Who has snow on the ground? We got about five inches overnight last night and it's really looking like a winter wonderland out there! One of our favorite Minnesota cities to visit in the winter is Duluth because the terrain is so different from where we live in the middle of the state. I've partnered with Hampton Inn to share five winter destinations you should visit near Duluth, MN!
Gooseberry Falls is about 40 minutes north of Duluth, MN and is one of our favorite places to visit year-round. During winter it's especially pretty and it's always different depending on the weather. Some years we've visited and everything has been frozen, while other years it's flowing in certain areas. Seeing frozen waterfalls is one of my favorite things about the north shore! There's no parking fee to stop at this state park which is a nice perk.
Mainland Ice Caves - Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
These incredible ice caves are a couple hours up the shore from Duluth but are 100% worth the visit if you're in the area. You'll walk out onto Lake Superior and walk through a variety of caves created by ice and the unique landscape of the north shore. We are planning to take our kids later this winter if it becomes accessible. You'll always want to check the website before making the trip up, as conditions change throughout the winter season.
If you're looking for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or other fun outdoor activities, Spirit Mountain is the perfect option! Just 15 minutes from the Canal Park area of Duluth, it's a great option for a family day. They even have glow-tubing on Friday and Saturday nights!
This walk-through holiday lights attraction in Duluth, MN is one of our favorite activities! It runs November 19th-December 26th this year and is open starting at 5PM each night. Located at Bayfront Festival Park, it's just minutes from Canal Park where you'll find the Duluth Lift Bridge. At this attraction you'll find over 5,000,000 lights and free treats like hot cocoa, coffee, cookies, popcorn, and even marshmallows to cook over a fire! It's an event you won't want to miss.
Glensheen Mansion tours are always amazing, but when the home is transformed for Christmas it's truly next-level. With a tour ticket you'll see all five floors of the mansion featuring an 18 foot decorated tree (27 total trees throughout), hundreds of feet of garland, and themed rooms. For the kids, there are 25 elves hidden throughout the mansion, too!
Where to stay in Duluth, MN? Why the Hampton Inn is Our Favorite Hotel for a Winter Destinations Trip!
Talking about all of these fun experiences makes me want to take another trip to Duluth as soon as possible! When we visit the north shore, there's only one place we love to stay, and that's the Hampton Inn Duluth - Canal Park. This hotel is in a prime location, just steps from the Lakewalk and beautiful Lake Superior.
I took this photo when it was quite a bit warmer in Minnesota, but you can see the proximity to Duluth's famous lift bridge and the Lakewalk. We love being near the downtown area and all the shopping options in Canal Park. Plus, the Hampton Inn is next door to our favorite place to eat, Canal Park Brewery, and just a short distance from Bentleyville.
The rooms are spacious and always clean - we love having a room that faces Lake Superior! You'll have a cozy place to come back to after spending the day outdoors. The pool and hot tub are a great source of fun for the kids and relaxation for the adults!
Cool Off in the Pool or Warm Up in the Hot Tub!
Breakfast at Hampton Inn Duluth - Canal Park
One of my favorite things about the Hampton Inn is their complimentary breakfast. We stayed for two nights recently and there were so many options! Here are some of our favorites:
- Scrambled Eggs
- Cheese Omelettes
- Breakfast potatoes
- Make your own waffles (our kids' favorite!)
- Fresh coffee
And that's not all - each day the buffet is a little different and I guarantee you'll never get tired of it. There's a Caribou Coffee across the street (my favorite!) and the hotel also offers free, fresh coffee all day.
Throughout the hotel you'll find beautiful photos of the north shore and extremely kind and helpful staff members. We love this hotel and we keep coming back because of the experiences we've had so far! Plus, we love being close to all of our favorite Duluth activities. Book your next winter destinations trip, romantic staycation, or family trip at the Hampton Inn!
Disclaimer: I was hosted at the Hampton Inn in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.