A Distinctive Bed and Breakfast
2309 East First Street, Duluth, MN
800.228.1997 ~ 218.724.1775

What’s New!


Duluth is forever changing…we invite you to check back to this page often to see what is new in the area that you might want to visit. We cover topics from Canal Park up to the Gunflint Trail with everything in between to help make your visit memorable.


A Traveler’s Guide to Must-See Duluth Attractions

August 13, 2018

There are plenty of must-see attractions in the wonderful city of Duluth, Minnesota, from expansive harbors to freshwater aquariums to historic estates and much more.

If you find yourself traveling through Duluth, here’s what you should stop and see.

Lake Superior Zoo

7210 Fremont Street

(218) 730-4500

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If you’re looking for fun things to do in Duluth, MN, head to the Lake Superior Zoo. Located just 10 minutes from downtown, the Lake Superior Zoo provides visitors with a unique experience for animal lovers of all ages. The zoo is home to numerous endangered and threatened animals such as snow leopard, Amur tiger, black-crested mangabeys, ring-tailed lemurs, Pallas’ cats, Angolan colobus, and more. The zoo grounds are an expansive 16-acre park at the base of Spirit Mountain Recreation Area and the banks of Kingsbury Creek, so not only can you enjoy wildlife, you can enjoy waterfalls, hiking, picturesque views as well. Other attractions at the Lake Superior Zoo include the Tiger’s Paw Gift Shop featuring souvenirs, unique Made-in-Minnesota products, and fair trade gift items from around the world, the Zoo Train (seasonal), stroller and wagon rentals, the Safari Café, special tours, private, behind-the-scenes tours, group discounts, private and after-hours rentals.

Summer hours:

(April-October) 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Winter hours:

(November-March) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays


Canal Park to 60th Avenue East

This seven-mile-long path goes from Canal Park to 60th Avenue East, offering stunning views of Lake Superior. Take a leisurely stroll, hand-in-hand, stopping for ice cream or a Lakeview lunch. Strap on your skates and break a sweat. Or, rent bikes for the whole family and glide up and down the gentle hills. Start your tour in Canal Park in the shadow of the Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth’s most famous landmark, and watch for ships, including thousand-foot freighters, as they glide through the harbor.

Great Lakes Aquarium

353 Harbor Drive

(218) 740-3474

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Located on the harbor in Duluth, just off exit 256B on I-35, this expansive aquarium is filled with wonderful marine animals found in the Great Lakes Basin. With five daily programs, visitors can experience the hands-on discovery center, watch divers feed fish in a two-story tank and explore more than 230 different species of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Overall, Great Lakes Aquarium is home to more than 1,000 animals, giving visitors of all ages a chance to see some of the exciting marine life that makes up Lake Superior and beyond.


Open every day except December 25. Tickets are sold between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Doors are locked at 6:00, but guests are welcome to stay until 7:00 p.m.

Bob Dylan Way

Extends from Michigan Street at 5th Avenue West to 15th Avenue East & London Road

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While he may have moved to Hibbing, Minnesota at the age of six, celebrated singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was born in Duluth. The city celebrates his contributions to the area by supporting a lively arts and cultural scene, and in May of 2006, dedicated a cultural pathway to the musician. The 1.8-mile Bob Dylan Way, marked with signage, winds through downtown, extending from Michigan Street at 5th Avenue West to 15th Avenue East and London Road. The drive follows Michigan Street, Superior Street and London Road (which leads to the “Highway 61 Revisited” of the album), linking some of Duluth’s celebrated cultural heritage, including the Depot and Armory.

Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate

3300 London Road

(218) 726-8910

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This enormous mansion, located directly on the shore of Lake Superior offers an insight into Duluth’s storied past. Glensheen Mansion is a 39-room mansion with a completely intact 1908 collection of art, furniture, architecture and more, accompanied by lively tours incorporating family stories. Glensheen is a popular tourist attraction, having been voted Duluth’s #1 paid attraction on TripAdvisor and the most visited house museum in the Midwest. In addition to mansion tours, visitors enjoy free Wednesday night event series, popular Concerts on the Pier in July and new expansions that are happening all the time.


Open daily 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., year-round.

Due to limited tour capacity, these tours often sell out early. The Full Mansion Tour lasts about 1.5 hours.

Fitger’s Museum

600 East Superior Street

(218) 722-0410

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In the early days of Fitger’s Brewing, their locally brewed beer ran so cold that a stein had to be heated before the beer could be drank. Today, within the renovated, bluestone walls of the still-standing brewery, visitors can experience delicious fare, beer, and explore the Fitger’s Museum. See the copper kettle and memorabilia from what was once the most successful brewery in the state. Enjoy a trip back in time and discover historic pictures and advertising that can be seen in the Fitger’s Museum and throughout the complex. In addition, there is also an exhibition about Bob Dylan – stop by to learn more about this local legend after you’ve taken a stroll down Bob Dylan Way!


Open Mon-Fri/10am-5pm year-round.

Split Rock Lighthouse

3713 Split Rock Lighthouse Road | Two Harbors, MN 55616

(218) 226-6372

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Split Rock Lighthouse is the most-photographed lighthouse in the U.S. and attracts countless visitors throughout the year. It may not be located directly in Duluth (just a short drive up highway-61), the trip to Two Harbors is worth it as it’s a “must-see” attraction for North Shore visitors. The lighthouse is one of America’s best-preserved and most recognized ones in the country, offering unmatched views of the lake. Tours are offered daily in summer and the Visitor Center offers displays, a film in the Theater and shopping in the Museum Store.


May 15-Oct 15 Daily 10am-6pm

Oct 16-May 14, Thurs-Mon 11am-4pm (visitor center, store and grounds only – the lighthouse and historic building interiors are closed in winter).

Spirit Mountain Recreation Area

9500 Spirit Mountain Place

(218) 628-2891

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For those looking for a thrill, head to Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, featuring some of the best skiing this side of the Rockies! With over 175 skiable acres on 22 runs, the biggest Terrain Park in the Midwest, 22km of cross-country ski trails, and the best snowmaking and grooming equipment available, Spirit Mountain has something for every visitor. Plus, with a brand new Spirit Express II chairlift, and a new base chalet, skiers and snowboarders can explore more of the mountain in less time. And for those in your party who don’t ski, there are several winter activities available at Adventure Park, including snow tubing. Spirit Mountain also offers a variety of family and group rates, as well as incredible lift ticket and lodging packages.

Hours vary depending on the time of season,

Seasonal hours can be found here

Looking for a special accommodations in Duluth? Book your room at Cotton Mansion in Duluth today!

The historic Cotton Mansion, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Duluth, is the perfect destination to celebrate your anniversary, elopement, honeymoon or romantic getaway. In the elegant surroundings of our romantic retreat, enjoy two-person whirlpools, fireplaces, private baths and sumptuous breakfasts. For more information about Cotton Mansion, call (218) 724-1775 or visit www.cottonmansion.com  

Duluth Romantic Getaway Pt III. Outdoor Activities.

July 31, 2018

The #1 question most couples ask themselves as they plan their trip to Duluth is “What will we do there?”  It is a great question and it deserves an appropriate amount of research before your trip begins.  The opportunities for fun and entertainment are endless, but they can be broken down into a few basic categories like Outdoor Activities, Nightlife, Excursions, Attractions, Dining and Entertainment.  To focus on one of these, here is an idea for those who enjoy leisure hiking as well as serious hiking:

  1.  Outdoor Activities

Whether it’s Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring there is always something to do outdoors in Duluth.  With an abundance of state parks, hiking trails, biking trails, rivers and creeks the options around Lake Superior and the North Shore are almost endless.  One of the more popular destinations would be Gooseberry Falls, located about 45 minutes north of Duluth on Highway 61.  Not only is it a beautiful drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls State Park combines the best of hiking experiences.  It has a wonderful visitors center and miles of well managed hiking trails that are on both sides of the Gooseberry River and run all the way down to the shore of Lake Superior as well as up above the falls.

One of our Honeymoon couples, Luke & Amanda, recently sent us a photo of their day of fun at Gooseberry.  They said they had a wonderful time and enjoyed the quieter time there, as they were staying during the midweek when there are fewer crowds.

With the outdoors comes the beauty of the nature and with that beauty comes a great opportunity to capture that beauty with photography.  Duluth and the North Shore offer some of the most wonderful photo opportunities and is a favorite destination for both amateur and professional photographers.  So bring your equipment and share your photos with us.

Hiking is just one of the outdoor activities that couples enjoy.  There is white water rafting on the St. Louis River, Canoeing on the Brule River, Kayaking on Lake Superior, Sail Boat Excursions, Fishing…..the list goes on and on.  For an in depth treasure trove of information check www.visitduluth.com.  The official visitors bureau website will help you plan your time in Duluth so you can make your time together everything that you want it to be.

Duluth Romantic Getaway Pt II….Making Time for the Two of You

June 19, 2018

As we begin our 20th Season, we continue to celebrate our commitment to providing the Best Duluth Bed and Breakfast for couples who seek a much needed Duluth Romantic Getaway.


As we have learned, it doesn’t matter if the two of you are just beginning your relationship together or you are celebrating an Anniversary from your first to your 50th, couples need to plan for time together, away from their normal daily routine.

When couples arrive at the Cotton Mansion Bed and Breakfast, the first thing they recognize is the relaxing atmosphere and romantic feel. Joseph and Louise Cotton had their home designed around celebrating their love for each other. The goal of our meticulous restoration in 1998 was to maintain the Elegance of their Grand Mansion, while creating a World Class Romantic Retreat. Having been selected by Delta Flight Magazine as one of the Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in the World, we believe our goal has been achieved.

The Perfect Time for a Duluth Romantic Getaway

Right now is the perfect time to make your plans. Like one of our couples just shared with us, “we wanted to stay at a Minnesota Historic Inn and we searched Google and found you.” They had considered a couple of different spots in the the state and decided they wanted the unique blend of outdoors and developed entertainment that only Duluth, Lake Superior and the North Shore can offer. As they explained, having two kids in school and a hectic work schedule for themselves, as soon as both of their children were involved in summer time activities they needed time for each other. They took a trip on the North Shore Railroad, went out to Park Point, strolled the Lake Walk and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Va Benne overlooking Lake Superior.

So, don’t hesitate. We have great midweek rates through June and still have availability for the last weekend in June. Enjoy great breakfasts, a two person Kohler Whirlpool and the peaceful surroundings of Cotton Mansion – the perfect Duluth Romantic Getaway. Book Now!

Romantic Getaway…Making Time for the Two of You

June 18, 2018

As we move into the beginning of the summer months, many parents have arranged summer camps and other activities for their children and are now turning their attention to each other.
In our opinion there is nothing better than a Romantic Getaway to give parents a chance to reconnect. Here at Cotton Mansion we have established a true romantic retreat for couples. As a top Minnesota Bed and Breakfast and Duluth B&B for 20 years, we provide the perfect atmosphere for romantic getaways, anniversaries, honeymoons and elopements.
If you are looking for a quick break from your children, make your reservation at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast. Check us out at www.cottonmansion.com and book your reservation today.
Mention this Blog at the time of your reservation and get $25 off a one night stay or get $50 off a two night stay plus a complimentary bottle of champagne.
Book Now!


December 26, 2017

The allure of a winter wedding in the scenic city of Duluth, MN, attracts many couples.   Why compete with busy summer schedules when you can get married during the off-peak season?  The historic 1908 stunning Cotton Mansion B&B offers warm hospitality along with intimate wedding ceremonies to those that dream of winter weddings.   Think of snuggling in front of a glowing fireplace, taking a wintry walk and coming back to a double whirlpool to get toasty warm.   Duluth offers fabulous dining and shopping options year-round.   The Cotton Mansion’s affordable wedding elopement ceremony packages ranging from $450 to $1,250, the latter of which includes two nights in a beautiful suite, a personal sized wedding cake, champagne and more!  Professional photography packages start at $500 and your images will keep your wedding day memorable forever.   The Cotton Mansion is open year-round for weddings, romantic escapes and honeymoons.   Learn more:  www.cottonmansion.com/elopements


October 16, 2017

Duluth, the scenic port city of Minnesota, is home to the famous Glensheen Mansion, located about a mile from another historic mansion, the Cotton Mansion B&B.  It is a good recommendation to immerse yourself in Duluth’s history while visiting by touring Glensheen and staying at the Cotton Mansion.  Interested in turn-of-the-century elaborate architecture?  Look no further than these two places.  The Glensheen Mansion, 3300 London Road, offers daily tours, including The Classic, The Full Mansion, Nooks & Crannies, and Servants Tours.  During the year, flashlight tours are often added.   After exploring the 27,000 sq ft mansion take time to meander the gardens, the Lake Superior frontage, and carriage house.  Outdoor activities also include kayaking tours, campfires, lakeside concerts and more during peak season.  The holidays showcase Christmas Trees adorning every room.   Learn more about Glensheen Mansion at www.Glensheen.org

Make the architectural wonder, the Cotton Mansion, your home away from home during your stay in Duluth.   This stunning mansion offers guests a total of seven spacious suites, fireplaces and double whirlpool tub.  Enjoy a complimentary full hot breakfast daily during your stay.  Learn more:  www.CottonMansion.comhttp://www.CottonMansion.com


September 14, 2017

Fall in Minnesota is not complete without a trip to Duluth, MN and up the North Shore along scenic Lake Superior. Colorful maples line the hillsides all the way from Duluth to Grand Marais and inland. Maples are generally at their peak the last week of Sept thru the first week in Oct after which the poplars and birch turn color until the end of the month. Learn more at https://www.northshorevisitor.com/attractions/fall-colors/. Come midweek to avoid the crowds and take advantage of lower midweek rates. The Cotton Mansion B&B, located in Duluth is a great place to stay while exploring the shoreline. Plan time to explore the many state parks including Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Light House. Take a tram up to the top of Lutsen Mountain and take a leisurely drive through the Gunflint Trail. Back in Duluth, enjoy dining, museums and shopping options. Why wait? Book now! www.CottonMansion.com


August 8, 2017

If you are serious about viewing the incredible Minnesota fall foliage , then a trip to Duluth is a must! Imagine crisp shades of red and warm yellows along Lake Superior and inland along the trails and lookouts.  When planning your colorful and scenic trip along the magnificent North Shore Drive, make sure you have your reservations planned far in advance.  The elegant and romantic Cotton Mansion B&B, Duluth, just five blocks up the hill from Lake Superior, offers spacious suites featuring double whirlpools and gas fireplaces. Enjoy a complimentary fabulous breakfast each day prior to heading out to hike the many state parks and hiking trails. Book now: www.CottonMansion.com

Photo courtesy of Charlie Smith, Photographer.


June 15, 2017

Duluth….the gateway to Lake Superior is only 2.5 hours from the Twin Cities and the secret is out on all the great things to keep you entertained while visiting.  Here is a fun list of things to do…Get wet in Lake Superior…drive the Northshore Drive…Visit the Birthplace of Bob Dylan…Pick a flavor at the Portland Malt Shop…Discover Canal Park Boutiques…Watch the Freighters come into the Harbor…Take the Timber Twister alpine coaster down a 3200 foot track at Spirit Mountain…Have a picnic…Preview the in-city waterfalls…go biking…check out the craft breweries and distilleries…Go golfing…Try zip lining…Stroll the Lake Walk…Visit Glensheen Mansion…Take a horse-drawn buggy ride…walk the Park Point beach… Smell the roses at the Rose Gardens…oversleep at the Cotton Mansion B&B.  Learn more at www.CottonMansion.com – a romantic B&B, and check out the Duluth Visitors Bureau website to plan your trip.


May 9, 2017

Many couples want to escape the stress of a large wedding and are deciding to do a “Weddings for Two” elopement ceremony at the beautiful Cotton Mansion B&B in Duluth.  Duluth’s Lake Superior port attracts visitors from all over the world for its scenic beauty, great outdoor hiking and biking trails, fabulous restaurants, shopping, and overall sightseeing.  Duluth is the starting point for the famous “North Shore Drive.”  The Cotton Mansion B&B, located in the historic mansion district of Duluth, provides an intimate and romantic setting for couples that want a stress-free wedding.   Elopement packages range from $450-$1,200.  For those selecting a package that includes lodging, the spacious suites include fireplaces and double whirlpools and a sumptuous breakfast daily.    Professional photography packages are also available.  The mansion creates an incredible backdrop for  memorable images.  For more information:  www.CottonMansion.com/Elopements

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