By Megan Roessler
If you decide to visit Grand Marais, featured in BRAVA’s travel issue, you may want to make a pit stop in Duluth, Minnesota, a bustling college town on the southern tip of Lake Superior.
The port city near the Wisconsin-Minnesota border has a rich history, known as a onetime waypoint for voyageurs—those fur trading explorers from Canada—and home to loggers and hipsters alike.
In recent years, the industrial buildings of downtown Duluth have become home to upscale restaurants, shops and breweries, each celebrating the culture of the Upper Midwest.
The DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace on Duluth’s waterfront is home to the Northern Waters Smokehaus, famous for smoked salmon and trout, and perfect for a hearty lunch. Duluth icons, Duluth Pack and the Duluth Trading Company, are can’t-miss shopping destinations for Northwoods gear and clothing. A stop at the Great Lakes Aquarium, tour of the Glensheen Historic Estate or paddle along the North Shore in a replica voyageur canoe will round off a day of Great Lakes adventures.
Duluth’s Lakewalk—a trail stretching over 7 miles of Lake Superior’s shoreline – offers views of the historic Aerial Lift Bridge and the Split Rock Lighthouse, and plenty of places to stop for food or a cold beer.
The city offers myriad tours, whether for cultural, nature or adventure fanatics, along with art and history offerings galore. It’s truly an urban gem.