Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast: MN's Oldest Lighthouse
Lake Superior ore boats once depended on a red brick lighthouse in Two Harbors, MN to find their way safely to shore. Today that same North Shore beacon has become one of Minnesota’s unique bed and breakfast getaways.
First lit in 1892, the Two Harbors Light Station is the oldest lighthouse in the state and helped Two Harbors become a major harbor for iron ore shipping. It was originally built with living quarters used by the U.S. Coast Guard until 1981. It took an act of Congress – literally – to become privately owned by the Lake County Historical Society and transformed into a bed and breakfast and museum.
The lighthouse continues to be lit, flashing in 20 second patterns all day long. But its attached Keeper’s House today offers four guest rooms with views of Lake Superior, plus a small guest house called the Skiff House. Guests staying in the lighthouse share a bathroom, while those staying in the Skiff House have a private bath with whirlpool tub. A traditional Scandinavian breakfast is served daily for all guests.
Even if you don’t stay the night, you can still experience the site’s history. Self-guided tours are available seasonally. Visitors can view three of the sites buildings (the Keeper’s House is not open to tours), walk out to the Break Water Walk along the lake, and picnic near the shore.
If You Go:
The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast is available for rental year round, while the Museum is open for tours May through November. If you’re staying the night, remember you’ll see tourists walking the grounds beginning at 10 a.m. The site is a busy spot for shore walks and picnics in the summer months.
Just past Duluth, take Highway 61 to Two Harbors. In downtown Two Harbors, watch carefully for signs pointing you to the Lighthouse; you’ll need to make a few turns through a residential neighborhood.
While You’re There:
Two Harbors is at the north end of Historic Highway 61, which is quickly earning the nickname “Culinary Highway” for its top-rated restaurants. From fine dining to locally grown and season menus to fresh smoked fish, you’ll find options for every meal of the day and snacks in between.
If you want to grab a casual lunch in town, try Vanilla Bean Café for soups, salads and sandwiches, or Black Woods wood fired grill and bar. While in town, stop at the Waterfront Gallery or the Superior Hiking Trail’s headquarters office.
Two Harbors is central to numerous North Shore activities, including four state parks nearby, the Split Rock Lighthouse, and the Superior Hiking Trail and Superior Water trail kayaking trail. In the winter, try cross country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling, enjoy amazing frozen views of Lake Superior, and see icy views of Gooseberry Falls. In the fall, visit in early October during the Crossing Borders art studio tour. Visit nearly a dozen studios and galleries showcasing stone sculpture, pottery, iron work, wood work and jewelry. And spring is prime time for agate hunting along the North Shore.
Find something new℠.