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> Help On Minnesota North Shore, Help on Minnesota North Shore amount of time to stay at Duluth, Two Ha
post Mar 23 2010, 12:43 PM
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We are looking at a summer trip to the North Shore of Minnesota. We live in west-central MN and would like to drive to Duluth and arrive on Saturday, July 17. We plan to go to the airshow on Sunday, July 18. After touring Duluth a bit, we would like to make our way up to Grand Portage stopping at interesting sites along the way. From there we would like to make our way over to see the Soudan Underground Mine (Ely area) and then the Hill Annex Mine (Grand Rapids/Hibbing area), lastly we would like to spend some time at Itasca State Park.

If we were going to do all this in a week so we could arrive at our home (about 2-3 hours from Itasca) on Sunday, July 25, where would you recommend we stay and for how long. You don't have to recommend certain campgrounds unless you'd like to, but even a general area like "around Grand Marais for two nights" would be helpful. I'd like to make reservations now but I just don't have a good feel for how much time to spend where.

We have 4.5 and 7 year old children so we need to keep in mind activities they will enjoy as well. We will be pulling a 33 foot 5th wheel.

Thank you!
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Jerry S
post Mar 23 2010, 10:28 PM
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Hi Wal1,

Since you live in MN, I am surprised that you are not more familiar with the North Shore from Duluth to Grand Portage. I have done the road several times over the years and stayed in Duluth as recently as 2 summers ago. That said, I think the key for your trip is that you will have 2 young kids to keep happy (parks with playgrounds and pools, for example). Once you head northeast from Duluth, these kinds of RV parks are almost non-existent.

In the Duluth area, I think the most intesting place to "camp" is Lakehead Basin (or a name close to that) - check the reviews on this site.) It can be difficult to get a site at the park and, I would imagine, even more so on a weekend with a local air show going on. I don't know if there is a way to do so at this time of year, but I would try to contact them as soon as possible if you want to stay at this park the first weekend of your trip.

I've never stayed at any of the other parks listed under Duluth and, from reading the reviews, none of them seem that impressive. I have, however, stayed at the KOA in Cloquet, MN just southwest of Duluth and Northland Camping in Supeior, WI. They both have pools and things o keep kids occuppied. You can drive into Duluth easily from these parks.

On the North Shore, I have stayed only at Grand Marais (City Park) and Grand Portage (a small casino parking area for RVs). You can see their reviews , as well as others along the road, on this site. If you don't see a park between Duluth and Grand Marasis that appeals to you, you could use the park in Grand Marais as a base for days trips. Among the many sights along the road are Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse, and Grand Portage National Monument at the Canadian border.

As far as your schedule goes, it appears that you will be spending at least 2 days (Sat. and Sun.) in the Duluth area. You might even want to add Monday if you are staying at Cloquet or Superior and enjoy the park. It would be nice if you could find a place to stay between Duluth and Grand Marais for one night, but if not, I see no problem spending the the rest of your time parked at Grand Marais (to use as a touring base as previously mentioned). This park is quite popular in the summer, so you may have a problem getting Fri. and Sat. at the end of your trip. So my suggestion is: 2-3 days in Duluth area, one day enroute (Two Harbors or Silver Bay or a state park), and 3-4 days at Grand Marais. From the information in your post, you can make it home from Grand Marais in 5-6 hours on Sunday.

Good luck with the planning and enjoy the trip.
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