Grand Marais, Minnesota is hands down one of my all time favorite places on earth. The small town feel, the majestic Lake Superior views from Artist Point, the start of the peaceful Gunflint Trail, endless opportunities for adventures and outdoor activities, home of the World’s Best Donuts, and so much more. It’s located about two hours north of Duluth, and roughly four and a half hours from the Twin Cities. This little town in the arrowhead of northern Minnesota has been named the “Best Midwestern Small Town” and is on Cosmopolitan’s most recent list: “30 Best Small Towns in America That Are *Perfect* For Your Next Getaway” for good reason.
Grand Marais is a popular spot for travelers, adventurers, campers, creatives, and many more. While it can be a bit of a hike (no pun intended) to get there for some, it is WELL worth it in my opinion – and the opinion of many who make the beautiful North Shore drive up. The area is home to tall pines, thick forests, peaceful lakes, cozy cabins, hiking trails galore, large rocky shorelines, dark night skies peppered with stars, and of course – the beautiful, vast Lake Superior.
Why does this matter to you? Well, because it also makes the BEST backdrop for documenting you and your loved ones! And, that is precisely what and why Kiana and Ryan made the trek for their engagement session all the way from the south side of the state. They planned a weekend getaway together at a cute airbnb, doing all their favorite things in one of their favorite places, soaking in quality, intentional time together, and brought me up to capture it during their engagement session at Voyageur Brewing Company and Artist Point. We started the night drinking some IPA’s on the rooftop of Voyageur Brewing Company, wandered around the rocky shoreline of Artist Point, enjoying the most perfect fall October night. These two were more than happy to get a little steamy, cozy, and playful, while the pink and orange hues of the sunset peeked through the dark, moody clouds before giving way to night’s darkness. Cue the little town’s lights flickering and sparkling across the harbor water… Okay, I may be day dreaming a little bit now but hey, it’s a fave place for a reason, so don’t blame me!
Need more reasons to visit and document the adventure?!
Here are more fun ideas, some of my favorite places to visit, and things to do that you can incorporate into your next trip and/or for your next photo session (and please do invite me to capture the memories!):
PLACES TO EAT / DRINK
- Voyageur Brewing Company
- Java Moose – aka the best coffee shop on the shore!
- World’s Best Donuts
- Poplar Haus
- The Fisherman’s Daughter
- Hungry Hippie Tacos
- My Sister’s Place
- Sven & Ole’s Pizza
- Whole Foods Co-op
THINGS TO DO
- Sisu & Löyly Nordic Sauna
- Bearskin Wilderness Outfitters – plan a guided canoe trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area!
- Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply – they provide more guided adventures in the area, as well as supplies!
- Gunflint Lodge Zipline Canopy Tour
- Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center
- Sivertson Art Gallery – one of several art galleries, I love that this town is focused on fostering art in the community!
- Lake Superior Trading Post – a must stop shopping spot!
- Drury Lane Books
SIGHTS TO SEE / TRAILS
- Artist Point
- Devil’s Kettle Hike
- Oberg Mountain Trail
- Honeymoon Bluff Trail
- Cascade Falls & Lookout Mountain
- Pincushion Mountain
- Eagle Mountain Trail – the highest point in Minnesota, a longer hike at 6.3 miles, but a must do at some point!
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