Minnesota Journals

Lodge to Lodge Hiking along Lake Superior (Grand Marais, MN)

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A May 2002 trip to Minnesota by wanderluster

Artists Point walk Photo, Minnesota, United States More Photos
Quote: My goal was to hike 40 miles to celebrate my 40th birthday. I couldn't have picked a better trail! The Superior Hiking Trail surpassed my expectations with beautiful scenery of cascading waterfalls, mountains, gorges, wetlands and fairyland forests. And great lodges near the trails made it a cushy holiday.(Part 3)

Lodge to Lodge Hiking along Lake Superior (Grand Marais, MN)

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Overview

Artist's Point walk Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
Minnesota's North Shore is absolutely gorgeous! And it's Superior Hiking Trail divine. Backpackers Magazine rates it among "America's Top Ten Hiking Trails." Indeed! This 200+ mile Trail passes mountains, waterfalls, gorges, lakes, wetlands, prairies, and forests as it follows majestic Lake Superior in northern Minnesota from Two Harbors to the Canadian border. It's possible to climb mountains one day, and follow waterfalls the next. Actually, waterfalls are easy as they seem to be on the majority of hikes! Highlights of Grand Marais area: Grand Marais is a delightful, if a bit touristy, town full of shops right on the shores of Lake Superior. The Boundary Wate...Read More

Royal Goan Beach Club at Benaulim

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Hotel | "Old Shore Beach B&B"

Royal Goan Beach Club at Benaulim Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
Ahhhhh...perfect. If you desire a true sense of what Minnesotans know as the North Shore, come to the Old Shore B&B nestled in a wooded grove along the pebble beach of Lake Superior. The views are marvelous, the setting secluded and the activities romantic. Relax in Adirondack chairs surrounding a campfire on grassy banks overlooking the beach, or listen to the crashing surf while reading on the cedar deck. Then stroll along the private beach looking for polished stones and agates. Sign up for an hour long private sauna, and at the appointed time slip into the provided robes and slippers to make your way outside to the sauna. Sit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Royal Goan Beach Club at Benaulim
Calvaddo
Goa, India
770-284-90

Inn At The Opera

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Hotel | "East Bay Hotel"

Inn At The Opera Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
One of the first hotels built in quaint Grand Marais in the early 1900's, it has retained it's original charm while adding modern conveniences of fireplaces, jacuzzis, kitchenettes in the 90's. Located on the pebble stone beach of Lake Superior, guests can sit on private decks or balconies after walking the shoreline hunting for agates. Or explore Artist's Point, a scenic forested pier that juts around the bay behind the hotel. I loved the location because it was perfect for strolling the beach and walking to the shops in town. In fact across the street is the Famous Donut Shop, Sven & Ole's Pizza, Beth's Fudge, and an assortment of novelty shops, jewelry, bookstores, taverns, restaurants...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Inn At The Opera
333 FULTON ST
San Francisco, California 94102
415-863-8400

Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa

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Hotel | "Sea Wall Motel"

Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa Photo, Rancho Mirage, California
Quote:
This small old-fashioned motel with outdated furnishings sits along Highway 61 (the main thoroughfare in Grand Marais) overlooking the bay of Lake Superior. It was Memorial Day Weekend, and we were ditching our accommodations at the Gunflint Lodge in the Boundary Waters looking for a heated room in the freezing cold–beginning to snow–weather on a late Friday night. (Yes, the end of May it can still snow and our cabin had no fireplace, space heater or warm water. Plus, after spending an afternoon canoeing in the once pristine wilderness and finding the forest largely logged and destroyed by windstorms, we had our fill of the rather drab, lifeless scenery and decided to substitute the weekend fo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa
71333 Dinah Shore Drive
Rancho Mirage, California 92270
760-328-5955

Angry Trout Cafe

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Restaurant

The Angry Trout Cafe Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
What a disappointment. Having read about the Angry Trout serving the best gourmet food on the North Shore, using organic and fresh whole foods, I expected more. The attractive restaurant sits on the protected bay of Lake Superior in Grand Marais along Highway 61. We entered the trout decorated door to find a glass walled room housing maybe 20 tables. We squeezed past other patrons and sat at a corner table with a view of the water. There were additional tables outside on the deck–empty on this cold windy night. The interior felt cramped and tiny, and was quite noisy as you could hear conversations all around you. The menu offered fish, but all entrees were fried except the fresh ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Gunflint Tavern on the Lake

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Restaurant

Gunflint Tavern in Grand Marais, MN Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
Absolutely yummy!!! We loved the food here–great variety, prices, atmosphere and location to boot. Located in the heart of quaint Grand Marais overlooking Lake Superior, the Gunflint Tavern is a small pub, with a cluster of wooden tables, iron chairs and beer barrel stools. This non-smoking restaurant offers a full menu with daily specials written on a chalkboard. Families are welcome. Appetizers ranged from pickled eggs (.50), hot pretzels ($1.99) to hummus and dip assortment with pita bread ($6.95) with lots more options in between. Soups vary by day, whatever the chef happens to create. Tonight were Dahli Lama meets Idaho (a spicy curry soup which was delicious) and smoked herr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Nanijoubou Historic Lodge

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Restaurant

Colorful Cree designs decorate Nanijoubou Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
What a colorful place! This historic lodge was built in 1928 as an ultra-exclusive private club for Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and other filthy rich and famous charter members. Plans to build horse stables, a golf course and pool were thwarted when the stock market crashed. By the mid-30s the mortgage was foreclosed and the club was sold. Today the lodge reflects it's original style. Vivid colors of yellow, orange, cobalt blue, red and green decorate the ceiling and walls in bright Cree Indian designs of zigzags, geometrics and faces. Large yellow lanterns hand from the high ceiling in the 30x80 Great Hall. A massive stone fireplace takes up much of one wall, and tables covered in bl...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Devil's Kettle Trail

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Attraction

Devil's Kettle Trail Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
A short but beautiful hike to see a mysterious bubbling caldron! An easy dirt trail rambles through the woods under a shaded canopy of fir, aspen, birch and pine trees alongside a rushing river. The path is wide and generally flat although there are a total of 224 wooden stairs to descend (and climb up on your return) to access the waterfalls. Round trip the trail is just 2.5 miles, easily obtainable for any age or fitness level. Hikers are rewarded with views of Brule River from the trail. Platforms to see the Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Devil's Kettle are provided along the way. It's a fast river in the spring and popular to kayak. But kayakers beware! Know your route...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

High Falls Trail

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Attraction

High Falls at Grand Portage State Park Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
Grand Portage is Minnesota's newest state park and also its most northern, practically rubbing noses with its Canadian neighbors. It is run by the Grand Portage Ojibwe Band on Indian Reservation property. Although the trail is not part of the Superior Hiking Trail, it is a worthy stop to walk along the wide paved path and boardwalk to view Minnesota's highest waterfalls. The scenic deep gorge is surrounded by high bluffs and pine trees. There are many viewing platforms to watch the 120 feet High Falls of the Pigeon River. These falls are the reason that 17th century fur traders were forced to detour their route as they could not cross the whitewater en route to Lake Superior. Thus ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Grand Portage National Monument

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Attraction

Grand Portage National Monument Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
The Grand Portage National Monument is a reconstructed fur-trade stockade built on the original site of the 1784 structure. Used by the North West Trading Company for 20 years, the grounds include a Great Hall, canoe warehouse, fur press, kitchen and lookout tower. All structures are decorated with historic furnishings, and costumed volunteers explain what life was like for the fur traders. A short audiovisual presentation in the Great Hall provides an overview of the site. Hours are 8-5 daily from mid-May to mid-October. Admission is $2 for adults and free for those under 16. There are two festivals held here the second weekend in August. Rendezvous Days Powwow:...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Hunting for Thompsonite gemstones

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Attraction

Cutface Wayside Photo, Minnesota, United States
Quote:
A fun thing to do when in the Grand Marais area is to hunt for Thompsonite. Thompsonite is a semi-precious gemstone with radiating bands of pink and sometimes pistachio green that can be found peeking out of basalt rocks along the Lake Superior. The rarer pieces with "eyes" are the prized gemstones. Other than Grand Marais, the only other place that it can be found is in Scotland! Formed like agates through water perculating into petrified bubbles, the basalt emerges from the Terrace Point basalt lava flow from the Sawtooth Mountains. The only public place to search for this semi-precious gemstone here in the US is a wayside stop 4 miles south of Grand Marais on Good Harbor...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 14, 2002