Grand Marais wins USA TODAY’s Best Midwestern Small Town contest


Grand Marais wins USA TODAY’s Best Midwestern Small Town contest


Grand Marais, Minn. – April 28, 2017 – Today, Grand Marais, Minn., was voted the winner of the “Best Midwestern Small Town” contest sponsored by 10 Best Readers’ Choice, a division of the travel arm of USA TODAY.


Grand Marais competed against 19 other small Midwestern towns, including Bayfield, Wis.; Lanesboro, Minn., Galena, Ill.; Charlevoix, Mich.; and many others. Voting ended Monday, April 24 at 11:59 a.m. EDT, and the winners were announced today at 11 a.m. CST.


“Thanks to the thousands of people who love our charming small town nestled between the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior, and the approximately 10,000 who voted throughout this month-long contest,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “During the contest, thousands of people throughout the country learned about our fabulous community via social and traditional news media.


“We held the lead for most of the past few weeks, but got some tough competition from the other finalists – particularly from Charlevoix, Mich., and Chagrin, Ohio.  Lanesboro, Minn. was often in the top 10. We were surprised that Bayfield, Wis., didn’t place higher. We regard Bayfield as a tough competitor for tourist dollars. People who love Bayfield typically also love Grand Marais, because we both have the charm of East Coast seaside towns, thanks to our respective locations on Lake Superior.”


USA TODAY contest description of Grand Marais


Situated at the end of Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive, the town of Grand Marais charms with its art galleries, quirky restaurants, local shops and diverse lodging. While there’s plenty to do in town (it’s home to one of the nation’s best art colonies), this harbor village also serves as a gateway to outdoor adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


About 10 Best Readers’ Choice Contest provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the United States and around the world. No business pays to be listed. At its core is a team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields – and their cities – but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about, and provide constantly updated content. Digitally, The USA TODAY Travel Media Group sites rank among the top 10 most-visited travel information sites in North America as measured by comScore.


About Visit Cook County

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”.  Cook County, Minn. has earned numerous accolades recently including “2015 Coolest Small Town in America” contest by Budget Travel and “The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016” list by Outside Magazine. Visit Cook County invites visitors to rekindle their sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest, paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and discovering the Lake Superior watershed basin. Be inspired by connecting on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Discover more at or by downloading the Visit Cook County mobile app.



MEDIA CONTACTS Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. 612.990.0126 Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County 218.387.2788 x 103