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Top 5 Attractions for the Whole Family on the North Shore

For many Minnesotans traveling up the North Shore is a yearly tradition. If it's your first time planning a trip up the shore or 100th we wanted to give you a list of the top attractions that the whole family can enjoy on your trip up the shore. In this list, we are excluding all hikes and nature centers since those deserve their own list (which will be coming soon).


Glensheen Mansion

First on this list is the majestic Glensheen Mansion located in the outskirts of Duluth. Glensheen is an estate that belonged to the Congdon, one of the wealthiest families in Minnesota during the early 1900s. At the Glensheen estate, you get to travel back in time to see how the family lived. They also host free weekly events every Wednesday that lets you roam around the estate. To learn more check out Glensheen.


Great Lakes Aquarium

Next on this list is another staple on the North Shore. The Great Lakes Aquarium touts itself as the largest freshwater fish aquarium in the US, North America’s largest sturgeon touch pool, and several marine touch pools. This is perfect for families and offers a ton of close-up interactive material for all ages. I would definitely recommend taking advantage of their sturgeon touch pool. To learn more about the Aquarium make sure to check out their website at Great Lakes Aquarium


The Depot / North Shore Scenic Railroad

On the North Shore, trains are some of the most important pieces of history due to them being vital in travel, work, and fun in Duluthian’s lives for over 100 years. The North Shore Scenic Railroad allows you to relive those times and take a ride around the North Shore on a historic train. After the train ride makes sure to check out the Depot and see all of the historic trains that they have. Interested in booking a tour? Check out their website to learn how at The North Shore Scenic Railroad


Split Rock Lighthouse

Fourth on our list is a way up the shore and happens to be one of the most iconic locations in Minnesota. So iconic it was actually on the Minnesota driver’s license. This of course is the Split Rock Lighthouse, originally a working lighthouse to help ships not crash into shore has transformed into a museum where visitors can travel the grounds, learn about the history of Minnesota, and get a sense of what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper in the early 1900s. For more information on this make sure to visit their website at Split Rock Lighthouse


Grand Marais Lighthouse

Lastly on this list is a destination for many if they are traveling up the shore. Grand Marais is located at the tip of the North Shore and offers a wide variety of attractions for families including hiking, food, and the world's best donuts. The Grand Marais Lighthouse is another great option and is something that many travelers journey to find.


Bonus attraction

Burlington Station

It would be unfair if we included ourselves in this list, so we decided to add it in as a bonus (since we are a little bias). Burlington Station is a 17,000 SF candy store, model train exhibit, and retail space located on the edge of Two Harbors. Perfect for a little break on your drive up Burlington offers fun for all ages.



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