America's Best Small Lake Town Is the Place to Chase Summer Nostalgia, Fiery Fall Foliage, and Winter's Northern Lights


Grand Marais, Minn. (August 22, 2023) - The northern Minnesota town of Grand Marais earns another national media award as Travel & Leisure Magazine announced it as "America's Best Small Lake Town" in its round-up of America's Best Small Towns 2023.


Travel & Leisure released the list on August 22, 2023 featuring 7 different small town categories: Best Beach Town, Best Lake Town, Best Food + Culture Town, Best Spa + Wellness Town, Best Mountain Town, Best Desert Town, and Best Wine, Beer + Spirits Town. The winners of each category were selected by Travel & Leisure staff upon polling trusted travel advisors, contributors, and colleagues. The requirements for consideration include a full-time population of under 25,000 and it must excel in a number of categories from activities, accommodations, attractions, and hospitality. 


Writer of the article Jacqueline Kehoe says "With that rare Goldilocks touch — think far more food trucks and art galleries than stoplights (in fact, there’s just one in the whole county) — we’re happily calling Grand Marais the nation’s best small lake town. With new openings, eclectic redesigns, and an accidentally hip devotion to all things local, Grand Marais is a grand foray on America’s ‘Fresh Coast.’”


The article cites several local small businesses as part of the appeal to the destination along with its wilderness setting and dark sky. Read the full article here

Visit Cook County, Minnesota 
Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior.”  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently, it was named America's Best Small Lake Town by Travel & Leisure Magazine, USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, and Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at


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Kjersti Vick - Marketing & Public Relations Director

Kjersti Vick Marketing & Public Relations Director