Best Things to Do in Duluth, MN for a Weekend Trip
I absolutely love going to Duluth for a weekend trip, or even longer if possible. I’ve visited Duluth a few times over the years for vacation, and a wedding once. My brother-in-law lived there for three years as well, and that gave us a great excuse to drive up from the Twin Cities and visit him often. After a number of trips to Duluth, this is my roundup of favorite things to do, see and eat!
Best Time of the Year to Go to Duluth
It gets quite cold in Duluth in the winter, so I definitely recommend visiting in the fall, spring or summer. Sometimes the fall and spring are chilly too. So if you’re looking to go at a time when you can swim in Lake Superior, you’ll want to go in either July or August.
Duluth can also be amazing in the winter if you are a skier or snowboarder. Both Spirit and Lutsen Mountains are close to Duluth and really nice places to carve it up. We’ve also gone hiking in the snow, and that can be so peaceful.
Go Hiking or Golfing
Duluth and the surrounding areas are known for incredible hikes. Duluth has a tremendous amount of hiking trails, all with varying lengths and difficulty. Check out the Visit Duluth site for details on all available hikes. Hawks Ridge and Enger Park are my top two recommendations. Neither is too challenging and both provide beautiful views.
If you like to play golf, check out Lester Park Golf Course, which is a public course. It has incredible views of the lake from a high vantage point. It offers some of the nicest views of the harbor that I have yet to see.
Visit Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights
If you do go to Duluth in the winter, be sure to check out the Bentleyville Tour of Lights, which is also great for children. It’s America’s largest free light up display and it is impressive! You can purchase drinks and snacks, and there is a nice gift shop.
Get a New Perspective on a Cruise Boat
We also took a sightseeing cruise into the harbor once and that was one of my favorite things. For $20 you’ll get a 45-minute boat ride and the tour guide provides information on Duluth’s history and buildings that you pass along the way. You can sit inside or outside and drinks are for purchase onboard. We had fabulous weather the day we went, it was a little cold and sunny. It was so much fun!
Stop by a Brewery or Distillery
Duluth has a ton of breweries and fancy spots for cocktails. Bent Paddle has a laid back atmosphere. You can also bring food in from other places since they only serve beer. Blackwoods is also a laid back spot for dinner or just drinks. They’re a little off the beaten path so it lets you see another neighborhood.
Vikre Distillery is a cocktail bar in the heart of Duluth. Drinks are a bit more expensive since they are fancy cocktails, but it’s a nice change of pace when you want to treat yourself! We also really like Canal Park Brewery, which is in the downtown area so after grabbing beer, we walked over to the Duluth Harbor Lighthouse.
Grab Food Overlooking Duluth and Lake Superior
There are so many places to eat in Duluth, and so many of them have great views of Lake Superior. Duluth Grill definitely has the best breakfast and I’ve been there a few times.
Va Bene Caffe has the best Italian, Pickwick is known to be a great bar and they have an awesome food menu too.
Duluth Has So Much to Offer
If you haven’t been to Duluth, Minnesota before, you should definitely plan your weekend trip right away! You could make it a day trip from the Twin Cities if you’re crunched for time. But it is just over a two-hour drive, so if you’re able to stay for two or three days, you should! It’s a pretty special place. Looking for more inspiration? Check out my post on visiting Duluth in the winter, and my post on Grand Marais!