The North Shore of Minnesota is beautiful all year round. But the North Shore in the winter? Amazing. I am blown away.
We planned this weekend trip a few months ago, and I was extremely worried that a January trip would be cold, foggy, icy and miserable. We luckily came on a warm weekend where it was bearable outside but the snow hadn’t melted.
If you’re looking to plan a trip up north, I’d recommend spending a weekend driving the North Shore Scenic Drive – and stopping at a few beautiful places along the way. The can’t misses:
Tettegouche State Park
To me, Tettegouche is the staple of the North Shore – something everyone should see at least once. It is filled with scenic hikes along the coast as well as natural areas further inland.
My two favorite hikes are High Falls – a fabulous walking trail leading to a waterfall leading into the Baptism River – and Shovel Point – a shore-lined hike with a gorgeous view of Lake Superior and Minnesota’s natural coast.
Our first time on the North Shore, we camped inland at Lax Lake Resort and had the best time. While many will opt to stay right on the edge of Lake Superior, we actually loved setting up camp by the calmness of this little lake and still being only a few minutes from the shore.
With a gorgeous view of Lake Superior and the rocky coast of Northern Minnesota, Palisade Head is a good quick stop if you’re heading up the coast and want to get a glimpse of the beautiful shore. Please be careful if you visit Palisade Head in the winter! Although this overlook is a popular place to stop, it’s also a popular place to slip and fall.
Silver Bay, Grand Marias.. My Favorite Towns
There are so many fun places to stop, eat and explore along the shore, but these are a few of my favorites:
- Grand Marais – Voyager Brewing, Sven and Ole’s Pizza, World’s Best Donuts
- Silver Bay – Caribou Falls State Wayside
- Two Harbors – Betty’s Pies
- Tofte – Sawtooth Outfitters for kayaking or water rentals, Ray Berglund Wayside
More North Shore Magic
State parks are abundant in northern Minnesota. In my opinion, Tettegouche is a must, but we also loved Temperance River State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and Gooseberry Falls State Park. We’re excited for the next trip to try more state parks and waysides.
We just discovered this serene cove/peninsula on our way up the shore called Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center. It’s a perfect 30-minute stop on your road trip, right off 61. If you’re into skiing, Lutsen is your place. And if you’re ambitiously heading waaaaay up the shore, Grand Portage State Park is just about as close as you can get to Canada while still embracing Minnesota’s beauty!
Hope you will visit + share the #northshoremagic with me!