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Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state


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Two chairs sit next to a fire ring on the shore of Lake Superior prepped for Glensheen Mansion bonfire nights.
Glensheen Mansion is one of the few legal locations along the North Shore for a bonfire.

photo courtesy glensheen Mansion


Bonfires, you know ‘em, you love ‘em, you might’ve thrown more wood on one while downing a brew in your other hand at a summer party while yelling, "make it bigger!" Regardless of whether or not you've done such an act, a bonfire in the warmer months is as Minnesotan as calling carbonated beverages "pop" (which is totally the right name for it) instead of "soda" (which is totally not the right name for it). And now, you can experience the thrill of a tower of fire on the shores of Lake Superior at one of the most famous estates in the state—Glensheen Mansion.

Every Wednesday night throughout the month of May from 6:00-9:00 p.m., the Shark Watching Society (a group dedicated to keeping the waters of Lake Superior shark free) invites people who are lucky enough to not work the next day, live close enough to Duluth, or who just don’t care about sleep to enjoy a bonfire on the grounds of Glensheen Mansion with one of the best backdrops the state—and Mother Nature—have to offer. The Glensheen estate is also one of only a few legal locations for a bonfire on the shore of Lake Superior, so it’s an event unlike many others.

In addition to the free views, admission to the event is also free. Guests are suggested to dress accordingly for the weather. If you really want to maximize your experience, grab a cold local brew or glass of wine from the cash bar, and take a load off in a chair (supplied by you) as you watch the sunset with friends and family. You know, the way bonfires are supposed to be enjoyed.

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Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

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