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45 Fun Things to do in Duluth, Minnesota

What to Do in Duluth: Explore the Gem of the North Shore

Duluth, located on the northern shores of Lake Superior, is a vibrant city known for its scenic beauty, outdoor adventures, and rich history. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an art enthusiast, Duluth has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are six must-visit attractions and activities to make the most of your trip to Duluth.

1. Visit the Aerial Lift Bridge and Canal Park

Start your Duluth adventure by visiting the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Watch as massive ships pass under the bridge, or even take a harbor cruise to get up close to these mighty vessels. Adjacent to the bridge is Canal Park, a bustling waterfront district filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Stroll along the lakewalk, relax on the beach, or enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Superior.

2. Immerse Yourself in Nature at the Superior Hiking Trail

Duluth is a gateway to the Superior Hiking Trail, a 310-mile long footpath that winds through the stunning landscapes of Minnesota. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a scenic hike through lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking overlooks. The trail is suitable for all skill levels, offering something for both novice and experienced hikers.

3. Explore the Glensheen Historic Estate

Step back in time and discover the opulent Glensheen Historic Estate, a 39-room mansion nestled along the shore of Lake Superior. Take a guided tour through the meticulously preserved mansion, admire its grand architecture, and learn about the rich history of the Congdon family, who once called this place home. Be sure to explore the sprawling grounds and gardens while enjoying stunning views of the lake.

4. Experience the Great Lakes Aquarium

Dive deep into the underwater world of Lake Superior at the Great Lakes Aquarium. This engaging and educational attraction showcases the diverse aquatic life found in the Great Lakes region. From native fish species to playful otters, you’ll have the opportunity to see and learn about the fascinating creatures that inhabit these freshwater ecosystems. Don’t miss the daily animal feedings and interactive exhibits.

5. Engage in Outdoor Recreation at Jay Cooke State Park

For outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to Jay Cooke State Park is a must. Located just south of Duluth, this picturesque park offers miles of scenic hiking trails, picturesque picnic spots, and excellent fishing opportunities. Marvel at the dramatic St. Louis River gorge, stroll across the historic swinging bridge, and witness the power of nature as you explore this beautiful park.

6. Appreciate Art and Culture at the Duluth Art Institute

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Duluth at the Duluth Art Institute. Located in downtown Duluth, this contemporary art center features rotating exhibitions showcasing artwork in various mediums. Explore the galleries, participate in art workshops, or browse the gift shop filled with locally made treasures. The institute also hosts special events and performances throughout the year, providing a platform for local and regional artists to display their talent.


Q: Can I visit Duluth in the winter?

A: Absolutely! Duluth offers a plethora of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. The city is well-equipped to handle the snowy conditions, and you’ll find a warm and cozy atmosphere in the local shops and restaurants.

Q: What are some other notable attractions in Duluth?

A: In addition to the mentioned attractions, other notable places to visit in Duluth include the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, the Duluth Children’s Museum, and the North Shore Scenic Railroad. You can also explore Enger Park and Tower for stunning panoramic views and the Duluth Husky Homestead for an up-close encounter with sled dogs.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Duluth?

A: Yes! Duluth hosts a range of annual events and festivals, including the Duluth Airshow, Tall Ships Festival, Bayfront Reggae and World Music Festival, and the Bentleyville Tour of Lights during the holiday season. These events offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the city’s culture, traditions, and vibrant community.

Q: Is it possible to take a day trip to the Apostle Islands from Duluth?

A: It is possible to take a day trip to the Apostle Islands from Duluth. However, the islands are located in Wisconsin, so it requires a few hours of driving and a ferry ride from Bayfield. It’s recommended to plan a separate trip to fully explore and appreciate the beauty of the Apostle Islands.

Q: Where can I find more information about attractions and activities in Duluth?

A: For more detailed information about attractions, activities, and current events in Duluth, you can visit the official tourism website of Visit Duluth ( or contact their visitor information center for personalized recommendations and assistance.