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Things To Do in the North Shore Area

If you aren’t familiar with Duluth, it may be difficult to know what to do when you visit, as there are an abundance of activities to choose from.  We will be happy to assist you planning your activities during your stay.  Whether you’re interested in shopping, museums, restaurants, outdoor activities, or something else, chances are you can find it in our city!

[View Local Attractions…]

Bentleyville is America’s largest free walk through lighting display and is in Duluth Minnesota at Bayfront Festival Park beginning November 19th, 2016 and continuing through December 25, 2016.  This display including a 128 foot LED tree and millions of lights and moving characters and it’s all free!  Dress warm because the wind off the lake can be chilly.  Lights, music, cookies, hot chocolate, Santa Claus, fires for marshmallows and warmth and a lot more.  The hours are Sunday through Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5-10 p.m.  Parking costs $5 or you can take the Jingle Bus from Canal Park and Superior Street.  There is also a train that goes to Bentleyville from Fitger’s Brewery Complex.  We’ll help you with all the details and directions when you stay with us.  Don’t miss this great holiday experience!
If you are unsure what you want to do while you’re staying in Duluth at The Firelight Inn, check out the daily and nightly calendar on this valuable web site.

Hartley Nature Center
The Hartley Nature Center is dedicated to educating all people on our environment.  The 640 acre park in the Woodland neighborhood connects visitors with the very best of outdoor adventure.  They have constructed a state-of-the-art “Green” building at this park and sponsor events, snowshoeing, skating and more.  Access to the Superior Hiking Trail is at this location.  (218) 724-6735

Duluth Air Show
The Duluth Air show is the largest air show in Minnesota with exhibits, fun activities and the best aerial performers.  The dates for next year are June 3-4, 2017.  Ask the innkeepers about the hidden spots to watch the show in the sky!  Duluth Bayfront Festival Park is the location of the Duluth Hot Air Balloon Festival scheduled for September 16-17-18, 2016. Hot air balloons will descend on Duluth, Minnesota and it’s really a great sight. Make your plans to be with us for this one-of-a-kind event! For more information see

Glensheen Historic Estate
3300 London Road in Duluth.  The Congdon mansion offers tours in the spring, summer and fall season daily.  In the quiet season tours are available on the weekends.  This beautiful estate includes the 39-room mansion, carriage house, gardener’s cottage, clay tennis court and more.  This is a perfect venue for a wedding if you are searching for the perfect place.  Then honeymoon with us!  Tours of the attic and third floor can be added and are a real treat to see.  New flashlight tours and nooks and crannies tours have been added!  (888) 454-GLEN

Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Drive on the waterfront in Duluth.  A hands-on experience of what’s in and under Lake Superior and a new Shipwrecks Alive exhibit!  This fun attraction is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  (218) 740-FISH

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center
600 Lake Avenue South at the foot of the Aerial Lift Bridge.  Films, models and exhibits all about Lake Superior and the Duluth Superior harbor.  They also post up-to-date schedules of the ships arriving and departing the harbor.  Open year round and free admission.
(218) 720-5260, ext. 1

Lake Superior Railroad Museum
The Depot is located in Duluth at 506 West Michigan Street.  Plan on spending an entire morning or afternoon at one of the best railroad museums in the country.  Then make plans to ride the trains.  The Duluth Zephyr is a 90 minute, 14 mile round-trip through Duluth and up the shore to Lester River.  The Music and Pizza Train is a 2 1/2 hour trip and sure to satisfy.  Friday nights in July enjoy the Summer BBQ train.  Saturday evenings in July enjoy a wine tasting with paired small plates excursion.  The elegant dinner train is August 20-October 1, 2016 and tickets sell out fast.  The Fall Colors train ride is a must in September and October.  See all the info at  (800) 423-1273

Lake Superior Zoo
71st Avenue West and Grand Avenue in West Duluth.  Located about 15 minutes from The Firelight Inn and sixteen acres of animals, exhibits and year-round fun.
(218) 730-4500

Spirit Mountain
9500 Spirit Mountain Place.  Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, Alpine Coaster, Zip Line, Mountain Biking, Snow Tubing and more at this 175 acre wonderland.  Spirit Mountain is just a short 20 minute drive from the inn.  (800) 642-6377

Vista Fleet Sightseeing & Dining Cruises
323 Harbor Drive on the waterfront side of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.  Every day fully narrated trips May through October.  This is the Innkeepers’ favorite attraction and we suggest you plan a dinner cruise while you are in town.
(218) 722-6218

Sailing Adventures
If you would you like to experience a sailing adventure on Lake Superior and the harbor of Duluth/Superior this is what you have been looking for.  For all the information and reservations click on this link:

Grandma’s Marathon
P.O. Box 16234, Duluth Minnesota 55816  The 10th largest marathon in the nation that starts just outside of Two Harbors and runs along beautiful Lake Superior.  The date is June 17, 2017.  For all the information and registration call (218) 727-0947

Bayfront Blues Festival
The Annual Blues Festival is one of the largest annual outdoor music festivals in the Midwest. It showcases nearly 30 national performances on two concert stages in August at Bayfront Festival Park.   Make your plans to stay with us and enjoy all the Blues Festival fun!  We can usually hear the great music from our front porch.

Tall Ships
The grandest ships on the water were in Duluth August,  2016.  The fantastic attraction brings more people to Duluth than any other event.  The Tall Ships visit Duluth every three years–we will post a date as soon as it is published!  For all the information, visit the website at Tall Ships.

Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center
305 Harbor View Parkway, Belknap and Highways 2/53 in Superior, Wisconsin.  This building is a tribute to World War II participants.  A rare P-38 fighter jet serves as the centerpiece of the museum.  (888) 816-WWII

Northern Prints Gallery
318 North 14th Avenue East in a vintage 1891 Duluth home.  This gallery is dedicated exclusively to the artist-made original print and the artists are members of the Northern Printmakers Alliance.  The gallery is open for visitors every week from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday as well as by appointment.  (218) 724-3089

Hawk Ridge
The Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve located in Duluth, Minnesota, provides some of North America’s best autumn hawk watching. An average of over 94,000 raptors migrate to the Ridge from mid-August through November.  Hawk Ridge Weekend is September 16-18, 2016.

Enger Tower
Restored in 2011, this observation tower offers a panoramic view of the Duluth Superior area.  It was dedicated in 1939 by Norway’s Crown Prince and Princess and rededicated in 2011 by Norway’s King and Queen.

“Monday – Canal Park. We got to see an enormous boat—we waved and they waved back. We watched seagulls chase people with popcorn and French fries!”
S&J”What a fabulous place! My mom and I had a sweet time here – visiting only memories in our heads and making new ones. The house is an amazing piece of history to spend your lives in. Again, thanks for letting us be a part of this beautiful city.”
E&L”What more can I say, except this place is a wonderful place to stay. This is fit for a king! ”
Onamia, MNWe spent a very good night in your room. We have eaten some cookies and had hot chocolate to drink … mmm … very good! This morning, breakfast was perfect. Thank you for everything.
Andrea from Poland & Alice from Italy