Monday, August 12, 2013

Duluth, Minnesota…


On our trip to see all the Great Lakes this summer we had originally planned our last stop to be in Duluth, Minnesota where Lake Superior ends its westward reach. What we didn’t plan for was the huge annual Blues Festival held there! As a result we were unable to secure a good campsite near Duluth so we decided that we would start to head south from here in Ashland Wisconsin. But… before doing so we thought we should at least make a day trip over to Duluth to see some of the sights it had to offer.

Deluth, MN 007Although the drive was about 75 miles it took about an hour and a half to get through all the little towns with stoplights on the two lane road. I mean geeeesh all these slow RV’s on the road makes it take longer to get where you are going ;). We had a nice drive and headed over to a scenic byway we read about called the Skyline Parkway. We finally found the starting point only to be greeted by a sign that said the road was closed… CLOSED!!! One of the main highlights we drove over to see was the Skyline Parkway and all we were able to see was a neat little bridge and a great swimming hole being used by the locals… It may have been opened for traffic elsewhere but we decided to go forgo searching for another entry point and do something else.

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Next on our list was to go check out the downtown area. We parked and stated to walk around the town where upon we stumbled across the Fond-du-Luth Casino. Well we couldn’t resist so we signed up for a player card and got some more free money to play with. After playing a bit we left with a few bucks. There wasn't much of interest to us in the downtown area so we drove over toward the waterfront and parked in a lot near the Aerial Lift Bridge. This is a cool bridge as it was originally constructed in 1905. This unusual elevator bridge is 386 feet long and spans the canal off the St. Louis River which is the entrance to Duluth Harbor. Right when we were walking to the canal  a ship over 1000 feet in length had just made its way under the bridge. Too cool…

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We spent the better part of two hours walking along the waterfront trail near Canal Park, checking out the canal, watching ships, walking to the light houses and simply people watching. As we walked across the Aerial Bridge we could see the large tents on the waterfront set up for the Blues Festival and could even hear the music as we crossed. Marcia Ball was pounding the piano and we could hear her singing clearly across the waterfront. Several boats were parked off shore near the Blues Fest and were obviously enjoying the music too.

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Deluth, MN 026We then visited the Corp of Engineer’s Lake Superior Marine Museum.  It was a nice little museum with some interesting exhibits. Just before heading back to the parking lot we noticed a little microbrewery on the lake. Canal Park Brewery was calling our names so we stopped by and ordered a nice IPA and Honey Nut Brown Ale.  We sat outside on a patio overlooking Lake Superior which was a perfect setting for our final stop in Duluth…


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  1. We're going to be in Duluth next month! Thanks again for the preview!

  2. About a year and a half ago, we came through that area and most of the roads were closed including US 2 because of landslides from heavy rain. At that time, many roads were washed away, and parts of the Skyline drive may have been one of them.

    Glad you got to see as much of Duluth as you did.


  3. Cool beans- Marcia Ball is one of our favorites.

  4. Nice thing about the lifestyle you can stop and go whenever you like, enjoy!

  5. Thanks for the glimpse of Duluth. I grew up and lived there until I was 21 when I went to Japan with my DH. My parents moved south and I haven't been back there in 35 years. I've been told that I wouldn't recognize the downtown area but I am very familiar with the Aerial Lift bridge.

  6. Duluth is one of our favorite places. We've been there many times including January 2010 when it was minus 13 degrees, and we still loved it. The Canal Zone is the best place to hang out and down by Grandma's restaurant, its the one that sponsers Grandma's Marathon, you can watch the big ships come in. Glad you got to spend a little time there even though it had to be a road trip

  7. We really enjoyed Duluth when we were there. We parked at the marina (small RV park in the summer; boat storage in the winter). We had a great view from our front windows of the aerial bridge and the ship traffic. The lights on the hill across the way were beautiful at night. We walked across the causeway to town and went to Duluth Outfitters and the microbrewery. There was road construction in town when we were there too -- friends who spend the summer there gave us directions to avoid some of it.