Top Places to Visit Along Minnesota’s North Shore

January 14, 2019

1. Two harbors

Just 30 minutes from Duluth, Two Harbors is a cute little town built on the shores of Lake Superior. Watch the ships sail into the harbor, walk out to the lighthouse, or explore some of the nearby trails. With only 3,500 residents, it’s the perfect small-town getaway and a great first stop on your way up the North Shore!

Travel Tip

Take in the views at Agate Bay Beach. Then walk down to the pier to photograph the breakwater lighthouse. Afterward, stop for a bite to eat at McQuades Pub and Grill!

Be careful in the winter – the walkway to the lighthouse becomes super icy!

2. Tettegouche State Park

Home to the nicest visitor center I’ve ever seen, Tettegouche State Park is a must-see while visiting the North Shore. Stretching out over 9,300 acres, this state park offers 23 miles of hiking trails, six inland lakes, and 12 miles of ski trails. Behind the visitor center, you’ll find the trail to Shovel Point – a 0.6 mile hike (one way) that leads you to a beautiful view overlooking Lake Superior.

Travel Tip

Here’s a map of Tettegouche State Park and some important information about the area from the MN DNR website.

The view from Shovel Point.

3. Lutsen

If you think traveling to the North Shore during the winter months will mean fewer tourists, think again! Lutsen is a popular winter destination for skiers and snowboarders, offering a true mountain experience!

4. Grand Marais

This a cool little community at the northern end of Highway 61. There are a ton of awesome restaurants, accommodations, and things to do in the area. Check out the blog post I wrote about Grand Marais for some ideas!

5. Superior Hiking Trail

The Superior Hiking Trail is a 310-mile footpath that stretches along the North Shore; from Duluth to the Canadian border. As you drive along Highway 61, you’ll notice the brown-colored Superior Hiking Trail signs every so often. Just follow the signs and hop on the trail at any point!

Travel Tip

I would recommend hiking the Bean and Bear Lakes Loop (also called the Twin Lakes Trail), which is a section of the Superior Hiking Trail. The loop is 6.8 miles long and features some stunning views!

Read more about Bean & Bear Lake on The Outbound!

6. George Washington Pines

This is one area in particular that I’m dying to go back to! As you’re driving north on the Gunflint Trail, you’ll suddenly be surrounded by huge, towering pine trees. According to the USDA Forest Service, “this area was established when 13 boys from the Grand Marais Boy Scout Troop #67 planted 32 acres of land with 14,570 Norway Pine and 7,500 White Pine in 1932 after a 1927 fire”. It’s the perfect place to enjoy nature, no matter the season. George Washington Pines is shared among snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and hikers.

7. Split Rock Lighthouse

A classic lighthouse perched on the rocky coast of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse is a great place to stop while visiting the North Shore. Tours are free, however, parking in the lot requires a state parks pass or a daily parking fee.

Two Harbors

Lighthouse, beach, restaurants.

Tettegouche State Park

Hiking, scenic views, wildlife.

Bear Lake and Bean Lake

Hiking, scenery.


Skiiing, accommodations.

Grand Marais

Culture, restaurants, activities.

George Washington Pines

Hiking, snowshoeing, nature.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Scenery, history.