Your Excellent Minnesota North Shore Highway Journey

Hit the open street alongside Lake Superior on this unforgettable midwestern street journey. On Minnesota’s North Shore, you’ll discover loads of pleasant pockets of nature, scenic lookouts, and a lot extra.

For non-Minnesotans trying to get outside, take into account beginning your journey in Minneapolis the place it’s best to lease a automobile or camper van. From there, head north and uncover the fantastic thing about the North Shore.


The southernmost level on this epic journey, Minneapolis has lots to supply by itself if in case you have the time to discover. The Minneapolis Sculpture Backyard is a neighborhood favourite and a must-see. There are many museums, starting from the Minneapolis Museum of Artwork to the distinctive American Swedish Institute.

From Minneapolis, get out of town ambiance by heading north on I-35 in the direction of Duluth. It is a lengthy stretch of roughly 150 miles, however value each minute of the journey!


Catch your first glimpse of Lake Superior as you arrive in Duluth and don’t neglect to cease on the harbor and stroll alongside the lakeshore when you’re there.

  • Lighthouses: This small metropolis is understood for its iconic lighthouses. As you discover, you’ll discover that the historical past of those well-known constructions is definitely value studying up on.
  • Enger Tower: This 5-story construction is by far the most effective place to get a view of town. Climb up and have a look!
  • Congdon Park: An excellent place for a picnic, this fast cease is understood for its lovely waterfalls and bridges at Tischer Creek.

Hold heading north on Freeway 61 for about 20 miles the place you’ll discover a candy shock and a spot to relaxation your head for the evening.

Knife River

Knife River is the right place to stretch your legs, get a chunk to eat, and relaxation up earlier than the second leg of your journey.

  • Nice Lakes Sweet Kitchen: This cute sweet retailer is understood for its previous fashioned-style confections and wealthy historical past. Get pleasure from one among its many candy treats that are made in small batches in copper kettles.
  • Russ Kendall’s Fish Market: A visit to the North Shore is incomplete with out stopping in right here (sorry vegetarians!). It is strongly recommended to attempt the sugar-cured silver smoked salmon which is a neighborhood staple.
  • Knife River Campground: Whether or not you want a spot to park your camper van or a comfortable cabin to relaxation, this place is a favourite for campers and non-campers alike.

Persevering with north, you’ll discover the following cease lower than 10 miles away at Two Harbors.

Two Harbors

Cut up Rock Lighthouse

As the biggest city on the North Shore, Two Harbors is an fascinating cease and is bound to please guests with its pure magnificence and historical past.

  • Gooseberry Falls: Generally known as the “gateway” to the North Shore, this state park has over 20 miles of trails. The highlights of the park are its 5 waterfalls, Agate Seaside, and the Picnic Move.
  • Iona’s Seaside Scientific & Pure Space: Have you ever ever been to a pink seashore? This small seashore space of Lake Superior will get its coloration from the pink rhyolite shards that litter the shore. Make it a fast photo-op or keep some time and wade within the calm waters. Phrase on the road is the rustling of the stones makes an attractive singing sound!
  • Cut up Rock Lighthouse: A historic gem and must-see, this lighthouse is perched on a 130-foot rocky cliff and is surrounded by mountain climbing trails.
  • Two Harbors Mild Station: Because the oldest working gentle station in Minnesota, this lighthouse has a nationally acknowledged museum to discover.
  • Betty’s Pies: After an extended day of mountain climbing (or actually any time of day, we don’t choose!), having a slice of pie at Betty’s Pies appears like a ceremony of passage.

The following stretch of open street is simply 25 miles lengthy earlier than reaching the following vacation spot on this record–Beaver Bay!

Beaver Bay

This kitschy little cease is one for the stone and crystal fanatics on the market. With a small strip of eclectic retailers and mother and pop eating places, Beaver Bay is a good place to get out and stretch your legs or seize a chunk to eat.

  • Beaver Bay Agate Store and Museum: The oldest rock store in all of America, this distinctive place can’t be missed (actually–they’ve an enormous signal proper on the freeway to draw guests). The museum boasts quite a lot of native forms of agate and different stones, together with loads of instructional supplies.
  • Beaver Falls: Because the river drops 300 ft at Beaver Falls, it turns into a shocking sequence of cascades which give solution to a bay on the backside. There are trails alongside the cascades in addition to a motorbike path that goes all the way in which again to Gooseberry Falls, in case you wish to get out and see the websites out of your bike!

To get to the following cease, you don’t should go very far. Simply maintain heading north and also you’ll get to Silver Bay in a matter of minutes.

Silver Bay

Silver Bay is value spending a while in, as there are such a lot of locations to see in and round city. That is the height of the journey and the midway level between Duluth and Grand Marais and an excellent spot for some epic outside adventures!

  • Pellet Island: Think about parking your automobile within the Silver Bay Marina earlier than embarking on the rocky hike out to the island. The one method onto the island itself is a rickety picket ladder, so be ready to climb!
  • Black Seaside: One other nice seashore on this record, this one is black as a substitute of pink or white as a result of silver ore dumped from a close-by mine.
  • Palisade Head: Generally known as one of the instagrammable locations on the North Shore, this picturesque cliff is likely one of the greatest locations to catch a sundown due to its panoramic views. It’s an excellent spot for artists, rock-climbers, or actually any outside fanatic.
  • Tettegouche State Park: This superior state park is a North Shore important cease. Scenic lookouts over the lake, waterfalls, and a river-meets-lake beachfront make this an excellent place to spend the day. When you’re searching for a spot to camp, it’s also possible to discover a couple of campgrounds close by.

The second half of this journey begins as you permit Silver Bay and proceed north on Freeway 61 for slightly below 25 miles earlier than arriving for a fast cease in Schroader.


Temperance River State Park

Spend as a lot time as you would like in Schroeder exploring the parks and taking within the websites.

  • Cross River Falls: Maybe one of many extra underrated waterfall stops alongside the North Shore, Cross River Falls can truly be seen from the freeway as you drive. Get out for a fast hike to the falls or benefit from the view from the consolation of your individual automobile.
  • Temperance River State Park: One other good spot to benefit from the waterfalls of the realm, this park can also be positioned proper off the freeway and straightforward to entry.

After passing via Schroeder, you’ll arrive in Lutsen simply 13 miles later.


The view from the Summit Gondola at Lutsen Mountains

Whether or not you’re taking a visit by yourself, with pals, a companion, or your loved ones, Lutsen is a good cease to get out and have some enjoyable!

  • Lutsen Mountains: This journey park is understood for its stellar snowboarding choices within the winter and canoe excursions in the summertime. There are additionally loads of mountain climbing trails and a Summit Gondola trip which affords the most effective view of the Sawtooth Mountains within the space.
  • Cascade River State Park: This park is dwelling to five small waterfalls and the Lake Superior Shoreline Path the place hikers can discover some severely superior lake views. There’s tenting on-site, making this an excellent place to relaxation.

As you get nearer to the top of your trek, benefit from the epic views on the short 18-mile drive as much as Grand Marais.

Grand Marais

The final official cease on this journey is Grand Marais, a small city which feels lots like a gathering level for outside fanatics from close to and much.

  • World’s Greatest Donuts: Sure, you learn that appropriately. Apparently, the world’s greatest donuts are in Grand Marais and you’ll attempt them at this cute regionally owned store which boasts 52 years of service and 30 totally different donut varieties.
  • Artist Level: Discovered within the quaint harbor of the city, a go to to Artist Level is a good way to soak up the fantastic thing about the lake with its colourful rocks and picturesque lookout level.
  • Choose CR Magney State Park: This park is dwelling to the well-known Satan’s Kettle Falls which has been puzzling guests due to its waterfall that appears to vanish into an abyss.
  • Naniboujou Lodge: A neighborhood favourite, this lodge is adorned with vibrant colours and boasts distinctive structure and a scrumptious menu. Go for a chunk or keep within the lodge for the evening.

This pretty city is the final cease earlier than making it to the Canadian border, however when you’re nonetheless searching for some journey take into account extending your journey a bit inland for extra outdoorsy enjoyable!

Bonus: Gunflint Path

This Nationwide Scenic Byway was initially utilized by merchants and retailers to convey items inland again within the day. Now it’s a paved freeway that can take you thru the Minnesota wilderness, ultimately touchdown you within the Boundary Waters Canoe Space Wilderness. The world is expansive and supreme for anybody who actually desires to get out and maybe off the grid.


Earlier than you go

Impressed to rise up to the North Shore and begin your street journey? Superior! Right here are some things to bear in mind:

  • State park cross: Most state parks in Minnesota require guests to have a allow, which you should purchase for limitless visits inside a calendar 12 months.
  • Campsites: When you’re travelling in the summertime, it is strongly recommended to order your spot at any campsites forward of time as they have a tendency to replenish throughout peak season.
  • Climate: Even in the summertime months, temperatures can drop rapidly on the North Shore, particularly at evening. Carry a number of layers and brace your self for the chilliness!

This route is such a incredible street journey as a result of you’ve the liberty to take it as rapidly or as slowly as you’d like. Spring and summer season are the best time to move as much as the North Shore, however you may nonetheless take pleasure in this journey within the winter with a couple of climate precautions and a bit of additional flexibility.

**COVID-19 Precautions: As of the time of this put up, a lot of the parks and sights talked about are open with the protection measures obligatory. Nonetheless, a couple of usually are not but working together with a couple of lighthouses and museums. Make sure that to examine every attraction’s web site earlier than your journey.

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