Just three hours north of the Twin Cities, perched upon the shore of Lake Superior, lies the charming town of Two Harbors, Minnesota. This quaint town is characterized by its rich history, lush terrain, and stunning wildlife. Whether you’re looking for solitude, in need of quality time with family, a romantic getaway, or craving a fun-filled weekend with friends–the wilderness is calling. Read on for Country Inn’s Two Harbors’ perfect North Shore itinerary.
Wander the Pristine Wilderness at These State Parks
Two Harbors is known as the gateway to the North Shore and where the adventure begins for nature enthusiasts. With a total of eight state parks, there’s ample opportunity to witness native flora and fauna while hiking through the winding trails of the north. Luckily, three of these phenomenal parks are just a short drive away from Country Inn Two Harbors. All of the following are open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with daily vehicle permits costing seven dollars.
Gooseberry State Park
Just a stone’s throw away from Country Inn Two Harbors is Gooseberry State Park, a quintessential destination to experience all things North Shore. At Gooseberry State Park you’ll have access to 20 miles of hiking trails, eight miles of mountain biking trails, and five waterfalls providing the perfect backdrop for your obligatory vacation photo. We can’t forget to mention the breathtaking panoramic views you’ll have of Lake Superior at the overlook.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Like something straight out of a movie, the scene at Split Rock Lighthouse is both serene and thrilling. Gazing up at this popular Minnesota landmark is like staring back into time. It was built in 1905 and available for tours where you’ll learn about its significance as well as the history of the area. Head to Pebble Beach for a relaxing afternoon by the lake or a refreshing swim. There’s also the Split Rock River Loop Trail which consists of a rugged twelve mile hiking path. Be sure to wear good shoes as it can get wet and muddy.
Tettegouche State Park
No matter where you stand in this state park, you’ll be overwhelmed with spectacular views of waterfalls, Lake Superior, and pristine woodlands. Bellow High Falls is Minnesota’s tallest waterfall, reaching 63 feet. For the best vantage point to observe nature in all forms, head to Palisade Valley Overlook. Additionally, Palisade Head sits atop Lake Superior and provides an invigorating experience for all. As you gaze into the blue, remember that the rock you’re standing on was created by a volcano over one billion years ago.
Walk Through Town and Take in its History
Two Harbors has a comprehensive list of historical sites, shops, restaurants, and museums to explore. Highway 61 weaves along the Minnesota border of Lake Superior and provides the ultimate road trip route with plenty of stops along the way, many of which are near our very own Country Inn Two Harbors. Read on to learn more about how you can experience the town’s good old-fashioned charm.
The Depot Museum
Built in 1907 and listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places is the Depot Museum, once the Duluth Iron & Range Depot. Once the hub for people, goods, and services to travel, it was once the headquarters for the Duluth and Iron Range Railroad. The quaint two-story building is constructed of brick and offers another enchanting glance into the early 1900’s. The museum showcases the historical importance of the railroad and other industrial jobs like iron mining and fishing.
Walk and Shop Around Downtown
Small businesses help our community thrive and downtown has no shortage of unique shops selling art, crafts, recreational items, clothing, gifts and more. There’s nothing like strolling through the neighborhood on a beautiful day and discovering a beautiful piece of art to take home. Grab some food at a Two Harbors staple, Lou’s Fish House, and if you’re needing something sweet, stop by 5th Street Malt Shoppe for some dessert. Castle Danger Brewery is the ideal spot to wind down with a beverage.
Restore and Rejuvenate with Outdoor Recreation
If you’re a Minnesota native, then you understand the importance of soaking in warm weather and sunshine while it’s here. Fortunately, Two Harbors is surrounded by trails, water, and scenic parks that provide the optimal place for exhilarating fun. Whether you want to be still and picnic with uninterrupted views of Lake Superior or get your body moving with some water sports, the world is your oyster.
Pack a Lunch and Have a Scenic Picnic
There are a variety of areas to enjoy a picnic in Two Harbors. The Two Harbors waterfront has several picnicking areas with nearby hiking and biking trails if you want to make a day of it. Paul Van Hoven Park also provides picnic areas right on Agate Bay where you can take in views of the elevated iron ore docks and historic Edna G. Tugboat. You may even get to observe an iron tanker loading up.
Paddleboard, Kayak, or Swim in Lake Superior
No need to lug your own kayak up from home, Harbor Kayak and Paddleboard lets you rent what you need for however long you want–i’s also locally owned. There’s just something so tranquil about floating on the placid waters. Let the sun shine down, relax, and revel in the lake’s cool breeze. Additionally, you might want to consider dipping your toes in the water at Iona’s Beach, a true wonder of Minnesota. The landscape consists of flat pink rocks while cliffs and greenery traverse along the coast.
Bike or Trek Your Way Through Trails
Spokengear is another rental shop that will make traveling to Two Harbors much easier without the hassle of traveling with bicycles. Cruise the Gitchi-Gami State Trail and take in epic views of Lake Superior. For those looking to really put in the miles, this trail extends all the way up to Grand Marais, Minnesota– a total of 89 miles. Many other paved trails sit along Two Harbors, in fact, you can start your journey straight out of Spokengear’s parking lot. Additionally, Superior Hiking Trail in Gooseberry State Park has some of the best hiking paths around.
Two Harbors truly is a gem, with so many immersive experiences to have alone or with loved ones. Cross lodging off of your to-do list by calling Country Inn Two Harbors today.