Last week I took a couple of vacation days for the first time in three years and spent a nice long weekend up at the North Shore. I have been to Duluth many times over the years and my family used to camp up on the North Shore way back in the day, but to my recollection, I had never been any further than Little Marais. (Here is a MN map for reference)
Here is a map of Lake Superior
The first night we stayed in Duluth at the Holiday Inn. I had earned four free-night-stays during a promotion they had going this past summer when I stayed at the Holiday Inn in Austin, TX and decided to cash a few of them in for this trip. It rained all day Thursday and we were off to a late start so we didn't get to Duluth until late in the evening. Here is a view of Canal Park from our hotel room.
Early Friday morning we left rainy Duluth and started our drive northeast along the North Shore Scenic Drive. The rain prevented us from stopping at many of the scenic overlooks, but we stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse for about .32 seconds until we realized you had to pay $8 admission. Forget about it!
It had stopped raining at Silver Bay so we stopped at a scenic overlook. It was sooooo crazy windy that day, like 40-50 mph. The swells of the lake were 8-12', it was like being at the Ocean the waves were so big. I have video footage that I will post sometime soon.
We got back on the road and continued the drive to Grand Marais. The weather got better the further we drove north along the lake. We stopped at another scenic lookout somewhere between Lutsen and Grand Marais. It is so incredibly beautiful! Being at Lake Superior is almost like having the ocean in Minnesota, especially on windy days that bring big waves.
We had lunch at the Gun Flint Tavern (which has an awesome Cuban sandwich that I will be reviewing on the Twin Cities Restaurant Blog soon) and then sent some time walking around the town and browsing the shops.
Cool little scene in the Grand Marais Harbor
Later in the afternoon we drove back south to our new hotel in Tofte and then out for a fancy late dinner at the Blue Fin Grille (which I will also be reviewing soon). Took a couple photos on their beach as the waves kept crashing in.
The hotel we stayed at was overlooking the lake and our room was literally less than 20 ft from the waves that were crashing all night long. I was so tired that I slept peacefully anyway. We got up early the next day before heading the Lutsen Mountain, which I will be blogging about next!