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Grand Marais Harbor

People have been gathering around this particular piece of shoreline as long as people have been on the shore. Back in 1658, French explorer Sieur de Radisson, the first European explorer that made it this far north, came across a flourishing Ojibwe fishing camp.

John Jacob Astor’s fur traders set up shop in the 1820s, adding a fish station the next decade.

In 1871 this area, referred to as ‘double bay’ by the Ojibwe, was established as the Village of Grand Marais. Supply and mail boats began bringing folks up and by the 1920s the original Highway 61 was in place.

As you descend the hill into Grand Marais from the west, your eyes are drawn to this amazingly picturesque little harbor. Now that you’re here, spend some time on the harbor. It’s not too big, so we suggest you view it from the east breakwall by the lighthouse, along with the northern cobblestone beach and from the picnic and pavilion area in the municipal campground. To get on the water, rent a kayak or sail the Hjørdis. For broader views, head to the rooftop decks at one of Grand Marais restaurants. And for an all-encompassing view, drive four miles north of Grand Marais, along with the Gunflint Trail, to the Pincushion overlook.

Fun Facts

  • Drury Lane Books, across the street from East Bay Suites, used to be known as the Pioneer House, home of one of the original founders of Grand Marais.
  • East Bay Suites’ bones are that of the Lake Side Hotel, built in 1903 when Grand Marais was incorporated.
  • The Cook County Historical Society Museum [around the corner on the way to Artist Point] is housed in the 1880s lighthouse keeper’s home.