In a nature lover’s paradise, this is the time to check off your Minnesota Bucket List. Visit one of four amazing state parks, camp in a national or state forest, or go into the world-renowned Boudary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: your options are endless.
This is Lake County. Experience an exhilarating mix of stunning natural beauty and classic up-north charm, whether it’s for the week, weekend, or just one incredible day to remember. Take off into the woods by foot, bike, or boat. It’s a dream for fishing, hunting, boating, and paddling.
Lake Superior beckons. Dip your toes, skip rocks, hold hands. Charter that fishing trip or day sail you’ve dreamed of. Stand in awe of the most fascinating waterfalls in the state. Rent kayaks. Stroll the shore, watching ships from pier and inhale the fresh vastness of it all.
Bring hiking boots, a fishing pole, and folks who need this as much as you do.
Scroll through the gallery below to find ideas for the perfect itinerary in Lovin’ Lake County.
Travel the North Shore coast of Lake Superior and discover numerous roadside attractions, charming small towns, mom-and-pop gift shops and cafes, waterfalls, hiking trails, and three state parks. Each turn gives a unique view of Gitchi Gumi – the Big Lake. For mile-by-mile insights, visit our website for the Ultimate North Shore Road Trip Guide.
2. Stop in Knife River for Tasty Treats
Founded by loggers and copper miners, this charming former mining town sits along the shoreline of Lake Superior along scenic Highway 61. Stop and check out Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse for some smoked fish, cheese, and snacks, and head over to the Great Lakes Candy Kitchen to indulge in sweet treats – the kids will love the agate lollipops!
3. Stroll the Two Harbors Breakwall and Ship Watch
The Two Harbors Breakwall imparts a wide concrete walkway for easy accessibility to get up close and personal. It’s an excellent place to watch massive ore freighters loading up taconite at the Ore Docks and traveling in and out of the harbor. A large parking lot also provides access to The Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum and B&B. Head to Castle Danger Brewery for a refreshing pint on their large deck and a great lakefront view.
4. Explore Unique Lake Superior Beaches
Lake County has some of the most striking and beautiful Lake Superior beaches, with impressive landscapes and geology. With more than 14 beaches in the area, you’ll find fantastic panoramic views from high cliffs to coastlines of black sand, pebbles, silky sand, and pink rocks that sing when the wind’s just right. Relaxing on these unique and scenic beaches will help you feel a little closer to heaven!
5. Catch the Best Minnesota Waterfalls
Did you know that Lake County contains more than 12 waterfalls– the most of any county in Minnesota? Of course, many sightseers are familiar with Gooseberry Falls and the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park; however, that’s just scratching the surface. Between the North Shore and the Boundary Waters, you’ll find many off-the-beaten-path trails and waterfalls to explore.
6. Explore Four Top Minnesota State Parks
Most of the waterfalls located in Lake County exist in our state parks, including Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, and George Crosby Manitou State Park (a North Shore hidden gem!). All parks offer fantastic hiking trails and breathtaking scenic views. Split Rock also features a section of the paved Gitchi Gumi State Strail. Add all four state parks to your northern Minnesota bucket list!
7. Lodging Options to Fit Your Style and Budget
When you escape to Lake County, leave your tensions behind and let our northern hospitality welcome you to your home away from home. Rest assured, you’ll find unique and diverse lodging options for any budget or lifestyle. Choose from luxury Lake Superior lodges, kid-friendly resorts & hotels, beautiful vacation rentals, seasonal RV camping, yurt glamping, or primitive tenting sites deep into the wilderness.