Barrett Moving & Storage
7100 Washington Ave. So.
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
So you’ve made the decision to move to the northwoods, but you don’t want to live in the city of Duluth. Fortunately, there are some really unique and lovely suburbs and towns around Duluth and in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’ve reviewed 10 of Duluth’s suburbs and other northern towns to help you find your northwoods home.
About 25 minutes from downtown Duluth, Cloquet offers more of a small-town feel away from the city. Home to the only gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Cloquet has a very rich history. The commute to and from Duluth is fairly easy, as the Duluth busses run through. Home to several parks and near Jay Cooke State Park, there’s no shortage of recreational opportunities here. From biking and hiking to canoeing, there’s a lot going on. There’s a very rich culture, as part of the city lies within the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation. Cloquet has a great school system and a technical college.
About a half hour north of Duluth lies the beautiful city on Lake Superior’s shoreline. One of the north shore’s vacation destinations, Two Harbors has a very rich history with a lot to see and do. Just north of the city sits Gooseberry Falls, a popular state park with gorgeous waterfalls. There are plenty of trails for hiking, biking, skiing, and snowmobiling, and many offer terrific views of the lake. During the summer, the city hosts the Lake County Fair, the Two Harbors Folk Festival, the Two Harbors Kayak Festival, and more. There are many unique shops, cafes, and restaurants. While Two Harbors is great for vacations, there’s everything you need to settle down, too, such as grocery stores and schools.
Although Superior is a city and not a suburb of Duluth, it’s just across the bridge from Duluth (a 10 minute drive). Like Duluth, Superior lies on the shores of Lake Superior. With a population of about 27,300, there’s quite a bit going on in the city. There’s a historic downtown, a museum ship, lots of trails, plenty of unique restaurants and bars, golf, festivals, and more. Superior is also home to the University of Wisconsin-Superior, so college students are a part of the city. With Duluth’s attractions so nearby and a lot to do in Superior, you’ll never get bored.
Proctor lies just over the hill from West Duluth. For those looking to live close to Duluth yet enjoy smaller-town living, Proctor is a great place to choose. With a population of just over 3,000, Proctor feels like a hometown. It’s great for raising children away from the city, as Proctor has its own school system. The public school provides lots of recreational activities, and you don’t have to go far to find parks and trails. It is very close to Spirit Mountain in Duluth, which is a recreational area for skiing, snowboarding, riding the alpine coaster, or zipping down a zipline. There are also several festivals and fairs in Proctor during the summer.
For those who are looking for a little more room to stretch their feet, this might be the place. Close enough to easily commute to Duluth, Hermantown is close to the action yet feels far away. It offers mostly more rural living, and there’s no shortage of scenery. Living in the eastern side of the community will put residents close to a mall, movie theater, and restaurants, whereas living in the western side will provide large lots and a rural atmosphere. A strong school system makes Hermantown a great place for families, and all the fun attractions of Duluth are a short drive away.
About 45 minutes south of Duluth, Moose Lake is a very pretty town. Situated around Moosehead Lake and by Moose Lake State Park, recreational opportunities are in no short supply. There’s hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, camping, swimming, and more. With a population of about 2,750, Moose Lake provides a taste of smaller-town living. It has its own school system and hospital, a newspaper, a theater, and anything else you’d need to call it home.
This vibrant community in northern Wisconsin has a lot of character. A port town, Ashland has a very rich historical background. Murals are painted on several downtown walls to commemorate the history, and several old buildings still stand. The city has several public and private school options, making it a good place for children. Main Street is home to unique shopping and a couple cafes, and parks are not hard to find. There are plenty of events in all seasons, including Bay Days, a ski race, The Whistlestop Marathon, and more.
Anyone who’s been to Hinckley will probably mention the world-famous caramel rolls and cinnamon rolls at Tobies. They’re that good. Home to about 1,800 people, Hinckley is a hometown with a lot going on. The Willard Munger State Trail, the longest paved trail in Minnesota, runs 72 miles from Hinckley to Duluth. There’s also golfing, fishing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and more. Unique shops and restaurants aren’t hard to find. Or, you can head to the spa or casino. Hinckley has a strong public school system that it shares with nearby Finlayson.
Hayward, WI is located in northwestern Wisconsin in lake country. Situated around Hayward Lake, the city is a great place for both vacationing and living. Because it’s a prime spot for vacations, there’s never a dull moment. Festivals, fairs, fishing tournaments, boating, golf, and trails are everywhere. You can also see the Lumberjack World Championships in the summer, and the world-famous American Birkebeiner ski race in the winter. Unique shops and dining experiences line the downtown. The school district is a strong one, and it offers plenty of fun programs for kids.
The northernmost town on our list, Grand Marais is located along Minnesota’s scenic North Shore. Its beautiful shoreline location and history make it a popular tourist attraction, along with a great place to live. With a population of about 1,400, Grand Marais is a close-knit community. There’s no shortage of recreational activities, from hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and canoeing/kayaking, to skiing, snowshoeing, and more. Several unique shops and restaurants dot the charming downtown. The city has its own school system, and it’s a safe, fun place to raise kids. In August, people come from miles around to enjoy a famous fishburger at the city festival, called the Fisherman’s Picnic.
Want to learn more about Duluth? Check out our Duluth Neighborhoods article.Photo credit: Mordac