Located about 15 minutes north of the small town of Grand Marais, MN is a homestead that sits up top of a hill overlooking Lake Superior. In passing by you might just think it’s any other farm site or homestead, but if you stop to really notice, you’ll see this little gem off the gravel road is the Hungry Hippie Hostel.
I read about the Hungry Hippie Hostel sometime ago in about 2015 from a local website about a new hostel on the North Shore that was a first of it’s kind. Immediately intrigued, as I become obsessive with new findings and hidden gems, I quickly looked into staying here for my next trip up to Grand Marais. Fast forward to May of 2016, Eric and I were booked for a weekend stay in a private room on the main level of the hostel.
Arriving at the hostel, you’ll be quickly greeted by an energetic pup named Charlie and the owners, Kate and Jeremy. Jeremy is the man behind the operations as Kate puts her cozy cabin touches on the place to really make it feel like home. They make the perfect duo!
Once you step inside the hostel, you’ll see your name written outside of your sliding barn door to your minimalist but modern room decked out in buffalo plaid, multi-tone wood walls, and the cutest cabin decor. Inside the main floor of the hostel, you’ll find five private cabins, two bathrooms, and a small kitchen (including a shared fridge, sink, and microwave) and a shared living space. It’s small and quaint but has everything you need for your stay there.
Every night there is a bonfire out front where most of the guests mingle, relax, and or even cook over the open fire. Hang out on the wooden chair swing near the fire or sit on the deck and play a game of cards.
Cell phone reception is spotty, even if you actually get a signal. I’m not going to lie, this was a little perk of staying here. There is an option to connect to WiFi, but sometimes it would go in and out too. Plan to hang out in your room, outside, or even in the shared space to mingle with the other guests! The second floor of this hostel has all shared bunks so there are always people going in and out of the main floor!
The bathrooms were spacious and the hostel provided shampoo, body wash, lotion, and towels which was super convenient! They have a water saver system too so be conscious of the water used.
Eric and I enjoyed our stay but “prepared” a bit for the remoteness by downloading a movie onto our iPads so we could watch it without needing service. Our time was very relaxing and we enjoyed staying at the hostel. One night, we brought in pizza from town and vegged in our room and then played board games out on the deck at night. We also sipped on some local brews from Voyageur Brewing while talking with the other guests. In my personal opinion, it’s a great option for a short weekend stay, or if you’re passing through for a night. We met several people passing through that booked a shared bunk for the night, but also a handful of guests had a cabin for up to a week while just enjoying their time in Grand Marais. Since we came for a short weekend to really explore Grand Marais, we didn’t spend too much time hanging out at the homestead.
Eric and I ended up staying at the Hostel once in 2016 and once again in 2017 for our annual trip. Now, fast forward to 2018 where they introduced their “Glamping” tents.
The Glamping Tents
Last year right before Memorial Day weekend, I saw on their Instagram account that they were debuting their new addition to the homestead which included a new grassy area for personal tents but also three canvas tents they were calling their glamping tents. I immediately called Eric and asked if I could reserve a glamping tent for the weekend of Memorial Day for our annual trip. He was definitely hesitant but sure enough, said okay. Full Disclosure: Eric and I are NOT campers, or very outdoorsy! I do claim that we get a little more “outdoorsy” every time we head up the North Shore.
The glamping tents include 2 small solar-powered lanterns, an air mattress, and 2 chairs on a wooden plank with a zip up screen that encloses the bed. For these tents, you need to provide all linens and pillows as well as towels and all toiletries. They did build a separate shower house for the campers which is about 100 yards away from our glamping tents. It’s set up just like a locker room style and has plenty of room to get ready in.
The first night we got there, we set up our room as fast as we could because rain was coming. Let’s just say, that evening I don’t think either of us slept! It was pouring rain, lightning, thunder, the whole nine yards. I think the worst part was that the zipper “door” was completely open so rain could fly in if the wind blew hard enough. Our sheets and clothes were pretty damp the next day but we survived! The next night was better, but we definitely had to bring out the citronella candles for the bugs (hellooo, Minnesota!) I was so tired from not sleeping the night before that I passed out while Eric stayed awake and listened to Lynx fight somewhere out in the distance from our tent.
Long story short, this was definitely an experience but I’m glad I did it. I think I would rent the glamping tent if I was passing through for one night and only needed a place to lay my head. But if I were to come back to camp at Hungry Hippie, I think I would bring my own tent with full zip closures. Mainly because the glamping tent lacked privacy and I weirdly get scared when sleeping if I can see the entire outdoors. The best perk? Waking up naturally to the sunrise. I wouldn’t change anything about that.
So, if you’re heading up the North Shore and looking for a cozy place to unplug and mingle with other travelers, try the hostel! If you’re looking for a real outdoorsy adventure- go for the glamping tents! Kate and Jeremy do a great job of making this place feel safe, welcoming, and up-north cozy.
Have you ever stayed in a Hostel or Glamping place up north? Let me know! I’m always in the market to look for new adventures! 🙂