Grand Marais has advanced to the "Sweet 16" round of Outside magazine's annual "Best Towns" online competition, but Bayfield fell short in its bid to move on.
In second-round voting that closed Wednesday night, Grand Marais defeated the Atlantic Ocean beach town of Duxbury, Mass., with 5,475 votes to 3,753 for Duxbury.
Bayfield fell short in its pairing with the Lake Michigan port city of Ludington, Mich. - 5,036 votes to 5,766 for Ludington.
Next up for Grand Marais: Yachats, a community on the central Oregon coast. Grand Marais held a slight lead in early voting Thursday. Voting in the third round closes at 10:59 p.m. Central time Monday; you can vote here.
Grand Marais are among the four towns remaining in the "beach" quarter of the bracket, with the other 12 remaining towns split among the river, mountain and culture quarters in a competition to name the nation's best outdoors community.
The contest consists of several rounds of head-to-head competition lasting five days each, with the initial field of 64 communities narrowed down until just two towns remain. The final round of voting will last from May 20-27. The winner will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
Duluth won the title in 2014; Chattanooga, Tenn., won last year.