Whether you are visiting Minnesota on vacation or you live here in this beautiful state, Duluth should be on everyones list to visit as many times as possible. Duluth is filled with history, beautiful sights, and some delicious food. Not to mention it makes a perfect day trip from Little Boy Resort if you are looking for something to do.
Keep reading to find out some of my favorite activities and restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota!
Step back in time as you immerse yourself in this beautiful estate that was home to the Congdon family. The home was completed in 1908, sits on 12-acres, has 39 rooms and is home to beautiful wood carvings, furniture, paintings and so much more!
Chester and Clara Congdon were a very influential family known for opening up iron mining in the North Shore region and setting aside land for public use, such as North Shore Scenic Highway and Congdon Park.
There were so many items that were original to the Congdon family that still live in the house! Chester’s top hat and suit are laid out on the bed, letters written by Clara sit in the hallway, sheets are perfectly stacked in the linen closet, and so much more!
Some fun facts we learned along to way
1. Elisabeth Congdon (last living child of Chester) was murdered in the house at 83 years old.
2. Marjorie Congdon had married Roger Caldwell (who killed Elisabeth) moved to Arizona after her mother’s death. She was later charged with fraud and arson in 1992.
3. The vegetables produced in the garden get donated to the local food bank.
4. Glensheen is owned by the University of Minnesota.
5. Chester only spent 8 years in his home before passing away from a heart attack in 1916.
We highly recommend visiting the most popular museum in Minnesota! Tickets are $18 for adults and $7 for kids (prices may vary depending on the time of year). You can purchase your tickets online or buy them at the ticket office when you arrive. There are tour options however, we recommend doing the self guided tour, downloading the app (iOS or Android) and listening to the audio tour as you walk through the 3 story mansion.
Directions to Glensheen Mansion: 3300 London Road Duluth, MN 55804
This tower is a short drive from downtown and has my favorite view of the city! Take the Skyline Drive Scenic Byway, overlooking the harbor, up to the park.
This small park has so much to explore. I always start by heading towards the harbor. There is a beautiful pavilion perfect for a picnic. There are also cliffs that are perfect for basking in the sunshine and enjoying the view. Follow the trail through the woods and you will come into the Japanese garden with beautiful flowers, a peace bell, and calming atmosphere. DO NOT MISS THE TOWER. It is definitely worth the climb. The five story tower has 360 views of the surrounding areas; St. Lous River, Lake Superior and the harbor, Spirit Mountain, and a local golf course.
For the short time I lived in Duluth, Enger Park was my favorite place to get away and relax!
Directions to Enger Park: 16th Avenue West & Skyline Parkway, Duluth, MN 55806
Canal Park is home to the lift bridge, the light house, shops, restaurants and so much more! The Aerial Lift Bridge was originally constructed in 1905. The bridge is 386 feet long and spans the canal entrance to Duluth Harbor.
Canal Park and the Aerial Lift Bridge never get old! Every time I venture to Duluth I make sure to take in the beautiful sight of the lift bridge which makes the Duluth Skyline so visually attractive. Don’t forget to skip some rocks into Lake Superior while you watch the ships come into the harbor.
If you don’t feel like walking along the rocky beach in Canal Park, head over to Park Point. This beautiful sandy beach along Lake Superior is perfect for an afternoon stroll, a picnic, or just a little exploring.
Directions to Canal Park: 601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Great Lakes Aquarium: The only aquarium in the U.S. that focuses on freshwater exhibits. This three-story waterfront structure has interactive exhibits and re-created habitats.
Spirit Mountain: More than a winter destination! In the summer, Sprit Mountain has amazing views, great mountain biking, and an Alpine coaster. Also, a great place to ski and snowboard in the winter.
Lester Park: Has great hiking trails through the woods and along streams. Get outside and enjoy a little piece of Duluth heaven.
The BEST restaurant around and it was featured on Food Networks Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! Once you step inside you feel at home. It has a diner vibe that is decorated with local artists. I can’t forget the hard working servers and very talented kitchen staff!
They serve local and fresh food with flavors and combinations you can’t get anywhere else! The grill prides themselves in serving homemade comfort food with many diet options available, desserts, espresso and more! And Duluth Grill serves the entire menu all day long.
1. Korean Soyoli Sprouts: Fried Brussel sprouts tossed in Korean BBQ, drizzled with soyoli sauce, topped with fresh cilantro and lime.
2. Drunken Noodles: Fresh ramen noodles, stir fried with seasoned beef, pork, ginger, bean sprouts, garlic, kimchi, carrots, topped with cilantro, avocado, pickled chilies, fresh lime, soyoli and egg.
3. Salmon Salad: Fresh greens topped with OMC Smokehouse smoked salmon, havarti dill cheese, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, fresh avocado, brined onions, bell peppers, with roasted red pepper vinaigrette.
Other Delicious Options:
Burrito Bowl: Cilantro lime wild rice, spicy beans, corn, pico de gallo, sautéed onions, peppers, cheese, mojo sauce topped with sour cream, guacamole, fresh cilantro and Gerber Amish chicken.
Rancheros Skillet: Hashbrowns, fried tortilla, fresh pico de gallo, grilled corn, black beans, cheese, two organic eggs, mojo sauce, sour cream, guacamole.
1. Ask for the recipe to your favorite dish. They love sharing!
2. Duluth Grill can get quite busy but it is definitely worth the wait. I recommend using their digital waitlist.
Directions to Duluth Grill: 118 S 27th Ave W, Duluth, MN 55806
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe
Locally influenced comfort food. Unique beer, wine, and cocktails. Onsite vegetable gardens. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of how awesome this cafe is.
The mission at the cafe is to create a farm to table restaurant, pay attention to where and who the food comes from, and how it is handled. They are very community oriented and make you feel at home when you join them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
1. Buttermilk Pancake: Served with maple syrup & maple mascarpone
2. Wild Rice Sausage Benedict: Yker acres wild rice sausage, poached eggs, english muffin, house-made hollandaise, served with fruit salad
3. Breakfast Tacos: Two tacos with choice of ham, bacon, sausage, or chorizo, scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack & cheddar cheese blend, pico do Gallo, radish, cilantro, corn tortilla, served with home fries
**If you notice I have only been for brunch but it is too delicious not to share!
Things I want to try:
1. Thai Curry: Vegetable medley, coconut milk, red curry, brown rice, fresh lime, cilantro, sesame seed (available with tofu, chicken, shrimp)
2. Pecan Chicken: Pecan-encrusted chicken breast, cranberry-peach chutney, creamy brie, open-faced Duluth’s best croissant
3. Korean Beef Tacos: Two bulgogi beef tacos, kimchi, fish sauce, sambal-aioli, gomasio-seasoned french fries
Directions to At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe: 1902 E 8th St, Duluth, MN 55812
Best ice cream in town with local and organic ingredients! Love Creamery has been open since 2014.
All ice cream and sorbets are made in small batches using local ingredients. They offer vegan options and most flavors are gluten free. All ice cream is made onsite! Not to mention, handcrafted flavors change with the season. Some staples stay around like mint chocolate chip, vanilla, and chocolate.
1. Goat Cheese and Cherry: THE BEST! Yes it sounds weird, but trust me you need to try it!
2. Mint Chocolate Chip: Fresh mint flavor with flaky chocolate chunks
3. Sea Salt Carmel: Delicious creamy Carmel with just enough sea salt
4. Limoncello: Very lemony and creamy
Directions to Loves Creamery: 1908 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806
Taco Arcada: 1902 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806
OMC Smokehouse: 1909 W Superior St, Duluth, Minnesota 55806
Vitta Pizza: 307 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, Minnesota 55802
New London Cafe: 4721 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55804
This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the fun things to do around Duluth. We have named some of our favorite activities and places to eat! We will have to get into hiking adventures another time.
Let us know your favorite place to go to while you are in Duluth!