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Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

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Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

We are planning a trip for September 2009 (I like planning early). What are some "must-sees" that we should not miss? We have been doing the Circle Tour in bits over the years - this is our next section.

We are planning to start off in Duluth and go up the the Canadian border (but not crossing over). Should we make Duluth our "homebase" and make day trips up the coast or travel and stay along the coast? In total a 5 - 7 day trip starting on Labor Day.

We are also debating whether or not to take our small dog with us or have her stay with "grandma". How are places in regards to having pets? We've never had a dog before while traveling, so we do not know what to expect.

We are thinking of staying in little cabins along the way? Good idea or not? So far I have looked at Lamb's Cabins and KOA kamper kabins, but that's it - looking for reasonable rates ($50 - $100 a night).

Any info/tips from you Minnesota experts would be great!

Minneapolis
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1. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

I go each year - the last weekend in October.

I make the AmericInn in Tofte my home base.

They have jacuzzi suites & allow pets.

Pretty good breakfast too.

I go for the hiking trails - mostly in the state parks. The Oberg Loop (5 miles north of hotel along the shore) is one I take in each time.

Temperence River has a good trail that runs up the Carlton peak - you walk along the river for good part of the way - very scenic.

I spend time in Grand Marais too - Artist's Point, and a few good places too eat. From there it's a small drive to the trailhead to the highest point in MN - Eagle Mountain. Great trail to go up. A bit north of Grand Marais is Devil's Track Canyon - they say it's deepest canyon in the state.

I like to go all the way to the border and hit Grand Portage State Park - easy walk out to highest waterfall in the state - Pigeon River Falls.

I've eaten a few times at the Cascade Lodge - not bad - and check out the falls there too.

You might want to check out the architecture of this lodge too -

http://www.naniboujou.com/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naniboujou_Club_Lodge

minneapolis
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2. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

You know, if I were you with that luxurious amount of time, I would spend 2 nights each in Duluth and Grand Marais, and one spot half way between the two. There are so many great state parks to explore, I'd try to get one of their camper cabins. You can reserve them up to a year in advance. They're rustic but very comfortable, most have heat, some have electric and run for less than $55/night. I've never done KOA so I can't speak of those in the area. I also can't speak to bringing your dog. My girlfriends never brought theirs, so that probably says something.

In Duluth, don't miss the canal area, 7 Bridges Road, Fitgers Brewery (great food, music, history) and Glensheen Mansion. Pizza Luce downtown not only has great food but also local music. Jay Cooke State Park is right outside Duluth if you try to get their cabin. We're staying there this Oct.

In Grand Marais, you should consider splurging and try to squeeze in at Sweetgrass Cove. It's north of GM, 11 miles south of the Canadian border, but the seclusion is sublime. Hit the general store, the art galleries and the great bars/restaurants. My favorite is Gunflint Tavern.

And in between, Lutsen, Two Rivers or any of the state parks are ideal - there are many to see in between the 2 locations. You can't go wrong with any of them, esp if there's been rain causing lots of waterfall activity.

That's a lot of general information. I'd also suggest checking out the forums for Grand Marais/Two Harbors/Lutsen/Duluth along with their own tourism web sites.

Rochester, Minnesota
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3. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

This may not sound very exciting, and to many it really isn't, but one thing that I remember as a child, and I also took my children when they were young, was the Itasca State Park and headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi. It's just a simple park, but it's always amazed me that the huge Mississippi starts out as just a little stream.

exploreminnesota.com/regions/nw/story.aspx…

Exploreminnesota.com in general will provide some great ideas.

Regarding "cabins"....be very cautious. Most are simple, and old, fishing cabins. VERY rustic, old furniture, none of the dishes match, and everything looks like it came from garage sales. We don't mind that when we go fishing, but it may not be something you want if you are looking for comfort. Don't trust their websites; they always look better than they really are.

Woodbury, Minnesota
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4. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

I know the Holiday Inn downtown Duluth allows pets and it is in a nice location. (I have got a room there for $70 on priceline before.) They have pools and saunas. Driving North from there on 35 I would stop for lunch in Two Harbors. It is a cute town. Just outside of Two Harbors there is Gooseberry park with waterfalls. Free and Gorgeous! Then, Splitrock Lighthouse is really neat. I love Grand Marais. You can make it there by evening. There are hotels and cabins all along the shore. I did work off the Gunflint trail a couple summers growing up at Tuscarora Canoe Outfitters which has cabins that are nice. Tuscarora is a 50 minute drive from Grand Marais. It would be nice to swim, fish, canoe & hike. I would drive to Thunder Bay Canada next. Go and see the largest mall ever and they also have beautiful waterfalls there. Have a nice trip!

Marlton, New Jersey
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5. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

I saw the North Shore from Duluth to Grand Marias in one day. I went to Gooseberry Falls, Pallisade Head, took the walk out to Artist Point in Grand Marias, and also did some hikes in some of the State Parks along the way. They are easy to access because they are all right off the same Route. I enjoyed Split Rock Lighthouse alot. I also liked Cascade Falls and Gooseberry Falls. I stayed at Superior Shoes, which I liked alot. In Duluth, I saw the Mansion ( can't remember the name, but I would recommend it) and Canal Park. There was one hike that I did north of Grand Marias to a Devil's Kettle and it was so long that I gave up, but I heard that it was nice.

Saint Paul...
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6. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

Wow! That's a busy day.

I suspect Glensheen is the Duluth mansion you could not remember.

Davie, Florida
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7. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

The dog me distracting on rocky beaches and on high cliffs.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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8. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

To clarify another part of angeleyes27's agenda, the Devils Kettle is in Judge C R Magney state Park, between Grand Marais and Grand Portage.

In the category of little cabins along the lake, I'd suggest Opels Lakeside cabins (http://www.opelslakesidecabins.com/). It is a handful of little cabins just north of Grand Marais. Not a resort, its a handful of little cabins run by a property management firm. NO real services or amenities, but right on the water and affordable. Not fancy.

You are getting great suggestions, but I'm not sure what might differentiate this stretch from the rest of your circle tour.

I love Grand Marais and Duluth, and all the parks in between. And I have scar from the Alpine Slide in Lutsen.

You do have to worry about crowds for the fall color season if you get into October, but September should be OK. I've been there many times in mid September for the Northshore Inline Marathon, and there is not much color then.

Fort Lauderdale
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9. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

I don't want to distract from the information here but it is relevant to answering some of my interests as well. I plan to visit this area in July. However, one question I have in addition is whether reservations are needed. It would seem the ideal situation would be to leave Duluth and take whatever time it takes and get as far as you feel like with whatever sight seeing or hiking you do, versus having to reach somewhere. But, in July is everything booked and you can't just find a place to stay the evening? And, on behalf of the original poster is the same true in Sept?

Minneapolis
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10. Re: Visiting Minnesota's North Shore In September 2009

you might want to have a sept rez in advance

it will be prime fall colours time and I believe all the places will be booked up in advance