Grand Marais has a special place in my heart. It is such a magical place; a Midwest oasis filled with art, nature, and welcoming locals. My mom took me camping there when I was little, and every summer we try to make it back. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend taking a trip! I’m just now getting around to editing personal images from my summer travels, and these shots put such a smile on my face.
Check out my comprehensive post below on things to do, sights to see, food to eat, and drinks to drink!
My weekend in Grand Marais with Jim, my tuts, and Fleetwood Mac, our dog son, was one of my favorite of the summer. We woke up each morning to freshly brewed coffee and huge, to-die-for breakfast spreads (complete with Bloody Marys, of course). We hiked until our calves ached, and spent plenty of time exploring, wandering in-and-out of local shops, restaurants, and sites.
Grand Food and Drink
Definitely two of the most important details of any trip.
The Dunes Saloon Lake Superior Brewing Company: Amazing food and atmosphere – you have to try their parmesan and garlic popcorn! I recommend the beer battered whitefish or homemade pizza. Jim loves their scotch eggs, which are a hard find in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A glass of homemade Root Beer or their Sandstone Ale is the best refreshment. The juke box in this joint is also A+!
West Bay Diner: This is a must stop for breakfast on your way out of town! It’s like eating a meal in your grandma’s kitchen. The diner is attached to an old house, complete with a stone fireplace. A chalkboard displays the menu, which changes daily. They have one cook manning the kitchen and one waitress on the floor, so be patient. I promise it’s worth the wait – best breakfast ever.
or you can always cook your own!
Grand Shops & Sights
The Pickle Barrel House: This spot is one of the most unique structures in the country. “It was built in 1926 as a summer cottage for author/illustrator William Donahey and his wife, Mary. The cottage, which contains a living area, pantry, kitchen, and bedroom, stood on the shore of Sable Lake until 1937, when the house was moved into Grand Marais and placed on the corner of Lake Avenue and Randolph Street. For years it was a visitors information center, ice cream stand, and gift shop, and in 2003 the Historical Society purchased the building. It has been restored to its original condition as a summer cottage of the 1920s. Don’t miss this very special place.”
The Fishnet House: Grand Marais is filled with little galleries and shops featuring art by local artisans; stained glass, jewelry, pottery, and other handmade goods. My absolute favorite must-stop-shop is The Fishnet House. It used to be a place where a local fisherman would mend his nets while his wife worked at the loom. Now, it’s an art gallery and boutique with a humble Victorian meets beauty aesthetic.
Grand Lodging, Beaching, & Hiking
This quaint corner of the Wolverine state is a hiker’s dream. Trail opportunities are diverse, from scenic wilderness hikes along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to adventuring along the Sucker River, there’s something for everyone. There are incredible overlooks, historic buildings and sites, diverse ecosystems, waterfalls, rock cliffs and bluffs, wilderness lakes and streams, wildlife, and remote coves.
For those star gazers out there, Grand Marais has some of the darkest skies in the country…which means a globe-like surrounding of twinkly balls of fire. As for the daytime, I’ve witnessed some of the best sunsets of my life from these beaches.
I know it may seem like a world away, especially with Christmas just around the corner, but it’s never too early to start planning your summer. Highly suggest a getaway to Grand Marais, Michigan! As you can see, I’m quite the fan.