Arts, History, Music and More: Experience the Culture of Duluth

NorShor Theatre

Duluth’s rich history and picturesque location provides creative inspiration, as seen in its abundant arts and unique culture. Whether you are a music, art, theatre or history aficionado, there are a multitude of attractions and activities for all interests and ages. Here are a few ideas to help inspire your next visit.

For History Buffs

Glensheen Mansion
  • The famous Glensheen Mansion is a must see while in Duluth. Set on the shores of Lake Superior, Glensheen tells Duluth’s story through the home of the Congdon family. Located on a beautiful 12-acre estate with bridges, gardens, and 20th-century craftsmanship, the Glensheen Mansion is an authentic experience you will not want to miss.   
  • Set in the heart of Canal Park, the Lake Superior Marine Museum encompasses all you need to know about the Great Lakes. As you wait for a ship to come in under the historic Aerial Lift Bridge, learn more about Duluth’s rich shipping legacy, including the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Bonus: Entry is free.
  • Experience the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, one of the largest railway museums in the country. Visiting Duluth in the summer or fall? See the shores of Lake Superior by train.  
  • Visit the William A. Irvin, a retired 1938 American built iron ore cargo ship, for a one-of-a-kind experience that kids and adults alike are sure to love. 

For Fine Arts Fans

  • The more than 112-year-old Duluth Art Institute exhibits the past and present art of Duluth, as well as hosts art education classes.
  • The Tweed Museum of Art showcases European, American and global art collections with more than ten thousand objects spanning eight centuries.

For Performing Arts Aficionados

West Theatre
  • No matter the season, Duluth Playhouse creates year-round family entertainment with dramas, musicals, and more. Be enchanted by one of the nation’s oldest community theaters.  
  • Lyric Opera of the North, or LOON, engages audiences of all ages with world-class opera performances and education across Duluth and the entire Northland.
  • Check out the Minnesota Ballet to be inspired by the passion of dance. Choreographing both new and classic performances, the Minnesota Ballet is sure to offer a show for everyone. 
  • The historic art deco West Theatre in West Duluth is not only a theatrical movie theater, but also home to live events and concerts throughout the year.
  • If you’re looking for a one stop shop for art, performances, movies, foods and beverages,  Zeitgeist is the place for you. Zeitgeist houses an art gallery, movie theater, performance theater, restaurant AND bar all under one roof. 

For DIY Artists

  • Bailey Builds offers a wood mosaic class for adults and kids throughout the year. Get creative while enjoying time with your best friends and kids!   
  • Want to learn a new skill while sipping your favorite wine? Check out Board & Brush for your next night out. 
  • Duluth Art Institute also offers classes at its Lincoln Park location, from photography to drawing to clay.
  • Get out of your comfort zone at the Duluth Folk School, offering an array of classes from dance lessons to ornament making.

For Art Lovers Who Love to Shop

A collection of items at Indigenous First Art and Gifts
Indigenous First Art & Gift Shop. Photo Credit: Ivy Vainio
  • Featuring local and regional artists, Art Dock is a locally owned gallery in Canal Park offering everything from jewelry to stained glass, pottery, paintings and more.
  • Located in the Lincoln Park Crafts District, Duluth Pottery & Tile hand makes custom dishware and tiles for businesses and homes.
  • Indigenous First Art & Gift Shop showcases the work of 120 Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs through their wide variety of paper prints, jewelry, home decor and more. The shop also distributes organic healthy foods sourced from local and regional Indigenous producers.   
  • Home to solo and group exhibits, the Joseph Nease Gallery in downtown features contemporary art and provides educational and social events. 
  • Prøve Collective is a gallery in downtown Duluth that provides regular gallery shows, musical performances, spoken word and an art retail environment, all while dedicated to being a “conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints.”
  • Capturing breathtaking landscapes through his camera lens, Ryan Tischer showcases the magic of the most iconic landscapes. Visit the Tischer Gallery to experience and bring home the works of this Minnesota photographer. 
  • Many of Duluth’s coffee shops also feature rotating exhibits by local artists. Check out a round up of local coffee shops here.

Posted on April 12, 2023