Take a Trip Up North

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Written by Mikayla Borchert

It’s easy to love winter once you find the right cold-weather activity. Whether you are interested in exercising, sight-seeing, or staying inside, Duluth and the surrounding area offer plenty of ways to stay entertained. The city is 156 miles from campus, straight up I-35W North, which equates to a little over two hours of driving and a doable day trip.

Snow Sports

Skiing and snowboarding are always winter favorites, but at Spirit Mountain, you can go snow tubing too. If you’re looking for a less expensive downhill experience, check out Chester Bowl Park. These smaller slopes are located between the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Minnesota, Duluth, so you’re sure to see plenty of students enjoying the snow. If cross country skiing is the thing for you, Spirit Mountain has options, but the Lester-Amity and Bagley Nature Area ski trails have incredible views without a fee.

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Scenery

As soon as you drive down Thompson Hill and into town, Lake Superior comes into view. Just off the shore is Bentleyville, a huge, 100% free “tour of lights” with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and campfires. In the eastern part of Duluth is the Seven Bridges Road. This road cuts through the Lester-Amity ski area and is often closed to traffic in the winter, but it is an excellent place to take a hike. Nine historic stone bridges cross Amity Creek, offering views of wildlife and frozen waterfalls. If you are interested in waterfalls and have the time for a longer drive, Gooseberry Falls is about fifty minutes up the shore from Duluth. These areas are just as beautiful in the summer and winter.

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Staying Warm

While exploring outside can be tons of fun in the winter, we all need a little time indoors to warm up. Stop at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill for their world-famous wild rice soup. One minute away from Grandma’s is the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center. This free museum offers history of the shipping industry in the Great Lakes and an awesome view of the bridge and canal. Return in the summer to see ships enter and exit the harbor.

If you’re looking for something warm to drink, stop at Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe or Lake Superior Bakehouse. Amazing Grace has a great selection of sandwiches, Lake Superior Bakehouse has sweet and savory baked goods, and both have a cozy atmosphere.

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Next time you’re bored with the cold weather and traffic of the cities, head up north for some new activities to fill the weekend.