The holidays are just around the corner, and Duluth ushers them in with a breathtaking display at the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. This magical holiday tradition is America’s largest walk through lighting display and is a completely free event. Spirits will soar while you stroll under the twinkling of over 4 million lights, each reflected on the shores of Lake Superior. Bentleyville is walkable from the lovely Solglimt Bed and Breakfast, or guests can cross the bridge and ride the “jingle bus.” Book your stay now and enjoy our Bentleyville Special available from November 20th to December 22nd. Our suites will be reduced during these dates for Monday through Thursday getaways. The special pricing will be reflected when making reservations on our website and cannot be combined with a gift card. Bentleyville lights up on November 18th to December 26th, so plan an enchanting visit to Duluth now.
The History of Bentleyville
Before becoming the popular event it is today, in 2001 it began at the private home of Nathan Bentley. Each year he added to the light display and soon his home was the place to admire every Christmas. By 2003, he opened his private property to the public, and made his light display a walkthrough event with Santa visiting on the weekends. Eventually, the family moved to a larger home, so the event moved and grew as well. It soon became too large for his private property, so in 2008, Duluth City Mayor’s office invited to host the event at Bayfront Festival Park. Now, it is funded by private and local business donations, and over 1,500 volunteers run it each year. Truly defining the generosity of the season, it remains a completely free event. Non-perishable food or new unwrapped toy donations are appreciated at the door for the Salvation Army.
The Bentleyville Experience
The “Bentleyville Castle,” a glowing archway of lights, greets visitors at the entrance. Here, you will begin your journey through a holiday wonderland, a charming experience for all generations. The illuminated creations include: a tunnel of lights, Dinosaur Land, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the Island of Misfit Toys. The highlight of the tour is the 12-story tall Christmas tree, which shines with over 150,000 LED lights. Not only is it visually amazing, there is lively festive music synchronized with the animated lights. It makes the towering tree “dance” with joy.
Warm up from the chilly lake winds and visit Santa and Mrs Claus for a photograph. Or, stop by the Cookie House or Popcorn Igloo for some free treats. Sipping a hot cocoa by one of the many campfires while roasting marshmallows will warm up frosty fingers. Don’t forget to see if you’re on the Naughty or Nice list, which is posted and updated throughout the season. You can surprise a loved one by adding their name for a small donation. After creating wonderful memories here, there’s no doubt you will want to make Bentleyville an annual holiday tradition.
Bentleyville is a beloved holiday event and a symbol of the friendly, generous community of Duluth. Locals and tourists have made Bentleyville a holiday tradition, with the number of visitors in the hundred thousands each year. As a result this is a very busy time to visit, so plan ahead with the helpful Bentleyville “crowd-o-meter.” Avoid the huge weekend crowds and take advantage of our Bentleyville Special. Book a room now at the beautiful Solglimt Bed and Breakfast today.