Exploring Duluth, MN

Lessons Learned

Here’s a lesson I’ve learned while traveling: no matter how well you plan (or avoid planning) for a destination, the absolute best way to see a place, distilled down to its most authentic ingredients, is to get someone who lives there to take you.  Go local.  Always.

That’s how we met Duluth.

Scott and I didn’t know much about Minnesota but we knew it is close to Michigan, we had a free place to park the camper and we had some VIPs we’d like to spend time around.  Some very close friends of the family, really extended family, live in Duluth.  So that’s where we headed next.

Word to the wise, if you invite us, we’re likely to come.  Beware of that.  It’s equal parks charming and Griswold Family Christmas.

Exploring Duluth

Who would have guessed Duluth, MN is a heretofor unknown gem {to us}?!  Not me.  But I found myself thinking, “Wow, I could really live here.”  Even the winters didn’t sound that bad when compared against some of the recent months we’ve spent in Maine.

We were gifted a whole day tour for the rate of 1 decent beer. It was a no brainer.

We started with a 10am appointment drop off the trailer at a tire shop to get new tires and bearings.  After that we headed through a happening downtown to the lake front.  We took in the maritime museum, which kept us busy.  The kids operated video locks from a control center, successfully passing at least 4 vessels through the system.  They would have done it 20 more times if we let them, but other folks wanted to get in on the action.

We watched the big drawbridge go up and down as we ate a light lunch from a perfect vantage point.  

Lake Superior

To walk off the fried food, we headed down to a local beach on the island.  What was going to be a short stop turned into the kids wanting to play in the sand and go swimming.  Sure, yes, Lake Superior has chilly waters.  No doubt about it.  But that’s the beauty of polar bear swimming.  If it doesn’t have ice floating on it… it’s not really “cold”.  See the method to my madness?!?

Bonus, the tire store called and we didn’t need new bearings! Yay to saving $500.

Seeing as the kids showed above average interest in stones, our guide extraordinaire took us north to go rock hounding along another beach on Lake Superior.  We didn’t find any agates, but we did come home with a pocketful of treasure rocks.  The afternoon was beautiful.  Hot, sunny and great for plodding along, knee deep in cold water.

Mimi & Bumpah

We’ll be coming back to Duluth, I’m certain.  Can’t beat spending time with good people making good memories.  See you down the road, Mimi and Bumpah.

View from the top.
The city, the port and everything in between.
The peace bell from Duluth’s sister city in Japan.
Going ever higher.
Feet on the ground. Phew!
A boat and the bridge.
Hours of entertainment.
Inside the maritime museum. This looks claustrophobic to me.
The loch operator.
Captain and First Mate
Lak Superior Stones
Enjoying a day by the sea lake shore.
Rock Hounding… Bumpah style
A perfect summer day.