My Modern Midwest: Up North

Minnesota born and raised, Vanessa Grausam channels her love for The North Star State into her photography. Grausum grew up outside the Twin Cities and now resides in rural Sleepy Eye with her husband, her two dogs and her trusty iPhone, which she uses to capture the state’s natural beauty.

She chronicles her Minnesota adventures on Instagram at @vanessagrausam. For My Modern Midwest, Grausam documented her trip to northeast Minnesota, an area filled with amazing views of the water, the lakeshore and the mountains.


Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes. Gichigami, as it was named by the Ojibwe, means “Be a Great Sea”.  After your first visit to Superior, it’s easy to figure out why they called it that.


The Gunflint Trail begins in Grand Marais, MN and ends at Saganaga Lake near Ontario, Canada.  The trail is a hub of activity for outdoor adventure-seekers with its hiking trails and proximity to the lakes and rivers of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA).


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The Grand Marais Harbor and lighthouse, nestled on the edge of downtown Grand Marais, MN.


Lutsen Snow: Making snow on opening day in the Midwest’s largest ski area. The four peaks on Lutsen Mountain are equivalent in size to Minneapolis’ downtown corridor.


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A view of Lake Superior in the distance from Britton Peak in Tofte, MN.


A view of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) from Honeymoon Bluff off the Gunflint Trail.


Chairlifts over Lutsen Mountain.


Overlooking the water at Temperance River State Park.  The park is home to stunning hiking trails and waterfalls.