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10 Fun Things To Do in Duluth Minnesota

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Heading to Duluth, Minnesota?  If so, here are 10 fun things to do in Duluth while you are there.

Duluth is packed with family friendly things to do year round.  It is a great destination for a family vacation or a long weekend.  The setting of the small city set in the hills of Lake Superior is beautiful to be sure.

When you get to Duluth, check out these 10 spots.


10 Fun Things to do in Duluth, Minnesota

Canal Park

Canal Park is an area near Lake Superior near downtown Duluth.  At Canal Park you will find all sorts of shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment.  Canal Park is a great place to spend the afternoon.  Many of the businesses in Canal Park are in converted warehouses from the great shipping days, which gives Canal Park a whole lot of character.  From Canal Park you can walk along Lake Superior's shore and bask in its greatness.  You will also be very close to a few of the other 10 fun things to do in Duluth that appear in this list so if you stay in a hotel near Canal Park it will be a great home base.

Lighthouse Pier

Duluth Lighthouse

At the end of Canal Park is a long pier that stretches out into Lake Superior, ending with a lighthouse.  A walk to the end of the pier and back is a popular thing to do in Duluth.  If you are lucky, you will get to see a huge freighter heading down the canal or waiting out in the lake to enter the port.  If you are even luckier you might hear the rumble of the powerful foghorn.  The sheer size of these vessels will astound you.  You will also get a good look at Duluth's famous Lift Bridge, an important icon for the city.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

Also in Canal Park, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is a great way to learn more about the lake itself.  You can see movies, see exhibits, and learn about Duluth's important port and its history.  There is no charge to get in, so stop by for some free entertainment and education while you're in Canal Park.

Charter Fishing

While you're near the Lake Superior, you might as well head out and catch some fish.  The best way to do that is on a charter fishing trip.  Lake Superior can be an intimidating lake for visitors with its massive size and chilly water, but the locals know just how to handle it and where to go to have a great day of fishing.  There are several local options available and fishing in Lake Superior's clear and icy cold waters will be an experience you won't soon forget. 

Great Lakes Aquarium

Another attraction in Duluth located right on Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Aquarium, focuses on aquatic life found in Great Lakes as well as other areas.  You will find over 70 species from fish to amphibians to reptiles, ranging from otters to fish and even seahorses.  The aquarium is a great way to get to know about some of Lake Superior's inhabitants.

Lake Superior Zoo

There are hundreds of animals to see at Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo.  You will find lions and tigers and bears indeed, but also many more local and exotic species.  The Lake Superior Zoo is relatively small at 16 acres but the setting is beautiful and you can see everything from a kangaroo to a polar bear.  It also includes an area where children can interact with some of the animals and animal feedings daily, and there is a zoo train that will take you on a tour of the zoo as well.

North Shore Scenic Railroad

The North Shore Scenic Railroad is a trip that will stay with you for a long time.  You can select from a short trip to a trip all the way to Two Rivers and back, or other special seasonal routes (check to see what's currently offered), including the family focused "pizza train" ride.  Trips start at Union Depot in downtown Duluth.  From your train car you will see downtown Duluth, Canal Park, and the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior.  The ride to Two Rivers and back takes about 6 hours.

Duluth, MN

Spirit Mountain Recreation Area

Winter enthusiasts need to play in the snow while in Duluth, and that means Spirit Mountain.  Spirit Mountain is a great ski venue with 22 runs,  a Super Pipe, and 22 miles of cross-country ski trails that are astoundingly beautiful.  Snow is usually not a problem in Duluth, but dont' worry.  Spirit Mountain can make its own snow so you will certainly be able to ski here during the Winter months.  They have a beginner's area as well, so even if you don't ski you can come and check it out.

Grandma's Marathon

Duluth has become famous for the annual Grandma's Marathon, held every Summer.  People from the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota, and all over the country come to run in the event.  The Grandma's Marathon starts in Two Harbors on Lake Superior's North Shore and ends in Duluth's Canal Park, near Grandma's Saloon & Grill.  There are not many marathons that will offer the beauty of this North Shore run.  The route follows the old highway along Lake Superior's rocky shore the whole way until it finally enters the city of Duluth.

Lake Superior's North Shore

Although it is not actually in Duluth, Lake Superior's North Shore is an easy day trip from Duluth and is a must for any visitor with the time to go.  The "North Shore", as it is simply called by folks from Minnesota, is lined with outstanding state parks, rocky cliffs, lighthouses, and fresh water trout streams.  You will find all sorts of waterfalls and hiking trails to entertain you for the day and, if you want to camp, there are dozens of campsites along the way.  Bring your camera and a good pair of shoes and see what awaits you when you travel up the North Shore.


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