Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive

Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive

Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive
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  • Lyle H
    Red Wing, Minnesota3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scenic North Shore and Iron Range
    I had been several years since I had been up to the north shore and our friends from Missouri had never been there it was as neat as I had remembered and our friends were blown away as they had never seen anything like it. Two harbors and the taconite trains gooseberry falls split rock lighthouse lutsen and Gran Maria were all highlights for them. They couldn’t get enough of the lake. We went on to the iron range taking the back roads. Lunch at Giants Ridge overlooking the golf course was neat. On to Hibbing and a visit to the Hull mine overlook was impressive for our friends and us as well. Was a excellent way to close our north shore visit. A visit to Tobie’s bakery in Hinkley on our way home was a sweet way to end our visit up north.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 July 2023
  • Richard D
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lake Superior is absolute beauty. The North Shore Scenic Drive was wonderful on a Thursday, with minimal traffic.
    My brother and I traveled to Grand Marais from Duluth (and back) to attend our uncle's funeral. I noticed that traveling mid-week offered much less traffic and still all of the amenities. If you must travel during peak tourism season, try going during the week to avoid the heavy weekend traffic.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 7 August 2023
  • SS_Forever
    Dallas, Texas526 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Scenic Drive Up Hwy 61 Back
    As we are staying in Duluth and going to Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse to name a few we decided to do the scenic drive on the way up so we could see the sights. Enjoyed the drive. On the way back we took the Hwy 61 route to catch some of the businesses along the way.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 August 2023
  • Lisa B
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Do it!
    Stayed in Duluth for a week. Set aside one day to drive the North Shore. Traveled to Tettegouche State Park before returning back to Duluth. (68 miles there, 68 back). Went with a 1.5 year old and 3.5 year old and brought the dog. This was our day: Duluth, Two Harbors Lighthouse, Lakeview Park playground to let them run a bit, Creek Cliff Tunnel, Lafeyette Bluff Tunnel, Gooseberry Falls (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!), Iona’s Pink Beach for picnic and let dog swim, Split Rock Lighthouse, Black Beach (read reviews how to get there, don’t be mislead), Palisade Head lookout, Tettegouche State Park to see High Falls. We did all this from 9am-6pm. Spent most time at Gooseberry and Tettegouche. Beautiful water falls, beautiful overlooks/views/beaches. Not something to miss. Gooseberry and black beach were the highlights if I had to choose. Enjoy! Hope you have a nice sunny day to see all the views!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 September 2023
  • WingsOverWorld
    Winnipeg, Canada303 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Trip
    Beautiful scenic drive with loads of stops along the way with very cool things to see. We loved Gooseberry Falls the most. Split Rock was nice and Glensheen mansion was worht the stop. Teh drive up to the top of Palisade was great - awesome view. On the downside, the traffic was just awful!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 October 2023
  • Grover R
    Pensacola, Florida21,818 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Best Part of my Trip to Minnesota - Amazing
    One of the prettiest drives in the country. I have driven Highway 61 from Duluth all the way to Canadian Border and the scenery combined with so many different things to do and see make this perhaps the best attraction in Minnesota. In addition, there are great places to eat like Betty's Pies along the way, so it is not just about seeing. I came to the arrowhead of Minnesota to see two amazing National Park, Voyageurs and Isle Royale and they were great. However, the best part of my trip was the 2 days I spent on the North Shore visiting numerous state parks and enjoying the amazing scenery in Minnesota. I was absolutely blown away by the Minnesota State Parks on the North Shore. According to AllTrails you will see most of the state's top 10 parks by visiting the North Shore. My favorite are as follows: 1) Tetteqouche SP 2) Gooseberry Falls SP 3) Cascade River SP 4) Judge CR Magney SP 5) Split Rock SP 6) Grand Portage SP Again, this was a hard ranking as all 6 are incredible. There is not a bad one in this area. I must also say that simply driving the Highway is incredible with all the wonderful wildflowers lining the road. While I spent 2 nights in Grand Marais for visiting the sights of Highway 61, you could also stay in Duluth as well if you wanted larger city amenities. The great thing about seeing it from Duluth is you can also visit the amazing sight in Wisconsin as well. Highway 61 and the Minnesota state parks along are some of the natural places to visit in all the US.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 10 November 2023
  • PowerTrippers
    Cocoa Beach, Florida1,509 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of Our Favorite Road Trips
    What an absolutely beautiful drive! We loved this drive so much, we did it twice. The 2nd time, we drove it from Duluth all the way to the Canada border. We had some beautiful weather, so we put the top down on the Mustang and just basically hopped off wherever we felt like. We visited a couple beaches, some waterfalls, lighthouses, small towns, and of course some great restaurants. The highlight, though, was the gorgeous views of Lake Superior all along the drive. We also enjoyed the amazing scent of pine throughout the drive. This drive has it all… beaches, mountains, forests, quaint towns, etc. It’s kind of the Midwest version of the Pacific Coast Highway. We’ve done roadtrips all over the US and this was definitely one of our favorites. If you get a chance to do it in a convertible with the top down, it just enhances the experience even more. Highly recommend! -The PowerTrippers
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 June 2024
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Colin Archibald
Kingston, TN4,369 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Considered one of the top Scenic Byways in America, the drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior is a great way to spend a day. There are quaint towns, Lighthouses for those of us that love lighthouses, nice restaurants, waterfalls, trails and more. The scenery is beautiful and there are lots of points of interest along the way
Written 8 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KSTravel13
Overland Park, KS30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
The drive was very pretty, but there were parts under construction so weren’t able to see all of it. Gooseberry falls was a lot of fun to hike around. We brought food for a picnic lunch and really enjoyed it. Because of Covid the split rock lighthouse wasn’t allowing anyone into the lighthouse but was still charging a fee so we didn’t go since we had just as good views from some of the overlooks. We stopped at Betty’s pies for pie on our way back to Duluth and it was a great stop! A lot of fun little towns to stop in as you want.
Written 5 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LovesPhotoOps
Hoover, AL1,133 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We loved everything we did along Highway 61. We flew from Alabama to Minneapolis, drove our rental car to Duluth and spent a night there (loved Duluth), then drove to Silver Bay and spent three nights there as we toured up and down the North Shore before heading to Ely. We stopped at most of the state parks along Highway 61 and did easy/moderate day hikes to waterfalls and scenic Lake Superior views. Don’t miss Tettegouche and Grand Portage state parks as well as Grand Portage National Monument. Gooseberry Falls and Cascade River state parks are good too. We also did the Keeper’s Tour at Split Rock Lighthouse (buy tickets online ahead of time) and enjoyed that. And we stopped at multiple lake overlooks including Palisade Head, Father Baraga’s Cross, and Susie Islands. The good places to eat that we found were Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, Coho Café & Bakery in Tofte, and Cascade Lodge Pub & Restaurant in Lutsen. Before the trip I had ordered the paperback “North Shore–Duluth: A Photo Tour of Northeastern Minnesota” by David Barthel and found it useful in planning ahead so we didn’t miss anything.
Written 27 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KEITH J
Duluth, MN42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
On a bright sunny day there isn't a more beautiful drive in Minnesota or the surrounding states than the drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior! There are many spots in which you can stop at places to see the lake along the way and great restaurants, etc. in which to stop and eat or wayside rests in which to picnic, etc. We do this drive at least two or three times a year!
Written 13 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cfrojen
Fargo, ND6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Family
We always love taking the North Shore Scenic drive along Lake Superior when we come for a vacation in Duluth, MN. Plenty of little Mom & Pop restaurants along the drive. Take time to stop at the State Park along the route.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

busteezmama
Oak Hills, CA200 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We did this drive on a Sunday., leaving early afternoon out of Duluth. Minimal traffic, plenty of places to pull over and really beautiful scenery. Definitely take the scenic road that runs along the shoreline. It literally ends at the 61 so easy enough to continue on. Stopped at French River to walk to beach and look for agates. Two Harbors had a great gift shop called Wellon's - look for the big white chicken out front! We went up as far as Split Rock to see the lighthouse. You can't see the lighthouse from the Visitor Center and we paid $12 each to go see it and walk around the grounds. If you want to actually go inside the lighthouse they do have a tour for that as well. Very nice gift shop at the visitor center, clean bathrooms inside and a water bottle fill station. Stopped on the way back to see Gooseberry Falls. Pretty easy hike on all paved trails. Lake Superior is much prettier once you get north of Duluth harbor. The coastline reminds me of New England coastline in some areas. It was an easy drive, a very relaxing day and absolutely worth your time. You drive through 2 large tunnels that have been cut into the hillsides if you go up this far.
Written 18 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EC13091
Ellicott City, MD1,489 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021 • Couples
We fell in love with Lake Superior during our visit to the Great Lakes, and taking the North Shore Drive was a highlight. Another reviewer suggested we take the old road as we left Duluth—good suggestion. We went to several places along the drive—Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse among them—but remember: for every mile north of Duluth, you have to drive one more mile back (unless you’re going to Canada which we didn’t, due to the need for COVID testing, etc.). If you’re lucky enough to get a good day, as we did, go early and enjoy the day. We went on a weekday, which everyone told us would be less crowded; it was!
Written 22 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie D
Saint Charles, IL27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Beautiful views and great hiking in the state parks. It is well worth the spend to get an annual pass for $35. We went to eight state parks in seven days, and had a great time. We camped at Gooseberry, which had very nice bathrooms and was about a blocks walk from our camp site to the beach area at Lake Superior.
Written 26 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jim T
Austin, TX1,160 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2021
We did part of this drive on a late Saturday afternoon. We went about an hour-and-a-half and turned back. There are several small towns along the route, and of course stops for lighthouses, hiking, picnicking, etc. Be sure to take the smaller highway that actually follows the curving shoreline of the lake, and not the highway a few miles over (North Shore Drive not HighWay 61).
Written 29 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

flowermite
Lafayette, LA42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2019
Traveling on the North Shore Scenic Drive was an awesome trip. You see things that you would not see if you took the interstate. It may be a long trip, but going through all the small towns where worth it. As you are traveling you still see the Lake off and on...
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MINNESOTA'S NORTH SHORE SCENIC DRIVE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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