Where can you find black sand beaches, lighthouses, breathtaking cliffs, and waterfalls galore? None other than along Minnesota’s North Shore! It’s no surprise that the North Shore is one of Minnesota’s most visited most visited destinations. This beautiful 145 mile stretch has something for everyone and can be made into a quick day trip or an entire week long vacation.
There is so much to see and do in Duluth, which makes it a MUST DO if you’re heading up the north shore. Make sure you walk down and see the Aerial Lift Bridge, and if you’re lucky you might even get to see a ship pass through. I always enjoy eating at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill right in Canal Park, their menu has something for everyone, and you can’t beat the convenient location! Before you leave Duluth be sure to head up to Observation Hill and Enger tower for beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls is one of the most visited parks in Minnesota and it is definitely a must do! The waterfalls are located a short distance from the parking lot and are accessible to everyone. For those who are interested in hiking, this park includes 18 miles of trails. To get additional views of the waterfalls I would recommend taking the trail around the falls, it is a short distance, but it takes you around the falls and gives you views from different levels.
Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse is the most popular historic site in Minnesota, receiving about 116,000 visitors annually. The lighthouse does charge an admission price of $8.00, but I think it’s worth it. There are multiple trails in this park but for the best pictures of the lighthouse you will want to take the trail down to Pebble Beach.
Tettegouche State Park
I LOVE this State Park! This is a great place for camping and hiking and has plenty of things to occupy your day. Whether you’re looking for a short hike or a day long adventure the scenic trails along the Baptism River will take you to four waterfalls that you won’t want to miss. Cascade Falls is the closest and you can get there and back in under two miles. It is a bit of a longer walk to High Falls but you won’t be disappointed! On the way to High Falls is Two Step Falls, and it is about 1.2 miles from the start of the trail.
Lutsen is a great place to stop along the North Shore, especially during the fall. The gondola ride up to Moose Mountain will give you spectacular views, and I would even say that I don’t think there is a better place in Minnesota to see the fall colors. While you’re in Lutsen I would recommend the Alpine Slide. It is fun for the whole family, and you will also get great views of Lake Superior.
Grand Portage State Park
Grand Portage State Park Is the last stop on our trip up the north shore and it is the last State Park before we reach the Canadian border. If you’re like me and love waterfalls, you will not want to miss this State Park. The High Falls is the highest waterfall in the state of Minnesota, and they are spectacular! The trail to the falls is only a half mile long and is wheelchair accessible. In addition to waterfalls, Grand Portage State Park is also great for wildlife watching. Eagles are commonly seen and if you’re lucky you might even see a moose!