On the banks of the Red River, Fargo is a historic agricultural city with a vibrant local and college community. It’s the largest city in North Dakota, and Fargo’s beautiful downtown features charming old brick buildings now with modern restaurants and happening bars. Most people however relate Fargo to the eponymous 1996 Coen Brothers film although none of the movie was filmed in the city itself.
Having such a prominent place in the pioneer history of the United States, visitors will find a range of relevant things to do in Fargo that will take you through history. But alongside the university, there’s plenty of modern culture such as fine art, live sport, and theater. Combine that with a boisterous farm market, and it’s easy to see why Fargo is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest.
16. Red River Market
A lively way to enjoy local culture in Fargo is to get along to the city’s downtown farmers’ market. Join residents of Fargo in indulging in fresh produce while also discovering the city’s agricultural roots.
Head out of town in any direction and you’ll find endless fields of crops, from corn and wheat to soybeans and sunflowers. It’s easy to see why the produce at the Red River Market is so exceptional. The market runs through the summer and early fall and is a great way to load up the picnic basket.
Other than fresh veggies, you’ll find a range of farm fresh meat and poultry, artisan treats, and plenty of sweet bakery items.
15. North Dakota State University
Home to two of the town’s best sports stadiums, there’s much more to discover on the campus of North Dakota State University. The public institution is home to around 15,000 students with a hearty focus on applied science and agriculture. The school began in 1890 and has grown to offer over 100 undergraduate programs.
The university is just north of downtown and features a beautiful campus waiting to be explored. Wander through the courtyards home to several historic buildings, including the Memorial Union and Minard Hall. After a leisurely stroll, head over to Babbling Brook, a gorgeous natural space where the university gathers.
14. Thunder Road Amusement Park
For traveling families and those who want to unleash their inner-kid, Thunder Road Amusement Park provides a full day of thrilling fun. The amusement park first opened in 2001 and welcomes guests every year from May through to November.
Back when it first opened, it featured a single go-kart track and two 18-hole mini golf courses. But thanks to its popularity, it has continued to grow into a top attraction. Thunder Road now has a full gamut of attractions to choose from, while remaining easy on the wallet.
Alongside the aforementioned activities, venture out on the bumper cars to let off some steam before challenging your friends and family in the arcade. Afterwards, put your skills to the test with Laser Tag before refueling at the concession stand.
If you want to watch some live sport in Fargo, then the city’s Fargodome should be your first choice. You’ll find the dome on the campus of North Dakota State University. The arena has a capacity just shy of 19,000 and hosts the university’s incredibly successful FCS football team, the Bisons.
The Fargodome has been in place since 1992, and since 2011 the resident football team has won an astounding nine titles. Aside from cheering on Fargo’s beloved Bisons, the stadium also hosts a number of events throughout the year. If necessary Fargodome can expand its capacity to 25,000 for concerts and special events.
12. Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm
Where major cities have children’s museums inside modern high rises, Fargo has them on sprawling farms. It’s all part of what makes the town a wonderful destination for families. Visit the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, and your young one will be able to run head on into a collection of inspiring and interactive activities.
The expansive space is full of non-stop fun, where kids can play, be curious and learn about the world around them. The museum has a great indoor space, but it’s mostly outdoors, allowing everyone the chance to spend plenty of time under the blue skies. Highlights of the museum include the natural trails, outdoor playground, and mini train.
11. Drekker Brewing Company
Anyone who enjoys a nice frothy beverage will love the Drekker Brewing Company. On First Avenue, the brewery taps into the Viking spirit while creating exceptional hand-crafted beer. The brewers make use of modern technology but continue to put in painstaking efforts to create the craft beers. You can explore just how they do in on a tour of Drekker alongside their master brewers.
Afterwards, take part in a tasting that includes a beer flight featuring four of their beloved beers. Now armed with all there is to know, kick back in the Viking-themed taproom that creates a fantastic social atmosphere. The spacious room is great for large groups who can all indulge in Drekker’s wide range of unique beers.
10. Plains Art Museum
Featuring a range of local, national, and international art, the Plains Art Museum is the best in town. The fine art museum opened in 1994, completely revitalizing the old International Harvester Warehouse.
There are a number of fantastic permanent exhibitions that showcase talent from all over North Dakota. These are complemented by Native American art that elaborates on the region’s culture and heritage. Along with traditional folk and some contemporary works. Visitors will also be able to explore works by renowned luminaries such as Andy Warhol and George Morrison.
In addition to this, there is an exciting rotation of temporary exhibitions that continues to bring in the crowds. The best part? The Plains Art Museum is free!
9. Hjemkomst Center
Minutes away from Fargo, but in another state, the Hjemkomst Center is the base of Clay County’s Historical Society. It’s within walking distance of Fargo, on the other side of the Red River in Minnesota. Visitors will be able to explore a large complex that features the historic Hopperstad Stave Church.
In addition to this, the center also features the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, which remains in sailing condition to this day. Both of these are the major highlights and showcase the regions far reaching Norwegian heritage. Alongside these permanent exhibits are a range of temporary shows and displays that elevate the experience.
Keep an eye on the calendar as the Hjemkomst Center also hosts the Midwest Viking Fest and the German Kulturfest.
8. Newman Outdoor Field
On the campus of North Dakota State University, the Newman Outdoor Field is a quality baseball arena that opened in 1996. Nicknamed “the Nest” Newman Outdoor Field has a total capacity of over 4,500 fans.
The university’s baseball team, the North Dakota State Bison, play their home baseball games here as a part of the NCAA Division I Summit League. They’ve enjoyed a lot of recent success, having been conference tournament champions twice in the last decade.
In addition to the Bisons, the local high school Fargo-Moorhead plays their games here. In honor of Roger Maris, a school alumnus, Newman Outdoor Field shares the exact same dimensions as the former Yankee Stadium.
7. Red River Zoo
In West Fargo, the Red River Zoo is an urban oasis and non-profit zoo that focuses on preserving some of the world’ rarest cold climate species. Today, the zoo is home to over 300 animals, encompassing 75 species of both native and international animals who share similar climates to Fargo.
The Red River Zoo opened in 1999 and in a short time has earned a startling reputation for conservatism. Its wide-open zoo doesn’t feel cramped, with plenty of natural space featuring lush vegetation and towering trees. Some of the zoo’s animals include the beautiful grey wolf, red pander, Pallas cat and the North American river otter. A highlight, however, is the captivating sichuan takin.
The zoo hosts several interacting experiences include the chance to get up close with the resident red pandas.
Complete with over 45 historic buildings, teeming with artifacts and exhibits, Fargo’s Bonanzaville is one of the biggest attractions in North Dakota. The extensive grounds spread as far as the eye can see, and feature the thrilling Pioneer Village. This is where visitors can explore the heritage of settlers in the Red River Valley as you learn the region’s story.
Afterwards, wander the open-air museum, stumbling upon a wide range of buildings that were removed and reconstructed on-site. These include historic churches, an old general store, a local schoolhouse and a jail. The latter of which features heavily in Bonanzaville’s law enforcement museum.
Along with the buildings, discover century-old steam trains, horse-drawn carriages, and the Dahl Car Museum.
5. West Acres Shopping Center
If you’ve been feeling the itch and want some retail therapy, there West Acres Shopping Center is the place to go in Fargo. The shopping center is home to over 100 stores, featuring well-known national and international brands along with distinctive local boutiques.
Thanks to its huge car park, you’ll have no trouble finding a spot and be browsing in the blink of an eye. Wander between each store, passing several public art pieces along the way. The West Acres Shopping Center is also home to the Aptitude Art Studio and the Touchstone Energy Dinosaur Playland, perfect for families. When the tummy grumbles, head to the 750-seat food court to fuel up for the next shopping session,
4. Roger Maris Museum
Throughout the historic 1961 season, Roger Maris and the iconic Mickey Mantle went head-to-head to break Babe Ruth’s home run record which had stood for 34 years. Maris ended up winning the duel and went down in history. Today, you can learn all about his stellar career at the Roger Maris Museum.
Although born in Hibbing, Minnesota, Roger Maris grew up in Fargo, where he was a local high school star. The museum is enveloped in glass, showcasing one of Fargo’s favorite sons with an incredible amount of unique memorabilia taking you through his time in baseball.
The Roger Maris Museum is open seven days and found within West Acres Mall, leaving you with plenty of shopping after the experience.
3. Fargo Air Museum
On 19th Avenue towards the north end of town, the Fargo Air Museum is an insightful look into the history of aviation. The museum is within the fields of the Hector International Airport and over 90% of the aircraft on display remain in good flying condition. Something you may be lucky enough to witness.
The Fargo Air Museum has been open to visitors since 2001 and immediately saw a flurry of visitors. Its collection has only grown since, now being spread between two vibrant hangars. The staff and airplanes work together to educate guests and inspire a love for the history of flight. Complement your tour with the extensive on-site library and collection of military artifacts, before purchasing some mementos at the museum’s gift shop.
2. Fargo Theatre
Since the 1920s, the elegant Fargo Theatre has been entertaining crowds from far and wide. Its art déco building welcomes you through its opulent facade, that has changed little over the last century. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Fargo Theatre is running as smooth as ever, showing the top foreign and indie films from around the world.
If you happen to be traveling to Fargo in March, you may arrive in time for the Fargo Film Festival. This has been held annually since 2001 and has become one of the most popular local events. The theater hosts five days of film showings complemented by many community-focused activities. Throughout the year, the Fargo Theatre also hosts live music, comedy, and even magic shows!
1. Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center
As you make your way into Fargo, you may wonder where to begin. The Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center is as good a first stop as any. Just off the interstate, it’s easy to access the center, which is packed with information about Fargo. such as where to eat, along with local heritage and culture. The latter of which makes up the heart of the town’s “North of Normal” promotion.
After getting all the necessary information for your time in town, check out some of the visitor center’s many exhibits. The building, which looks like a grain elevator, quickly switches from information hub to museum. Discover the infamous woodchipper from Fargo before wandering outside for the town’s own Celebrity Walk of Fame.