Duluth is a beautiful port city located along the banks of scenic Lake Superior, named in honor of European explorer Daniel Greysolon. The picturesque city, which is one of Minnesota's largest cities, is home to waterways that are accessible as far away as the Atlantic Ocean, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes Waterway. Couples in the region can marry at lovely full-service venues such as the Black Woods Event Center and the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, which offer in-house catering and full event coordination services. Wedding charters are also offered aboard the cruise ships of the Vista Fleet, which can marry couples directly on the waters of the lakefront. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Black Woods Event Center
2.Clyde Iron Works Restaurant and Bar
4.Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
7.Greysolon Ballroom by Black Woods
8.Kitchi Gammi Clubhouse
9.Northland Country Club
10.Park Point Beach House
11.Sacred Heart Music Center
12.The Sports Garden Canal Park
12 Best Wedding Venues in Duluth, Minnesota
- Black Woods Event Center, Photo: Dragica/stock.adobe.com
- Clyde Iron Works Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Clyde Iron Works Restaurant and Bar
- Countryside Rides, Photo: Nadtochiy/stock.adobe.com
- Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Photo: Angelov/stock.adobe.com
- Vista Fleet, Photo: Vista Fleet
- Fitger's Inn, Photo: Gordana Sermek/stock.adobe.com
- Greysolon Ballroom by Black Woods, Photo: Greysolon Ballroom by Black Woods
- Kitchi Gammi Clubhouse, Photo: Kitchi Gammi Clubhouse
- Northland Country Club, Photo: ShalenaOlena/stock.adobe.com
- Park Point Beach House, Photo: Yevhenii/stock.adobe.com
- Sacred Heart Music Center, Photo: sonyachny/stock.adobe.com
- The Sports Garden Canal Park, Photo: The Sports Garden Canal Park
- Cover Photo: Ulf/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
Watch birds in an up close and personal environment within the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. Located in Duluth, Minnesota, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is the perfect attraction for people who want to explore the breathtakingly beautiful nature and ecosystems of Duluth.
Prior to 1950, local gunners of the Duluth community used raptors as a target for practice. The local gunners were the only people who had the opportunity to see the raptors in their natural environment. Around 1950, the Duluth Audubon Society (which was then called the Duluth Bird Club) publicized the actions of the local gunners and brought awareness to the ruthless and illegal shootings of birds. Within a year, the city of Duluth established a prohibition against shooting raptors. This prohibition was rightfully and strongly enforced.
In 1951 the first official hawk watch occurred. The observation of bird migration quickly became popularized, and people began watching migration patterns within September, August, and November. One of the most popular areas to view bird migration patterns, and birds in their natural habitat, was at the highest part of the Ridge.
In order to secure the Ridge as an official spot to view birds, the Duluth Audubon Society convinced the Minnesota Chapter of the Nature Conservancy as well as the city of Duluth to donate funds to purchase the Ridge in 1972. One year later, the city of Duluth purchased an additional 250 acres next to the Ridge to provide the Duluth Audubon Society with an official Nature Reserve. With a total of 365 acres, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory was created.
Throughout the 1970s, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory created various initiatives and additions to increase their significance and involvement within the bird observatory community. In 1974 the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory created their official naturalist program, and five years later Friends of Hawk Ridge was created to increase education and research opportunities at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.
Throughout the year visitors come from across the country, and even across the world, to explore the high-quality and unique opportunities at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.
Unlike other bird observatories, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory does not have an official building on-site. Instead, all of the facilities at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory are outdoors. There are two main areas in the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory: the Nature Reserve and the Skyline Parkway.
The Nature Reserve is a general area for visitors to explore the overall beauty and significance of the nature within Duluth and the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. In order to visit the Nature Reserve, visitors can either hike or drive along the main road. The Nature Reserve is open all year.
The Skyline Parkway is the primary attraction at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The Skyline Parkway is a hiking trail that takes visitors to the highest point on the Ridge, which is the main overlook at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. From this overlook, visitors will examine the birds in the most up close and personal way that is possible. Unlike the Nature Reserve, the Skyline Parkway is only open for a select amount of time. Typically, the Skyline Parkway is open from late spring to late fall. If you want to see a maximum amount of hawks, visit the Skyline Parkway during peak migration times, which are from September to October.
Education is extremely important at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. There are different educational opportunities for different age groups.
Students in elementary through high school have the opportunity of visiting the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory on a school field trip. Although each grade level has different programs to choose from, every school tour includes an outdoor lecture and a live bird demonstration. The programs at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory correspond with current curriculum being taught within schools.
The Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory also offers a variety of programs for students in college. Most of the programs for college students are geared towards students who are pursuing a career within biology or environmental studies. College students have the option of visiting the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory with their class, or interning at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.
If large groups are interested in visiting the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, but the members of the group aren’t students, the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory has special programs for them. Common groups that visit the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory include Boy and Girl Scouts, retirement groups, and Road Scholars.
For more information about any of the above educational opportunities, as well as other information about the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, check out the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory’s website.
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Duluth Public Schools, E Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55804, Phone: 218-730-4300
Attraction Spotlight: Lake Superior Railroad Museum
When people think about Duluth, Minnesota’s history, they most likely think about Lake Superior and marine impacts. But, Duluth has a rich railroad history. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is the perfect location for people to explore the diversified railroad history of Duluth, as well as learn about railroads in general.
The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is partnered with the North Shore Scenic Railroad to provide visitors with a comprehensive and expansive historic experience. Housed in the Historic Union Depot in Duluth, Minnesota, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum has one of the finest collections within the Midwest.
Since the Historic Union Depot as built in 1892, it has been a cultural hotspot. One of the highlighted rooms within the Historic Union Depot was the immigrants’ waiting room, which served as an area for people who were waiting for their train connections. This room was often regarded as a small Ellis Island.
In 1969, the last train left the station. Four years later, construction began to turn the Historic Union Depot into a museum.
The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is known for having the most comprehensive and abundant Minnesota railroad heritage collection throughout the world.
Depot Square takes people back to 1910. Throughout Depot Square, visitors will be able to explore various exhibits, such as the Zelda Theater. Depot Square showcases the cultural aspects of life in Duluth in the early 1900s.
Diesel Locomotives is a collection of diesel locomotives from the 1930s to the 1960s. This exhibit has a lot of rare diesel locomotives, such as the Great Northern 192. The Great Northern 192 is one out of ten of the locomotives of its kind.
Steam Locomotives is a display of rare and historically significant steam locomotives. One of the highlighted steam locomotives within this collection is the William Crooks. The William Crooks is among a select number of steam locomotives that are from the Civil War era. Another significance of the William Crooks was its recognition as being the first steam locomotive that traveled in Minnesota.
Passenger Cars displays an array of cars used by passengers. The passenger cars within this exhibit range from the early 1800s to the 1950s. One of the most notable passenger cars within this exhibit is the 1946 Pullman Observation Car.
Cabooses allows visitors to explore the history and significance of cabooses, which are the last part on a train.
Freight Equipment showcases how and where everything was shipped within a train. In the 1900s, freight equipment was the version of today’s semi-trucks.
Service Equipment explores the technology that was used to maintain and service trains. One of the highlighted pieces within this exhibit is a rotary snowplow from 1887.
Electric Locomotives displays some of the first and most innovative electric locomotives. Electric locomotives were developed in attempt to replace steam as a way to power trains.
Miscellaneous Holdings features an array of objects related to railroads and railroad history within Minnesota. Featured objects include; an American-inspired trolley built in Portugal, alog loader from McGiffert and a US Steel ladle car.
Education is extremely important to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. That’s why the Museum has an array of educational opportunities. Most of the educational programs at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum cater to school aged children. Common educational programs include; math activities, scavenger hunts, hands-on activities, and interactive games. Most of the educational programs at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum focus on the goals of STEM.
One of the main educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum is the specialized tour. This tour allows large groups, class trips, and other groups to explore the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in an up close and personal way. A specially trained tour guide leads a tour group throughout the Museum and gives relays special information and stories that participants wouldn’t experience if they explored the museum themselves.
For more information about the educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, check out the Museum’s website.
While the Lake Superior Railroad Museum usually doesn’t host public special events, the Museum regularly hosts private special events. Typical private special events at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum include weddings, corporate retreats, birthday parties, and other celebrations.
If you’re interested in hosting a special event at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, be sure to check out the Museum’s website, then contact the museum via phone or email. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum has specially trained employees that are designated to cater to all of your special event needs.
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Historic Union Depot, 506 W Michigan St, Duluth, MN 55802, Phone: 218-727-8025
Attraction Spotlight: Lake Superior Marine Museum
One of the most popular Great Lakes is Lake Superior. In order to give visitors an exclusive look into Lake Superior, and the surrounding area, members of the Duluth community created the Lake Superior Marine Museum. Located along Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, the Lake Superior Marine Museum gives visitors a one in a kind experience.
The Lake Superior Marine Museum was founded in fall 1973. Since the Lake Superior Marine Museum opened, it has been free to the public. This is largely due to the Museum being completely owned and operated by the U.S. federal government. Although admission into the Lake Superior Marine Museum is free, visitors are encouraged to make a donation to help maintain and support the Museum.
Although there isn’t much history within the overall Lake Superior Marine Museum, there is a dense amount of historical information about the Fresnel lens, one of the exhibits at the Lake Superior Marine Museum. The Fresnel lens was installed on the South Pier of the Duluth Ship Canal in 1901. It served as the main light for this area. Fast forward to 1995, the Coast Guard loaned to historic Fresnel lens to the Lake Superior Marine Museum when a plastic lens was installed into the Inner Range Light.
Since 2001, many people have made efforts to preserve, illuminate, and display the historic Fresnel lens. One of the main people in this process is Jim Dunlap, a lampist from New York. Dunlap was instrumental in ultimately refurbishing the Fresnel lens.
In order to keep an element of surprise and preserve the unique experience of visiting the Lake Superior Marine Museum, the Museum does not provide a substantial amount of information about what lies within their exhibits. Although there isn’t an extensive amount of information available about the collection at the Lake Superior Marine Museum, visitors can expect to explore:
• Demonstrations of commercial shipping in the Great Lakes throughout history.
• Information and replicas of the Aerial Lift Bridge.
• Replica cabins, which are extremely detailed and historically accurate.
• A replica of a pilothouse that one would find on an average ship in the past.
• A steam engine that takes up a whopping three stories.
• Approximately 50 scale models of various marine supplies and technology.
The Lake Superior Marine Museum has a variety of educational opportunities for school aged children and the general Duluth community. Many of the educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Marine Museum occur on a daily basis and last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. One of the best features of the educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Marine Museum is that every educational program is completely free of charge, even large group or school tours. It should be noted that some of the educational programs at the Lake Superior Marine Museum, like the specially guided tours, require visitors to call ahead to reserve their seat or group. Here are a few examples of the educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Marine Museum!
Who’s in Charge is a program geared towards children in kindergarten through third grade. In this program, participants will learn about what working on a ship that sails the Great Lakes is like.
Up & Down the Soo Locks utilizes a combination of story-telling, models, maps, and a film to explore how ships pass through the Soo Locks to enter or leave Lake Superior.
Pier History Tour is offered from May to September, and gives visitors the opportunity to explore the exterior of the Lake Superior Marine Museum. Participants are led by a specially trained ranger, who details historic events and stories of the pier and surrounding area of Lake Superior.
Cell Phone Tour is a unique and innovative way for visitors to explore the Lake Superior Marine Museum. To explore the Cell Phone Tour, visitors have to dial 218-213-9069, then follow the instructions. It should be noted that standard usage rates apply to the Cell Phone Tour.
After touring the Lake Superior Marine Museum, head over to the on-site Museum Gift Shop to explore the various souvenirs the shop has to offer. Inside the Museum Gift Shop, visitors can sort through various souvenirs, such as books, drinkware, and maps. Visitors can even pick up a t-shirt or baseball cap to remember their trip to the Lake Superior Marine Museum, and the Lake Superior area in general.
Lake Superior Marine Museum Association members receive a 10% discount on every purchase from the Museum Gift Shop. For more information about the Museum Gift Shop and the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, head over to the Museum’s website.
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600 South Lake Avenue, Duluth, MN 55802, Phone: 218-720-5260