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Meet by the Greatest Lake

Duluth is full of scenic meeting spots conveniently located near its convention center

By Linden M. Bayliss

Duluth, on the shores of Lake Superior and Minnesota’s fifth-largest city, has a plethora of hotels available for those planning meetings and events near the majestic waters of a Great Lake. The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) is within proximity of many of these properties, making them convenient lakeside home bases and spots to convene.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sundew docked at Pier B Resort Hotel || Courtesy of Out There Advertising and RAWFish Creative Group

The Inn on Lake Superior, a boutique Canal Park hotel, is an easy eight-minute walk to the DECC via the Minnesota Slip Bridge, a pedestrian lift bridge connecting Canal Park with the convention center and nearby attractions. The inn contains the Northern Lights Conference Center, with several meeting spaces ranging from intimate to grand. Its Northern Lights Ballroom can be configured in multiple ways and holds up to 300 attendees theater-style, while its third-floor space, the Eagle Harbor Room, provides a smaller option and accommodates 70.

“Our best space is the balcony off of our meeting room that faces the marina,” says John Klemme, general manager at Park Point Marina Inn on Park Point. “It’s a great outdoor space for people to get outside and be next to the water rather than just cooped up in a meeting room.” The inn is situated near the lift bridge end of Park Point, with easy access to both the DECC and the point’s beautiful beach and recreation areas. Park Point Marina Inn’s Breakwater Pier Walk  allows attendees to get an up-close look at ships in the harbor as they pass by. 

Next to Bayfront Festival Park is Pier B Resort Hotel, located near the DECC and the Great Lakes Aquarium (the aquarium contains wildlife endemic to the Great Lakes region and is also available for buyouts). Pier B has both a boardroom and a ballroom—its Pilot House Boardroom features rustic decor, views of the harbor and the Aerial Lift Bridge, and a TV monitor with AV capabilities. 

A few blocks to the west of the convention center lies the Radisson Hotel Duluth–Harborview, Minnesota’s longest-operating Radisson hotel. Its signature cylindrical shape and top-floor revolving restaurant make it an iconic stay in the Twin Ports. “Harbor 360 is the last remaining rotating restaurant in the Midwest,” says Tessa Sandberg, director of sales at the hotel. Never fear, it revolves slowly, so attendees will hardly notice anything but the incredible view. The hotel also offers nearly 9,000 square feet of event space, and many of its guest rooms are appointed with high-rise views of the harbor.

If the downtown vibe hits home with your group, Sheraton Duluth Hotel is less than a mile from the convention center with Duluth-inspired dining at its Restaurant 301 and three meeting spaces. Restaurant 301 offers breakfast, dinner, and catering services with elevated fare such as seared duck with wild rice risotto and rainbow trout with roasted butternut squash. The hotel’s largest meeting space, its Split Rock Meeting Room, can host up to 120.