Hi, ya! A quick reminder that we’re on the clock. The summer season we’ve waited for with all our determination, grit and Minnesota-might has arrived in all her glory. Time to pay tribute to the warmer weather + memorable North Shore activities we wait for each year. Grab your cuties, gear, camera and let’s go…

So, this post highlights my personal favorite summertime joys, seasonal spectacles and bits of beauty along Minnesota’s North Shore. It’s a collection of photo outtakes over the past years mostly from family adventures. For example, the wonderful photo above our awesome nephew Sean and niece Maggie, was snapped by my brother and SIL while their family was spending time at our condo 142C 🙂 Hope you enjoy all the things that draw us back to Lutsen  each summer.

Sunrise over Lake Superior, Sugarloaf Cove, MN

Let’s start with captivating sunrises over Lake Superior. Set the alarm. Channel your inner early bird. I promise, you will never regret sitting alongside the lake at the break of dawn, soaking in the solitude, basking in the beauty…experiencing the reverence. This vista was taken from Sugarloaf Cove, 6.21.18. p.s. This is a free activity! #nofilter

Fun memories made along Lake Superior, Lutsen MinnesotaNext, make a point to adventure down to the Lake with someone dear who holds a special place in your heart. Grab a handful of rocks and take turns sending them back with a splash. Practice skipping. Let your toes dip into the water’s coolness. Hug that amazing gift of a person you cherish. Count your blessings. Hug her again. This is my extra-amazing niece Maggie, photo snapped by my brother and SIL ♥ 8/2017. This activity is also free. #nofilter

Smores in Lutsen MN around the campfire

Hungry? Invite your honey or besties – or both – to the campfire. Dig through the cupboard for graham crackers, marshmallows, and something chocolate. Improvise if needed – chocolate frosting, M&Ms, chocolate chips, etc. Find a roasting stick and enjoy the triple-deliciousness of this iconic summertime treat. Make a few extras for friends – or to share with strangers. Sweet!

Swimming at Caribou Highlands, Lutsen MN

Take a dip! Splash around. Practice your diving skills. Cannonball! Many North Shore resorts offer this fun amenity; at Caribou Highlands, there’s both indoor and outdoor pool options. Or, braver souls, wade your way into the Big Lake. Eric, Evan, Zach and Carson, you’re ahead of me! (p.s. please please be careful and wear a life jacket – the lake is so so so cold!)

Swimming Lake Superior, Lutsen MN

Superior Hiking Trail, Lutsen, Minnesota

Hit the trails, peeps. This happens to be Evan’s favorite North Shore activity. The Superior Hiking Trails are highly recommend. These pathways through pristine forest and rugged wilderness are typically well maintained and easy to navigate. The Minneapolis Star Tribune just featured a wonderful, picturesque report on the SHT – check it out. The Minnesota State Parks also offer epic trekking options. Near to Lutsen, we love Cascade, Temperance, Grand Portage and Judge C. R. Magney State Parks.

Exploring Lake Superior with kids near Lutsen, MN

Your choice. Walk – or run – along the trails to discover Minnesota’s majesty. This quick snap was from Joe or Katie’s camera, keeping up with Maggie! Again, this is pretty much a freebie once you purchase an annual Minnesota State Parks pass for just $35.

The Angry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais, MN

After hiking and swimming, hunger hits hard. Try dinner of the freshest variety at The Angry Trout Cafe in Grand Marais. Please let me introduce you to my all-time favorite entree: Shiitake Mushroom kabobs with pasta, pesto, seasonal veggies and a glass of vino. Sit outside and enjoy the beautiful harbor. Watch the ships sail. You may even spot a playful otter pulling a few shenanigans.  Make sure to invite those dear hearts and gentle souls you love the most.

Tee up the fun…mini style. In Grand Marais, swing in to Putt ‘n Pets for a relaxed game of 18 holes. Meet the welcome committee of goats, I think Oreo is our favorite, and peacocks and hens that live around the course perimeter. Or, if you’re more of a go-big-or-go-home type golfer, play Superior National in Lutsen. You can take a peek at our highlights post from last summer’s nine.

Ok, we’re approaching our next-to-last favorite summertime stop, transitioning from holes-in-one to donuts with and without holes – you can choose! Be sure to visit Grand Marais’ World’s Best Donuts.  So many tasty options; just make sure to get there before they run out, or call ahead to reserve your stash and the friendly staff will set an order aside for you. Yes, that’s small-town, from-the-heart service!


Wildflowers along the hillside in Lutsen, MN

Let’s close with a happy snap of North Shore wildflowers. They literally bloom everywhere all season. Again, these come free of charge! #nofilter

I know…I’ve skipped some really fun and crazy-beautiful summertime things to do along the North Shore. Maybe I’ll gather my thoughts and create a follow-up post. Or, let me know your favorite activity – we can share notes!

Until then, dear friends, grab on to summer with both hands and with all your heart.

This story first appeared on From Lutsen with Love in July 2018. All reflections and images are my own editorial observations.

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