I love the North Shore in the wintertime. Yes, it can be bitter cold. But, it is simply beautiful as well.
On the way up to the North Shore I always stop in Duluth to get a bite to eat. I can never wait long enough to make it to Two Harbors, so Duluth it always is.
My stop in Duluth included a trip to Duluth Grill. I have been talking up this place with many friends and on here after my summer trip. You can read about it HERE.
Duluth Grill serves really good food. The portions are huge and there are so many options I think it would take me a year to eat all of the combinations. I stopped here for dinner this time and because it was a Friday they had fish specials. I tried both the meat loaf and salmon. Both were delicious. I cannot remember anything that I have ever had there that I did not like though. The salmon came with smashed sweet potatoes that were cooked just right with a bit of brown sugar on top. The service was great and made me sad that we don’t have a Grill in Minneapolis. Hint, Hint.
Another stop I have to make is in Grand Marais at the Fish Market. I always pick up fish to make during the trip. It is always fresh and cooks up quickly. I also like the salmon dip from here as well. It is a wonderful appetizer for a wintertime party (see below). I have never eaten at the Fish Market because it does close after New Years for a bit and by the time I get there they are done serving food. I am going to make it a stop on the next summer trip I take.
Also in Grand Marais I like to stop in all the local stores especially the Sivertson Art Gallery with work from artists like Dave Gilsvik and Jim Brandenburg. It is fun to look at all the different artwork and sip tea. Many of the artists live in the North Shore and their art reflects many of the sites of the North Shore. It would be like taking a piece of the shore home with you.
In Grand Marias I also enjoy the trading post because of all the great brands that they have there. I can always find something to use. This year I bought a pair of gloves with fur that are missing the fingers. I like them when it is not too cold outside because it is easy to grab my bus pass.
We always stay in a VRBO rental (Vacation Rentals By Owner). It is a great way to do a vacation with a larger group or if you like to cook. This year we stayed in Tofte, MN. I liked Tofte because there are a few shops and gas stations not too far away for supplies. I haven’t stayed in any of the hotels in the area but, I am curious as to what they are like as well. I am a sucker for a pool. Also, stay on the lake because the views are breathtaking.
If it is not too cold out, take a hike. There are so many places to hike in the area. If you have snow shoes there are cleaned paths that you can take as well. Many of the local gas stations and stores have maps. My best suggestion is to ask a local.
On the way home I stopped at Sir Ben’s. Deli by day, bar by night. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the beer selection. It is a really fun place to be. Try whatever their special is that day or whatever on the menu speaks to you. I have yet to be disappointed.
because you gotta get, get, get away.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard is one of my favorite places to go in the Fall. It is a beautiful place to go and enjoy some of the last warm days and eat a treat. Located in White Bear Lake this apple orchard is calming and inviting. Plus, it has a great shop where you can buy anything apple you could imagine. My personal favorites are apple doughnuts and cider. They have a unique blend of cider here which I would recommend. Nothing really compares to it.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard is just one of those places that I went as a child and still cannot go a year without visiting. Maybe, it is because I need to get an apple doughnut.
This place is family friendly and a perfect photo spot for your upcoming holiday photo card. I couldn’t believe the professional cameras that I saw and the kids in the cutest trendy clothes.
Every weekend in the fall there is usually entertainment for the young ones, a hayride, and a corn maze. Oh yeah, and they have apples too. Those are also really good.
Check out the pumpkin patch for Halloween and during the summer they have a strawberry patch. When I used to nanny it was one of my favorite activities to do with the kids. They could pick their own strawberries and then we went home to make jam. It kept the kids busy for an entire day and made the parents happy to come home to homemade jam. If you don’t feel like jam, you can dip them in chocolate.
One of my goals for the future is to do the 5 Mile Run For the Apples, run at Pine Tree and get to eat delicious apple treats at the end of the run.
Pine Tree also offers holiday gift baskets. They are very resonably priced and it would be a great idea for a local company that wants to share some local food with their clients.
because an apple doughnut a day doesn’t keep the doctor away but….. boy are they good.
This weekend at the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center you can get up close and personal with some winged creatures.
They are putting on “the owls and other masters of the sky” March 3-4 for only 10 dollars per person at 11, 1, and 3 PM.
Visit their website for more information. Here.
Because nature is important
Need to get out of town for the weekend? Want to hold on to the winter for a little longer?
Head up to Lutsen, MN. They have gotten over 21 inches of snow in the last 9 days.
You can now go skiing on the beautiful mountains in northern Minnesota. Many of the resorts have ski and stay packages and rooms open because until 9 days ago they were missing the snow needed to have really great ski runs.
Check out more information here.
Because a beautiful place can change your mindset.