Two communities in the Northland are competing against each other for some national recognition.  Bayfield, Wisconsin and Grand Marais, Minnesota are both in the competition for "Best Coastal Small Town in America" honors from 10Best - an organization operated by USA Today.  The two Northland communities are battling 18 other small towns from across the nation for the recognition. At the present time, Bayfield is leading the entire pack, with Grand Marais still in the top ten.

According to the website, here's the classification for the honors:

"Our 20 nominees for Best Coastal Small Town – each with a population of fewer than 25,000 people as of the last census – offer uncrowded, unpretentious and affordable seaside fun in small packages that prove bigger isn't always better."

The descriptions listed on the website for what makes each of these towns special should come as no surprise to Northlanders.  The entry for Bayfield lists the beautiful Victorian-era homes that dot the hillside as it approaches Lake Superior; the ballot also makes mention of the beautiful fall colors and the apple harvest.  For Grand Marais, 10Best touts the North Shore drive, local shops and restaurants, and the fact that the community is the gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Voting is currently open and runs until June 29.  After that date, company officials will tabulate the votes and finally announce the winner on July 10.

According to sources, this isn't the first time that Bayfield has been in the running for a similar honor.  Last year, Bayfield placed in the top ten (at number 9) in the same category.

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