Recently, I took a trip up north, to Duluth, MN for a weekend getaway. Here is what I learned
Do: Make a weekend of it!
I know. I know. You’re thinking, but Amber, what if I don’t want to spend money on a hotel? Well you’re in luck. Try camping or AirBnb. These are cheaper alternatives to renting a hotel room for the weekend. I mean come on, you’re in northern MN in the summer, camping is really the only correct solution.
On my recent trip, we decided to go the camping route. It cost about $35/night for the campsite, complete with wifi and electrical outlets. I also brought an air mattress. Basically we went glamping.
We found a neat little camp site just south of town where we got a spot right on the St. Louis River.
Don’t eat at chain restaurants.
Seriously, just don’t. The main street of Duluth that the iconic lift bridge is connected to is littered with chain restaurants and it hurts my soul. Duluth is not the place where I imagine myself eating at Green Mill. This is nearly the equivalent of traveling abroad and eating only McDonalds. You can eat there anytime! Instead try local fare, like the Lake Avenue Restaurant Bar*. We went there for brunch and my mimosa came with the cutest mini bottle of champagne. Their brunch list has many options to choose from and they’re all made with fresh, local ingredients.
*I’m not getting paid to include this in the list. They’re just that good!
Do: Check out the lake.
This one is mandatory. If you’re going to make a trip to Duluth, you HAVE to check out Lake Superior in some capacity.
If you visit during the summer months, check out the beach area in Superior, WI and take a dip in the lake. If you don’t actually feel like getting in the water, or are feel adventurous, you can stay on the Duluth side. From there you can climb over some large boulders to stand on small rocks at the edge of the water. If neither of those are quite your speed, you can still get close to the lake without needing rock climbing experience as a prerequisite.
Besides the lake, there are plenty of cool things to occupy your time with while in Duluth. Antiquing is a good option. There are plenty of antique stores near the lift bridge. There is also a museum by the lake where you can learn all kinds of things about Lake Superior throughout history. Plus, you can get some of the best views of the lake itself from here. Did I mention, GO SEE THE LAKE?!
One thing that I didn’t realize before this trip was that most of Duluth is set inside hills. It’s fun to just drive around and look at the geography of the area and to explore things that look interesting.
Don’t: wait until the last minute to pack.
Things will be forgotten! Like pillows. If you like sleeping without pillows maybe you can get away with this. Lucky for me, I packed extra blankets to use as a makeshift pillow.
Do: Have fun.
What’s the point of taking a vacation if you can’t relax and enjoy yourself? It’s ok if you don’t get to everything you want to do. Just make the most of your time. You can always come back next weekend!