Family Road Trip from Duluth to Twin Cities Gateway

Looking for a fun family-friendly destination close to home?  Located less than 150 miles from Duluth, the Twin Cities Gateway has dozens of kid-friendly attractions, parks and trails, and convenient accommodations with a great value.  

But don’t wait until you get there for the fun to start—use this step-by-step road trip itinerary to check out some family-friendly activities along your route.  Fill up the gas tank and start your adventure!

Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN

Start off your road trip with a visit to the over 300 animals who call the Lake Superior Zoo home.  In addition to wild animals from around the world including tigers, bears, kangaroos, monkeys, and a sloth, there’s a barnyard exhibit where you can meet sheep, goats, chickens, and more.  Go behind the scenes with a private tour and feed animals, paint with monkeys, or learn about veterinary care (advance reservations required for tours).

If you like this, check out Springbrook Nature Center in the Twin Cities Gateway! 

Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton, MN 

Make a stop at Jay Cooke State Park to cross the iconic swinging bridge and watch the St. Louis River flowing beneath your feet.  In addition to excellent views of the St. Louis River Valley, there’s a visitor center with kid-friendly exhibits, hiking trails, and a historic pioneer cemetery. 

If you like this, check out Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in the Twin Cities Gateway! 

Tobies Restaurant and Bakery in Hinckley, MN

You’re halfway to the Twin Cities Gateway—it’s time for a snack!  Tobies Restaurant and Bakery has been serving up treats since 1948, including their famous caramel, cinnamon, and pecan rolls, plus cookies, donuts, and muffins.  If you’d prefer a full meal, the restaurant serves sandwiches, salads, burgers, and more, and offers kids meals.

If you like this, check out Hans’ Bakery in the Twin Cities Gateway! 

Snake River Fur Post in Pine City, MN

Stretch your legs and experience Minnesota’s past at the Snake River Fur Post.  At the visitor center, see a 24-foot long birch bark canoe, lift a voyageur pack, try on beaver felt hats, and learn fur trading phrases in French and Ojibwe.  Next, explore a recreation of a fur trading post and historic Ojibwe encampment on your own or take a 40-minute guided tour.

If you like this, check out the Anoka County History Center in the Twin Cities Gateway! 

Twin CIties Gateway, MN

You’ve made it!  The ten communities of the Twin Cities Gateway (Anoka, Arden Hills, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Mounds View, New Brighton, and Shoreview) offer family-friendly attractions like Lilli Putt and the Fun Lab (plus all the other activities mentioned in this article!), as well as tasty eats, parks and trails, and affordable hotels with free parking.  In addition, the Twin Cities Gateway is conveniently located to Minneapolis and Saint Paul, making it the perfect base for your getaway to the Twin Cities.


Book your stay in the Twin Cities Gateway today!

Springbrook Nature Center

6431 University Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55432

More Information Website
Lilli Putt Amusement Park

1349 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433

More Information Website
The Fun Lab

10650 Baltimore St NE
Blaine, MN 55449

(763) 392-4522
More Information Website
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