Great Lakes Direct

Two Harbors, Minnesota

Two Harbors is a port town located on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior. As its name suggests, the town is located between two bays: Agate Bay and Burlington Bay.

The city's growth was fueled by the discovery of iron ore in the region and the construction of the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad.

View of Two Harbors, MN
View of Two Harbors

Today, Two Harbors serves as a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, offering access to the Superior Hiking Trail, paved walking and biking paths, and two of Minnesota's most popular state parks: Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse.

The city's waterfront features the iconic Ore Docks, where massive iron ore tankers load their cargo, and the historic Edna G tugboat, the last steam-powered tugboat on the Great Lakes.

Where is Two Harbors?

Two Harbors is located on state highway 61 northeast of Duluth on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

It is the county seat of Lake County and has a population of around 3600 inhabitants.

How to get to Two Harbors

Nearest airport to Two Harbors

The closest airport to Two Harbors is Duluth International Airport, around 30 miles to the southwest.

Duluth offers regular daily connections to the larger international airports at Minneapolis-St Paul and Chicago O'Hare.

Driving to Two Harbors

State highway 61 runs from Duluth through Two Harbors up to Silver Bay, Grand Portage and the Canadian border. The route is classed as a scenic highway and is part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour.

Where to stay in Two Harbors

If you know when you are planning to go but haven't decided on accommodation, then use the map below to get an idea of which properties are available and to compare prices during the period you wish to travel.

Enter your proposed dates and use the '+' to zoom in on a location and reveal more properties. Click on the price above a property to see more information.

(Please note that this selection will also include some vacation rentals for those who are interested in that form of accommodation!)

Check accommodation availability in Two Harbors

Alternatively, if you are looking for a list of properties available in Two Harbors you can check the accommodation listings on reservation platform

History of Two Harbors

Originally what is now Two Harbors consisted of two separate communities: Agate Bay and Burlington. Both were officially founded in the 1850s but it was not until the 1880s that the name Two Harbors came into use.

Freighter at the iron ore dock in Two Harbors
Freighter at the iron ore dock in Two Harbors

The construction of the Two Harbors Lighthouse began in 1891 and was completed in 1892 to help guide ships safely into Agate Bay Harbor, making it the oldest operating lighthouse in Minnesota.

By the early 1900s, Two Harbors was predominantly known for its iron ore shipping industry. The town's development was influenced by the arrival of railroad construction workers, many of whom were immigrants. This period also saw the establishment of businesses that catered to the growing population.

Things to see and do in the Two Harbors area

Duluth & Iron Range Depot

The Duluth and Iron Range Depot Museum is located in the former headquarters and passenger station of the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad.

It opened in 1907 and saw its final passenger train in 1961. The museum here opened shortly before that and now displays 4,000 feet of exhibits and displays about the history and culture of Lake County.

Those staying in Duluth can still take a rail trip to Two Harbors on summer weekends by hopping on a Two Harbors Turn scenic rail journey organised by North Shore Scenic Railroad.

Two Harbors Lighthouse

The Two Harbors Lighthouse dates back to 1892 and is still privately run by the Lake County Historical Society, making it the oldest continually-operated lighthouse in Minnesota.

Two Harbors Lighthouse
Two Harbors Lighthouse

It stands on Agate Bay and a guided lighthouse tour is available in the summer months. The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast opened in 1999 to help support the preservation of the buildings.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

Gooseberry Falls State Park is around 13 miles northeast of Two Harbors on the North Shore Scenic Drive.

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls State Park

The park is named for the falls along the Gooseberry river and was established back in 1937. The park has a visitor center which offers displays and a theater with nature and wildlife programs.

There are three distinct sections of waterfalls, the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls and 20 miles of hiking trails which offer views of the falls and Lake Superior.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most photographed and visited spots in Minnesota. It is located in a state park of the same name not far from Silver Bay.

Visitors should note that the lighthouse is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society and a separate entry fee is required for the various tours of the lighthouse and grounds.

Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior
Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior

The contruction of the lighthouse followed a severe storm in 1905 which led to the sinking of seven ships near the Split Rock River. The lighthouse operated from 1907 through until 1971, when it was transferred to the society to operate as a historic site.

The state park offers 13 miles of hiking trails, which connect into the Superior Hiking Trail along the North Shore.

Other Lake Superior Towns

Marquette, MI


Marquette is the largest city in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The city is home to Northern Michigan University and boasts a lively downtown area. Marquette's Presque Isle Park offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior and features hiking trails, beaches, and a historic lighthouse.

Munising, MI


Munising is a small city located on the southern shore of Lake Superior, known as the gateway to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This unique geological formation features colorful cliffs, waterfalls, and pristine beaches that attract visitors from around the world. Munising is also close to Grand Island, a historic island offering hiking trails, beaches, and remnants of an old fishing village.

Copper Harbor, MI

Copper Harbor

Copper Harbor is a small, picturesque town located at the northern tip of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, known for its stunning natural beauty and rich mining history. Today, Copper Harbor is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering world-class mountain biking trails, hiking, and scenic drives along the Brockway Mountain Drive.

Bayfield, WI


Bayfield is a small city on the Wisconsin shore known as the "Gateway to the Apostle Islands", a group of 22 islands featuring pristine beaches, lighthouses, and sea caves. Bayfield is also famous for its annual Apple Festival, which features live music, arts and crafts as well as apple-themed treats.

Two Harbors Links

Lovin' Lake County :
Lake County Historical Society :
North Shore Scenic Railroad :
Gooseberry Falls State Park :
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park :