Duluth in the Fall

Fall is a great time to visit Duluth. Lake Superior has a unique climate effect on the region, with cool autumn days and brilliant fall colors popping around mid-September. So pack your layers and your camera – here’s a sample itinerary for a fun fall weekend in Duluth.

A couple walking on the dock with their dog



Coffee and waterfalls. Grab a cup of coffee from a signature Duluth roaster to keep you warm while chasing waterfalls before they freeze over for the year.


Take a lunch cruise. Go for a cruise to see the beautiful fall colors from beyond the shore on Vista Fleet’s Lunch & Leaves cruise. Enjoy lunch from MidCoast Catering while taking in the fall views along the St. Louis River system.


Attend a fall event. Shorter days and longer nights don’t slow Duluthians down, as there are plenty of events throughout the fall season, including the Duluth Oktoberfestival, NorthShore Inline Marathon and Skate Fest, Coffee Fest, Duluth Superior Film Festival, Catalyst Content Festival, the William A. Irvin Haunted Ship Tours, “Boo at the Zoo” at Lake Superior Zoo, St. Louis County Depot Haunted History Tours and more. Check out the full list of fall events here.


Get cozy on a patio. Post-event, cozy up by an outdoor heater or firepit with a seasonal cocktail, brew or cider on one of Duluth’s countless patios.

Hunker down for the night. There are plenty of lodging options in Duluth for you to relax and recharge.

Friends enjoying coffee together
Haunted ship tours
Friends talking on a rock by a waterfall
Pumpkin at a zoo
Friends outside on the patio



Leaf peep. Mother Nature likes to show off in Duluth, with brilliant fall colors popping around mid-September. There are plenty of spots to check out the foliage across the city – from atop Spirit Mountain, to riding the rails of the Northshore Scenic Railroad, to driving along Skyline Parkway.


Go birding. There are great bird-watching spots throughout the city, but fall is the time to take in one of nature’s most remarkable spectacles – the migration of approximately 76,000 raptors that can be seen from Duluth’s Hawk Ridge Nature Center.

It’s always ice cream weather. There may be a chill in the air, but it’s never too cold for a scoop of ice cream!


Warm your body and your spirit with a show. Experience productions from the Duluth Playhouse, live improv at Zeitgeist, live shows at the West Theatre or Wussow’s Concert Café,  stand-up comedy at The Boat Club, performances from Duluth-based Minnesota Ballet, concerts from the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and more. Find out more here.

Person walking through the trees with their dog
Couple laughing together



Watch the game and grab brunch. Fall means football season, so catch the game at one of Duluth’s many restaurants or bars & breweries, where brunch options abound. Does anything go together better than Bloody Marys and football? (And with Wisconsin just a stone’s throw away, Duluth is a perfect spot to watch those Minnesota/Wisconsin border battles!)


Visit a museum or historical site. Duluth has a rich history, and there are plenty of museums and historical sites around the city to learn more. Experience the historic and beautiful St. Louis County Depot, home to seven different organizations including the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, the St. Louis County Historical Society and Duluth Art Institute. The Tweed Museum of Art is a free museum on the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus, which has frequently changing exhibits, so you’ll find something new with every visit. Or tour the timelessly grand Glensheen Mansion, the most visited historic home in the state (and absolutely picturesque in the fall). More here.


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