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Grand Marais ousted from 'Best Towns' contest

Grand Marais fell just short of advancing to the semifinals of Outside magazine's annual "Best Towns" online competition. The North Shore community was ousted by a strong showing from the Lake Michigan port city of Ludington, Mich. When the votin...

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Grand Marais fell just short of advancing to the semifinals of Outside magazine's annual "Best Towns" online competition.

The North Shore community was ousted by a strong showing from the Lake Michigan port city of Ludington, Mich. When the voting closed late Saturday, Ludington held an edge of just several hundred votes out of more than 25,000 cast since Tuesday; exact, final vote totals were not available as of Sunday night.

The matchup - in the "beach" quarter of the competition - drew twice as many votes as any of the other three pairings in the river, mountain and culture quarters in a contest to name the nation's best outdoors community.

The semifinals are Ludington vs. Billings, Mont., and Jackson, Wyo. vs. Seattle. Voting takes place at outsideonline.com .

The competition consists of several rounds of head-to-head battles lasting five days each, with the initial field of 64 communities narrowed down until just two towns remain. The final round will last from May 20-27, with the winner to be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

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Duluth won the title in 2014.

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