Very few destinations in North America rival the North Shore. This scenic, historic respite is no longer just a summertime or autumn escape for city dwellers from Minneapolis and St. Paul. The North Shore remains a desirable mid-winter venue for adventurers, romantics, and beer aficionados alike. And Superior Shores Resort has quickly blossomed into one of the premier winter getaways in MN. Our picturesque Lake Superior lodging is perfectly located in-between the rolling hills of Duluth, MN, and two of the country’s most-visited state parks. Plus, you won’t stumble across better wintertime promotions during your travels!
Winter Getaways in MN | A North Shore Travel Itinerary
To ensure that your next mid-winter getaway to Superior Shores Resort is nothing short of perfection, we’ve pieced together yet another meticulously-detailed travel itinerary. While we just said, “goodbye,” to yet another vibrant autumn season, we’ve been focused on winter for some time. There’s just something genuinely magical about exploring the North Shore’s many visually-striking natural attractions underneath swaying, subtly-descending snowflakes. Hopefully, this travel itinerary paints an alluring picture of this beautiful land!
8 a.m. – Kamloops Restaurant & Lounge
After waking with the sun and watching it rise delicately above Lake Superior’s frozen surface, ready yourself for perhaps the best early-morning meal in recent memory. Gaze out toward the gleaming lake with a cup of hot coffee in hand at Kamloops Restaurant & Lounge while you eagerly wait for your stack of fluffy pancakes or ultra-cheesy breakfast skillet.
10:25 a.m. – Oberg Mountain
Day one mostly revolves around adventure, exploration, and photography. After swaying to classic Bob Dylan tunes while cruising up Highway 61 en route to Oberg Mountain, dust off your snowshoes and poles for a bit of backcountry exercise. The short but secluded Sugarbush Onion River Trail is a snowshoer paradise with very little foot traffic, thriving birdlife, and dramatic valley vistas! The Oberg Mountain Loop, meanwhile, doesn’t require snowshoes, but it’s perhaps the best hike in the state. Don’t forget to pack a light picnic for this journey as there are several overlooks with ample space for a midday snack. Sawtooth Outfitters is the preferred snowshoe rental facility in the region.
2:20 p.m. – Split Rock Lighthouse / Ellingson Island
Most romantic winter getaways in MN include an hour or two at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, located just 19 miles north of our arresting North Shore winter cabin rentals! Stroll up to the base of the lighthouse, and admire the breathtaking views of the powder blue Lake Superior. “Snap” plenty of photos before driving back down the hill to dreamlike Pebble Beach, home to Ellingson Island. This stretch of rocky beach is perhaps the most romantic spot along the North Shore (and an ideal spot for a mid-winter proposal). Don’t pass up the opportunity to walk on the frozen lake or the outer edge of Ellingson Island.
4:10 p.m. – Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls certainly isn’t as impressive during the wintertime as it is during the warmer months. But the wonderment of these world-famous falls is not lost! Every winter, the Gooseberry River is frozen in time. It’s as if the waterfall suddenly solidified, mid-spill—and each particle of frazil ice tells a distinct story. The ice, much like the rest of us Midwesterners, will have to wait patiently for spring’s arrival. And, hopefully, Agate Beach’s shoreline is littered with sheening, seemingly otherworldly ice stacking (as seen in the picture to the right).
6 p.m. – McQuade’s Pub and Grill
After shedding your snow gear and warming up by your private fireplace, make the short trek to nearby McQuades Pub and Grill for dinner and drinks. McQuade’s is known for its elaborate, artistically plated, and undeniably tasty daily specials, such as the pan-seared and blue cheese-crusted New York strip steak. Many of the most memorable winter getaways in MN include a lavish steak dinner at McQuade’s or Kamloops.
7:30 p.m. – After-Dark Relaxation
Slip into your private, two-person Jacuzzi tub for a healthy dose of well-deserved underwater therapy. Before your soak, be sure to grab a DVD from the Main Lodge. Our shelf of movies continues to grow—we have everything from heartwarming classics to recently-released popcorn flicks. These Jacuzzi suites are the perfect place to unwind after a truly unforgettable but physically-demanding day along the North Shore’s rolling hillside.
10 a.m. – Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace
There are nearly a dozen charming coffee shops in the area, many of which rest in neighboring towns. Let’s start day two with a trip down to Duluth, MN, and a brief stop at Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace for a fresh-baked scone, slice of quiche, or breakfast sandwich. Oh, and don’t forget about their delectable cups of joe!
11:10 a.m. – Lake Superior Zoo
The best bargain on the North Shore can be found at West Duluth’s Lake Superior Zoo, a small yet superb sanctuary just minutes from Canal Park. Meet a wide variety of friendly, furry critters as you meander beside a frosted hillside. We particularly love the curious amur tiger, heart-melting swift foxes, sleepy Eurasian lynx, and lively wallabies.
12:50 p.m. – Hartley Nature Center
Now that you have a couple hundred milligrams of caffeine in your system and a dozen photos of cute animals, trek on up to the Hartley Nature Center—a hidden gem if there ever was one! Hartley’s trails are perfect for snowshoes. The dense forestry, still ponds, and towering pines combine to create a truly peaceful ambiance, an aspect that many winter getaways in MN lack. Self-practicing forest bathers won’t find a more suitable destination.
2:15 p.m. – Sir Benedict’s Tavern
Being that you enjoyed a light breakfast, we recommend slipping on down to Sir Benedict’s Tavern for an inventive, well-crafted sandwich to satisfy that midday craving. Boy oh boy, it’s hard to top their classic reuben or “The Pickled Pig,” a glorious matrimony of porchetta, pepper jack, and Thai mayo.
3:10 p.m. – Chester Park
Hopefully, your group still has a little something left in the tank. It’s now time to burn a few more calories by walking up Chester Creek. Park near Burrito Union, and hop on down onto the shallow creek. This statement might be a no-brainer, but make certain that the creek is frozen solid. This jagged gorge is an idyllic locale for a classic, hand-in-hand stroll with your sweetheart! Be careful when climbing up the falls as we don’t anyone slipping.
4:30 p.m. – Bent Paddle Brewing Co
By now, you’re owed a pint of world-class craft beer inside an award-winning taproom. Bent Paddle Brewing recently expanded into a new space, which features sleek furniture, loud colors, and eye-catching decor. Yet, Bent Paddle’s approach remains the same. They continue to craft balanced, sessionable ales, such as the Venture Pils. Alternative: Ursa Minor Brewing.
5:20 p.m. – OMC Smokehouse
The hottest new restaurant in Duluth, MN, rests just a block away from Bent Paddle: OMC Smokehouse, a casual, mid-sized eatery with perhaps the best brisket in the state. OMC stands for “oink, moo, and cluck” as pork, beef, and chicken are their specialties. The “Haystack” brisket sandwich is a Central Texas-style delicacy that demands your attention.
6:30 p.m. – World of Wheels Skate Center
There’s nothing more romantic than unstably rolling around a slick wooden floor amid droves of grinning children, right? Okay, maybe not. However, the World of Wheels Skate Center in neighboring Superior, WI, is the perfect after-dark activity for all types of winter getaways in MN. The floor is typically littered with couples, families, teenagers, and, yes, “the roller patrol.” The DJ typically plays an eclectic mix of tunes that accompany the colorful strobe lights. Alternative: the two-time defending national champion UMD Bulldogs men’s hockey team.
Top-Reviewed Winter Resorts in MN
While no two winter getaways in MN are the same, we hope that this travel itinerary provides you with a handful of ideas for your upcoming stay at Superior Shores Resort. We boast rustic yet modern North Shore lodging, on-site dining, private Jacuzzi suites, and first-rate hospitality. To learn more about our upcoming specials, please visit us online. Otherwise, give our team a call today at 800-242-1988!