Ready for a getaway with your best friend? Look no further than Duluth, Minnesota. The port city on Lake Superior is a popular getaway for Midwesterners throughout the year, and has recently seen a population surge to do its perception as a refuge from climate crisis.
And with mild temperatures spring through fall (winter is typically below freezing), plenty of outdoor attractions coupled with small businesses, this lakeside city offers the perfect getaway for dogs and humans alike. To help welcome four-legged visitors, an entire dog guide (complete with window front stickers throughout town) helps demarcate many of the dog-friendly shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and more for the Western Lake Superior region. Your pup may see it as a free treat guide, but for human travelers, it’s a fantastic resource to bring your pet on the road and never have to leave them behind.
An estimated 78% of Americans travel with their pets every year. Whether your dog is racking up stamps on its pup passport or new to life on the road, Duluth is an accessible destination for dog lovers and their canines alike. Here are six wonderful things to do with your dog in Duluth.
1. Stroll down Duluth’s Lakewalk
Stretching 8 miles on the edge of Lake Superior, Duluth’s Lakewalk is both pedestrian and bike friendly, and perfect for humans and dogs alike. Enjoy the paved trail downtown as you take in lakeside views, or head up to Brighton Beach (Kitchi Gammi Park) to immerse yourself in more nature. Park benches, picnic tables, small businesses, a public orchard, restrooms and more dot the path, so there are plenty of spaces to stop and rest.
2. Grab a local beer
Duluth is packed with excellent micro and craft breweries, many of which are exceedingly dog friendly. Just of the Lakewalk, Canal Park Brewing Company welcomes four legged friends to the expansive patio, where humans can enjoy a cherry bombe blonde ale, cheese curds and more local specialties with lakeside views. Bent Paddle Tap Room also has a pup-approved patio, and Hoops Brewing welcomes dogs to the biergarten. Wild State Cider is a popular spot in Lincoln Park for hard cider and quality time with dogs, and Vikre Distillery welcomes dogs indoors while their humans taste spirits with locally foraged botanicals.
3. Check into the Sheraton Duluth Hotel
Located in the heart of downtown, the Sheraton Duluth Hotel is the perfect HQ for a dog-friendly getaway in Duluth. Guest rooms are spacious, clean and well-attended, and many offer prime views of Lake Superior. Larger suites are available for families, and an in-house fitness center and indoor pool offer recreation in-house. To eat, Restaurant 301 serves breakfast and dinner to locals and visitors alike, with new executive chef Chris ReCore creating seasonal fare that celebrates the region, including walleye cakes; a signature burger blended with bison, wagyu beef, wild boar and elk; and almond crusted local fish with wild rice. Reservations are available on OpenTable and guests can order the entire menu for room service, if you prefer to stay in with your pup and take advantage of the in-room TV’s casting options.
4. Hike along Chester Creek
Escape the city with a quick drive out to Chester Park, where trails along Chester Creek are easy to navigate and hugely scenic. A popular spot for local dogs and their humans to explore, Chester Creek is defined by its waterfalls, bridges and surrounding greenery on miles of accessible hiking trails. In the winter, cross country skiing is a popular way to navigate through the space. Free parking is available at the park and dogs are required to be on leash at all times.
5. Grab a bite At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe
A farm to fork gem of Duluth, At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe offers friendly hospitality, homemade far and a dog-friendly patio. Open from breakfast through dinner, the cozy restaurant offers pastries, vegan specialties, hearty plates (think eggs benedict with wild rice sausage or strip steak with gorgonzola butter and purple potatoes), plus cocktails, wine, beer and more.
6. Shop at Fitger’s Mall
Step inside this historic mall to load up on souvenirs, necessities and maybe a treat for your pup. The multilevel shopping center in a building dating back to the 19th Century is home to an independent bookstore, a specialty pet shop, gourmet cookware and pantry goods stores, outdoor outfitters, and more.