Duluth has a place for every mood — whether you want to examine your inner Norwegian or dance to Charlie Parr without being packed into a tight venue.
Here are tips for where to go:
When you want live music but don't want to be within sneezing distance of another human
A lot of local businesses have modified their models to accommodate social distancing guidelines: Love Creamery added a walk-up window, Vikre Distillery has outdoor seating and to-go cocktail kits, Northern Waters Smokehaus expanded its range of delivery.
Cedar Lounge, tho. Its keepers had the foresight in a pre-pandemic world to cultivate a large swath of land between Earth Rider Brewery and its taproom. Now, boom. Live music almost every night with appropriate space between you and any of the elbow flailers who might drop in. Among the regulars: Charlie Parr, Alan Sparhawk and more.
When you want to see 'weather weather'
Lake Superior, man. When it rains big or snows hard, then the wind is whipping hard enough to dredge up ghost ships on the horizon, the world’s largest freshwater lake has a magnetic pull for the people who live along its shoreline. When you see the funky colors swirling on the meteorologists’ screen, get thee to a safe space with a lake view and see what sounds, shapes and spectacular splashes Gitche Gummi makes. Also, please know that the wilder the weather, the more surfers you will see playing in the swells. Best viewing of these super athletes: Stoney Point, South Lester and Park Point.
When you want a legal fire on the beach
This will happen: Some night you will be parked out on the beach at Park Point with seven friends and, oddly, eight ukuleles and you will decide “Hey a fire would be nice.” Don’t do it. Collect your instruments, pack up your hammocks, shake the sand from the leg of your pants and simply travel to Wisconsin. Unpack the snacks and tunes. Create your fire where it is legal, but stay 10 feet away from beach grass, thx.
When you want to own this city
Blah blah blah, the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s the best dang thing running through this city and beyond. That said, some parts are superior, LOL, to other parts. If you want to prove you are the Duluthiest Duluthian in Duluth’s history, you need to hike the Ely’s Peak section. (You can take the trail, even though some people do scale it). The route is treacherous, the vistas are (chef’s kiss), and the bragging rights are huge. While you’re there, find the old train tunnel and take the signature dark-figure-in-the-bright-cave-entry portrait.
When you want to feel the feels of Norwegian royalty
Enger Tower was a gift from Norway in the 1930. The five story bluestone cylindrical structure looks out over the Duluth harbor and St. Louis bay — in addition to Lake Superior. It’s a fun and safe climb and it’s windy at the top. Take in the scene, man. This is your new city. While you’re there: check out the Zen garden and don’t forget to bong the bell, a replica of a similar piece in sister city Ohara, Japan.