20 Great Lakes Getaways
As the gateway to Minnesota's North Shore vacationland, Duluth lures visitors who come for outdoor adventure, the glamour of 1900s-era lumber-boom mansions and breathtaking views of Lake Superior.
Five Fun Stops
1 Explore themed gardens and climb the five-story tower at Enger Park Tower overlooking Duluth (218/730-4300; engertowerduluth.com).
2 Check out the freshwater critters (gigantic sturgeon, otters, trout) at the two-story Great Lakes Aquarium (218/740-3474; glaquarium.org).
3 Historical elegance melds with modern-day luxuries at the newly restored AG Thomson House Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn, a 1909 Dutch Colonial (218/724-3464; thomsonhouse.biz).
4 At Valentini's Vicino Lago, you can eat breakfast bruschetta on a patio overlooking Lake Superior, grab a picnic for romantic lunches in the Leif Erikson Rose Garden next door, or linger over wine and from-scratch pasta for dinner (218/728-5900; valentinisduluth.com).
5 The beautiful Park Point Beach (pictured) lies on a sandy swath of land separating Lake Superior from the Duluth harbor. Watch massive 1,000-foot ore boats come and go or brave the lake's frigid temps and frolic in the water (800/438-5884; visitduluth.com).