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16 of the Best Things to Do in Duluth, MN

Duluth is one of the most scenic cities in the state of Minnesota

By: Michael Hodson | October 25, 2019

As the writer behind Via Travelers, a modern travel blog focused on helping you learn the best travel tips and hacks and as a Minnesota-based travel blogger, I’m excited to provide an overview of this charming, northern Minnesota town. Nested on the banks of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, Duluth is one of the most scenic cities in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The list of best things to do in Duluth, MN is long and exciting, so there’s lots to cover.

16 Things to do in Duluth, MN

The city sets against pristine forest and rocky cliffs, making it an ideal place for both adventure and nature lovers. The city is only a couple hours drive from Minneapolis. If you’re looking for some outdoor fun or relish the beauty of nature, visit this eye-pleasing city.

The List of the Best Things to do in Duluth

Below, we have put together a few fun and exciting things to do in Duluth.

1. Visit Aerial Lift Bridge

Earlier known as Aerial Ferry Bridge, Aerial Lift Bridge is the landmark of this port city. It is a steel-made structure, completed in the year 1905. The height of the bridge is 69 m, while the length is 153 m in total.

The bridge connects the Mainland with Minnesota Point, which is a five-mile-long sandbar. The Aerial Lift Bridge is one of the no-doubt Duluth attractions and is also mentioned in the National Register of Historic Places.

The feature that makes this bridge unique from others is its deck, which can be lifted up to 135 ft. to let the large ships pass.

For localities, the bridge is much like the Eiffel Tower is to the people of Paris. So whenever you’re in the city, you must visit this historical landmark, as it is one of the best free things to do in Duluth.

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Get There: The address of this bridge is 601 S Lake Avenue, Duluth, MN 55802, United States. Public transport is readily available to the bridge from most parts of the Duluth.

Ticket: No Charges      


2. Spend Some Quality Time in Canal Park

The heart of Duluth, Canal Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. The park is spread across the Interstate 35 freeway from Downtown Duluth. 

Much of what the Duluth has to offer is related to Canal Park. It is the gateway to Park Point, connecting the convention center with the Bayfront Festival Park. If you’re visiting the city for a short time, head to Canal Park. There is so much to do in this area – you can spend the whole weekend here.

Canal Park has something for everything. If you’re an art lover, you can visit quaint art galleries. For foodaholics, this park has a range of world-class restaurants, hotels, and outdoor cafes. 

Adventure lovers can participate in various adventurous activities such as bawling, bike riding, rollerblading, and more. Moreover, you can also have a great view of the Aerial Lift Bridge from Canal Park. I used one the best travel credit cards to book my hotel stay. It was located near all the restaurants and featured a view of the bridge. It was well worth it. . 

Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

How to Get There: 394 Lake Avenue South, Suite 314, Duluth, Minnesota. Public transportation is available to the Canal Park from all nearby places such as Swenson Hall, Black Woods Convention center, Loon’s foot Landing, etc.

Nearest stations to Canal Park include:

  • Canal Park Dr & Buchanan (5 min walk)
  • Lake Avenue & Buchanan Street (7 min walk)
  • Park Inn (8 min walk)
  • Canal Park Dr & Sutphin (8 min walk)

Ticket: No charges until you’re participating in any activities.


3. Watch Native Animals at Lake Superior Zoo 

Visiting Lake Superior Zoo is another best things to do in Duluth, especially if you want to have close encounters with native animals. 

Also known as Duluth Zoo, the Lake Superior Zoo is the best place to visit with both friends and family. The zoo was founded by a local businessman, Bert Onsgar, in 1923 and has been on everyone’s Duluth sightseeing list ever since.

bear at Lake Superior Zoo

Some of the major attractions of the zoo include African Lion, Reg Kangaroo, Sugar Glider, Baby Doll Southdown Sheep, Flemish Giant Rabbit, Prairie Dog, Swift Fox, African Straw-Colored Fruit bat, and more.

The zoo runs educational programs round the year to educate people about animals and mother nature.

Best Time To Visit: You can visit the zoo round the year

Timings: Monday to Sunday

  • 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • For Adults: $13.00
  • For Children (3-12): $6.50
  • For Seniors(62+): $12.00
  • For Children (2 or below): Free

How to Get There: The zoo is located 10 minutes drive from downtown Duluth.

Contact No. +1 218-730-4500

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