Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The North Shore

We started our drive of Lake Superior, The North Shore to be exact, in Duluth with the goal of reaching Bluefin Bay Resort in Tofte, Minnesota by check-in time to enjoy as much time at the resort as possible. We rolled out of Duluth after breakfast and our first stop was to actually see and feel the lake.(And in case you're wondering, yep, it was very cold!)







The picture of Lake Superior in my mind was rough water with whitecaps and huge waves - most likely it came from the song by Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  If you're familiar with the song, which is about a real life shipwreck on Lake Superior in 1975, you know there is a line about " the gales of November came early." But there was hardly a ripple on the lake that day. (and I couldn't get that song out of my head for days!)



The first town we came to was Two Harbors, Minnesota.It's a very bustling town in the summer with typical fast food chains and a little downtown with some mom and pop places, too. We stopped at an incredibly friendly little visitors center to get the lay of the land. They suggested we go down to the lake and check out a park. Next to the park was this Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. We already had plans for the night but it looks like a very cool place to stay!



Saw some wildlife!




When I was doing research on the drive, I ran across Betty's Pies. I knew that was right up my alley! So Mr. UR obliged my desire for dessert and we stopped. Holy Crowds Batman! No place to park and a very long wait. I decided on take-out - and cherry as my flavor of pie- which only took about 10 minutes. But if you want a home-style meal and you're at the North Shore, try Betty's. Just know that you should be prepared for a wait - even on a summer weekday afternoon.



Now it was time for lunch - and dessert - so we took our picnic lunch to a state park pull-off called Flood Bay Beach and ate overlooking the lake. (By the way, I was too full for pie so I had it later)  This was our view at lunch. (That's Superior Shores Resort - find more info Here)











One of the main attractions on the North Shore is Gooseberry Falls State Park. It includes an upper, middle and lower falls with a short walk to an overview of the falls. You can also wade in the water if the water isn't flowing too fast(. The park also includes some of Lake Superior's shoreline which we didn't visit)







The main attraction of Lake Superior's North Shore is Split Rock Lighthouse. Started in 1905 and completed in 1910, this lighthouse is one of Minnesota's most well-known landmarks. A National Historic Landmark, it's housed in Split Rock State Park. We drove into the state park and perused the visitor center. We didn't visit the actual lighthouse as it was a separate $9 fee per person in addition to the state park fee. We did get good views of it, however, from a pull-off before you get to the state park. Very beautiful and I'm sure in autumn it's spectacular.







Shortly after that we reached The Norwegian Riviera and Bluefin Bay Resort. (Read more about our stay there, here) In all, I think it took us about 3 hours to drive The North Shore including stops. A very enjoyable drive! If you haven't been to the world's largest freshwater lake, put it on your travel list. Very friendly people, beautiful scenery and some history thrown in - you can't go wrong!



Travel Tips for The North Shore:

- For a wealth of general information, go to www.northshorevistor.com
- Be prepared for traffic and construction in summertime. There can be delays.
- Watch out for wildlife. We only saw deer but when we arrived at Bluefin Bay, we were able to see an owl that had been hit by a car and was in rehabilitation. The rescue worker explained that animals were hurt every year on the roads.
- There are many resorts along The North Shore. Some are all-inclusive and others include lots of extras - ours had s'mores by the fire every night and kayaking included - so save some time at your hotel to do the activities provided.
- We stopped in Tofte. You can continue on this All-American Road all the way to the international border with Canada at Grand Portage. Just remember to bring your passport if you are heading into Canada.
- Enjoy!














I'm linking up with Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels, Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner! Go give them a look-see!

23 comments:

  1. Your signature photo is a beauty - so clear and precise. I find myself looking back at it all the time.

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    1. Thanks Jan! And thanks for visiting!

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  2. Oh travel is so interesting and so are the blogs about it! I read your title and immediately thought of Kauai's North Shore or O'ahu's North Shore. . .what fun to see yet another beautiful North Shore!

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    1. Ha Ha I wasn't thinking of the other two North Shores - too funny!

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  3. So lovely...I also thought Hawaii but wondered about the photo...(The North Shore in Sydney is really suburban...so I'm glad it wasn't that one)

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    1. I do love the North Shore of Hawaii though! And I've not done Sydney but I'd be ok with that too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. What a beautiful area! It has a perfect amount of things I enjoy a lot: lighthouses, waterfalls, peaceful coves and good food. How cold it was? I cannot tell from the pictures.

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    1. It was in the 70's so the weather was perfect - at least to me. But two days before me went to a baseball game in Minneapolis and they were having a heat wave and it was 95 that day!

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  5. I want to try one of Betty's pies! This really does look like a beautiful area and I love your photos!

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!( Betty's pie was very good)

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  6. Looks like a wonderful outing. I LOVE pie and would definitely check out Betty's if I was in the area! Cheers - Ellen

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    1. I love pie, too! My grandmother, who had 6 children, used to bake delicious pie and my grandfather, who was stick skinny, would have a piece every night before bed with a cup of coffee. So I say my love of pie is hereditary! Thanks for visiting!

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  7. I've always wanted to stay in a lighthouse! I've never visited any of the Great Lakes, so I still have a difficult time conceptualizing just how massive they are. I am trying to imagine a lighthouse in any of the much smaller Central Texas lakes and am having a difficult time. I guess that's what makes travel so interesting. The North Shore looks like a beautiful area, and I'd definitely wait in line for pie.

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    1. I hope you make it to the Great Lakes someday. They really look like oceans more than lakes - and the people are so friendly in the MIdwest. Thanks for visiting!

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  8. This looks like a fun trip! I haven't managed to get further than Duluth - which I adore. I knew the area was beautiful, but it looks like there's so much more to see than trees and the lake! Thanks for sharing! (Checking in from both #WeekendWanderlust and #WkendTravelInspiration)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! And I hope you make it to the North Shore some day - it's such a pleasant drive!

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  9. These are beautiful pictures. I love the ones of the lighthouse - stunning!

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for visiting!

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  10. I love little road trips like this to explore nature. Beautiful views! Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

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  11. Great tour of the beautiful place. I like the light house.

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    1. Thanks Rajesh! And thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Learn how to book any flight for $100 instead of $1,000 using Travel Hacking.

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