MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Hot tip/A different North Shore

Didn't reserve for fall-color season? Thunder Bay has rooms.

Kakabeka Falls near Thunder Bay.

© Torsten Muller

In September, the stampede to Minnesota's North Shore begins.

Leaf peepers who descend on the craggy shores between Duluth and Grand Marais are out of luck if they didn't reserve far in advance for weekends between now and Minnesota's long school break, Oct. 15-18 in 2009.

But those who drive a little farther, just an hour beyond Grand Marais, will find everything the Minnesota shore has and more. Thunder Bay, Lake Superior's largest town, no longer is a great bargain, thanks to the weak U.S. dollar. But in fall, it does have one thing the North Shore doesn't: plenty of hotel rooms.

Rooms still are available every weekend at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel, where rooms have a killer view of the harbor and the Sleeping Giant. They're not expensive, but you also can pay just $20 per person at the International Hostel, halfway between Thunder Bay and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

What to do around Thunder Bay? Hike the Sleeping Giant, see Kakabeka Falls (pictured), explore Ouimet Canyon, tour Fort William Historical Park (on Oct. 17-19, the tours are haunted). And eat, of course.

For more, see Exploring Thunder Bay.

Last updated on June 9, 2009