Eloping on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior

Elopement on Palisade Head Minnesota

Minnesota may not be the first to come to mind when considering an Adventure Elopement, but the gorgeous North Shore of Lake Superior offers amazing elopement locations! Just like any location, there are many things to consider when planning your North Shore Elopement, such as time of year, accommodations, legalities, activities, and more! This guide will help walk you through planning your Minnesota Elopement!

Best time of year

Summer and Fall (June-October) are by far the best times to visit and Elope in Minnesota as far as comfortable weather! Of course every season can be absolutely beautiful depending on what you are looking for, here is what to expect for different times of the year.

Summer (June- August) – with average temperatures ranging from the 50’s to the 80’s its good to wear layers and always be prepared for whatever is thrown at you! You may need a light jacket in the mornings, but will be sweating by afternoon! It is also quite humid thanks to Lake Superior! The trees will be lush and green and the sky is often pretty clear or partly cloudy. Rain storms will often move in and out pretty quickly. BE PREPARED FOR MOSQUITOS! They are known as the unofficial state bird for a reason, they are everywhere!

Fall (September – November) – If you like slightly cooler temps fall is the way to go! Temps range from 20’s – 60’s so you will definitely want to keep a jacket with just incase! Mornings and evenings after the sun goes down are pretty crisp but daytimes are pretty much perfect.

Winter (December – March) – Winters in Minnesota can be pretty brutal, that is a fact, but if you are willing to out up with some very chilly temps, they are also very beautiful!! Tempertaures can be as high as the 20’s or 30’s, but can also dip well below 0. (record lows have been -60 yikes 🥶) Minnesota gets a LOT of snow, sometimes even several feet in one day. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended in the winter!

Spring (April-May) – Spring in Minnesota is pretty hit or miss. Sometimes winter temps and conditions can last well into spring with snow happening until as late as May, and sometimes it will start warming up and the snow will start melting. Be prepared for melting slushy snow and again you will want to wear layers as temps can be cool in the morning but nicer by afternoon! The trees don’t start blossoming until pretty late spring typically but the grass and some other greenery may start peeking out from the melting snow!

Photo by Holly Stelmach

Travel

If you are not already in the area, the best airport to travel into for an Elopement on the North Shore would be the Duluth International Airport. This is a smaller airport and very easy to navigate! I would highly recommend renting a car as public transportation is not really feasible for getting around the area since things are quite spread out and there is nothing that goes up the North Shore from the airport. There are plenty of car rental options for transportation around the area. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and, National are all options! If coming to the area in the late Fall/ Winter/ early Spring you will definitely want to get a 4×4 vehicle as snow can make for some interesting driving situations!

Accommodations

There are of course tons of hotels in Duluth, MN and surrounding area but if you are like me, you like to find something a little more secluded and special. Here are a few cabin and lodge resorts that are right on the North Shore!

Photo by Holly Stelmach – Cove Point Lodge

Cove Point Lodge – Beaver Bay, MN – Offers a Cozy Lodge or Private cottages. There are plenty of activities for all seasons and it’s convenient to Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, Tettegouche State Park, and so much more!!

Breezy Point Cabins – Two Harbors, MN – These private lakeside cabins range from studio to two-bedroom and are right along the edge of the lake. Cannot get better views than these. Convenient to all the popular attractions for exploring on your own, but this resort also offers guided experiences such as hikes, snowshoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing sailing, and even a brewery tour!

Lamb’s Resort – Schroeder, Minnesota – Offers adorable little cabins right on the lake or river as well as RV, or tent camping!

Anderson’s North Shore Resort – Grand Marais, MN – These adorable cabins right on the shore of Lake Superior are open year round, offer privacy, and even outdoor decks complete with a BBQ! canoeing, kayaking, hiking and so much more nearby.

Temperance Landing – Tofte, MN – Luxury log homes that sleep 6-8 people, these are perfect if you want to include close family or friends in your elopement!

There are tons of amazing places on Airbnb and VRBO as well!!

Photo by Holly Stelmach

Food

Here are a few must stop places to get some tasty eats along the North Shore!

Betty’s Pies – Two Harbors, MN – You can’t visit the North Shore with stopping to get one of Betty’s world famous pies!

New Scenic Cafe – right outside of Duluth on scenic highway 61, and right on the lake with delicious New American Cuisine.

Angry Trout Cafe – famous for its Lake Superior trout and whitefish.

Things To Do

There is a long list of activities that you can do while eloping on the North Shore of Minnesota!

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Rock climbing
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • ATV/Off-roading
  • Water Skiing
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snowmobiling

Legalities/Permits

To get married in Minnesota, you will need to apply for a marraige license. It does not matter what county you apply in as long as you are getting married somewhere in the state of Minnesota. You can fill out an online application for St. Louis County Minnesota here.

The fee for a marriage license in Minnesota is $115 unless you take 12 hours of premarital education classes, then it is only $40. You will need to look up pre-marital counselors that are certified to provide the education and have proof that you took the classes. There is no waiting period to get the license typically, you will just need to make an appointment at the licensing office and it is good for 6 months from the date it is issued.

You will need to be married by someone who is authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, as well as have 2 witnesses present to sign the marriage license.

Permits for ceremony and photos will vary by location. Your Elopement Photographer should be able to help you with this!

Wildlife

Minnesota is home to all kinds of amazing wildlife! The Loon is the state bird and something it is well known for, but you could also see Black Bear, Moose, Wolves, Fox, Bobcat, Whitetail Deer, and so much more! Please be sure to always respect wildlife and make sure to take proper precautions such as carrying bear spray, or bear bells when hiking and spending time in the outdoors.

Elopement Location Ideas

Palisade Head

Tettegouche State Park

Black Beach

Gooseberry Falls

Split Rock State Park

Photo by Holly Stelmach

Temperance River State Park

Cascade River State Park

Grand Portage State Park

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