The area around Lake Superior lies a playground for adventurers, a haven for nature lovers, and a hub of cultural richness. Are you planning a trip to Lake Superior but aren’t sure what to do? No matter what time of year you visit, there are plenty of activities to experience. Here are the best things to do around Lake Superior.
Attend Local Events and Festivals
In the Lake Superior area, there is always something happening. Check out Duluth, where you can participate in the annual Grandma’s Marathon. This renowned event attracts thousands of runners and spectators alike. Or, if you prefer attending events with a more cultural focus, numerous festivals take place throughout the year, celebrating the region’s heritage, art, and food.
Visit Cultural and Heritage Sites
Lake Superior boasts several fascinating cultural and historical sites. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum offers a unique look into the maritime history of the region, including the tragic story of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Explore the elegant Glensheen Mansion in Duluth or learn about the transportation history at the Greyhound Bus Museum in Hibbing.
Not to be missed are the Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors and the Grand Portage National Monument. Both places provide beautiful views and an intriguing look into the past. For more historical exploration, make your way to Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay, where you can step back in time to the North West Company’s fur trade era.
Engage in Traditional Experiences
Discover some of the area’s breathtaking natural wonders and engage in traditional experiences. At Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Kakabeka Falls, marvel at the cascading waterfalls and explore the surrounding lush forests. The picturesque Sleeping Giant and High Falls at Lake Superior Provincial Park should also not be missed.
It’s also worth taking a trip to Canal Park in Duluth, where you can observe ships passing through the canal, and take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful waterfront. The region’s Indigenous history is also represented in cultural experiences and attractions such as Grand Portage National Monument and the Ojibwe community of Fort William.
By taking in these incredible cultural activities, you are guaranteed to have a memorable experience during your visit to Lake Superior.
Things to do Around Lake Superior: Outdoor and Nature Activities
Nature Trails and Hiking
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, offers you a myriad of outdoor and nature activities to explore along its breathtaking shoreline. If you love hiking, some of the best things to do around Lake Superior include exploring the state parks and trails along the North Shore. Tettegouche State Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park are two such locations where you can explore scenic hiking trails, admire picturesque landscapes, and observe diverse wildlife.
Another famous hiking spot is the Gunflint Trail, which provides access to the surrounding wilderness and offers a variety of trails for different skill levels. Don’t miss the chance to experience a road trip through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, where you can explore pristine beaches, waterfalls, and unique rock formations.
As a freshwater lake, Lake Superior offers a variety of water activities. You can:
- Swim at Park Point, a stunning sandy beach
- Kayak along the shoreline, exploring hidden beaches and coves
- Observe the unique lake waves as they crash against the cliffs of Presque Isle Park
For a memorable experience, take a trip to White River, which provides a challenge for kayakers looking to paddle through rapids and offers picturesque views for those who prefer a more leisurely cruise.
If you’re searching for more adrenaline-pumping activities, Lake Superior has you covered. At Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, you can try out rock climbing to see stunning views of the lake, or soar through the treetops on a zipline adventure.
Relaxation and Wellness
Spas and Wellness Centers
Looking for things to do around Lake Superior that involve rejuvenating your body? You’re in luck! There are numerous spas and wellness centers around the lake where you can pamper yourself. Treat yourself to a deep-tissue massage, a refreshing facial, or a soothing aromatherapy session.
Beaches and Pools
With the number of beaches in the area, one of the best things to do around Lake Superior is swimming! Grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and head to Park Point or the picturesque beaches along Lake Superior Provincial Park. Relax by the water’s edge, take a refreshing swim, or improve your kayaking skills. Just remember – always keep an eye on the weather, as sudden storms can roll in from the vast lake.
Parks and Gardens
If you’re more interested in experiencing the natural beauty around Lake Superior, you’ll find plenty of parks and gardens to explore. Discover the flora and fauna found in the region by taking a leisurely walk through one of these lovely green spaces:
- Presque Isle Park: An idyllic city park with trails and stunning views of the water.
- Tettegouche State Park: Features hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and peaceful picnic areas.
- Lake Superior Provincial Park: A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering spectacular hiking, fishing, and birdwatching opportunities.
Food and Culinary Activities
Local Cuisine Tasting
Exploring Lake Superior wouldn’t be complete without indulging in its delicious local cuisine. In Duluth, Minnesota, you can savor the fresh catch of the day, like trout, at the waterfront restaurants. From there, venture to Grand Marais and Grand Portage for a taste of their unique flavors. In Ontario, you’ll find a mix of Canadian dishes infused with regional influences.
Across the lake in Michigan, towns like Paradise, Marquette, and Houghton are also known for their culinary delights. Don’t forget to visit Bayfield and Madeline Island in Wisconsin, where you’ll find delightful eateries offering their take on Midwest dishes.
Ever wonder how to create those tasty dishes from your trip to Lake Superior? You can try your hand at preparing regional specialties by attending cooking classes. Two Harbors, Minnesota, offers an array of classes for keen learners. Just imagine, you could impress your friends back home with a Lake Superior-inspired meal. So, why not give it a try?
Visit Local Markets
Get a true feel for the local food scene by visiting farmers’ markets and specialty shops. In Silver Bay and Palisade Head, you’ll find a range of fresh produce, while Munising is known for its delectable preserves. If craft breweries are more your scene, be sure to check out Two Harbors and Gooseberry Falls.
In Bayfield, you’ll find a thriving market scene complete with locally-produced artisanal products. Cross over to Madeline Island, where you can sample delicious baked goods and take home unique souvenirs.
As you explore the culinary side of Lake Superior, remember to savor each experience, and who knows – it may even inspire your next cooking adventure!
Shopping and Souvenirs
Local Artisan Shops
Are you looking for a perfect souvenir or gift to take home from your Lake Superior trip? Look no further than the local artisan shops. In places like Duluth, Minnesota, and Ontario, you’ll find plenty of small boutiques featuring handcrafted goods made by talented local artisans. Go on and explore these cozy shops for a unique shopping experience, where you’ll find items such as:
- Handmade ceramics
- Locally-sourced candles
- Custom jewelry
- One-of-a-kind artwork
Popular Shopping Districts
Ready to delve more into the shopping side of Lake Superior? You can’t miss the popular shopping districts. In Duluth, Canal Park offers an array of shops and restaurants perfect for a day out. Meanwhile, Ontario boasts the charming Thunder Bay district, which is home to a collection of eclectic shops, catered to all types of shoppers. Here are some suggestions:
|Duluth: Canal Park
|Ontario: Thunder Bay
Now you might be wondering, what are some truly unique finds around Lake Superior?
In Minnesota, you’ll find beautiful, locally-crafted agate jewelry, perfect as a memento from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Ontario, on the other hand, offers fascinating indigenous crafts and artwork that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Children’s Museums and Attractions
Are you looking for things to do around Lake Superior with the kids? Make sure to check out the Great Lakes Aquarium. Kids of all ages will love exploring the freshwater habitats and learning about the diverse creatures that call Lake Superior home. Another great spot for families is the Lake Superior Zoo, where your little ones can meet over 400 animals and participate in interactive experiences.
Parks and Play Areas
Looking for some outdoor fun? Explore the various parks and state parks around Lake Superior. One favorite is the Park Point area, where you can unwind on sandy beaches and enjoy a day by the water. With playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails, there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy.
Don’t forget to look for interactive workshops during your visit to Lake Superior. Educational programs are designed to engage children and introduce them to new ideas, concepts, and experiences. Keep an eye out for local workshops, exhibits, and special events at museums and parks throughout your visit. Your family will enjoy learning together while creating cherished memories.