For anyone who has ever been to the North Shore — Duluth and beyond — they understand the allure of this part of Minnesota.
Along the 150 miles of road are small towns with fantastic shops on every corner and some of the best fresh seafood in the Midwest.
As you drive north, to the right is the enormous lake and to the left, dense forests and hiking trails surround you.
For someone who has gone up there nearly every summer for my entire life, the North Shore is a very, very special place to me and my family.
This summer was no different, as we once again made the trek. When I was younger, we often stayed in Canal Park in Duluth. But now, we find new spots along the shore to stay — with Grand Marais and Beaver/Silver Bay being our new favorite spots.
This year we posted up on an incredibly lovely ‘cabin resort’ in Shroeder — after an initial two nights in Duluth.
One of my favorite things to do along the North Shore is to hit up the Superior Hiking Trail which has some pretty outstanding hikes.
For example, the Oberg Mountain Trail — a fairly easy 2.6-mile loop that is a great place to take in the sunset, as well as the foliage during the fall months.
Early on in the hike, you’ll come across a nice scenic overlook, where half of it is lush green forests, and the other half the cool blue Lake Superior.
After taking in the sights from the first lookout, you’ll make your forward on the trail where you’ll come across yet another lookout. I’d say this is the better of the two sides in terms of views — although the lake is considerably smaller than the one on the other side.
Keep heading down the trail a little further and you’ll come up upon a smaller little lookout with the best view on the path:
We timed this hike perfectly and caught a great golden hour view and the tease of the sunset.
The next day we took our hiking shoes to Tettegouche State Park, where we found a nice trail away from the more crowded trails.
I also thought going deeper into the woods and further from the shore gave us the best shot at encountering a moose.
You see, of all the times I’ve been up north I ain’t never seen no moose. I know people who have been up there once in their lives and seen a moose!
I was certain this would be my year to finally see one of those oversized deers in its natural habitat.
I was wrong.
The trail we were on took us to Mount Baldy, which featured this nice little view of a lake:
Grand Marais also has my favorite book store — called Drury Lane Books. Although this year was quite disappointing as I couldn’t find any of the four books I had set my heart on.
However, my main mission in terms of souvenirs was to find a new coffee mug for work. I didn’t have much luck in this regard early on, as the coffee mugs in these towns tend to be quite touristy.
However, on our last day of the trip at the Rustic Inn Cafe — a banger of a restaurant located in Two Harbors — I did find a mug I was quite content with.
Once again, the Boyle Hoban clan had a great time taking in one of Minnesota’s best features: the North Shore.