Minneapolis to Duluth
The Twin Cities is full of surprises and midwestern charm (happily, for the most part, without the Chicago price sticker). An unassuming, down-home type of sophistication, long, warm summer evenings and an incredible array of top-notch eateries and craft breweries, should be enough to lure you there. Other urban delights like artist Allen Christian's House of Balls and St. Anthony Falls (a cool city walk over the Mississippi) should make the Twin Cities a place you'll be excited to return. Start your day off with a Midwestern classic by ordering a world famous Bloody Mary at Burger Jones (they're not kidding when they say it's "garnished with lunch on a stick") before going to the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. There, you can wander amongst 20,000 different pieces of art all housed in a whimsical building designed by Frank Gehry. Quench your thirst at Surly Brewing Co before taking advantage of the long daylight hours by sneaking in a quick round of disc golf at Blue Ribbon Pines Disc Golf Course. Add a note to your phone to check out hot spots like Hola Arepa, Spoon and Stable and Monello for award-winning cuisine.
Driving two hours north will have you rolling into the historic seaport town of Duluth. Located on the westernmost point of the Great Lakes, 2,300 miles from the Atlantic, Duluth is the farthest inland harbor accessible to oceangoing ships in North America. Post up at the Inn on Lake Superior and walk to The Great Lakes Aquarium — America's only all-freshwater aquarium — before driving across the historic Aerial Lift Bridge to Park Point Beach, a great sandy beach on a narrow peninsula with the open lake on one side, protected bay on the other, and a perfect spot for a quick dip in the lake. The temperature varies between shockingly cold in the early summer to pleasantly refreshing by the end of August as the surface water warms up.
Minneapolis to Duluth:
Travel Note: Keep the pedal down and take I-35 north the entire way until you reach Duluth.