12 Things to Do With Your Dog in Duluth-Superior in Winter
Updated: Feb 17
The Twin Ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI are the metro hubs along the western tip of Lake Superior. These cities are known for their long winters, but there’s plenty to do to make the most of cold weather in the North. It’s an easy 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the Twin Cities area. The Duluth-Superior area is home to plenty of parks and places to get outside, fun shopping, and lots of breweries, distilleries, and cideries!
There’s enough to keep you busy in this area for several days, even in the coldest months. Make Superior Serenity your home base. This brand new Airbnb is super dog friendly and comes with our favorite amenity of all: a fenced backyard! No need for chilly late night potty walks - just let the pups out to do their business.
Superior Serenity has a fully stocked kitchen (there’s even an air fryer and slow cooker), dog blankets so pups can join you for couch cuddles, and the most excellent coffee & cocoa bar setup you’ve ever seen. Bert and Ernie settled in so fast on our hosted visit to Superior Serenity - I think it felt like home to them.
(For tips on how to be a great Airbnb or hotel guest with your dog, check out this post.)
Here are 12 fun things to do with your pup on your next trip to the Twin Ports.
Hiking & Outdoors
1. Pattison State Park (WI)
Visit Big Manitou Falls, the tallest waterfall in Wisconsin and the 4th tallest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Easy walk to Big Manitou from the parking lot (<1/4 mile), and Little Manitou Falls is about a mile down the road, just a few steps from the satellite lot. You’ll need a Wisconsin State Parks annual pass for your vehicle, or pay the daily access fee ($8 for WI plates, $11 for out of state plates).
2. Park Point/Minnesota Point (MN)
Cross the Lift Bridge and keep going to reach Park Point beach. Dress warmly and stay away from the dangerously cold water, but enjoy winter scenes and plenty of snow.
3. Congdon Park (MN)
1.2 mile out & back trail in a Duluth city park on land donated by the Congdon family of the famed (and definitely haunted) Glensheen Estate. Trail runs along a creek with waterfalls . Some stairs - watch your step.
4. Wisconsin Point & Lighthouse (WI)
One of the longest freshwater sandbars in the world, separating Allouez Bay and Lake Superior. Look for the Superior Entry Lighthouse at the end of the point.
5. Jay Cooke State Park (MN)
Hugely popular Minnesota state park. Don’t miss a great photo op at the New Deal-era swinging bridge hanging over the St. Louis River. In winter, check out the Ogantz Trail, a 1.9 mile loop suitable for snowshoeing. Note this trail uses a separate parking lot than the swinging bridge - you’ll need to drive further into the park to access it. You’ll need a Minnesota State Parks annual pass for your vehicle, or pay the daily access fee ($7).
Eating & Drinking
6. Vikre Distillery (MN)
Vikre’s Lift Bridge-adjacent cocktail room is the only dog friendly indoor location we were able to find in Duluth-Superior! Enjoy a cocktail or two in this super chic distillery with your pup at your feet. Try something classic (a Manhattan perhaps?) or adventurous (maybe the “Hella Mirin” with vodka, gin, and pickled parsnip brine). Snackies available, but not a full meal.
7. Ursa Minor Brewing (MN)
The next-best thing to being inside with your pup is sitting on the partly enclosed patio at Ursa Minor - next to a heater, of course. Yummy and inventive pizzas (try the Wise Yker with smoked pork loin or the Nomad with wild rice sausage) and interesting brews will certainly have you bringing some cans home.
There are lots of cool breweries and cideries in Duluth/Superior, but many of them only allow dogs on patios, and most of these patios shut down for the wintertime. When you return in the warmer months, be sure to check out: Earth Rider Brewing (Superior), Bent Paddle Brewing Co (Duluth), Duluth Cider (Duluth), and Wild State Cider (Duluth).
8. Frost River Trading Co (MN)
Check out super durable and ruggedly stylish waxed canvas luggage here. Frost River will have you covered from laptop bags to heavy duty canoe packs, from choppers to firewood carriers and even beer koozies. Don’t miss the dog section with cool leather collars and nifty waxed canvas bowls for travel and adventures.
9. Flagship (MN)
Pups are welcome in this shop focused on local design and screenprinting. Pick up some Duluth/North Shore styled swag and grab a fresh bandana for your buddy, too.
10. Fitger’s Mall & Brewery Complex (MN)
This shopping center/hotel/restaurant complex is a great indoor spot to walk your dog on a cold Duluth day. While the restaurants don’t allow dogs inside, you can stroll between retail shops (including A Place for Fido and Fido’s Pawsome Gifts).
11. Aerial Lift Bridge & Canal Park (MN)
This Duluth icon has been the harbor sentinel since 1905 and still lifts up whenever a ship needs to pass through. Walk across on the protected pedestrian path from Canal Park to the Minnesota Point side. You can walk a little way down toward the lighthouse, but in winter the access area is closed due to heavy icing.
There’s plenty to see and do in Canal Park. Previously mentioned Vikre Distillery and Flagship are among the dog friendly locations. Meter parking on streets, or park for free in city lots from October to May.
12. Leif Erikson Park & Statue (MN)
Check out this 13 foot tall Viking statue at the entrance to Leif Erikson Park along the Lakewalk, nearly 8 miles of paved pedestrian and bike trail along the shore of Lake Superior.
Another great resource for Duluth-area dog friendly spots is DogApproved.biz. This site aggregates all sorts of places where pups are welcome. Look for their stickers in the windows of dog friendly businesses around town.
Are you ready to head north for a weekend of fun with your four legged friend? Let us know where you go on your trip to Superior and Duluth!