A Man's Guide to Duluth's Best Vacation IdeasA list of the top ten guys vacation ideas in Duluth.
By: Mason Moris | July 23, 2018
If you're looking for a weekend full of adventure with the guys, Duluth has you covered. AskMen.com recently published an article titled,“10 Guy's Vacations Destinations” in which the author detailed the most popular “Guy’s Vacation Destinations” in the United States. There are plenty of adrenaline inducing activities and amazing places to visit, but what if you don’t have time to travel across the country, or, simply don’t want to break the bank? Look no further than Duluth, MN! From rock climbing the urban basalt cliffs, to catching waves on the sandy shores of Lake Superior, Duluth has an incredibly diverse array of experiences that can satisfy any urge for adventure, or relaxation you and the guys may have.
1-Rock Climbing -- It may come as a surprise to even the most knowledgeable Duluth native, but Duluth is home to an incredible amount of natural climbing rock, ranging from beginner to expert, and everything in between. Duluth has over 300, mapped, outdoor climbs and boulder routes. The Duluth Climber’s Coalition offers great information as well as guided tours of Duluth’s most scenic climbs. If the weather isn’t great or you’d simply prefer to climb indoors, The UMD Recreational Sports Center has a great climbing facility. With two indoor rock climbing walls, and a bouldering cave, UMD is excellent for climbers of every skill level.
2-Bayfront Festival Park- Undoubtedly, one of the greatest attractions Duluth has to offer is BayFront Festival Park. Situated on the Duluth harbor is an awe-inspiring venue that hosts a variety of events throughout the year. A local favorite are the summer concerts which completely pack the park! It’s essentially one enormous party consisting of live music, refreshments, and the best people you’ve never met. Bayfront Park concerts and food trucks are open to all ages, but if you’re 21+ there are beer tents too. Need I say more? There is a large List of events happening this summer, but if you’re not busy the day before our nation’s birthday, Hairball never fails to get fists pumping and heads banging. If live music isn’t your thing, visit Bayfront on August 16th for Grill Wars. Grill Wars sells 15 tickets for $10, and each ticket gets you ¼ of the best local burgers Duluth has to offer. By my calculations, ten bucks scores you about four GOURMET burgers! It’s a no-brainer really.
3-Biking--If you and the guys are looking for an off-road adventure, Duluth has just that. With an amazing array of trails, cyclists can challenge themselves over rocks and ridgelines on more than 45 miles of single-track trails. For more experienced mountain bikers, Spirit Mountain offers the only lift-access mountain biking in all of Minnesota. With steep slopes, wooden bridges and dirt jumps, Spirit Mountain is a mountain biker’s paradise. But if riding an insane line, or drifting corners at top speed isn’t your cup of tea, look into Duluth’s extensive list of Biking Trails that accommodate every level of rider. While it is still under construction, The Duluth Traverse is a one-of-a-kind, beginner-level, singletrack trail stretching the entire ridgeline of Duluth. With over 85% of construction complete, the grand opening of the Traverse seems to be right around the corner. Start recruiting a group of friends and become one of the first to conquer the legendary 100-mile trail!
4-Surfing- Although it doesn’t see the colossal swells Hawaii or California does, Duluth’s Stoney Point ranks #4 on TripSavvy’s list of The Best Places to Go Surfing on the Great Lakes. Yes, you read that right. You can Surf on Lake Superior! With swells reaching 11+ feet , Duluth surf is not to be taken lightly. You may have heard of Stoney Point from the documentary Unsalted: A Great Lakes Experience, where professional surfer Alex Gray claimed to have found the “Biggest, cleanest... most ocean like wave” he had ever seen on a lake. So, if you and the dudes are totally stoked to rip the unsalted swells of Lake Superior, Duluth has your back.
5-Skiing-- Ranked by Outdoor Magazine as the “Best Outdoor City in America” in 2014, it’s no surprise Duluth is home to some of the best skiing in the state. With over 175 skiable acres, Spirit Mountain is a great place to gather your buddies, Rent a Lodge, and ride one of the mountain’s 22 runs. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to shred the slopes before and want to learn, Spirit Mountain offers 1-on-1 lessons for both skiing and snowboarding! When you start feeling cold, want a bite to eat, or need some new equipment, stop by either chalet located at the top and bottom of the mountain. Spirit Mountain takes excellent care of its terrain parks, has the largest halfpipe in the Midwest, and ranks #4 on the list of BEST terrain parks in all of the Midwest. Duluth is also the birthplace of former Olympian half-pipe rider, and X-games medalist, Mason Aguirre!
6-Gambling-- Who needs to travel to Sin City when you have the City on the Hill? Located at 129 East Superior Street in the heart of downtown Duluth is the one and only, Fond-du-luth Casino. Completely renovated in 2015, Fond-du-Luth now offers a brand new bar, electric slot machines and a non-smoking area! With over 650 slot machines and Blackjack tables ranging from $3-$1,000, you can play casually or throw down a table max and hopefully finance your entire weekend. PRO TIP: When you stop by, don’t forget to sign up at the Players Club Card to receive at least $5 Instantly. Who doesn’t like free money?
7-Charter Fishing- Reeling in a behemoth while all your buddies watch is every man’s dream when fishing. Make that dream a reality with Duluth’s Charter Fishing! Venture out on the LARGEST freshwater lake in the world with the best guides in the Twin Ports. As gigantic as Lake Superior is, it’s no surprise the fish are just as huge. The lake currently holds five size records for the the largest recorded fish caught on Minnesota lakes. These species include Chinook and Coho Salmon, Brook and Brown Trout, and whitefish, all of which can be caught during a fishing tour. Any cast could be the trophy fish that would fit perfectly mounted above the fireplace.
8-Brewery Tours If there’s one thing Duluth does extremely well, it’s beer. With 9 outstanding Breweries to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find a beer that perfectly suits your taste buds. Many of Duluth’s breweries offer friendly staff, great food, games and events that make you feel right at home. If you’re more of a craft cocktail aficionado, Duluth also has an award-winning micro-distillery, Vikre Distillery located at the foot of the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge. If you want to be treated like a VIP for the night or just want a more structured brewery experience, book one the many Brewery Tours the Twin Ports has to offer.
9-Whitewater rafting There’s something incredibly freeing about paddling as hard as you can down a rushing river, weaving between rocks, and splashing down rapids. Whitewater rafting never fails to get the heart racing and blood pumping. Lucky for you, Duluth has amazing rafting tours including Swiftwater Adventures and Minnesota Whitewater. If you’re bored with the normal nine to five routine, Visit Duluth for the weekend to get your adrenaline racing. With no experience needed, the knowledgeable rafting guides lead trips through crazy class IV rapids. Come conquer some of the best whitewater rafting in the state, if you’re man enough. Whitewater rafting is also the perfect bachelor party idea that will surely create lasting memories with amazing people.
10-Golfing- As you and I both know, it doesn’t get much better than a cloudless round of golf. If you’re looking to kick back, relieve stress and enjoy a relaxing weekend, visit Duluth. Head north to the enjoy the rolling hills and turning fairways the beautiful Duluth Golf Courses have to offer! With multiple 27-hole courses, it’s the perfect opportunity to see which of your buddies has the best golf game and who is all talk. With breathtaking views overlooking Lake Superior and the city of Duluth, does it really get any better?