Duluth Shines on the Silver Screen: See the Sights of “Merry Kiss Cam”

empty hockey arena at DECC
Photo credit: Duluth Entertainment Convention Center

Minnesotans love Minnesota, so it’s no surprise that we also love to see our home shine on the big stage – so others can fall in love with this place we hold so dear. Last year, Duluth brought the spotlight to the North Star State with Hulu’s original holiday movie, “Merry Kiss Cam,” which was both filmed and set in Duluth. Visitors and Duluthians alike will recognize many local spots and shops throughout the film. Live a day in the life of the movie’s main characters Jess Woods, a local artist, and Danny Carmody, a local bar owner, with this self-guided tour of the sights featured in this holiday love story.

Even if you haven’t seen the film, you can probably guess from the title that hockey is an important part. All games were filmed at the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center. You may not be able to ride the Zamboni when you visit, but you can learn all about Duluth’s hockey history and even hit the ice yourself during open skate hours. However, if you’re looking to catch a Bulldogs game, you’ll have to head over to AMSOIL Arena at the DECC.

Jess and Danny’s date to the Duluth Art Institute may not have gone very well, but maybe that’s because they never went inside to see all of the amazing work from local artists. See for yourself what they missed out on, or tap into your inner Jess and take a class to create art of your own.

Next, get some fresh air and take in the Lake Superior views along the Lakewalk. Then head up to Superior Street for some shopping. Follow Jess and Danny’s footsteps right into Duluth Candy Co. for some popcorn, a holiday latte from Duluth Coffee Company and perhaps even a new bowtie from Mainstream Fashions for Men. And even if there’s no fancy art gallery event happening in the ballroom, you can still find your way to Greysolon’s Superior Street entrance and head inside for a drink at the Black Water Lounge bar.

If you’re looking for more shopping options, be sure to swing by Fitger’s. And don’t forget to pause for a moment to take in Danny’s favorite view of the Aerial Lift Bridge and Duluth harbor from the Fitger’s courtyard. And if you time your trip accordingly, visit the Duluth Winter Village, an outdoor market perfect for shopping local vendors while discussing big life decisions with your best pal.

Climb aboard the North Shore Scenic Railroad to see even more sites. Channel your inner Danny and shout “Choo-choo!” out the window to show your excitement!

After a day around town, head to the Harbor 360 Restaurant at the top of the Radisson for a delicious meal and glass of wine while taking in the rotating views of Duluth. Whether you’re dressed to the nines or in your Uncle Pat’s blazer from the 80’s, you’re sure to have a good time.

And of course, you have to end your Merry Kiss Cam tour with a drink at Carmody Irish Pub. Danny Carmody himself likely won’t be there to pour you a brew, but the local feel certainly will be to welcome you in. You may want to keep an eye up front though – you never know who might walk through that door and turn your life into your very own holiday movie!

Posted on December 12, 2023