Duluth is the only Minnesota city on Esquire's list of "27 best Christmas towns to put on your holiday bucket list."
The northern Minnesota city comes in at No. 3 on the publication's list of places that offer "Hallmark Christmas movie-worthy magic" with their light displays, events and family friendly activities.
Here's how Esquire describes Duluth:
"Thousands flock to Duluth during the holidays to witness Bentleyville, a massive light display. The event is free to the public and runs through November and December. There's also a scenic train journey along Lake Superior, as well as a bustling Christmas village set up in front of the historic Glensheen mansion."
If you're looking to plan a trip to Duluth to get into the holiday spirit, Bentleyville Tour of Lights opens Nov. 20 and runs daily through Dec. 27 at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. It's back to a walk-through event this year after being switched to a drive-through event due to the pandemic in 2020. It takes about 30-45 minutes to go through the Tour of Lights.
And while the North Shore Scenic Railroad's Bentleyville Shuttle Train is canceled this year, the railroad is offering the Christmas City Express from Nov. 26-Dec. 19, where riders can take a 30-minute ride up to Lake Superior, enjoy a reading of the Christmas City Express story, listen to carolers and pay a visit to a "special guest" (advanced tickets are recommended).
There's also the Julebyen Express Train Dec. 4-5, where riders take a trip on the railroad to Knife River for a "traditional Scandinavian Julebyen Christmas Festival." There will be Scandinavian foods, music and dancing, and shopping for artisan gifts at 20 outdoor huts.
Just north of Bentleyville is Glensheen Mansion, which will host Christmas tours from Friday, Nov. 12, through Jan. 9, 2022. The mansion will be decked out for the holidays with 25 Christmas trees, 25 hidden elves and hundreds of feet of garland. The mansion also hosts special candlelight tours during the holiday season.
"The display is celebrated for its intimate and natural feel. Many of the motifs and displays are in memory of individuals or in recognition of meaningful moments. To say this is a uniquely special display is an understatement."
Spirit of the Lights runs Nov. 26-Jan. 1, and it's free and open to the public.
And new this year, Glensheen is hosting a "small, intimate" meet the maker event series in December, with details still being worked out, Glensheen marketing manager Jane Jandl told Bring Me The News. The estate will also host a wreath-making event in collaboration with Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center.
Meanwhile, the Duluth Winter Villiage, which was previously at Glensheen, will be held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Dec. 4-5.