Bob Dylan mural downtown Minneapolis

Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan Tour

Scroll to Read
Image Caption
Bob Dylan mural in downtown Minneapolis / Bill Hickey, courtesy Meet Minneapolis

Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan Tour

Follow the trail that leads from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, from the singer’s birthplace in Duluth to his childhood home in Hibbing, and to hangouts near the University of Minnesota campus where the folk singer crafted his signature sound.

A group of friends walk past the Bob Dylan mural in downtown Minneapolis 

A group of friends walk past the Bob Dylan mural in downtown Minneapolis  / Paul Vincent

Day 1: Minneapolis & St. Paul

Robert Zimmerman's life began in Duluth, but Bob Dylan's life began in Minneapolis.

Although he only lived in Minneapolis for less than a year, Dylan's time at the University of Minnesota set the stage for much of his musical career—from his budding interest in folk music, to trying on the name "Bob Dylan" for size, start here to see where the man, myth and legend of Bob Dylan began.

Bob Dylan Landmarks in the Twin Cities


Head to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus to start your day. Dylan was enrolled here from fall 1959–fall 1960, and its where you'll find many of his favorite Twin Cities hangouts. The Dinkytown neighborhood adjacent to the East Bank campus is particularly ripe with Dylan destinations.

  • Gray's Campus Drug (327 14th Ave. SE, now Gray's): Dylan lived above Gray's in a second-floor room starting in the winter of 1960. 
  • "Positively 4th Street" runs through the heart of Dinkytown.
  • The Podium (425 14th Ave. SE): In 1959, Dylan bought his guitar strings here. In 1974, when Dylan returned to town to record "Blood on The Tracks," the Podium lent him a vintage Martin OO and the staff was tapped to be his backup band for the album's recording sessions. 
  • The Bastille (an erstwhile coffeehouse, formerly near the corner of Oak Street and Washington Avenue on the U of M campus): Dylan played here in the spring of 1960.
  • Ten O'Clock Scholar (414 14th Ave. SE, now a parking lot): Dylan played here regularly from late 1959 to the fall of 1960.

Around Minneapolis

  • Sound80 (2709 E. 25th St., now another business): In 1974, Dylan gathered Minneapolis musicians to re-record new material for “Blood on the Tracks,” an album he had started in New York.
  • Catch a Koerner, Ray and Glover show: A local folk-blues group famous in the early '60s with whom Dylan hung out and jammed, Koerner, Ray & Glover occasionally perform at the West Bank joint, Palmer's Bar, named one of America's best bars by Esquire in 2014. 
  • Bob Dylan Mural (the corner of Fifth Street and Hennepin Avenue downtown): Just across from the Warehouse District light rail stop, a mural entitled "Times They Are A-Changin'" depicts Dylan at three stages of his life, painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra in 2015.

St. Paul

  • The Purple Onion Pizza Parlor (722 N. Snelling Ave. at the corner of Minnehaha Avenue, now Hamline apartments): Dylan played here in the fall of 1959 and spring of 1960.
  • CHS Field: Part of the street outside CHS Field in Lowertown St. Paul was renamed Positively 4th Street in 2015.
Looking toward downtown Duluth from Canal Park

Looking toward downtown Duluth from Canal Park / Ty Miller

Day 2: Duluth

Robert Zimmerman (later known as Bob Dylan) was born on May 24, 1941 in St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth. Along with his parents Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone, Dylan lived here for the first six years of his life. 

Bob Dylan Landmarks in Duluth

  • First home (519 North 3rd Ave. East): Dylan lived here until 1948.
  • Duluth Armory (2416 London Road): Dylan witnessed the next to last performance of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, who played here in February 1959 just prior to their deaths in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. Now called the Armory Arts & Music Center, it marks the end of Duluth's Bob Dylan Way, a 1.8-mile cultural pathway designated with brown, black and white signs depicting the world-famous singer/songwriter. An exhibit about Bob Dylan Way is at Fitger's, located at 600 E. Superior St. in downtown Duluth.
  • "Highway 61 Revisited": Highway 61 runs for more than 400 miles (644km) in Minnesota from the southeast corner north along the Mississippi River on the Great River Road to Minneapolis-St. Paul and then to Duluth and along the North Shore Scenic Drive to Canada.
Downtown Hibbing street

Stroll the streets of downtown Hibbing, Bob Dylan's childhood home / Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce

Day 3: Hibbing

When Dylan's father developed polio, the family left Duluth and returned to his mother's hometown, Hibbing. This small Iron Range city in northeast Minnesota is where a young Bob Dylan discovered an interest in music, where he started his first bands, and where he graduated high school. 

Bob Dylan Landmarks in Hibbing

  • Childhood home (2425 7th Ave. East): Dylan lived here from 1948-1959.
  • Hibbing High School (800 E. 21st St.): Dylan's second band, The Golden Chords, performed in a talent show in the Auditorium in 1957. He graduated in 1959.
  • Dylan Drive (7th Ave. East): named in 2005.​
  • Hibbing Public Library (2020 E. 5th Ave.): Houses a Dylan exhibit based on his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume I.
  • Zimmerman's Furniture & Electric (1925 Fifth Ave E.): Owned by Dylan's father from 1954-1958.
  • The Lybba Theatre (2135 First Ave.): Moviehouse built and operated from 1947-1976 by Dylan's uncles and named after his grandmother. It closed on October 28, 1982. It is now the Sunrise Deli-Lybba.​
  • Braman Music (208 E. Howard St.): Dylan took guitar lessons here.
  • L&B Cafe (417 E. Howard St.): Dylan hangout where he met Echo Helstrom (“Girl from the North Country”).
  • Collier's Barbeque and Bar (1928 E. Fourth Ave.): Dylan and The Golden Chords jammed here on Sundays in late 1957 and early 1958. His final Hibbing band, Elston Gunn and the Rock Boppers, performed here during the summer of 1958. It is now the Hong Kong Kitchen.
  • Memorial Building – Little Theater (400 E. 23rd St.): Dylan performed here with The Golden Chords at the Winter Frolic Talent Contest in February 1958. Now contains the Hibbing Historical Society Museum.