Canal Park is a nice 5-6 hour diversion in the city of Duluth MN- one of only a few diversions in the area. It has a nice park, a scenic overlook of Lake Superior, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
For people visiting the city for the first time I always suggest a Canal Park visit for an afternoon. The most important tourist sites to visit would be Duluth Pack, Maritime Museum, Sivertson Gallery, Blue Lake Gallery and the Canal Park Antique Mall.
The best non-chain lunch experience can be found at Northern Waters Smokehaus OR Amazing Grace Bakery. Both establishments sport homemade items (Amazing Grace has excellent baked goods and sandwiches and Northern Waters has excellent smoked products and sandwiches).
If you are interested in a good (upper scale/more expensive) non-chain breakfast, lunch or dinner experience, one of the better restaurants in the area is Lake Avenue Cafe. Lake Ave has an eclectic menu, supports vegetarian diners and is one of the better restaurants in the whole city.
Vitta Pizza is your best bet for an original non-chain pizza in the area, (period). The best chain pizza is Old Chicago.
Honorable mentions?? Although a chain, Stone Cold is an excellent place for an inexpensive dessert.
Gandma's, Bellisio's, Green Mill, Timber Lodge Steakhouse, Red Lobster and Famous Dave's are average (at best) and (in my honest opinion) should be avoided- the consistency of these restaurants (for food quality and service) is typically average/low, (even for a chain style rest). Besides, as a tourist, why would you go out to eat at a restaurant you could go to in your own city??? Take a chance!
Bottom-line?? You can spend an afternoon in Canal Park and enjoy yourself. Unfortunately, Canal Park isn't the "hub of all activity" the city portrays it to be. An afternoon is all I recommend- (with a nice lunch). Why??? After one 5-6 hour period, (lunch included) you've seen everything.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.