Grand Marais

Get your summer festival on: 2017 edition
June 23, 2017 by Andrew Slade

Get your summer festival on: 2017 edition

Freshly popped kettle corn, a new handmade piece of art, a cold lemonade—it's time for summer festivals. Find a complete list of 2017 Best North Shore festivals here … read more


The amazing Mount Josephine trail
September 3, 2016 by Andrew Slade

The amazing Mount Josephine trail

I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite trails in order to update trail information in my guidebook. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the most dramatic trail views on the North Shore. … read more


North Shore Fourth of July
July 3, 2012 by Andrew Slade

North Shore Fourth of July

It's hard to believe that it's already the Fourth of July. Since Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, the North Shore won't be quite as frantic with travelers making a long weekend out of the holiday. That means a great opportunity for North Shore fans to enjoy some great Fourth of July traditions.It's going to be a lovely day, with breezes off Lake Superior keeping temps in the 70s despite the statewide heat advisory.  Tofte Wilderness Trek  Start your day off right with a 10 kilometer run (or walk) through the woods and ridges near Tofte. Just show … read more


A North Shore Black Friday
November 26, 2011 by Andrew Slade

A North Shore Black Friday

Canadians rushing down Highway 61 to Duluth on our Thanksgiving because their Thanksgiving was last month.Lines snaking past the kitschy keychains and into the Rubbermaid aisle at Joynes' Ben Franklin. And a black-and-white poodle getting all the love on a day known just for the black.Today was Black Friday, and the North Shore nearly missed it. No doorbusters at the Lake Superior Trading Post in Grand Marais. No controversial midnight openings at Waters Edge in Tofte. Just 20% off all clothing and footwear at Grand Marais' landmark five and dime, Joynes.All the super good deals must have been in Duluth and … read more


Best North Shore holiday gift guide
November 30, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Best North Shore holiday gift guide

How can you share your love of the North Shore with the friends and family on your gift list? Here are ideas for gifts that will make your loved ones' Christmas morning feel like finding the perfect agate or the biggest blueberry patch. This year, buy local...buy on the North Shore. 1. Wood engravings, lino cuts, and giclee prints, oh my!One-of-a-kind notecards, groovy t-shirts, whimsical prints, and northwoods novelties come from our friends at Kenspeckle Letterpress. Rick and Marian produce their magical art in Duluth's Canal Park. 2. The sweet stuffWho doesn't love real maple syrup on their pancakes? The North Shore … read more


"I think they’re having more fun here."
August 5, 2010 by Andrew Slade

"I think they’re having more fun here."

Beth Gauper, in the most recent of her always-informative Midwest Weekends e-mail newsletter, wrote that "Grand Marais is our No. 1 place to take children in Minnesota." She cites the rock-skipping and the donut shops, to start with.I really love the quote from some teachers visiting from Australia: “We’ve been to the Mall of America and Disney World, places where (the kids are) excited to be, of course, but realistically, I think they’re having more fun here.’’ … read more


Life in the cracks at Artists Point
July 10, 2009 by Andrew Slade

Life in the cracks at Artists Point

Artists Point in Grand Marais is a wonderful North Shore destination. If you're in Grand Marais and you've had your fill of t-shirt shops or microbrews, head out along the east, or left, side of the bay, through the big parking lot to the big old white house. Artists Point awaits.Last year, our family was hanging in Grand Marais on the Fourth of July, escaping the bugs of the Sawbill Trail. We had a great visit to Artists Point. We went to the right, toward the lighthouse along cement retaining walls. A week or two ago, I went back to … read more


First oil tanker arrives in Grand Marais
April 27, 2009 by Andrew Slade

First oil tanker arrives in Grand Marais

Thanks to the folks at Northern Wilds for capturing this image of the first oil tanker to arrive in the Grand Marais harbor. According to the normally straight-shooting Amber Pratt, the massive ship is owned by Norway Energy Resource Operations, whose only presence up to this was a flannel-wearing Erik Rashim. Erik was known only as a big tipper at the South of the Border Cafe. In this photo, the tanker just dwarfs the lighthouse.Here's the harbor entry without the supertanker.Personally, I think it's all a big April Fool's scam, made possible by judicious use of Photoshop. Everyone knows that … read more


A Screamer, literally
February 18, 2009 by Andrew Slade

A Screamer, literally

What sane person sees a sign that reads, in essence, "Go This Way to Die," and chooses then to follow it? Well, besides fans of Russian roulette, cross country skiers follow some dangerous indicators of doom. In Ely, MN, you can follow just such a sign, except it is labeled "Screamer."Ely is the Grand Marais of the Iron Range. Instead of Norwegian fishermen, Ely has equally charismatic Finnish miners. There's a Sven and Ole's, "Sir G's," only without those cheesy bumperstickers or TV ads. And just as Grand Marais has Pincushion Mountain, Ely has a mighty fine nordic ski system … read more