This post was sniffed out in partnership with the supremely dog-friendly East Bay Suites by Odyssey Resorts and Visit Cook County. Julianne Kroon and her pup Noah checked out the area after winning our Adventure Pup Contest last spring. Their verdict? Whether winter, spring, summer, or fall, the MN North Shore has got it all… for you and your pups.
When you live somewhere with winter weather approximately half the year, you learn to embrace all the season has to offer. Snow, ice, cold? Just layer up (here are our dog bootie and sweater recs), and get the pup outdoors. To prove he’s a big brave dog and not afraid of white fluff, Noah brought his mom, aunt, and pup cousin to East Bay Suites in Grand Marais for a dog-friendly winter getaway. Sniff out the hikes, bites, and sites of the area.
MN North Shore Dog-Friendly Lodging: East Bay Suites
Noah’s room was on the first floor with a patio door that led right to the beach. This made potty walks incredibly easy AND beautiful. The suite included a full kitchen with everything you could need to make a meal or bake dog biscuits.
Noah ruved his gift basket, which included a pop-up dog dish, treats, a chewy, and potty bags. Pro tip: It can be dark around the hotel, so a flashlight or headlamp’ll come in clutch for nighttime walkies.
COVID considerations: East Bay Suites provided a checklist for requesting towels, toiletries, sheets, etc., to leave in a basket in the hallway. They’d then leave a bag of whatever you needed outside the room for contactless delivery. The patio door allows guests to come and go without passing any other people, perfect for social distancing!
MN North Shore Dog-Friendly Hikes + Sites
Noah spent his weekend sniffin’ and ‘sploring. Pro tip: Pack some doggie doo clips;
dog poop barrels trash cans weren’t always readily available.
Split Rock Lighthouse
Going pup north requires the occasional stop to stretch the legs, wag the tail, sniff some butts, and take in the scenery. About an hour south of Grand Marais sits Split Rock Lighthouse. Hike down to the lake for a spectacular view of the cliff and lighthouse OR follow a short path to stroll around the lighthouse. 14/10. Much pretty.
Caribou Falls State Wayside
Another pretty stop along the way, because potty break. Noah and co. hiked to Caribou Falls, which led to an overlook of Lake Superior and the Caribou River Gorge. Noah was hoping to see a moose (no luck on that), but he did spot a particularly appealing squirrel that made up for the disappointment. His take? You should yapsolutely go chasing waterfalls… and squirrels.
Harbor Park was full of sticks, and sticks are life (for Noah). His lil cuz Fitz didn’t enjoy walking on the rocks along the beach, but they didn’t slow down Noah. Just a tip for the smol fries out there. Quaint, beautiful, and sticks. Two paws up.
Gunflint Trail to George Washington Pines
East Bay Suites offers free snowshoe rentals, and Noah enjoyed trekking alongside Julianne on Gunflint Trail to George Washington Pines. Just over 2 miles long, the trail is rated easy. A few steps or whooshes of the snowshoes finds you completely surrounded by forest. Fitz got cold and needed to be carried. Again, better for big bois.
Check out our recs for MN dog-friendly hikes.
MN North Shore Dog-Friendly Bites
Note: Winter and COVID limited the restaurant options, but Noah’s humans still found some tasty nosh at these places.
Sven & Ole’s
Just a block away from East Bay Suites, this restaurant has a walk-up order window. Noah approved. The za was tasty (but would have been better if Noah had been given 7.5 more crusts).
Dog moms need their caffeine fix, amirite? Noah leashed up his humans and walked them to Java Moose. He had to wait outside on the deck while they ordered, but that’s OK. He looks cute and gets scritches no matter where he sits.
Gun Flint Tavern
Gun Flint Tavern offers both in-person and online ordering, plus some heated dog-friendly sidewalk seating. Human-approved dinner. Nom!
MN North Shore Dog-Friendly Shopping
Gotta get some prezzies for the pups back home!
Lake Superior Trading Post
Walk through Harbor Park and along the shore, and you land at Lake Superior Trading Post, a delightfully dog-friendly store with something for every shopper. The staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly with the dogs—they weren’t just allowed to be there, it was really encouraged. Noah and Fitz picked out some souvenirs, including a plush hedgehog that Noah carried around the store and then back to the hotel. Noah rates this place a mutts-sniff.
Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply
Noah dragged the humans in after seeing a Sidewalk Dog sticker in the window of this store. And it did not disappoint; doggy biscuits were readily available at the cash register. Oh, and the humans enjoyed the super soft t-shirts.
What are your MN North Shore must-sniff spots? Let us know in the comments or in our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.
All photos & deets courtesy of our fren Julianne Kroon and her doggo, Noah.
Tail wags to our frens East Bay Suites by Odyssey Resorts and Visit Cook County, who graciously accommodated our Adventure Pup. Whether winter, spring, summer, or fall, the MN North Shore has got it all… for you and your pups.