If Duluth feels like home,
it's because it could be.

#befromDuluth

Hansi Johnson

Mission

Destination Duluth is a collaborative online resource dedicated to educating and inspiring the
public about the beauty of Duluth, Minnesota, thereby shaping the City's positive growth.

Destination Duluth: Accomplishing our mission

Dennis O'Hara

 

At Destination Duluth, our mission is simple:

We want to grow Duluth.

Many folks, “weekend warriors” if you will, travel to our fine city to escape long commutes, rush hour traffic, and suburban sprawl. They arrive as tourists, spending a weekend or two hiking our magnificent trails, catching a live musical performance, or sipping one of Duluth’s locally crafted beers or spirits.

Perhaps over the course of a single weekend they intuit what we locals have always known --- that Duluth is a treasure, a sparkling jewel in the crown of Minnesota’s Great Northwoods. From the deep azure mystery and inherent adventure found in Lake Superior to our world class arts and cultural scene, Duluth simply has it all.

Fully rested and rejuvenated, many visitors discover that their hearts belong in Duluth, and never want to leave this magical place. Have you had this feeling? Have you felt drawn to our city? Have you considered making Duluth your home?

Our goal is to help you do that.

Enter Destination Duluth

Co-founded in 2013 by resident Duluthians Branden Robinson, Christopher Swanson, and Tom Livingston, “Destination Duluth was created to fill the need of educating the public about the qualities of Duluth as a ‘destination for life,’” Livingston shares.

Robinson echoes this intent, adding, “We believe Duluth to be a world-class community, thanks to its natural, social and economic assets.”

Simply put, Destination Duluth is here to showcase all of the amazing things that make Duluth … well, Duluth. It's a phenomenal place to live, and we want to share it with the world. Through a wealth of stories written by local residents and accompanied by amazing photography, we hope to inspire you to become a Duluthian yourself.

How Destination Duluth Can Help You Come Home

With an abundance of great jobs, a healthy work-life balance, and natural beauty to spare, we are ready to achieve our mission of recruiting the next generation of Duluthians --- which could include you. Here are three ways we can help as you contemplate following your heart home to Duluth.

Step 1 Spend some time perusing this website and our Facebook pageDestination Duluth is chock full of stories such as “Why We Live Here,” along with insider information about Duluth’s parks and recreational opportunities, thriving arts scene, burgeoning reputation as a craft beer mecca, and more. Here, you’ll find many reasons why we love living here, and think you will, too.

We’ll also share event details, tips for navigating the city, and secrets only a local could tell you. And, there are photos, loads of spectacular photos, highlighting Duluth in all its glory.

Step 2 Wondering if a life-changing move is really viable? We share success stories, proving that it is definitely possible to take the plunge and relocate. We hope to inspire you through features like “Coming Home,” which highlight stories of people who have already taken the leap and relocated to Duluth, and are living a life they love.

Step 3 And when you are ready to make your move, you’ll find here at Destination Duluth great local resources. This is where you’ll find guidance on the nitty-gritty details of moving here, including job-hunting, home-buying, outdoor adventures, activities for kids, and plenty more.

Duluth’s Future and You

We at Destination Duluth truly believe that Duluth’s best and brightest days are ahead. And we want you to join us here while the rest of the world catches up.   

“Duluth has a wonderful history which must be remembered and celebrated,” Robinson shares. “But there is a new chapter unfolding before us, one that celebrates the past, yet embraces opportunities for the future. The first step is welcoming and encouraging people to plant their roots right here in the Zenith City.”

Duluth can definitely be a destination for life --- YOUR destination for life.

Are you ready to #befromDuluth?

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Home Buying, Duluth-Style

Anna Hansmeyer

 

So, you’ve finally decided to join us, and #befromDuluth? Excellent choice! Buying a home here automatically gives you some skin in the game, ensuring a deep personal and financial investment in this amazing community.

Today, we talk to local Re/Max real estate agent Brok Hansmeyer. With over ten years’ experience as an agent and a Duluthian himself, Hansmeyer is a great resource for home buying in the Zenith City. He fills us in on some unique facts and figures to keep in mind when purchasing your own little slice of paradise … right here in Duluth!

Old Stock

Hansmeyer shares that many of Duluth’s homes are old. We’re talking early 1900’s, and sometimes even late 1800’s. But, that’s one of the things Duluthians love most.

“Duluth has a super old housing stock,” Hansmeyer says. “Most of the houses here are three bedroom traditionals, with hardwood floors and loads of character. There are certainly brand-new homes, but that generally means a price tag of $300,000+, which is on the higher side of sale prices for this area.”

While this vintage aesthetic often clashes with the modern trends shown on HGTV, such as open floor plans and massive kitchens, it’s classic Duluth. If you’re into old-school character and charm, Duluth is a goldmine of opportunity. You can snap up a fixer upper special on the cheap, renovate it up yourself, and live happily ever after in your neighborhood of choice. 

And, speaking of neighborhoods …

East Side, West Side, Lakeside, Hillside

Duluth has an interesting layout, with each part of town offering its own unique appeal. Stretching from Fond du Lac and Gary out west to Lakeside and Lester Park in the east, Duluth also spans both up and downhill.

The hillside is sprinkled with Piedmont and the Heights, cascading sharply downtown, finally landing on the sandy shores of Park Point. Our city has even been referred to as the “San Francisco of the Midwest” due to its unique water-to-hilltop topography.

While Lakeside, Woodland, Chester Park, Congdon, Hunter’s Park and Kenwood are pretty much always booming, there are plenty of other cool neighborhoods on the rise. “Right now, there is a lot of buzz about Lincoln Park, with its new craft district,” Hansmeyer says. “If I were to bet on the most revitalization and potential for increase in value over the next ten years, it’d be Lincoln Park.”

Neighborhood Attractions

How can you possibly pick a favorite, when they’re ALL so amazing?! At Destination Duluth, we love them all, but here are some specific enticements to keep in mind.

Duluth’s Far West neighborhoods (Norton Park, Gary, Smithville, and Fond du Lac) are attractive due to their accessibility to the St. Louis River, Jay Cooke State Park, and the Munger Trail. The Lake Superior Zoo is also found on the West side.

Lakeside, Lester Park and Congdon out East all provide super convenient access to the Lakewalk, Brighton Beach, Seven Bridges Road, Tischer Creek and Lester Park.

Piedmont and the Heights are known for their amazing views of the hillside and the Big Lake. Think amazing sunrises and sunsets.

And on Park Point, life is literally a beach! Enough said.

All provide quick access to the excitement of downtown or a spin up the hill to run some errands.

Prices

As of this writing, you can buy a quality home in Duluth for anywhere from $100k to well over a million bucks. Lakeside homes, for instance, range from about $125,000 to $240,000, with higher price points in the Hawk Ridge development.

In Chester Park, $110,000 to $160,000 will get you a solid three bedroom, one bath traditional. And, in Woodland, the range is about $150,000 - $225,000.

Resources

Hansmeyer shares that his favorite resources for Duluth real estate include Realtor.com, Trulia.com, and Zillow, featuring the trendy value-tracking “Zillow Zestimate.” Agentfinder.com is a great referral-based site to help you find an agent.

Bottom line: no matter what neighborhood you’re considering, you’re golden. “Duluth is so accessible,” Hansmeyer says. “You can get downtown to work or play within about ten or fifteen minutes, whether you’re coming from Denfeld, Lakeside, or over the hill.” Duluth is filled with great neighborhoods! 

Your New City: By the Numbers 

Your area code: (218)

Your zip code: 55802, 55803, 55804, 55805, 55806, 55807, 55808, 55810, 55811, or 55812

Your Mayor: Emily Larson

Your Time Zone: CST

Duluth population: 86,283

Duluth record temps: -41 and 93

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Whatever Your Career Aspirations, This Organization Can Help

https://www.northforce.org/

 

Ah, work. Whether you love it or loathe it, earning money is just one of those things you gotta do. While many of us dread the daily grind, work becomes much more bearable when you’re doing something you’re good at, or, dare I say, actually enjoy.

Today, we’ll introduce you to NORTHFORCE – a regional workforce development organization helping people become happily employed in the Northland. Whether you’re relocating to Duluth, or are a long-time resident looking for a new gig, NORTHFORCE can help match you with your perfect career.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Developed and managed by APEX and Northspan economic development groups, NORTHFORCE is a regional workforce development initiative that officially launched in February 2014. Ian Vincent - Marketing Coordinator for NORTHFORCE, shares, “With our aging population and growing economy, it was apparent that our communities needed help filling the 25,000 new jobs that will exist here over the next decade.”

NORTHFORCE tracks and posts career and internship opportunities in the region, including the North Shore of Minnesota, the Iron Range, the Twin Ports, and Northwestern Wisconsin. Along with hosting these career opportunities, they also match candidates in their database with these jobs.

Since its inception, NORTHFORCE has attracted 4,200 users, and celebrated 120 successful job placements. Individuals interested in being matched or kept up-to-date with opportunities in their desired field can create free profiles and upload resumes at northforce.org.

Help for Duluth Transplants

NORTHFORCE offers a wide range of services for anyone looking to live and work in Duluth and the surrounding region. Communication Specialist Josie Strom shares, “Some people hop on our website to create a profile, upload their resume, and find the perfect job for them based on factors such as their areas of interest or how far they want to commute each day.”

“Others,” she continues, “Would like a second set of eyes to glance over their resume, or are new to the area and need an introduction to a specific Duluth company. No matter what a job seeker’s needs are, we can help them - or at least point them in the right direction.”

Partnerships with Local Colleges

NORTH FORCE is also dedicated to recent graduates and young professional placement and retention. While maintaining close relationships with regional college and university career service counselors, the team has played a key role in the Lake Superior College Strategic Planning sessions, regularly presented to college classes, and continued to advocate for internship opportunities for regional students and grads.

NORTHFORCE’s latest endeavor, Mentor Connection, has been among its most successful. A partnership with the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the College of St. Scholastica, the program is flourishing. With over 55 industry-specific pairs of college students matched with local professionals, these mentees and mentors participate in events dedicated to building the mentees’ professional networking skills and personal connections to the community. Mentors also gain coaching and leadership skills along the way.

Tips for Landing Your Perfect Job

“When we hear about success stories,” Strom says, “A common thread seems to be that the person landed the job because they really researched the place where they wanted to work before they applied. Make it clear during the interview why you ARE (not would be, not might be) a great fit for that specific organization. If you’re enthusiastic and can really visualize yourself in a specific role, your interviewer will have a hard time giving the job to anyone else.”

“And, when it comes to landing that interview in the first place, be sure your resume is tailored and flawless (especially spelling and grammar) before you apply. A simple oversight can cost you the job, even if you’re completely qualified.”

Whether your perfect job is a 9-5 with full bennies, or a freelance gig with funky perks, consider checking out NORTHFORCE - Duluth’s matchmaker for jobs!

To learn more, create a free profile, or upload your resume, please visit northforce.org.

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From Pavement and Heels to Flats and Pine Needle Paths

My loyalty for this cool city was born on a blustery March day in 1990, literally. On March 28th, 1990, I burst into this world at St. Luke's hospital in Duluth. Ultimately, I would grow up in the Twin Cities. But the story doesn’t stop here.

Moving away from Duluth didn’t diminish the warm fuzzies I felt every time the car crested over the hill to reveal the mighty Lake Superior and city below. Like many young families from the Twin Cities, we would make annual summer trips up for family vacations and hockey tournaments.

When it was time for me to choose a college, University of Minnesota Duluth was my top pick. The memories of family vacations and the gigantic body of fresh water comforted me at the thought of the big change. Unfortunately, when graduation rolled around, like many other soon-to-graduate students looking for a job, I was looking outside of Duluth. At the time, I felt I had exhausted Duluth of what it had to offer and was ready to move back to, what seemed like, the greener pastures of the Twin Cities. Little did I know I would wind right back in Duluth in due time.

In Minneapolis, I would spend the next year and a half, hustling companies across the state for copy paper and slinging staplers. Think: the tenured version of The Office’s Pam Beasley. Despite the promise of financial security and excitement of the downtown hustle and bustle, something was missing.

Lake Superior and the relaxed attitude of Duluthians was what I missed the most. Thanks to the relationships I built as a student employee at UMD, I was told about an opportunity at Glensheen Mansion. There was a newly created position that ended up being the golden ticket to make my return to Duluth.

Outside magazine’s Best Town was everything that I remembered but…. better. I am embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until I lived in the city as a young professional that I began to discover all that Duluth had to offer. The countless parks, the short commute, the people, the embrace of creativity, and the slower pace of life all helped me feel right at home.

However, the icing on the cake was Leadership Duluth, a 10-month program put on by the Duluth Area Chamber. I met amazing people who are leaders in the community and learned about the different industries and facets of Duluth. As beneficial as it was to learn about my city and the leaders around me, the intangible gift was that of some truly great friendships. Since moving back, I had met new people and connected with college acquaintances, but still didn’t have a group of friends I could call my own. Leadership Duluth gave me that.

Over the last several years, I’ve watched the city grow economically and blossom into a full-blown outdoor lover’s paradise that many Duluthians enjoy all while sipping on a beer brewed from the waters of Lake Superior. I couldn’t be happier living and working in this great city.

--- Jane Pederson
Glensheen Marketing Manager

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Duluth at the Movies!

Rich Hoeg

Destination Duluth has rolled out its new YouTube channel! You already know us for our fantastic still images of this great region, now watch us via area movies. You will see such great video shorts as:

  • Arctic Riviera Iceberg Fat Tire Biking
  • Fuldaborg Entering the Duluth Harbor at Sunrise
  • Spectre the Snowy Owl
  • and much more!

Visit the Destination Duluth YouTube Channel.

 

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How To Follow Your Passion: Read, Research, and Move to Duluth

“Duluth, MN -- America's Best Outdoor City in 2014” was the headline I read in an issue of Outside magazine. Usually, people read these articles and just think, "Oh, that’s nice. There is a city in Minnesota that is number 1. I should think about making a trip up there to visit." You never really think about moving to a new city because of an article you read in a magazine.  Yet the notion of “America’s Best Outdoor City” left an impression on me, as I love spending time outdoors. It is my passion. It is what I love to do.

My name is Kevin Wood, and until September 2015 my wife, Katie, and I were living in Winona, MN. We were both teaching there. I taught career exploration along with health classes at a public high school and Katie taught 1st Grade.  

You Want to Do What?!?! 

Life threw a curve ball at us when I decided I wanted to leave the security of a full-time job as an educator in a school that I enjoyed in order to pursue a career in financial advising. Crazy!!!! I know. 

I missed the business world. I used to own an exterior painting business in college and I missed the excitement of growing a business and meeting new people. It is a thrilling experience to be a part of a service that can benefit a community. 

Choosing a Community 

All of a sudden we were faced with an imminent decision, where do we want to make our home?  

We thought critically about this question. What city would be most attractive to live in, to start a family, to find a church and eventually establish us as part of the community? The story from Outside magazine reappeared in my mind. Although I wasn’t completely convinced this was our journey's end just yet. I felt as though I had to do some research to solidify my thoughts.  

I did what any good millennial would do and ran a full-fledged Google search on Duluth, MN. I read about the remarkable goal to build 100 miles of continuous trail within city limits known as the Duluth Traverse.  I researched the Duluth school district and learned it ranked higher than most other Minnesota schools.  Last but not least, I learned that Duluth has more green space within city limits than any other city. All three were huge draws to come and live in the Zenith City, and thus finally after much deliberation, we made the decision --- Duluth is the place to be! 

Did We Make the Right Decision? 

Ever since moving in September 2015 we have only questioned our decision one time, and that was when a city squirrel ate the potted avocado tree off the front porch of our central hillside apartment. Inconsiderate city squirrels aside, Duluth has been an amazing city to live in these past few years. We have met incredible people and have participated in various community events such as the Northland Trail Series, Duluth Farmers Market, and the Holiday Parade. 

We couldn’t be happier about making the move to Duluth. It is a new life adventure that only seems to get better and better as times goes on.

---Kevin Wood
Edward Jones Financial Advisor
www.edwardjones.com/kevin-wood

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Destination Duluth Survey Results

Rich Hoeg

We asked, and you answered. Thank you!

Our board was curious whether Destination Duluth was accomplishing its purpose. Simply put, are we communicating our message that not only is Duluth a great place to visit, but more importantly, our city is a great place to move. The answer was yes. Over 55% of you are now planning a visit to our city due to Destination Duluth's influence! Many of you have actually moved here.

However, rather than take our word for how great is Duluth, read what you said / think:

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A Hike, 20 Years In The Making

Outside In Duluth

 

“The importance of place is overlooked, underestimated, and insufficiently acted upon. Living in the wrong place is a self-inflicted life handicap. Living in one's right place is the foundation of a fulfilling life. And for each of us, there is an ideal place,” writes Gene GeRue.

For our family, the ideal is place is Duluth.

How We Came to be Duluthians

Tim and I knew Duluth was where we wanted to live, but it took us nearly two decades to follow our hearts after graduating from UMD in the early 1990s.  We traveled and worked in Europe, pursued advanced degrees on the East Coast, and finally returned to our beloved Midwest in 2005 when Kristina secured a tenure-track position at a university in Wisconsin.

With enjoyable jobs, a roof over our heads, nice friends, and our first child, life should have felt satisfying.

It didn’t.

We felt stuck. 

Our hearts just weren’t fulfilled.

We wanted more time together outside with natural beauty surrounding us.  We wanted easy access to outdoor activities. We craved simple hikes in the woods. We craved the awesomeness of Lake Superior.

We craved Duluth.

Following Our Hearts to Duluth

We often talked about moving to Duluth, but then the reality of careers, kids, and security would trickle into the conversation. Then Tim’s brother died. I had three consecutive miscarriages. A close friend’s baby died. Those events, while traumatic, offered us a space to reflect on life.

We asked, “How do we want to live our life?”

The answer always included Duluth. 

We made the move in 2012, leaving behind good jobs, good friends, and family. Yet, this place feels more like home than any other place we have lived. It’s topography, climate, community engagement, landmarks, and more make it home.

We are proud that someday, when our children are asked, “Where are you from?”, their answer will be, “Duluth.”

--- Kristina Bourne chronicles her family's outdoor adventures in and around Duluth at her blog, Outside In Duluth.

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What People Are Talking About

Dennis O'Hara

 

Do you hear it? There's a buzz happening about Duluth. We’ve been hearing unbelievably positive commentary from around the country about our food, our scenery, our recreation. So, basically, all things Duluth. 

Today, Destination Duluth will explore some of the attention we’re getting in other places.

Outdoor Adventures

Star Tribune: Outside Mag names Duluth “Best Town Ever” (August 2014)

Summary: Duluth trumped a whole bunch of other cool cities for this amazing accolade and this story explains why.

Duluth News Tribune: Duluth graces the cover of Outside magazine's 'Best Towns Ever' issue (August 2014)

Summary: This is our hometown paper. Duluth is amazed that we made the cover! Story includes a few comments from former Mayor Don Ness.

Outside Magazine: Best Towns 2014 – Mountain Biking Duluth (March 2014)

Summary: A minute and a half long video of awesome mountain biking footage, narrated by Rudy O’Brien

National Geographic: America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns (May 2017)

Summary: Nat Geo explores the Duluth Traverse, Lester Park, Hartley Park, Mission Creek, Spirit Mountain, and Piedmont-Brewer Park biking systems, and explains what makes them great.

Duluth’s Image

The Atlantic: How America is putting itself back together … Most people in the U.S. believe their country is going to hell. But they’re wrong. What a three-year journey by single-engine plane reveals about reinvention and renewal (March 2016)

Summary: The story highlights some cool cities and the great things they’re doing, after our country experienced some horrible events (mass shootings, economic downturns, bouts of extreme poverty). Highlights Duluth’s great job opportunities (Cirrus, etc.), year-round recreation, and amazing quality of life.

Star Tribune: Duluth enjoying a new image, long in the making (August 2015)

Summary: Total rah-rah cheerleader article about Duluth from tip to tail. A collaboration of accolades Duluth has received, and how its image has been reborn.

General Duluth Awesomeness

Star Tribune: How Duluth became the outdoor capital of the Midwest (April 2017)

Summary: A rundown of Duluth’s awesomeness, including: Picturesque panoramas (Hawk Ridge, the Duluth Traverse), locally crafted beverages (Bent Paddle, Vikre) other cool hotspots (seeing Glensheen from the outside, Pier B, the Lakewalk, Canal Park).

Outside online: Why Duluth is the Best Town in America (August 2014)

Summary: Rundown of everything that makes Duluth great: local beer, outdoor activities, and the birthplace of Bob Dylan.

Food and Drink

Star Tribune: Destination, Duluth: What's new in dining that you don't want to miss (June 2016)

Summary: Several Duluth hotspots are highlighted and dissected: Duluth’s Best Bread, Duluth Coffee Company, Vikre, Pickwick, Grandma’s, Brewhouse, Northern Waters Smokehaus, Duluth Grill, Burrito Union, and options up the shore

One Fit City

Gadgets and Wearables.com - Fitness tracker data reveals the fittest cities in America (May 2017)

Summary: Fitbit ranks Duluth #1!

In Closing

Well, clearly we’ve given ‘em something to talk about. From our food and drink to our outdoor adventures, and even our connection to Bob Dylan, Duluth has got it goin’ on.

And, that, folks, is what people are talking about.

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Find Your People Here

 

What does community mean?  It can be defined as a group of people who live in the same physical location, like Duluth.  It can also mean a group of people who share common interests.  For example, perusing a local events calendar, I saw an announcement for a dulcimer jam session, which brings together folks who admire the uniquely shaped stringed instruments.  Come to find out, Duluth has a flourishing dulcimer scene.

Duluth is made up of many passionate people who come together around their shared interest in a particular subject or practice. I was struck when our family moved to Duluth years ago by how quickly it felt like home. One of the reasons was how easy it was to find events, clubs, organizations, and businesses of interest.

Weaving Friendships

For instance, I weave.  With the help of Google, I found the Duluth Fiber Handcrafters Guild, with a full weaving studio. Here I have met the most supportive and knowledgeable weavers who inspire me to create as well as several whom I now consider close friends.

Indeed, community groups are where we form friendships and connections that enrich our lives, as well expand our skills. Finding a community of people with a shared passion deepens our sense of place and helps us feel we belong.

What's Your Passion?

Chances are you’ll find like-minded folks with which to connect, interact, share, and help in Duluth.  Here are a few examples.

  • New parent? Hike It Baby Duluth offers family-friendly group hikes in Duluth’s many parks and green spaces.
  • Enjoy tying flies?  The Great Lakes Fly Shop holds a monthly Beer n’ Bugs fly-tying event that is open to the public.
  • Is paddling your passion?  Join the Dragon boat club and build team spirit on a 43-foot boat.

The list goes on and on.

Duluth is a vibrant community with groups of people who follow their passion, whatever it may be.  Make Duluth your destination for life and find your people here.

--- Kristina Bourne and her family meet the most interesting and passionate people while hiking on local trails, volunteering with community groups, and simply walking around downtown.  She writes about these encounters and more on her family outdoor blog, Outside In Duluth.

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