I first visited the historic Duluth Family Sauna, on the same block as the Fond-du-Luth Casino in Downtown Duluth, Minnesota, in 2003, and since then, it has been my favorite GLBT venue. Built in 1923, it’s unique in Minnesota and the nearby area, as you’d have to visit Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Seattle, or Winnipeg to find something similar. The Duluth Family Sauna is one of the most fun, safe places you’ll ever experience, with a friendly staff and clientele.
Herb Jensen bought the Duluth Family Sauna in 1969 and operated it well, until his death in 2013. Carrying on his legacy, his wife Kate and daughter Denise are committed to continue to serve the establishment’s many customers in the future. Staff persons Mark, Jon, and Tom are on duty.
The two-level Duluth Family Sauna offers many amenities. Its central feature is the authentic Finnish sauna downstairs, in which water cascades over a heated radiator, filling the room with steam that has a wonderfully regenerative effect on one’s body. A number of private rooms and two lounges with TVs are available for relaxation.
Patrons from a wide area visit the Duluth Family Sauna and return often. I’ve encountered people from Duluth-Superior, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, and Michigan. It’s a quite welcoming crowd. The name of the place says it well, as both staff and customers are family. Herb Jensen used to put it this way: “You’ll meet the nicest people here.” My own experience certainly proves his point, as I’ve made many lifelong friends there.
The Duluth Family Sauna is open daily, from noon to 10 p.m., except for New Year’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. An especially popular feature — and my favorite — is the weekly Saturday overnight, during which you can enjoy a good time from 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday at the most reasonable price you’ll pay for lodging anywhere.
Don’t miss a great place to stay and party for Duluth-Superior Pride, as the Duluth Family Sauna is open overnight on both September 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to the following 9 a.m. I’ll be there for sure.
Duluth Family Sauna
18 N. 1st Ave. E., Duluth