46 Best Things to Do in Canal Park Duluth, MN

Looking for the Best Things to Do in Canal Park, Duluth’s most popular neighborhood? Then you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve been visiting Canal Park for decades and know it like the backs of our hands. We hope you’ll learn to love it as much as we do.

Our list of the best things to do in Canal Park, Duluth, MN is broken down into four categories:

  • Local Attractions
  • Outdoor Adventures
  • Parks and Beaches
  • Shopping
  • Food and Drinks

So if you are looking for something in particular, scroll down to that section. Othwerwise, browse the entire list and put together an epic Canal Park itinerary!

Things to Do in Canal Park – Local Attractions

The William A. Irvin tour is a fun thing to do in Canal Park Duluth
Image: William A. Irvin

Duluth is a historic city with strong ties to the shipping industry. As a result, there are many excellent museums, exhibits, and landmarks to enjoy.

Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

Address: 601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge is synonymous with the City of Duluth. You can see it from almost anywhere.

The bridge was originally build in 1905. It is now an important bridge connecting Canal Park with Minnesota Point.

The real highlight is when you catch a freight ship entering the harbor and the bridge lifts the floating roadway. You can keep an eye on the schedule with the Duluth Harbor Cam.

Duluth Children’s Museum

Address: 2125 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806

The Duluth Children’s Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is $10 per person.

The Museum is full of opportunities for hands-on learning and play. Adventure Climber, Aviation Exploration, Learning Lab, and Little Explorers are fan favorites.

It is located just across Hwy 35 from Canal Park.

Great Lakes Aquarium

Address: 353 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802

The Great Lakes Aquarium is a fun-filled indoor aquarium for kids of all ages. Its focus is on freshwater organisms, especially those found in the Great Lakes watershed.

They also have fun exhibits focused on other ecosystems such as the Amazon River. It has the worlds largest Sturgeon Touch Pool, as well as many other touch pools for kids.

Adventure Zone/Vertical Endeavors

Address: 329 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Duluth Adventure Zone is a fun-filled family indoor adventure playground. They have everything from laser tag and mini golf to batting cages and a pizza cafe.

Looking for more adventure? Check out Vertical Endeavors, Duluth’s largest indoor rock climbing facility!

Duluth Bulldogs Game at Amsoil Arena

Addres: 350 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

The Bulldog is the mascot for University of Minnesota – Duluth. And since you’re in Minnesota, you better catch a Duluth Bulldog’s hockey game at Amsoil Arena.

Located next to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Centery in Canal Park, Amsoil Arena is action packed whenever the Bulldogs have a home game.

Lake Superior Railroad Museum & The North Shore Scenic Railroad

Address: 506 W. Michigan St Duluth, MN 55805

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum, housed in the Historic Duluth Union Depot, houses the finest collection of railroad equipment in the country. It is open daily and great for all ages.

Additionally, it is home to the North Shore Scenic Railroad, which operates train rides from Memorial Day through mid-October using historic rail equipment from the museum collection.

Lake Superior Art Glass

Address: 357 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN, 55802

Lake Superior Art Glass is Minnesota’s Premier glass art destination. In addition to their shop and gallery, they also offer classes in glassblowing, flamework, and kids classes

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center

Address: 525 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, part of Lake Superior Marine Museum Association, is a free museum located right at the base of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

It is a great spot to learn all about the history of boats and shipping on the big lake. Once you’re done, you can go for a walk or head over to Grandma’s Saloon for a bite to eat.

William A Irvin Museum

Address: 350 Harbor Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

The William A Irvin Museum is a seasonal experience that runs from early May to mid-September. The William A. Irvine is a transport ship that carried iron ore and coal through treacherous storms on Lake Superior.

It is the proud flagship of U.S. Steel’s Great Lake Fleet. The ship is docked in Canal Park and you can tour the entire boat for a small fee. It is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Canal Park.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Address: 700 Railroad St, Duluth, MN 55802

Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” is a seasonal experience showcasing an amazingly large holiday lights show at Bayfront Park in downtown Duluth.

It is arguably the premier holiday lights show in Minnesota and is one of our favorite things to do in Canal Park, Duluth during the holiday.

Duluth North Pier Lighthouse

Address: 601 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Duluth Harbor North Breakwater Light is a lighthouse on the north breakwater of the Duluth Ship Canal, where ships enter under the Aerial Lift Bridge.

It is an easy walk from Canal Park and can be combined with a visit to the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center.

Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Lighthouses

Address: S Pier, Duluth, MN 55802

On the other side of the Duluth Ship Canal are the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Lighthouses. They are active lights that work to guide ships into the canal from Lake Superior.

You can walk right up to them and they are fun if you have little kids needing to run around.

Minnesota Point Lighthouse Ruins Hike

Address: Hike past the end of the road on Minnesota Point

Minnesota Point Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on Minnesota Point in Duluth. It was built in 1858 and was the first lighthouse in the state.

It is now a crumbling tower in the middle of Minnesota Point Pine Forest Scientific Area. Furthermore, it is a short hike after the road ends on Minnesota Point. You can also visit Park Point Beach in the summer from the same parking area.

Things to Do in Canal Park – Outdoor Adventures

Things to Do in Duluth, MN - Helicopter Tour with Lake Superior Helicopters/

Duluth is an outdoor-adventurer’s paradise. Below are a list of action-acked adventures for the whole family. Make your trip to Duluth even more fun by turning it into a multi-stop Midwestern vacation or heading checking out these fun things to do along Minnesota’s North Shore.

Amicus Adventure Sailing

Website: 115 Marina Road, Knife River, MN 55609

Amicus Adventure Sailing offers custom sailing trips along the North Shore of Lake Superior. You can choose between two-hour excursions and longer trips to the Slate Islands, Isle Royale, and other unique spots outside of Duluth.

They also offer snowshoe trips in the winter.

Duluth-Superior Excursions – Vista Fleet

Address: 323 Harbor Dr., Duluth, Minnesota 55802

Duluth-Superior Excursions, also known as Vista Fleet, operates a number of charter boats out of Duluth on Lake Superior. They are a great way to see the lake and to see Duluth and Canal Park from the water.

They offer both dining and sightseeing tours.

I’d Rather Be Fishing Lake Superior

Address: Baywalk, Duluth, MN 55802

I’d Rather Be Fishing Lake Superior offers guided fishing charters on Lake Superior right from the harbor by Canal Park. If you are looking for an exciting outdoor adventure and the chance to catch some monster Lake Trout, then this is for you.

Canal Park Helicopter Tour

Address: 4525 Airport Approach Rd, Duluth, MN 55811

Lake Superior Helicopters offers aerial helicopter tours of Duluth. It is one of the best ways to see the city and Canal Park.

A tour of Duluth takes about 15 minutes. You can also opt for longer tours of the North Shore.

Top Hat Horse Carriage

Address: Parking lot, Corner of Canal Park Drive & Morse Street, Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

Top Hat Horse Carriage offers old-school horse and buggy tours of Canal Park. Tours start at 1PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They offer a number of options, including sleigh rides in the winter.

Spirit Mountain

Address: 9500 Spirit Mountain Pl, Duluth, MN 55810

Spirit Mountain is a year-round destination for outdoor recreation. Most know it as a downhill skiing destination. It is also home to miles of cross-country skiing trails, mountain biking, summer camps, a camp ground, and an adventure park.

The Adventure Park has a zip line, alpine coaster, scenic chairlift rides, a giant jumping pillow, disc golf, and more.

Things to Do in Canal Park – Parks and Beaches

Things to do in Canal Park, Duluth, MN k- Park Point Beach
Image: Patrick Morgan

Canal Park is surrounded by Lake Superior, which lends itself to creating wonderful beaches and parks. Below are our favorite parks and beaches in or near Canal Park.

Park Point Beach & Beach House

Address: 45th Street & Minnesota Avenue, Duluth, MN

Park Point Beach is located at the end of Minnesota Avenue and is a popular summer destination for swimming and beach activities. The park has sand volleyball courts, multiple pavilions with grills, and a boat launch.

Best of all, it is walking distance from Canal Park!

Playfront Park

Address: 7243 Superior Hiking Trail, Duluth, MN 55802

Playfront Park is a playground that is part of Bayfront Festival Park. It is home to swings and a bunch of jungle gyms. It is the perfect place for little ones to burn off some steam!

Bayfront Festival Park

Address: 7243 Superior Hiking Trail, Duluth, MN 55802

Bayfront Festival Park is home to a variety of events and activities throughout the year. It hosts many festivals featuring music, entertainment, art, and food. It is also a nice spot to walk around and enjoy scenic views of Duluth and Lake Superior.

Ice Skating at Bayfront Festival Park

Address: 7243 Superior Hiking Trail, Duluth, MN 55802

In the Winter, the city installs an ice skating rink and holiday lights at Bayfront Festival Park, so be sure to pack those ice skates! You can also rent them on site.

Sister Cities Park

Address: The Lakewalk, Duluth, MN 55802

Sister Cities Park honors Duluth’s sister cities of Vaxjo, Sweden; Petrozavodsk, Russia; Ohara-Isumi, Japan; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Rania, Iraqi-Kurdistan. It features beautiful gardens and artwork and connects The Lakewalk to Gichi Ode’ Akiing Park.

Duluth Lakewalk

The Lakewalk consists of almost eight miles of paved walking and biking trails stretching from Bayfront Park to Brighton Beach (Kitchi Gammi Park), with most of it along Lake Superior.

It is accessible from Canal Park and is a wonderful way to see the city and Lake Superior.

Things to Do in Canal Park – Shopping

Things to do in Canal Park Duluth - Shopping at the famous Duluth Pack Store
Image: Andy Schei

Who doens’t love a little shopping? Canal Park is home to a number of wonderful small shops. Below is just a sample of our favorites.

Duluth Pack Store

Address: 365 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

Duluth Pack honors the traditions of Northern Minnesota’s Canoe Country. Check out their hand-crafted bags and walks of camping and hiking gear. The craftsmanship is second to none.

I Love Duluth

Address: 345 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

I Love Duluth is a local clothing, gift, and souvenir shop. There are literally hundreds of different t-shirts and sweatshirts on display. Just be careful with kids. They’re bound to walk out of there with something they really don’t need.

Global Village

Address: 501 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Global Village sells modern and traditional ethnic clothng and accessories. They have large collections of fine and fair trade jewelry, postcards and cards, and armoatic incense.

DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace

Address: 394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

The Dewitt-Seitz Building is a historic commerical building in Canal Park, Duluth. It is home to a number of restaurants, may of which are featured in our 32 Best Places to Eat in Canal Park, Duluth, MN guide. There are also toy stores, chocolatiers, clothing stores, and more.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Address: 395 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a sweet shop offering premium chocolate, confections, cocoa, and gift baskets. The caramel apples are to die for!

Hepzibah’s Sweet Shop

Address: 394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Hepzibah’s Sweet Shop is located in the historic DeWitt-Seitz Building. They are known for their award winning truffles, locally made fudge, and chocolate iron-ore boats.

Things to Do in Canal Park – Food and Drinks

Fun Things to Do in Canal Park Duluth - Beer at Canal Park Brewing Company

Canal Park has a high concentration of restaurants and bars. Below are some of the more iconic ones. If you are looking for a more comprehensive lise, then check out our 32 Best Places to Eat in Canal Park, Duluth, MN guide to eating in Canal Park.

Love Creamery Canal Park

Address: 366 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Love Creamery is located in the heart of Canal Park. They serve 16 different dairy and vegan ice cream flavors. Love Creamery is a Duluth cult classic and cannot be missed.

Vikre Distillery Tour

Address: 525 S Lake Ave #102, Duluth, MN 55802

Vikre Distillery is best known for their unique Gins. Boreal Cedar Gin and Boreal Spruce Gin are excellent. They also make a very nice vodka. It is just steps from Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge.

Stop by for a tasting and tour of their ultra modern distillery.

Canal Park Brewing Company

Address: 300 Canal Park Dr, Duluth, MN 55802

Canal Park Brewing Company is located in the heart of Duluth’s Canal Park neighborhood and is a local favorite. This solar-powered, family-owned brewery is known for its good ales, excellent food, and amazing views of Lake Superior.

Nut Hatchet Brown Ale and Stoned Surf IPA are crowd favorites. They also serve craft cocktails and wine.

Love Beer? Then check out our guide to the 21 Best North Shore Breweries in Minnesota.

Grandma’s Restaurant & Saloon

Address: 522 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Grandma’s Saloon and Grill is a Canal Park favorite. It has been operating in Duluth since the 1970s and is named after Rosa Brochi, “Grandma.” Rosa ran one of Duluth’s first boarding houses for lonely sailors coming off of Lake Superior.

Grandma left the US during WWII and went off to Europe to help with the war efforts. She was never heard from again. In her honor, her sons started Grandma’s Saloon and the rest is history!

Grandma’s is located in the heart of Canal Park and can’t be missed. We love the unique decor and expansive menu. It is a great place for a family dinner, but be forewarned, Grandma’s gets pretty rowdy late at night when the University of Minnesota-Duluth crowd pours down the hillside.

Things to Do Outside of Canal Park

Fun things to do in Duluth, MN - Visit Glensheen Mansion
Image: Glensheen Mansion

Finally, Duluth has a lot to offer that is outside of Canal Park. Below are some of our favorites that are worth the short drive.

Brighton Beach Park (Kitchi Gammi)

Address: 7030 Congdon Blvd, Duluth, MN 55804

Brighton Beach Park, also called Kitchi Gammi Park, is located at the far east end of Duluth. It is the terminus of the Duluth Lakewalk and is famous for its stone-covered Brighton Beach.

Enger Tower

Address: 1601 Enger Tower Dr, Duluth, MN 55806

Enger Towers is located in Enger Park on Duluth’s West End. In additon to Enger Tower, the park includes the American-Japanese Peace Bell. It is a popular spot for picnics and weddings.

Glensheen Mansion

Address: 3300 London Rd, Duluth, MN 55804

Glensheen Mansion, the Historic Congdon Estate, is a 20,000 square foor, 39 room mansion on the shores of Lake Superior. It is open for guided and self-guided tours and is one of Duluth’s more popular attractions.

Leif Erickson Park

Address: 1301 London Rd, Duluth, MN 55805

Leif Erickson Park is located about halfway up the Duluth Lakewalk. It is a popular park with a small stage for events, rose garden, and magnificent views of Lake Superior.

Duluth’s Rose Garden

Address: 1301 London Rd, Duluth, MN 55805

The Rose Garden is a 4.5 acre portion of Leif Erikson Park. It features over 3,000 rose bushes and other plants, a statue of Leif Erikson, the Stone Memorial Foundain, and a beautiful Gazebo.

Lake Superior Zoo

Address: 7210 Fremont St, Duluth, MN 55807

The Lake Superior Zoo, previously called the Duluth Zoo, is a fun family-focused attraction. You can see everything from local wildlife like Eagles and Wolves to foreign critters like an African Lion and a Snow Leopord

State Parks

Address: Various

Canal Park is close to a number of great state parks that line the shores of Lake Superior. Four popular parks include Jay Cooke State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock State Park, and Tettagouche State Park.

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