Things to Do

There is so much to do along the North Shore that it is hard to narrow down! Here are some suggested activities depending on the interests of your group.


There is a book called Gentle Hikes of Minnesota on the bookshelf at Hillside Harbor. In there you will find short hikes. If you are looking for a little adventure, this is the guide for you. Or head over to Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply where you can purchase a summer/winter map of all the trails up and down the North Shore and on the Gunflint Trail. We have many favorite trails, short and long, just ask and we are happy to share them with you.

State Parks

There are several State Parks within 1 hour of Grand Marais to explore. from Tettegouche State Park, Temperance, Cascade River to Grand Portage. Explore all the trails, waterfalls, rivers, steps and beaches these State Parks have to offer. Just like the hiking section, we have some favorite State Parks and even wayside rests, if you are looking for a recommendation, we are happy to share our favorites with you.

Shopping, Good Food and More

Right in Grand Marais there is so much to explore. There are shops, restaurants, trails, and the harbor. Some of our favorite shops include Upstate, Stone Harbor, The Big Lake and so many more. There are so many wonderful places to drink/eat, here are some of our favorites, Voyageur Brewing, Java Moose, Hungry Hippie Tacos, My Sister’s Place, Up Yonder Gunflint Tavern, Angry Trout and The Fisherman’s Daughter! Did someone say fudge? Find yummy fudge and sweets at the Gunflint Mercantile (soon to be The Chocolate Dog). Sisu + Loyly has a great sauna experience on the East Bay. What about the arts?! There are so many artists in and around Grand Marais or you could take a class at North House Folk School or Art Colony. Lastly, don’t forget about the trails in the campground, Artists’ Point or just take a stroll around town. This is just a short list, there is so much more to explore!

Gunflint Trail

Head up the Gunflint Trail and explore all the inland lakes, trails, outfitters or grab a bite to eat. If you are wanting amazing craft cocktails/food, head up to Poplar Haus. Other great places mid trail are White Pine Lodge for excellent Pizza/Beer and Wine, Hungry Jack Lodge and Trail Center which is also home to Camp Chow. These places are around 35-40 minutes up the trail.


The North Shore has so many bike paths (both paved and off-road) that you can make a full day of it. This North Shore Visitor article has lots of great ideas. In particular, The Gitchi Gami state trail is a fantastic, paved trail you can take to Cut Face Creek Wayside. You can stop, skip some rocks, and even have a picnic. Pincushion Mountain also has some mountain biking trails. You can park off Hwy 61 by Lutsen Mountains and bike or hike to Tofte for a day adventure, as well.

Winter Activities

Grand Marais is not just a summer destination, it’s a year-round destination. You can spend the day at Lutsen Mountains for skiing/snowboarding. If downhill isn’t your thing, there are trails just for snowshoeing or several trail systems for Nordic skiing. Pincushion Mountain has great Nordic ski trails for all levels, just don’t forget to get your ski pass at Buck’s Hardware.