We stayed in a town on the north shore called Grand Marais, MN. This town is the eastern and southern end of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Gunflint Trail. We happily enjoyed more, great kayaking on beautiful interconnected lakes, then, we stopped at a full service lodge for a hearty late lunch; the best of both worlds. Trappers and early settlers used the Gunflint Trail for hundreds of years to bring their pelts to trading forts on Lake Superior.
Just up the road was a living history museum dedicated to the voyageurs. Live historians still man the trading fort, in character, explaining how canoe routes then land portages (like the Gunflint Trail) ran from Hudson Bay or NW Territories to the Great Lakes to Montreal, then onward to Europe where those tall black, beaver felt hats were made. The first nations people reenacted their shelter creation (birch bark logons), and creating fire with the rubbing of two sticks. All of it was educational and just fun.
I have to mention the people. We stayed for two weeks because of a medical issue. The doctors speak about their choice to participate in rural health care. I did not realize that meant they call you, to see how you are improving, or the pharmacist gives you his card and lets you know he is on 24 hour call. Or the campground hosts worked very, very hard to fit your unexpected extension into their space available.
When we were cleared to leave and after seeing the sights and kayaking the wonderful lakes we departed for Thunder Bay Canada where we stayed for 3 nights before heading back to the US for Duluth, MN.