Thursday, July 30, 2015

Duluth, Minnesota

By Gabrielle Meyer

I love Minnesota. From the rugged mountain range in northeastern Minnesota, where the world's largest freshwater lake resides, to the vast prairies of southwestern Minnesota, to the Big Woods of northern Minnesota, to the Mississippi River Valley of southeastern, and the Red River Valley of northwestern Minnesota--not to mention the 11,000+ lakes in home state is breathtaking and diverse.

Today, I want to talk about one specific region of Minnesota--the North Shore.

This past weekend, my husband and I took our four children to Duluth, Minnesota, one of our favorite cities on the North Shore. Once you arrive in Duluth, it feels as if you have left Minnesota and are in a seaport city. Everything about Duluth is charming, from the San Francisco-esque streets, to the canal bridge that allows huge ships into the harbor, you forget you're in the heartland of America. I love Duluth's brick streets, Victorian homes, craggy rocks, soaring seagulls, and wonderful restaurants. Lake Superior is so large, you cannot see across it and you truly feel as if you're looking our onto an ocean.

When we ate our first meal overlooking the lake, our five-year-old son said a prayer: "God, thank you for our food, and for Duluth, and for the lake that looks like an ocean."

I couldn't possibly share everything I love about Duluth, so I'll simply show you a few pictures. I hope you enjoy this mini-getaway to Duluth.

Our first stop was the Glensheen Mansion, home to the
Congdon family from c. 1905 to 1977. Stunning! Here are
my children in the gardens. The house on the left is the gardener's
home and the building on the right is the carriage house and men's
sleeping quarters. The blue behind is Lake Superior.
The main house
The girls at the Glensheen boathouse

Looking out the hall window from Glensheen

My husband is a champion rock skipper (okay,
family champion...)

Canal Park, near downtown Duluth, is a favorite spot! This
fountain always draws our children.

Here we are in front of the fountain in 2015...
And us in 2010 in front of the same fountain...
One of our stops was the Lake Superior
Railroad Museum. Inside the original depot, a
historic town has been recreated, with authentic
items on display. The trains are also amazing, and
you can climb aboard.

The kids boarding a historic train.

The original northern Minnesota mail train.

The weather was in the upper 80's with a heat index of the
mid-90's, and the humidity was HIGH. Needless to say,
it was a very warm weekend, so we went swimming. Lake Superior
maintains a temperature of about 40 degrees, so it was FRIGID
in the water!

This part of the lake has sand dunes.

Lunch was at Grandma's Restaurant, a famous place in Duluth.
We had front row seats to watch the lift bridge!
In Canal Park

A view of Duluth from the lighthouse in Canal Park

Chasing seagulls in Canal Park

If you look closely, you'll see a wee bit of a rainbow to
the left of the lighthouse.

Watching a large ship come into harbor

On our second day, we went up the shore to
Gooseberry Falls State Park. A DNR officer
was showing the kids different wildlife

Our boys at the middle falls.

Walking the trail to the upper falls.

After we left Gooseberry Falls, we went up the shore to
Split Rock Lighthouse, one of the most popular tourist destination
in the State of Minnesota. This is our family at the top of the
At the top of the lighthouse in 2010 when the boys were only
a few months old.

The original light, well over 100 years old.

View from the lighthouse.


Some happy campers. :)

Our last stop before heading home was Canal Park to
eat supper. The kids splashed in the water while we
waited for our table.
I love Duluth, and I love sharing it with my children. My husband and I have been there numerous times, through each season of our lives. When we were children, while we dated, just after we were married, when we were pregnant with our oldest daughter, when it was just the girls, when the boys were little, and now. Each time we go, we return to our favorite places, but try to see something new, as well. This year was special, because it was the first time the boys were old enough to appreciate our trip. Everyone is still talking about their favorite memories, and I'm sure they'll continue for weeks to come.

Your Turn: Have you ever been to Duluth, MN? Do any of the pictures or information surprise you about this lakeside town? Is there somewhere you like to visit over and over?

Gabrielle Meyer:
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  1. Ah, I love Duluth! So beautiful! You look like you had a great time and made some great memories.

    1. We did have a great time! We're already planning what we'll do next time we visit. :)

  2. Hello Gabe! Thanks for sharing your Duluth trip. I've never been there. Looks as though you had a great time making some awesome memories.

    1. Hi, Caryl! I had fun sharing these pictures. It's always a delight to revisit the memories when we look at them. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your trip and pictures. I live in CA now, but went to Duluth many times when I lived in MN. Great memories!

    1. So happy you're familiar with Duluth. I bet you see a lot of beautiful places in California! That's one place I could revisit over and over again. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I did visit duluth a time or 2 while living in minnesota.

  5. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! My parents and I have always talked about doing a northern Minnesota trip, coming over from the Upper Peninsula here in Michigan would be fantastic!

  6. Looks like a great trip! I grew up in MI so some of the landscape looks a bit similar to what I saw visiting Lake MI in the summers.


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