Grand Marais trip planner
Create a fully customized day by day
itinerary for free
itinerary for free
Grand Marais is a city in Cook County, Minnesota, United States. It is a northern village located on the shores of Lake Superior, and a vibrant, bustling town. The population was 1,351 at the 2010 census. It is also the county seat and sole municipality of Cook County. Prior to inhabitation by white settlers and prior to Minnesota’s statehood, Grand Marais was inhabited by the Anishinaable indigenous people, the thriving woodland people also known as the Ojibwe. The Ojibwe name for the area is Gichi-biitoobiig, which means "great duplicate water," "parallel body of water" or "double body of water" (like a bayou), a reference to the two bays which form the large harbor off Lake Superior.The area was a bustling fur trading station since the 1700s, and the French Voyageurs termed the settled village ‘Grand Marais’ which is French for "Great Marsh", referring to a marsh that, in early fur-trading times, was 20 acres (8.1 ha) or less in area, nearly at the level of Lake Superior, and situated at the head of the little bay and harbor that led to the settlement of the village there. Another small bay on the east, less protected from storms, is separated from the harbor by a slight projecting point and a short beach. Also, ‘Grand Marais’ also may mean “sheltered water area,” as the harbor has natural breakwall rock outcroppings, providing for a natural safe harbor for early Lake Superior explorers.Located on the east side of Grand Marais is Chippewa City. Chippewa City thrived in the 1890s, with about 100 families living in the village. The historica Francis Xavier church still stands slightly north of town, just off Highway 61. The church began as a Jesuit mission from Fort William, Ontario in 1855 to minister to the Ojibwe residents of the area. The permanent structure was built in 1895 and was used until declining attendance forced it to close in 1936. The Cook County Historical society restored the site between 1970 and 1974 and it was added to the National Register in 1986.Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with the Gunflint Trail, historically a foot path for travelers and fur traders from inland lakes to Lake Superior. It is now County Road 12, a paved National Scenic Byway that begins in Grand Marais and ends at Saganaga Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), near the U.S. border with Ontario. It provides access to many of the entry points in the BWCAW.Plan your holiday in Grand Marais and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our United States day trip planning site.
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Grand Marais
- Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
- Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
- Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Grand Marais
Side trips from Grand Marais
Hidden gems in Grand Marais
Shopping in Grand Marais
Wildlife in Grand Marais
Winter Sports in Grand Marais
Places to visit with Grand Marais
MinneapolisTrip planner Best for: Art Museum, Fun & Games, Room Escape Game DuluthTrip planner Best for: Park, Scenic Drive, Bridge Saint PaulTrip planner Best for: Zoo, Natural History Museum, Religious Site BloomingtonTrip planner Best for: Shopping Mall, Aquarium, Entertainment Center Two HarborsTrip planner Best for: Biking Trail, Lighthouse, State Park
Recently planned trips to Grand Marais
14 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Minneapolis Ely Grand Marais 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Erie Grand Marais Mackinac Island 57 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Mankato Rochester Minneapolis 8 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Two Harbors Grand Marais Winona 7 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Two Harbors Grand Marais Minneapolis 8 days in Northeast Minnesota & Apostle Islands BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Grand Marais Two Harbors Apostle Islands