Last weekend Anne and I decided to go for an overnight excursion to Duluth. It was a well needed getaway and it ended up being a very fun and relaxing weekend. Usually when we have gone to Duluth in the past it has been with other friend and we almost always stay at the Casino outside of town. While it's always fun, I never really get the chance to walk around downtown to take photos. This time around, since it was just Anne and I we chose to stay right downtown at the Radisson Hotel, which eventually allowed us to walk everywhere instead of driving. Of course, I was in heaven, because I finally got the chance to take lots of photos.
Before we got to Duluth we had to drive there of course. Seeing as how it was a very laid back trip, we made sure to take our time getting there and stop along the way. Every time we have driven there in the past I have always seen a few spots where I wanted to stop but we had always been in somewhat of a hurry, or with other people.
The first spot we stopped out was one of the beach areas on the way to Grand Marais. The waves were quite big and the weather for the whole day was just fantastic. After a few photos of Anne posing for me we made our way to Grand Marais. Although I did stop one more time to get a great shot of this old abandoned cabin on the side of the road.
Once we got to Grand Marais, we had a quick bite to eat at the local diner and walked around the city a bit more. We could have easily walked around a lot longer since it was so nice, but we still wanted to leave enough time in Duluth to explore.
We arrived in Duluth at around 3 I think, and immediately checked in. The Radisson, which we had never stayed at before, was almost retro which was kind of cool. The room we stayed in was nice though so we were very pleased with the hotel over all. After resting for a bit, we dressed for the nice weather and headed down Canal Park. It was very cool walking through the city and being able to capture some shots of all the structures. We don't really have that in Thunder Bay obviously.
The waterfront trail at Canal Park was kind of snowy so we didn't go right out to the lighthouse but we still managed to cross the main bridge and then eventually take the waterfront trail back to our hotel. Not before we stopped in for a drink at Grandma's at their upstairs bar. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing a bit, followed by another drink at the hotel bar and then back downtown to the Canal Brewery for some dinner. It was a great atmosphere in there and we met a few really cool people while sitting at the bar.
The next morning we had breakfast at the restaurant at the top of the hotel which slowly rotated allowing for a full 360 view of Duluth. If you haven't yet, definitely check it out and bring a camera. Next we go we are going to go up at night time to get some dusk shots.
One of my favourite parts of the trip was just after breakfast once we checked out. We headed to the island across the bridge all the way to the tip. It's still winter out there but along the coast there are sand dunes. Even in the snow they looked so cool. I came away with so many great photos, of course, many of them with Anne posing for me. After making a few more stops along the way we headed home. Just as we were leaving Duluth, we noticed people surfing at the beach just on the edge of town. Of course, we parked and I took some photos of the crazy surfers, with one of them actually posing for me before going in.
The next stop on our way back home was in Two Harbours. I couldn't wait to go down to the waterfront there as I had never been and didn't really know what to expect. It was so very cool. They had huge steel barges, if that is what you call them. I couldn't get over how big the were. Then just down the road, there was a light house area with a super long walkway. In the summer we will definitely have to walk out there but it was too dangerous to do so this time of year. In a couple photos you can see just how big some of the waves were.
After spending a bit of time there we headed back out onto the highway. Just outside of the city we decided to stop for some pie at Betty's Pies. Unfortunately, it didn't really go as planned. We waited for 30 minutes for a seat. Once we sat down, Anne was super excited to order her apple pie, only to find out they were OUT!! Seriously, what kind of pie place runs out of apple pie, the most popular pie in the world. We were not impressed and I felt so bad for Anne as she was really looking forward to it. Ah well.
Before we got to Grand Marais, we made one final stop at one of the parks along the way. Everything there was frozen, and it was probably one of the coolest stops our road trip. I came away with some fantastic photos, not only of Anne, but of the scenery as well. There are a lot of photos in this in this post, more than usual, but I actually had to narrow it down from about 300.
Our last stop was indeed Grand Marais for some pizza at Sven and Oles. It was well worth the trek, the pizza was fantastic and we even had leftovers for Noah. The border stop going home was easy and before we knew it we were at home. I had such a great time and so did Annne. She was so patient with me taking photos and making stops along the way. She never complained about posing or taking too long either. I can't wait for our next road trip in the summer to the West Coast.
For anyone interested, I used two cameras for this trip. The Fuji X-T1 paired with the 16-55mm lense and the 35mm 1.4. I also brought along the X100s for those times when I wanted something quick. Most of the photos below were taken with the X-T1 though. Thanks for viewing.