For a late summer escape, I stayed in my own backyard, in the land of 10,000 lakes, and reminded myself how damn lucky I am to call this place home. It wasn’t all peachy though. The north shore is at its most crowded in August, and that posed an interesting challenge for a last minute trip. And then my car door fell off. Yeah, you heard me. But despite all the pull-out-my-hair frustrations of a weekend up north in high season, the north shore dazzles in way that can’t be compared to anything else.
- Drive to North Shore (4 hours)
- Homebase: Night 1, camping in a field in Finland, MN, as all campgrounds from here to eternity were full. Night 2, camping at Little Isabella campground in Superior National Forest.
- Night 1: Finland, MN
- Day 2: Black Sand Beach, Palisade Head, Bike ride from Split Rock to Gooseberry
- Night 2: Supper Club for burgers, Little Isabella Campground
- Day 3: Castle Danger brewery, home
Camping in State Forests is either free (if you’re doing dispersed camping), or it’s cheap ($12 at Little Isabella River). The campsites at some of these campgrounds are much roomier and more secluded than most State Park campgrounds. No reservations.
We wanted fish and stumbled upon Lemon Wolf Cafe. They do a bunch of north shore- inspired dishes, and everything we had I would recommend to anyone. Don’t skip the lemon cake – it was insane.
Palisade Head is my favorite spot on the North Shore. Don’t just walk out by the parking area and call it a day though. Walk as far west of that as you can, and find yourself alone, perch on a cliff, and take it all in.
Good to know:
All of the main sights are busy and crowded on weekends, but they all clear out close to sunset, so save some for late evening.