Monday, November 29, 2010

Best North Shore holiday gift guide

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 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. 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.

3. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

8. Hit the slopes!
Gotta a skier or snowboarder in your life? Lutsen Mountains offers online gift certificates for use toward daily passes, rentals, lessons, or lodging packages.

9. 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.

10. 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.


Manisha said...

We bought those holiday cards in Grand Marais last week! My daughter's middle name is Raven so these cards were perfect! We usually take our trip up North in Nov or Dec, so most of our holiday shopping is done up there. Loved this post. Great gift ideas!

Ken Sparkle said...

Thank you for the Festivus call-out, Andrew!

loll designs said...

Thanks for including our dog bowl!

Great gift guide :)

Andrew Slade said...

I'm glad you all liked the gift guide!