If you ever have to make a decision about visiting Grand Marais, Minnesota this post might be for you.
Grand Marais offers a great mix between vacation spots well removed from downtown Grand Marais yet a vibrant town scene featuring quality restaurants and shops. We visited in high season but it still didn't feel too crowded. Granted, for some restaurants you would run into 1 hour wait time in the evening but there are smaller joints where you don't have to wait that long. We visited a Bed & Breakfast located only about 3 miles above downtown Grand Marais but it felt like it was very removed from "civilization" and yet very close to Grand Marais itself.
We were also told by our host there is a great stream for trout fishing nearby but I can't remember the name of the stream. However, my guess is if there's one such stream around there are probably more of those.
Another cool thing: you're only about 1 hour (or less) from the border with Canada so you could easily hope over there and leave your mark on Canadian soil.
The Folk School in Grand Marais is another attraction that deserves to be mentioned. I got my hands on one of their catalogs at the Bed & Breakfast we were at and it looked impressive. Next time I plan on a Grand Marais visit I am definitely planning on taking one of the classes at the Folk School. There are so many to choose from and so many of them sound like a real treat (well, at least for those of us who like to be challenged by hands-on craft projects).
From what our B&B host was saying Grand Marais has much to offer in the winter, specifically cross-country trails and lodges.
I hope my post was somewhat helpful to someone who is wondering if a visit to Grand Marais is worth it. IMHO, you're in for for a treat!