Date: July 6, 2017
Adventure: Grand Marais, MN
Welcome to America’s Greatest Small Town! Located just 128 km from Thunder Bay, ON, this 93 minute drive takes you into a place of wonder. I want you to imagine any movie you’ve ever watched and any book you’ve ever read that featured a small town. Use that description from those references and now you know what Grand Marais, MN looks and feels like. It’s a world wide gem but it never had any intention on being so popular.
Grand Marais has the northern charm you expect a town so close to the Canadian border to have. The cold winters, warm summers, hiking, skiing, swimming, tobogganing, fishing (both ice and boat) and so many more activities! Along with all the activities there’s just as many dinning options (my personal favourite is the Angry Trout). A person could spend two weeks in this small town and still wouldn’t be able to experience it all.
That’s why the one day I spend there wasn’t enough!
The trip is an easy one when you’re making your way from Thunder Bay. You take hwy 61, get to the border, drive for a bit and then BAM you’re reaching the small town. It’s super easy and if you grew up near hwy 11/17 or hwy 61 in Northwestern Ontario then there’s an 80% chance you’ve been to Grand Marais or you’ve at least driven through it.
I go to Grand Marais at least once a year, usually more often. Since I hadn’t been yet in my 2 months of being back in home, I thought what’s a better time than going for my birthday! I sent a quick text to some friends and they were all working except one, Catherine. So her and I embarked on a fun and chill day in Grand Marais.
We packed our bags and were ready to go on our day trip. We had no solid plans but we knew we were going to get lunch. We crossed the border no problem, we got there at a good time, and the weather was nice. We decided to go on a little walk along the rocks that create a little bay around the town. Then a wave wall was added to protect the bay and the light house that stands near at the edge of the bay.
After our little adventure on the rocks we decided that we needed food and for some reason we were both craving fish and chips. We made our way over to The Angry Trout (Like I said, it’s one of my favourites!) We had Herring and Whitefish, waffle fries, coleslaw and homemade tarter sauce. It was all so delicious!
After our filling lunch we decided to shop around a bit. We went into Lake Superior Trading Post. This store is a mix match of different camping and household items that have a cabin feel to them. We just looked around, made fun of a few things and fell in love with other things. We then made our way over to a store that I can’t remember the name of but it reminds me of the Shore Store from The Jersey Shore. I bought the best blue tie-dye hoodie from there. We then walked around a little bit and decided it was time to treat ourselves to the thing that put Grand Marais on the map.
It’s a little red shack with a big name, World’s Best Donuts. I think the name isn’t so much of a statement I think it’s more of a novelty. The logo and brand has been taken all over the world but there’s only one shop in the entire world and I think that’s what makes the donuts world best! Don’t get me wrong those donuts are worth the wait if there’s a lineup around the block!
After our donuts we decided it was time to head out. All in all Grand Marais is probably one of my adventures to do. It is a timeless classic and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my birthday with anyone else!
(My next few blog posts won’t be about travel in Northwestern Ontario but stay tuned to see!)