We have gone in through Ely about six times, the last three through Grand marais, the wife loves GM. Its got a pretty little port with sailboats and a great view of Lake Superior; there are numerous shops of all types, including several outdoor outfitters where we always spend a few bucks; there are great places to eat, both small and quaint, some large and fancy; the only thing we did not like were the high lodging prices, we actually could (did) stay in a waterside condo for as much as a regular motel costs in GM; there are plenty of outfitters in and near town if you need rental gear.
Plus, there's Sven and Oleys!
"Opening a bottle of wine in a canoe is a desirable, but irrational act."
Grand Marais is a very quaint town on the shore of Lake Superior. If you have time, be sure to walk out along the pier area - it's beautiful.
There are many shops and restaurants in this small town. There is one particular shop, Lake Superior Trading Post, that sells camping supplies, BWCA maps and books, clothes, camping gear, shoes, and more. It's located right on the lake.
For restaurants try South of the Border Cafe, Sven and Ole's for pizza, or the Blue Water Cafe.
Also - don't miss the Ben Franklin store - it has everything you would ever need.
There are also lots of touristy shops in town that are fun to explore.
If you are headed up the Gunflint Trail, you can always stop at Trail Center for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Great food, great people and an unforgettable experience. Try the chocolate malts!
Have fun in Grand Marais!
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. Dalai Lama
I started to say before wrong key ws hit, that both my wife and I were dissapointed in GM, compared to Ely and what we are used to, maybe it was just us. Not much for outfitters in town, have to drive around looking for some. There is a great bookstore there though, and had a good pizza at Sved's, but it was over $25 for just me. Seeing the big lake is nice, but we were raised on it in the UP, so no big deal. Wife requested that we go in through Ely as in the past. We also had a nice room at the Gunflint Motel.
We love Grand Marais but it can get busy on summer weekends. Our favorite places to eat are the Angry Trout and Gunflint Tavern. Great food both places, but since the Angry Trout is closed in the winter, we always make that our first choice in the summer. There can be long waits for a table however. The Trading Post on the harbor is on our list of shops to visit. We also like the art gallery and some of the little shops downtown. Last year we discovered Worlds Best Doughnuts and while I rarely, if ever, eat doughnuts, the maple raised doughnuts are out of this world! If you have time take a walk out to Painter's Island or the Light House. Grand Marais has a charm of its own that we enjoy more than Ely.
Our family has a tradition of stopping by the marina and skipping rocks before we head up the Gunflint trail. We also like to stop at the Ben Franklin for last minute supplies and browse at the Outfitter shop. Both are next to the marina.
I love Grand Marais! My wife and I spend a few days at Cascade River State Park each October, and head into GM to browse around town and get a nice meal. We love the Angry Trout Cafe, and Sven and Ole's. There is nothing better than the drive to Grand Marais, and up the Gunflint when we're up there for a trip. If I were ever to live in a town up in the northwoods, Grand Marais would be my first choice.
"I am haunted by waters"~Norman Maclean "A River Runs Through It"
I am going to be traveling through Grand Marais on the way the Sea Gull Lake on Sunday July 26. Where is the ranger station (so I can pick up my permit) and what time does it open? Also where is a good place for leeches and licenses? Where is a good spot for breakfast?
The USFS Station is on your right just before you get to Grand Marais. I'm "pretty sure" they open at 0800. For licenses and leeches, as you are going through town at the "Y" stay to the right,next to the lake, keep going till you see the walleye sticking out of the store!! The onion Cafe has always had good breakfasts, they are on the left just after you stay to the right at the "Y". Have fun.
Buck's Hardware is just on the right side of the main drag in downtown Grand Marais. They issue licenses and sell live bait as well. If you can wait 30 minutes, Trail Center has a nice breakfast as well. Halfway up the trail. Huge pancakes!
If you are entering on Seagull Lake, Seagull Outfitters will issue you a license and sells live bait as well.
Thanks for the info!
I just found out one more thing. Our maps were not ordered properly so I need to pick up two maps for the Sea Gull lake/alpine lake area. Is there a good place to buy maps along the Duluth/Grand Marais/Seagull lake route?
Cant miss the USFS Gunflint station....on your right as you head down the grade into town. Seagull outfitters will probably have maps. I think the Trading Post had maps....downtown, right by the marina beach.