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8 great scenic drives

By: Matt Hickman on May 3, 2011, 8:44 a.m.
white tipped poles line road by water, cliff

Photo: North Shore: [bmw]/Flickr

6 of 10

North Shore Scenic Drive (Minnesota State Highway 61)

Location: Minnesota

Length: 154 miles

Recommended drive time: One to two days

Scenery: Hugging the rocky north shore of Lake Superior is Minnesota State Highway 61. Spanning from Duluth to the U.S. border near Grand Portage, there’s no shortage of dramatic lake vistas, pristine state parks (eight in total) and rugged, mountainous wilderness areas along this scenic route. Stop for smoked fish and photo ops aplenty.

Highlights: Gooseberry Falls State ParkSuperior National ForestTettegouch State ParkGrand Portage National Monument

Refuel at: Angry Trout Café, Grand Marais; Bridgeman’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor, Duluth; Russ Kendall’s Smoke House, Knife River

Pull over (for the night) at: Bluefin Bay, Tofte; Northern Rail Traincar Suites, Two Harbors

Stretch your legs at: Split Rock Lighthouse

Cultural diversion: North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum

Required listening: Bob Dylan, “Highway 61 Revisited”

Do you remember that town named … Castle Danger, Knife River?