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“Fun and free in a great place!”

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
Ranked #6 of 96 things to do in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This maritime museum details the Great Lakes' history and the part they played in the shipping industry.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Definitely worth a walk through every time with visit duluth!

Thank matischer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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507 - 511 of 546 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

We visited the museum in February while staying at the Suites. The morning didn't get off to the greatest start because the previous hotel room occupant set the clock early by over an hour. 9:00 (actually 8:00) came far too early after our late night of enjoying several watering holes. So after a little extra curricular activity, we decided to leave the hotel in search for a bite to eat, and found it to be WAY freezing out (which was to be expected in Feb). After breakfast, we made our way to Caribou in Canal Park to get a warm tasty beverage for our walk to the museum. After the cold, but brief 2 block walk, we were discouraged to see a sign that disallowed beverages in the museum. While disappointed (because it was so cold), it was also expected.

The museum is situated right on the canal. In the summertime, there is a tv monitor inside the door that displays the arriving/departing ships for the day including what they are carrying and either their port of origin or final destination. I think it also shows the size of the freighters. Hopefully when you are in the area, you get to see at a thousand footer! They are amazing.

The entryway funnels into a long hallway that is full of historical pictures of the canal, and Duluth. At the end of the hallway, they have several engine components from an old Coast Guard ship or tug (I think) which would have been somewhat interesting had we known what we were looking at. The descriptions were poorly placed and used a lot of technical engineering terms....way over our heads.

After a short flight of stairs going up, you enter a huge room of which you are left to tackle in any direction you please. The areas we found most interesting were the shipwreck board and displays about how the Duluth canal was built and dredged/maintained as well as the Great Lakes water level/depth map. It is amazing to see the change in water level from lake to lake. There are also artifacts found from the bottom of the lake which have made it into display cases.

Toward the end of our looksie, we ended up at the front of the museum where there is a huge wall of windows overlooking the canal and Lake Superior. The view is priceless. This museum is in a prime setting and holds some real gems when it comes to historical displays and interesting artifacts.

A word to the wise: we have kids, but they did not participate in this trip. I would not suggest kids under the age of 12 for this museum. There really isn't anything kid friendly unless you kid wants to be a marine biologist or is SUPER fascinated by boats. However, it is FREE, so it won't hurt so bad if you find yourself leaving after 10 minutes.

Thank HoneyHole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2012

The Lake Superior Maritime Museum is really interesting. There are displays that will appeal to almost everyone. The lake is so fascinating, especially for someone from the mountains. I loved the 3D map of all the lakes, showing the depth of each one. The windows facing the canal and Lake Superior offer plenty of light and there are scopes for anyone who wants a better view. The museum is arranged well and is on several levels. There are stairs and an elevator so it's accessible to everyone. There are displays showing all the work done by the Army Corps of Engineers, disasters on the lake, environmental aspects of the area and more. It was a very interesting hour and a half. We could have stayed longer if we hadn't been so hungry. We really appreciate the schedule that I think is done by the museum telling the approximate time of the arrival of the ships coming and going through the canal. We saw two of them and it was impressive! We love Duluth.

Thank Work2Go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We had some rain when we were up here and were trying to find stuff to do inside and this was the first one and we were here for a long while lots to see!

Thank erinmeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

Likes: Very interesting displays about the development of Great Lakes Shipping. No charge! family friendly.

Dislikes: There should be a better-developed environmental portion, even though this would not necessarily put the Corps of Engineers -- sponsors of the museum -- in a great light by today's standards.

Thank stantongeddes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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