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10 Things to Do in Duluth, MN

Highlights include steep streets, libations, and a Judy Garland musuem.

By Kevin Litwin on April 21, 2016


Whew, there is really a lot to do in Duluth, so carve out some leisure time and enjoy the following attractions and events in this modern Midwest metropolis:

Go Wild at Lake Superior Zoo

Spend a morning or afternoon viewing endangered animals like snow leopards, swamp monkeys and Amur tigers at Lake Superior Zoo, located at the base of Spirit Mountain. Besides seeing beasts like alligators, bears, snakes and wolves, amenities include a Safari Café, Zoo Train, waterfalls, hiking trails and a Tiger’s Paw Gift Shop.

Drive Really Steep Streets

Move over, San Francisco, as motorists can experience eye-opening drives through Duluth neighborhoods such as Bayview Heights and Piedmont Heights. Both are known for their steep streets and scenic hilltop views of the city and Lake Superior, and a key hilltop highlight is seeing an impressive Aerial Lift Bridge landmark that spans Duluth Harbor.

Take a Very Unusual Tour

Glide – yes, glide – for six miles and explore key attractions of the city while riding your own Segway Transporter. Duluth Glides Segway Tours gives participants a quick lesson on operating the two-wheel conveyances and then provides a guided tour of the city’s Lakeside and Canal Park areas, with everyone outfitted with wireless audio headphones.

Think Fresh at the Farmers Market

Buy anything from asparagus to zucchini at Duluth Farmers Market, which opens every April to October on East Third Street. Besides fresh produce, items include herbs, cut flowers, free-range chicken and eggs, meats, and jams and jellies all raised and produced in St. Louis, Carlton and Lake counties by the farmers who sell them.

Have a Libation or Two

Savor some fresh pub food and specialty beers at several microbreweries that do a successful business in the Duluth area. One of the popular spots is Bowery Bros. Pub in the Radisson Duluth Hotel, while other libation locales are the Bent Paddle, Canal Park and Lake Superior brewing companies. Also in town is Vikre Distillery, which bottles liquor.

Hit ‘Em Far and Straight

Go clubbing at the two high-ranking public golf courses in Duluth. Enger Golf Course is set atop a high bluff with great views of Duluth Harbor, and its 27 holes offer three distinct 9-hole layouts. Lester Golf Course also spans 27 holes and offers panoramic views of Lake Superior on 20 of its 27 holes.

Window Shop at Miller Hill Mall

Wear your comfortable walking shoes and bring your credit card to Miller Hill Mall, which offers more than 100 shops and 10 food court vendors. Also available in Duluth for residents or visitors is an Aerostitch factory and outlet store that specializes in camping and outdoor equipment, and it hosts tours.

Visit the Judy

Follow the proverbial yellow brick road to tour the Judy Garland Birthplace & Museum, highlighted by the 1925 historic home where Hollywood’s hottest female star of the 1950s and early ’60s spent her formative years. Many items from her famed Wizard of Oz movie appearance are on display, and tours take about 90 minutes.

Get Wet at the Edgewater Hotel

Entertain your kids for hours at the 30,000-square-foot Polynesian indoor waterpark at Edgewater Hotel. Attractions include a splash pool, exploding volcano, wet-and-wild play area and Tiki Tom’s Oasis & Grill, and admission to the waterpark is complimentary with your stay at the hotel.

Travel the Beautiful Byways

Enjoy a relaxing and eye-pleasing change of pace with drives along two Duluth scenic byways. The picturesque Highway 61 Byway is designated an All-American Road that extends to Canada, while a 30-mile Skyline Drive Byway gives motorists a view of Lake Superior 600 feet above the shoreline, with multiple observation points.

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