GRAND MARAIS, Minn. — Nestled between Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains sits a place that has been dubbed America's Coolest Small Town by Budget Travel Magazine.
This week we are featuring 11 things to do in Grand Marais.
"We are very passionate and proud of where we live. People who want to live in northeastern Minnesota have that inner emotion of being near water and forest and I think that's really the key," said Linda Jurek, Executive Director of Visit Cook County.
With nature attracting a lot of tourists, there are plenty of things to do outside. Just up the hill from downtown, take a short or long hike along the Superior Hiking Trail and Pincushion Mountain Trail. There, you'll get sweeping views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. Fall colors are peaking in the area right now, so it's a great time to visit. Also, there are a lot of groomed cross country and snowmobiling trails.
Downtown, the harbor and lighthouse are a popular attraction. You can walk to the lighthouse and take some neat photos.
This time of year, you'll find people along the water painting as part of the Plein Air competition.
A tradition for many visitors is to stop by World's Best Donuts, a shop that has been in town from generations and started by Dee Brazell's grandmother Merieta Altrichter.
"It's important to me to run this the way that she always wanted it to be ran. She was always amazed that people made this the place to be," said Brazell.
I can attest, the donuts are really good, but if you want to get some, make sure you arrive to the shop early. Brazell said they usually sell out by early afternoon. If you can't get there, you can order them ahead of time.
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Here are our 11 things to do and see in the Grand Marais area:
10. Downtown Beach