The 20 Best Things to Do in Duluth You Shouldn’t Miss

Duluth, Minnesota, nestled on the banks of Lake Superior, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all interests. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a lover of art and culture, Duluth has something for everyone.

From breathtaking natural landscapes to engaging museums and iconic landmarks, this city has a wealth of opportunities to explore and enjoy. In this guide, we will highlight some of the best things to do in Duluth, MN, ensuring that your visit to this charming city is filled with unforgettable experiences. Get ready to discover the hidden gems and vibrant attractions that make Duluth a must-visit destination in the Midwest.

1. LEIF ERIKSON PARK

LEIF ERIKSON PARK
LEIF ERIKSON PARK

Leif Erikson Park is a beautiful lakeside park located on the shores of Lake Superior. It is known for its stunning rose garden, which features over 3,000 rose bushes and is a popular spot for weddings and picnics. The park offers breathtaking views of the lake and is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Duluth.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the lake shore, have a picnic in the park, or simply soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Leif Erikson Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking peace and serenity.

2. SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE

SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE
SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE

Located about an hour from Duluth, Split Rock Lighthouse is a historic landmark that offers a glimpse into the area’s rich maritime history. Perched on a cliff on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the lighthouse provides spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take a guided tour of the lighthouse and explore the museum that showcases artifacts and exhibits related to the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.

The area surrounding Split Rock Lighthouse also offers hiking trails and picnic areas, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re interested in history or simply want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Superior, a visit to Split Rock Lighthouse should not be missed.

3. Wild State Cider

Wild State Cider
Wild State Cider

If you’re a fan of craft cider, then a visit to Wild State Cider in the heart of downtown Duluth is a must. This trendy establishment is located in the Lincoln Park Craft District and offers a wide variety of handcrafted ciders made from locally sourced ingredients. The taproom features a vibrant and inviting atmosphere where you can relax with a glass of cider and enjoy live music performances by local artists.

The knowledgeable staff at Wild State Cider can guide you through their selection of ciders and provide insights into the cider-making process. Whether you’re a cider connoisseur or just looking for a unique and refreshing drink, Wild State Cider is the place to be.

4. Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights
Bentleyville Tour of Lights

During the winter months, Bayfront Festival Park transforms into a magical wonderland with the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. This popular event features a stunning display of over 5 million lights, creating a festive and enchanting atmosphere for visitors of all ages.

From dazzling light sculptures to towering Christmas trees, Bentleyville offers a breathtaking experience that will fill you with holiday cheer. In addition to the light display, visitors can enjoy activities such as ice skating, marshmallow roasting, and visits with Santa Claus. The Bentleyville Tour of Lights is a beloved tradition in Duluth and is sure to create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

5. Train Tour

Train Tour Duluth
Train Tour Duluth

Embark on a scenic train tour with the North Shore Scenic Railroad and discover the beauty of Duluth and its surrounding areas. The train departs from downtown Duluth and takes you on a journey along the picturesque shoreline of Lake Superior. As you ride the rails, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the lake and the rugged landscapes of the North Shore.

The train tour also offers the opportunity to visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, where you can learn about the history of the railway and explore vintage locomotives and train cars. With its charm and nostalgia, the train tour is a unique way to experience the beauty of Duluth.

6. Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial

Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial
Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial

The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial is a significant landmark located in downtown Duluth. The memorial honors the memory of three African American men who were wrongfully accused of a crime and lynched in 1920. It serves as a powerful reminder of the racial injustices that have occurred in our history and serves as a symbol of resilience and hope.

The memorial features a sculpture that depicts the three victims and includes plaques with historical information and quotes. It provides visitors with an opportunity to reflect on the importance of equality and social justice. A visit to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial is a moving and educational experience that highlights the cultural heritage of the United States.

7. Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center

Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center
Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center

The Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center is a state-of-the-art sports complex that offers a wide range of recreational activities for individuals and families. The center features multiple ice rinks, making it a premier destination for hockey enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you can enjoy public skating sessions or join a league.

In addition to hockey, the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center hosts community events and offers facilities for other sports such as figure skating and curling. The center also includes a fitness center and a concession area, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to participate in sports or simply want to cheer on your favorite team, the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Center is a fantastic place to visit.

8. Happy Hooker Charters

Happy Hooker Charters
Happy Hooker Charters

For those who love fishing, a charter trip with Happy Hooker Charters is an exhilarating experience. Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Happy Hooker Charters offers guided fishing trips for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the experienced captains and crew will ensure that you have an enjoyable and successful fishing excursion.

The charter trips provide the opportunity to catch a variety of fish, including lake trout, salmon, and walleye. With its stunning scenery and abundant fish population, Lake Superior offers a truly unique and rewarding fishing experience. Book a trip with Happy Hooker Charters and create memories that will last a lifetime.

9. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

Step back in time at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum and discover a collection of rare and historic documents. Located in downtown Duluth, the museum showcases an impressive array of manuscripts, including original documents from famous historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein. Visitors can learn about the historical significance of these manuscripts through informative exhibits and guided tours.

The museum provides a unique educational experience, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the people and events that have shaped our world. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the past, a visit to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum is sure to be a fascinating and enriching experience.

10 Reasons to Visit Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort

Reasons to Visit Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort
Reasons to Visit Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort is a premier destination for those seeking a relaxing and fun-filled getaway. Located on the picturesque shores of Bay Lake, the resort offers stunning lake views and a tranquil atmosphere. With a wide range of activities and amenities, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort caters to guests of all ages.

Families can enjoy swimming in the lake, playing beach volleyball, and taking part in organized activities such as treasure hunts and bonfires. Golf enthusiasts can hit the links at the resort’s championship golf course, while nature lovers can explore the surrounding forests and hiking trails. Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort provides the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, making it an ideal choice for your next vacation.

11. BRIGHTON BEACH PARK

BRIGHTON BEACH PARK
BRIGHTON BEACH PARK

Located on Park Point, Brighton Beach Park is a hidden gem that offers a serene and picturesque setting. This beautiful park is situated on the shores of Lake Superior, providing breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding shoreline. Visitors can relax on the sandy beach, take a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, or have a picnic in one of the designated picnic areas.

The park is also a popular spot for birdwatching and offers opportunities for fishing and swimming. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun, enjoy a peaceful walk, or simply take in the beauty of Lake Superior, Brighton Beach Park is a perfect destination.

12. Playfront Park on the Bay

Playfront Park on the Bay
Playfront Park on the Bay

Playfront Park on the Bay is a family-friendly destination located on Park Point in Duluth. This waterfront park offers a range of activities and amenities for all ages. Children will love the expansive playground area, which features slides, swings, climbing structures, and more.

The park also provides access to the sandy beach of Lake Superior, allowing families to swim, build sand castles, and enjoy the beautiful shoreline. In addition to the playground and beach, Playfront Park on the Bay offers picnic areas, walking trails, and scenic views of the lake. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Duluth, Playfront Park on the Bay is a great place to spend quality time with your family.

13. Incline Station Bowling & Banquet Facilities

Incline Station Bowling & Banquet Facilities
Incline Station Bowling & Banquet Facilities

For a fun-filled day of family entertainment, head to Incline Station Bowling & Banquet Facilities in downtown Duluth. This popular bowling alley offers a range of activities for all ages. Families can enjoy bowling games on the well-maintained lanes, play arcade games in the game room, or challenge each other to a game of pool.

Incline Station also features a banquet hall that can be rented for special occasions such as birthday parties and corporate events. Whether you’re a seasoned bowler or a novice, Incline Station Bowling & Banquet Facilities offers hours of entertainment and fun for the whole family.

14. Duluth Huskies Baseball Club

Duluth Huskies Baseball Club
Duluth Huskies Baseball Club

Catch a baseball game and enjoy some summer entertainment with the Duluth Huskies Baseball Club. The Duluth Huskies are a collegiate summer baseball team that plays their home games at Wade Stadium in Duluth. Fans can cheer on the team as they compete against other teams from the Northwoods League.

Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the ballpark, indulge in some ballpark food, and watch talented young athletes showcase their skills on the field. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or simply looking for a fun evening out, a visit to a Duluth Huskies game is sure to be a memorable experience.

15. Lake Superior Zoo

Lake Superior Zoo
Lake Superior Zoo

Explore the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Lake Superior Zoo in West Duluth. This family-friendly attraction is home to a wide variety of animal exhibits, including big cats, primates, birds, reptiles, and more. Visitors can learn about different species through informative signage and educational presentations.

The zoo also offers interactive experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters, allowing guests to get up close and personal with some of their favorite animals. With its focus on conservation and education, the Lake Superior Zoo provides a unique and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

16. The Rose Garden at Leif Erikson Park

The Rose Garden at Leif Erikson Park
The Rose Garden at Leif Erikson Park

Located within Leif Erickson Park, the Rose Garden is a stunning display of beauty and elegance. This enchanting garden features over 3,000 rose bushes, creating a vibrant and colorful oasis in the heart of Duluth. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, marveling at the diverse array of roses in full bloom.

The tranquil atmosphere and captivating scent of the flowers make the Rose Garden a perfect place to relax and unwind. With its breathtaking views of Lake Superior and meticulously maintained grounds, the Rose Garden is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful escape.

17. Traverse Duluth

Traverse Duluth
Traverse Duluth

Embark on an outdoor adventure and explore the natural beauty of Duluth with Traverse Duluth. This local tour company offers guided hikes and outdoor experiences that showcase the stunning landscapes of the North Shore. From scenic waterfall hikes to challenging treks along the Superior Hiking Trail, Traverse Duluth provides opportunities for hikers of all skill levels.

Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours offer insights into the local flora, fauna, and history of the area. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply enjoy being outdoors, Traverse Duluth offers a unique and immersive way to experience the great outdoors.

18. Plan your trip with our free travel guides

Plan your trip with our free travel guides
Plan your trip with our free travel guides

For a comprehensive guide to planning your trip to Duluth, be sure to check out our free travel guides. These handy resources provide valuable information on the best attractions, restaurants, accommodations, and more. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, our travel guides have you covered. Download our free travel guides and make the most of your visit to Duluth.

19. Canal Park Duluth

Canal Park Duluth
Canal Park Duluth

Canal Park is a vibrant waterfront district located on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth. This popular destination offers a variety of attractions, including shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

One of the main highlights of Canal Park is the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, which allows ships to pass through and connects the park to Park Point. Visitors can watch the bridge in action as it lifts and lowers for passing ships or take a stroll along the lakefront and enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Superior. With its lively atmosphere, stunning views, and unique charm, Canal Park is a must-visit when in Duluth.

20. Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra

Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra
Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra

Experience the magic of live music with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. Established in 1932, this renowned orchestra showcases the talent of local musicians and brings world-class performances to the heart of Duluth.

From classical masterpieces to contemporary works, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra offers a diverse range of musical experiences that will delight and enchant audiences. Whether you’re a music aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of live performances, attending a concert by the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra is sure to be a memorable cultural event.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see attractions in Duluth?

Some must-see attractions in Duluth include the historic Glensheen Mansion, the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, the scenic North Shore Scenic Drive, the vibrant Canal Park district, and the fascinating Great Lakes Aquarium. These attractions offer a combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique experiences that showcase the best of Duluth.

Are there any outdoor activities available in Duluth?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Duluth. From skiing and snowboarding at Spirit Mountain to exploring the hiking trails along the North Shore, from relaxing on Park Point Beach to participating in water sports on Lake Superior, outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities to connect with nature in Duluth.

What are some family-friendly activities to do in Duluth?

Duluth offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. Visit the Lake Superior Zoo to see a variety of animals, explore the interactive exhibits at the Duluth Children’s Museum, enjoy the fun-filled events at Bayfront Festival Park, take a scenic ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad, or cruise the waters of Lake Superior with Vista Fleet Cruises.

Are there any free or low-cost things to do in Duluth?

Discovering Duluth on a budget is easy with free or low-cost activities like exploring Leif Erikson Park, visiting Brighton Beach Park, and enjoying the beauty of the Rose Garden at Leif Erikson Park. Experience the charm of Duluth without breaking the bank.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *