Duluth is a favorite spot of both Minnesota residents and visitors. My husband and I love visiting there because it’s just far enough away to seem like a vacation, but close enough that we can get back quickly, if needed. It’s perfect for a night or a weekend. We haven’t run out of things to do there, yet. If we ever do, the plan is to keep driving North. 🙂
If it’s your first time in the area, you’re going to want to visit Canal Park and do the normal tourist stuff. Grab some treats from the vendor cars, take a bike tour and visit the lighthouse. There’s also the Lake Superior Marine Museum, which is right on the lakewalk, doesn’t charge admission and has really interesting exibits on the history of the harbor and Lake Superior. They also have a ship schedule so you’ll know when big ships will come in and can watch them go under the lift bridge.
Here are some more great places to visit:
Enger Tower is located at the top of Enger Hill and overlooks the city, the harbor and St. Louis Bay. As you climb each level, it gets windier but the sights get better. There’s more to see in Enger Park, too. Fun trails, gorgeous views and gardens.
If shopping is your thing, definitely head over to Fitger’s. Fitger’s is an historic landmark with great building details and lots of shops that sell Minnesota wear. They’re located along the shoreline and there is access from both the boardwalk and Superior Street. If you’re looking for a place to stay, there is also a hotel here (it’s much bigger than it looks!)
Speaking of the shoreline, there IS a wonderful lakewalk that is very easy to walk (strollers, wheelchairs, wagons included) or run. But getting up close and personal with the majestic waters of Lake Superior is a great experience. It sounds cheesy, but I could watch the waves crash into the rocky shore all day.
While the shores of Lake Superior are what most people plan to see in Duluth, don’t pass up dowtown! Duluth’s downtown has it all, including a skyway system. There are big office buildings, hotels, a casino and lots of specialty shops, like the ever-adorable Fannie Rose Candy Shop.
While I don’t necessarily recommend going the route my husband I did (we called it the Eternal Bolt Quest and it took place in a very vacant part of town, on foot, where we came across this beautifully weathered old church), I do recommend going off the beaten path when you get a chance. Sure, there’s enough tourist attractions in this city to keep you busy for a few visits. But when the opportunity arises, branch out and see what else you can find. There is history and beauty for miles and lots to discover.