Head north up Highway 35W to Pine City. If you start your trip early enough you can get there in a little over an hour and go canoeing at Snake River.
If you do that, you may not want to drive too much more so stay at a nice park called Jay Cooke State Park right before Duluth.
Next, head North to Duluth. There you can visit Canal Park and take a stroll along the Duluth Lake Walk. Watch the over 100-year-old Aerial Lift bridge in action. Enjoy some homemade chicken & wild rice soup at the legendary Grandma’s Saloon & Grill. Stop at the Glensheen Mansion on your way out of town and take a tour of an amazing old mansion with dramatic history.
Continue North to Two Harbors to experience a beautiful drive and don’t forget to stop for a treat at Betty’s Pies after you pass through Two Harbors.
A bit further up the road, get up close and personal with the amazing waterfalls at Gooseberry Falls State Park. After that time there, stop at Split Rock Lighthouse for a beautiful view and an interesting tour.
Black Beach feels like a secret place. It is located south of Silver Bay on the city access road. The beach is a delight, with three dark crescents of dark soft sand, crystal clear coves, a bit of driftwood, and a tall jumble of lichen encrusted rock – all of it backed by thickly forested hillsides or the lake itself. Some like to swim here because it’s a little warmer, but it’s still Lake Superior so “warm” is relative.
If you head further north, in Tofte, there’s Oberg Mountain Loop – which is a nice 2 mile hike.
If you want to continue North, stop and eat some of the best fresh lake trout and whitefish at Dockside Fish Market in Grand Marais. This family operated restaurant is near the base of the Gunflint Trail. There’s an amazing park a little northwest of Grand Marais with an incredible trail – Devil Track River Hike – with red cliffs and waterfalls.
Another great hiking option would be the mile-long hike to the infamous Devil’s Kettle Falls featuring half a river that disappears into the underground. The mystery of what happens to the river has supposedly been ‘solved’, but it’s still a unique phenomenon to witness.
The Grand Marais Municipal Campground is the ideal base camp for exploring Minnesota’s arrowhead and north shore of Lake Superior.