8 days in Minnesota & Great Smoky Mountains National Park Itinerary

8 days in Minnesota & Great Smoky Mountains National Park Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Duluth
— 1 night
Drive
2
Ely
— 1 night
Fly
3
Minneapolis
— 1 night
Fly
4
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
— 4 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Duluth

— 1 night

Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas

Situated on the westernmost point of the Lake Superior, Duluth represents a booming port city.
On the 18th (Sat), explore the galleries of Split Rock Lighthouse and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore and take pictures at Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive, then browse the exhibits of Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate, and then get to know the fascinating history of Lakewalk.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Duluth planner.

New York City to Duluth is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to Duluth is minus 1 hour. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from New York City in September: high temperatures in Duluth hover around 68°F and lows are around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Ely.

Things to do in Duluth

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Museums · Parks

Side Trip

Ely

— 1 night
Ely is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. On the 20th (Mon), immerse yourself in nature at Soudan Underground Mine and then engage your brain at North American Bear Center.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Ely trip planner.

Traveling by car from Duluth to Ely takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect slightly colder evenings in Ely when traveling from Duluth in September, with lows around 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Minneapolis.

Things to do in Ely

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Minneapolis

— 1 night

The City of Lakes

Located on both banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis salutes the state's love of the outdoors with numerous lakes, wetlands, creeks, and waterfalls--many connected to one another by a national scenic byway great for sightseeing.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of Saint Paul, then walk around Minnehaha Park, and then make a trip to Minnehaha Falls.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Minneapolis online journey planner.

Traveling by flight from Ely to Minneapolis takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Ely in September, things will get a bit warmer in Minneapolis: highs are around 75°F and lows about 57°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to fly to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Things to do in Minneapolis

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

— 4 nights

A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, but it's the ease of access that makes this national park the United States' most visited.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Walker Sisters' Cabin and Noah Bud Ogle Cabin. Step out of the city life by going to Cades Cove and Little Greenbrier School. There's much more to do: hike along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Clingmans Dome, admire the sheer force of Laurel Falls, and take a memorable drive along Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Great Smoky Mountains National Park holiday builder app.

Getting from Minneapolis to Great Smoky Mountains National Park by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Minneapolis to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When traveling from Minneapolis in September, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: temperatures range from 83°F by day to 62°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Outdoors

Minnesota travel guide

4.4
Room Escape Games · History Museums · Shopping Malls
The Land of 10,000 Lakes
Deriving its name from the Dakota word for "land of sky-tinted water," Minnesota is a land of pristine lakes, pockets of dense green forests, and sprawling prairieland. Spend your vacation exploring the state's diverse landscape for endless outdoor activity and a chance to see some of the area's national monuments, or take a trip to the bustling St. Paul-Minneapolis area, a network of commerce and cultural attractions, including the famous Mall of America.