We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

An extension of Mummabear's post

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
36 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
An extension of Mummabear's post

Hello from another part of the UK. Like Mummabear we are travelling from Chicago to Ely next year. We are attending the bear study course in July and have around 9 nights after the course to tour. We had originally thought we might do a whistle stop tour around the bottom of Lake Superior and down Lake Michigan but reading the replies to Mummabear's post can see that we would be missing out by rushing through your State. We are now tempted to have a complete change and travel up to Grand Marais and spend some time there and then travel back down to Duluth and possibly round to Bayfield/Ashland area to look at the Apostle Islands. We are thinking of finding a base to explore the area from for a few days. Is Grand Marais still a good choice for this in July or will it be too busy and would somewhere more central to the coastline be a better choice? Could you also be kind enough to let us know what sort of temperatures and bugs we need to prepare for in mid-July. Can we say a big thank you to all who replied to mummabear's post as all that information has been so helpful. Thanks!

minneapolis
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
1,168 posts
195 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

Very cool that all our posts helped sway you to exploring Minnesota!

July's the best time to visit. Northshore temps can vary from 60s to a rare 90s, it's usually moderate and a little cooler in the evenings. If it's been dry, there will be fewer bugs.

You might consider the Lutsen area for a mid point on the north shore. However, I personally would spend at least 2 days/nights in each place you visit. It's not a good area for a base camp vacation since it's a loop. And if you drove the whole thing from Duluth all the way around to Bayfield, WI, it would take a whole day. I might skip doing the loop so you can enjoy more time and relax in Ely, Duluth, Grand Marais & Bayfield/Apostle islands. That's pretty jam-packed as it is for 8 days.

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

spend some time on www.googlearth.com looking things over from above. you can click on the little blue squares to see pics of......whatever. prepare for skeeters and gnats.

Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
242 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

If you've already spent time in canoe country and you want to explore Lake Superior, you can do the Circle Tour of Lake Superior in nine days. You'll see Grand Marais, Duluth and the Apostles as well as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, the Keweenaw Peninsula, the Soo Locks and Ontario's North Shore (looks like Norway).

You'll see tons of lighthouses, waterfalls and, most likely, moose. I think it's the best vacation in the Upper Midwest.

Here's an eight-night, nine-day "greatest hits of Lake Superior'' itinerary:

midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/touring/lake…

Beth at MidwestWeekends.com

Ely, Minnesota
Level Contributor
318 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

The main time you have to deal with bugs in northern Minnesota is in early June. July is a great time to be here. I'm not suggesting you won't see a mosquito, but you won't see many. Usually mosquitoes come out after sundown (9:00) out in the woods at that time of year. Happy planning!

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
36 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

Thanks for the info.

Out of intrest where would you stay in/around Two Harbors?

Thanks

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
1,674 posts
1,070 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

I've stayed at both the Americinn and Superior Shores. Both were nice. You will love doing the Circle Tour. I've done parts of it over the past years and love it. Last summer we did Bayfield and it's really a great place. Recommend the Bayfield Inn for that area.

Minneapolis
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
3,933 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

I would take Grand Marais over Two Harbours.

To me, the north shore gets more scenic past the tunnels & the lighthouse, and more hiking trails.

Grand Marias shouldn't be too busy for you, and you'd have great dining options at night.

If you make it as far as the Canadian Border - another 45 miles, check out Grand Portage state park. Highest waterfall in the state, and hike to the middle files for some awesome serenity.

Hit the Devil's Kettle on the way down.

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

do you like old trains?

www.superiortrails.com/duluth-colortrain.html

www.northernrail.net/

www.northshorescenicrailroad.org

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
36 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

Thanks for all your ideas. We are currently finalising everything and using some of your suggestions.

Two Harbors...
Level Contributor
326 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: An extension of Mummabear's post

Other sites to peruse: www.visitduluth.com Info on all Duluth area attractions.

Try the following site: http://www.twoharborschamber.com/

This will give you a broad range of information on the North Shore including lodging, state parks, & recreational activities. There are a number of very nice lodging facilities in Duluth & up the shore in Lake & Cook Counties to choose from. Two Harbors has a very nice waterfront area with a breakwater to view ore boats being loaded & a waterfront trail starting at the Lighthouse B & B. (Awesome photo ops!) Two Harbors' annual summer festival "Heritage Days" is July 8th -12th. This consists of craft sales, entertainment,street dance and a parade & classic car show (on the 10th).

Also, the MN DNR website:

www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/map.html

will provide links to the EIGHT state Parks located along the North Shore. Spectacular scenery, so plan to take some time on this leg of your trip to truly appreciate the North Shore that you can't view from the car windows. It is a photographer's & nature lover's dream!

" The Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a 235-mile long footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota from Two Harbors to the Canadian border. There are an additional 39 miles of trail through the City of Duluth from Jay Cooke State Park to Martin Road. The SHT has trailheads with parking lots every 5-10 miles making it ideal for both day hikes and backpacking." To view their website click on this link:

http://www.shta.org

Another must-see location that isn't on the map is Palisade Head, a high cliff with phenomenal lake views, well known to climbers. It is located just north of Silver Bay on Hwy 61, just past the Palisade Baptist Church on the right. The view to the north is of Shovel Point, part of Tettegouche State Park. (Trivia: Part of the movie "The Good Son" with McCauley Caulkin was filmed there.)

As far as bugs--generally speaking, the closer you are to Lake Superior the less you'll encounter. Weather & temperatures can vary widely near the "Big Lake". Temperatures can fluctuate by 30 degrees or more within a half hour depending upon wind direction. Rule of thumb here: always pack a jacket--even if it's 80 degrees when you leave your hotel room.