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Friday, June 12, 2015


I mentioned earlier this week that I had never been to Duluth, Minnesota, until last weekend.  Given that I’ve lived in Minneapolis for almost fourteen years, that seems especially surprising (Duluth is less than 3 hours away), but circumstances never worked out that way until now.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down.

A lovely view of Lake Superior.

Last weekend my friend Andrew invited me on a day trip to Duluth and it was amazing!  There was a lot packed into the day, and I’ll try to give an overview here.  Andrew picked me up early that morning and after a stop for some much needed coffee to go, we headed out of town. 

It's a tradition to stop for caramel rolls at Tobies Restaurant on the way to Duluth.

Oh so good!

When my friends heard that I was finally going to Duluth, they each gave me the same piece of advice.  They all said that I MUST stop at Tobies Restaurant, in Hinckley, for a caramel roll, and they were definitely right.  I posted earlier this week how awesome those caramel rolls were, and I certainly hope that I will be able to enjoy them many more times.

"The Gate" by artist David von Schlegell.

Enough said.

Some spectacular views of Duluth.

As we approached Duluth we stopped at a visitor’s center located on a scenic bluff overlooking the city.  The view was breathtaking!  I grew up in Iowa along the Mississippi River, with many beautiful bluffs overlooking the city and the river, but nothing compared to this view.  It was the perfect introduction of what was to come.

The beautiful and historic Romanesque styled High School.

Majestic Lake Superior.

Duluth's weather was about a month behind the Twin Cities, 
and the lilacs were just now blooming.

Beautiful Glensheen Mansion.

Once we reached the city itself, we took a quick drive through the downtown, on our way to Glensheen.  Glensheen is the mansion and estate of Chester and Clara Congdon, Duluth’s premier and wealthiest citizens at the turn of the last century.  Their fortune was made in iron ore and their home reflected their social status.  A large portion of our day was spent touring the home, grounds, and outbuidings of Glensheen, and I will be featuring more on the estate in a future post.

Grandma's is one of the most famous Duluth eating establishments.

The decor was fun and eclectic.

Stuffed animal heads adorned the walls.

The beautiful stained glass panel over the bar.

After spending several hours at Glensheen, we traveled back downtown for an early dinner.  Our choice for dinner was Grandma's, a Duluth landmark, and the food was delicious.  The decor was also fun, with its carved wood, vintage advertisement signs, and stuffed animal heads on the walls.  This combination made for a delightful dining experience.

The lighthouses.

Andrew couldn't resist a stroll down the boardwalk, which provided 
amazing views of both the city and the lake.

Good thing we were warned earlier not to feed the seagulls.

As we left the restaurant it started to rain, so our after dinner exploring was limited to the boardwalk, and the two piers with their lovely lighthouses reaching out into Lake Superior.  Old ship’s anchors dotted the shore providing photo opportunities for tourist, and resting perches for the seagulls, all in the shadow of the famous Lift Bridge.  The entire area was charming and beautiful, but as it started to rain harder, we decided to head back to the car and begin the journey home, brining an end to a busy and fun filled day. 

Old ship's anchors dotted the shoreline.

The light at the end of the pier.

I love this lighthouse.

Very good advice.

More good advice.

The impressive Lift Bridge towers over the waterfront.

It had taken me almost fourteen years to finally meet Duluth, and I have absolutely fallen in love with it.  I'm really thankful Andrew invited me.  The city was fantastic, and I’m anxious to return there and explore it further.  I only hope my next trip there will be much sooner, and that I won’t have to wait another fourteen years.

***Have you ever taken a trip to Duluth?

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