My Visit to Duluth and Split Rock

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.

ImageStayed: 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. ImageIncredible, 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.


Duluth – Sightsee

Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Drive
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 740-3474
Glensheen Historic Estate
3300 London Road
Duluth, MN 55804
(888) 454-4536
Lake Superior Zoo
7210 Fremont St
Duluth, MN 55807
(218) 730-4900
Saint Louis County Historical and Arts Center
506 West Michigan St
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 727-8025
North Shore Scenic Railroad
506 West Michigan St
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-1273
Fairlawn Mansion & Museum
906 East 2nd St
Superior, WI 54880
(715) 394-5712

Duluth – Eat

Timber Lodge Steakhouse
325 South Lake Avenue
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-2624
Erbert and Gerbert’s Subs & Clubs
Downtown Duluth * 234 W. 1st St * (218) 723-2330
Spirit Valley * 57th Ave W. & Grand Ave * (218) 628-0600
Kenwood Shopping Center * 1350 Arrowhead Rd * (218) 724-8100
Cloquet * 1414 Hwy 33 * (218) 879-7827
Superior, WI * 1325 Tower Ave * (715) 392-5305
Va Bene, Berarducci’s Caffe
734 East Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 722-1518
Bellisio’s Italian Restaurant
405 South Lake Avenue
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 727-4921
Blackwoods Grill and Bar
2525 London Road
Duluth, MN 55812
(218) 724-1612

Candy Store

Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen
223 Scenic Drive Knife River MN 55609

Food & Restaurants

Betty’s Pies

1633 Hwy 61 Two Harbors MN 55616 | Phone: 218-834-3367 | Fax: 218-834-9298



Louise’s Place

19 Waterfront Drive Two Harbors MN 55616


This looks like a great, cheaper, good breakfast, sandwich, organic coffee café place!

Lighthouse at Emily’s

218 Scenic Drive Knife River MN 55609


Dairy Queen

530 7th Avenue Two Harbors MN 55616


1082 Hwy 61 Two Harbors MN 55616  – – note Gluten Free Menu

Gift Shops

Moose’ Cellaneous Gifts
603 7th Avenue Two Harbors MN 55616 | Phone: 218-834-8111

Gift store includes magazines, best seller paperbacks, interior design items, childrens books, seasonal gifts, some toys and seasonal gifts. Hwy 61 and Waterfront Drive.

Sweet Peas Gift Shop & Craft Mall
625 7th Avenue Two Harbors MN 55616 | Phone: 218-834-9215 | Fax: –

Celebrate . . . . PIE!

I love an incredible piece of pie. Doesn’t the world always need more pie? I love that saying, and that mission is an incredible idea – spreading joy with pie!

January 23 is ‘National Pie Day‘. Each year on January 23, pie is celebrated – yum!

American Pie Council – Great American Pie Festival

Lecompte Pie Festival – Louisiana

Pie Festival – Pie Town, New Mexico

Whoopie Pie Festival – Pennsylvania

Cafe, Stores, Brands

Betty’s Pies

..and if you are in the Los Angeles area – oh well, they now ship, I guess – check out Porch Pies. If I ever visit LA again, I plan to check them out.

More will probably be added to this post at a later date. I really, really love pie! ; )

Places to Stay – Duluth


Bed & Breakfast

*in no order – just links

Two Harbors and Lighthouse

Information from

In the area for the day? You can see the Two Harbors Light Station Museum by stopping by for a self-guided tour. The Two Harbors Light Station is one of four museums operated by the Lake County Historical Society. The others are the Duluth & Iron Range Depot Museum, the Edna G Tugboat Tour, and the Dwan Building 3M Museum.

Museum Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00am – 6:00pm and Sundays from 10:00am – 4:00pm, May through October. Please contact the Lake County Historical Society office at 218-834-4898 for winter tours.

Adults: $3.00
Children ages 9 – 17: $1.00
Children under 9: No charge


Two Harbors, MN is 20 miles north of Duluth, MN.  As you travel all the way through Two Harbors on 7th Ave, turn right at the Burlington Bay Campground sign onto 1st Street, continue to South Ave.(7 Blocks).  Turn right onto South Ave., continue 3 Blocks to South Ave.  Turn right onto South Ave.continue to 3rd Street, then turn left for 2 Blocks.
At the “ Y “ (paved to the right, gravel to the left), stay left on the gravel driveway to the LightHouse. Ring the bell on back door. View a Google Map of our location.

Scenic Drives

Everyone loves a Road Trip! Lake County is home to two routes on the National Scenic Byways Register.

  • US 61: The North Shore Scenic Drive, The All American Road, no matter what you call it is one of the nicest drives in the country. The locals just call it, The Highway.
  • Forest Highway 11: From Silver Bay to Hoyt Lakes this National Scenic Byway is a pleasant afternoon drive. Just off the route is White Pines Picnic Area north on CO. 2. This is one of the few places you will see old growth forest like it was 150 years ago. Stop by the Historic Toimi School and Wayside for a little bit of history with some local color.
  • MN 1: From Illgen City to Ely, this is one of the most truly spectacular drives in the northland. A favorite of motorcyclists for years it is a long winding route through the state and national forests. You will find yourself traveling through little communities like Finland and Isabella before getting to Ely. To drive the entire trip is several hours.

Duluth & Iron Range Railroad Depot Museum: 218-834-4898 / 520 South Avenue, Two Harbors / Lake County Historical Society
Two Harbors Light Station Museum: 218-834-4898 / 1 Lighthouse Point, Two Harbors
3M Museum: 218-834-4898 / 203 Waterfront Drive,Two Harbors

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Rd.
Two Harbors MN 55616

Directions: On Minn. State Hwy. 61, 20 miles northeast of Two Harbors. Map

Phone 218-226-6372


Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors and college students, $6 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members.

Hours: Summer Hours: May 15 through Oct. 21, 2012; daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Visitor Center until 6:30 p.m.

Winter Hours: Oct. 16 through May 15, 2012; Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m to 4 p.m. (Visitor Center, Museum Store and grounds only. No admission fee is charged, but a State Park vehicle permit is required.) Closed Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Go to Split Rock Lighthouse website


View events happening at Split Rock Lighthouse.

Split Rock Lighthouse Open House

Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors MN

Dates: June 8, 2013

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fee: Free

Enjoy the beauty and history of Minnesota’s North Shore during an open house at Split Rock Lighthouse and State Park. Admission is FREE to both the Lighthouse and the State Park. Tour the light station, keepers house and fog signal building. Stop by the Visitor Center to see exhibits on the North Shore’s tourism and commercial fishing industries, and view a film about the early shipping industry on Lake Superior.

Photo Ops:

Lighthouse & Keeper’s House

Guided tours of the light station leave from the visitor center at the top of the hour. Visitors can also tour the site and climb the lighthouse on their own.

Costumed guides in the lighthouse and the keeper’s home show what life was like for the light keepers and their families in the early 1920’s.

Four of the historic buildings are open to visitors:

  • lighthouse
  • fog signal building
  • oil house
  • keeper’s restored home

Lake Superior’s North Shore

The North Shore Scenic Drive is Minnesota’s only All-American Roadway and is a destination in itself.

State Parks

North Shore Attractions