Visit the Minnesota North Shore: Duluth

As mentioned in Visit these Top Waterfalls within Two Hours of the Twin Cities, a friend and I had decided to do a few motorcycle trips to check out some waterfalls close to the Twin Cities. This led us to think about our next motorcycle and waterfall adventure, the Minnesota North Shore. Here are the details about the beginning part of that trip, starting out in Duluth, Minnesota.

If you plan on visiting the North Shore, be prepared to book your accommodations early. As in, several months early. The North Shore is a popular destination in Minnesota during the summer months. After all, Minnesota has only a few months to truly enjoy summer so everyone crams as much as possible in. What are Minnesota’s summer months? June through September. These months align with Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Those holiday weekends are also when everyone is traveling so keep that in mind as well.

Since we knew this beforehand, from a co-worker that used to live up there, we decided to go on our trip in mid-June. After that, we did our research (aka asked my coworker for the best waterfalls to visit) and then planned our itinerary, which was from Minneapolis to Duluth for the first day of our trip.

Deciding on a Hotel in Duluth

We knew we were only going to be in Duluth for one night so we decided to go the inexpensive, but yet decent route for a hotel. We used Priceline for the best price we could find on a hotel. With Priceline, we entered the dates we would need the hotel and then the top price we were willing to spend. Pretty standard stuff, right? We filtered hotels with hot tubs. After a full day on the motorcycle, we knew we would want to relax in the hot tub. These populated a few hotels and we were able to narrow it down by deciding on where the hotel was located in Duluth. The closest one that was within our price range and features wanted ended up being Super 8 Hotel. We immediately booked so we could take advantage of the Priceline deal offered to us.

Stops Along the Way

Honestly, other than a stop for lunch, we didn’t stop. We wanted to get up to Duluth as soon as possible so we could enjoy our one night there and then leave relatively early the next morning for the next leg of our trip, which we knew would be long.

As mentioned, we did one stop for lunch, at Tobie’s Restaurant and Bakery in Hinckley, Minnesota. I’ll always recommend Tobie’s. Their baked goods are amazing! And their lunch is good as well.

After lunch and gas break, it was time to get back on the motorcycles and hit the road again.

Prepare for June Weather in Duluth

When we were about 30 minutes outside of Duluth, we experienced our first significant weather change. It dropped from around 90 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees. And, we were not prepared. Don’t be like us.

Duluth North Shore trip

Getting ready to leave for our trip!

Here we were in full motorcycle gear but with tank tops underneath out jackets. Our jackets’ air vents were also open. It kept us comfortable during the ride until the temperature dropped. At that point, we were freezing. When we finally got into the city streets of Duluth we were so cold, even our hands were starting to go numb.

Finally, we reached out hotel. Now, remember we booked a hotel with a hot tub. So, what do you think we did? That’s right, we immediately changed into our swimsuits and went to the hot tub to warm up. Once warmed up enough, it was time for dinner and drinks.

Dinner and Drinks

For dinner, we went to Fitger’s Brewhouse Brewery and Grille. Although it was a Wednesday evening, there was a short wait. Not a problem for us since we didn’t have anywhere else to be that evening. We went to their small bar located across the hall from their restaurant. While there, we enjoyed chatting more about the motorcycle trip up to Duluth and our plans for the rest of the trip, while enjoying some locally brewed beer. I had an Oatmeal Stout while waiting for a table in the restaurant.

Once a table was ready for the both of us, we went over to the restaurant side of their business. We ended up ordering the same meal which was a smoked fish salad. However, they were out of smoked fish so we substituted grilled salmon instead. It was delicious! Great meal to end the evening! We also tried a sample of their Wildfire Lager and it was extremely spicy! More so than either of us were expecting as we’ve had jalapeno beer in the past without any issues. So, we both ordered Apricot Wheat Ale for our second beers. Both the Oatmeal Stout and the Apricot Wheat Ale were very good! Don’t worry, we didn’t ride our motorcycles to the restaurant. We took a Lyft, which had recently started in Duluth.

After dinner, we walked over to this tiny ice cream shop, PortLand Malt Shoppe, that is very close to the restaurant. Although it was drizzling and a bit cold, we both were craving ice cream. While eating it, we checked out the scenery, at least what we could see over the fog.

Duluth MN North Shore

That was the extent of our exploring Duluth due to the weather and lack of proper attire. The next day we were up early and headed out for the next part of our trip. See Visit the Waterfalls of Minnesota North Shore to learn more about our North Shore trip!

I do want to go back to Duluth again and would love to hear more on what other recommend checking out. Please comment below with your favorite parts of Duluth!



Alisha Ruud is a Lifestyle and Travel blogger. She is an animal lover, volunteers with a local animal rescue, avid reader, and motorcyclist. With her many interests, she has found a way to inspire others with the same interests and goals in life. She also likes to keep things fun!

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