When I stayed at South Pier Inn, everything from my comfort and relaxation, to my actual experience of the Port of Duluth, was taken taken care in style. The innkeepers have done this neat trick of providing all the usual amenities of luxury--bathrobes, slippers, natural bath products, whirlpool tubs, balconies, fireplaces, and views--without a lot of fanfare and clutter, so there is ample room to spread out and relax. If you want privacy, you've got it, but if you want to enjoy coffee and pastries with the owners in the cozy lobby, that's there, too. The port side experience offers what the big lake cannot, like intimacy with shipping traffic (you can spy on ore boat captains as they maneuver into port, with the handy binoculars on your window shelf), exquisite ice formations in winter, birdwatching, the town lighting up at night--it all seems to be within reach. Great restaurants are a short walk away, across the bridge, and there's a room fridge for your doggie bag. Book an extra night if you can.