Minnesota north shore itinerary

Minnesota north shore itinerary

Whether you live in the Midwest or not, the shores of Lake Superior are well worth the exploration. You may feel like you’re looking over the rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean. The shores of one of the world’s largest fresh-water lakes is under-explored — to say the least. With beauty like this, I would expect immigration here to be through the roof! You might just have to explore it for yourself to understand what I mean. Check out this 2-day Minnesota north shore itinerary.

You may have read my Michigan posts (Michigan itinerary or important reasons to visit Michigan). I talk a lot about Lake Superior. But the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan are even more difficult to get to. But if you depart from the Twin Cities, you can get to the “north shore” of Lake Superior in 2 hours. It’s a perfect weekend getaway or summer trip. Or like we did, you could do this 2 day itinerary for your minimoon after your wedding!

Check out my 2 day Minnesota north shore itinerary!

Day 1

Early afternoon: Grab lunch in Duluth. After doing this, take your time driving to your destination on the north shore. There are many places you could make your home base. Grand Marais is well known as one of the most beautiful places. But it is a longer drive north compared to some other places. For a more approachable drive, consider staying in (or around) Two Harbors, MN.

Just north of Two Harbors is where we stayed for our minimoon (considering doing a minimoon: check out my post on all the reasons to do a minimoon right after your wedding.).

I highlight some great places to stay along the North Shore here.

From our most recent 2 day minimoon, we stayed at this tiny house Airbnb. Although a little pricey, I highly recommend it! You will have a gorgeous view, a private deck for morning coffee, an outdoor firepit, and a detached sauna (!!!!!!).

The other great thing about this, was that it was located just 20 minutes north of Two Harbors — a great location.

Afternoon: Check into your accommodation after getting some groceries to cook dinner. Once checked in go check out the Split Rock Lighthouse. Although sometimes these little touristy spots aren’t for everyone, I highly recommend a visit here. There are some great educational opportunities here.

Lake Superior has some incredibly dangerous waters for boats through the winter time. There were so many sunken ships carrying supplies that light houses had to be created. This lighthouse in particular was built to tell ships: do NOT come here; the shores here are too rocky and dangerous.

The views are incredible from the top of the lighthouse. Not to mention, it is well worth a couple hours hiking through the various trails to get different amazing views.

Evening: Head back to your Airbnb for a relaxing evening. Cook or grill food, sit around the fire, and take a sauna. This is a must when you are on Minnesota’s north shore.

Day 2

Morning: take your time waking up and soaking in the view of Lake Superior from above…. When we stayed at our Airbnb, I just really wanted to relax all morning soaking in the views and being surrounded by nature. For this reason, I would recommend just relaxing at your beautiful accommodation through the morning.

Make a cup of coffee, and sit out on your deck embracing the beauty of the “north-woods” and one of the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Afternoon: After eating some lunch, head out for the afternoon. I would recommend checking out a few hikes, beaches, and/or scenic lookouts. This could include:

After some activity and amazing views, head into Two Harbors town to relax and/or grab some food. We recommend grabbing a beer at Castle Danger Brewery. If you like craft beer, this is an obvious reason to visit. But if you aren’t a beer-drinker, the Brewery also has food trucks every afternoon/evening and has a large lot with areas to play games or just visit in nice weather.

The other main reason we recommend this place, is because it’s located right along the Iron Ore Docks. If you don’t know, this is a huge facility where barges pull in from the lake, and get loaded up with iron ore that they then ship across the lake to various destinations.

When you’re sitting at the brewery you might be lucky enough to hear a boat come in or leave. It’s a super cool experience.

Evening: Because we were having a relaxing weekend, we went back to our Airbnb to cook dinner, enjoy the firepit, and the sauna. But there are various restaurants you could get dinner at in Two Harbors if you prefer!

Day 3

It’s time to leave the north shore… Sad face. If you can manage it with check-out time at your accommodation, consider having another slow morning to soak in the area. Make some coffee and sit outside if you enjoy this as much as me!

Then pack up your car, check out, and start the drive back south.

On your way, stop at a coffee shop in Two Harbors. We recommend Cedar Coffee Company, a short drive off of 61, but highly rated! We had a really good coffee and smoothie from here to take on the road.

I don’t know about you, but I was really sad to be leaving the north shore. It reminded me so much of home, it was relaxing and rejuvenating, and it was so refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of every-day life. I hope you consider a weekend or week-long trip here. There is sooooo much to see.

These are just some recommendations and what worked well for us. But There is so much more to see.

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