Locals Guide: Places to Explore in Duluth, MN

Duluth is a beautiful city on Lake Superior’s North Shore. It is known for its stunning natural scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture. But, with so many things to see and do, planning a trip to Duluth can be overwhelming. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top places to explore in Duluth, MN.

Explore the city’s many parks and trails, stroll along the Lakewalk, or visit the famous Aerial Lift Bridge. You can also learn about the city’s rich history by visiting the Glensheen Mansion, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, or the S.S. William A. Irvin Museum. 

With so much to see and do, Duluth is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a more extended trip. But don’t just take my word for it; let these awesome spots speak for themselves.

Top Attractions

When visiting Duluth, there are plenty of attractions to explore. Here are some of the top attractions to add to your itinerary:

Canal Park

Canal Park is a must-visit destination in Duluth. Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this historic district offers a variety of activities for visitors. Walk along the Lakewalk, which offers stunning views of the lake and the Aerial Lift Bridge. 

The park also features a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions, including the Great Lakes Aquarium and the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.

Aerial Lift Bridge

The Aerial Lift Bridge is one of Duluth’s most iconic landmarks. This unique bridge spans the Duluth Ship Canal and lifts to allow large ships to pass through. 

Visitors can watch the bridge in action from Canal Park or take a tour to learn more about its history and operation. At night, the bridge is illuminated, making for a beautiful sight.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

The Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is located in Canal Park and offers a fascinating look at the history of shipping on the Great Lakes. Visitors can explore exhibits, watch ships pass through the Duluth Ship Canal, and even tour the retired William A. Irvin ore boat. The center also features a gift shop and a theater showing films about the Great Lakes.

Outdoor Activities

Hiking and Biking Trails

Duluth is a heaven for outdoor enthusiasts, with many hiking and biking trails that offer scenic views of the city and the surrounding area. The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the most popular trails in the area, offering over 300 miles of hiking trails through forests, rivers, and waterfalls. 

The Duluth Traverse Trail is a must-visit for biking enthusiasts, with over 100 miles of singletrack trails that wind through the city and the surrounding hills.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are popular activities in Duluth, with many lakes and rivers to explore. The St. Louis River is a great place to start, offering calm waters and beautiful scenery. For more experienced kayakers and canoeists, the Lake Superior Water Trail offers a challenging adventure with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding area.

Fishing and Hunting

Duluth is a great destination for fishing and hunting enthusiasts. The area is home to many lakes and rivers that offer a variety of fish species, including walleye, northern pike, and bass. For hunting enthusiasts, the area offers a variety of game species, including deer, bear, and grouse.

It is important to note that hunting and fishing regulations vary by season and location. So before heading out, be sure to check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website for the latest information on rules and licenses.

Shopping and Dining in Duluth

Duluth is a city that offers a variety of experiences for visitors. There is something for everyone, from its natural beauty to its rich history. However, one of the most exciting aspects of Duluth is its shopping and dining scene. With a mix of unique boutiques and delicious restaurants, you are sure to find something that suits your taste. Here are some of the top places to explore when it comes to shopping and dining in Duluth.

Downtown Shopping

If you are looking for a unique shopping experience, then Downtown Duluth is the place to be. With a mix of local boutiques and national retailers, you are sure to find something that suits your style. One of the most popular shopping destinations in Downtown Duluth is Canal Park. Here you will find Flagship, a retail experience that offers a wide range of clothing and accessories. Other popular shopping destinations in Downtown Duluth include:

  • Art in the Alley
  • Miller Hill Mall
  • Lake Superior Art Glass
  • Zenith Bookstore
  • Duluth Pack

Craft Breweries and Distilleries

Duluth is also known for its craft breweries and distilleries. If you are a beer or spirits enthusiast, then you will not be disappointed. Some of the top craft breweries and distilleries in Duluth include:



Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Canal Park Brewing Co.

Fitger’s Brewhouse

Duluth Whiskey Project

Hoops Brewing

Vikre Distillery

Local Cuisine

Duluth offers a variety of restaurants that showcase its local cuisine. From fresh seafood to farm-to-table dining, you are sure to find something that suits your taste. Some of the top restaurants in Duluth include:

  • At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe
  • The Duluth Grill
  • Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar
  • Omc Smokehouse

Museums and Galleries

If you’re interested in art, history, or science, Duluth has a variety of museums and galleries that are sure to pique your interest. Here are a few worth checking out:

Glensheen Mansion

The Glensheen Mansion is a historic mansion built in the early 20th century by the Congdon family. It’s now a museum that offers guided tours of the mansion and its grounds. Visitors can learn about the history of the Congdon family and the mansion’s architecture and design. The mansion is also known for its beautiful gardens and scenic views of Lake Superior.

Tweed Museum of Art

The Tweed Museum of Art is located on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus and features a collection of over 9,000 works of art. The museum has a variety of exhibits that showcase different art styles and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The museum also hosts events and educational programs for visitors of all ages.

Lake Superior Railroad Museum

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is located in downtown Duluth’s historic Union Depot building. The museum features exhibits and artifacts related to the history of railroads in the region, including locomotives, passenger cars, and other railroad equipment. Visitors can also take a ride on the museum’s historic trains and learn about the role of railroads in shaping the history of Duluth and the surrounding area.

These are just a few of the many museums and galleries that Duluth has to offer. Whether you’re a history buff or an art lover, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy in Duluth’s vibrant cultural scene.


If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Duluth, consider taking a guided tour. There are plenty of options to choose from, including:

  • Duluth Experience Tours: This company offers a variety of tours, including brewery tours, history tours, and outdoor adventure tours. Whether you’re interested in learning about Duluth’s brewing history or exploring the city’s parks and trails, there’s a tour for you.
  • Lake Superior Helicopter Tours: Get a bird’s-eye view of Duluth with a helicopter tour. You’ll soar over Lake Superior and see the city from a whole new perspective.
  • North Shore Scenic Railroad: Take a trip back in time with a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. You’ll travel along the shores of Lake Superior and through the North Woods, enjoying stunning views along the way.
  • Glensheen Mansion Tours: Explore the historic Glensheen Mansion with a guided tour. You’ll learn about the mansion’s history and architecture, and see the beautiful gardens and grounds.

No matter which tour you choose, you’re sure to learn something new about Duluth and have a great time exploring the city.

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