During the summer months, it's always a great idea to take the family on a road trip, right?  Well, sometimes that could be a questionable outing, but if you are looking for a sort of staycation, or just a great road trip while staying in Minnesota, this one is a very scenic one to consider.

Highway 61 runs along the North shore and goes through or near some of the most scenic towns in our state. Granted, there are several other areas that are also very scenic, but this one is considered as one of the best.

If you are wondering how long this road is, where it starts with your "scenic road trip" according to "Only in Your State" it's about 150 miles of Minnesota's North Shore.  If you didn't stop along the route (but you will want to) it would take you a little under three hours.  But you will want to make some stops along the way.  So, it would be a great weekend getaway.

First up:


As one of Minnesota's largest cities, Duluth has a lot to offer.  Great shops, restaurants, places to see and explore, or just to drive slowly through.  The scenery is gorgeous.  It might be a great place to stay if planning to hang out for the weekend. There are a lot of hotels, and some of them are full of history that is also fun to learn about.


This is a fairly small town of less then 5000 people.  If you do make a stop here, make sure to check out Split Rock Lighthouse and explore Gooseberry Falls.  This was a place we would go when I was a kid to camp every year.  Great scenery and for the brave, some cliff jumping.

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This is a really small town.  One of those "blink and you'll miss it" places.  Has a population of around 100 people.  If you are a person who loves to find agates, you will love the Beaver Bay Agate shop.  For a bite to eat, check out the Lemon Wolf Cafe.  What I noticed first about their menu, is great breakfast options.


I'll be honest, this is the first time I have heard of this small community.  Apparently the big attraction in this town is a bakery called Schroeder Baking Company.  Looking at their Facebook page, they have all sorts of things to choose from; coffees, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches as well as wraps and salads.  Perfect.  There is also the Cross River Falls not too far away if you would like to walk off some of those delicious baked goods.


Considered as Minnesota's "best small town" Grand Marais is a sleepy little town of just under 1500 people.  But the views of Lake Superior are worth the drive.  There is a spot called Artist's Point, where you can take a great photo, or try your hand at drawing or painting.  Restaurants include the Angry Trout Cafe or try the supposed "worlds best donuts" at the Grand Marais Donut Shop.


Make sure to visit Grand Portage State Park.  Waterfalls and other scenic areas to view and explore.  Also make sure to check out the Grand Portage National Monument.  If you are interested in history, this will give you some knowledge of the Ojibwe people along with the North West Company and what was going on during the fur trade.

This could be a road trip that is not only informative, but also extremely scenic.

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