Duluth, Minnesota has a rich history and natural beauty that draws visitors year-round. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, sightseeing in Duluth is a must-do activity. Here are some of the best sightseeing places in Duluth:
Canal Park is a must-visit destination in Duluth, located at the southernmost tip of Lake Superior. Here are some of the iconic attractions in Canal Park:
- Aerial Lift Bridge: A signature landmark in Duluth, the Aerial Lift Bridge spans the Duluth Ship Canal and lifts up to allow ships to pass through.
- Maritime Museum: A museum dedicated to the Duluth-Superior harbor and the Great Lakes maritime history.
- Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center: A visitor center with interactive exhibits about shipping on Lake Superior and the Great Lakes.
- Canal Park Brewery: A local brewery with a taproom and patio overlooking the Duluth harbor.
Here’s a quick reference showing the sightseeing destinations and important information about each.
|Sightseeing Spot||Location||Admission Fees||Hours of Operation||Main Attractions|
|Canal Park||Southern tip of Lake Superior||Free||Open 24/7||Aerial Lift Bridge, Maritime Museum, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Canal Park Brewery|
|Enger Tower||Enger Hill||Free||Open 24/7||80-foot observation tower with panoramic views|
|Duluth Lakewalk||Along the shore of Lake Superior||Free||Open 24/7||Leif Erikson Park, Fitger’s Brewery Complex, The Duluth Depot|
|Glensheen Mansion||Shores of Lake Superior||Guided tours: Adults $20, Children $9||Daily tours from 9am-4pm||39-room mansion with original furnishings and artwork|
|Spirit Mountain||9500 Spirit Mountain Pl, Duluth, MN 55810||Prices vary by activity||Hours vary by season||Alpine Coaster, zip lining, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing|
|Split Rock Lighthouse State Park||3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd, Two Harbors, MN 55616||Daily park pass: $8||Open 24/7||Split Rock Lighthouse, hiking trails, scenic views|
Enger Tower is a popular sightseeing spot in Duluth, located on top of Enger Hill. Here are some key points about this attraction:
- Description: Enger Tower is a 80-foot observation tower that provides stunning panoramic views of Duluth, Lake Superior, and the surrounding area.
- Views: From the top of Enger Tower, visitors can see for miles in every direction and enjoy beautiful views of the cityscape and natural landscape.
- History: Enger Tower was built in 1939 by a local businessman as a tribute to his Norwegian heritage.
The Duluth Lakewalk is a beautiful pathway that runs along the shore of Lake Superior for several miles. Here are some attractions to look out for along the way:
- Leif Erikson Park: A park with beautiful flower gardens, a large Viking ship sculpture, and a scenic overlook of Lake Superior.
- Fitger’s Brewery Complex: A historic brewery building that’s been converted into a shopping and dining destination with beautiful views of Lake Superior.
- The Duluth Depot: A historic train station that now houses several museums, including the Duluth Art Institute, the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.
Glensheen Mansion is a historic mansion located on the shores of Lake Superior. Here are some key points about this attraction:
- Description: Glensheen Mansion is a 39-room mansion built in 1905 by a wealthy businessman and his family. It is now open to the public for guided tours.
- History: Glensheen Mansion is a prime example of early 20th century architecture and design, and its rooms are filled with original furnishings and artwork.
- Guided tours: Visitors can take guided tours of the mansion, which include access to the grounds, the Carriage House, and the Boathouse.
Spirit Mountain is a popular year-round outdoor recreation area in Duluth, with plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some key points:
- Description: Spirit Mountain is a ski resort in the winter months and a mountain biking and outdoor recreation destination in the summer months.
- Outdoor activities: Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at Spirit Mountain, including skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, zip lining, and mountain biking.
- Alpine Coaster: The Timber Twister is a thrilling alpine coaster that winds through the woods and provides beautiful views of the St. Louis River and the surrounding area.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is a beautiful park located on the North Shore of Lake Superior, about 45 minutes from Duluth. Here are some key points about this attraction:
- Description: Split Rock Lighthouse State Park is a 2,200-acre park that features rugged cliffs, rocky beaches, and stunning views of Lake Superior.
- History: The park is home to Split Rock Lighthouse, a historic lighthouse built in 1910 that is now a National Historic Landmark.
- Hiking trails: Visitors can explore several hiking trails in the park, including the Gitchi-Gami State Trail, which runs along the shore of Lake Superior and offers beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area.
Other Popular Sightseeing Spots & Hidden Gems
In addition to the above attractions, there are several other popular sightseeing spots in Duluth:
- Great Lakes Aquarium: A freshwater aquarium with over 70 exhibits showcasing animals and habitats from the Great Lakes and around the world.
- Lake Superior Zoo: A 16-acre zoo featuring animals from around the world, including Amur tigers, kangaroos, and more.
- Jay Cooke State Park: A beautiful state park with scenic hiking trails, waterfalls, and a swinging bridge over the St. Louis River.
Duluth is also home to several hidden gem sightseeing spots that are worth checking out:
- Chester Park: A lesser-known park with hiking trails, a creek, and stunning views of Duluth from the top of the hill.
- Park Point: A long, narrow sandbar that separates Lake Superior from the Duluth harbor. It’s a great spot for a peaceful walk along the beach and watching the ships come in and out of the harbor.
- Hawk Ridge: A bird-watching hotspot where thousands of raptors, songbirds, and other birds of prey migrate through Duluth each fall. Visitors can see the birds up close and attend educational programs and events.
- S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum: This museum is housed in a historic ore boat that was once used to transport iron ore across the Great Lakes. Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history.
- Park Point Beach House: This historic beach house is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area. It’s a great spot for a swim, a picnic, or a walk along the beach.
- Duluth Art Institute: This art gallery showcases the work of local and regional artists and offers classes and workshops for aspiring artists. It’s a great place to discover new talent and support the local art community.
Duluth is a city with a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing. There are plenty of places to explore and discover from iconic landmarks to hidden gems. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, be sure to check out these best sightseeing places in Duluth on your next visit.