An Artist's Guide to Duluth's Creative Corridor
Tucked into a bay of Lake Superior, Duluth is the gateway to Minnesota's North Shore and a popular first stop for tourists. Though most flock to the busy Canal Park area to see Duluth's lighthouses and famed Aerial Lift Bridge, another neighborhood just to the west warrants a detour. In Lincoln Park, artists and makers rule, showcasing their wares in stylish shops peppered between breweries, cideries, eateries and ice creameries.
Candace LaCosse, who crafts shoes and bags at Hemlocks Leatherworks, relocated her studio in 2016 from downtown to Lincoln Park. "I love the west end," LaCosse says."It has a vibrant history, and at that time was off the beaten path."
She originally envisioned her space as a working studio, but the neighborhood was quickly evolving. "New shops and restaurants were moving in, and with them more foot and tourist traffic," LaCosse says. "When the pandemic started, the in-person classes I was teaching were canceled and I pivoted to focus on curating a shop unlike others in Duluth."
In addition to her own goods, she now carries items from more than 100 independent makers—embodying the supportive community found in the neighborhood.
What to Do in Lincoln Park
Candace LaCosse shares her favorite spots in Lincoln Park.
Where to Eat
I like to duck into the All American Club for a quick drink and chat with my favorite bartenders and regular locals. On the weekends they serve barbecue from Howard's Que. If I'm looking for a mid-morning break, I walk a few blocks up the hill to Johnson's Bakery, a family-owned business that's been in Lincoln Park for 75 years and makes the best doughnuts.
Where to Shop
Two of my favorite shops are also owned by artists in the neighborhood. Duluth Pottery and Tile owner Karin Kraemer makes beautiful functional ceramics like mugs, bowls and fermentation crocks, and also curates an excellent selection of regional ceramic artists. At Kirsten Aune Textiles, Kirsten creates stunning fabrics with geometric and floral designs,then sews them into items like dresses and lampshades. Her space is bursting with instant mood-boosting color and creativity.
What to Do Beyond Lincoln Park
One of my favorite things about Duluth is the biking and hiking trails that weave through the city. From Lincoln Park, a footbridge crosses over the freeway and links you to the Lakewalk, where you can easily walk or bike to Canal Park or the beautiful sand beaches of Park Point. The Superior Hiking Trail is right here as well, and you can hike up to Enger Tower for the best views of Duluth.
Meet Candace Lacosse
Candace LaCosse is an artist, educator and shop owner living and creating in Duluth with her partner, new baby and mini dachshund. She founded Hemlocks Leatherworks in 2014 after working and studying shoemaking in Asia, Minnesota and New Hampshire.