What the Hygge: Embracing Cozy in Duluth

Two people sit in a sauna in winter

Sipping a warm beverage next to a crackling fireplace. Taking a dip in a hot tub as snow gently falls around you. Curling up with a book and the soothing sounds of Lake Superior waves. Snowshoeing by moonlight on a clear winter’s night. When it comes to Duluth, the hygge vibes are strong.

But what exactly is hygge? While it’s hard to put into English words, in short, it’s a Danish concept that encompasses the feeling of embracing life’s pleasures, especially those that are cozy and rejuvenating. It’s slowing down to appreciate the simple things in life. It’s being present.

For travelers looking to get hygge with it, Duluth is the destination. To help inspire your next cozy stay, here are some ideas to make the most of your relaxing getaway.

Experience Cedar + Stone Nordic Sauna

A woman laughs outside of a sauna in winter

Located in the heart of Duluth in Canal Park, Cedar + Stone Nordic Sauna provides a guided experience, embracing the centuries old practice of hot, cold, rest, rehydrate, repeat. You can either book a private sauna experience for just you or your group, or, in line with the Finnish tradition, join a communal sauna session. And, it’s the real deal. A Finnish journalist who visited earlier this year said Cedar + Stone has sauna skills that are alive and well, and that he enjoyed a very nice löyly (sauna).

Enjoy the Winter Wonderland

A person cross country skiing

In Duluth, there is no bad weather for outside activities – you just put on extra layers. Lace up your ice-skates at Bayfront Festival Park, situated with a stunning view of Lake Superior and the city, complete with a warming house and concessions. Or, visit one of Duluth’s many city parks for an enchanting day of snowshoeing in the white-dusted trees, or get out on a cross-country ski trail to quietly glide through the shimmering snow. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush before cozying up again at night, hit the slopes at Spirit Mountain, experience the thrill of dogsledding or go for a joyful sleigh ride through the picturesque north woods.

When the sun goes down, it’s time to look up. After all, what better way to embrace the moment than getting lost in the sparkling night skies? Enjoy the view from wherever you’re staying, or, if you’re up for hopping in the car, consider checking out the sweeping views of the celestial world at one of these spots: Hawk Ridge (open year-round, but use caution December-May, as the East Skyline Parkway in the Hawk Ridge area is not maintained during this time and may be closed), Skyline Parkway and Boulder Lake. In addition to spectacular stargazing – and with the right atmospheric conditions – visitors to Duluth may possibly see the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

Eat, Sip and Be Merry

Two people laugh while sharing drinks

To warm up after a day of relaxing or adventures, Duluth offers an abundance of restaurants, breweries and distilleries and coffee shops. Travelers can kick back, relax and enjoy some delicious food and drink in inviting atmospheres, whether by fireside, overlooking Lake Superior or, thanks to to-go orders, cuddled up in a comfy, cozy bed.

Posted on October 24, 2022