Castle Danger Brewing

Castle Danger MNBucketList

Castle Danger Brewery, named for the town of its inception in 2011, is located in downtown Two Harbors. It started at the Castle Haven Cabins resort and has since moved to a big taproom that seats 130, has a 30-bbl brewing system and a canning line. They brew with fresh Lake Superior water and are right around the corner from the Edna G. Tugboat and a few blocks off from the Two Harbor breakwater, a north coast favorite stop for Instagrammers. While you’re there, try the Dark Chocolate George Hunter Stout, Gentleman George Hunter Stout, Nordic Ale and the Happenstance Ale that was just released on January 20th. Not only does Castle Danger have an awesome name but they also have live music, free Wi-Fi, lots of board games and you can get a big bag of chips and salsa while you hang out. With a taproom that’s open year-round, the best time to go is when you can sit on the patio because it has a great view of Lake Superior.

Vanilla Bean Restaurant

12243284_1075174465856260_3330949767246248903_nWhen it comes to the North Shore, I’ve always been a bit of a Two Harbors kind of gal. So when I was passing through, I just had to stop for breakfast. Opened in 1998, Vanilla Bean Restaurant is right off 61 just as you come into Two Harbors, a short walk to Lake Superior and has become a favorite amongst my group of friends. From the Minnesota books you can read while you wait and the oven-baked omelets to the coffee so good it’ll make you forget all about finding a Starbucks.

Oh, if you will be near there for the holidays, you can pick up pies or their famous caramel pecan bread pudding to bring to all your gatherings!

Betty’s Pies

Betty's PiesBrew Hopping = Pie Testing. For us it does, anyway. Next up on the bucket list, Betty’s Pies in Two Harbors, just off the North Shore [Lake Superior]. World famous for their homemade pies, it only seemed appropriate to try as many as possible… The reigning favorite (of mine) was the Blackberry Peach Crumble. Ever been?

Lake Superior

Lake Superior (from site) Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes of North America. The lake is shared by Canada’s Ontario and the United State’s Minnesota to the north and west, and Wisconsin and Michigan to the south. It is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume and the largest by volume in North America.

Lake Superior 3The largest island in Lake Superior is Isle Royale in the state of Michigan. Isle Royale contains several lakes, some of which also contain islands. Other large famous islands include Madeline Island in the state of Wisconsin, Michipicoten Island in the province of Ontario, and Grand Island (the location of the Grand Island National Recreation Area) in the state of Michigan.

Lake Superior 2The larger cities on Lake Superior include: the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Marquette, Michigan; and the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Duluth, at the western tip of Lake Superior, is the most inland point on the St. Lawrence Seaway and the most inland port in the world.

Among the scenic places on the lake are: the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Pukaskwa National Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Sleeping Giant (Ontario) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.


Two Harbors Breakwater

Two Harbors Light house

(from site) In 1887, a project was adopted to improve the harbor at Agate Bay by constructing breakwaters from the eastern and western points at the entrance. At that time, Agate Bay, also known as Two Harbors, had two elevated iron ore docks, and two merchandise docks.

Two Harbors Pier1887 Map of Agate Bay showing proposed breakwaters.
Two Harbors Lighthouse commenced operation on the eastern side of Agate Bay in 1892, and on December 14, 1895 a white, eight-day lantern light, shown from an iron post at an elevation of thirty feet above lake level, was established on the outer end of the eastern breakwater that extended from the shore near the lighthouse. In 1902, after the work on the breakwaters had been completed the previous November, the iron post was moved 300 feet from the angle of the pier to the outer end of the newly constructed ell, where the light was changed from a lens-lantern to a Pintsch gas light. Compartments were constructed in the breakwater to hold two eight-foot-long, cylindrical gas tanks, which were connected via pipes to the iron post supporting the light. The new gas light was first exhibited on September 10, 1902. Four years later, the post light was replaced by an enclosed light tower, described in the Annual Report of the Lighthouse Board:

The 1906 lighthouse remains in service today, exhibiting a red flash every six seconds. The 1,500-pound fog bell has been replaced by a horn that can be activated by keying a microphone five times on VHF-FM Channel 79.

Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel & Cliff

Silver Creek Overpass(from site) For years Highway 61’s most breathtaking moment was driving along the Silver Creek Cliff, formed by volcanic activity more than a million years ago. Before it became part of the trunk highway system in the 1920s, the road actually diverted inland several miles to avoid the cliff. When the trunk highway was built, workers dynamited a section of the cliff and used steam-powered bulldozers to clear the rock, which was then carried off by horse-drawn wagons.

Silver Creek Cliff Wayside ParkThis allowed a narrow road to pass along the lake side of the cliff, forming a giant blind corner. Little more than a small barrier separated the road—and travelers—from a signifi cant drop to the rocky shores below. If that wasn’t dangerous enough, boulders freed by erosion would often tumble down the side of the creek and onto the roadway.

Silver Creek Cliff Wayside Park 2The excitement ended in 1994 after a tunnel begun in 1991 was finally completed. The initial plan to make passing the Silver Creek Cliff safer involved widening the roadway to keep vehicles further from the edge, but engineers estimated that would have required the removal of 1.5 million cubic yards of rock. The tunnel required removing only 500,000 cubic yards, and it’s a stunning piece of engineering: 1,300 feet of roadway with tile-covered walls and continuous lighting, plus entry façades that complement the rocky hillside.

The tunnel has made the passage much safer for drivers, particularly for the thousands of tourists—most of them unfamiliar with the highway’s twists and turns—who travel the road each year. Of course, there are many North Shore residents who feel the tunnel has stripped the roadway of some of its charms.


Split Rock Light House

Split Rock Lighthouse(from site) Shipwrecks from a mighty 1905 November gale prompted this rugged landmark’s construction. Completed by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1910, Split Rock Light Station soon became one of Minnesota’s best known landmarks. Restored to its 1920s appearance, the light station offers a glimpse of lighthouse life in this remote and spectacular setting.

Split Rock Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark.

D&IR Railroad Depot Museum

Outdoor Railroad Museum(from site) The Depot Museum located in the 1907 headquarters of the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad, highlights the early pioneering history of the county including exhibits on Lake County archeological digs to the first shipment of iron ore from Minnesota and the vast logging companies from the turn-of-the-century. The museum faces the harbor, site of the first shipment of iron ore from Minnesota. More then 10 million tons of ore are still shipped from this port annually.