How can you share your love of the North Shore with the friends and family on your gift list? Here are ideas for gifts that will make your loved ones' Christmas morning feel like finding the perfect agate or the biggest blueberry patch. This year, buy local...buy on the North Shore!
1. Wood engravings, lino cuts, and giclee prints, oh my! One-of-a-kind notecards, groovy t-shirts, whimsical prints, and northwoods novelties come from our friends at Kenspeckle Letterpress. Rick and Marian produce their magical art in Duluth's Canal Park.
2. Hit the slopes. Got a skier or snowboarder in your life? Lutsen Mountains offers online gift certificates for use toward daily passes, rentals, lessons, or lodging packages.
3. Cool tote bags. Like their name implies, Granite Gear of Two Harbors specializes in outdoors gear of all sorts. I really dig their ultralight and eco-friendly Air Grocery Bag. In fact, I'd buy two: one for myself, one for a gift.
4. Savor a state park. Buy a friend the Minnesota State Parks Gift Card and they can camp under the stars at Crosby Manitou, hike the remote trails at Tettegouche, and shop the great bookstore at Gooseberry Falls.
5. The Sweet Stuff. Who doesn't love real maple syrup on their pancakes? The North Shore forests that come ablaze with colors in the fall produce award-winning syrup in the spring. Find all things maple at Wild Country Maple of Lutsen.
6. Beautiful baubles. These lovely earrings and necklaces come courtesy of my wife's recommendation, who loves the handcrafted silver jewelry of Sally Cavallaro designs, made right here in Duluth. Hmm...a hint?
7. Get crafty. Make a balsam bough wreath or weave a birchbark holiday ornament at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, and give it away to someone special. If making handmade gifts isn't your cup of tea, gift certificates are available for dozens of workshops available year-round at this nifty northern crafts school.
8. Feed the dog in style. Duluth's Loll Designs offers more than fabulous furniture made from 100% recycled HDPE -- check out their colorful and hygienic dog bowls. Plus, they'll donate $5 of each dog bowl sale to Animal Allies.
9. Support the trails you love! The Superior Hiking Trail Association manages 277 miles of trail along Lake Superior's ridgeline. Buy a gift membership for the hiker on your list and they'll receive a set of trail maps, the Ridgeline newsletter, guided hike schedules, and more.
10. Fill your senses. Take your sweetie up the North Shore for a day filled with outdoor adventures and culinary delights. My personal favorite, post-adventure, is the New Scenic Cafe, between Duluth and Two Harbors.
11. Have a Low Christmas. Good holiday music is ageless. Released ten years ago by Duluth's indie band, this hip Christmas CD (their version of "Little Drummer Boy" was the soundtrack for a Gap holiday commercial) is the aural equivalent of coming in from the snow and sitting in front of a warm, intimate fire.
— Andrew Slade (For the latest news on upcoming North Shore art fairs, check out my blog).
There and Back Books | Publishers of great guidebooks | Read. Go. Discover. | 218-727-4873