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Grand Marais a semifinalist in the search for 'America's Coolest Small Town'

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We know Minnesota is cool (too cool for the Midwest, some say).

But is our state home to the coolest small town in America? The folks at Budget Travel aim to find out. They've narrowed their search down to 15 candidates and Grand Marais is among them.

You can vote by clicking the above link through Feb. 25.

In their blurb on our North Shore burg, Budget Travel touts Grand Marais' B&Bs, arts, fishing, and restaurants. We can even forgive them for referring to the Boundary Water Canoeing Area (sic) and Lake Superior National Forest (sic).

There are some pretty cool towns in America, though, so the competition is tough. Snohomish, Washington, and Old Orchard Beach, Maine, are among the other semifinalists that sound worthy of a visit.

Budget Travel's criteria include a population of fewer than 10,000 and "a certain something that no place else has."

The website RealSmallTowns.com says winter is the best time to visit Grand Marais, citing the fewer tourists and the magical dance of light and ice on Lake Superior and the water falls.

National Geographic named Grand Marais one of America's Top 100 Adventure Towns a few years ago.

But when Highway Highlights ranked the coolest towns in Minnesota, Grand Marais landed in the number 8 spot.

All of which brings us back to our starting point: Minnesota is cool.

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