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Day Trip to Duluth

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Florence, Alabama
posts: 32
Day Trip to Duluth

My husband, 6 year old daughter, and I will be in Minneapolis later this week and over the Veteran's Day weekend. My husband has a conference, but we are staying a few extra nights to explore the area. We would like to take a day trip from Minneapolis to the Duluth area. Since we will only have the one day to visit (including round-trip travel time), what are your suggestions for activities, must-see sights, and restaurants in order to maximize our short amount of time? Thanks in advance!

10 replies to this topic
Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,749
reviews: 128
1. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

You know, given the time of year, I would probably skip Duluth and focus on all the things to do in the Minneapolis area. That would really be a long haul for a day trip. Also, the best things in Duluth (Lake Walk, Park Point, Enger Tower, rose garden, lift bridge and walk to lighthouse) are outside and a November wind blowing off Lake Superior would be really unpleasant. Other things are seasonal. The absolute best thing is driving up the North Shore to Split Rock and Gooseberry Falls, but you would not have time for that in one day coming from Minneapolis. Not saying don't go to Duluth ever, but try some other time when the weather is warmer and everything is open for the summer.

In contrast, Minneapolis has a lot to offer in the winter, especially for kids. If you change your mind about Duluth, I'd be happy to tell you about things for kids to do in Minneapolis.

Obviously, this is all my humble opinion. Others may think differently on this. If it were me, though, I would stay in the Twin Cities area for such a short time in November.

Florence, Alabama
posts: 32
2. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

Thanks for your opinion! We are still deciding about whether or not to drive to Duluth. I would love to hear your suggestions for things to do with kids in Minneapolis! We will be in the area Wednesday through Monday. Obviously, we are planning to spend a good bit of time at Mall of America. We are considering the zoo as well, and we are going to the Vikings game on Thursday night. My daughter and I will be exploring on our own during the day on Thursday and Friday. We will have all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,749
reviews: 128
3. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

Things for kids in Minneapolis: MN History Museum has lots of hands-on things for kids; MN Children's Museum is excellent; the zoo is nice, not huge, but a good chunk of it is indoors, which is nice in the winter; Jackson St. Roundhouse if she likes trains (not sure how she feels about these); Minneapolis Firefighter's Museum (again, not sure how she feels about this- also only open on Saturdays); Edinborough indoor play area in Edina; aquarium under the MOA; MN Science Museum has lots of hands-on things; Waterpark of America; Bakken Museum is smallish, but has hands-on things for kids and if you like architecture, the house is beautiful; if the weather is warm enough to go outside try Minnehaha Falls (on the light rail line from the MOA) and Hyland Play Area in Bloomington; Mill City Museum (also hands-on things and if warm enough, walk out the back side and go across the Stone Arch Bridge)

If you do go to Duluth, three indoor things I can think of are the Great Lakes Aquarium (expensive), the RR museum, and Glensheen Mansion if your daughter is very well-behaved. Of course, if it's warm enough, you could do the things I mentioned in my first post.

Good luck with your decision and have a fun time!

Edited: 4:21 pm, November 03, 2013
Florence, Alabama
posts: 32
4. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will definitely look into these options as we are planning our itinerary.

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
posts: 4,043
reviews: 18
5. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

As much as I love Duluth, I would agree that a day trip would be more work than it is worth. 2.5 hours each way. You really need an overnight to do it and give the city a lookaround.

Someone mentioned Stillwater already. That is a nice distance for a day trip. Scenic town with main street shopping with good places for lunch.

Proctor, Minnesota
posts: 148
reviews: 55
6. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

I'd have to agree with what the others have said. As mntoathens mentioned, look into Stillwater. If weather is nice, consider a river boat ride. Otherwise, spend the day shopping if your daughter enjoys that!

Florence, Alabama
posts: 32
7. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't looked into Stillwater, but I will research it some. What are some lunch or dinner suggestions there? We would want family friendly, doesn't have to be cheap, but not too pricey either.

Would you suggest we drive over into Wisconsin as well? Any good scenic places we should stop if we go with this option?

Edited: 3:03 pm, November 04, 2013
Proctor, Minnesota
posts: 148
reviews: 55
8. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

If you go to Stillwater & you're looking to kill a couple of hours, a quick drive up to Taylor's Falls, MN & St Croix Falls, WI might be worth it. In Stillwater, eat at Leo's!

Florence, Alabama
posts: 32
9. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

Thanks for the help!

St. Paul, MN
posts: 39
reviews: 13
10. Re: Day Trip to Duluth

I agree with what the others have posted. Enjoy the Twin Cities this time around. When I go to Duluth I always like to stay a night or two. Duluth is such an awesome and beautiful city and I definitely think you should visit there sometime....but not in November and not for a day trip.

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