Explore the Northland region's nature, art, music, or history via day trips with Up North Excursions.

Please sign up at least 15 days prior to the travel date. 


Please note that some of the June trips have May deadlines. 

Summer has arrived and it's short.  Sign up today for a day trip. 

June 25 (Sun)
St Croix River PaddleBoat Cruise with Dixieland Jazz Music & Buffet (2 hr cruise)       
Depart from Perkins W: 10:30 AM. Return 6 PM.  Registration Deadline is June 14  $115   This is the first time this trip is being offered through Up North Excursions.  Come with your Dad.  Bring neighbor friends or family.  Enjoy a day on this scenic river.
Seats available: 0.   Sorry but this trip was cancelled due to too few registrations by the extended registration deadline.

July 5 (Wed)
A Day in Cornucopia, visit with commercial fish business Halvorson, and eat at the Village Inn restaurant. Meal not included.    Corncuopia is has a cute, little waterfront area with a harbor filled with boats.  Come walk the boardwalk, shop in the few shops, meet a commercial fisherman, and then we'll enjoy an evening at the popular Village Inn with all sorts of fresh fish options.        
Depart from M&H gas station at 2:30. Return 8PM. Registration deadline is June 20.
Seats available: 11

July 30 (Sun)  
Blueberry/Art Festival in Ely      
This is a wonderful Northland event.  You'll get to hear live music, walk among many artisan vendors, and enjoy a day out where you can enjoy festival food treats, some you guessed it - made with blueberries.   There will be plenty of space for you to bring your purchases back in the vehicle.  You won't need to bother with driving or parking so come along and enjoy a summer day. Depart 9AM from M&H gas station. Return 5PM. Registration deadline July 14.   9 seats available.
Seats available 10

Aug 2 (Wed)
Scenic Boat Cruise on the St. Croix River and stop at Franconia Sculpture Park.  Includes an 80 min boat cruise and stop at Sculpture Park. Taylor Falls.
Depart Perkins West: 10:30 AM. Return 6:30 pm (Boat cruise at 1 pm) .Registration Deadline July 15
Seats available: 10

Aug 13 (Sun) Irish Fair of Minnesota on Harriet Island. 3.5 hours at event.  Music. Storytelling. Dance. Vendors. Along the Mississippi River.
Depart Perkins West 9AM. Return 6 PM.
Registration Deadline July 28   
Seats available 7

Aug 23 (Wed)
Shipwrecks, Sea Caves and Lighthouse Boat excursion from Bayfield.  3-hour boat cruise.  Great Lakes Visitor Center stop. Toast with natural spring water.  Depart M & H gas station 11:30 AM.  Return 8PM. Registration Deadline Aug 5.
Seats available: 12

 S E P T   2 0 1 7
Sept 10  (Sun) Little Falls Arts & Craft Fair. 150+ vendors. Lots of food & music.
Depart Perkins West: 8:30 a.m.  Return: 6 p.m. Registration Deadline is Aug 20.
Seats available 10

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Your Host is Wendy Grethen. I'm looking forward to taking trips with you in the Northland.  

My main website is www.WendyUpNorth.com.  

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Thank you.  I appreciate time to share together and explore the region's arts, music, history and nature.  

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Let's Go Explore the Northland!

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon do I need to register ahead of time?
The more in advance the better for planning purposes.  Has the 3 week ahead of time period passed? Give me a call or send an email  - there may be space available.  Trips with theater events especially need advanced registrations. 

Can I sign up on my own? 
Certainly!  The trips are to be community events and people will meet other folks.  Sign up as a single person, with a friend or family member, or perhaps a group from a club you are in.  

What should I bring?
Bring your own food or $ for food.  You might want to bring a coat or even blanket for the outdoor evening events.  Bring water.  Bring a camera/phone if you wish.  
Bring an attitude to sit back and enjoy the day. 
If you do need to bring a walker, let me know. There will likely be space.  Sorry the transporation is not wheel chair accessible. 

What if I have a suggestion for a trip?
Email wendyupnorth@yahoo.com or call me at 218-525-5098.  Perhaps more trips will be added this year or put in mind for a future year.

Is there a discount for youth?
Some trips may have a youth discount. Inquire. 

Are these big bus tours?
We go on a small 14 passenger limo bus. 

Are there discounts for groups?
Yes.  Does a group from a club you're in or a group from a workplace want to attend, let me know.  Groups of 6 or more receive a discount.  

Where do we meet for a pickup?
The meeting place may be the parking lot at Perkins West (40th Ave. W. and Michigan St.). This location may be switched if the attendees are all from a different location, such as Lakeside.  If there are enough Superior area folks we can also add the Perkins in Superior when we are heading to Wisconsin. 

Who should go on a trip? 
Sign up on your own.  Take a summer/fall break.  Sign up with a sibling or child/grandchild.  
Sign up with co-workers or apartment mates.  The trips will be fun adventures for all.   Sit back - you won't need to drive or park.  
You might meet a new travel buddy, too and have some laughs.  

What is the cancellation policy?
There is a refund less $20 for any trip with at least three weeks notice. Sorry - no refund is given when the event is less than three weeks away.   

Should I bring money for tips?
The driver and tour host welcome tips.  It's optional though.  A bag will passed for tips at the end of trips.  Thank you! 

Short trip summaries  See Photos on the Up North Excursions FACEBOOK page.  Be sure to LIKE the page. 

Unfortunately, the Naniboujou Afternoon Tea and the trip to the Capitol and James J. Hill house for tours were cancelled due to insufficient trip registrations.  A minimum of 12 people is required 2 weeks prior to the trip for a trip to make.  I would LOVE to go on the listed trips and hope the rest of the trips make!  

On May 21, 2017 eleven of us went to the Church Basement Ladies funny performance at the Plymouth Theater.  The drizzly day put sunshine in our soul with good ol' humor.  We had seats in the center section in the 3rd & 4th row in the sold out final performance of Rise Up, O Men.  Fun stuff. 

On Oct 9, 2016 a group of 11 went over to the Bayfield Apple Fest.  Nice fall day.  Plenty of apple treats and booths like the state fair.  A mix of vendors lined block after block in the small community.  We made a stop at a local orchard as a later in the day activity-  apples, wine, and more goodies.  We made it back to Duluth by 4:30 p.m.  Thanks to new attendees and returning attendees.  

On Sept 25 a group of 12 made our way down to the MN Renaissance Festival.  The crowds were lighter and there were times of rains and plenty of puddles.  The wetness didn't stop the fun.  There were shows, little shops, food, ruckus, customes, fun activities, and a special time at this interesting place bringing back old-times.  

The August 11 trip was a fine time learning about the American hero, Charles Lindbergh and visting the home in Little Falls where he lived during his boyhood. The site is a Minnesota Historic Site. He helped his mom with the chores of chopping wood or bringing ice blocks in for the ice box and they enjoyed time with her playing the piano. He had a special hiding spot in the wall that he made for his toys.  He wasn't a fan of school and with the war was able to stop high school and do farming full time to help supply food.  The visitor center had exhibits including a mockup of the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis, more items from his life, and news articles, such as the tragic kidknapping of his son.  This trip went south after that stop and out to the St. John's Abbey church.  It was a massive space made of concrete and granite with interesting windows and doors.  The bells and the light coming through the windows were almost spiritual.  A brother monk came over and answered questions and then we visited their gift shop with items made by the monks - candles, statues, wood items, candles, music, and bread.  We then went on to the Munsinger Gardens in St. Cloud.  The shady gardens along the Mississippi were peaceful and comforting with the tall pines and flowers below.  The upper formal gardens were pleasant and had a variety of plants and shrubs, and fountains - and bunnies.  It was an enjoyable day with all 13 of us exploring the Northland. 

On July 28 we had great weather to shop on the main street of Hayward.  People visited the old-time candy store where chocolates were being  made and they had fresh peanut brittle, old-fashioned candies, and taffy in many flavors.  We then drove through the country roads to the Museum of Woodcarving in Shell Lake.  The carvings were full human-size carvings with many being biblical scenes.  The evening concluded with dinner in Siren and then the outdoor concert in the park by Crooked Lake.  No mosquitoes.  Nice music. The group size was only 5 but we had a fine time making it to all the places.

On July 14  - the first Up North Excursion - 8 people were on the trip and we went to beautiful Bayfield.  On the way we stopped at White Winter Winery and tasted their flavor of the day.  In Bayfield, flowers were abundant, cute houses surround the main streets, boats are parked and some are out on the water, and we can view some of the Apostle Island.  People shopped in the stores and grabbed a bite to eat - white fish was a specialty.  We headed over to the Big Top Chautauqua show for their evening performance of Keeper of the Light filled with stories and songs of the lighthouse keepers of the Apostle Islands.  The show received a standing ovation at the end.   Thank you to those who attended this first trip!  For over half the people it was their first time to the big canvas tent where so many nice programs and concerts are held.  It's the 20th anniversary of the Big Top and it's relatively close to Duluth.  Glad we could go there together.