There is so much joy and happiness in choosing special gifts for those we love the most…yet finding the perfect item can be a perfectly exhausting experience. Fortunately (go Minnesota!) we live in a state that may have more amazing makers and crafty creators per capita than anywhere in the world. Well…I don’t have data to support that claim; but, take a peek at this MN-inspired gift round-up and I think you may agree…

North Shore Gift Guide
Up North Hoodie makes a great gift! From Picnic & Pine, Grand Marais, MN

Discovering Minnesota-made items and MN-themed gifts is becoming quite popular. Take the dozens of Minnesota State Park Nature Stores, Minnesota Makers artisan market in Robbinsdale, online crafts-men and women creating amazing items like upcycled wooden necklaces from Melinda Wolff, Linda and her earth-friendly beeswax candles, Rachel’s Rustic Decor, Sara’s beautifully crafted woolens (hey, Wisconsin neighbor!), Ashley at Wood & Water, playful clay tiles from Melissa at Wickwire Clay Works, Hannah’s iconic pottery, and Glenn Young who built the patio chairs  situated on the deck at 142C.

Then, there are savvy and brilliant gift-store owners who know their stuff and know how to sell. They have a knack for curating items that help us show off our MN pride and celebrate everything that makes Minnesota’s pretty darn great. You betcha! Now, if you really want to zero in and talk about items that capture that North Shore vibe, this is your gift territory! For example, the super-soft, stately grey hoodie can be found at one of the cutest little shops in Grand Marais Picnic & Pine.  Cost, $45. And, the felted coffee cozy (featured waaayyy at the top) is from Stitch Lab based out of St. Paul, but purchased at Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen, MN. Cost, $19.

Here are a few of my favorite things when gifting with a Minnesota state of mind, mostly specific to the North Shore region…with just a couple exceptions:

Superior Hiking Trail
Hit the Trail! The Superior Hiking Trail guidebook is filled with maps, campsite info, trailhead parking locations and more.

Let’s go! Just beyond the backdoor of the North Shore, discover 300 miles of Minnesota trails that lead to some of the most pristine landscapes, rivers and lakes in our grand state. The Superior Hiking Trail and a team of all-star volunteers manage the footpaths and keep the trails well-groomed from Jay Cook State Park to the Pigeon River on the U.S.-Canadian border. This handy guidebook features mile-by-mile trail descriptions, parking information, campsite details and maps. Cost, $16.

Lutsen art gallery
So many pretty items can be found at Lutsen’s Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery.

This lovely silver and black-beaded bracelet with an eye catching turquoise stone from Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery in Lutsen was made by Judy Christensen of Raucous Jewelers. Cost, $30. I can’t wait to give this to my niece for her birthday!

Minnesota Gift Guide
Purple and gold earrings from wuve, found at I like you, too in St. Paul, MN.

Skol Vikings! I thought these Wuve earrings were just-right for a festive super bowl party, don’t cha think? i like you too in St. Paul sells a wonderful selection of these handmade eco-resin art beauties made by this talented North Dakota artist. While not exactly located on the North Shore, somewhat in the Midwest neighborhood! Cost, $12.

Minnesota sugar cookies
All the Minnies!

Hey, sugar, pick up a Minnesota-shaped cookie cutter at the i like you too shop for $3.  Gift your sweet friends and family a batch of cut-outs. Bundle some for the next door neighbors. Share with the recycling service team. How about the librarian? Tie a bow on a dozen for teachers. Bring some to church to share with the secretary. ‘Tis the season! Cookie cutter, $3. Ingredients to make sugar cookie dough, about $10, depending on what you have in your pantry.

Lutsen's Fika coffee & Northmade Co mug gift!
Fika Coffee? Yes, please! Sipped from a NorthMade Co Minne-mug.

Coffee, anyone? Of course! One of our favorite Minnesota coffee roasters happens to have a lovely and welcoming shop in Lutsen, and they deliver! Pair a batch of Fika Coffee’s whole beans, sustainably roasted in small batches, with a MN-mug. This one happens to be from Northmade Co. Coffee, $12-15. Mug, $10.

Give the gift of adventure, the Lutsen 99er bike race
Photo Credit: Rod Hasse. Lutsen ’99er riders blaze through Lutsen Mountains

Pedal love with a clever gift for the mountain biker on your list. Surprise her/him by registering them for the 2018 Lutsen 99er race taking place June 23, 2018. There are four different track options that wind their way through the rugged yet beautiful Lutsen Mountain wilderness. You can choose from the 19er ($79/person), 39er, 69er or 99er miles ($99/person). This event will likely sell out!

Lake Superior pendant featured on
Lake Superior pendant from The Jewelers Bench, Duluth MN.

This stunning Superior necklace was a gift from my dear friend Dawn. She found it at The Jeweler’s Bench in Duluth, a small family-owned business of 30 years where they make all kinds of sparkly wearables, even some that feature Lake Superior Agate, Thomsonite and Isle Royale Greenstone. I love the beautiful silver pendant of the big lake. Cost, I’m not sure given it was a gift.

Lutsen Mountains featured on
Gift cards to Lutsen Mountains cover lift tickets, lessons, rentals and more!

Last on the list…give the gift of outdoor adventure taken to new heights with a ski pass to Minnesota’s best downhill skiing & boarding at Lutsen Mountains. Gift cards can be used to cover rentals, lessons, lift tickets or gondola tickets to ride over to Moose Mountain. You may remember these vistas of golden autumn from last fall’s post. Cost, varies, but check out their website!


Before signing off, a few outtakes of the photo session with our guy Carson….

I hope this post leaves you feeling MN-spired! Enjoy the season of giving, the opportunity to celebrate with those you love the very most. xo

It’s a Wrap: North Shore Gift Guide was first published on on December 19, 2017. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated to share these ideas. Thank you! 


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