Duluth is an adventurous city known for its virtually limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation, and it’s stunning natural beauty. Nestled along the shores of Lake Superior, Duluth truly offers it all. Duluth is a city where you can choose to nurture your adventurous side, spend your days relaxing, or let your creative side shine in the city’s many artistic and entertainment venues. It is a city with a thriving arts community, world-class breweries and restaurants, rocky cliffs and pristine trail-laden forests, and a beautiful harbor perfect for afternoon ship watching through Duluth’s iconic Aerial Lift Bridge. It doesn’t matter what plans you make while here; all that matters is that you enjoy what is sure to be an unforgettable vacation. Relax in style at our luxurious Duluth Inn this summer. Book your room at the A.G. Thomson House today!
Ship watching in Duluth
Though it may seem simplistic at first glance, watching ships pull into the Duluth harbor through the Aerial Lift Bridge is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. Several decades ago, ships were considered part of the industrial landscape. Today, Duluth is the cargo capital of the Great Lakes, with over 1,000 ships that pull into Duluth’s harbor each year. Ship Watching today is considered to be something of a romantic activity, and one we encourage all of our guests to enjoy whenever possible.
The season usually begins around the end of March when the ice begins to break, and continues through January, until the harbor is no longer navigable. The Lake Superior Maritime Museum recently started a new ship watching guide, Harbor Lookout, which is a great resource for keeping track of who is coming into the harbor and when. Why would you want to know Duluth’s shipping schedule? It’s simple: So you can rush down to the harbor, and get a firsthand glimpse of these majestic ships coming through Duluth’s iconic Aerial Lift Bridge.
Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge
The Aerial Lift Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world. It was originally completed in 1905, and continues to be a modern marvel, and a truly spectacular sight to see. In 1929, the Aerial Lift Bridge was modified to add the elevated roadway. It remains a rare example of this type of bridge building, and certainly a sight to behold. To this day, when the bell on the bridge begins to ring, floods of people make their way down to watch the steel bridge deck lift, letting in whichever ship is pulling into port.
Great places to watch the boats coming and going in Duluth’s harbor are Canal Park, the Lakewalk, and along the Superior Entry at the tip of Wisconsin Point. You can either drive to superior entry or walk there from the Minnesota side on the Park Point Trail. For a more in depth look at Duluth’s shipping history, visit the free Lake Superior Marine Museum, which also gives daily programs and pier history walks in summer. The Vista Fleet also offers visitors an informative 1½-hour narrated cruise from early May through October.
No matter how or when you choose to experience it, watching these giant vessels maneuver into Duluth’s harbor and through the Aerial Lift Bridge will be an experience you won’t soon forget. Book a room with us at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast, and let us help you create the perfect itinerary for your time in Duluth.