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Thank you for helping me spread my wings in 1000 things I’d never done before. I had the adventure of a lifetime. — Vicky M, NY
|Minnesota, USA||September 27 – October 1, 2017||$1,395|
Land of 10,000 lakes (more actually but Minnesotans don’t like to brag) and known as the Land of Sky Blue Water, Minnesota is a fall foliage and outdoor enthusiast’s playground. At the southwestern tip of Lake Superior sits Duluth, home to the world’s largest freshwater inland port. We’ll drive north along Minnesota’s North Shore Scenic Drive and visit the small towns, beautiful state parks, and more along the way. Grand Marais offers not only arts and cuisine along Lake Superior’s North Shore, but also serves as the gateway to the Gunflint Trail and the famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We’ll experience the beauty of these millions of acres of the Superior National Forest, rocky cliffs, serene inland lakes and wilderness streams plunging into waterfalls. We’ll enjoy this idyllic setting highlighting nature while we hike, bike and canoe. And you betcha the eating is good! All this in the natural beauty of Minnesota’s showy fall foliage season!
Arrive Minneapolis/St Paul (airport code MSP) by 2pm and be greeted by your Canyon Calling Trip Leader. Our northbound drive will begin the oh’s and ah’s of the fall foliage as we travel to Duluth to sample a bit of the “San Francisco of the Midwest.” Both the hilly surroundings and shoreline’s abundant outdoor spaces create the similarity. We’ll check into our hotel right in Canal Park, do the Lake Walk and introduce ourselves to Lake Superior, which is very aptly named. We’ll enjoy our Welcome Dinner in one of the many great restaurants in Canal Park, next to the historic Lift Bridge. Overnight in Duluth
After breakfast we’ll hop on our bicycles and drive along the Lake Superior bike path, and walk along the lakeshore and stop at the site where the Edmund Fitzgerald met its ill fate. Leaving Duluth, we’ll continue our journey via the North Shore Scenic Drive, a designated American Scenic Byway along Lake Superior. We’ll stop along the way for lunch in Two Harbors, a cheerful lakeside community. After lunch we’ll explore one of our favorite places, Gooseberry Falls with an easy two mile “Falls Loop” hike, enjoying the many waterfalls and fabulous photo opportunities of the fall foliage. We’ll arrive late afternoon in the harbor village of Grand Marais, and slow the pace down a bit as we amble through this unique, artistic community. We’ll check into our very unique lodging right on the shores of Lake Superior. Our dinner in the lodge finds us by the state’s largest stone fireplace, surrounded by the swirl of bright colors of the Cree decor in this lodge built as a celebrity hangout in the roaring ’20s. Overnight Grand Marais.
Thanks for a fabulous vacation. All your pre-planning certainly paid off. I especially enjoyed my first time rafting rapids solo. The riverside toilet with a view was the icing on the cake! — Susan N, NY
After breakfast, we’ll travel the Gunflint Trail with some of the most beautiful scenery found in Minnesota. We’ll canoe this afternoon in the BWCAW with amazement of this precious and stunning area. The fresh air is endless, the loon calls are soul-stirring, and the experience is priceless! Again, the fall colors will bring the oh’s and ah’s to our lips. We’ll enjoy dinner at a great, local hangout after checking into our Lodge for the evening. Quiet, surreal, time for reflection. And maybe we’ll open a bottle of wine to have by the fire if we choose! Overnight Gunflint Trail.
After a leisurely breakfast we’ll head south with hiking stops in some of Minnesota’s foliage-famous state parks along Lake Superior. We’ll enjoy lunch in another quaint town and maybe try some of the tasty fresh-caught fish out of one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. We’ll head back to “civilization” with a late afternoon arrival in Minneapolis/St Paul. Our hotel is by the Mall of America and yes, we will have time to enjoy tax-free shopping at the MOA (on clothes, shoes, and more) before or after our delicious Farewell Dinner. Overnight Minneapolis.
Janet led us through an adventure that filled our souls and brought Mother Nature into full view. Canyons truly do call us. — Betty H., WA
Enjoy breakfast and the hotel’s amenities before your hotel to airport transfer…or stay and enjoy all the beautiful Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer!