Nelson’s Resort, Crane Lake, MinnesotaJune 17, 2020
How to spend a fall weekend in Brainerd and beyondJune 23, 2020
You guys rock at giving recommendations. Because of you, Minnesota’s North Shore is my new favorite place in the state. For the first time last weekend I finally took the trip all the way to Grand Marais and stopped at some of the most amazing places along the way. Here’s my full recap of the best must see stops along Minnesota’s North Shore. Happy exploring!
Where we stayed
I’ve never received so many requests for a place we’ve stayed than I have for this spot. I booked this VRBO in Tofte, MN because it was a central location along the North Shore and it was perfect for our two night stay. The cabin had plenty of room for 3 couples and we enjoyed our evenings at the fire pit and the amazing cove that’s on the property! Just look at the photos! SO SO SO AMAZING.
Boat in Duluth’s Lake Superior Harbor
Our family joined Your Boat Club this year and they have a location in Duluth, so we made sure to stop on our way to Grand Marais to check it out! Your boat club also rents boats if you don’t have the membership and I would highly recommend them – they’re so friendly! If you’re looking for more things to do in Duluth, including where to stay, check out my blog post on our weekend in Duluth. We were there last winter, but you can still do the majority of these things in summer!
Try smoked fish at Kendall’s Fish Market
Have you ever had smoked fish? No? Me either! Our first stop along the North Shore was Kendall’s Fish Market which sells smoked fish of all kinds. We ordered the most popular sugar crusted trout from Lake Superior. This place has been here for years and was full of people ordering up for the weekend.
Enjoy a brew at Castle Danger Brewery
Castle Danger Brewery is one of my favorite breweries in Minnesota because of their Castle Danger Cream Ale. One of my all time faves! We ordered a few brews (they serve 8 oz pours here!) and sat out on the large patio to enjoy the sun and the cool breeze off the lake. Definitely a must stop!
Grab made from scratch food at Rustic Inn Cafe
Another top recommended spot from you guys was the Rustic Inn Cafe. The food here is top notch – I ordered the Rueben with tots and loved it. It also has great pie! If you’re stopping along the North Shore for food, make sure this is it! Everything is made from scratch and there’s plenty of vegetarian and vegan options to enjoy.
Walk along the black sand beach
The black sand beach is the most unique place along the North Shore. It’s black because of iron ore dumping in the lake which created a man made peninsula and beach. It used to be privately owned, but in the last few years became a public beach with picnic tables and fire pits. It’s so cool!
Take in the view at Palisade Head
I think Palisade Head is my favorite spot along Minnesota’s North Shore. It is absolutely breathtaking and I find myself finding it hard to believe I’m in Minnesota when I’m there! Drive up to the parking lot and then take an adventure along the cliffs to get the best views.
Take a hike at Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park is one of the more popular stops along the North Shore for hiking, but it still isn’t too busy. There’s a lot of hikes you can do without having to pay an entrance fee to the park, and you can find maps of them in the visitor’s center. We chose to do the hike to high falls and YOU SHOULD TOO. Make a stop at the lower falls on your way up and then hike up past the high falls to the bridge – it’s so pretty! This hike has lots of stairs though, so be warned! This was one of our more strenuous hikes on this trip.
Cure your sweet tooth at Betty’s Pies
Another top recommended spot from all of you is Betty’s Pies! It’s a Minnesota staple and brings in people from all over. I would HIGHLY recommend the blueberry pie with ice cream, but if you’re feeling adventurous, order a pie shake! It’s exactly what it sounds like: a pie mixed with ice cream and milk. Cole loved his!
Shop local at North 61
The newest store along the North Shore is North 61, named after Highway 61. I love the clothes from here and even have one of their “Go North” shirts! Not only can you shop here, but you can pet their adorable shop dog, get shave ice, and play outdoor games!
Take a break at Schroeder Baking Company
Want the best caramel roll ever?? Stop by Schroeder Baking Company for homemade baked goods and malts. It’s also a great spot for coffee! Stop here if you need a driving break, no matter the time of day.
Eat pizza at Coho Cafe
Our VRBO was located around Tofte, so we decided to get dinner at Coho Cafe. This place makes its own pizza along with salads and sandwiches. It was crazy busy when we were there so we decided to order some pizza to take and bake at home. They were good pizzas, but make sure you plan enough time if you want to eat here. It’s not fast!
Get last minute gear at Water’s Edge Trading Company
While we were waiting for our pizzas, we decided to do some shopping at Water’s Edge Trading Company next door. The guy who owns it is super friendly and knows everything about the area. If you need some outdoor gear, clothes, or souvenirs, this is your place! You’ll find all the name brands here.
Search for waterfalls at Cascade River State Park
The hike at Cascade River State Park is great for all ages, young and old! It’s just a quick 5 minute hike to the first falls, and then about a mile loop back along the river. The scenery is amazing along the entire route with lots of opportunity for exploring. Plan about an hour to hike here, or more if you want to explore longer!
Spend a day exploring Grand Marais
Grand Marais was our final destination along the North Shore, and we spent the majority of our second day here and did everything from shopping to eating to exploring the shore.
Stare in awe at Devil’s Kettle
For years, scientists didn’t know where part of the waterfall at Judge C R Magney State Park went. It literally just goes into a hole! I believe they just figured it out, but I won’t spoil it here, so go see it for yourself Make sure to stop at the lower falls and then walk up to Devil’s Kettle to take it all in. This spot is super unique and worth the extra 20 minute drive past Grand Marais. Plan for at least an hour here.