Duluth Holiday Soundtrack: Playing the Hits  

A holiday getaway on the shores of Lake Superior? Sounds like music to our ears. In the spirit of the season, we’ve taken our favorite Duluth destinations and paired them with a holiday hit. Tune in and turn it up.  

North Shore Scenic Railroad
Christmas lights

The Place: Bentleyville Tour of Lights

The Song: What Christmas Means to Me / Stevie Wonder

Lyrics to Know: “I see your smiling face, like I never seen before.”

If giving is the reason for the season, Bentleyville does the season right. Not only is this display the largest free walk-through light show in the country: last year, its guests donated over 17,995 pounds of food and 2,678 toys to the Salvation Army. Talk about nice. The full Bentleyville experience includes a stop at the Cookie House, Popcorn Factory and Marshmallow Hut. The snacks are complimentary, and, as another early gift, so is the admission. Just bring $10 for parking and pay the kindness forward.

The Place: North Shore Scenic Railroad

The Song: Hot Chocolate / Tom Hanks

Lyrics to Know:Hot! Hot! Ooh, we got it!”

The North Shore Scenic Railroad’s “Christmas City Express” is one festive ride. The night includes a book reading, performance, carolers, a 30-minute train ride along Lake Superior, and, of course, hot chocolate. (Tom Hanks not included). Tickets go fast and should be reserved in advance.

Family taking picture with santa

The Place: Duluth Cross Town Trail    

The Song: Sleigh Ride / The Carpenters  

Lyrics to Know:We’re riding in a wonderland of snow.”

Miles of trails make Duluth one of the best snowmobiling destinations east of the Rockies. And 33 miles of track make the Cross Town Trail one of Duluth’s biggest hits. Highlights include Skyline Parkway views, a jaunt around Spirit Mountain and multiple access points.

The Place: Vikre Distillery

The Song: Rocking Around the Christmas Tree / Brenda Lee

Lyrics to Know: Everyone dancing merrily in the new old-fashioned way.”

Taste the Northwoods at Vikre Distillery. Their Boreal Gin blends foraged botanicals with the more mainstream spices of traditional gins (watershed pun intended). Plus, their whiskeys will warm you up in a new Old Fashioned (or Manhattan) way. Sipping local? We’ll cheers to that.

Friends enjoying a drink together
Christmas City of the North

The Place: Christmas City of the North Parade (November 18)

The Song: Christmas City / Merv Griffin

Lyrics to Know: Down in midtown people are nice-icle. Come this Christmas to the Christmas City I’ll go.”

TV junkies may know Merv Griffin as the creator of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. But before that he crooned out “Christmas City,” the anthem for Duluth’s Christmas City of the North Parade. This tune’s been the official track for the start of the holiday season for more than six-decades. You could say we love it up here.

Vikre Distillery
Boreal Cedar Gin
Snowman with kids

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