distillery sits before the Aerial Lift Bridge, the gateway to the vast waters of Lake Superior. On the cusp of such a port, perhaps it's not so curious that the distillery became the cultural crossroads that it is. Founded by Norwegian descendants and rooted in their brewing traditions, Vikre specializes in the spirits of northern Europe fused with a bit of Americana.
The distiller makes its Boreal Gin, incorporating juniper, spruce, or cedar into an infusion of botanicals foraged from Minnesota's Northwoods. He also crafts aquavit, classically flavored with caraway and cardamom and enriched with a hint of sweet rye. And to celebrate its American environs, the business distills whiskeys from local grains, although those beverages are still some time from hitting shelves. They're busy aging in handcrafted Minnesotan oak barrels.
Scaling an icy waterfall, kayaking on Lake Superior waves, and driving a horse-drawn sleigh. These are just some of the experiences Positive Energy Outdoors offers their guests. By providing access to these and other outdoor adventures, people are encouraged to explore the natural world in new ways. Co-founders Stephanie Love and Blake Cazier use their backgrounds in outdoor education to provide unique animal-powered excursions such as dog sledding and wagon rides, along with people-powered rock climbing and kayaking tours and instruction.
Over the past five-plus decades, Vista Fleet has entertained some six million passengers from all around the world. Today, the family-owned company sets sail on a pair of luxurious vessels: the Vista Star and the Vista Queen. After their early-morning Pilates classes, the two ships carry passengers across Lake Superior during sightseeing tours, dinner parties, and twilight cruises. All the while, Vista Fleet's staff members liven up the journeys with a mix of entertaining facts and games. They also point out iconic landmarks passing by, such as the Aerial Lift Bridge and the historic Canal Park.
Garrett and Heather love standup paddleboarding so much that it’s not unusual to see them paddling past ice floes. Because of this love, the North Shore SUP instructors seek to draw a broad range others to the sport as well with a variety of paddleboarding classes. Beginners can opt for intro-level instruction, and adventurous types can try standup-paddleboard yoga. Paddle with Your Kids sessions give parents and children more pleasant quality time outdoors than rewriting favorite bedtime stories into fallen snow. Those interested in rentals can take regular or inflatable boards by the hour or day and can ask Garrett and Heather about the best local standup-paddleboarding spots.
Equipment: Yoga blocks, mats,
Students should bring: bottle of water
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5 people
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Pro Tip: Come early to fill out registration form and enjoy a cup of tea.
A tile on the floor inside Dubh Linh points the way to Dublin, warning that the journey is a long 4,657 miles. Despite that distance, locals needn’t travel at all to experience the energy of a real Irish pub. With house-brewed beers and tons of live entertainment, it’s not so hard imagine that just outside Dubh Linh’s doors lies its namesake city.
When creating the house’s beers, the brewmaster works in small batches, each of which makes about four to eight kegs’ worth of brew. To get your hands on a pint, you need only look to the wooden bar where each one resides. Spanning a variety of styles, the beers at any given time may include a citrusy double hop IPA, maple ale, a light peach radler, and a potato stout made from Idaho potatoes.
Alongside that labor of love, the kitchen plates a full menu of pub fare spiked with both Irish and local flavors. Fresh-smoked Lake Superior trout opens meals before diners move on to plates of tender corned beef and cabbage. Six unique wings platters require a choice between sauces such as Wexford buffalo and spicy garlic. Once stomachs are full, regular events keep the festivities going. Whether coming for trivia, free pool on game nights, or comedy shows, there’s something here for every taste.