of icy lakes.

Several outfitters in Grand Marais also offer snowmobile rentals, allowing us to explore the area’s natural beauty and scenic surroundings. These tours are an ideal way for adventure seekers to immerse themselves in the splendor of Grand Marais and its environs.

Get ready for a thrilling ride through picturesque trails, as we traverse the snowy terrain and revel in the serene beauty of this lesser-known gem of a town. Experience firsthand the wondrous sights that only a snowmobile tour can bring, creating unforgettable memories amidst this winter wonderland.

Exploring the Best Small Towns in Minnesota: A Side Trip from Grand Marais

When venturing beyond Grand Marais, you’ll uncover delightful small towns like Silver Bay, Minnesota. These quaint communities immerse travelers in the enchanting essence of the region while offering opportunities for outdoor escapades and embracing local culture.

Löyly’s serene atmosphere is perfect for unwinding after a day filled with hiking and exploring nature parks and mountain bike trails. The area’s rich history comes to life through its charming architecture, well-preserved landmarks, and engaging historical information centers.

Minnesota holds an abundance of hidden gems beyond Grand Marais; partaking in these side trips provides a deeper understanding of the state’s captivating heritage and natural allure.

Dining and Shopping in Grand Marais

Experience local gastronomy at acclaimed eateries like the Angry Trout and My Sister’s Place. Discover unique treasures at Sivertson Gallery, Joy & Co., the Grand Marais Art Colony, and Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studio.

Explore charming local shops for authentic souvenirs, making your time here unforgettable.

Try local favorites like the Angry Trout and My Sister’s Place

Explore local flavors and culinary delights at the Angry Trout, where locally-grown produce, hand-harvested wild rice, and fresh Lake Superior fish take center stage. The cafe prides itself on offering dock to table seafood and farm to table food.

For a unique dining and shopping experience, head over to My Sister’s Place for an array of local favorites and one-of-a-kind finds. With all this available in Grand Marais, MN, there’s no shortage of tantalizing options for both your taste buds and retail therapy cravings!

Shop at Sivertson Gallery and Joy & Co.

When shopping in Grand Marais, don’t miss out on the Sivertson Gallery and Joy & Co. These are popular spots for finding unique souvenirs and local artwork. The Sivertson Gallery showcases a diverse collection of regional art, while Joy & Co offers an array of carefully curated merchandise, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking authentic mementos.

With their wide range of products, including pieces from local artists and craftspeople, these shops provide an excellent opportunity to take home something truly special from Grand Marais.

Remember that shopping at the Sivertson Gallery and Joy & Co supports local artisans and contributes to the vibrant arts scene in the area. Plus, by exploring these stores, you can discover one-of-a-kind items that capture the essence of Grand Marais’ artistic community.

Visit the Grand Marais Art Colony and Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studio

When visiting the Grand Marais Art Colony, take part in art classes from February to July. The colony welcomes visitors year-round and provides opportunities to witness artists at work.

At Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studio, explore various art exhibits and engage in hands-on activities that allow a deeper connection with artistic expression.

Explore local shops for unique souvenirs

When in Grand Marais, don’t miss the chance to visit the charming local shops offering unique souvenirs. These include art galleries and studios showcasing gemstones, fresh and smoked fish, craft beer, and local art.

For those interested in learning an art form themselves, North House Folk School and Grand Marais Art Colony provide various classes and studio access – making it a complete experience for all visitors.

Explore quaint local shops for special treasures which represent the heart of this lovely town.

Accommodations and Resources for the Ultimate Grand Marais Trip

From cozy lakeside cabins to charming bed and breakfasts, Grand Marais offers a variety of accommodations to suit every taste and budget. A range of amenities, including lake views, on-site dining options, and easy access to outdoor activities make these lodgings desirable for all kinds of travelers.

Hotels in Grand Marais

When visiting Grand Marais, our range of accommodations caters to diverse preferences. The Best Western Plus Superior Inn stands out with 1,389 favorable reviews, while the Mangy Moose Motel offers a cozy retreat with 963 appreciative ratings.

From snug cabins to inviting hotels and vacation rentals, options abound for an enjoyable stay amidst the town’s charm.

Transportation options

For getting around Grand Marais, there are several convenient transportation options available. Rental cars can be easily arranged through Discover Cars, providing the flexibility to explore nearby attractions such as Judge C.R.

Magney State Park and Tettegouche State Park at your own pace. Additionally, visitors can consider utilizing local shuttle services for a hassle-free way to access various points of interest within the area.

These transport options ensure easy access to spots like Devil’s Kettle and Pincushion Mountain without relying solely on personal vehicles.

When considering exploring quieter and smaller towns in northern Minnesota, it is advisable for travelers to make necessary arrangements well in advance due to limited public transit options in these areas.

Recommended summer and winter activities

Looking for exciting summer and winter activities in Grand Marais, MN? Here are our top recommendations:

  1. Enjoy hiking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding in the summer.
  2. Experience skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobile tours during the winter months.
  3. Delight in the Norpine Fat Bike Classic and Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race in winter.
  4. Watch the enchanting Northern Lights illuminate the night sky.
  5. Embark on a Schooner Outing on Lake Superior for an unforgettable adventure.

Explore these activities and make your trip to Grand Marais truly memorable!

Senior and corporate discounts.

Many lodging options in Grand Marais offer senior and corporate discounts, providing great value for those seeking more affordable accommodations. In addition, numerous restaurants, galleries, shops, and outdoor recreation companies extend special offers tailored towards seniors and corporate groups.

These discounts add an enticing layer of cost-effectiveness to the overall experience.

Outdoor recreation companies often offer special deals for seniors and corporate groups. This further enhances the appeal of embarking on these activities while exploring the quieter and smaller towns like Grand Marais.

Things To Do In Grand Marais MN Conclusion

After exploring Grand Marais, MN, venture to the Cascade River State Park for a refreshing hike. Embrace the beauty of sunrise at Artist’s Point and treat yourself to delicious donuts at World’s Best Donuts.

Dive into adventure by skiing on the North Shore or witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Indulge in local flavors at Angry Trout and shop for unique souvenirs at Sivertson Gallery.

Plan your ultimate trip with our recommended accommodations and transportation options. Uncover endless opportunities for unforgettable adventures in this charming harbor village!

Things To Do In Grand Marais MN FAQs

1. What are some must-do activities in Grand Marais, MN?

There are many things to do in Grand Marais, MN. You can explore the Gunflint Trail or go cross country skiing. If you’re a hiker, there’s plenty of trails to discover.

2. Are there any resorts near Duluth that offer country ski activities?

Yes, several resorts around Duluth and Grand Marais offer cross-country ski options for guests seeking winter adventures.

3. Can I find good food in Grand Marais?

Absolutely! Among other delicious offerings, nachos at local eateries have been a hit with visitors.

4. What is Loyly and how does it relate to my trip to Grand Marais?

Loyly refers to traditional steam baths popular in this region; it could be an interesting activity while visiting Boundary Waters near Grand Marais for a unique cultural experience.

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