One of the most laid back, pleasant cities in the Midwest, Duluth is a rare town, commonly ranked in lists praising 'outdoorsy' towns. Its residents are well-employed, content folks and its downtown area is more substantial than you might expect.
Much of the excursionist part of town is located very close to the banks of Lake Superior, and provides expansive views north of Minnesota's borders. The 1980's saw Duluth becoming a little more tourism-conscious and the result is Lakewalk, a free jaunt around a quaint part of town, harbor cruises, casinos, amusement parks, class-A baseball, museums, etc. Duluth has varying accommodation options, the most pleasant of which is probably the quaint array of bed and breakfasts.
And travel just outside of town for quieter vacation spots. Attractions such as the Northern rail, a scenic ride along the Minnesota coast, various ski lodges, charter fishing, state parks, campgrounds, and golf are dotted along Highway 61. Check out Voyageurs National Park to the north if you're into timber wolf-related Minnesota adventures.