Updated: 07/21/2014 10:39 PM
So, your friends are coming into town and they are counting on you to find something fun and new to do. But where do you start?
There is no denying it - Duluth is the perfect place to get active outdoors. After all, Outside Magazine named Duluth the best outdoor town in the U.S.
Whether you're visiting, showing it off to out-of-towners or just getting to know the city a little better it can be tough to know where to start. That is where the folks at The Duluth Experience come in, according to co-founder David Grandmaison.
"There's all kinds of great things to do here," Grandmaison said. "I think it's important for us, as Duluthians, to show that to our guests."
Whether by bike, water, even bus or brew these guides love what the city has to offer and they want to share that with you. They are taking tourists and locals alike to hidden gems around the city, according to Adventure Coordinator Kris Mcneal
"Earlier this year we decided to to history tours and adventure tours," McNeal said. "We saw a big niche that needed to be filled, so we went for it... To show them all the really wild places around Duluth."
Duluth is home to a booming bike culture with outdoor enthusiasts flocking to our trails.
"The city of Duluth and COGGS (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores), which is a volunteer organization, have been putting a lot of effort into making the trails world class," Grandmaison said. "These are epic trails and we want to get people out on the trails and show them what it's all about."
The Duluth Experience provides the full mountain bike experience. Through a partnership with Continental Ski & Bike they have bikes and helmets ready for you. After some safety tips, hit the trails for a truly unique ride.
"We provide the guide and take you out on the trails," Grandmaison said, "Then we talk about how the trails got to be here and why they're so special. And why Duluth is so special."
If you're looking for a slower ride, they have just the thing for you with scenic bike tours. An alternative to that car drive up the shore is a leisurely pedal through the breathtaking sights.
"People want to experience something different when they're on vacation, not just some of the same thing that they've always done," Grandmaison said.
If cycling isn't your thing, don't worry because some of the best views of Duluth are actually seen from beyond the shoreline. A kayak tour is a great way to see the city out on the water.
"Not a lot of people get to see that," McNeal said. "It's a great way to get some exercise and get to explore all the nooks and crannies of the shoreline."
These tours are designed to be a memorable adventure. You can kayak along the downtown waterfront or paddle the length of the Minnesota Point, learning along the way.
McNeal says reading about the city's history is one thing, but it's another to experience it first hand.
"Seeing the mausoleum right there and being able to paddle up to it and touch it, but then learning its story and the fact that it's almost 100 years old. It's pretty exciting. It never gets old," McNeal said.
The Duluth Experience drops some serious knowledge bombs on you during all of their tours, but one in particular is all about the city's history.
"We wanted to take people out and teach them about Duluth's historical legacy basically," Grandmaison said.
If you think you know just about everything Duluth, think again. The Duluth Experience works with historians, such as Tony Dierckins, to bring you a rich, fact-checked and surprising details on how the city came to be.
After all that food for thought, how about a brewery tour to wash it down? Craft brews have quickly become a staple in the Twin Ports - attracting beer lovers from near and far.
"People love our brewery tours, that's kind of our bread and butter," McNeal said.
That is actually where The Duluth Experience got its start, by connecting connoisseurs with the work that goes into each pour.
"They get to meet the people that make it. They start to really gain this appreciation for this new things that they never tried before," Grandmaison said.
While tastings and tours of some of the best local brews are still their main stay, there is a lot more in Duluth to show off.
"Duluth has such a rich rich history and we wanted to share that history with people," McNeal said.
Just like the expanding market for craft beer, competition in the tour business is growing too. With so many places to go and so much to see Day Tripper of Duluth just kicked off their inaugural year.
McNeal says that is proof that the sky is the limit in the Zenith city.
"There's just so many different recreational opportunities," McNeal said. "It's really exciting and it's only going to get better."
So get out there and explore Duluth.
For more information on The Duluth Experience or to book a tour visit their Website.