Jump On In, The Water’s Fine! How to get out and enjoy Lake Superior

Originally posted August 2023. Updated May 2024.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing float or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Duluth is the place for a great day on a Great Lake. With various beaches, plenty of public access points, boat rentals, guided tours and cruises, there is something for all water-lovers to enjoy.

Paddle Lake Superior

  • Enjoy a sunrise paddle board excursion with an experienced guide from Zenith Adventure
  • Get up close and personal with the lake through an all-day kayak around the shore with Day Tripper of Duluth
  • Guided tours are available for all levels of experience and adventure. Rentals available at both.

Let’s Cruise

  • Vista Fleet offers various dining and specialty cruise options for you to enjoy the water and take in the views of Duluth.
  • Looking for a more private ride? Visit Your Boat Club, located at Pier B, to rent your own boat or pontoon for the day.
  • Set sail with Time Out Sailing, offering half-day, full-day, sunset and even overnight sailing tours. Take the opportunity to learn to sail and lend a hand, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Have your own watercraft? Launch from one of the many public access points around.

Make a splash at the beaches.

  • Park Point Beach, located on the longest freshwater sandbar in the world, offers plenty of picnic tables, sandy beach for sandcastles, sand volleyball courts, a playground for the kids and, of course, the refreshing waves to take a dip.
  • Franklin Square/12th Street Beach provides beach access and a tot-friendly playground in the historic Franklin Square.
  • Lafayette Park is the perfect beach day spot with a playground, picnic tables and tennis courts right next to the beach.
  • For those looking to skip rocks or hunt agates, Brighton Beach is the perfect spot. The road to access the beach is closed right now, but it’s just a short walk or bike to the beach on a paved path from two main access points at either London Road or Scenic Highway 61. (*Please note that Brighton Beach is currently closed due to construction – updates can be found here.)

Hook, Line & Sinker

  • Reel in your next best catch with one of Duluth’s various fishing experiences and charters.

Not quite ready to take the plunge? There are plenty of ways to enjoy the waters of Lake Superior without taking a dip.

  • Take a walk or go for a run along the Lakewalk and watch ships enter the canal as the Aerial Lift Bridge goes up and down.
  • Visitors can also learn about life on the Great Lakes at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, located just steps from the Lift Bridge. This is free for all visitors and provides interesting information to learn about the great lakes and industries that rely on them. 
  • Enjoy the view from a patio! Many restaurants offer stunning views of Lake Superior while you dine al fresco.

But Lake Superior isn’t the only water around

  • The St. Louis River is one of Duluth’s premier water-related spots that many visitors may not be as familiar with. There are several parks along the river, many of which have recently undergone updates and improvements. You can go kayaking or canoeing in Chamber’s Grove or take a stroll along Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail.
  • And don’t forget to explore the stunning waterfalls around town!

What About Winter?

While we can’t deny there’s something magical about a dip at Park Point Beach on a hot summer day, visitors can enjoy the water in any season.

  • Get out on the ice and go ice fishing or ice skating. Strike up a game of pond hockey or broomball while you’re out!
  • Feeling more adventurous? Experienced adventurers can suit up to go surfing – yes, surfing, on Lake Superior. The blustery winds of winter just so happen to produce the perfect waves, so surf’s up!

Posted on May 30, 2024