Last week we escaped north to Lake Superior for a couple nights of dog friendly travel in Duluth, Minnesota. We ended up with better weather than we had expected (always a nice surprise!) but did have to dodge rain a time or two. Even with cooler temperatures and a bit of rain, we managed to keep ourselves and Walter very happy and entertained during our time in Duluth, and are excited to share our tips with you! We’ve included suggestions to help you start building your Duluth itinerary and would also suggest checking out the Visit Duluth website for additional ideas!
Fitger’s Inn has a selection of dog friendly rooms, but you’ll want to make reservations in advance to make sure you secure one before they book up. This is a great place to stay with your dog because the entire complex is dog friendly! Fitger’s Inn has taken what was once their old brewery building and turned it into a mall. It’s kind of a labyrinth of cool shops, restaurants, a brewery and little pubs. It has a european feel and it was easy to imagine we were back in Germany or Austria! Plus, your dog can go into any of the shops, a couple of the bars and is welcome on the patios!
Fitger’s has a great location, with the lakefront and canal park within easy walking distance. We found the area around Fitger’s to be very dog friendly and enjoyed the river walk as a good spot for Walter’s potty breaks. If you plan on biking you’ll appreciate easy access to the city’s bike paths and the fact that Fitger’s is down along the lake front, where it’s flat, and you can get to a lot of great places while avoiding the steep hills. We’d like to thank Visit Duluth for help with arranging our dog-friendly lodging!
A Place for Fido – This is an amazing little pet shop located inside Fitger’s (as mentioned, this entire mall is dog friendly). Take your pooch in there to sample a free treat and to pick up a bag of something yummy to enjoy on his vacation! We got Walter a new harness and a bag of Bark Pops. We really appreciated the employees knowledge of the brands they carried and each product’s features and were really happy with the new harness!
Matilda’s Dog Bakery – This is another fun store to take your dog to. Not only is it dog friendly, but it is full of fresh, healthy, home made dog biscuits and treats! Walter was beside himself with all the delicious smells! We ended up grabbing him a bag of their Peanut Butter, Bacon and Maple biscuits and he’s totally wild about them! While you’re in the area grab a human treat and cup of coffee at Johnson Bakery. Their maple longjohn was the best I’ve ever had in my life, hands down (I gushed all about it on Yelp)
Enjoy the Lakewalk– Duluth has a great lakefront park with trails and bike paths. It’s a great place to bike, walk your dog, jog or just enjoy the views. It starts at Canal Park, where you’ll find a variety or restaurants, bars, breweries and shops (more about those, below), and extends 7 miles to 60th Avenue East!
Canal Park – Dubbed as “Duluth’s Playground” this central spot has great views of the lake, a lighthouse, and access to rocky shorelines and pebble beaches as well as a host of bars, restaurants and shops! The system of bike and walking paths makes it easy to access and get around.
Get Ice Cream – the adorable PortLand Malt Shoppe is super Instagrammy and serves up delicious scoops. Grab one and enjoy it lakeside while your furry friend chases the Lake Superior waves.
Drive the North Shore – Take highway 61 north out of Duluth 40 miles towards Beaver Bay. Along the way you can tour Glensheen Mansion (if your dog can be safe in the car, depending on weather), enjoy lake views (highway 61 hugs the shoreline the entire way!), stop at Castle Danger Brewing in Two Harbors (dog friendly on the patio), hike with your dog at Gooseberry Falls, and if you want to drive even further north you can get some amazing photos at Palisade Head. This website has a beautiful North Shore Drive itinerary that starts in Duluth and ends in Portage (142 miles).
These Duluth dining options are all dog friendly on the patio!
Canal Park Brewing – This one has a fire pit, so it’s a great option for a cold beer or meal if the temperatures are a little on the cool side. We didn’t eat here but the beer and patio get four paws up!
Northern Waters Smokehaus – Their menu is incredible, highly rated, and they allow dogs on the patio (dog bowls and treats, too)! (their Instagram account, @northernwaters_restaurant, had me drooling before we even left for the trip).
Vitta Pizza – Great pizza (came highly recommended from a friend) and a dog friendly patio.
Little Angie’s Cantina – If you’re feeling Mexican food this little cantina will do the trick! Your dog is welcome to join you on the patio.
Do you have a dog friendly recommendation or something you think we missed during our trip to Duluth, Minnesota! Leave a comment and let us know, we’re hoping to get back up there soon!