I'm not a great artist but I had such a great time and learned so much from Neil He teaches landscape painting and painting on location or "plein aire" as its called in the art community. They have classes for a wide range of abilities, from novice to advanced, personalized mentoring and for kids too! They have a non-toxic print studio, a clay studio, a warm glass studio for fusing, slumping, lost wax and jewelry making. I spoke with some other students who have taken classes there before and they all said that the teachers that they had were top notch. The director and the other young gal who works there are both high energy and fun to talk with. The building has a very nice feeling about it. The building is open to the public, even if you don't take a class, and they have some nice art work on display. Their big events are the Arts Festival, with well over 50 booths, the second weekend in July. They also have a Plein Aire painting competition towards the end of August.
Take a side trip to Grand Portage and the old fur post.
The old fur post is Grand Portage Nat'l Monument. You'll find lots things to see and do.
With 35 hiking trails to choose from in the Superior National Forest, there's one for every level of hiking experience.
Devil's Kettle Trail
- Moderate Difficulty; lots of stairways; 2.5 miles
- The trail follows the Brule River with vistas of waterfalls and rapids. A 50-foot waterfall at the Devil's Kettle mysteriously disappears into a hole in the basalt bedrock. Unforgettable!
Artists Point & Lighthouse
- Easy; 0.5 miles
- Bring a camera! Enjoy the sights and sounds of a boreal forst along the East side. Walking along a cement pier to the West to reach the harbor lighthouse.
Honeymoon Bluff Trail
- Difficult but short; 0.6 mile
- This short, steep trail leads to a beautiful overlook.
"Artist's Point" is the name of a small penninsula of rock that forms our double harbor. It has some small trails for hiking, and is a great place to walk pets or have a picnic.
The giant formations of rock, bluffs and islands that form the North Shore are represented in miniature on Artist's Point. You can walk out to the Grand Marais lighthouse, and sit and watch the waves break. Its a great spot for photography- and on a windy day a superb spot to catch waves breaking dramatically on the small cliffs. It is certainly one of "the" things to go see while in Grand Marais.
(Will have a picture soon)
If you're wondering about a particular place you might've heard about, ask here. If you've come into town and don't have a place to stay, they can help find one. If you want to know what's going on in town, they know. If you're headed past Grand Marais- to Grand Portage or Thunder Bay, ON, they got info on those places too! Wondering where some waterfalls are, or where to bike, or hike, or do any manner of recreation? They know. Wanna see if you can spot a moose- they have a guide. State highway maps and event calendars- Lake Superior Circle Tour guides and the North Shore Visitor brochure.
No question. The one and only must see in Grand Marais is Sven and Ole's.
Ok, I probably need to explain for all those who do not live in Minnesota. We have quite a Scandanavian heritage in the state and where other places might have polish jokes or dumb blonde jokes, we have Sven and Ole jokes.
Like the time that Sven goes into work and sees Ole with a thermas. Sven says, "Ole, what in tarnation is that gizmo."
Ole says, "Sven, I got this down by the K-Mart, it is called a thermas. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. See I got coffee in here and it is just as hot as when I poured it from the pot three hours ago."
The next day Ole comes to work with his thermas and Sven says, "Ole you got that thermas gizmo with you again."
"Sure thing Sven, it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. Today I filled the thermas with cold milk to eat with my cookies."
Well, Ole seemed to enjot his milk and cookies so much that Sven just had to go by the K-Mart and get a thermas for himself.
The next day Sven comes into work swinging his thermas and looking mighty proud.
"Oh Sven, you got one of them thermas gizmos. What have you got in there?" asked Ole.
"Ole, the man at the store said you were right, it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. So I've got some of Lena's piping hot lutefisk stew and two scoops of ice cream for dessert."
Canoeing and Camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). The area is also wonderful for birdwatching, photography, hiking, cross country skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, and berry picking.
Over one million acres of wilderness with over 1500 miles of pristine lakes and streams... no motorized boats or vehicles allowed