TripAdvisor’s top ten things to do in Duluth

List includes free things to do and paid things to do.

Bias admitted: I am the Director of Glensheen which is #6 on the list, so Glensheen gains from the promotion of this list. With that said, if you have traveled to Duluth extensively it is hard not to agree to the list, therefore I do feel this is a great guide for Duluth travelers of what you should see.

For many who come to Duluth, there are usually a variety of reasons that bring you to Duluth — from Tall Ships, to Canal Park, to Lake Superior. But, what do you do after that?

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

Minnesota’s North Shore Drive starts in Duluth at the Aerial Lift Bridge and goes down Superior Street to London Road, then continues down Highway 61 and all the way to Canada. Today it is one of the most popular tourism locations in the midwest.

What are the bucket list items on the North Shore?

Check this out —

2. Lakewalk

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

The Lakewalk in Duluth is one of the best ways to have an up close and personal experience with Laker Superior. Kids of all ages have enjoyed climbing on the rocks. The Lakewalk starts in Canal Park near the Aerial Lift Bridge and continues down the shoreline of Lake Superior passing the Fitger’s complex, the Edgewater Hotel and Water Park, Glensheen Mansion, through the Lakeside neighborhood, and ending at Brighton Beach.

3. Aerial Lift Bridge

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

The center of a Duluth Visitor experience. You can’t come to Duluth and not take a photo of ol’ lifty. If you do put it on social, we advise the hashtag #authenticduluth, especially on Instagram. The thing to do is to watch boats enter the harbors. To do this, look for the Ore Boat schedule (found at Maritime Museum), watch the lift bridge rise, then watch in awe as these giant ore boats pass underneath the lift bridge. It is a sight to see.

4. Canal Park

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

Canal Park is the mecca for tourists with great restaurants and local retail shopping. There are many great local restaurants like, Smokehaus, Lake Ave Cafe and of course, the famous Grandma’s restaurants to name a few. You will find the classic chains as well, such as Red Lobster to Famous Dave’s. For retail, you will find several great art galleries showcasing the region’s notable artists. Did you know that Duluth had more artists per capita than any other large city in Minnesota? Of course, you will also find Duluth Pack.

Learn more —

5. Enger Park and Tower

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

Enger Tower has one of the best vistas in a city of vistas. Plus, a climb to the top is always fun. Make sure to check out the Japanese Peace Bell, which you can ring and has a truly great story to it.

If you are looking for a picnic location, few are a better than the new pavilion at Enger.

6. Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

Glensheen is a 39-room mansion on 12 acres sitting on the shore of Lake Superior. It is a sight to see inside and out. Make sure to see their famous Breakfast room. Today, it is one of the most visited historic sites in all of Minnesota. In the summer their main tour is self-guided and great for kids.

Learn more —

7. Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is host to the Shipping News Newsletter which highlights the shipping schedule so you can watch for boats. But, it is much more than that. Inside is a great history of Lake Superior and its maritime history. You will find great recreated scenes of the inside of historic vessels of Lake Superior to one of the best locations to watch the boats as they go by… especially in the rain. If history is your thing, check this place out.

Learn more —

8. Leif Erickson Park and Rose Garden

Photo source — Jpellgen via flickr

Leif Erickson Park and the Rose Garden are a common location in Duluth for engagements and it doesn’t take much to see why. The Rose Garden in particular is a great place to relax and smell the roses. Literally. There is an amphitheater in Leif Erickson Park where you can watch concerts, plays and even movies on a jumbo screen in the summer. Otherwise, it is just a great location to throw a frisbee or attach a backpack hammock. If you take the Lakewalk it will lead you directly to both areas.

9. S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museums

Photo courtesy of Dennis O’Hara —

The S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum is a great way to see inside one of those giant ore boats you watch go under the lift bridge. Their guided tours of the Irvin are a great lesson in nautical history and tradition. Frankly, it is just cool to see the deep insides of the cargo hold to the Captain’s quarters. Plus, it is an easy walk from Canal Park.

Learn more —

10. Bike Tours by Duluth Experience and Day Tripper of Duluth

Photo courtesy of Duluth Experience

In the last five years, Duluth has spent a considerable amount of time and money to create one of the best mountain bike trail networks in the country. Now we can say, we are. To fully experience this awesome network you should go on a guided experience with:

Duluth Experience —


Day Tripper of Duluth —

There is a bias to this article — the author is me, Dan Hartman and I am the Director of one of the things to do on the list — Glensheen. Just wanted you to know. But the list is legit and you can see for yourself on TripAdvisor.

Category: Advisor

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