I traveled to Duluth and Two Harbors in early June. I had never been there, but as a “lighthouse fan” always wanted to go….as per the picture below, sometime between the ‘Twin Cities’/cities and Duluth, the trees change, and you know you are “up north”. Everything becomes greener, taller trees, and then you start to see white birch-woods, too.
Stayed: AmericInn, Two Harbors – Great place to stay. Quiet, clean, great people, huge breakfast. Wouldn’t recommend for children under age 10 for very long, although there is a pool and hot tub – this is more of a passing-through/business/tourists who just want to sleep small hotel.
PS do not follow GPS directions, it will take you to off of Highway 61, to the old 61 behind a car dealership. Sure, use your GPS going out of Duluth towards Two Harbors – but then once you are out of Duluth and on 61, turn the machine off. The AmericInn is in Two Harbors on the right side coming from Duluth, next to a Holiday gas station – can’t miss it.
First night, ate at the Black Woods Grill & Bar in Two Harbors. Very classy place – but don’t worry, I was in jeans and a nice blouse, so it’s casual-friendly. Had the CHICKEN BREAST CHAMPAGNE and that was made of yum. Portions were huge, so we shared it, and we even had leftovers. Also, they have 1919 Root Beer from Schells in New Ulm, MN – and although a glass was on the spendy side (about $3) I just had to. It’s 1919!
I printed off a few pages of the NORTHLAND COUPON BOOK before I left – full of shopping, dining, attractions and hotel coupons – used one to purchase charms of the Arial Lift Bridge at Security Jewelers (parking was hard to find, though). Great place to glance through, as well, and friendly staff. While in Duluth, toured the WIlliam A. Irvin, the Marine Museum, and took a short VIsta Fleet boat tour. Greatest part? Not having to move the car – all day! For $5 (as of this posting date) you can park in the DECC parking lot (we chose in front of the Irvin) all day, and just walk around. There are lots of shops near the area as well, so that was fun – I love to window-shop, even if I don’t buy, while on vacation. The person I was on the trip with absolutely loves Zoos, and although the Lake Superior Zoo is recuperating and rebuilding itself after the flood, they currently don’t have a lot of animals – but I scored this great photo of a peacock. I also have pictures of lemurs, tigers, small horses and goats (they were going to open a farm exhibit in a few days) and lions. Incredible, right?
During my time there, the first weekend in June – it was cold. It was rainy. It was still a great time, but one day – we just spent time in Two Harbors touring the Lighthouse, driving around, and spent time watching television for a few hours in the evening (I know, I know . . . but I don’t have cable, so it was like “it’s raining. You want to watch the Travel Channel? Food Network? History? HGTV? Maybe some Chelsea Lately?”
Also, btw, the Two Harbors Lighthouse also serves as a Bed and Breakfast. How wonderful! I think it would be incredible as a late June, July/August rental, when everything is warm and sunny – I thought about lodging there, but I was all “it’s the first week in June.” I didn’t think I’d like to sit out on Adirondack chairs, watching the sunrise or sunset, or even sitting there with a book, in rainy weather. But, even being there in the rain – I was all, “I can picture this wonderfulness in the summer!” Plus, if you rented, you’d be supporting historical and ‘kept-up’ efforts – so, plus side there!
From Duluth and Two Harbors, I also visited Betty’s Pies and Split Rock Lighthouse. At Betty’s, had lunch and then tried a piece of the Apple-Strawberry Pie and the 5 Layer Chocolate (the 5-Layer everyone was like, “you have to have this!”). I adore pie. I can’t get enough of it, and that Apple-Strawberry was incredible. Seriously. Even if its not the best pie you ever had in your life (I have had some other top pies in my life!) you just have to go, as it is also a “staple” and a “famous” place.
Split Rock Lighthouse…I thought it was going to be HUGE. Like, gigantic. I mean, those pictures that you see all over the place make it so humongous. But, it was like…kinda like lego-land or something to me, I just couldn’t get over that I could stand there and see the top, ha-ha.
For me, time in Duluth and time in Two Harbors was worth it – I just think I thought it was going to be soo much more, so upon leaving, I was a little bit disappointed to be honest. The weather was kind of “blah” and that always makes a vacation a little not-good, too, I suppose. I’m almost 30, and I think Duluth would be an incredible place to visit if you had children, or a family, or bringing the grandparents along, that sort of thing. Even for singles and young people who like the bar scene, as there are a lot of them – but I’m not in to that.
All in all, a great weekend.