We were invited to head up to Minnesota for a wedding in October and Mark surprised me with a few additional days so we could go see some of the North Shore’s beautiful fall colors. What a lovely few days we had! After having a home base in the Southwest for so long and especially spending most of our time in Phoenix, it was such a site for sore eyes to see lots and lots of trees AND see them turning their fiery autumn colors. Since Mark is a Minnesota native, he also gave me some great classic Up North tours.
The wedding itself was really lovely. A perfect time of year to have an outdoor wedding. The young couple had a friend with a farm who let them use their barn and grassy area to have their wedding/reception. It was a wonderful time.
What is it about Autumn that feels so romantic?
Summer is always such a fun time of year – with picnics, swimming, fishing, exploring. But there is something about the Fall that makes people want to get close. The cooler weather, the harvest theme, perhaps it is millennium of years of DNA programming to hunker down and prepare for the long winter that makes us want to nestle in to the one we love. But either way, Mark and I set out to experience some autumn delights along the North Shore of the largest lake lake in the world: Lake Superior.
Some fascinating facts about Lake Superior that I never knew can be found here at the Wikipedia for Lake Superior. Some things that stood out that I never knew being a Phoenician via Jersey Girl upbringing: It is the largest lake in the world by surface area and the third largest by volume (how do they measure the volume says my non-math brain)? How about this “Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,103 km2), which is approximately the size of South Carolina or Austria.” *taken straight out of the wikipedia entry. I highly encourage you to read about it because it is truly amazing.
Either way, it was my first experience of the Great Lake and what a great time of year to go! The drive from the Twin Cities is approximately 2 1/4 hours of relatively easy driving.
We arrived for a night’s stay in Duluth. Mark has many great memories of spending time in Duluth and we had a lovely time visiting Canal Park Brewery (priorities) and then onward to get a pizza at Pizza Luce.
Duluth is a really cool city. We spent some time watching the ships coming in from the great Lake Superior and then loading cargo and heading back out. We stayed at The Inn at Lake Superior on Canal Park. The location was perfect and the room was lovely – with a balcony facing the lake and a fireplace right in the room.
The next day we hopped in the car and headed up North. Next stop was Tofte – we stayed at Surfside on Lake Superior. The room was really lovely and romantic with a fireplace in the room and an oversized tub for two. Our room there also faced the lake and in the morning the sunrise greeted us.
We had a spectacular time hiking. A highlight was Gooseberry Falls. The falls were impressive and we had a picnic lunch there!
The map below shows our drive up the coast and where we stayed. We went on to hike at Eagle Mountain, which was a really great hike with elevation and great views.
We also made it up to Grand Marais where we went to Voyager Brewing right on the exact night they were having their Octoberfest celebration. Talk about serendipity! I even won the beer tasting contest! (Thank you Irish heritage.)
After a few days of a wonderful retreat we headed back to the Twin Cities. But the trip was so special to us, we decided to get married on Lake Superior at Grand Superior Lodge. Soon we will have a part two to share with you!