Like many of my fellow Minnesotans,
I am wildly in love with Minnesota’s North Shore.
It’s a dear friend who offers me a sense of peace and renewal each time I visit. Being there evokes a mix of nostalgia, wonder, and elation in me.
Nostalgia, for a lifetime of fond memories I’ve made with family and friends there. Sweet memories of Grandma’s Marathon, seeing big ships going through Canal Park, visiting lighthouses, cozy cabins, waking up to the sound of waves crashing along the shore, yummy pies, sauna time, standing in awe of waterfalls, learning to skip smooth rocks, and hunting for agates. I carry those moments with me each time I head up there.
Wonder, for the way our beautiful Great Lake and its surroundings keep on giving, and elation for all that’s ahead on each new journey I take. I often feel that I am in on a special secret that we Minnesotans share. We know that Lake Superior sticks with you and calls you back again and again.
I love making memories through exploration and travel and there’s nothing I love more than planning a trip to the North Shore. Even though I’ve visited more times than I can count, I still take a deep dive into all that the area has to offer, think through every detail, and envision possible scenarios that could occur. With giddy anticipation, I research things to do, nature to explore, places to eat and drink, and where we will lay our heads at night. My goal is always to ensure that we have a smooth path for making memories and enough variety built in so we can continue checking off fun things from our ever-growing North Shore bucket list.
With warm-hearted locals and endless opportunities to play, relax, and explore, the North Shore is the perfect place to make memories. There is no shortage of things to do once you’re up there, encouraging you to keep coming back for more. There’s something for everyone of all ages and stages in life. You’ll find a unique blend of nature, culture, and history and are bound to experience something new each time you go. With events running constantly throughout the year, you can experience music, arts, and delicious food or drink anytime. Activate your senses as you explore nature with year-round hiking, skiing, visits to the state parks and forests, views of the jagged cliffs, and relaxing trips to the waterfalls.
I absolutely love the route from Duluth to Grand Marais on Scenic 61. There are so many amazing stops along the way including the welcoming cities of Two Harbors, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, and Lutsen.
Here is a highlight of some of my favorite North Shore bucket list spots for you to explore on your next memory making trip.
Park Point Beach, Stony Point, Agate Bay Beach, Iona’s Beach, Beaver Falls, Palisade Head, Tettegouche, Artist’s point
Pier B Resort Hotel, Larsmont Cottages, Superior Shores, Lutsen Resort, Park Point Marina Inn. and of course the Enger Lofts Hotel or other vacation rentals up the shore.
If you are looking for a new adventure, the North Shore will never let you down. Whether it's a weeklong summer vacation, a quick spring waterfall chasing day trip, an adult-only winter ski weekend, or a traditional MEA long weekend with family, you can rest assured it will be a memorable experience!
Nikki Butler is the owner of Lit Path Co. and Nikki Butler Studio.
She is a Squarespace Website Designer, Brand Guide, and Abstract Artist. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, two children, and their giant Goldendoodle. Nikki finds joy in music, exploring nature, and traveling. Passionately guiding clients through her hospitality,
leisure, and tourism - her clients gain clarity, freedom, and growth.
Nikki works with businesses that make it a priority to provide a fantastic experience, are community-focused and driven by connection.
To the The Memory Makers,
Follow Nikki on Instagram @litpathco and @nikkibutlerstudio
Photo Credit: Nikki Butler