Duluth Minnesota

the Visit Neighboring States Series

With a population of around 86,000, Duluth Minnesota feels surprisingly small. Built up between a rocky ridgeline and the largest body of water in North America, there is much to do and see in this unique city.

Duluth Minnesota

Duluth offers the North Shore’s only sand beach! Five miles of clear water beauty at Park Point just a quick fun drive over the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Duluth Minnesota arial lift bridgeA parking lot and public access to the beach are located on the left hand side of the street a couple blocks after crossing the bridge. 

Duluth Minnesota Park Point Beach

Duluth Minnesota Park Point Beach

Parks Point Duluth Minnesota

What separates Duluth from other communities is the outdoor natural landscape. Duluth has 6,834 acres of city parklands and 178 miles of wooded trails.

Duluth Minnesota Enger Park Tower

We had a great time visiting Enger Park and climbing the tower. The views are incredible! There is a charming Asian garden, several nice walking paths and picnic spots.

Lake Superior Zoo Duluth Minnesota

Duluth has the usual collection of family entertainment with an aquarium, zoo, children’s museum, railroads and entertainment parks. A SCI membership gives free admission to both the zoo and children’s museum.   

Lake Superior Zoo hosts the stunning Kingsbury Creek, which sadly experienced flooding a few years back resulting in the loss of some animals and exhibits. That being noted, the zoo is still a fun visit with a fantastic Nocturnal Animal Building, petting zoo and Griggs Learning Center which features lots of hands-on encounters and learning. We spent around two hours visiting the zoo and really enjoyed our time there.

Duluth Children’s Museum has a few unique exhibits like a Hover Chair. The museum is overall smaller than the children’s museums in Iowa and geared more toward preschool aged children, although my first graders did enjoy our hour-long visit. Driving directions can be confusing.

Our family visited Spirit Mountain to ride the Alpine Coaster. While we had fun, our overall feeling was that the price didn’t reflect the value. We probably just tend to lean more toward the free natural experience in the region.

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  1. Thank you for recommending Enger Tower! We only spent one night in Duluth in Canal Park during our North Shore trip, so we didn’t do a lot there other than stroll along the lakewalk and watch ships pass under the aerial lift bridge, but my kids really enjoyed Enger Tower. The views were amazing! We also made a stop at the famed Portland Malt Shoppe on our way out of town — definitely not the place to stop if you are trying to save money or do not like long lines. Malts were $6.95 each, and it was a half hour from the time we got in line on the lawn until we had our ice cream. Checked it off our list, but not something I would do again. FYI, my husband was a little obsessed with the shipping schedule he found online as well as the live camera feed of the harbor — but it came in very handy so we could run down to the bridge when a ship was leaving port and catch a glimpse without having to use valuable time waiting and waiting. Watching ships turned out to be quite fascinating!

    1. I am so glad your family had a great time Mindy! We loved watching the aerial lift bridge also. I would love to stop and enjoy the museum that is inside the ship at some point. Enger Tower is really neat and offers such spectacular views. That’s for the tip about the malts. I hope they were good for the long wait and price. 🙂

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