Let’s say you have one day on the Mesabi. One summer day. You’ve arrived wherever you’re staying late one night, and you leave before dawn on the second day. Let’s get going!

8:00 a.m. Bakery Breakfast: Plenty of hotels serve you a hot breakfast, but if you’d like to sample local delights, stop by one of these great bakeries: Sunrise Bakery, Hibbing ~ Black Bear Bakery, Chisholm ~ Italian Bakery, Virginia ~ Pep’s Bakery, Virginia

Kunnaris Coffee House and Farm Market in Virginia has delightful treats for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

8:30 a.m. Burn it Off: Start moving! Explore forest trails at Big Aspen State Park or the Laurentian Divide, both north of Virginia. In Hibbing, there’s Carey Lake, with several miles of trails around a pretty little lake that’s close to town. Giants Ridge also has loads of hiking trails. Tip: bring an extra pair of socks. Early hiking means dewey trails!

This little doggie is enjoying the trails at Carey Lake in Hibbing.

Option 2: keep your tootsies dry and walk or cycle the Mesabi Trail. With entry points in every Mesabi community, and bicycle rentals at Bikes on Howard (Hibbing), Mesabi Recreation (Virginia) and Giants Ridge (Biwabik), you can burn off breakfast in no time!

The Mesabi Trail map includes an elevation guide so you chose which segment you want to ride.

9:30 a.m. Mine that View! The morning is flying by! Bike, hike or drive over to Hull Rust Mine View in Hibbing and take in the view while you catch your breath. Kids can climb on mining equipment; gift store onsite.

Hull Rust Mine View in early June.

10:30 Transportation Time: Did you know Hibbing is the birthplace of city-to-city bus travel? That’s right, Greyhound Bus Lines got its start in Hibbing. Learn all about it at the Bus Origin Museum, right up the road from the Mine View. Before you leave, drive by Bob Dylan’s childhood home.

A few of many bus artifacts, collectibles and memorabilia at the Bus Origin Museum in Hibbing.

11:30 a.m. Lunch-and-Learn: Visit the drive-in The Stand in Chisholm, or pop into one of that city’s many main street restaurants for a bite (or pack a picnic to enjoy at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm). Wave to Iron Man as you head to Minnesota Discovery Center, with its mining, history and geology exhibits, plus a trolley ride to a mining ghost town.  You can even play mining-themed mini-golf at this gem of a museum.

Kids stand in a shovel bucket at the Minnesota Museum of Mining in Chisholm.

3:00 p.m. Traveler’s Choice: What are you up for? A couple hours on the beach? Or are you a hockey fan who needs to visit the US Hockey Hall of Fame Museum and Hockey Plaza in Eveleth? Our recommendation is the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. You *cannot* go wrong on a trip underground! So cool. The last tour of the day leaves at 4:00 p.m.

Eveleth’s Hockey Plaza is home to a giant hockey stick and puck, plus images and information about hockey’s history.

5:30 D&D: When it’s time for dinner and drinks, consider one of our favorites: The Burnt Onion at Giants Ridge, The Whistling Bird in Gilbert, 218 Taphouse in Virginia, or BoomTown in Eveleth.

Bars and restaurants abound. If you’d rather cool down with ice cream, stop by Kandyz N Konez in Gilbert for a double dip.

Evening Entertainment:  Thursdays are happening for indoor and outdoor music events. But you can’t go wrong if you put on some bug spray and head outside for some star-gazing, either!

Longing to see northern lights? Check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website for aurora borealis (northern lights) forecasts. http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/aurora-3-day-forecast

Wanting more Mesabi memories? Go to IronRange.org and plan your trip!

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