A Visitor’s Guide to Duluth-Superior Pride Weekend
There is nothing better than a trip to Northern Minnesota in the late summer and early fall. If the promise of cool breezes and changing leaves is not enough to convince you to get out of the Twin Cities this September, maybe this will: the Twin Ports area is hosting the Duluth-Superior Pride Festival from September 1-4. All the information that you need to make the most out of the weekend is available on their website (duluthsuperiorpride.com), but we recommend kicking off the weekend with the Lavender-sponsored Happy Hour at Canal Park Brewery at 5:30 on Friday, September 2.
There are so many events that we are excited about: Party X at Duluth Flame Nightclub (also on Friday night); Saturday’s day-long festival at Bayfront Festival Park; Sunday’s Pride Parade in Superior, Wisconsin; an all-ages drag show on Monday afternoon; and so much more. In addition to all the events, Duluth itself is full of great food and amazing views. The following are some of our favorite options.
The Boat Club
The Boat Club is owned by couple Jason Vincent and Jeff Anderson and is known for its intimate ambiance and delicious food. As part of the Pride festivities, The Boat Club is hosting a comedy show on Friday at 7 PM. While you enjoy the show, we recommend sipping on a Lobster Bloody Mary. This loaded cocktail has won one of the Best Bloodies in the Northland two years in a row and it is not hard to see why. The Lobster Bloody is a thing of beauty: garnished with a petite lobster tail, Sriracha maple bacon, and more. The Grilled Halibut is also a popular menu item. Flown in directly from Alaska on a weekly basis, the halibut is served with ginger-infused rice and pineapple and jalapeno salsa.
“As a side-note, I have been supporting Pride for years, even before we owned restaurants,” says Anderson, “I served as Duluth’s first openly LGBT city councilor and successfully passed Minnesota’s second Domestic Partnership Registry in Duluth back in 2009.” This involvement is still going strong, even if it has shifted focus a bit now that Anderson and his husband are restauranteurs. “We sponsor D/S Pride each year by catering the Mayor’s Welcome Reception,” says Jeff. Check that out on Thursday night.
600 E Superior St,
Duluth, MN 55802
Sunday – Thursday from 7 AM – 9 PM
Friday – Saturday from 7 AM – 10 P
Chester Creek Hiking Trails
It is no secret that there is a lot of natural beauty in Duluth, but the trails around Chester Creek are truly a diamond in the rough. Located directly in the city (the trailhead is at 14th Ave East and 4th St), this hike is the best of both worlds: it is both well-traveled and full of rugged, scenic views. Because there are trails on both sides of the creek and many convenient crossing points, hikers can easily customize the hike to their ideal loop length. Wake up early and enjoy the trail before breakfast at the nearby favorite Sara’s Table (more on that below!) or take a break from the official festivities and recenter with a little time in nature.
At Sara’s Table – Casual Restaurant
At Sara’s Table, owned by Lavender Magazine Community Award winners Barb Neubert and Carla Blumberg, has been a beloved part of the Chester Park Neighborhood since 2002. In the last couple of decades, its owners have perfected classic American staples like pancakes and hamburgers – as well as several favorite vegan dishes. “Mostly people come here for hangovers and special date dinners,” laughs Blumberg. This fall At Sara’s Table will be introducing a new menu – including both new food items and some delightful Minnesota wines.
At Sara’s Table has always had a dual mission: making great food and being good neighbors. “We go out of our way to try to be good community citizens,” says Blumberg, “We’ve had a zillion fundraisers.” These fundraisers benefit organizations like Together for Youth, which is a group that supports LGBTQ Teens. Together Neubert and Blumberg have built a local establishment with a spacious meeting room, a dog-friendly deck, a welcoming ambiance, and, most importantly: tasty, regionally based food,
1902 E 8th St,
Duluth, MN 55812
Monday – Saturday from 8 AM – 9 PM
Sunday from 8 AM – 3 PM
Duluth Coffee Company
Duluth Coffee Company has become a staple for a reason – and it is not just owner Eric Faust’s commitment to ethically sourced coffees. What started as a roasting project out of his garage quickly developed into a popular local coffee shop and distributor. Now, staying true to the principles and passion that got him started originally, Faust and his team work to “source, roast, and craft coffee with integrity and intentionality.” With artfully poured lattes, perfectly roasted beans, and a convenient downtown location, Duluth Coffee Company is the place to grab your iced latte before you head into the Pride festivities. As a fun perk, Duluth Coffee Company is offering Pride-goers a discount on a beverage over Pride weekend. All you have to do is mention this article when ordering.
105 E Superior St,
Duluth, MN 55802
Monday – Wednesday from 7 AM – 3 PM
Thursday – Friday from 7 AM – 4 P
Enger Tower and Park
Enger Tower Park is another fun, outdoorsy stop for when you need a moment away from it all. Built on an impressive hill once called “Grand Mountain”, Enger Tower is 80 feet tall and has more than one hundred steps from top to bottom. This exhausting but completely worthwhile climb rewards every stair stepper with a breathtaking view of the Aerial Lift Bridge. For those who are unable or uninterested in the climb, there is also a handicap-accessible overlook that offers a similarly impressive view. Make sure you take a moment to find the Peace Bell in the park, which was gifted to Duluth by its sister city Ohara-Isumi.
1601 Enger Tower Dr
Duluth, MN 55806
Happy Pride! Enjoy celebrating our community at Duluth-Superior Pride this fall!