Lutsen Mountains gondola

Discover Minnesota's Magnificent Northeast

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Lutsen Mountains gondola  / Buffalo Media Group
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Discover Minnesota's Magnificent Northeast

By Explore Minnesota

Experience the beauty of Lake Superior and inland lakes and forests as you travel on highways with scenic views at every turn. Visit Duluth and its seaport vibe and big city options or explore small towns with delightful downtowns.

Arrive in Duluth and connect with the culture and people. Its rich history is on full display at the St. Louis County Depot, the home to several organizations, including the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, St. Louis Historical Society, Tweed Museum of Art and Duluth Art Institute. There’s a wide choice of dinner options and live entertainment at Duluth Playhouse, presenting a year-round season of drama and musicals since 1914.

A gray wolf rests on a rock at the International Wolf Center

Axl rests on a rock at the International Wolf Center  / International Wolf Center


Fuel up with breakfast and begin at Canal Park Lakewalk with stunning views of Lake Superior and the city. A centerpiece of the fully accessible four-mile paved trail is the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Tour the historic Glensheen Mansion, which depicts the life of the Congdon family in the early 20th century. The family’s collection is intact, from furnishings to books on the bookshelf. Outside, the 12-acre estate offers magnificent views of Lake Superior. Depart for the 40-minute drive to Two Harbors. Anchored on the rocky shore of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse is Minnesota’s oldest stilloperating lighthouse. Visitors can take guided tours of the tower, Assistant Keeper’s House and Pilot House. Just north is Gooseberry Falls State Park and its spectacular waterfalls. Continue on scenic Hwy. 61 to Tettegouche State Park and the state’s largest waterfall. Depart on scenic Hwy. 1 through Finland State Forest for the 90-minute drive to Ely.

Arrive at the International Wolf Center for an introduction to the facts and fictions of domestic and international wolves. Next is the American Bear Center, the only black bear educational facility of its kind. You might prefer the Grand Ely Lodge Resort Event Center for dinner and overnight, or take the 20-minute drive to Tower and the Fortune Bay Resort Casino for dinner, live gaming action and overnight.

Hull Rust Mahoning Mine

Hull Rust Mahoning Mine / Thomas Wieland


After breakfast, the first stop is Virginia and the World’s Largest Floating Loon. Now, that’s a photo op. Sharpen your sweet tooth at Canelake’s Candies for a demonstration and shopping. Allow time for a windshield tour of Virginia’s Building Murals. In Eveleth, visit the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum, a shrine to the players and the game.

In Chisholm, enjoy lunch at Snickers or Choppy’s. Begin your afternoon at the Minnesota Discovery Center for an introduction to the area’s mines and the work of miners. The scene has been set for the Hull Rust Mineview, a sweeping view overlooking an active iron ore mine. In Hibbing, take a guided Bob Dylan Walking Tour, including the singer/ songwriter’s childhood home and hangouts. On the way to dinner and overnight at The Lodge at Giants Ridge, stop at Irma’s Finland House, a gift shopping experience.

Judy Garland Museum Emerald City carriage

Emerald City memorabilia at the Judy Garland Museum / Lisa McClintick


Arrive in Grand Rapids and visit the Itasca County Historical Society. Next, go to the Forest History Center to learn how we depend on forests for food, shelter, building materials and recreation. There’s plenty to see and do there, from paddling adventures to the logging camp.

Head to historic downtown Grand Rapids for lunch, shopping and a visit to the Judy Garland Museum in her childhood home. Exhibits of Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz collection honor the talent of the artist.