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Duluth (Minnesota)

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Minnesota Duluth

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Introduction

Lift Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota

Lift Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota

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Duluth is named after explorer Jean-Duluth who came through in the late 1700s. Outside Magazine has rated Duluth as one of it's best outdoor cities to live. An outdoor enthusiasts dream town with biking, hiking, running, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, fishing, hunting, climbing, among other pursuits can all be found here in Duluth. An ecclectic mix of colleges, business, service, residential, industrial, and tourism make Duluth a fun city to visit. Its population is around 85,000 people. It's the largest inland Port in the world, shipping out taconite (iron ore), coal, grain, and other products all over the world. Located at the western tip of Lake Superior, the gateway to Minnesota's north shore and arrowhead region.

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Neighbourhoods

The streets of Duluth run on a grid as follows:

  • Avenues run up and down the hill, Lake Avenue is the center Avenue, and designates where East and West Duluth Numbers change. Anything going northeast from Lake avenue will have an East Duluth Avenue anything going Southwest from Lake avenue will be a West Duluth Avenue.
  • Streets run parallel to the lake, and perpendicular to the Avenues. Superior St. is the Baseline St. running through Duluth. Going up the hill, the numbers of the streets will increase (1st, 2nd, Etc.) Confusing? Any gas station will sell you a twin ports street map, to help you get around.

Duluth has many neighborhoods, some commercial, some residential, some for visitors, and it is these that are mentioned below:

  • Canal Park is located down on Lake Ave. It has a large collection of hotels, restaurants, galleries, shops right next to the aerial lift bridge. Very Popular place to stay and visit.
  • Downtown is the area surrounding Lake Ave. and Superior St. intersect. About a 5 block radius in each direction makes up the downtown. Lots of business locations, restaurants, lodging, Government buildings.
  • Park Point is a Residential and Park Area located on the spit of land across the Aerial Lift Bridge. Contains public sandy beaches to enjoy and to swim in the lake at (Be aware, the rip current can be deadly when the waves are large and the wind is coming in off of the lake. It's not dangerous very often, but something to consider).
  • College areas is home to Duluth's 3 colleges, the University of Minnesota Duluth and The College of Saint Scholastica have beautiful campus areas (see below for links under learn section).
  • Lakeside is mostly residential, but has a small business area and access to Lake Superior at Brighton Beach and along the Scenic Hwy 61 running between Duluth and Two Harbors.
  • [bCentral Entrance and Miller Hill[/b] is a large Shopping District, with a shopping mall, restaraunts, business sector, airport, hotels, and other commerce buildings.
  • West Duluth is a mostly residential with business section along Superior St. and Grand Avenues.

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Sights and Activities

Duluth is a large city with a lot to see. Almost any outdoor activity you want to pursue can be found here. Check out the following:

  • Skyline Parkway is a scenic road that runs the entire length of Duluth from 123rd Ave West to 60th Ave East. This road runs along the ridge giving excellent views of the city and lake, from high above. Check out Hawk's ridge in the fall to witness the migration of raptors from Canada. Many hiking opportunities.
  • Canal Park Area is the place to watch 1000 feet ore carriers slice through the canal underneath the aerial lift bridge while you eat an ice cream cone.
  • The Lakewalk is a paved scenic path running along Lake Superior from Canal Park to Brighton Beach (not all sections completed past 45th ave east). Lake access, biking, walking, scenic views. Go for a walk at dawn to watch the sun rise over the lake.
  • Willard Munger State Trail has a paved trail that runs from Hinckley to Duluth (over 50 miles/80 kilometres). Popular among bikers, runners, and snowmobilers.
  • Lake Superior Hiking Trail runs along Lake Superior from Canada to Jay Cooke State Park. Shuttle available, many trailheads and access. A great way to view the Arrowhead Region. Runs through Duluth.

City Parks

Duluth has a terrific collection of city parks to explore and relax at. The city has large tracts preserved for the use of all. Must sees include:

  • Brighton beach (Kitchi Kami) is located on highway 61, just as you leave town heading north, access to Lake Superior, picnicing, swimming, rock hounding, photography
  • Lester River is at 60th Ave East, located around Lester river, waterfalls, c.c. skiing, hiking, mountain biking, picnics, playground, swimming
  • Ender Park is the place to climb to the top of Enger Tower and see all of Duluth, Ring the peace bell, picnicing, hiking.
  • Chester Creek is at 4th St East and 14th Ave East, runs along Chester Creek, hiking, waterfalls, running. Check out Chester Bowl for winter fun including, ski jumping, picnicing,
  • Park point gives access to Lake Superior 5 mile (8 kilometres) long sand beach, very popular in summer, recreational equipment, volley ball, softball, etc.
  • Lief Erickson Park is at 15th Ave east and London Road, located right on Lake Superior, access to the LakeWalk, access to Lake Superior, Stone Stage offering live performances in the summer.

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Events and Festivals

  • Grandma's Marathon runs every June. See runners from all over the world compete.
  • Inline Skating Marathon runs every fall. Would you rather roller blade? Runs the same course as Grandma's marathon only done on inline skates.
  • Bayfront Blues Festival with its collection of blues musicians, will bring you down, every summer.
  • DECC - Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has many festivals, concerts, division 1 college hockey, and trade shows throughout the year.

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Weather

Spring and fall are cool at night and moderate during the day. Winter can be frigid, so dress warmly. Summer is very pleasant. Being so close to Lake Superior, it's hard to predict the weather. In spring and fall, carry a sweater and a windbreaker in case the wind comes from off of the lake. Dress in layers, so you can make yourself comfortable in a variety of weather. See Weather for current, and seasonal average temperatures.

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Getting There

By Plane

Duluth International Airport (DLH) has flights with Delta Airlines from [[Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Detroit and with Skywest Airlines from
Chicago. Allegiant Air flies to/from Las Vegas and Orlando.

By Train

Not available, yet.

By Car

Probably the best way, as the USA is made for automobile traffic. Rentals are available at Duluth International Airport.

By Bus

Greyhound Buses run to West Duluth.

By Boat

Cruises run during the summer. Sailboating is very popular on Lake Superior, see Sailing Circles for details.

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Getting Around

By Car

A great way of getting around, Duluth is big enough for a car to be very useful. Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Duluth Transportation Authority runs buses daily throughout the city. Schedules available at their website.

By Foot

Duluth is a long city, you can walk to many locations, but a combination of bus and walking would make the most affordable, and best way to get around if you are on a budget.

By Bike

Duluth has many designated bike routes through the city. The Lakewalk provides access to a large portion of East Duluth. Willard Munger State Trail provides access to some West Duluth Neighborhoods. Biking is relatively safe on secondary roads, a great way to see the city.

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Eat

Duluth has a wide variety of restaurants and ethnic choices. Prices are affordable, the average dinner for 1 is anywhere from $7 on the cheap side to $50 on the high end. There are a number of "chain" restaurants if you are interested. The following are great local Duluth restaurants:

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Drink

Duluth has a wide variety of bars, pubs, and coffee houses to choose from. The following are clean, laid back locales, some with live music options:

  • Portland Malt Shoppe, London Road - Get a malt, shake or a float while you take in the views of Lake Superior
  • Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake - Live Music Nightly, Wednesday and Thursday have bluegrass and celtic jam sessions, great laid back place to enjoy a beverage or two
  • Dublihn's Irish Pub - Downtown; Comedy Saturdays
  • Beaner's Coffee House - West Duluth; Live music, good coffee and small selection of beer.

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Sleep

Duluth has a variety of sleeping options in a variety of prices. These include local motels and chain hotels. Prices are more expensive during the busy summer/tourist season: $50-100 plus/night. Cheaper from late October to early April.

On a budget? Try Couchsurfing and meet some locals, to help you get to know the area better.
Have extra cash? Try Fitgers Hotel on London Road, 4 star accomodations, right on Lake Superior.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 13:27 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. No articles link to this page.

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