There is so much to do at the Minnesota North Shore, that it’s hard to cover it all in one post. This is why I have several posts about it and I was only there for four days! Here is more information about the Minnesota North Shore that no one tells you about.
Weather and Nature
- There are a ton of waterfalls! Some worth exploring, some not worth exploring. Check out Visit the Waterfalls of Minnesota North Shore for more information on which ones to visit.
- It is chillier than you’d expect. I traveled to the North Shore in June, when it was 80-90 degrees in the Twin Cities. When I had originally looked up the predicted weather, it had said only 10-15 degrees cooler than in the cities. Guess what? It was chillier than that. Keep in mind that you’ll be right on Lake Superior and there is the lake effect. To be on the safe side, bring extra clothing for layers. Or be like me and purchase a Grand Marais sweatshirt from a shop in town.
Restaurants To Check Out
- World’s Best Donuts is in Grand Marais! It was originally opened in 1969 and has been in the family for 5 generations. The name speaks for itself: the donuts are the best in the world. They’ve been mentioned in both The New York Times and Minnesota Monthly for how amazing their donuts are. Don’t leave Grand Marais or the North Shore without eating one! Otherwise, you will have many regrets.
- Great breweries and restaurants. When I visited the North Shore, I wasn’t expecting a lot of breweries and restaurants. However, they are everywhere! I loved every one that we went to.
- Castle Danger Brewery: Great beer, of course! Since I was on my motorcycle, I only tried one small beer. It was the Castle Cream Ale, which is quite opposite of what I typically enjoy. I wish I could have tried their stout or porter but I wasn’t able to this trip. Next trip I will spend more time in Two Harbors, MN so I can enjoy Castle Danger and explore Two Harbors more as well.
- Harbor House Grille: This was where I had dinner my very first night in Grand Marais. Not only is their food amazing; they also serve some superb beverages. Regardless of what you eat there, you will enjoy it!
- Gunflint Tavern: If you want live music, a rooftop patio with an amazing view of Lake Superior, go here. Food is not allowed on the rooftop so you’ll want to go between meal times or have a late dinner. I chose to have a late dinner so I could enjoy the weather, music, and atmosphere for as long as possible.
- Naniboujou Lodge: My favorite restaurant!! Not only is it a unique building but the food is delicious! I went there for lunch after exploring Devil’s Kettle Falls a short distance away. They also serve afternoon tea. It involves a cute section full of chairs and couches for you to enjoy your tea and biscuits. They also have a great history there. I won’t spoil it all for you but be aware it used to be a private lodge for members only. Some members included a major baseball player and a heavy weight champion.
Don’t Skip this Attraction
- Stop at Split Rock Lighthouse. This is a famous lighthouse in the North Shore. You may ask, “Why?”. It was built after the famous Mataafa Storm in 1905, where 29 ships were lost on Lake Superior. In order to assist ships in navigating the coast, the lighthouse was built. While it was being built, there were no roads to navigate to the location. How did they get the materials to the site? They used ships and a crane. After it was built, they showed the first light in 1910 which improved tourism in the area, specifically from sailors and excursion boats. Due to this, the state decided to build a road to the location in 1924 to allow access as well. If you’re not camping or staying at the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, this stop may be quick. However, it is still worth it for the dramatic views and history of the lighthouse and area.
Don’t forget your travel insurance for your next vacation!