Two Harbors Winter Weekend

Jessica and I had a great time this weekend in Two Harbors, MN. This town of about 3,500 people is located just a little North of Duluth along the shore of Lake Superior.

Day 1

We left on Friday evening, and drove straight through until just before 11pm.

We had reserved a “normal” hotel room with two queen beds. Upon arriving at the AmericInn in Two Harbors, we asked the attendent at the desk if they had any of the King Suites with whirlpools remaining. She said that they did, and that it would cost $15 per night more. I just said “oh that much?” and did not say anything else. After a moment of silence, she said that we could have the King Suite at no additional charge! (Thanks Dave Ramsey for your tips on negotiating a sale).

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Day 2

We got up at about 8:30 the next morning at ate a delicious breakfast compliments of the hotel! They had a waffle making station, along with bagels, doughnuts, fruit and more (all free). This sure beats the Embassy Suites I stayed at last June where it was $13 for a small breakfast!

After breakfast, we explored Two Harbors. What an amazing town.

Our first stop was at “Sweet Peas“. This store was simple on the outside, but great on the inside. I could not believe the great deals on gift items in this place. If you need to decorate a north woods cabin, or just want some souvenirs, stop here first. You will likely find all you need and more.

Next, we went down to Agate Bay. As the name implies, this is one of the two bays in Two Harbors. The other bay is Burlingtin Bay. We walked a long way out onto the ice of the bay while we were there. (As a side note, I learned that Agate Bay is actually deeper than the harbor in Duluth, which makes it all the more scary that we were walking on it.)

I took the opportunity to make fun of Man vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls. I love the show,  and if you have ever seen it, you will understand this video:

After touring Two Harbors, we went up the North Shore, and ate at “The Rustic Inn and Cafe” in Castle Danger. The food was great, but this was certainly not a very quick eat. It took a while to get our food, and we were starting to regret that we wasted precious hours of daylight at a sit-down restaurant. For dessert, we had some of their famous pie. It was a huge piece that was enough for the both of us.

Jessica and I headed up to Gooseberry Falls State Park. On our way to the visitor center, we encountered several deer. They were working on stealing food from the bird feeders and only seemed a little worried that we could practically reach out and touch them.

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At the recommendation of a park ranger, we started out on a loop that runs along some of the major waterfalls of the park. We stuck to the snowshow trails as she suggested. There were a couple times that I made a slight deviation from the path, and I quicly learned that the unpacked snow is very, let me repeat… VERY deep.

You get a false sense of security walking along snow packed hard by snow shoes. Sometimes I would step off the path to get a better picture, and end up past my knees in snow. Off the main path, the terrain is rugged, just what you would expect on the edge of the Sawtooth Mountains.

After our hike in Gooseberry, we went a little further Northeast to Split Rock Lighthouse. Sunset was at 5:05 pm that day, giving us about 45 minutes to enjoy the famous lighthouse. Since we were not planning on major hikes, this was an easy thing to do. We took some great pictures, and saw an amazing start of a sunset on Lake Superior.

There are really too many pictures to post here, so if you want some amazing pictures of the entire trip, check out here and here.

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We then headed back to Two Harbors for a relaxing time at Culver’s. Then went back to our hotel for a swim in the pool and some time in the Sauna.

Day 3

On Sunday, we had a much more relaxed day. We returned to Sweet Peas and bought some decorations for our house (someday we will put them in a cabin that we would like to own!).

Jessica got some Iced Coffee from McDonald’s to start her day on a caffeinated note, and we set out for Duluth. We traveled partially on the express highway 61, then jumped on the scenic route near the French River. We stopped briefly to admire the awesome scenery at the mouth of the river.

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We kept heading Southwest along the shorline until we hit Duluth. Jessica and I had planned on eating at the Burger King near Canal Park (it was the first place we ate after getting married), however, they recently knocked it down to make room for a bigger hotel next door. So we took off toward the famous Grandma’s Saloon and Grill.

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After stopping at Grandma’s, we stopped in downtown Duluth to look at the Duluth Pack store and a surplus store. Then we left for home.

Summary

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. We had a lot of fun, and can’t wait to get back up in the area. Fortunately, we will be heading up North of Duluth to stay in a cabin on Pequawyan Lake with our family in a couple weeks.

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