Duluth, Minnesota is a beautiful locale — but what are some things you gotta do when you travel to the Air-Conditioned City? And who doesn’t love a deal, right? Here’s a great primer (especially if you have kids) to making some memories on your visit AND …doing it for less!
1. Go under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
If you’re coming from the Twin Cities, you’ll likely crest the hill and look down on this gorgeous Lake Superior city. Even from far off, you can see the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge located in Canal Park (take I-35 to Exit #256B). From there, it’s hard to miss the huge steel structure spanning over the shipping channel.
And while it’s wonderful to look at it from the sidelines, there’s something just magical about going under it like the huge freighters do. You’ll hear the alarm ding as it lifts and the famed horn salute between the captain and bridge operator.
If you’re lucky, you might get to see a freighter up close!
Boat tours are available with Vista Fleet and part of the Must See Duluth discount pass. How to get there? Put 323 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802 into your GPS.
2. A Day at the Beach
Enjoy the public Park Point beach in Duluth.
Just over the lift bridge, Park Point is located at the end of Minnesota Avenue and offers swimming and other beach-y recreation. The park has a large recreational playing field, sand volleyball courts, a playground, and multiple pavilions and grills.
The Beach House is free and open to the public. They offer some snack food, bathrooms and lifeguards are on the beach during the summer season.
Visit www.parkpointbeach.org for more information. How to get there? Put 5000 Minnesota Ave, Duluth, MN 55802 into your GPS.
3. Catch an Otter Event!
The Great Lakes Aquarium, located right on Lake Superior, has an extensive and beautiful Otter Cove. It’s modeled after a real one on the Eastern shore of Lake Superior. And it’s the home to two North American river otters named Agate and Ore.
Make a point to catch the daily River Otter Enrichment Event where an expert narrates the playtime of these playful otters — belly flopping off the rocks, swimming, or hunting and eating their afternoon snacks. They are heart stealers!
The Great Lakes Aquarium is part of the Must See Duluth discount pass. How to get there? Put 353 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802 into your GPS.
4. Climb Enger Tower
This free park offers a beautiful stone observational tower with seriously outstanding views of the entire Duluth landscape. There are lovely and even interactive gardens (rocks to rake, a giant bell to be rung) that will surely be a trip highlight.
This video HERE really shows it well. How to get there? Put Enger Tower Drive, Duluth, MN 55806 into your GPS.
5. All Aboard!
The North Shore Scenic Railroad has excursions along Lake Superior that will surely please your tiny (or not so tiny) train fanatic. During the summer season, several trains depart the historic Duluth Union Depot daily for a trip through downtown Duluth, Canal Park, along the shore of Lake Superior and deep into the majestic north woods.
The North Shore Scenic Railroad is part of the Must See Duluth discount pass. How to get there? Put 506 W Michigan St, Duluth, MN 55802 into your GPS.
Must See Duluth: The Must See Duluth pass offers discounted admission to the Great Lakes Aquarium, the Vista Fleet boat excursions and the North Shore Scenic Railroad. It essentially offers all THREE attractions for the price of TWO when traveling to Duluth.
How Does the Must-See-Duluth Pass work? The pass is offered for sale online similar to a gift certificate or in-person at the entrance of the three attractions. You pick up the pass at any of the 3 participating locations after you purchase it.
To make a reservation for the train, you can simply call the ticket office at 218-722-1273 and make the reservation. You’ll be asked for you pass to exchange for the actual train tickets when you arrive.
The Vista Fleet requires reservations in person. Generally, it is suggested to purchase the pass online, and then either call to check availability, or stop by the Vista Fleet when you arrive in town to pickup your pass and make a reservation for the boat ride – then call the railroad to schedule the Lester River Excursion.
The Aquarium is general admission so you can go whenever, for a full day. The pass is good for the entire summer operating season, through October 1st.
Do I have to use the pass all in one day? Nope. Once the pass is purchased it is good for the entire operating season (through October 14th, 2015).
Why should I buy this pass? Purchasing these 3 attractions separately is much more expensive. The pass allows all 3 attractions to be accessed for a great “Bulk rate” – it is roughly the cost of only 2 of them, essentially making the 3rd attraction “Free.”