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48 Hours in Duluth

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Split Rock Lighthouse and the Gitchi-Gami State Trail on the North Shore / Waqar Ahmad
Things to Do // Duluth // Article

48 Hours in Duluth

By Thrifty with a Compass

The following story is taken from Explore Minnesota's annual travel guide, which can be ordered for free and viewed online alongside our many other print publications and maps here

OMC Smokehouse in Duluth

OMC Smokehouse / Thrifty with a Compass

Located along the shores of Lake Superior about two hours north of the Twin Cities, Duluth is considered one of the most scenic cities in Minnesota. With over 100 parks and a great offering of local restaurants, it makes an ideal travel destination for a budget-friendly weekend away in the Midwest. Whether you are looking to escape into nature’s beauty or pour some love into the many locally owned businesses that make up the city, check out this 48-hour itinerary for enjoying all that Duluth has to offer.

Duluth's Rose Garden

Duluth's Rose Garden / Thrifty with a Compass

Day One

• Start your morning with a cup of coffee from Duluth Coffee Company downtown on Superior Street. This local brand focuses on sustainably sourcing from farmers and coffee cooperatives around the world to bring fresh and unique coffee beans back to the community.

• Downtown Duluth has lots of shops, breweries and eateries to bop in and out of. Grab snacks from one of the many options or hit a local grocery store to pack for a picnic at Leif Erickson Park. Bonus: There isn’t a fee to visit the park. While you’re there make sure you check out Duluth’s Rose Garden, which features over 3,000 rose bushes and other plants.

• Spend your afternoon on a self-guided tour of Duluth’s breweries (see: the sidebar below for our recommended route).

• Finally, burn off the calories with a nice stroll on the Lakewalk along the beautiful waterfront.

Love Creamery in Duluth

Love Creamery  / Thrifty with a Compass

Day Two

• Kickstart your day with a tasty breakfast at Duluth Grill, where nothing beats the Huevos Rancheros skillet with a side of bacon. We love that there is a soy chorizo option for non-meat eaters!

• Take a nice break by cruising up the North Shore. Enjoy this incredible scenic route and make your way to Gooseberry Falls State Park. There you can hike one of the four trails and view the many waterfalls. Feeling adventurous? You can bring your bike and pedal the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. This paved trail starts at the Picnic Flow parking lot.

• After a fun-filled day outdoors, fuel up with dinner at OMC Smokehouse with options for meat lovers, fish lovers and vegetarians! If BBQ isn’t your thing, we’d also recommend Sir Benedict’s for some tasty sandwiches.

• Not ready to end the day? Grab a couple of craft cocktails at Rathskeller or get ice cream at Love Creamery. The customer service was excellent, and there were vegan options for non-diary eaters.

Bent Paddle Brewing

Bent Paddle Brewing  / Thrifty with a Compass

Duluth on Tap

Duluth is known for its brew masters and cider makers, so you must take a self-guided brewery tour. Start in the Lincoln Park Craft District on the west side of Duluth, where there are several breweries within walking distance of each other.

• Your first stop is Corktown Deli & Brews, where you can get fresh sandwiches with your suds.

• Next, walk to Duluth Tap Exchange. This self-pour taproom allows you to choose from tons of local craft beer, seltzer and wine and pay by the ounce.

• Head to Bent Paddle Brewing Co. to support a sustainably-focused business. We love the ambiance and the flights of four beers for $12 — a great value!

Ursa Minor Brewing in Duluth

Ursa Minor Brewing / Thrifty with a Compass

Ursa Minor Brewing has affordable woodfire-grilled pizzas and paninis in addition to small-batch craft beer. The spacious patio is perfect for pups, and the fire pits keep you warm.

• Head downtown to Fitger’s Brewhouse. Located right on Lake Superior and inside a market, it’s a nice spot to shop and eat. Make sure to try the apricot wheat ale!

• Last stop: Blacklist Brewing Co. With indoor and outdoor seating, it’s great for groups and has activities like axe throwing ($21/hour per person).

Thrifty with a Compass

Wunmi & Sophia are a best friend travel blogging duo from the Midwest. They highlight ways to enjoy travel without breaking the bank. What can you expect from them? Sharing their travel adventures both local and beyond, top tips for your ultimate girls trip, and celebrating diversity in all forms! Follow along their adventures over at Thrifty with a Compass.