Grand Marais Photo Diary

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We celebrated three years of marriage in Grand Marais, Minnesota—the little Lake Superior town that continues to tug at my heart strings. Sure, Darrin and I had visited Grand Marais twice before this anniversary trip. But you know you’ve found yourself a top notch travel destination when you’re excited to visit and explore all of the same things you explored the year before. And the year before that. People tend to describe cities like Paris as that kind of travel destination. They never tire of sharing a box of macarons beneath the shimmering lights of the Eiffel Tower. Day after day. Year after year.

I’ve decided that you’re the Paris of Minnesota, Grand Marais. And the cake donuts from the World’s Best Donut Shop are my metaphorical box of French macarons that I could eat day after day. Year after year…

No wonder you were voted “America’s Coolest Small Town” for 2015.

I mean #DUH.

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We booked a room at the Harbor Inn and spent most of our mornings sipping coffee and eating donuts on our porch overlooking the harbor. The Harbor Inn is located right next to Java Moose, home to some of the best coffee in Northern Minnesota. The coffee was sooo good that I felt compelled to buy a sweatshirt. And the Lake Superior weather was a bit chillier than we had anticipated, so coffee and cozy sweatshirts. A match made in Northern Minnesota.

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So much of our time was spent wandering through town, relishing in the nothing that we had planned. One morning, we woke up with an unusual motivation to go kayaking, so we meandered down to the local wilderness shop and joined a beginner’s kayaking tour. A tour which turned into a 5 mile jaunt across Lake Superior, watching the fish beneath the water and praying that my kayak wouldn’t flip over as each speedboat zoomed by. I had never been kayaking. Never sat in a kayak. Never imagined myself kayaking across the glassy waters of a calm and quiet Lake Superior. But so we did. And my arms were so exhausted afterwards that I could hardly unclasp my life-vest. Let alone lift myself out of the kayak. The struggle was oh so VERY real. But oh so VERY worth it.

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We made sure to catch the sunrise on our last morning in Grand Marais. We found a wooden bench placed right along the rocky shoreline, so we sat, in our sweatshirts and pajama pants, and kept company with the seagulls as the sun rose above the trees. A perfectly relaxing ending to a perfect few days away.

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You’re a breath of fresh air, Grand Marais. A little home away from home. Until next time.


  • Reply Zarrah Jane July 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

    This looks like a great adventure

    Your very strong and brave to move the kayak by yourself 🙂

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  • Reply Morgan Apfel July 21, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful! I am seriously SO jealous of your summer! And that last picture is adorable, frame that!!

    x. Morgan / Morning Apple

  • Reply Shannon Wahlstrand January 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Hello!!! Just discovered your blog today!:) I LOVE your Grand Marais diary pictures!!! My Husband and I are lucky enough to have a little piece of heaven of our own in Grand Marais, hoping to move there permanetly in the next couple years. This last picture looks exactly like our little “beach” and reminds me of our little spot and to not give up on our Grand Marais dream!!! I feel just like you said of G.M., it IS the “Paris” to me, better actually!!!~And I’m a Flight Attendant!:) It’s just about my absolute favorite place in the entire world to go and being a MN native, doesn’t make me feel out of place either. I hope you keep visiting and posting about your trips to our “Paris” of the North Shore!!! P.S. Don’t you just love the new Co-op? They make the best scones too, in case you’re donut’ed out, which who would be right?:)

    Luv, Shannon f/Osceola, WI

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