“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee. The lake, it is said, never gives up its dead when the skies of November turn gloomy.” The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot.
If you have ever heard Gordon Lightfoot sing the haunting ballet of The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald, you will have an idea what Lake Superior (Gitche Gumee) is like in November.
In the summer it’s beautiful and the best way to enjoy it is to travel to Duluth, Minnesota.
Duluth is Minnesota’s major port city on Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America which are bordered by the United States and Canada. They stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota. Iron ore is shipped by rail to Duluth and it’s sister city, Superior, Wisconsin from the mining range of Minnesota. The ore is then loaded onto ships from all over the world. Many years before the mines started, Duluth was a lumber town. It’s located in the lush national and state forest area of Minnesota and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It is open 365 days of the year to visitors. In winter it is a mecca for skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports. Bed and breakfast inns and hotels offer delightful, cozy accommodations for visitors. Spring brings the big ships back into port. The weather is perfect for biking and running and the flowers begin to bloom in the local gardens. The summer brings the warmer weather and more visitors to the city and it’s amazing attractions. Whether you like to shop, boat, dine, hike or just relax and look at the panoramic view of the lake and city, there’s plenty of places to take advantage of some or all of these activities. Fall heralds the awe-inspiring change of the trees from green to red, gold, orange and yellow. No matter what time of the year you visit you will have no difficulty finding something fun to see and do.
One of the favorite spots to dine is Grandma’s Saloon and Grill on the waterfront. Located next to the famous Canal Lift Bridge and the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors Center, it’s the ideal spot for a meal. It is known for it’s food but equally for its annual world famous Grandma’s Marathon. Have your meal outside on the roof terrace, glass enclosed dining areas or an inside dining room with its eclectic decor. A visit to Duluth is not complete without a stop at Grandma’s. After your meal wander over to the canal and watch the ships traveling in and out of the port or stop in at the Visitors Center to see the maritime artifacts. A short distance in the other direction and you will find a number of unique shops for passing the time. Downtown Duluth is just a few blocks from the waterfront. Hotels and condos located on the shore and downtown provide a special experience of watching all the activity plus seeing the sunrise and sunset on the largest lake in the world.
Lief Erickson Rose Garden located just North of downtown overlooks the lake and canal area. Named for the Norwegian Viking who actually discovered America before Christopher Columbus. It’s a beautiful display of roses in colors you may have never seen.
There are stately homes and churches 100+ years old, a zoo, University of MN – Duluth and St. Scholastica College, lots of shopping, a downtown casino, and so much more. Travel Minnesota State Highway 61 north to Grand Marais (The Coolest Small Town in America), Two Harbors to see the Split Rock Lighthouse, or Grand Portage – home of the voyageurs on the Minnesota/Canada border. Whatever you like to do you will find a place to do it in Duluth or along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Oh, did I mention? Duluth is Bob Dylan’s hometown.
For more information on Duluth, Minnesota visit: http://www.visitduluth.com/
Listen to The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A)by