Where to Stay in Duluth, MN → 4 Best Areas

Duluth is a bustling port city in Minnesota, lying at the southernmost tip of the impressive Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. Featuring thousands of acres of green space and woodlands perfect for many outdoor recreational activities. Hiking, biking, camping, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, boating, kayaking, fishing, sightseeing… for someone like me Duluth is synonymous with paradise!

With the countless routes of the Lake Superior Hiking Trail system, walks along the Lake Superior waterfront with views of the 1905 Aerial Lift Bridge, panoramic train rides along the shoreline, or cruises on the big lake… the options to enjoy the city in the fresh air are endless!

From galleries showcasing the works of local artists, sports events at the waterfront Amsoil Arena, and the events of Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, the city of Duluth has literally something for any traveler and taste!

But where is the best area to stay in Duluth to make the best of its wide range of activities and attractions? To help you choose the best accommodation for your interest and budget, I searched among all the best booking sites and made this ultimate guide with the best hotels, house rentals, and airbnbs!

You don’t have to put in any effort, just make yourself comfortable, keep reading, and don’t forget to book your hotel immediately, places here sell out very fast!

Let’s start!

If you are in a hurry

If you need to make a quick decision and book immediately, I got your back, check this list with the best hotels located in Duluth Downtown:

luxury hotel

Pier B Resort

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Condo

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Fitger’s Inn

Best value for money

budget hotel

Park Point Marina

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here is a map to help you visualize where the different areas and places to stay I will be talking about are located:

Duluth Downtown
for first-timers
Canal Park / Park Point
for lake views
Duluth Heights
close to the airport
West Duluth
for mountains

1. Downtown – where to stay in Duluth, MN, for the first time

Downtown Duluth (also called Duluth Waterfront), is the heart of the city brimming with a vibrant history and culture… the ideal spot to excite the senses of any first-time visitor! Other than panoramic strolls along the lakefront, this 90-block area offers unique shopping options, delicious restaurants, and unforgettable sites to visit.

Just in the Lake Superior Railroad Museum alone, you have enough to do for an entire day: here you can opt for a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad, gaze at the finest collection of railroad equipment in the country, or learn about the history of the region at Lake Superior Railroad Museum, featuring beautiful vintage locomotives.

Duluth Downtown offers entertainment for every day of your stay! The Bayfront Festival Park, one of Duluth’s most beautiful public parks, is located on the shores of Lake Superior and is definitely a must whether you want to see ships entering the harbor under the Aerial Lift Bridge or attend one of the exciting events going on throughout the year.

Be amazed by the local and exotic fishes at the Great Lakes Aquarium, bring your kids to the exciting Edgewater Waterpark, and enjoy your night at the Fond-du-Luth Casino… Whatever you’re looking for, this neighborhood is definitely where to stay in Duluth!

Luxury hotel

Featuring the only waterfront restaurant in Duluth, this beautiful 5 stars hotel offers guests direct access to Duluth’s transient marina and to Duluth city center’s best attractions. Here you can make use of the business center with a meeting room and the spacious outdoor event space, or relax in the beautiful indoor pool with amazing views on Lake Superior!

Other accommodation options in Downtown

Mid-Range

Family rooms with private bathrooms and free parking in Duluth Waterfront

Budget

Cozy hostel featuring outdoor area with picnic tables and an indoor sauna to relax

Airbnb

Entire apartment in Duluth Waterfront, with incredible views of Canal Park

Things to do in Downtown

2. Canal Park and Park Point – where to stay for families

Canal Park, lying east of Downtown Duluth, is one of the major port areas in Minnesota and is connected by a bridge to the big split known as Park point (the bit you can see sticking out from the city on the map). This area is full of green parks, beaches, sculpture gardens, jazz clubs, coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants.

Receiving hundreds of ships each year and being home to some of Duluth’s best attractions, Canal Park has something to offer to all the members of the family! Some examples? Here you’ll find the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, Dewitt Seitz Marketplace (a historic building that holds several shops and restaurants), and amazing dining options like the popular Grandma’s Restaurant where you can have a cozy lunch just like the one at home.

You can literally spend an entire weekend here and always find new places to explore around but you can’t miss spending time in Park Point too! Park Point is connected to Canal Park by the Aerial Lift Bridge and built on a seven-mile-long island that forms the world’s largest freshwater sandbar! This spit of sand creates a natural barrier that divides the inner harbor of Duluth and Lake Superior and is dotted with beaches, green parks, and picnic areas perfect for a relaxing family holiday.

In Duluth, there’s no place with better lake views than this neighborhood, but in Minneapolis, another modern city of Minnesota, you will find as many beautiful waterfront spots as here!

Ready to bring the family to Duluth’s Canal Park and Park Point? Then make sure you book your accommodation immediately, you don’t want to miss the spot!

Luxury hotel

A luxurious, beachfront hotel within walking distance of Lake Superior Marine Museum. Start your day with a free hot, delicious breakfast, swim in the indoor pool, relax in the hot tub, or keep yourself active in the fitness center! Featuring free high-speed Internet access in all rooms and free parking, here you’ll have all the comforts at your disposal.

Other accommodation in Canal Park and Park Point

Mid-Range

Sleep in big family rooms with private balconies and enjoy a good continental breakfast

Budget

Relax in the indoor pool, hot tub, and sauna of this hotel right in Park Point

Airbnb

Historic, beautifully decorated cottage featuring a room with a queen-sized bed

Things to do in Canal Park and Park Point

  • Check out the shops and restaurants at the Dewitt Seitz Marketplace!
  • Gaze at the many ships entering the harbor under the Aerial Lift Bridge
  • Stroll along the Duluth lake walk
  • Eat some delicious local dishes at Grandma’s Restaurant!
  • Visit (for free!) the interesting Lake Superior Marine Museum
  • Attend an event at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center
  • Enjoy the view of Lake Superior and Duluth Harbor!
  • Lay down, relax and take some sun at the Park Point Beach
  • Take a tour of the Glensheen Mansion, the most visited historic home in Minnesota!

3. Duluth Heights – where to stay close to the airport

If you’re in Duluth for a quick stop or you want to catch your next flight without having the stress of being too far from the airport (something that I learned to not underestimate), Duluth Heights, in the north-west part of the city, is definitely where to stay in Duluth!

In this area, you will get all the services and conveniences of living in the City at a quieter pace of life, while also having easy access to some of Duluth’s most rural areas and beautiful green spaces in Duluth North.

The W.R. Bagley Nature Area is the perfect place for hiking, biking, and jogging in the fresh air, and also offers a small campground for summer camping in town, while Hartley Nature Center is a huge green park where you can have a picnic with the family, surrounded by a wide diversity of flora and fauna.

But if you want to do some outdoor activities with a panoramic view, Chester Creek in Duluth North drops over numerous cascades, chutes, and falls with a pair of amazing hiking trails on either side! Every season brings new sights: lengthy rushing waterfall displays in Spring and Summer, warm colors in Fall, and white snow in Winter. And for golf enthusiasts, Ridgeview Country Club, one of Duluth’s two private golf clubs, is only a short drive away! Who said there’s nothing to do near airports?

Luxury hotel

Enjoy these pet-friendly rooms with all the amenities you need for a cozy stay and take advantage of the indoor pool or hot tub to immerse yourself in full relaxation, or hit the on-site fitness center to do some activity. Located only a 10 minutes drive from Duluth International Airport, this hotel has the perfect location to access both Downtown Duluth and some of the best outdoor areas in Minnesota!

Other accommodation options in Duluth Heights

Mid-Range

Free parking and business center available in a lovely hotel in Duluth Heights

Budget

La Quinta by Wyndham Duluth offers free parking, hot tub, and fitness center

Airbnb

Feel at home in this entire cozy cottage with a private patio and free parking

Things to do in Duluth Heights

  • Go hiking, biking, or camping in the W.R. Bagley Nature Area of Duluth North!
  • Have a picnic with family and friends at the Hartley Nature Center!
  • Take a walk around Chester Creek, featuring cascades, chutes, and falls!
  • Play golf at the exclusive Ridgeview Country Club

4. West Duluth – where to stay near Spirit Mountain

West Duluth, a district in the west-central part of Duluth, is the perfect area if you’re in town to enjoy the mountains or skiing. West Duluth hosts one of the best ski areas in Minnesota and the second largest vertical drop in the Midwest, Spirit Mountain!

This would definitely be my first choice for some adventure in the snow, but if you’re not into skiing or you’re in Duluth for the summer, in Spirit Mountain you can enjoy any kind of outdoor activities: hiking, biking, and riding in beautiful wooded settings, or having picnics with amazing views of Lake Superior!

Spirit Mountain has a lot of fun to offer for any outdoor enthusiast, starting from many great accommodations to make the best out of your holiday immersed in nature! From mountain villas to modern hotels with all the comforts, and camping in Spirit Mountain Campground, offering walk-in tenting as well as 73 equipped campsites, you are just spoiled for choice!

Luxury hotel

This comfy, pet-friendly hotel gives you great value for the price. Offering spacious rooms and an amazing continental breakfast, this is ideal for a stay with the family! Swim in the warm indoor pool after an intense day of skiing, and have a delicious dinner in the on-site restaurant.

Other accommodation options in West Duluth

Mid-Range

Enjoy free breakfast and barbecue facilities, just 1 mile from Spirit Mountain

Budget

Choose among tenting or 73 campsites equipped with fire pits and picnic tables

Airbnb

Spacious and cozy studio for a perfect family getaway, close to Spirit Mountain

Things to do in West Duluth

  • Ski the second largest vertical drop in the Midwest in Spirit Mountain!
  • Have a picnic with family or friends in the Spirit Mountain picnic area
  • Travel the Mississippi railroad route: a 6-mile historic train journey in Western Duluth
  • Hike, bike, and ride in the beautiful Spirit Mountains woods
👑 Luxury price:$250
💵 Mid Range:$170
🛏️ Budget:$90
🏠 Airbnb:$170
💰 Accommodation prices:Medium
📍 Best area:Downtown Duluth
👪 Best area for families:Duluth North
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Pier B Resort
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Fitger’s Inn
👛 Best budget hotel:Park Point Marina 

BONUS 1: Unique VRBO’s in Duluth

I don’t know about you, but one of my absolute favorite ways of traveling is renting a cozy cottage or house, where you can feel at home away from home! And if you can combine that with a unique stay, even better!  I

The Vrbo’s that I am going to suggest to you below all have unique aspects for a special holiday. From waterfront homes with a private pier to renovated pump houses with scenic views of the lake and historic homes… you won’t regret this choice!

  • Bayview Cottage – Have a dreamy retreat in this enchanting lakefront home with all the modern amenities, nestled on picturesque Park Point. Enjoy the scenic views while you’re having breakfast in your own private area facing the harbor and enjoy your own pier and kayak!
  • Historic Weiss Home – Beautifully restored historic Victorian home built in 1895, with a great location close to Downtown Duluth, Duluth’s Lakewalk, and Canal Park. Hosting up to 14 people and offering family rooms with private bathrooms, this charming house is the perfect place to enjoy a holiday with family or friends!
  • Pumphouse on Lake Superior – This beautifully renovated pumphouse on Lake Superior in Duluth North is unique, spacious, and is the closest home to the waters of Lake Superior you could possibly get! This historic 1890 French Cottage has 200’ of lakefront and lots of open areas for socializing and games, this place will make all the members of the family happy!
  • Panoramic View – Cozy house with panoramic views of Lake Superior, Downtown Duluth, and the harbor, right from the living room! Warm yourself in front of the fire, have lunch on the picnic tables of the back yard, and sleep in king comfy beds. Offering free parking, a garden, and a veranda, this home will give you a stay with all comforts and amenities.

BONUS 2: The best cabins near Duluth

Have you ever considered renting a cabin for your holiday to really get into the outdoor spirit? Cabin rentals offer a tranquil atmosphere that you don’t find easily in hotels. Hidden away from busy roads and highways, these accommodations will ensure peaceful nights of sleep with no noise except the pleasant sounds of nature and wildlife.

Surrounded by the lake waters, woods, mountains, and animals, you’ll be able to have access to Duluth’s best treasures and enjoy amazing views and activities with your loved ones. Take a look at these paradisiac options for a dreamy retreat!

  • Tranquil Cottage – Enjoy beautiful sunset views from the living room of your charming lakefront home, set in a tranquil area, immersed in peace and nature. During the day, go for a nice, long adventure of paddleboarding around the islands or rest at sandbars while taking some sun!
  • Modern Outdoor Oasis – Bright, modern home with all the amenities for a great getaway. Immerse yourself in the outdoor hot tub and enjoy the natural surroundings in a quiet country setting (even more charming when it snows!), roast s’mores over the campfire, and play games with your kids in the outdoor space!
  • American log cabin – Vintage 1925 cabin surrounded by 11 acres of woods, with the perfect location for hiking trips on the north shore. Drink your morning coffee with views of the lake and spectacular sunrises. With fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and bedrooms for 8 people, this cabin is modernized for year-round comfort!
  • Rustic log cabin – Unique, cedar log cabin, situated on 40 secluded wooded acres, where you can enjoy a steamy wood-fired sauna before going to sleep in your big bed. Listen to wolves, frogs, and songbirds at night and enjoy the company of hummingbirds, butterflies, and fireflies during the day!

Frequently asked questions about Duluth

🏙️ Where to stay in Duluth MN?

If you’re a first-time visitor the best place to stay in Duluth, Minnesota, is in Downtown Duluth, the bustling Duluth city center, at the luxurious Pier B Resort, while if you want to enjoy lake views, stay at South Pier Inn, in the Canal Park area.

✈️ Which is the best place to stay in Duluth near the airport?

The best place to stay in Duluth, Minnesota, if you want to be close to Duluth International Airport is the luxurious Residence Inn Duluth, featuring an indoor pool and a fitness center, or the more La Quinta, offering free parking, both located in Duluth Heights.

👪 Where to stay in Flagstaff with the family?

Canal Park is the best area to stay in Flagstaff for families, offering attractions, beaches, green parks, and picnic tables while also having easy access to downtown. Stay at the Comfort Suites for luxury, or at the more affordable Park Point Marina.

⛰️ Where to stay in Flagstaff for outdoors?

The best places to stay in Duluth to enjoy nature and outdoor activities are VRBO’s or cabins, for a stay in full comfort and privacy. Stay at the lakefront Bayview Cottage or the beautiful Historic Weiss Home.

🚶‍♀️What are the best things to do in Duluth MN?

The best things to do in Duluth Minnesota are having a stroll along Duluth Lakewalk, going skiing in winter at the Spirit Mountain Ski Area, camping in the spirit mountain campground in summer, and bringing the family to the Lake Superior Zoo.

Conclusion

We made it to the end of this guide through the best areas and accommodations of Duluth, Minnesota! I hope I was able to bring your mind to a beautiful trip around the city and I’m sure you’ll be able to find the perfect accommodation according to your budget in the right area to suit your interests and needs.

Whether you’re looking for tourist attractions, shopping, lake views, or outdoor activities, this city has neighborhoods for any taste!

If you still don’t know where to stay in Duluth, no worries: we’ve been through tons of options for hotels, apartments, and Airbnbs, so here are my top two favorites both located in Duluth City Centre, to make your choice easier:

  • Pier B Resort – Beautiful 5 stars hotel with fitness room, close to Duluth city center’s best attractions
  • Comfort Suites Canal Park – Luxurious, beachfront hotel with stunning views, located in the heart of Canal Park

Don’t forget that these are the best hotels, so that means that today they might be available but tomorrow can disappear, so make sure you book them far in advance!

Thank you so much for reading this guide, I really hope this blog has helped you narrow down the best place to stay for an unforgettable holiday! If you have any other suggestions or questions about Duluth, don’t be shy and leave a comment below. I’ll be very happy to answer you!

Have a good trip,

Elena

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