Things to Do in Duluth
The Zenith City
Duluth is famous for many things – it is one of the busiest ports in the country, is considered the most scenic city in the Midwest and once had the highest number of millionaires per capita in the country. Duluth owes its last distinction to its status as a shipping town that first traded in furs, and then in iron ore, timber and grain. Located in Northern Minnesota, Duluth is built on a 700-foot hill that overlooks the scenic ‘Lake Superior’. The city enjoys year-round cool weather, making it a popular destination to visit during warmer summer months. To learn about the coolest things to do in Duluth, do check out our list below.
Aerial Lift Bridge
The bridge is Duluth’s most iconic landmark and was built as the first transporter bridge in America. The bridge spans the ‘Duluth Ship Canal’ and can be raised to its full height of 135 feet, in only a minute. The bridge connects the Park Point Sandbar to the Canal Park – a tourist and recreation district. A former cluster of old warehouses has been transformed into tourist-friendly restaurants, antiques and other novelties shops, cafes and hotels. Do check out the 4.2 mile lake walk, The lighthouse pier, The Maritime Visitor Center and The Floating Ship Museum. This district definitely has something for everyone! Make sure to consider the park when sketching your itinerary of the best things to do in Duluth.
You can climb to the very top of this 80-foot, five-storey observation tower for some of the best views of the ‘Twin Ports’. The tower is made of blue stone and has lookouts on every level, from where you can gaze out at the gorgeous scenery. The tower was built as a tribute to Bert Enger- a businessman and a philanthropist who donated a sizeable chunk of his estate to the city. The tower was renovated in 2011.
Leif Erikson Park
This stunning park is located on the shores of Lake Superior and is named after the Nordic explorer- Leif Erikson. The park features two distinctive stone towers and marble gazebos, and has a large open field on which events are conducted throughout the year. The park has several benches overlooking the lake, which is an excellent place to laze and unwind with a picnic basket, as you savor the exquisite Nature-made beauty of this region. It is also home to a beautiful rose garden that has more than 3,000 rose bushes, as well as an herb garden. While here, don’t forget to visit the painstakingly restored Viking ship replica that commemorates the maiden voyage of Leif Erikson to North America more than a thousand years ago.
Glensheen Historic Estate
A mansion that serves as a historic house museum and is operated by the University of Minnesota- Glensheen, was originally built as a family home for Chester Adgate Congdon – a local lawyer and capitalist. The mansion is surrounded by a lavish formal terraced garden with an English-style landscape. The interiors of the house are trimmed or paneled in walnut, mahogany, cypress, fumed-oak and American walnut, and the furniture in each room is made of the same wood used in the woodwork. You can step back a 100 years in time and explore Duluth’s past through a guided tour – take your pick from ‘Nooks & Crannies Guided Tours’, ‘Grounds and Flashlight Tours’ and many more of such guided tour agencies. Special family-friendly holiday tours are held in the month of December. This estate has served as the backdrop for several cinematic productions, including ‘You’ll like My Mother’ in 1972 and ‘Girl Missing’ in more recent years. The mansion gained some infamy as the site of one of Duluth’s most famous murders, which also makes these tours one of the coolest things to do in Duluth.
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum
The museum is located in what was once the ‘Christian Science Church’, built in the year 1912. It is a part of the chain of library museums founded by David and Marsha Karpeles. Alongside some other libraries in Buffalo, Charleston, Fort Wayne, Tacoma and other cities, The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum houses the world’s largest collection of original manuscripts and documents. Admission to all the exhibitions at the museum is free and the museum’s permanent exhibitions include detailed Egyptian sandstone carving and intricate ship models.
Duluth’s only water park is also its most family-friendly attraction. Spread over 35,000 sq. ft, the indoor water-park is located in The Edgewater Resort. The vortex pool, water slides, lazy river, the ‘Tiki-Thriller’, and ‘The Tumbler’ are some of this park’s most popular attractions. Children will also enjoy the ‘Paradise Cove Arcade’ that has more than 40 games, and the ‘Tiki Adventure Island’ that has a pool, hot tub, mini golf and movies all through the year! Fuel your Tiki adventure at ‘Tiki Tom’s Oasis and Grill’, which offers poolside dining.
Are you eager to dive into the many attractions of Duluth? Do take a look at Lookupfare’s OTA to find the best flights to Duluth. You’ll be surprised at how painless and cost-effective your planning for a Duluth getaway can be!