Enjoy endless winter adventure in Duluth Minnesota on Lake Superior. Use this guide to help you plan your next winter vacation.
Day one is typically a half-day for most people who are traveling in from 2+ hours away. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of your first day in Duluth. We recommend aiming for a mid-afternoon arrival so you can dive right into site seeing and shopping before checking into your hotel. A great place to start is the historic Fitgers Complex. You’ll first notice a fantastic view of the lake and lift bridge from the parking lot. Once inside, you can explore several local boutique shops.
You’ll find everything from outdoor clothing and gear at Trail Fitters to gourmet foods at The Market. If you’re in the mood to try award-winning ales, a stop at The Brewhouse is a must. There are a few options within the complex as for food, but if you enjoyed the beer at The Brewhouse, you might as well order their food too because it’s excellent!
A bonus to this stop is, of course, being able to pick up some supplies for the weekend. So, grab some delicious snacks, a growler/crawl of beer, or stop in at The Wine Cellar before your leave.
After a couple of hours at Fitgers, it should be check-in time at Beacon Pointe Hotel (4:30 PM). Head on over to get checked in, and don’t be afraid to ask our front desk staff for their favorite things to do in Duluth. They are well equipped to point you in the right direction for whatever adventure you’re seeking.
A great way to spend day two is at Spirit Mountain. Here you can hit the slopes, cross-country ski, fat tire bike, or go snow tubing. Even after the sun goes down, the fun continues with glow tubing and night skiing. The high views of the harbor alone make this spot a worthwhile visit. Plus, Beacon Pointe guests receive discounted tickets, rentals, and tubing!
There is no better place for Après ski (social activity after a day’s skiing) than Ursa Minor Brewing in West Duluth. We highly recommend stopping in to enjoy a locally crafted beer on their year-round pet-friendly patio with multiple firepits.
Don’t be surprised to discover live music playing when you arrive. They are known to host several nights a week of local talent in their taproom. Make sure to try one of their wood-fired pizzas, as they are arguably one of the best pizzas in town.
At this point in the day, you may be itching to get back to your condo to take in remarkable lake views and to freshen up for evening activities. The sunrise and sunset views from Beacon Pointe rooms are extraordinary; you may want to consider catching one at some point on this trip.
As for evening fun, we recommend heading to Canal Park. Several excellent restaurants to choose from, such as Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar, Bellisio’s Italian Restaurant, Cloud 9 Asian Bistro, and Northern Water’s Smokehaus. For drinks, there is no better place than Vikre Distillery and Cocktail Room located at the base of the historic lift bridge.
We know a short two-night weekend is simply not enough for a proper Duluth getaway, so we put together another day of adventure for you!
Your first stop of the day could very well be at Amity Coffee, where you can find the best homemade caramel rolls and delicious breakfast burritos, along with excellent coffee.
Once you’re all fueled up, you won’t have to travel far from to find frozen waterfalls and excellent trails for winter hiking/snowshoeing, fat tire biking, or cross-country skiing.
Lester River Park is the local go-to, featuring over 9-miles of heavily wooded trails that help protect you from the wind. Amity Creek and the Lester River Valleys also make for incredible views as the trails weave alongside the park’s water flows. Venture down some of the park’s large frozen waterfalls, and you’ll have a full day of exploring ahead of you. This park can even be enjoyed after the sun goes down with its lite xc ski and fat tire bike trails.
If you find yourself a bit chilled after your outdoor adventure, we recommend warming up with a Glensheen Mansion tour. This is a must-see historic property perched on the shore of Lake Superior. They offer self-guided and guided tours. The properties esthetic is fascinating, but the back story is what makes it a remarkable experience.
Eating pleasant food on vacation is what it’s all about, so head on over to Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe for lunch. They serve a Farm-to-table menu with international accents, craft cocktails & more in a quaint neighborhood setting.
If you feel the need to walk off lunch, you can head right into Chester Creek Park, another favorite winter walking park. It’s an 11-minute walk or a short 2-minute drive from Sara’s Table. This lovely park features hiking trails that lead through the woods and along a river with bridges that cross over waterfalls.
The evening is yours to enjoy. We recommend spending some time back at Beacon Pointe to catch that sunset from your room if you haven’t already.
The last day of vacation is never to be wasted. Before leaving town, you might want to stop at Duluth Coffee Company for a specialty drink and to grab a bag of coffee to be enjoyed back at home. FYI, that is the same coffee you probably enjoyed in your room at Beacon Pointe. Don’t miss your chance to stop at the craft district’s shops. You’ll find leather goods at Frost River, handmade goods at Back Alley Duluth, and Boat House Treats & Treasures, along with thrift stores and gallery boutique shores like Two Loons Gallery and Thrifty Bowtique.