In a world where driving seems to correlate with getting to work and waiting in traffic, there’s nothing more refreshing than the idea of driving just to enjoy the ride. And when you take one of the most scenic routes in America, which happens to be located right here in Minnesota, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
The North Shore Scenic Drive, also known as Scenic Byway 61, follows the breathtaking stretch of land between Canal park in Duluth all the way to Grand Portage. Totaling 142 miles, this drive will take approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete. Along the way, you’ll be delighted to discover the unspoiled surroundings of the Lake Superior Shoreline.
While North Shore takes only a few hours to complete, you can easily extend this trip to last all day. The rivers, streams, and jagged cliffs along the way invite travelers to explore the nearby hiking trails and get an even closer glimpse of the Great Lake. The towns along the way also offer a chance to experience North Shore like a local, with an impressive selection of fine dining and shopping.
The road itself also happens to be a beautiful one. As you glide along the pavement, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an exquisite array of tall pines, birch trees, and maples. While the drive is memorable any time of year, you’ll want to take advantage of all the colors that come with the fall season.
One of the most memorable aspects of the drive is the chance to experience Lake Superior like never before. Often times, people don’t realize just how vast this body of water is. With its host of ships and even a few lighthouses, the lake might seem more like an ocean. Some other not-to-be-missed attractions to enjoy the natural landscape include Gooseberry Falls and Tettegouche Park.
As the route continues to wind its way northward toward Canada, you'll be able to find plenty of incredible dining options as well as bed & breakfast accommodations where you'll enjoy spending the night. And when morning comes, you may just want to turn around and see this beautiful Minnesota scenery again!
Have you recently driven along the North Shore? Be sure to share your experience with us! For more memorable drives, be sure to check out these
10 Stunning Scenic Byways In Minnesota.