Looking for romantic things to do in Duluth MN? We all need some romance in our lives, so if you are in Duluth and feeling stuck for a romantic night out idea, this list of romantic ideas will leave your partner very impressed.
If you are planning on a couples trip to Duluth, you will fall in love with the place! Duluth has a long maritime history, the remnants of which still remain today. It also has plenty of fine-dining restaurants, shops, and boutiques. So, you’ll never run out of romantic things to do.
Duluth lies on the northern shores of Lake Superior which is one of the world’s biggest lakes, by surface area. The surrounding environment is also breathtakingly beautiful. You will find yourself surrounded by natural beauty, tranquillity, not to mention the waterfalls in Duluth.
Since you are spoiled for choice on romantic things to do in Duluth MN, I’ve grouped some suggestions by activity. I hope the list below helps you plan the best date night in Duluth MN to impress your special one.
- Duluth trips with a touch of romance
- Romantic walks in nature
- Dates to suit romantic adventurers
- Date suggestions for history lovers
- Romantic dates for nature lovers
Duluth Trips with a Touch of Romance
Take a North Shore Scenic Drive
Enjoy spectacular scenes and dramatic landscapes along the 154-mile Scenic Drive. It follows the shores of Lake Superior and is recognized as one of the most picturesque drives in North America. The drive starts at the Canal Park Waterfront. Then, follows a route northeast.
The drive will take you past aspen forests, beaches, streams, and waterfalls, not to mention the imposing Sawtooth Mountains. It runs through no fewer than seven state parks.
This ensures that the North Shore Scenic Drive is one of the most interesting and romantic things to do in Duluth mn.
Along the way, lakeside villages, each with their own charm and character, offer tantalizing breaks. Stop for lunch at a charming restaurant. Spend a couple of hours wandering around the shops, and make time to visit the Two Harbors Lighthouse.
Built-in 1891, Minnesota’s oldest lighthouse has been restored to its original good looks.
Also, along the route, you’ll come across the Split Rock Lighthouse. Take the opportunity to explore the fully restored keeper’s house. The state park on which it stands has miles of hiking trails so don your boots and get close to nature.
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Take a View of the City from Skyline Drive
If taking a shorter drive is your idea of romantic things to do in Duluth mn, this Skyline Drive runs 25 miles from Seven Bridges Road to Spirit Mountain. You’ll enjoy wonderful views of the lake and the city.
Along the way, you’ll come across Enger Park and the 365-acre Hawks Ridge Observatory. During the fall, Hawks Ridge attracts bird lovers wanting to watch the migration of raptors.
There are plenty of lookouts along the way. So, get out of the car and enjoy the fresh air and the view.
Take a hike through the Skyline Parkway. It is a lovely piece of nature and includes a creek, waterfall, and several pretty bridges. The bridges are made of basalt, pink granite, and bluestone.
Locals swim in the creek below the sixth bridge and cliff dive off the ridge above the waterfall. Hiking trails crisscross the park, running through Aspen forests, and along the creek.
In wintertime, Chester Park, part of the Skyline Parkway, is a popular destination for skiers. It is a nice easy slope where many novice skiers take their first lessons.
One of the most romantic things to do in Duluth mn is to start your trip in Enger Park and catch the view of the city from the Enger Tower. The 80-foot tower perches on top of the Duluth cliffs. At the top of the tower, you’re 531 feet above the lake. The views of the lake and aerial lift bridge are spectacular.
You’ll have quite a climb up the narrow staircase, but the 360-degree views that await you are well worth the effort. Make some time to stroll around the gardens. They’re beautiful and well-maintained.
There is even a hiking trail that borders the garden. So, bring along a packed lunch and find a romantic spot to share a meal. If you’ve forgotten the picnic basket, there’s a very good food truck, selling delicious treats, nearby.
Entrance to the park is free.
Sail into the Sunset on a Great Lake Cruise
For me, a cruise epitomizes romance. Sail into the sunset on a Lake Superior cruise. It’s one of the best things to do in Duluth mn. Cruises are available daily between May and October.
Three-hour narrated cruises will take you along the shoreline of Lake Superior. From the lake, you’ll spot wildlife and lighthouses. Alternatively, take to the water in a glass-bottomed boat and find all the treasures that lie beneath the water.
There are a number of cruise companies that operate in the summer months, so you can choose one that suits you best. At least some of the cruises offer a cash bar on board, so you can sip cocktails with your favorite person as you enjoy the passing landscapes.
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Take a Romantic Train Ride Along North Shore Scenic Railway
Take a step back in time on the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. A train journey is one of the best ways to sit back, relax and enjoy the landscapes as they glide by.
The current track runs along six miles of the original 1870s railway line. The trip takes an hour and forty minutes and there is a narrated tour that takes you through the history of the line.
There are several trips that leave the Duluth Union depot daily. The company also runs themed trips including elegant dinner, pizza, and beer trips.
The train leaves from the historic Duluth Union Depot which was built in 1892. It served seven railway lines. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the depot is styled after French Norman architecture and is built from granite, sandstone, and yellow brick amongst others.
Take the time to visit the Lake Superior Railway Museum while you’re there. It’s open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Stroll Along the Romantic Lake Walk
The lovely Lake Walk traces the edge of Lake Superior. Here a boardwalk is lined with lights and wanders past restaurants and shops. The Lake Walk Promenade is in Canal Park Duluth Mn. It’s a hive of activity with a wide choice of top restaurants and quaint art galleries.
Here cozy bars and pavement cafes offer all kinds of opportunities for a date night in Duluth mn. Canal Park is the center of arts and culture in the city of Duluth. Theatres, cinemas, art galleries, and museums ensure that you’ll never run out of things to do in Duluth. Canal Park connects the waterfront with the busy downtown area.
The Promenade joins with Leif Erickson Park and the Rose Garden along the way. Find a picnic table in the Rose Garden and share a packed lunch and a glass of bubbly. The Park has lovely views of the lake.
The color and fragrance of roses line the trails meander through the gardens. Amongst the roses, water features and fountains add interest.
Romantic Dates for Adventurers
Spirit Mountain Adventure Park
Just 15 miles from Duluth, Spirit Mountain Adventure Park offers all-year fun for romantic couples who enjoy outdoor adventures. In the spring, summer, and fall, ziplines, mountain biking, chairlifts, disc golf, and nine-hole put-put are all up for grabs.
In the winter months, the real fun begins with skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding all on the agenda. The Park is enormous, an adventurer’s dream. Here you can go snow tubing in winter and zipline through most of the year.
Double seats mean that you can get up close and personal as you fly through the treetops.
You’ll find the best mountain biking trails for miles around. Don’t forget to try out the Timber Twister, the first Alpine Coaster in the Mid-West. The coaster whips down the 3200 foot raised track through the forest and up the mountain.
When you’re done pumping the adrenalin, stop off for a cold drink and a warm meal at the restaurant in the park.
Date Suggestions for History Lovers
Glensheen, The Congdon Estate
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The 39 room Congdon Estate is having a splendid collection of artworks and antiques. The mansion is built in a 22-acre estate. The English-style landscape garden comes complete with water features, gardens, and pretty bridges.
There is also an old pier onto the lake. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and enjoy a romantic lunch in the garden
The mansion is the most visited historic home in Minnesota. Built between 1905 and 1908, the estate opened for tourists in the 1970s. The tour of the house is self-guided so you can take your time and enjoy the surroundings.
Find out more about the property with the interactive app, which gives insights into some of the more remarkable objects in the collection.
SS William A. Irvin
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On the waterfront of Lake Superior, SS William A. Irvin, the flagship of the Great Lakes Fleet, invites guests to tour her decks and beautiful indoor spaces. The ship was launched in 1937 and plied the waters of the lake until she was retired in 1978.
This working ship was adorned with luxury chambers and a dining salon and lounge, decorated with brass walnut and oak. It’s a floating maritime museum. The objective of the tours is to educate the public on the maritime history of the area.
The ship is open tours from Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm in the summer months. An adult ticket costs $15. Discounts are available for pensioners, students, and military personnel.
Lake Superior Maritime Visitors’ Center and Marine Museum
Located at the foot of the iconic aerial lift bridge, the Lake Superior Maritime Visitors’ Center was established in 1973 to showcase the city’s long history in the commercial shipping field.
The center is run by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It takes visitors through the history and shares information about the iconic Aerial Lift Bridget.
The center contains 50 scale model ships, an enormous steam engine, and replica cabins from bygone days. Interactive shows and enormous freighters passing just 200 feet from the building make this a very real experience.
It’s not surprising that this is the most visited maritime museum on the Great Lakes. The center is open from Thursday to Monday inclusive and runs from 10 am to 4.30 pm.
Romantic Dates for Nature Lovers
Great Lakes Aquarium
There are not many places that can boast a freshwater aquarium, but Duluth can. The three-story building houses freshwater animals in ecosystems from the Great Lakes to the Amazon River.
The 62,000 square foot facility is home to more than 200 species of birds, fish, amphibians, and land animals. Though focused mainly on freshwater fish, there are also some marine habitats on offer.
The aquarium features seven different features including rivers, wetlands, and an Otter habitat. Since the aquarium is conveniently located in Canal Park, with its many restaurants and cafes, you could top your aquarium visit at one of the date night restaurants Duluth mn.
The Aquarium opens between 10 am and 6 pm. Admission for adults is $16. Parking is available at $5.
Hartley Nature Center
If hiking is your idea of romantic things to do in Duluth mn, then the Hartley Nature Center offers 10 miles of hiking trails that meander through the 660-acre nature reserve.
The forest trails will lead you past a pond filled with several species of freshwater fish. It’s the perfect place to hike, cycle or ski. Hire skis and snowshoes from the Center in winter.
The center is open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is free.
Lake Superior Zoo & Zoological Society
The Lake Superior Zoo is very central and well worth a visit. It is home to 400 animals representing 140 species. It is located on 19 acres of ground with varying landscapes from pine forests and craggy hillsides and a creek that runs through it. Choose to take one of the behind the scene tours and see how these animals live and feed.
The zoo is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Entrance is $14 for anyone over the age of 13. Children 3 to 12 will pay half that.
Why Not Stay Over?
Duluth has so much to offer for those with romance in mind. So, you may find it difficult to choose a single romantic destination. There are plenty of hotels in Duluth mn, so why not stay over and enjoy several of the romantic things to do in Duluth mn?