Before you head up Highway 61, be sure to visit the Duluth Harbor and the breakwater lights. Three working lights guide ships in and out of Duluth Harbor.
The lighthouse above is located at the end of the southern breakwater and marks the entrance to the canal in Duluth. The lights on the south breakwater were built in 1901, and the light on the north breakwater in 1910. The inner south breakwater light sits under the drawbridge.
Visit Canal Park in Duluth to see these Lake Superior lighthouses and watch as the ships come in to port.
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The lighthouse in Two Harbors is now a Bed and Breakfast run by the Lake County Historical Society. If you are a fan of lighthouses, you can not only spend the night in one, you can also take on a few of the lighthouse keeper's duties! The 49 foot tower is also open for climbing. An admission fee is charged.
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The Two Harbors lighthouse, with it's red brick tower, came into service in 1892. At that time, Two Harbors was the most important shipping point for the region's iron ore. The light is still an active aid to navigation and is maintained by the Coast Guard.
From the top of the tower you will have an excellent view of the lake and the breakwater with it's smaller light tower. There is also a fog signal building, which has been converted into a gift shop.
Lake Superior lighthouses are on our list of Top 10 North Shore Attractions.
Split Rock is the highest Lake Superior lighthouse.
It is located on Lake Superior's north shore 20 miles north of Two Harbors in Split Rock State Park.
The Split Rock lighthouse was completed in the summer of 1909 at a cost of $72,541, but was not lighted until August 10, 1910.
The octagonal brick light tower stands 54 feet tall and the lighthouse station includes a fog signal building, two barns, an oil storage building, and three 2-story brick houses to accommodate the lighthouse keeper's families.
The lighthouse is now part of Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
The light was decommissioned in 1969 and now belongs to the Minnesota Historical Society. They have restored the buildings to their pre-1924 appearance and the lighthouse complex is now and operated as a historical site. A visitor center is located on the lighthouse grounds and guided tours are available.
Grand Marias is the next stop on your lighthouse tour of the North Shore. Stroll along the breakwater toward tiny, but very beautiful, Artists Point. This is a popular spot so expect company in the busier times of the travel year. If you are looking for solitude, you may find it a bit further out at Sweetheart's Bluff.
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