This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
Visiting the North Shore of Lake Superior
Looking for things to do in Two Harbors, Minnesota? Here are a few things to do and see along Lake Superior’s North Shore based on my experience.
When my eldest was almost two years old, I left her overnight for the first time ever to go on a ladies’ trip to the picturesque town of Two Harbors, MN. She stayed home with her daddy, though, and everything went great.
And I had my FIRST night (or three) away for the first time in almost two years.
My mom, sisters, and sister-in-law had been planning this trip to Two Harbors, MN for months.
Pro Tip: You’ll definitely want to book your hotel or vacation rental well in advance, since they tend to book up quickly.
We all joined up at a rental house, which was conveniently located in the middle of town and had plenty of space for seven ladies and a baby (okay, so it wasn’t completely kid-free since my brand-new nephew was along).
All basic amenities were provided, so we had nothing to worry about other than food. And Kwik Trip was within walking distance, so we were able to easily pick up anything we needed there.
Let’s get started on these fun things to do in Two Harbors, MN…
(Oh, and the good news is that you can do any of these things either with or without kids!)
Dinner at Carmody 61
Shortly after arriving, we ate dinner at Carmody 61, which is a bar and grill in Two Harbors, MN.
We decided to eat in their outdoor seating area and, while I enjoyed my chili fries, the food didn’t quite meet the others’ expectations. If you plan on eating there, keep in mind that it’s a bar, so you’re going to get bar food.
However, our server was friendly enough and the level of service was satisfactory.
We had three nights and two full days of activities planned, so we didn’t do much that first night. It was pretty chilly for late-June in Minnesota, but that made a cozy bonfire all that much more enjoyable.
Picnic at Agate Bay
Our first stop was at Agate Bay in Two Harbors, MN.
I have to admit, searching for agates and other neat rocks was one of the highlights of our trip. Who knew looking for rocks could be so much fun?
And it’s such a thrill when you actually find an agate, or even a unique rock like chert or basalt. Although I can certainly tell you that kneeling down to ground level isn’t easy when you’re pregnant!
Agate Bay has a lighthouse that you can check out, as well as a small gift shop where you can purchase polished agates or various other little trinkets.
Pro Tip: If you find some neat rocks, and you want them to look like those you see in the gift shop, you’ll want to get a rock tumbler to polish those babies once you get home!
We just brought a picnic lunch along and ate there. We even had a demanding little squirrel friend join us for lunch….
Shopping in Two Harbors, MN
We spent the afternoon walking downtown and checking out the various shops.
If you plan on doing any shopping on your trip to Two Harbors, MN, you will find a number of cute little stores along Highway 61, including Moose-Cellaneous Gifts and Sweet Pea’s Gift Shop.
We thought The Oldest Sister was a cute little novelty shop, but unfortunately it was in the process of closing down.
Here are just a few of the shops you can visit in Two Harbors:
- Moose-Cellaneous Gifts
- Sweet Peas
- Superior Finds
- Granite Gear
- Harbor Antiques
- North Shore Architectural Antiques
- Weldon’s Gift Shop
- White Pine Market
Morning at Gooseberry Falls
We started out our second full day by making a trip to Gooseberry Falls, which is just a short drive up Hwy 61 from Two Harbors.
The falls were pretty, and since the area had seen so much rain prior to our arrival, lots of neat rocks and agates had been washed up onto the shore.
There are five waterfalls on Gooseberry River and 18 miles of hiking trails, plus camping and more.
There is also a gift shop at the state park if you’re looking for t-shirts or other souvenirs to bring home.
How Far is Two Harbors from Gooseberry Falls?
Two Harbors is 15 minutes (13 miles) from Gooseberry Falls in light traffic. If you’re planning a trip to Gooseberry Falls, it’s a pretty quick and easy drive up Hwy 61 from Two Harbors.
Lunch at Northwoods Family Grille in Silver Bay, MN
We were hungry after spending the morning at Gooseberry Falls, so we stopped at the Northwoods Family Grille in Silver Bay.
The restaurant has an “Up North” atmosphere, and their food doesn’t disappoint. I shared a Classic Reuben and seasoned fries with one of my sisters.
It tasted great, and was more than enough food for both of us at this time of day. If you’re in the area, I would recommend checking them out.
Afternoon at Black Beach
After lunch, we visited Black Beach, which is just below Silver Bay, MN. It is really neat, and definitely worth checking out.
Black Beach gets its name from the color of the “sand”, which consists of tiny black pebbles.
Things to Do in Two Harbors, Minnesota
It was a chilly summer afternoon, but we sought shelter from the wind near the tall rocks, and enjoyed a gorgeous view of Lake Superior.
Black Beach is another prime agate hunting ground, if you’re interested in searching for agates on your trip.
If you do find some agates, you’ll want to look into getting a rock tumbler. Remember all those pretty, shiny agates you saw in the gift shops?
You can make yours look just like that by running them through an inexpensive rock tumbler at home.
If you’re planning a trip to Two Harbors, MN, you’ll find a multitude of hidden gems along the North Shore. These are just a few of the places you can visit during your time there.
We enjoyed our trip so much that I ended up going back later in the summer with my husband and daughter — you can read all about it in this post!
No trips planned right now? Make sure to grab your copy of the FREE Stay at Home Bucket List for kids (below) for ways to keep them busy at home.