Complete Guide for a Fun Weekend in Duluth Minnesota

For many years, Duluth was a place I stopped on the way to the north shore of Minnesota. But now I know that it’s a destination in itself with tons of fun things to do all year round. Whether you like to hike, bike, paddle, shop, eat, drink, or relax, you can do it on a weekend in Duluth!

Text: Duluth Minnesota weekend getaway guide Images: Me against a brick wall, me inside a florist shop, and me on a board walk along Lake Superior.

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Where is Duluth Minnesota?

Duluth is approximately two hours (150 miles) north of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. It is a port city on the western end of Lake Superior and considered the gateway to the north shore of Minnesota. 

Overview map showing Duluth relative to Minneapolis and St Paul.
Duluth is about 2 hours north of the Twin Cities on Lake Superior in Minnesota.

Best Places to Stay in Duluth

There is a great selection of places to stay in Duluth, with something for all types of travelers. You will find boutique urban hotels, lake-side lodging, chain hotels and more to choose from. Here are my favorites that I’ve personally stayed at and enjoyed.

Enger Lofts

Me lounging on a brown leather sofa with pillows around me.
Enger Lofts in Duluth have modern and comfy furniture, perfect for relaxing after a day of fun.

With a central location and easy access to great restaurants and things to do, Enger Lofts is a gem. Choose from a number of different apartments, all with modern updates and furnishings and touches of the building’s original brick walls. Each apartment has a full kitchen, including a refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove. 

On the first floor of the building is a coffee shop and several other stores worth exploring (more on those below). Just steps from Enger Lofts you’ll find Bent Paddle Brewery, Hungry Hippie Tacos and several other local favorites!

There is free uncovered parking to guests. Pets are allowed for a fee.

Check availability at Enger Lofts now!

Beacon Pointe on Lake Superior

If you prefer a view of Lake Superior from bed, Beacon Pointe is one of the best places to stay in Duluth. It’s located right on the lake with convenient access to the Lakewalk and just a 5 minute drive to Canal Park, with free parking included for guests.

There are a number of amenities to choose from including a kitchen or kitchenette, spa tub, balcony, or fireplace. On the property, guests can enjoy the fitness center, grill, indoor pool and hot tub. 

Beacon Pointe is great for couples or anyone who prefers to stay in a quiet place that’s not far

Check availability at Beacon Pointe on Lake Superior now! 

Pro Tip: For more affordable accommodations near Duluth, search for lodging in nearby Proctor (here’s my guide)!

13 Best Things to do on a weekend in Duluth

The hardest part about planning a weekend in Duluth is trying to choose what to do and where to eat!

1 | Grab a drink at 190° Coffee & Tea.

Coffee cup with 190-degree Coffee & Tea logo on a wood table in a coffee shop in Duluth.
190-Degree Coffee & Tea has lots of natural light and indoor seating.

Conveniently located on the first floor of the Enger Lofts building in Duluth, 190° Coffee & Tea is a great place to start your day. The menu has an extensive selection of coffee, tea and light bites. In addition, they now offer a daily happy hour that features mocktails!

The space is light and bright with tons of natural light. Sit, sip and stay awhile!

2 | Load up on sustainable goods at Ren Market.

Several spigots on a tiled wall for refillable items at Ren Market, a sustainable goods store in Duluth.
Take home a bottle of refillable liquids like body wash at Ren Market, a sustainable goods store in Duluth.

Find this zero waste market in the same building as 190 Coffee & Tea and Enger Lofts! Ren Market has an awesome selection of zero waste, environmentally friendly and sustainably made products. I love their wall of refillable items such as body wash and hand soap! I definitely brought some home with me.

3 | Go shopping in Lincoln Park.

Me sitting on a green coach in front of a brick wall with Flora North spelled out in plants.
Flora North in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is a must for any plant lover!

One of the best things to do in Duluth is to wander the shops along W. Superior Street in Lincoln Park. Flora North is a florist with all the things for plant lovers! They also host workshops on things like plant repotting for those who want to learn more about plants.

Across the street from Flora North is Frost River Trading Company, which makes high quality and handcrafted outdoor gear. Also nearby is Free Air Life Co where you can find fashion-forward, high quality activewear from brands that are making a positive impact on the environment. It’s impossible for me to leave their store without purchasing something! While in Lincoln Park, be sure to stop by North & Shore for the cutest selection of unique gifts that celebrate Minnesota.

4 | Pick up lunch to go at Northern Waters Smokehaus.

If you love sandwiches, Northern Waters is an absolute must. They have been smoking meat and fish for over 25 years and it shows in everything on their menu. My favorites are the Pastrami Mommy and the Gorilla. 

Find Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park. Orders can be placed online or at the walk-up window. There is very limited seating inside.

Pro Tip: If you love smoked meat but want more of a sit-down restaurant experience, head over to OMC Smokehouse for a delicious meal!

5 | Have a picnic at Park Point.

Boardwalk extends over a sand dune covered in grass next to Lake Superior at sunset.
Park Point has great views of sunset and the north shore of Lake Superior from the beach.

One of my favorite places in Duluth is Park Point. To get there, drive across the iconic lift bridge and continue all the way to where the road ends at the airport. Park anywhere along the street and walk up and over the sand dune on the boardwalk to find a beautiful beach with views of the north shore. 

Pro Tip: Park Point is a great place for a picnic! Look above to watch sea planes come in to land at the airport.

6 | Sip craft cocktails at Vikre Distillery.

A flight of spirits with optional mixers on a wooden surface with a fresh plant in the background.
The flight of spirits at Vikre Distillery comes with soda, tonic and lime.

Also located in Canal Park, Vikre Distillery has a beautiful cocktail lounge with a seasonal menu of craft cocktails. I love that their menu uses a code to help you find drinks that match your style.

Pro Tip: Add yourself to the online waitlist if you plan to visit during peak periods.

7 | Rest and recharge at Cedar + Stone Nordic Sauna.

View of sauna from outside next to fire pit with cup of hot tea.
Cool off between sauna sessions with a cold plunge in Lake Superior or next to the fire pit at Cedar + Stone in Duluth.

Located on the shore of Lake Superior next to Pier B Resort Hotel, Cedar + Stone is the ideal place to relax and recharge. They offer guided and private sauna sessions, both available to book online. The sauna experience includes access to a natural cold plunge in the lake year-round, a fire pit, and herbal tea.

8 | Get your day started at Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace.

If you’re looking for a casual place with great food, stop by Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace in Lincoln Park. The Duluth Traverse breakfast sandwich is incredible, as is the quiche du jour. Find a small marketplace of handcrafted items in the back of the cafe.

9 | Explore the hiking trails in Duluth.

Duluth has a number of great hiking trails to explore. Jay Cooke State Park is a local favorite for its suspension bridge overlooking the rugged St. Louis River. The Superior Hiking Trail also goes through Duluth and can be used for day hiking. Some of the best sections of the Superior Hiking Trail in Duluth for day hikes are Brewer Park Loop, Spirit Mountain, and Ely’s Peak

Lester Park has both hiking and mountain biking trails with views of a rushing river. There are several mountain bike rental shops in town.

10 | Soak in the vibes at Jade Fountain Cocktail Lounge.

A lounge with low lighting, black leather and red accents create an eclectic vibe.
Jade Fountain Cocktail Lounge has eclectic artwork and moody lighting.

The mood decor and creative cocktail menu make Jade Fountain Cocktail Lounge unlike anywhere in Duluth. It’s the perfect place for a nightcap or stick around for a while (and even play ping pong in the back room).

11 | Grab a bite at Hungry Hippie Tacos.

A table filled with plates of tacos, salsa, tortilla chips and beer.
Hungry Hippie is known for their “northern tacos” filled with house-smoked meats.

This iconic restaurant started in Grand Marais and grew in popularity so much that they’ve recently opened a second location in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Hungry Hippie menu features unique “northern tacos” and house-smoked meats. In the warmer months, enjoy your meal in their large outdoor space!

12 | Sip craft beer or cider at one of the many breweries in Duluth.

Me holding a beer up in front of a framed bent paddle at Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth.
Bent Paddle Brewing has indoor and outdoor space in their taproom.

Duluth has no shortage of craft breweries. Ursa Minor Brewing has a rotating selection of unique beers mixed in with a strong selection of staple brews. The outdoor patio is large and has heaters and fire pits for year-round enjoyment. The wood-fired pizzas are delicious!

Bent Paddle Brewing is one of the most popular breweries in Duluth. They have a great selection of beer as well as CBD/ THC beverages. Check their events page for the live music schedule. Bent Paddle does not have a food menu, but you are welcome to order food for delivery or bring it with you to enjoy in the taproom.

If cider is more your thing, visit Wild State Cider! They offer a range of ciders from dry to sweet, all with no added sugar. 

13 | Go kayaking on Lake Superior.

Paddle the largest of the Great Lakes on a kayak or paddleboard. Zenith Adventures offers guided experiences, even some at sunrise!

Read about kayaking on Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands in Wisconsin here.

Are you ready to book your weekend in Duluth?

I hope this inspires you to stop and stay awhile in Duluth! It’s a city that is big enough to have great restaurants and things to do and small enough to be charming, plus it offers easy access to beautiful outdoor spaces. Have fun planning your weekend in Duluth!

Related content to read next:

Perfect Day Trip to Minnesota’s North Shore

3 Days in Grand Marais Minnesota (for Hikers!)

Perfect Minnesota Road Trips for a Weekend Getaway

Check out my Minnesota page for more travel inspiration and tips!

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Text: Perfect Weekend Getaway Duluth Minnesota Image: Me walking on a boardwalk in front of Lake Superior with a winter hat on.

2 thoughts on “Complete Guide for a Fun Weekend in Duluth Minnesota

  1. This Big Wild World says:

    Yep, lots of Scandinavian influence here in Minnesota! From saunas to cross-country skiing and most definitely hygge, it’s what we do to make the most of the wintertime. I like to think I also pick the coziest of places though too 😉

  2. Claire says:

    The Nordic sauna idea made me think of a prior post of yours about something similar in another Minnesotan city, and it made me wonder if there’s a cultural reason for a big Nordic presence in the state. Sure enough, there’s a whole wiki page called “Norwegian Minnesotan”! It says “Minneapolis has the largest concentration of Norwegian descendants outside Norway, at 42,469.” Maybe that’s why Duluth and nearby cities always seem to have a cozy “hygge” vibe too in your pictures (or maybe you just happen to pick the coziest places to visit for your itineraries!)

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