5. Split Rock Lighthouse
Split Rock Lighthouse is located on the shores of Lake Superior near the town of Two Harbors, MN, and is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in America. In 1905, the Mataafa Storm damaged 29 ships, leading to the eventual construction of the lighthouse in 1910. The lighthouse was built before Highway 61 ran through the area, so a steam-powered hoisting derrick was built and the supplies were shipped in and hoisted to the top of the 130-foot cliff. In 1924 the North Shore Highway that ran from Duluth, MN to the Canadian border was completed, and Split Rock began to attract visitors from Duluth and other nearby areas. The lighthouse attendants were expected to be gracious hosts to the tourists until it became too much to handle. The Split Rock Lighthouse visitor log recorded 30,000 names and an estimated 90,000 total visitors in a single year, at which time the lighthouse staff was relieved of its tour guide duties. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park offers camping, hiking, fishing and more.
4. Glensheen Mansion
Glensheen Mansion, built in 1905 by iron industrialist Chester Congdon, is located in Duluth, MN. Glensheen Mansion is best known for the Glensheen Mansion murders, in which Elizabeth Congdon and her nurse were killed under mysterious circumstances. Her daughter, Marjorie Congdon was suspected of orchestrating the crime, and Majories husband Roger Caldwell was eventually convicted for the Congdon murders. Glensheen Mansion Tours start daily at 9am, with the last tour beginning at 4pm.
3. Grand Marais Art Colony
The Grand Marais, MN Art Colony is the oldest art colony in Minnesota. The colony formed in 1947 as the Outdoor School of Painting, and is located in a remodeled 1918 mission church. The Grand Marais Art Colony has space for nearly every kind of art imaginable, from glass blowing to ceramics and visual arts. The Art Colony accepts new memberships and is dedicated to artists, art education and providing an environment for creative excellence.
2. Naniboujou Lodge
The Naniboujou Lodge is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior near Grand Marais, Minnesota. The Lodge was originally formed as an exclusive hunting and fishing club in 1927. Among the lodges charter members included baseball star Babe Ruth and boxer Jack Dempsey. The eccentric and colorful dining room is a must-see even if you don’t stay the night at the lodge. The Naniboujou Lodge is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
1. Grand Portage State Park
Grand Portage State Park is home to Minnesotas highest waterfall, over 120 feet. Grand Portage is located along the Pigeon River in MN near the Canadian border on the shores of Lake Superior. The park is home to the Grand Portage National Monument and Heritage Center, where visitors can have the history of early Native Americans and the fur trading era interpreted for them. The High Falls of Grand Portage required travelers to get out of their boats and carry them around the falls. This act is known as a portage and the inland Lake Superior bypass of the falls became known as the Grand Portage.
This article is courtesy of Open Road Adventures, a provider of self-guided audio driving tours throughout Minnesota. All of the places in this article are included on Minnesotas North Shore Audio Tour.