August 2017: North Shore

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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.

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At-a-glance

  • 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.
  • Itinerary:
    • 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

Travel steal: 

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.

Travel splurge:

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.

 

Don’t miss:

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.

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