Weekend in Two Harbors

While it might sound a bit odd to those who don’t enjoy cold weather, I think the winter is actually one of the best times to enjoy the North Shore. For a romantic weekend getaway this holiday season, consider a trip to Two Harbors.

For a full North Shore experience, I would recommend a stay at the Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1892, the Two Harbors Light Station, as it was called then, remains the longest operating lighthouse in Minnesota. While the keepers residence is now converted to a museum and bed and breakfast, the light located in the nearly 50-foot brick tower is still listed as a navigational aid.

The winter season provides a better opportunity for that quiet respite away. Three rooms in the main keepers lodge offer lodgers several views of Agate Bay, and you can mingle with others in the main parlor and kitchen. The Skiff House stands apart from the main lodge, but it offers private bathroom facilities, along with a Jacuzzi tub.


One of my favorite Up North activities is a good hike, and even during the colder winter months trekkers can find good trails around Two Harbors, including the Sonju Trail, which begins at the lighthouse and takes you to Burlington Bay, as well as accesses the famed Superior Hiking Trail. For the cross-country skier, I recommend the Erkki Harju Ski Trail. This 10k trail, which begins at the edge of Two Harbors, takes you through beautiful scenery where you will see much wildlife, including deer, ruffed grouse, and an array of other birds. The best part is that a 3K section of the trail is lit so you can experience the beauty of the trail after dark. To go, you will need a ski pass.

Hiking Trail, Winter


Photo by Todd Buchanan

Two Harbors’ roots are based in mining and the railroad. History buffs will be interested in knowing that Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (better known today as 3M) was founded in Two Harbors. You can now take a tour of the small building where the company got its start, which is now the 3M/Dwan Museum. Watch “history come alive” by taking a trip on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. You can still catch a ride on The Polar Express through Dec. 18, before they close for the season.

There’s so much to see and do up north near Two Harbors, even during the chillier winter months. I think it’s the perfect time for a getaway, even if it’s just to settle in a nice inn by the fire with a good book. Download the visitor’s guide and plan your perfect weekend getaway.

Thanks goes to Gary Leeper for providing the photos of the Two Harbors lighthouse and depot.

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