5 things to do in “Winter” Duluth & the North Shore

Dan Hartman
Feb 26 · 4 min read

Duluth and North shore is a pretty amazing place to visit year round. Here are some spots not to miss this 2019 winter.

1. Lincoln Park Craft District

This part of town is the “new” hip part of Duluth.

  • You have Bent Paddle’s new enlarged and frankly just cooler Tap Room — Website
  • Duluth Grill — the one that started the trend— Website
  • OMC Smokehaus — some of best BBQ in MN - Website
  • Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace — It is also home to the Duluth Folk School, they built a house within the cafe. — Website
  • Duluth Cider (One of MN’s first Cider taprooms)- Website
  • Ursa Minor brewing (great wood fired pizzas) — Website

2. Glensheen Mansion

This is the midwest’s no. 1 visited house museum and the grounds are shockingly beautiful covered in all of the snow we have received.


  • Basic tour are self guided and great for families
  • 15 new spaces opened in last 5 years
  • Try the new Nooks & Crannies or Servants Tour
  • All tours come with a free rental of snowshoes — go explore the 12 acres of Lake Superior Shoreline at one of the most expensive pieces of property on Lake Superior

3. Spirit Mountain

With all of the snow we have received (record levels) this is the year to try out Spirit Mountain, which is the largest ski experience in Duluth.


  • go skiing or snowboarding
  • try out glow tubing
  • go x-c skiing at the new Grand Ave Nordic Center
  • Enjoy a beer with a great view.

4. Drive up the North Shore.

From the comforts of your car, the Winter North Shore is vastly different from the summer North Shore.

North Shore Bucketlist website or North Shore Visitor Guide website

  • Don’t miss the amazing ice formations all along the shoreline
  • Don’t miss the frozen waterfalls of Gooseberry Falls and Tettegouche State Park
  • Enjoy the long drive and frozen expanse of Lake Superior. It is rarely frozen this far north and it is something to witness.

5. Watch a more “lively” Zoo — Lake Superior Zoo

Many of the animals are far more active in the winter than in the summer because of the cooler temps.


  • The Tiger is known for swipping at snowflakes as they fall
  • See the Lions play together and understand how they are part of the cat family
  • Witness the Snow Leopard in snow…
  • The Zoo itself is a beautiful thing to witness in all of the snow since it is located at the base of a Kingsbury Creek and a large White Pine forest.

Photo Montage to follow…

Bent Paddle Tap Room — photo by JaneCane Photography
OMC SmokeHouse — Photo by Minnesota Monthly
Duluth Cider — Photo by CBS 3 Duluth
Dovetail Cafe — Photo by Duluth.com
Glensheen Mansion Main staircase landing
Glensheen Mansion’s Breakfast Room
Glensheen Mansion’s Smoking Room
Glensheen Mansion provides Free snowshoe rental with any tour ticket
Spirit Mountain Glow Tubing — Photo from Spirit Mountain Facebook account
Tubing at Spirit Mountain — Photo from Spirit Mountain Facebook account
Spirit Mountain Chairlift — Photo from Spirit Mountain Facebook account
View from the top of Spirit Mountain — Photo from Spirit Mountain Facebook account
More chairlift fun — Photo from Spirit Mountain Facebook account
Brighton Beach — Photo by Jeff Doty — website
High Falls of Tettegouche State Park — Photo from Michael Jane/Flickr
Winter North Shore — Photo from Star Tribune
Ice cave — Photo by Bob Firth
Tiger — Photo from Lake Superior Zoo’s facebook page
They are more playful in the winter — Photo from Lake Superior Zoo’s facebook page
Photo from Lake Superior Zoo’s facebook page
Photo from Lake Superior Zoo’s facebook page
Photo from Lake Superior Zoo’s facebook page
Dan Hartman

Written by

Love the outdoors, good museums, good movies and oh yeah...good public policy.

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