Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Celebrate Water - 2014 MN AWWA Conference

Considering we proclaim proudly that we are the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it goes without saying that we Minnesotans take water very seriously. Here at the Minnesota AWWA, we’re gearing up for our annual Minnesota Section of the American Water Works Association conference...and we couldn’t be more excited!

Why? Because this September, over 1,000 drinking water professionals will make the trek to Duluth for three days of educational presentations and social events centered around Minnesota’s - and planet’s - most precious and essential resource...WATER. (Some people may say children are our most precious resource, but they need clean fresh drinking water, so I am going with water).

Of course, the main purpose for gathering our great State’s water professionals together is to learn and share important information about the latest technology, trends and concerns within the drinking water industry.

Ideally, each attendee will leave far more informed and enthusiastic about the wide world of water than they arrived. But, the calendar is also stacked with numerous social events like a golf outing, trap shooting, and even the legendary Lake Superior fishing trip. All these events raise money for the worthy Water for People charity.

If you’re attending this year’s event, we’re certain you’re well-aware of the fact that each day is teeming with workshops, and you will meet your goal of learning something new. This year we hope along with the education and networking opportunities, you extend your stay in order to spend some time checking out Duluth/Superior to take in the great lakeside sightseeing, dining and shopping.

So, without further ado, here’s our short list of great places to catch the flavor of Duluth.

Formerly an industrial, warehousing section of the port city, Canal Park is now home to a wide array of restaurants, bars, shops and attractions, all within a lovely Lake Superior neighborhood. The area includes four miles of lakeside walking and biking paths, the impressively huge and intricate William Irving floating museum, the DeWitt Seitz Marketplace (with more little shops and restaurants than can be listed here) and a favorite of this particular blogger, the Portland Malt Shoppe. Pick a starting point and let your feet guide you!; no car needed!

Another popular attraction in Canal Park is the famous Canal Park Brewery. Stop by for a pint made with fresh, local ingredients and stay for a tour. Don’t forget to try a NorthCoaster Burger! This year the brewery is donating 20% of all proceeds from Tuesday night to Water for People and check out their latest beer that will be named in honor of Minnesota AWWA. Any guess as to what they’ll name it?

This ornate gem, atop a hill overlooking Lake Superior, boasts a complex and twisted history. The Glensheen Mansion, now owned by the University of Minnesota - Duluth, is not only the most lavish historic home in the region, but was also the scene of a brutal, high-profile double-murder in the late 1970s. This tale and more are the foundation of daily mansion tours; if you have some free time, consider a visit and leave town with a richer understanding of regional history!

Another lakeside haunt, Fitger’s is just an awesome place for a fine meal, a delicious appetizer, and/or a pint of seriously good beer. Added bonus - the historic, harborside building includes a hotel (frequently booked solid) and unique shopping. Definitely put this on the short list of places to check out.

Duluth is a vibrant place, and this is only a short list; check this out for even more Duluth sightseeing options.

Have a favorite Duluth haunt? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

See you at the convention in September!