Grand Marais, MN

"Epitome of Minnesota nice"

A secluded community near the shores of Lake Superior, Grand Marais residents always have each others’ back during times of crisis. (Credit: Whitney Wahlers)

Named the Coolest Small Town in America, when you’re away from Grand Marais, all you want is to be home. You can look up on random summer nights and watch the Northern Lights from your driveway, you don’t even have to travel to catch a glimpse. It’s the epitome of Minnesota nice, and we welcome all tourists as the come to visit our cool town. We’re there for you through anything and everything. You have a problem? Everyone has a problem. Celebrating something? Everyone is celebrating. We’re one big family: we win together, lose together, and most importantly, love together.

The Grand Marais water tower is a Gunflint Trail landmark, which runs over 60 miles through the Minnesota Wilderness. (Credit: Whitney Wahlers)

Stories About Grand MaraisĀ 

My parents divorced after a messy situation, leaving my mom and her children to move back into our other house we had up for rent. After we moved and settled in, we had families bringing over food and new household items to help us get settled as if someone had died. They wanted to remind us that we are loved and cared for. That’s what Grand Marais residents do — they remind everyone they’re loved even on their darkest days.
When our sports teams make it to the state tournament, the whole city closes their storefronts, the police escort the team bus out to the county line 40 minutes away, and embark on the four hour ride to the state tournament, celebrating our successful athletes.
Grand Marais is so small, we don’t have any fast food places (except Subway and the corner Dairy Queen), the closest McDonalds, movie theater, mall, or bowling alley is two hours away, unless you want to cross the Canadian border. So we really learn to rely on the little opportunities we have and lean on each other when we need.

A cascading waterfall frozen in time thanks to the Grand Marais chill. (Credit: Whitney Wahlers)