Escape to the breathtaking beauty of Duluth, for an unforgettable weekend getaway. Nestled on the scenic shores of Lake Superior, this charming city offers a perfect blend of natural wonders, outdoor adventures, and captivating history. Here’s some great ideas for things to do in Duluth, Minnesota!
Whether you’re seeking exhilarating hikes along rugged trails, serene waterfront strolls, or a taste of the local culinary delights, Duluth has it all. Get ready to immerse yourself in the splendor of the Great Lakes region as we guide you through the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and insider tips for a truly remarkable weekend – with out list of things do do in Duluth, Minnesota.
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Here are the Top Five Things To Do in Duluth, Minnesota
1. Explore Canal Park
Begin your adventure in Duluth by visiting the vibrant Canal Park district. Stroll along the scenic Lakewalk, enjoy the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge (601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802) in action, and browse through unique shops and boutiques. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center (600 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802) for a fascinating glimpse into the region’s maritime history.
2. Visit Split Rock Lighthouse
3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd, Two Harbors, MN 55616
Just a short drive from Duluth, the historic Split Rock Lighthouse stands as a beacon atop rugged cliffs, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Superior. Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating past, explore the restored keeper’s quarters, and immerse yourself in the maritime heritage of the area.
3. Engage with Nature at Jay Cooke State Park
780 MN-210, Carlton, MN 55718
Located southwest of Duluth, Jay Cooke State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike along picturesque trails that wind through deep gorges, cross the swinging suspension bridge over the St. Louis River, or embark on a scenic biking adventure. The park’s rugged beauty and abundant wildlife make it a must-visit destination.
4. Experience the Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802
Dive into the wonders of the underwater world at the Great Lakes Aquarium. Discover fascinating exhibits showcasing the diverse marine life of the Great Lakes region, from freshwater fish to colorful corals. Get up close and personal with interactive displays, catch live animal feedings, and even touch a stingray.
5. Make Memories with a Vista Fleet Cruise on Lake Superior
323 Harbor Dr., Duluth, MN 55802
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Lake Superior and create unforgettable memories with a Vista Fleet Cruise. Set sail on the pristine waters of the world’s largest freshwater lake and immerse yourself in a captivating journey of exploration. Marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the rugged shoreline, picturesque lighthouses, and majestic cliffs as you cruise along. Whether you choose a leisurely sightseeing tour, a romantic sunset cruise, or a themed adventure, the Vista Fleet offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s desire. Indulge in exquisite dining, relax on spacious decks, and let the gentle waves serenade you as you embark on an extraordinary voyage filled with joy, wonder, and cherished moments that will last a lifetime. Locally owned and operated, a cruise on Vista Fleet…is pretty neat!
These top five activities in Duluth offer a diverse range of experiences, from natural beauty and outdoor adventures to historical landmarks and family-friendly attractions. Plan your itinerary accordingly to make the most of your weekend getaway in this enchanting city.
Duluth: A Foodie’s Paradise
After exploring any of these fun attractions, you’ll definitely have worked up an appetite. Thankfully, Duluth is a foodie’s paradise.
Duluth offers a delightful culinary scene that caters to diverse palates. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a casual diner, or a connoisseur of craft beverages, this vibrant city has something to offer for everyone. From cozy cafes serving up delicious homemade pastries and freshly brewed coffee to upscale eateries boasting innovative cuisine, Duluth’s food scene is a true reflection of the city’s unique charm. With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, farm-to-table concepts, and a strong sense of community, the dining experience in Duluth promises to be a memorable journey for all. Moreover, the city is known for its flourishing craft beer scene, with numerous breweries crafting distinctive ales, lagers, and specialty brews. Whether you’re sipping on a refreshing pint overlooking the picturesque lake or exploring the wide variety of handcrafted cocktails at stylish bars, Duluth’s drink culture is an experience that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your spirits lifted. So, embark on a culinary adventure in Duluth, where the fusion of flavors, warm hospitality, and breathtaking views create an unparalleled dining experience that will captivate and delight your senses.
To get your tummy’s journey started here’s our picks for must-visit restraurants in the area.
Here are the Top Five Places to Eat in Duluth, Minnesota
Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar
394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Located in the heart of Canal Park, Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar is renowned for its delectable cuisine and stunning lake views. Indulge in a diverse menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, and creative vegetarian options. With an extensive wine list and impeccable service, it’s the perfect spot for a memorable dining experience.
Va Bene Caffe
734 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802
Tucked away on the edge of Lake Superior, Va Bene Caffe is a charming Italian eatery known for its authentic flavors and warm ambiance. Savor classic dishes like homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and mouthwatering desserts. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive wine list, and don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking lake views from their outdoor patio.
118 S 27th Ave W, Duluth, MN 55806
A local favorite, Duluth Grill is a must-visit for those seeking a farm-to-table experience. This cozy restaurant focuses on using locally sourced, organic ingredients to create hearty and delicious meals. From their famous wild rice pancakes to mouthwatering burgers and vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone at Duluth Grill.
New Scenic Café
5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804
Just outside of Duluth, the New Scenic Café is a hidden gem nestled along the scenic North Shore. This charming café offers a unique blend of flavors and artistic presentations in a picturesque setting. Delight your taste buds with dishes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients.
1909 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806
For lovers of barbecue and smoked meats, OMC Smokehouse is a must-visit destination. Located in the Lincoln Park Craft District, this trendy eatery serves up mouthwatering dishes with a modern twist. Feast on succulent ribs, smoked brisket, pulled pork, and an array of tantalizing sides. Their creative cocktails and laid-back atmosphere make it a perfect spot for a casual and satisfying meal.
These top five eateries in Duluth offer a diverse range of culinary experiences, from upscale dining with stunning views to cozy cafes and flavorful barbecue. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or looking for a memorable dining experience, these restaurants are sure to satisfy your taste buds during your weekend getaway in Duluth, Minnesota.
Quirky Duluth: Five Weird (and/or Fun) Must-See Attractions in Duluth
To really make the most of your time in Duluth, we recommend getting off the beaten path and exploring some of the quirkier aspects of the city which make it so much fun.
The World’s Largest Rubber Duck
Website and Facebook
Duluth is home to the World’s Largest Rubber Duck. Standing at a whopping six stories tall and weighing over 11 tons, this giant inflatable duck has become an iconic attraction during special events and festivals in the city. It’s a quirky sight that brings a smile to visitors of all ages.
The world is her bathtub, so the Big Duck does tour around the globe. Check her tour schedule to see when she returns to her Duluth home.
Glensheen Mansion’s Infamous Incident
3300 London Rd, Duluth, MN 55804
Glensheen Mansion, a historic estate in Duluth, was the site of a notorious incident known as the “Glensheen Murders.” In 1977, two members of the mansion’s Congdon family were tragically murdered. The 39-room mansion now offers tours that explore the intriguing history and legends surrounding the property.
There’s so much more to the mansion than simply the macabre, but that’s what continues to bring in the tourists.
Duluth’s Underground Tunnels
Duluth has an intricate system of underground tunnels. Originally built for utility purposes, the tunnels now have a mysterious reputation. There are stories of secret passageways, hidden speakeasies from the Prohibition era, and even ghostly encounters. While some tunnels are accessible, exploring them can be an adventure in itself, always use common sense and caution when doing exploration such as this.
The Grandma’s Marathon
Duluth hosts an annual marathon known as Grandma’s Marathon. While not quirky or odd, what’s unique about this event is its name. It was named after a local restaurant, Grandma’s Saloon & Grill, as a tribute to the establishment’s support and contribution to the marathon. So, participants can proudly say they ran Grandma’s Marathon!
The Lakewalk’s Glowing Pebbles
Along Duluth’s Lakewalk, you might stumble upon an intriguing phenomenon – glowing pebbles. On certain nights, when conditions are right, these pebbles emit a faint, ethereal glow. The phenomenon, known as bioluminescence, is caused by tiny organisms called dinoflagellates. It adds a magical touch to evening strolls along Lake Superior.
These attractions showcase the unique and unexpected aspects of Duluth that make it an intriguing and memorable destination. From oversized rubber ducks to mysterious tunnels and glowing pebbles, Duluth has its fair share of fascinating oddities that only add to its charm.
If you’re looking for a captivating weekend getaway, look no further than Duluth, Minnesota. Nestled on the picturesque shores of Lake Superior, this charming city offers a plethora of reasons to visit. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Canal Park, where you can witness the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge in action and explore unique shops. Experience the rich maritime history at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center or venture beyond to marvel at the historic Split Rock Lighthouse. Delve into the wonders of nature at Jay Cooke State Park, with its stunning trails and swinging suspension bridge. Indulge in delectable cuisine at local eateries, from farm-to-table delights to mouthwatering barbecue. Whether you seek adventure, natural beauty, fascinating history, or memorable dining experiences, Duluth has it all. With its unique blend of captivating landscapes and quirky attractions, a weekend in Duluth promises an unforgettable journey that will leave you longing to return.
Love Minnesota? You betcha!
If you love Minnesota as much as we do, you’ll probably love these cute items. They’ll definitely have you saying, “oh for cute”! Hehe…
About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog (JackAndKitty.com) and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.