Explore Our Region
Northeast Minnesota & Northwest Wisconsin
The Northland is expansive and complex, but it can be divided into four main regions: the Twin Ports, the Iron Range, the North Shore of Minnesota, and Northwest Wisconsin. Each has its own distinguishing characteristics and remarkable qualities that make it a place where people live and thrive. Here are the specifics:
Intricate highways and railroad lines trace this region like veins and the Twin Ports serve as the area’s beating heart. The two most populous cities of the Northland, Duluth and Superior, straddle the tip of Lake Superior and link Minnesota and Wisconsin together. Hubs for business, retail, and tourism, they are also home to a diverse range of nationally renowned colleges and universities. A pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit evolves daily in these historic cities poised on the edge of the largest body of freshwater in the world. Carved out by glaciers, the rustic beauty of the region still bears traces of the titanic forces which shaped it millennia ago. An astounding amount of resources filters through the Twin Ports every year, making Duluth and Superior a strategic point for industry conducted worldwide. Perfect Duluth Day is a periscope into Duluth culture chronicling day to day happenings and historical insights. If you need any more reasons to live here, or just assistance in making a move, consult Destination Duluth.
Minnesota’s Iron Range
The first thing you’ll notice when you venture into the north central part of the state is that everything gets bigger. Trees grow larger, open spaces expand, and everything takes on enchanted forest, Paul Bunyan proportions. The air also gets clearer as you head for Hibbing, Virginia, Chisholm, and all of the towns and cities that sit over one of the world’s most mineral-rich territories. The area was named for its iron deposits and today taconite and other forms of mining continue to drive the region’s industry. To the north, Ely’s access to the Boundary Waters draws the most intrepid campers, canoers, and outdoors enthusiasts with its rugged forests and untarnished waterways. To learn more about the economics of the Iron Range, visit IRRRB’s website. To see all the region has to offer by way of attractions and recreation, check out Iron Range Tourism.
The North Shore of Minnesota
The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of the world’s best kept scenic secrets. Challenging winters have traditionally kept many from becoming year-round residents on this stunning shoreline, which nevertheless draws tourists up Highway 61 each season thanks to its breathtaking views. With a history rooted in logging and shipping, Two Harbors and Silver Bay anchor the coastline. Further north, just 40 miles short of the Canadian border, Grand Marais is home to a lively Art Colony and Folk School. Visit Cook County is an excellent resource with information on the upper Arrowhead region, including the storied Gunflint Trail. All along the North Shore, pristine waters and moody skies guarantee that you’ll never see any two sunrises or sunsets exactly alike.
Though just across the water and visible to each other on clear days, the shore of Wisconsin is distinctively different from its Minnesotan corollary. More temperate all year around and much more forgiving when it comes to agriculture, farmland dots most of the area. In the east, Ashland hosts premiere research centers including the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. Nearby Bayfield is a seasonal destination famous for its annual Apple Festival in autumn and astounding ice caves in the winter. From the serene to the spectacular, northwest Wisconsin is an ideal place to “get away from it all.” Instead, get in touch with what you truly care about. Nurture a garden. Raise a family. Cultivate your life’s work. The Brule River is a canoeing and trout fishing destination known for being a presidential favorite — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, and Dwight Eisenhower all summered along its banks. Visit the Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation for more info on all northwestern Wisconsin has to offer.