It’s never too early to start planning for a much-anticipated, mid-summer getaway to Minnesota’s jaw-dropping North Shore! It’s not uncommon for vacationers to create a “bucket list” of can’t-miss destinations for an upcoming getaway. In fact, bucket lists have become a rising trend in the travel industry, even for young travelers and families. Superior Shores Resort, one of the top-rated Lake Superior resorts, is not only centrally located to area’s best attractions, but you’ll discover genuinely breathtaking lake views from nearly every room and a wide variety of amenities that will unquestionably enhance your visit to Two Harbors, MN! Whether you’re visiting the North Shore for the first time or you’ve been exploring these tranquil shores for decades, we hope that this mid-summer bucket list perfectly encapsulates an authentic Northwoods experience.
8:15 a.m. – After enjoying a complimentary cup of joe from an easy-to-use coffee maker on your private, lake-view balcony, pack a light picnic for the day ahead. Black Forest ham and cheese sandwiches, ripe bananas, and kettle chips should satisfy any mid-day hunger!
9 a.m. – Before trekking north to Split Rock Lighthouse, make a pit stop at Betty’s Pies for a delicious, inexpensive breakfast. Devour a three-egg Denver omelet or a rich eggs benedict skillet before ordering slices of award-winning pie to go. Hopefully, they haven’t run out of the Great Lakes fruit, bumbleberry crunch, or French blueberry!
10 a.m. – The first attraction to cross off your North Shore bucket list is Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, specifically Pebble Beach and Ellingson Island. After purchasing a state park sticker (if you haven’t already), drive down to Pebble Beach for a leisurely stroll along the black-rock shoreline. Do a lap around beautiful Ellingson Island and snap several photos of Split Rock Lighthouse in the distance – your feet might get wet on this journey, but that’s half the fun!
10:40 a.m. – Drive back up to the main parking lot, and embark on a short walk to Split Rock Lighthouse. Permeated in history, Split Rock is arguably the most beautiful lighthouse in North America. Peek over the cliffside to see tall waves crash into the shoreline wall. And remember to stop at the gift shop to purchase a keepsake!
12 p.m. – Your next stop will be Oberg Mountain, a 925-foot-tall mountain deep in Superior National Forest, which is a short yet scenic northernly drive along historic Highway 61 from Split Rock Lighthouse. Remember to bring along your picnic supplies in a backpack, and start gradually climbing toward the peak. The views atop Oberg Mountain are equally awe-inspiring and heart-stopping!
12:40 p.m. – Stop at the first overlook for a mountaintop picnic. This area is quite busy, so throw down a blanket on the rocky surface well off to the side. After finishing this gorgeous three-mile, mountain-top loop, head south to Tettegouche State Park.
2:40 p.m. – The summertime is the best season to visit Tettegouche State Park as thrill-seekers can safely traverse the Baptism River up and over several hidden waterfalls! You can skip from rock to rock or just walk in the shallow river. If an adventurous Baptism Riverwalk filled with skips, jumps, and spills sounds outside of your comfort zone, you’re more than welcome to take the north trail to the awe-inspiring High Falls. Feel free to take a dip underneath the waterfall on a hot day!
4:35 p.m. – One of the last stops on this day’s journey along the North Shore is Gooseberry Falls State Park, home to the most beloved waterfalls in MN. Superior Shores is one of the closest Lake Superior resorts to booth Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse! There are several ways to explore this naturally stunning state park, including hiking along the riverside trails, splashing in the waterfalls, and exploring the agate-filled beach at the mouth of Gooseberry River.
6:25 p.m. – The perfect way to reward yourself after a full day of hiking is with dinner and a drink at Kamloops Restaurant & Lounge, located inside the main lodge here at Superior Shores, one of the only Lake Superior resorts with multiple lakefront properties! Savor each bite of the Burlington Burger, a half-pound patty topped with crispy fried onion strings, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and our signature Burlington sauce.
8 p.m. – Save room for a pint or flight of award-winning craft beer at nearby Castle Danger Brewing Company, who was just named the best brewery in Minnesota for the second straight year by the Star Tribune’s readers! Their newly-renovated taproom and outdoor patio is the perfect place to toast to an exceptional day along the North Shore. We recommend the well-balanced “Ode IPA” and the crisp, fruity “17-7 Pale Ale.”
9 p.m. – Return to one of our rustic yet contemporary Lake Superior resorts for a glorious sunset viewing on a private balcony.
9:30 p.m. – Cap off a fulfilling day along the North Shore by hopping inside your private two-person Jacuzzi tub!
8:10 a.m. – After sleeping in a tad, walk the rocky beach near the main lodge here at Superior Shores Resort. Unlike most Lake Superior resorts, our on-site beach is filled with prized agates!
8:55 a.m. – Follow your refreshing early-morning beach walk with a hearty breakfast at Kamloops Restaurant & Lounge. The cheesy breakfast skillet with diced ham, peppers, and onions piled on top of crispy hashbrowns is to-die-for!
10:40 a.m. – You’ll be spending much of day two in Duluth, starting with a 90-minute tour at the beloved Glensheen mansion. Make a reservation several weeks in advance for the 11 a.m. full mansion tour, where you’ll gain access to the third floor and attic. The 39-room mansion is undeniably elegant and filled with absorbing history. We recommend strolling through the lakefront grounds after the tour.
12:40 p.m. – Stop at historic Fitger’s Brewhouse for lunch before exploring Duluth’s lively Canal Park. The talented team at Fitger’s brews delicious craft beer and serves some of the best hand-helds in the city! Choose between the golden cod tacos and the mouthwatering Cubano, both of which pair perfectly with a juicy pint of “The Haze.”
2:10 p.m. – The most extensive stop of the day will be at Canal Park, the heartbeat of Duluth! Start by learning about the area’s history inside the free Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. Check their up-to-the-minute ship arrivals and departures before walking the pier to the breakwater lighthouse. There’s nothing quite like observing a massive, 105-foot-tall cargo ship drift underneath the Aerial Lift Park. Pose for photos, people-watch, and stroll along the lake’s edge before slipping into several shops along Canal Park Drive and Lake Avenue! We recommend stepping into the Duluth Pack Store for hand-stitched outdoor apparel, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for truffles or candy apples, and the Northern Waters Smokehaus for a sharable smoked salmon snack.
4:35 p.m. – Canal Park grants visitors with an up-close-and-personal view of Duluth. Enger Tower, meanwhile, rests 531 feet above Lake Superior on one of the highest points in the region. This 80-year-old, five-story beacon offers visitors a birds-eye view of the Duluth, Superior, Spirit Mountain, and, of course, vast Lake Superior!
5:40 p.m. – Indulge in an elegant, lake-view dinner at New Scenic Café on Old Highway 61. The New Scenic Café is known for their five-star dining experience, but there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a $30 dinner once in a blue moon. The sea bass and fried grouper are both delectable, and the presentation is stellar!
7:10 p.m. – Return to our lakeside city to stroll along the breakwater path near Two Harbors Lighthouse. On evenings when the sun is shining and the wind is non-existent, this brief breakwater stroll is hard to beat!
7:55 p.m. – Before the sun dips below the horizon, take a splash inside our outdoor pool, and soak in our soothing hot tub. We’re one of the only Lake Superior resorts with both an outdoor pool and hot tub near the water’s edge!
9 p.m. – The perfect way to finish an adventurous weekend on the North Shore is with a beach bonfire at dusk here at Superior Shores Resort. A Northern Minnesota bucket list isn’t complete without a glorious lakefront bonfire amongst friends and family! Beach campfires are complimentary for our guests inside of strategically-placed fire pits.