As I sit here, quarantined due to the coronavirus a.k.a. covid-19 a.k.a stupid virus that sucks, I thought, now would be a great time to write a post on the ol’ blog.
Here is the result of that thought.
Take in the Views Hiking on Bean and Bear Lake Loop
There are a lot of great hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail. Like over 300 miles worth of them.
And, while I’ve only trekked over a small portion of it, this is easily my favorite Superior Hiking Trail hike I’ve been on. It’s a moderately difficult, 6.3-mile hike that makes you work a bit at times, but isn’t anything too extreme.
While I’ve only hiked it in the summer, the views look exceptionally splendid in the fall.
Here is a photo dump of scenes from the hike from two separate occasions:
Grab an Early Donut and Coffee at World’s Best Donuts and Head Out to Artists’ Point
I’m of the mindset that there ain’t no such thing as a bad donut. It simply doesn’t exist.
However, the World’s Best Donuts shop in Grand Marais is currently crushing the pastry game. Are they the best in the world, as the name claims? Hmmm… hard to say. That’s a pretty subjective question, but there are some great bakeries that may have something to say about that.
That being said, these donuts are really, really good—especially when fresh. So, get up early before everyone else and their mother gets there and huge line forms, grab a classic chocolate-covered donut and a hot coffee-to-go, head out to Artists’ Point. Then spend some nice quality time alone with your thoughts, some caffeine, a delicious pastry, and the sounds of Lake Superior.
Stop in For a Pint at Castle Danger
While in the cities here, a new brewery seems to be popping up on every corner ever year, the North Shore takes a quality over quantity approach when it comes to their craft beer.
For the non-craft beer drinkers, there are plenty of bars to pop into for a cold one along the shore as well.
Regardless of your drink of choice, there are few things better than ending the day with a good beer in one hand, while the other swats away at mosquitoes on a beautiful summer night while up north.
Find a New Book to Read by the Lake
There are very few instances in which I didn’t come back from the North Shore with a new book in hand—with the bookmarker denoting a sizeable chunk of the book that has already been conquered. The crashing waves of the lake and the soothing rustling of the woods make this part of Minnesota prime real estate for getting lost in a book. I find that if I’m ever in a lull when it comes to reading, the urge to dive back into a good novel is too strong here to resist.
Finding a book up here should come easily, with a multitude of great local bookstores to support (unless you’re extremely indecisive like me and have a hard time deciding which book to buy, and which is relegated to the “Want to Read” list on Goodreads).
Drury Lane Books, which I’ve referenced before, is a must if you make your way far enough north to Grand Marais. It’s pretty fricken adorable in there, and they have a lot of great selections of new and old books alike.
Tucked inside Fitger’s in Duluth is the aptly named Bookstore at Fitger’s, which is a great place to look for your new summer read if you’re not venturing up any further.
In between these two bookstores are plenty of other stores to pop into to see what you can find. But, when it comes to books, they often seem to find you, don’t they? (just kidding, books are inanimate objects and don’t have the capability of searching, let alone finding, anything.
Visit the Sivertson Gallery and Pick a Favorite Piece
Fifty years from now—when I’m finally out of student debt and can afford a mortgage—I’m going to decorate my home with pieces from the Sivertson Gallery.
Branded as the “Art of the North,” this gallery is home to some of the most creative artists in Minnesota who truly understand the North Shore. The gallery is filled with colorful art depicting scenes that are common throughout the area: Wintery lodges, curious critters, towering trees.
You could spend a long time perusing the selections at the Sivertson Gallery, creating a mental list of your favorite pieces that you’ll someday come back and purchase.