Not your typical Duluth Visit

Where can I take hipster guests that is off the beaten path. Fun trails? Goofy shops? A-typical eating? Quirky destinations?

For instance, I’ve heard of Graffiti Graveyard, but I have no idea where it is – would this be a neat place to show someone interested in “real” Duluth and has already ohhh’d and ahhhh’d over the bridge?

What other neato gems are there out there?

29 Comments

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Perhaps a hike to the end of MN point, past the old buildings. Go up Congdon park, climb the Rock Knob at Hartley, go up to Stoney Point, or along Seven Bridges Road, eat at Hugos, Sala Tai, Lotus Inn, Duluth Grille (although I suppose that doesn't really count as it was on TV) or Italian Village. A movie at Zinema. Poke around Central Sales. It's not "quirky" but the Tweed has a really good exhibit right now, or go to the Karpeles. See if you can talk to Dick Rosvall and look around his place/studio.

Vicarious

about 9 years ago

This is probably obvious, but bring them to the Anchor Bar.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Of the ideas that came up on a similar post from five years ago, I would recommend hiking/biking the railroad tunnel under Ely's Peak, and hiking to the top. Tourists seldom do that.

A fun place for locals to check out is Grassy Point. There's almost no hike involved; it's just an interesting spot to mill around if you feel like you've been to all the other nature spots in town before.

I wrote an article on this subject for Lake Superior Magazine in 2006:

Not-so-secret Twin Ports Treasures

Two updates on that article:

The Puglisi Gun Emporium has expanded since that story was written, taking over the space formerly occupied by the Congress Bar. Sadly, owner Jack Puglisi died in July.

The Boathouse Restaurant closed in 2008. The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is taking over the building.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

Some places we take visitors:

Central Ave Tour: Sample Saturday at Italian Village, Beaner's, Central Sales.

Big Daddy's for fries. 

Carmody for the Irish jam on Thursdays. Sir Ben's for the Celtic/old time jam after that.

Hawk Ridge. Swimming at Smiley's.

Gelato at Va Bene. Sandwiches at the Northern Waters Smokehaus.

Biking on the Munger Trail. Rent from the Munger Inn if you don't have bikes. Go up through spectacular rock cuts and view the Environmental Superfund site.

Feed seagulls and throw rocks at Brighton Beach.

HappyHippo

about 9 years ago

Feed seagulls and throw rocks at Brighton Beach.

Don't you mean "Throw rocks at seagulls at Brighton Beach"?  Let's not encourage anyone to feed the skyrats.

Les F

about 9 years ago

Okay... what is Central Sales?  I Googled it and all I can find is something listed as Auto Parts/Muffler Shop. Gotta be more to it, or its the wrong place.

matilda

about 9 years ago

"This is probably obvious, but bring them to the Anchor Bar.

Vicarious"

The comment has it's virtues, the Anchor is grand. One extra virtue should not go missed, I might add! See, you've already started to pick up the flavor of Duluth. Misuse of 'bring' and 'take' is rampant here, and Duluthians are utterly incapable of understanding the difference even when it is explained clearly.  The proper thing to say would be 'take them to the Anchor Bar', unless it's being spoken by someone already at the Anchor Bar.

matilda

about 9 years ago

"Okay... what is Central Sales? I Googled it and all I can find is something listed as Auto Parts/Muffler Shop. Gotta be more to it, or its the wrong place.

Les F"

You have to go there to fully appreciate Central Sales. Think of it as a hardware store from the time before hardware stores, or like your Uncle's giant insane garage full of motor parts, 1962 government rainwater cylinders, old fishing lures, pieces of computers, amplifiers, dishwashers, windshield wipers, screws and do-it-yourself surveillance systems from 1978. Best shopping Duluth has to offer.

Cheryl

about 9 years ago

Central Sales is a store that has odd items sort of like a combo of a thrift store/hardware store.  You can find items no one else has.

Les F

about 9 years ago

Okay, its on my list.  I am out that way visiting next week so will check it out. Thanks!

zra

about 9 years ago

Please don't feed the seagulls. Really.

Lucie1970

about 9 years ago

Wow, thank you all. 
And Paul, I would love to read your article if you can did it up.

hausen

about 9 years ago

Go check out the S.S. Meteor - she's sorta the William A. Irvin's older, secretly more significant, down-on-its-luck crusty hipster cousin.  Might want to call ahead to find out which days they're actually open - it's usually pretty quiet which means you might get a one on one tour with a very knowledgeable and salty tour guide.  

If your friends get a kick out of her you can take a quick driving tour afterward and show them three almost totally ignored and very historically significant lakers that are languishing a mile or two away:  the retired J.B. Ford (107-year-old freighter that looks almost exactly like it did when it entered service in 1904) visible to the east of Main Street on Connors Point, docked just ahead of all those tugboats; the laid-up American Victory (built as a oceangoing Navy tanker during WWII, served in the Pacific Theater and shot down enemy aircraft before being converted to a laker) towering just to the west of the same stretch of Main Street, and the laid-up Edward L. Ryerson (art-deco naval architectural masterpiece / iron ore carrier) sitting proudly at the intersection of E 1st St and Cumming Ave.

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/historic/perspectives/JBFord/default.htm

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/amvictory.htm

http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/elr.htm

zra

about 9 years ago

Bring back the Ryerson! She's such a gorgeous ship.

She's been laid up for what three, four years now? Does anyone have any idea why she hasn't been put to use?

Vicarious

about 9 years ago

I both earned and deserved that grammatical burn. 

But, wait! I was at the Anchor Bar when I wrote the comment, so I was grammatically correct!

(No I wasn't.)

adam

about 9 years ago

I think you can rent Jody Kujawa by the hour.

Claire

about 9 years ago

If they are here on a Saturday, the Saratoga has amazing jazz shows w/o cover. We just heard Tanya and Greg Moore perform yesterday afternoon, it was fabulous! Friendly, friendly crowd, and the place is a trip.

Lojasmo

about 9 years ago

The hike from fourth street to the lake along Chester creek is interesting if you don't bring a light source, and are tripping on shrooms...in a zombie sort of way.

Grafitti graveyard is awesome, but wear hard soled shoes to avoid the junkie needles.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

Zra, why shouldn't I feed the gulls at Brighton Beach?

Ramos

about 9 years ago

Lucie, Graffiti Graveyard isn't someplace you can just casually stroll through. There is some edging along ledges and clambering over walls involved (well, one wall).

It is easy to find, though. GG is across Railroad Street from Bayfront Park, under the freeway. Just go poke your nose down there and you'll find it. Look for the graffiti.

zra

about 9 years ago

Feeding the gulls is bad. Period. They become a nuisance to others by teaching them that humans are food sources.

Need

about 9 years ago

Look for the abandoned graveyard.

The Big E

about 9 years ago

I am not a naval architect (IANANA) but my understanding of why the Ryerson has spent much of the 21st century in mothballs is that:

1.  It's a steamer, rather than diesel-powered, thus it's less fuel-efficient/more expensive to operate.
2.  Part of the reason we all think it looks so sweet (not all the reason, mind you) is because it lacks a self-unloading boom, so it can't work some of the ports on the lakes that it otherwise might. 
3. "the bulk carrier was built with one cargo in mind; that being iron ore.  Her basically square boxed holds do not favor the carrying of such other bulk cargoes as coal, slag, or limestone due to the difficulty in unloading these cargoes.  Any thoughts of conversion to a self-unloader would be even more difficult and expensive as her holds would have to be reconfigured with sloped sides to allow for the free movement of the cargo to the self-unloading conveyor(s)."

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

Every time I see the Ryerson coming up over the bridge I think of Groundhog Day:

Dave

about 9 years ago

Hiking up the Chester Creek trail and climbing the ski jump at night gives you a great view of Duluth and Superior.

Gary

about 9 years ago

Take them to the new Duluth Art Institute exhibition, which opens tomorrow.  The artist, Adam Swanson, does some very cool stuff that your friend might dig.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

I should also have mentioned Karpela's Manuscript Library.

Les F

about 9 years ago

Was in the area last week... Thanks for the tipoff about Central Sales... that was a cool place.  Saw stuff I haven't seen in years.  (As well as a lot of newer stuff too). Everything from new hardware to Zip drives (remember when 100mb on a floppy was a miracle??!)  Was worth the time spent just walking around looking. There is a case of "New Kids On the Block" plastic mugs upstairs... for when you have no idea what to give as a gift... heh heh heh...

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