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A Complete guide for a Weekend in Duluth Minnesota

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A weekend Up North chasing waterfalls by day and trying new dinner, treat and specialty drink spots by night is the best kind of weekend in my books! Duluth Minnesota offers so much for every traveler and we spent a weekend trying to get a taste of it all. If you’re looking for a great staycation to change up your scenery, Duluth has to be on your list. Read on for the top things to see and do on a weekend visit!

Where to Stay

Canal Park is iconic and makes for a great base to explore for a weekend in Duluth. We had a wonderful stay at The Inn on Lake Superior in a lake-view room with a fireplace. It was so relaxing starting our days with views of the lake from the balcony and ending the nights by sitting alongside the fireplace.

The Inn offers a lot of amenities: a great beverage bar (e.g. Tazo tea, coffee and flavored water), a fun S’mores bar with lakeside fires and a fabulous rooftop heated pool with a view of the Lift Bridge. There is also an indoor pool. You can opt for fun add-on packages too. We enjoyed the Getaway Package which includes a bottle of champagne, chocolates from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (there’s a location in Canal Park!) and keepsake champagne flutes amongst rose petals. A very special set up when you enter the room!

The staff was all incredibly friendly and willing to help which made our stay even more special.

Thank you to The Inn on Lake Superior for hosting our visit. As always, this review is my opinion.

Chase Waterfalls

Duluth has so many great waterfall spots right within the city! You don’t have to hike far if you don’t want to but you certainly can turn these spots in to longer day hikes! We spent a few hours checking out these beautiful falls:

  • Chester Bowl: this spot is truly a hidden gem that locals visit but visitors may not know about. There’s a great parking lot area and from there you can hike downhill just a couple minutes and you’ll already find these beautiful falls! If you go a little way uphill, you’ll also find some fun ski sheds with skis decorating the outside! We saw quite a few people continue their hike even further so you could turn this in to a longer outing. Grab a bite to eat At Sara’s Table Chester Creek afterwards!
  • Kingsbury Creek: on the south side of Duluth is the beautiful Kingsbury Creek which ultimately meets up with the Superior Hiking Trail! You can walk just a little way and find some beautiful rushing parts of the creek. You can also hop on the SHT and get a good trail hike in too.
  • Lester Park: on the north side of Duluth is a beautiful park with a historic bridge and a beautiful creek with rushing falls. It’s a very serene area to walk around and enjoy the rushing water. I particularly loved the bridge!

Explore the Lincoln Park Craft District

The Lincoln Park Craft District in Duluth has exploded with creative businesses in recent years and is a must visit area on your visit. Below are the top places I’d recommend stopping in this area during your weekend in Duluth.

  • Duluth Grill: an incredibly popular restaurant (and for good reason!) this spot is open from 8-3pm daily. We visited for breakfast and enjoyed a delicious berry smoothie, the besan chilla (fromthe vegan menu), Huevos Rancheros and a honey berry cake. Everything was so delicious!
  • Ursa Minor Brewing: one of the most fun spots in Duluth is Ursa Minor. Both the indoor and outdoor spaces are beautifully decorated and perfectly set up for hanging out with friends over good beer and food. I particularly loved the patio for our visit – it has great distancing and bonfire pits, all under string lights. We enjoyed a dinner here of margherita pizza and beer!
  • Love Creamery: if you love ice cream, you have to try Love Creamery! No matter the weather, this place is busy because it’s so good. Any flavor is good and they do a great job of changing up the seasonal offerings. My favorites are London Fog and Chai but Ryan’s Salted Caramel and Maple Bourbon Pecan were a very close second!
  • Duluth Cider: I’m a huge Minnesota cider fan (check out my recent article here) and Duluth Cider is one of my favorites. They stock some of the popular flavors in liquor stores in Minneapolis so we can enjoy it even when we’re not in Duluth but it’s definitely best fresh from the tap! They experiment with fun flavor combinations so we enjoyed a flight to try some new ones: Las Lajas (a staple on their menu!), Trailside, Blueberry Maple and Ruby were all so good. We also tasted the Mimosa (only offered on Sunday) which was delicious too.
  • Free Air Life Co. is an awesome shop focused on items for the outdoor lover! They stock sustainable, eco-friendly clothing and accessories brands for men and women. I wanted to buy everything in the store – it’s all so fun, cozy and practical!
  • Duluth’s Best Bread is only a 3 min drive from the main Lincoln Park area and really does have the best bread! We enjoyed baked goodies + the wild rice bread!
  • A few other great options in the area include: OMC Smokehouse, Wild State Cider and Dovetail Café

Walk Around Canal Park

Canal Park is a classic Duluth area and should not be missed! Walk along the water and take in the harbor views. Below are some fun stops to make along the way:

  • Lift Bridge – if you’re lucky, you may catch a ship passing under the bridge! Even if not, it’s still a beautiful site to take in.
  • Vikre Distillery – right before the bridge is Vikre Distillery.  It’s a very popular place to grab cocktails made with their liquor.  We enjoyed sitting outside on their patio under the string lights!
  • Northern Waters Smokehaus – if you like smoked fish, or smoked meat, you have to stop at Northern Waters! Order ahead of time so your food is waiting for you upon arrival.  I can’t recommend the salmon bagel sandwich enough!! Incredibly delicious.  Ryan also loved his Cedar’s Secret sandwich. We brought ours to Duluth Cider in the Lincoln Park Craft District to enjoy with cider.
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company – the chocolate made here is delicious and decadent! We typically stop in here to grab chocolates for the drive home.  On this visit, we enjoyed a wonderful box of chocolates as part of our Getaway Package at The Inn!
  • If you’re up for a little drive further east, drive across the lift bridge and check out Park Point.

Take a Drive to these spots within 75 min of Duluth

You could spend an entire weekend just in Duluth and not run out of things to do! However, if you’re looking for some fun spots within a 75 minute drive of your Duluth base, check out these beautiful areas:

  • Shovel Point (70 min)
  • Beaver River Falls (1 hour)
  • Gooseberry Falls (45 min)
  • Iona’s Beach (50 min)
  • Amnicon Falls State Park (30 min, in Wisconsin)

Are you ready to plan your weekend in Duluth adventure?  For even more great ideas, check out Visit Duluth’s website here.

Note – This blog post was sponsored by Visit Duluth. All opinions are my own. 

For more stops along Minnesota’s North Shore, check out my article here! More Minnesota travel ideas can be found here.

Happy Planning!

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