Duluth, MN Attractions Overview: Historic Attractions, Aquarium
Duluth’s best attractions are all related to the city’s proximity to Lake Superior. From historical estates to aquariums, this city knows how to showcase its beloved body of water.
Glensheen Historic Estate
The Glensheen Historic Estate is a historic mansion located on Lake Superior. Now owned by the University of Minnesota Duluth, Glensheen was built from 1905 to 1908 as the family home of Chester Adgate Congdon, lawyer and capitalist. The 39-room structure sits on almost eight acres of lakefront property, and its construction cost an unheard of $854,000, which would be more than $20 million today.
Visitors to Glensheen marvel at the mansion’s exemplary Arts and Crafts architecture in the Midwest. The home’s furniture has been left in almost the exact spot it was originally placed a century ago, and the estate’s tours allow visitors to travel back in time. Tours cover everything from just the beautiful grounds to a 90-minute expanded trip that takes people in parts of the home not shown on regular tours.
Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse is one of Minnesota’s most recognizable landmarks. Built in reaction to the loss of almost 30 ships during a storm in 1905, the lighthouse was completed five years later. While it no longer serves as a beacon for ships, Split Rock Lighthouse has been restored to its 1920s appearance, and visitors can explore the lighthouse and its surrounding buildings. The quarter-mile hiking trail is not only a beautiful trek but a great opportunity for photos of the vista and the lighthouse on its 130-foot cliff.
Great Lakes Aquarium
Duluth is home to the country’s only all-freshwater aquarium, the Great Lakes Aquarium. Situated right by Lake Superior, the three-story building features exhibits from rivers all over the world. From the familiar St. Louis River to the Amazing Amazon, this family-friendly attraction brings the outdoors in. Hands-on exhibits keep kids entertained, and the Critter Corner’s two touch tanks allow visitors to reach out and touch stingrays and sturgeons.
Learn more about Duluth’s don’t-miss attraction.