Castle Danger sounds scarier than it really is.
This very pleasant brewery is located on Lake Superior in the small town of Two Harbors along scenic highway 61.
Of the few breweries we’ve visited between Duluth and Two Harbors, this is our favorite. Jake enjoys the IPA’s and like the nitro stout.
Castle Danger doesn’t serve food (except for chips and salsa) but that’s ok. You can order from local restaurants. Or, you can bring your own.
If you’re heading to Castle Danger from Duluth, stop at Northern Waters Smokehaus, first. Our favorite thing to order are the smoked fish boxes. Simply order whatever portion of smoked fish you would, and they will add saltine crackers and scallion cream cheese.
While the smoked salmon is tasty, the smoked trout is something special. Northern Waters’ cure gives the fish a sweet and salty flavor. The trout has a rich and delicate taste and texture. I like that it’s a little oiler than the salmon I tried. Layer the fish on crackers spread with the cream cheese and you have the perfect meal.
Here’s another trip you could take: Drive about 13 miles past Two Harbors on 61 to Gooseberry Falls and swing by Castle Danger on the way back.
Jake and I visited Gooseberry Falls on a lark. We’d always heard of it but have never been. For two people like us who arrived without adequate hiking shoes, the lower and middle falls were a perfect destination. Both falls are a short, mostly paved walk from the modern visitors center until you reach stairs.
If you’re curious about the quieter Fifth Falls, check out Jen’s post at Day Tripper.
The tiers of falls cascade into open pools dotted with rocks.
People hopped across the rocks, swam in the pools around the falls, and brought their dogs for soaks.
Signs around the middle falls warns visitors not to swim. People waded around the rapids, anyway. The current on this day was slow. Obviously, common sense applies, as your on your own to explore safely. I cringed as one couple balanced on the edge of the falls with their toddler to take photos.
We arrived late Sunday morning and the falls were busy. On the way back to our car, the parking lot was packed with a stream of cars heading towards the falls. This is just something to keep in mind if you are seeking a quieter visit.
Rustic Inn and Betty’s Pies are located on the way back to Two Harbors. One of my friends prefers Rustic Inn’s pie. I was up for trying both, but both places were very busy. Construction in Two Harbors combined with Sunday cabin traffic created a standstill for miles.
We pulled over at the iconic Betty’s Pies and joined a group of people waiting for tables outside beneath a tent. Once the party of eleven got seated the list moved more quickly.
Don’t be alarmed by the porta potties outside. There are clean, modern bathrooms inside.
The inside of the restaurant was much more relaxed than the I anticipated. I only saw a couple of people seated at the dining bar – this could be a faster seating option than a booth or table. It wasn’t offered to us but we hadn’t asked.
Between the blueberry slice and Betty’s signature Bumbleberry Pie, the Bumbleberry really shined. This combination of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries made for the perfect sweet and tangy filling, especially with a scoop of ice cream.
If the pie has any shortcomings, it’s the crust which is good but not exemplary. Still, the Bumbleberry pie was really great. The food is affordable and the service is kind; I can see why people have been coming here for generations.
What I really enjoyed was the beef pasty filled with pot roast and chunks of potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, and some onion. Betty’s Pies offers three flavors: Chicken, beef and vegetarian with a cream cheese filling. The chicken and beef pasties are served with gravy.
The other savory lunch items I saw staff carrying out of the kitchen like burgers and onion rings looked delicious.
I packed most of the pasty and blueberry pie to take to Castle Danger Brewery.
Silver Cliff Tunnel & Overlook
(Mentioned in the first snapshot on MN DNR’s page about the Gitchi-Gami State Trail)
There is a scenic overlook by the Silver Creek Tunnel. A short walk on a paved path will take you to the top where you can see look out over Lake Superior. The blue-green water is so clear you can see the stones at the bottom.
Our only regret is not continuing from Gooseberry Falls to Split Rock Lighthouse. We had no idea how close we were. Oh well, something to add to our next trip up north.
Feel free to leave a comment below on your favorite Duluth and Two Harbors places.
Gooseberry Falls State Park
3206 Highway 61 East
Two Harbors, MN 55616