21 Awesome Things to Do in Two Harbors, MN (2023)

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Two Harbors, MN for a visit to the North Shore?

Along Minnesota’s North Shore, you’ll find plenty of small, adorable little towns just waiting to be explored.

Two Harbors is one of those towns, surrounded by beauty and plenty of fun adventures.

If you’re planning a visit to the North Shore, plan for lots of adventure, plenty of viewpoints, and more, by trying out all of these activities in Two Harbors.

I visit the North Shore often, as I love only an hour away! So whenever I have free time, I can be found exploring the beautiful shoreline of Lake Superior!

Things to Do in Two Harbors Outdoors

The North Shore is packed with so many epic activities outdoors, that it just makes sense to start this list with those!

Here are 11 of the best activities in Two Harbors that will allow you to see the beauty of the outdoors.

1. Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Myself standing in front of Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors.

As one of the most iconic locations on the North Shore, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park should surely be on your list of things to do in Two Harbors.

The lighthouse is one of the most visited in the country and is a fantastic photography location.

It sits on top of a 130-foot cliff, above Lake Superior, and was used from 1910 to 1969 for navigation along the shore.

To get the best view of the lighthouse, jump onto the Little Two Harbors Trail and head down towards the lakeshore.

During the summer, visitors are able to take tours of the lighthouse and the grounds for a small fee.

2. Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls, as seen flowing down a rockside, one of the best things to do in Two Harbors.

If you’re looking for some epic waterfalls near Two Harbors, then you must check out Gooseberry Falls State Park.

This absolutely beautiful park features a waterfall that is just minutes from the parking lot.

Simply park your car and walk just a handful of steps and you’ll hear the roaring waters of Gooseberry Falls.

A bit further down the trail, you’ll also find Fifth Falls, a lesser-visited waterfall that is worth taking the time to get to!

Or, take a walk down to the Lake Superior shoreline and watch the waves as they crash onto land.

Visiting Gooseberry Falls State Park is even one of the best activities in Two Harbors with kids.

3. Stoney Point

If you’re looking for a nice little viewpoint right on Lake Superior, then look no further than Stoney Point.

This perfect little spot is found about 15 minutes from Two Harbors.

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to eat lunch, pull out a lawn chair and relax, or stroll the beach in search of rocks, this is the place for you!

The one-mile drive loops off of Highway 61 and offers some of the most scenic views from the road!

Hop out of your car and explore the rocky ledge over Lake Superior and watch the powerful waves.

4. Superior Hiking Trail

A bench sitting in front of Lake Superior along the Superior Hiking Trail.

Of all places to hike in Minnesota, I would say that the North Shore definitely takes the cake.

And the Superior Hiking Trail helps showcase that prize.

This 300-mile trail is the perfect place to plan your first (or next!) thru-hike, or to jump on and complete a few miles for the day!

There are 7 main sections of the trail, starting near Jay Cooke State Park and working all the way to the Canadian border.

If you’re not up for tackling a 300-mile hike (I get it!), instead choose a smaller section such as the Bean and Bear Loop area that I’ll talk about below.

This trail definitely shows some of Minnesota’s top beauty, so try to get out and try at least a few miles of the SHT!

5. Iona’s Beach

Sparkling rocks along the shoreline of Lake Superior.

I love finding unique places during my adventures in Minnesota, and Iona’s Beach is one of those places.

It’s different from other rocky beaches near Two Harbors, Minnesota because instead of brown or gray rocks, the beach is covered in pink rocks.

And when you stand super still, you’ll even be able to hear a small sound that some people like to call music.

The rocks clink together under Lake Superior’s waves, creating a gentle chiming sound.

It’s really quite peaceful, and a great place to take a dip not too far from Duluth.

The beach’s address is technically in Two Harbors but is actually located about 20 minutes from town just after Gooseberry Falls State Park.

6. Bean and Bear Loop

Bean and Bear Lakes seen from an overlook along the namesake hiking trail.

The best hikes on the North Shore lead you to an epic overlook with phenomenal views of the surrounding area.

The trail to Bean and Bear Lakes does just that, featuring two beautiful lakes that form an hourglass.

After about a 3.2-mile hike through the woods, you’ll emerge high above where you started and will have the best overlook at the lakes.

Bean and Bear Lakes are especially gorgeous in the fall months, between September and October, when the leaves begin to change colors.

The hike is moderately difficult and there are some small boulder fields that you’ll need to cross over.

While it is about a 35-minute drive to reach this trailhead, I’d say that it’s one of the most worthwhile things to do near Two Harbors!

7. Agate Bay Beach

This small beach right on the shoreline in Two Harbors is a great place to stop and enjoy searching for agates and other small rocks.

It’s found right down from downtown Two Harbors, making it super easy to access and pair with other activities for the day!

Sit on the rocks and sift through them to find the perfect take-home souvenir.

Or, enjoy gazing out into the water, looking out for the huge cargo ships as they pass by.

For the best chance at actually finding agates at Agate Beach, visit right after a storm has passed or early in the morning!

8. Enjoy the City Band

If you’re looking for what to do in Two Harbors during the summer, head to Thomas Owens Park to listen to the city band.

The Two Harbors City Band was organized in 1897 and is the oldest city band on the North Shore.

The musicians are of all ages and come together weekly to perform concerts for visitors and locals to enjoy.

You can find the schedule for the concerts here.

9. Two Harbors Farmers Market

Fresh produce sitting on a table, similar to that found at the Two Harbors Farmer's Market.

Another summer favorite is to make a stop at the Two Harbors Farmers Market, where you can purchase local produce and products.

It’s located at Cedar Coffee Company (which I mention below!) on Saturday mornings.

Grabbing fresh produce and locally made products and gifts is one of the best ways to spend a summer day in Two Harbors, MN.

10. Burlington Bay Beach

A view of Lake Superior from a beach along the shoreline.

Swimming in Lake Superior definitely is only for those who don’t mind getting quite a chill when they jump in the water.

But if you don’t mind, Burlington Bay Beach is the perfect place to take a dip in Two Harbors.

The beach is located right at the edge of town but is still within a really close distance of most other things to do.

Even if you aren’t up for swimming, it’s a good place to bring a picnic lunch and relax.

11. Palisade Head

Palisade Head, an overlook of Lake Superior and one of the best things to do in Two Harbors, MN.

Although Palisade Head is about 30 minutes away, it should definitely be on your list of things to do near Two Harbors.

It’s definitely one of the best viewpoints on the North Shore and lets you see for miles.

You’ll look out over Lake Superior, spot places such as Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park, and possibly see rock climbers.

Especially in the fall time, this magical viewpoint is surely one of the best places to visit.

Things to Do in Two Harbors Indoors

When the weather isn’t cooperating exactly how you’d hoped or the temperatures are just too hot, head indoors for some fun attractions.

Here are a few fun things to do near Two Harbors that will keep you dry or shaded from the sun.

12. Railroad Depot Museum

This museum is found in the headquarters of the old Duluth and Iron Range Railroad Company.

While at the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the local industries that have played a huge role in the Iron Range and North Shore.

There are exhibits that have information about commercial fishing, milling, and iron mining.

The first shipment of iron ore had been sent from Two Harbors, Minnesota right from this very location.

The fee to visit is small, so it’s a pretty cheap activity when you’re looking for what to do in Two Harbors.

13. 3M Birthplace Museum

If you look around your home, you might just find something that has been created by the 3M brand, which stands for Minnesota, Mining, and Manufacturing.

Perhaps a roll of Scotch Tape, a stack of Post-It Notes, or a Command Strip, all of which are manufactured by 3M.

All of these everyday items that most of us use all had their start in Two Harbors when five men went into business together.

At the 3M Birthplace Museum, you can learn about the early history of this highly successful brand and the many mistakes that they made along the way.

Many of the mistakes that were made have been turned into profitable products thanks to the idea that the employees should make ‘happy mistakes.’

Again, this museum charges just a small fee to visit.

14. Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum

The Two Harbors Lighthouse while covered in snow during the winter.

The Two Harbors Lighthouse Museum is found just on the shores of Lake Superior not too far from downtown, near the Lake County Historical Society.

It’s really close to Agate Beach and the Depot Museum, making for other great activities to plan a day trip.

Built in 1892, the Two Harbors Light Station is the oldest operating lighthouse in all of Minnesota and continues to operate daily.

The lighthouse was built with multiple layers of brick to protect it from the lake’s harsh waters as well as keep the lightkeeper and their family safe.

Today, the lighthouse is owned and operated by the Lake Country Historical Society, which offers self-guided tours of the building.

15. Two Harbors Uptown

If you’re all museum-ed out but still would prefer to hang out indoors, head to Two Harbors uptown for a bit of shopping.

It’s right along Highway 61 as well as some of the side streets and features a variety of small shops and restaurants to enjoy.

A few fun places to check out are Moose-Cellaneous gifts, Superior Finds, and Agate Bay Outfitters.

I’ll give you a little more info about the best places to eat in Two Harbors below!

You can wander the streets and stay indoors for the most part as you head out of one shop and into the next.

Activities to Do in Two Harbors in Winter

Winter can be a tough time for all of us in Minnesota, with the cold temperatures, never-ending snow, and chilling winds.

So here are a few great activities for when winter hits in Two Harbors to help bust those winter blues.

16. Go Snowshoeing

A person walking along a trail with snowshoes on their feet.

Finding a fun activity to do outdoors is a must, which is why going snowshoeing is one of the best things to do in Two Harbors in winter.

The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the best places for snowshoeing, but many of the state parks offer trails as well.

If you need to rent snowshoes, Bell Sheep Homestead offers daily rentals at an affordable price!

You can also find plenty more snowshoeing near Duluth, if you want to check out more trails!

17. Learn to Cross Country Ski

A cross country ski trail through the forest for one of the best activities in Two Harbors in winter.

While a bit tougher to pick up than snowshoeing, cross-country skiing is another fairly easy skill to learn!

Strap on a pair of skis and set out on the trails to experience a Minnesota winter in a whole new way.

Many of the state parks near Two Harbors, including Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, have groomed ski trails for visitors to use.

These are really the easiest to get started on as they have packed snow and are perfect for beginners.

Bell Sheep Homestead also rents out cross-country skis if you need to use a set!

Best Places to Eat in Two Harbors

I always think that trying some of the local food is one of the best activities when visiting somewhere.

That’s why I’ve listed some of the best places to eat in Two Harbors MN.

18. Betty’s Pies

Two pieces of pie on the table at Betty's Pies.

If you’ve been to the North Shore and haven’t eaten at or at least heard of Betty’s Pies, then you’ve been doing it wrong!

Betty’s Pies first opened as a small fish shack in 1957 for the fishermen to have a few treats during their pit stops.

Today, they serve delicious meals as well as some of the best pies in Minnesota.

From cream to fruit pies, they really have a flavor that everyone will love.

19. Rustic Inn

The other local favorite, also serving delicious pies in Two Harbors is the Rustic Inn Cafe.

Although the Rustic Inn is a bit smaller and has pretty basic foods, it’s delicious and is highly worth the visit.

They also serve a huge variety of cream, crumb, and fruit pies that are SUPER yummy.

20. Castle Danger Brewery

A person pouring a beer out of a tap at a brewery.

If you’re over the age of 21 and are looking for somewhere to stop and enjoy a locally-made brew, then stop at Castle Danger Brewery.

All of the brews made at Castle Danger are made with water from Lake Superior, making them special to the North Shore.

Sit and sip a few brews on their outdoor patio or indoors.

Their motto is ‘dangerously good’, and that’s for a good reason.

21. Cedar Coffee Company

On the flip side of enjoying a cold brew, you may enjoy stopping at Cedar Coffee Company for a warm cup of joe.

I love that this little coffee shop is off of the main road because it feels ‘homier’ than being right in town.

They serve delicious coffee as well as breakfast and lunch options.

And especially during those cold winter months, grabbing a cup of warm coffee is one of the best things to do near Two Harbors.

Places to Stay in Two Harbors, MN

After a long day of exploring Two Harbors and the surrounding areas, you’ll need somewhere to rest for the night.

Right in Two Harbors, Superior Shores Resort offers lakefront views and has a variety of rooms including basic hotel-style as well as suites with kitchens.

If you prefer something more private, this adorable 3-bedroom cottage is just minutes from town and has two jacuzzis (you read that right!).

For more places to stay on the North Shore, check out this post that I wrote.


How Far is Gooseberry From Two Harbors?

Gooseberry Falls State Park is only 15 minutes outside of Two Harbors. Following Highway 61, you can reach the park in just a short time.

How Long Does it Take to Get From Duluth to Two Harbors?

Duluth and Two Harbors are only about 30 miles apart, and it takes about 30-35 minutes to drive between the two. If you have time, add Two Harbors onto a road trip between Duluth and Grand Marais.

Where is Hellacious Overlook?

Hellacious Overlook, otherwise known as Palisade Head, is found in Silver Bay, MN. It’s just about 35 minutes outside of Two Harbors. The viewpoint is overlooking Lake Superior.

Is Two Harbors a Good Place to Live?

If you’re the outdoorsy type, Two Harbors is a great place to live! With easy access to the outdoors, a close proximity to Duluth, and beautiful views, Two Harbors is a beautiful town to live in.

How Far is Two Harbors from Superior?

Two Harbors and Superior, Wisconsin are only about 40 minutes apart, which totals around 35 miles.

How Big is Two Harbors, MN?

Two Harbors is pretty small, at just over 3 square miles in size. As for population, about 3,600 people call the small town home.

Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Two Harbors, MN

The North Shore is absolutely one of the best places to visit in Minnesota and Two Harbors is the perfect little town to stop in.

If you’re planning a visit, I hope that you’re able to use this list of the best things to do in Two Harbors, MN to enjoy your stay.