A G Thomson House Bed and Breakfast
Spend the Holidays in Duluth 19 Nov 2015, 3:00 am
Though it sometimes feels like just yesterday when we were talking about and planning for summer and fall adventures around Duluth, the holidays are officially here. It’s time to start finalizing your plans, and we hope Duluth is on your list. The holidays are a wonderful time of year to gather with friends and family, to keep up with long-standing traditions, and to make memories that will last a lifetime. Though this is one of the busiest seasons for many families, it’s also a wonderful time to getaway from the hectic rush of our over-scheduled lives, and to enjoy those things that truly matter. Getaway to to the magical holiday season in Duluth this winter, where you can discover new traditions and make new memories. Book your room at our beautiful Duluth Bed and Breakfast today.
Celebrate the Holidays
Whether you’ve been to Duluth during the holiday season before or you’re a newcomer to Duluth’s festivities, we know you’re going to have a great holiday season. At the top of our list for fun holiday activities to enjoy this winter is the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. This stunning display, which is billed as America’s largest free walk through a lighting display, features over 4 million twinkling lights throughout the 20-acre Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. For an added element of holiday cheer, hop onboard the North Shore Scenic Railroad at Fitzgers, and enjoy the short train ride over to Bentleyville’s Tour of Lights.
Another immensely popular event during the holidays is the self-guided tour at Glensheen Mansion. A Christmas at Glensheen is a wonderful opportunity to explore this beautiful and historic building, which has been decked out in its traditional festive glory. As you go, you’ll learn about the famous Congdon family, sip hot cocoa in the Carriage House, enjoy music played on the Congdon’s Grand Steinway piano, and discover the magic of the tallest of Glensheen’s Christmas trees, which proudly towers beyond the first floor. Though there is more to enjoy during the holidays that we have room to write, other fun events you may want to check out are Julebyen Scandinavian Festival, A Christmas Carol at Teatro Zuccone, or a little holiday ice skating along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The holiday magic is waiting for you. Book your room at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast today.
Visit the Top Breweries in Duluth, Minnesota 16 Oct 2015, 3:00 am
If you’re at all into drinking beer, then you probably have heard of the craft brew craze taking over taps across America. Craft Breweries, which are characterized as small, independent, yet traditional breweries, have seen a 15% increase in sales over the last year. Though annually the production of craft breweries is still small, at a mere 10% of national beer sales, it’s hard to deny the popularity of these increasing local fixtures. Luckily for us, Duluth has proclaimed itself as the Craft Brewery Capital of Minnesota. You’ll find great breweries in Duluth, coupled with expansive, beautiful views along the North Shore of Lake Superior that can’t be found anywhere else. Book your room at our beautiful Duluth Bed and Breakfast today, and discover the thriving craft brew culture in Minnesota.
Visit Duluth’s Breweries
There is a long and rich history of brewing in Duluth. As a result, Duluth is home to an abundance of local microbreweries and brewpubs that have created a constant and delicious supply of interesting and unique beer. There is even an official beer trail that you can follow, which will guide you through the delicious flavors of Duluth’s top breweries. If you have some time and would like a challenge, you can take on the Official Duluth Beer Challenge, featuring 18 of the best beers from the top 6 breweries. Of these popular breweries, you can’t go wrong grabbing a brew at the famous Fitger’s Brewhouse, which opened its doors as the only brewpup in Northern Minnesota, let alone Duluth, in 1995. A relative newcomer to the scene that is proving immensely popular is Bent Paddle Brewing, which is production brewery with a 30-barrel brewhouse.
Whether you’re a beer aficionado or simply interested in learning about this thriving new industry, taking a tour of local breweries is a fun way to spend an afternoon in Duluth. In fact, with so much happening on the beer scene these days, a tour might just be the best way to make the most of your beer drinking experience in Minnesota. There are plenty of breweries and tours to choose from, but our friends at The Duluth Experience have one of the best selections we’ve seen. Transportation is provided, but in addition to that, you’ll enjoy plenty of beer-related education, unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the breweries, tastings of craft beers, a souvenir sample glass, and a wonderful local meal. In total, there are 5 brewery tours to choose from, both private and public. No matter what you choose, you won’t be disappointed in the breweries of Duluth. Book your room with us today, and experience the unbeatable beer culture in Duluth.
See the Fall Color in Duluth Minnesota 29 Sep 2015, 3:00 am
The sights and sounds of Autumn are underway in Minnesota, and excitement is in the air as the dramatic colors of fall begin their beautiful annual display. Minnesota’s fall color typically peaks towards the end of September or early October, but mother nature’s great show can be enjoyed through the end of October. Situated on the north shores of Lake Superior, there is no better place to see the vibrant colors of sugar maple, aspen, paper birch, ash, and silver maple than along the scenic roadways, hillsides, parks, and shorelines in and around Duluth. If you have yet to see the spectacular fall color change here, don’t miss your chance this year. Book you room at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast today.
Duluth’s Fall Color Report
It’s well established that leaves change color each fall due to chemical changes in the leaves, triggered by the changing rhythm of the day and night that occurs during the transition from summer to fall. Here we are rounding into the end of September, and the fall color in Duluth is just starting to get spectacular. Along the North Shore of Lake Superior, we’re mainly seeing spectacular color from the maples, poplars/aspens, birch, and tamarack, and are starting to see some oak showing their colors. For a spectacular glimpse of the maples, we recommend taking a hike along part of the Superior Hiking Trail, which will take you to a ridge of bright orange and red sugar maples. Another incredible place to witness both the changing fall colors, in addition to the annual fall bird migration is the Skyline Parkway Scenic Byway & Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory.
If you’re looking for a beautiful drive, you can’t go wrong heading north on Highway 61, along the shores of Lake Superior. Visitors are currently enjoying long stretches of golden yellow aspens and birches, with a few brighter oranges and reds beginning to show. There are so many beautiful places to drive, hike, or bike while enjoying the fall color display in and around Duluth, that it’s impossible to list them all. However, if you want to just sit back and let someone else do the planning for you, we recommend a fall color tour with The Duluth Experience. These tours are fun, enjoyable for the whole family, and include short hikes so that you can fully immerse yourself in Duluth’s fall beauty. There are only a few weeks left of this uniquely beautiful season, so book your room at our luxury Duluth Bed and Breakfast today.
Fall Birding Destinations in Duluth 28 Aug 2015, 3:00 am
Duluth is an exciting place to visit, with an abundance of outdoor activities to be enjoyed throughout the seasons. From lush forests, expansive bodies of freshwater, and rocky outcroppings just begging to be explored, you won’t soon run out of activities to enjoy here in Duluth. Though most of us are still enjoying the long, warm days of summer, fall and all of it’s wonderful opportunities are just around the corner. One of our guests favorite things to do during the early fall months, as the weather begins to cool and the colors begin to change, is to head out for a day of birding. Whether you’re a long time birding enthusiast or would just like to give it a try, there’s no better place than Duluth. Make our Bed and Breakfast your home base, and start exploring the best fall birding hotspots Duluth has to offer.
One of the best places to go birding this fall is the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. The first “Hawk Watch” during the annual bird migration through Duluth began in 1951, eventually growing so big that the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory was established in 1972. Today, this beautiful area is home to over 350 acres of pristine land, and is a prime birding destination just outside the city of Duluth. In fact, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is extremely well known, with birding enthusiasts traveling from all over the world to enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual bird migration in the fall. During peak migration times, visitors to the observatory can see a wide variety of hawks coming from as far north as the Arctic, heading for their warm winter breeding grounds as far south as points in South America. Over 20 species of raptors have been seen along the ridges, with the most rare of them being the peregrine falcon and gyrfalcon.
Though migration in Duluth begins in mid-August, peak migration occurs in mid-September to late-October, with a few species trickling in until December. Although Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is certainly a must-see birding destination, the Duluth Audobon Society also maintains a wonderful collection of birding maps to help you enjoy this activity to its fullest. Other popoular birding hotspots in the Duluth area are featured along the North Shore Birding Trail, and include popular places such as Park Point Recreational Area and the Sax Zim Bog. At the latter, you’re likely to encounter some beautiful Great Grey Owls, as well as 240 other species of migrant and breeding birds. Fall in Duluth is beautiful, and offers some of the best birding opportunities in Minnesota. Book your room today so you don’t miss your chance to stay at our luxurious Bed and Breakfast Inn this fall.
Kayaking Experiences Around Duluth 17 Aug 2015, 3:00 am
With an endless horizon over the largest freshwater lake in the world, rocky cliffs, and pristine forests, Duluth is a city unlike any other that you’ve been to before. Duluth is a virtual paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and has long been a popular destination for those seeking a getaway into Mother Nature. With 6,834 acres of city parkland, 178 miles of wooded trails, 16 designated trout streams, in addition to the miles of fun to be had on Lake Superior, it’s no wonder to us that Duluth was named Outside Magazine’s “Best Town Ever”. A day spent kayaking on the waters around Duluth is a perfect way to relax and unwind while taking in the scenic beauty of Minnesota. Book your room at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast today, and take advantage of our spectacular kayaking deals.
Duluth Kayaking Trips
Take a kayaking trip with experienced guides in Duluth, and get ready to experience the perfect balance of adventure, exercise, and relaxation. As you paddle along, you’ll experience the scenic and calm waters of Duluth, and depending on where you go you may even float past ocean going ships, historic lighthouses, stunning sea cliffs and abundant wildlife. Popular places to go kayaking for the day include the beautiful waters of Lake Superior and the St. Louis River Estuary. At the A G Thomson House, we have teamed up with The Duluth Experience to offer our guests the perfect package deal, which includes an incredible kayaking adventure.
The Duluth Experience offers several unique and exciting kayaking tours around the Duluth area. The first and most popular of these options is the Lake Superior Kayak Adventure. This exciting tour will take you on a 4 hour excursion along one of three possible routes on Lake Superior, and includes a lunch stop along the way. If you’d rather explore a little bit of Duluth’s history as you go, then enjoy 4 hours paddling the St. Louis River Estuary, which is the largest freshwater estuary in the nation. For an extra special and romantic journey, choose to enjoy the 2 hour sunset paddle along beautiful stretches of downtown Duluth’s waterfront. You have the option to book whichever tour sounds most interesting to you, and add it to your stay at our luxurious Duluth Bed and Breakfast. Book your room with us today, and enjoy kayaking on the calm waters of Duluth during these last weeks of summer.
Distilling in Duluth! 24 Jun 2015, 2:32 pm
It is not news that Duluth is known for its growing craft beer market, and the amazing products that have been put out by companies like our historic Fitger’s Brewing Company to more recent companies like Bent Paddle Brewing, Canal Park Brewing, and more! That big lake of ours is a great supplier of some of the most pure and delicious water making it no surprise Duluth has emerged as one of the finest craft brewing cities in the country.
But beer is not the only divine product that gets its start from Lake Superior. Within the last year or so, Duluth has had the privilege of a new craft in town, the incredible Vikre Distillery. Located in Canal Park in the historic Paolucci Building, adjacent to the Aerial Lift Bridge, Vikre is a truly unique and “Duluth” experience. The atmosphere is comfortable, and the spirits even more comforting. And with the recent addition of an on-site bar, tasting these spirits is right at hand!
Vikre Distillery has not only brought us Lake Superior in a new way, but also included our Northwood’s botanical gifts in making their product. They will be offering a whiskey, still in its aging process, and have distilled some gin like no other.
I was not a gin drinker before, but your mind will be changed with a taste of one of their Boreal’s. But more than that, we get the pleasure of enjoying Vodka and Aquavit too. And with the opening of their new on-site bar, you will experience a truly one-of-a-kind cocktail; fresh, pure and uniquely Vikre. And don’t forget to take Vikre’s tour of their distillery helping round out a delightful and “spirit -ual” visit!
If you would prefer to sit back and let someone else do the driving and you want to sample the spirits at Vikre and enjoy one of Duluth’s many micro breweries, another great entrepreneurial company, the Duluth Experience, is a perfect way to do so.
Along with the talent of Vikre, the folks at the Duluth Experience have found a way to truly focus on all that Duluth has to offer its residents and guests alike. They offer several brewery tours, but if you want to include Vikre on your list, then the Saturday evening tour is for you.
And we could not be more proud to partner with the Duluth Experience in offering their Brewery Tours as an add-on package to your stay at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast. We are happy to make your reservations and set everything up for you. All you have to do is book your stay and relax in one of our incredible guest rooms, and enjoy the talent of our Duluth!
Duluth Beauty, History and a Beer! 15 Oct 2014, 2:15 pm
When we were fortunate enough to be “ordered” to Duluth back in 2005 by the Air Force, we knew this was a very special place and felt like we were “home” immediately. Our roots and family were not far away in Wisconsin, so it was the perfect fit. And having moved a few times over the years in the military, we learned how to quickly acclimate to a new environment and start to learn about and experience our new city and environment.
And now over 9 years later, we are still learning about this truly unique and incredible city of Duluth. In recent years, a great new company has formed called The Duluth Experience, offering visitors to our fair city a unique perspective of our history, culture, and best of all…beer! We are proud to have partnered with these amazing and dedicated people in offering several exceptional packages to help our guests get the most out of their time in Duluth.
The Duluth Experience began by providing fun-filled Brewery Tours, visiting the multitude of micro breweries in the Twin Ports. This is still one of their most popular tours, and the AG Thomson House Duluth Bed and Breakfast is proud to package this tour with your stay! As the brewery tours became more popular, the foresight of this talented group evolved into offering even more opportunities to experience Duluth.
One of these opportunities is The Duluth Experience History Bus Tours and it is absolutely incredible, providing a unique perspective and insight to our Zenith City. This tour is also another package item we are proud to offer guests when booking with the AG Thomson House Duluth Bed and Breakfast! You will not only enjoy your warm experience at our bed and breakfast, but you will experience a historical story that helps to place Duluth’s present and future into a much more comprehensive context.
Those of you who know Duluth, know the seasons offer us so many wonderful opportunities to learn about and experience the dynamic beauty of our port city. With this, brings some fantastic seasonal tours also offered by the Duluth Experience.
This fall the Duluth Experience offered a stunning Fall Colors Tour, which will likely be an annual event. Coming up this Holiday winter season, we are looking forward to our partnership with the Duluth Experience in offering a Holiday Lights Tour, taking guests around the twin ports for an up close and personal sight-seeing tour of holiday lights! Watch our website as more details become available soon!
Spring and Summer, ah yes…what we look forward to all winter long, offers perhaps some of the best opportunities to truly “experience” Duluth and Lake Superior. The Duluth Experience Adventure Tours will take you mountain biking, scenic biking and kayaking, showcasing the breathtaking beauty and grandeur from a perspective you may not normally have the opportunity to experience. And again, we could not be more proud to be a partner and offer these packages along with your stay at the AG Thomson House!
At our Duluth bed and breakfast, we focus on and specialize in offering our guests an “experience”, not just a “room for a night”. We are proud to provide a warm and inviting atmosphere for our guests to relax with gorgeous rooms featuring whirlpools, fireplaces, lake views, and so much more. And we are proud to partner with the incredible folks at the Duluth Experience in adding to our guests’ overall experience at our Inn and in our dazzling port city of Duluth! As we strive to provide guests of the AG Thomson House with a wonderfully memorable experience, we are proud to partner with a team of talented and dedicated people at the Duluth Experience who share our passion for our work, and our love of Duluth! Don’t just take our word for it; our passion is shared by what guests are saying about the AG Thomson House Bed and Breakfast on Trip Advisor, and about the folks at the The Duluth Experience!
See you on your next EXPERIENCE to Duluth!
Tavern on the Hill: A new Duluth gem! 10 Sep 2014, 1:56 pm
As a Wisconsin native, the word “tavern” brings a clear image to mind. Well, that image has been completely dispelled as we walked through the doors of the new Tavern on the Hill, located on Woodland Avenue near the UMD campus and the College of St. Scholastica. Nestled among new apartment developments, Starbucks, Qdoba and more, this “Tavern” is sure to become a Duluth favorite hot spot in a very short amount of time. This is no Wisconsin tavern for sure!!
Many of our guests are familiar with Duluth’s Blackwood’s restaurants and the incredible Blackwater Lounge located in downtown Duluth. But the new Tavern on the Hill, located near UMD and the College of St. Scholastic and just a short walk from our Duluth Bed and Breakfast, is a truly unique and new type of restaurant that Duluth has not had. It is sure to fill a niche that Duluth can embrace.
We had the pleasure of visiting the Tavern many times since the recent official opening in August, and we will be back again and again. We are eager to share this fabulous spot with our guests too. It is located about 8 blocks from the AG Thomson House Duluth Bed and Breakfast, making it a perfect place for our guests to walk or drive, and enjoy a modern yet warm place to drink, dine and connect. And they are not kidding about connecting; at each booth there is a charging station for those of us tied to our devices!
To describe the menu would take too long, but let me say that there was no stone un-turned during the preparation for this menu. The Tavern on the Hill offers guests so many fantastic options that will surely please the meat eater, vegan, vegetarian, and those with gluten or other allergies. The drink options run the gamut with signature martinis and cocktails, beer and wine, and of course delicious non-alcoholic beverages.
And I haven’t even mentioned the incredible indoor/outdoor space they have designed; offering indoor patio dining, with accordion doors opening up to the outdoor dining space. A space that will be getting a lot of use all year round! Yes, all year round because of the massive fireplace and heated concrete under the patio. Duluthians and Midwesterners are tough, but this space will provide a cozy and warm spot in the middle of winter to snuggle by the fire and enjoy a tasty hot beverage and snack!
The Market at Tavern on the Hill is the on-the-go spot to pick up food ready to go. And much like their “sister” restaurants, curbside pick up is an option and can be ordered directly online. And you cannot miss the Smoothie Bar; offering fruit and vegetable smoothies to go with your “grab and go” entrees!
As residents of this great city, as well as Innkeepers of the beautiful AG Thomson House Duluth Bed and Breakfast who enjoy sharing our favorite spots with our guests, we could not be more excited about this new, progressive, and one-of-a-kind Duluth gem to enjoy a quiet meal, or connect with friends and family!
Duluth: A “Fair” to remember on Lake Superior 23 Jun 2014, 1:49 pm
A Duluth “Fair” to remember…
Each year Duluth is home to several incredible Art Fairs on the shores of Lake Superior, featuring artists from the Midwest and beyond.
Kicking off the season is the 44th Annual Park Point Art Fair on June 28th and 29th a short drive over the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at the very end of “the point”. This unique and beautiful location on the sandy shore of Lake Superior is just one of many reasons not to miss this fair. There will be approximately 120 artisans, live music, food, and more beginning at 10 am until 5 pm – and admission and parking is free!
The Bayfront Park Art Fair in Bayfront Park will be in its fourth year this season, celebrating over 180 gallery quality artists and entertainers from all across the United States. As with the Park Point Art Fair, the setting is equal to none along the bay and steps from the Lake Superior. Bayfront artists will be displaying their beautiful pieces between 10 am and 6 pm on August 16th, and until 5 pm on Sunday the 17th. Admission is free, with a minimum cost for parking near the fair. You can also enjoy a ride to Bayfront on the Port Town Trolley where they will pick you up in Canal Park or from a few locations on Superior Street.
The Glensheen Mansion is also a prime location for their annual art fair, but unfortunately due to construction on the grounds this year, the fair at the Glensheen Mansion is postponed until next year. The mansion is open for tours, and you can enjoy the artistry of the home and the grounds if you miss the fairs! But with one less art fair this year, it will give you just one more reason to visit Duluth and not miss out on the Park Point and Bayfront Fair and be awed by the talents you will find along the Lake Superior shores.
And while you are in town enjoying the arts, what better place to enjoy an incredible meal, take in a film, enjoy an Improv performance, and more all in one location at the Zeitgeist Arts Café. Located in downtown Duluth on Superior Street, this spectacular venue has it all.
The Café features delicious and creative food in an atmosphere of comfort with the warmth of exposed brick. After dinner, enjoy that glass of wine or beer, and take in a movie you may not see at your standard movie theater at the Zinema 2. Or step into the world of improvisation and hilarity with the talented members of Renegade Improv. The Zeitgeist venue is a truly unique experience, sure to hit the perfect note whether at the café, movies, or laughing until you cry at Teatro Zuccone! Be sure to check it out!
And of course, we hope your starting point is our Duluth Bed and Breakfast, enjoying one of our beautiful, comfortable, inviting rooms ready to help you relax and unwind after a fun day of shopping and dining. The weather has most definitely improved allowing us to finally enjoy the summer season that we love so much about Duluth. The grounds are blooming and the veranda is flooded in flowers, and we are eager to share it with you. There is no shortage of nature’s “art” around the Inn. We are ready to welcome you home on your next visit to Duluth!
The Ryerson Suite: A sweet Suite in Duluth! 7 May 2014, 2:49 pm
The Ryerson Suite: A sweet Suite in Duluth!
It is not unusual for us to be asked what our favorite room is when guests are looking over our website and trying to choose the perfect room for their stay at the AG Thomson House Duluth Bed and Breakfast. We are the same way…your time and resources are precious and you want to make the most out of your time together. And we love sharing all the details of each room to help make your stay as perfect as we can.
It has taken nearly 7 years, but we can now honestly say that we would stay in any one of our seven guest rooms. Whether you are looking for the coziness of the North Shore and Brule River Retreat to the expansive and grand, Lake Superior Suite we believe each of our rooms fills a niche that our guests are looking for.
So this blog is going to focus on our “favorite” room…the Ryerson Suite!
The Ryerson Suite is a true “suite” located in the Main House of our Duluth Bed and Breakfast, and it is one of our most private rooms. Part of this room was an addition to the home that was added in the 1920’s, thus most of the space in this room offers complete separation from any other room in the Main House. The closet is the only part of this room that shares a wall with the closet of another room…that is very rare, and is just one of many reasons why this would be our “favorite” if we were staying here as a guest, as well why it is a favorite of many of our guests!
The beautiful Ryerson Suite offers guests an incredibly comfortable king size bed that has a view of Lake Superior. This spring we replaced all of our beds, and this one is truly spectacular and perfect for the rest and relaxation you are looking for. The closet offers guests a lot of space to unpack and/or store your luggage as well as a mini-refrigerator. This was an important amenity that we wanted to provide our guests for the convenience of being able to bring your snacks and beverages while at your “home away from home”.
The large, comfortable chair nestled in the corner of the room looks toward the gas fireplace, which is situated perfectly in the corner, so you can enjoy the fire and a view of the lake all in one. It is proudly a Minnesota-made fireplace, and is absolutely charming. This was another addition we added to the Ryerson Suite; it was the only room at our Duluth Bed and Breakfast that did not have a fireplace in the bedroom and we made sure to fix that!
Moving on to the large and bright bathroom is where you will find one of the new, super hygienic oversized whirlpool! It is simply amazing! The jets are located in the bottom of the tub and have a wide array of settings to enjoy. The super hygienic feature is much appreciated by our guests!
Just off the bathroom is what we, and our guests, love most about this space…the cozy sun room surrounded by two walls of windows flooding the space with light! In the sun room is where you will snuggle in to a delightful loveseat and chair perfect for watching a movie on the 42” flat screen TV. The special room also has a fireplace, and another table chairs for work, enjoying your breakfast delivery, dining in for the evening, or playing games, etc.
We could not be more proud of all of our rooms at the AG Thomson House, but wanted to give a “shout out” to the Ryerson Suite this week. We will continue to focus on each room until we showcase the unique amenities and comfort they all offer our guests. And we will look forward to welcoming you home to any one of our spectacular rooms!