Just Grand! America's 'Coolest Small Town' is right here in Minnesota


Take that, Chincoteague and Snohomish! Grand Marais is "America's Coolest Small Town," according to Budget Travel Magazine.

The North Shore town was named a semifinalist back in January, and when voting ended Wednesday, Grand Marais came out on top.

The contest looked at American towns with populations under 10,000 that had something unique to offer, noting Grand Marais has something for everyone – a "perfect paddling destination" for the outdoor adventurer, a vibrant arts community, cozy B&Bs and "restaurants whose names say it all: Angry Trout Cafe, Crooked Spoon and Sven and Ole's pizza."

Budget Travel plans to do an online feature on Grand Marais and a write-up on the winning town in an upcoming issue of its bi-monthly tablet edition of the magazine.

No Minnesota town made Budget Travel's 2014 list of "Coolest Small Towns." The only other Minnesota town ever to be named a finalist in the contest was Ely in 2010, the Star Tribune reported.

The other finalists in Budget Travel's contest were: Allegan, Michigan; Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; Blanco, Texas; Chincoteague, Virginia; Crested Butte, Colorado; Delhi, New York; Fort Myers Beach, Florida; Hillsborough, North Carolina; Huron, Ohio; Ka'anapali, Hawaii; Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Pismo Beach, California; Snohomish, Washington; and Washington, North Carolina.

Grand Marais isn't the only Lake Superior city to be named to a best town list. Last summer, Duluth was voted Outside Magazine's "Best Town in America."

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