27 Best Summer Places Visit / See / Explore in Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota, is a popular summer destination for tourists from all over the world. 

Duluth has been consistently ranked as one of the best outdoor towns in the United States, attracting thousands of visitors each summer eager to explore its natural beauty and numerous recreational activities.

One of the main attractions in Duluth during the summer is the North Shore Scenic Drive. This 154-mile drive takes you along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Superior and offers breathtaking views of the water and surrounding landscape.

Those who love the outdoors can hike, bike, or kayak along the many trails and waterways in the area. The Lakewalk, a paved trail that runs along the shore of Lake Superior, is a popular spot for walking, running, and biking. 

Top Attractions

If you plan a summer trip to Duluth, you’ll want to visit some of the city’s top attractions. Here are a few must-see spots:

Canal Park

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Canal Park is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The park features a boardwalk, beach access, and many shops and restaurants to explore. Take a stroll along the Lakewalk, which runs through the park and offers stunning lake views. Also, don’t miss the Great Lakes Aquarium, which is also located in Canal Park.

Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth MN Aerial Lift Bridge

The Aerial Lift Bridge is one of Duluth’s most iconic landmarks. The bridge spans the Duluth Ship Canal and offers panoramic views of the city and Lake Superior. You can watch ships pass through the canal from the bridge or tour the bridge’s machinery room to learn more about how it operates.

Great Lakes Aquarium

The Great Lakes Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the aquatic life of Lake Superior and the Great Lakes region. The aquarium features exhibits on freshwater fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as interactive displays and educational programs. 

These are just a few of the top attractions to visit in Duluth during the summer months. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have a memorable trip to this beautiful city.

Outdoor Activities

Duluth is an outdoor lover’s paradise with its pristine shores of Lake Superior, over 9,000 acres of city parkland, and 300 miles of trails all within the city limits. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or a challenging hike, Duluth has something for everyone.

Hiking Trails

Duluth has 178 miles of wooded trails to explore. Here are a few of the best hiking trails to check out:

Trail NameLengthDifficulty
Superior Hiking Trail310 milesDifficult
Enger Park Trail2.5 milesEasy
Hawk Ridge Trail1.5 milesModerate


With miles of Lake Superior shoreline, Duluth has plenty of beaches to explore. Here are a few of the best:

  • Park Point Beach
  • Brighton Beach
  • Leif Erikson Park Beach


Duluth has over 6,800 acres of city parkland to explore. Here are a few of the best parks to check out:

  • Chester Park
  • Lester Park
  • Enger Park

Cultural Experiences

Duluth is a city rich in culture and history, offering numerous opportunities for visitors to explore and learn. Here are some must-visit cultural attractions to add to your itinerary:

Glensheen Mansion

Glensheen Mansion Through the Trees

Take a step back in time and tour the historic Glensheen Mansion, located on the shores of Lake Superior. Built in 1908, this 39-room mansion offers a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy Congdon family who once called it home. Visitors can explore the ornate interior, stroll through the gardens, and even take a scenic boat tour of the estate.

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

A visit to the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center is a must for anyone interested in the history and industry of the Great Lakes. This free museum features interactive exhibits, a working pilot house, and a fascinating look at the shipping industry that has played such a crucial role in the development of Duluth and the surrounding region.

Duluth Depot

The Duluth Depot is a historic train station turned cultural center, offering a variety of exhibits and events throughout the year. Visitors can explore the region’s fascinating railroad industry history and enjoy live music, theater, and art exhibits. The Depot is also home to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, which features an impressive collection of historic locomotives and rail cars.

Food and Drink

One of the best ways to experience the culture of Duluth is through its local food and drink options. Here are some of the top places to check out:

Local Restaurants

Duluth is home to various restaurants that offer delicious food and a unique dining experience. Some of the must-visit restaurants in Duluth include:

  • New Scenic Cafe: This restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and stunning lake views.
  • Va Bene Caffe: This Italian restaurant serves up homemade pasta and delicious pizza.
  • Bent Paddle Brewing Co.: This brewery offers a variety of craft beers and a fun atmosphere.

Breweries and Taprooms

If you’re a beer lover, Duluth has plenty of options for you. Check out some of the best breweries and taprooms in the city:

Blacklist Artisan AlesDowntown DuluthBelgian-style ales
Canal Park Brewing CompanyCanal ParkLocal craft beer
Hoops BrewingDowntown DuluthExperimental beers

 Coffee Shops

Need a caffeine fix? Duluth has plenty of cozy coffee shops that serve up delicious drinks and snacks. Here are a few of the best:

Events and Festivals

Summer in Duluth is packed with exciting events and festivals that draw visitors from all over the world. Here are some of the top events you won’t want to miss:

Bayfront Festival Park

Bayfront Festival Park is the heart of Duluth’s summer festival scene. Located on the shores of Lake Superior, this beautiful park hosts a wide variety of events throughout the summer months. There’s always something happening at Bayfront Festival Park, from rock concerts to yoga classes. Some of the most popular events include:

  • Bent Paddle’s Festiversary – a celebration of local craft beer
  • Bayfront Blues Festival – a three-day celebration of blues music
  • All Pints North – a craft beer festival featuring over 120 breweries

Tall Ships Festival

Every three years, Duluth hosts the Tall Ships Festival, a spectacular event that draws tall ships from all over the world to the shores of Lake Superior. Visitors can tour the ships, watch them sail into the harbor, and enjoy live music, food, and entertainment. The next Tall Ships Festival is scheduled for 2024, so mark your calendars!

Duluth Airshow

The Duluth Airshow is a must-see event for aviation enthusiasts. Held at the Duluth International Airport, this thrilling event features aerial demonstrations by some of the world’s top pilots and static displays of military and civilian aircraft. The next Duluth Airshow is scheduled for 2022.

Whether you’re a music lover, a history buff, or an aviation enthusiast, Duluth’s summer events and festivals have something for everyone. Check the event calendar before planning your trip to ensure you get all the fun!

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