Duluth dictionary: a first-timer’s guide

A few words to know and places to go for your first time in Duluth, sorted alphabetically.

Couple taking selfie

Aerial Lift Bridge: the bridge connecting mainland Duluth with a long sandbar known as Minnesota Point. It raises to let boats pass underneath into port, sometimes more than 20 times per day during the peak shipping season of May through October.

Bayfront Festival Park: public park on the shores of Lake Superior. Hosts events throughout the year including The Tribute Fest, Duluth Oktoberfestival, and Bentleyville Tour of Lights.

Brighton Beach: rugged beachfront in Kitchi Gammi Park on the outskirts of Duluth. Great for picnics, rock-skipping, wistfully gazing at Lake Superior.

Chambers Grove Park: popular hiking, biking and paddling spot on the Saint Louis River.  Visit in the spring to see the pelican migration. 

Congdon Park: a natural oasis along Tischer Creek. Congdon Park’s best features include short trails, rustic bridges and waterfalls.

Gales of November: mid-latitude cyclone formed when cold Canadian air collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. Made famous by the Gordon Lightfoot song, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Glensheen Mansion: historic 39-room mansion built by iron baron Chester Congdon. The estate 12-acre is famous for its manicured garden, bridges, expert craftsmanship and scenic shoreline.

A girl dancing

Gichi-gami: the Ojibwe tribe’s name for the “Big Lake.” Also called gitchi-gami, kitchi-gami and gitchi-gumee and Lake Superior.

Great Lakes Aquarium: waterfront attraction with a focus on freshwater species. As close you can get to Lake Superiors depths without getting wet.

Huskies: amateur collegiate summer baseball team that competes in the Northwoods League. Plays home games at historic Wade Stadium.

Knot: a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour (about 1.151 miles per hour).

Lakers: larger freighters that never leave the Great Lakes. Not to be confused with the LA basketball team.

Lakewalk: paved pedestrian and bicycle trail along Lake Superior, nearly 8 miles long.

Minnesota Point: long sand dune and beach between Lake Superior and Duluth Harbor. Popular for picnics, swimming, and volleyball.

NorShore Theater: downtown landmark since 1910. Home to the Duluth Playhouse and way more shows and events. 

North Shore Scenic Byway: Minnesota Highway 61 on the northern shore of Lake Superior. It runs from Duluth to Grand Portage.

North Breakwater Lighthouse: 37-foot riveted steel tower on the North Pier of Duluth Harbor. First lit in 1910. 

Couple riding in Jeep

Salties: ocean-going vessels that enter the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

SUP: stand up paddleboard. See also: standard greeting for area surfers.

St. Louis County Depot: railroad depot that first opened in 1892. Home to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.

Voyageur: boatsmen contracted by trade companies to transport furs, usually via canoe. Renowned for their strength and endurance, often paddling from dawn to dusk.

Wharf: a raised, level structure next to a body of water where ships can be tied and unloaded.

William A. Irvin Museum: floating ship museum docked near Canal Park.

Zeitgeist: a downtown restaurant & bar that also hosts movies, improv theater, art galleries and the Minnesota Film Festival. 

Friends walking

Related Itineraries

women drinking coffee

A Full Duluth Experience

As an experienced traveler, you want to connect with the destinations you visit – including its people and its culture. Here’s an itinerary to help you experience all Duluth has to offer – featuring its history, arts & culture scene and breathtaking beauty. Read More
couple eating ice cream

Up for Everything

Whether you’re looking for a getaway with friends, a romantic escape or traveling solo – Duluth has plenty of options for an unforgettable stay. Adventure, relaxation or a bit of both awaits. Read More