Northern Minnesota city named to America's Best Small Town list

Grand Marais, Minnesota.  (Melissa Turtinen/FOX 9)

Travel and Leisure has released its list of America's Best Small Towns, and one popular spot on Minnesota's North Shore has made the list. 

Grand Marais, Minnesota, was named the best small lake town in the United States this year, with Travel and Leisure saying the Lake Superior city of about 1,300 people is the place to "chase summer nostalgia, fiery fall foliage and winter's Northern Lights."

"An unexpected arts enclave, tiny Grand Marais, Minnesota, bursts with galleries, local shops and restaurants, and lake-filled getaways galore," writer Jacqueline Kehoe says. 

The publication 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 gives shout outs to popular Grand Marais establishments, such as World's Best Donuts, Fisherman's Daughter, Blue Water Cafe and the Gunflint Tavern, as well as landmarks that include Grand Marais Lighthouse and Artist's Point. Travel and Leisure also lists popular activities in the area, including driving the Gunflint Trail to the Boundary Waters, chasing fall foliage, cross-country skiing and more. 

For this year's list, Travel and Leisure polled colleagues, contributors, trusted travel advisors and other experts from all over the country to come up with the best small towns in the United States. To quality, the town must have a full-time population of fewer than 25,000 residents, offer a variety of activities and accommodations, have a timely reason to visit, and "excel in a certain category," the publication states.