Northern Minnesota in Summer


Stopping in the northern town of Duluth Minnesota to my itinerary on a summer weekend was not well planned. With rooms booked for weeks and the weather too cold to camp for the night, I decided to venture inland. When you enter Duluth from the East, you can’t help but wonder – why on earth do people come here for a getaway? Sprawling chain stores, drunk people in the streets, no name motels and lodges in need of major upgrading.

Duluth does have a quainter side of town which has been expanded for summer tourists. Hotels, restaurants and trendy coffee shops surround a harbor and there are nearby water sports and activities all within a thirty minute drive. One of the motel owners sent me to a lodge some 15 minutes on the outskirts along the water. I stopped here “briefly” before I headed out of town.

Four Minnesotan males greeted me with whistles and drunken obscenities as I made my way into the “all-in-one” bar/lodge reception/restaurant/pool hall/pizza joint. Two followed me to the room, which was easy to leave behind when I realized there wasn’t any heat, the carpets were stained and a window was broken.

Note to those traveling to northern Minnesota during the summer – call ahead, make sure reservations are not needed if arriving on a weekend and bring a warm sleeping bag and pad as a back-up. Oh yeah, and bring along a bottle of Raid for drunk Minnesotan males. Gotta love that accent though. “Have ya heard enough about Wali fishing have ya now?”

Exploring this area by boat is the best way to go and its easy to rent a canoe or kayack, even with what feels like thousands of tourists in Duluth and its neighboring towns. As a summer get away spot goes, it doesn’t “feel” as crowded as some of the New England towns except for the booked hotels. Having said that, after a long, tiring drive through Canada and Michigan, with not much to look at except cows and mom and pop motels, anywhere felt crowded.

Hinsley was my last stop before Minneapolis/St. Paul. Not much here but a casino which drew enough people to fill all the rooms in the town, except for the very last one which I managed to grab before a party of four showed up immediately behind me.

Note to those who love to gamble and are thinking of checking out the casino at Hinsley Minnesota – the only thing that makes Hinsley remotely resemble a Vegas or Reno experience is the availability of $1.00 burgers.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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