In Cook County Minnesota artists and artisans thrive on the natural inspiration. The rugged northern Minnesota landscape nourishes the vibrant Ojibwa culture of Grand Portage. Inspires the arts for which Grand Marais and the rest of Cook County are renowned. Lends a dramatic stage to the lively winter music scene in Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder. Connects the past to the present just as the Gunflint Trail connects the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness/BWCAW.
Typically, the history of a region is reserved for museums and history books. That’s not the case in Cook County. Here, our history is alive, well and present to this day. Perhaps that’s why the historic hubs of trading and pioneer life are now vibrant centers of commerce, art and recreation. Our museums and galleries are just steps away from breathtaking lakes, waterfalls, mountains, Lake Superior vistas, and miles of hiking trails.
Here are some ways to feed your own sense of inspiration and connection:
- Celebrate Art Along the Lake with our Gallery Guide and Memorial Weekend Activities
- Take a class or watch artists and crafters at work at North House Folk School or the Grand Marais Art Colony
- Cook County Historical Society with multiple sites in the Grand Marais area
- Chik-Wauk Museum & Nature Center at the end of the Gunflint Trail, formerly Chik-Wauk Lodge
- Grand Portage State Park and Exhibit Hall & Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center; During the second full weekend in August, celebrate the rich heritage of the Grand Portage community with Rendezvous Days and the Rendezvous Powwow
- Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder brings local heritage and culture to life
- For a glimpse into the past commercial fishing on Lake Superior: Tofte Commercial Fishing Museum
- Drive the scenic Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway
- Take the Cook County, Minnesota historical tour: VisitCookCountyHistoricalMap.pdf
- Attend a play or musical at the Grand Marais Playhouse or festival or other arts and music event
- Enjoy a concert or special performing arts at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais hosted by the North Shore Music Association
- Listen to Cook County updates and stories on WTIP: North Shore Community Radio
We hope you will also find your muse in the beauty, culture and history.