Take This Road Trip To The Most Charming Highway 61 Towns In Minnesota
Looking for a scenic drive to take this summer? Here in Minnesota, it doesn’t get much more beautiful than Minnesota Highway 61 along the North Shore. This famous road carves a path along beautiful Lake Superior, offering access to amazing state parks, lakefront viewing areas, and plenty of charming towns. It’s that third category we want to focus on today. If you follow this road trip along Highway 61, you’ll come across some of the most charming towns in Minnesota. Read on below to learn more:
This road trip starts in Duluth, following the line of the North Shore until it reaches Grand Portage. It covers about 150 miles of road and will take most travelers around 2 hours and 45 minutes, not including stops. It would make for a great weekend trip! Click
here to see the full route and driving directions.
You won’t likely be surprised that our road trip starts in Duluth. Though it is not quite a town - it’s actually one of Minnesota’s largest cities - it is a must-visit stop on any North Shore road trip. There’s plenty to do, from exploring the shops and restaurants in Canal Park to searching for agates at
to taking a dip in the chilly water at
Park Point Beach
. Use this fantastic city as your jumping-off point for the rest of your road trip!
2. Two Harbors
Head north on Highway 61 and you’ll soon find yourself in charming Two Harbors. This small town of approximately 3,500 people has plenty to do for day trippers. Stop into one of the many restaurants in town and take in the gorgeous view of Burlington Bay. Before you move on, pay a visit to Split Rock Lighthouse or Gooseberry Falls, both just north of town. You’ll love your visit to this awesome North Shore small town!
3. Beaver Bay
From Two Harbors, follow Highway 61 has it continues north along Lake Superior. The views between the trees are gorgeous, with ships often spotted along the water. Soon, you’ll arrive in tiny Beaver Bay. With a population of just over 100 people, this little town is not much more than a wide place in the road. But it does have a few great attractions, including the delicious
Lemon Wolf Cafe
. Be sure to stop at Beaver Bay Agate Shop to browse the beautiful gemstones!
Continue on to Schroeder, another tiny community along the North Shore. The main attraction is a tasty bakery known as the Schroeder Baking Company. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy it alongside a breakfast sandwich, cinnamon roll, turnover, or donut. If you’re in for lunch, you can’t go wrong with a sandwich, salad, wrap, or even a pizza! When you’re done eating, don’t forget to pay a visit to
Cross River Falls
just steps away!
5. Grand Marais
With a population of around 1,400 people, Grand Marais is one of the larger towns on this road trip, though it is still quite small by most standards. When you arrive, you’ll first be struck by the gorgeous views of Lake Superior that are prominent throughout much of town. Head to
to take in some of the beauty or grab a meal at Angry Trout Cafe if you’re hungry. Don’t forget to stop at
World’s Best Donuts
before you leave!
6. Grand Portage
Finally, our road trip ends just south of the Canadian border in Grand Portage. There are a few notable attractions here, including the historic Grand Portage National Monument, where you can learn about the history of the Ojibwe people and the North West Company during the North American fur trade. Be sure to visit
Grand Portage State Park
, where you’ll find the High Falls of the Pigeon River. At 120 feet tall, this waterfall that we share with Canada is the tallest in the state!
Have you ever followed Highway 61 up the North Shore? What are your favorite small towns to stop in? Let us know in the comments! And if you’re looking for more awesome towns to visit, check out our past list of
11 small towns in Minnesota that make a perfect weekend getaway.
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Two Harbors, MN 55616, USA
Grand Marais, MN 55604, USA
Grand Portage, MN 55605, USA