The North Dakota Mural is on display at the Plains art Museum in Fargo.
The North Dakota Mural is on display at the Plains art Museum in Fargo.

City Experiences

North Dakota has an array of things to see and do and a large variety of unique downtown dining

What exactly is a city experience? Ask 50 people and you will get 50 answers. A city experience might be an afternoon window shopping unique stores in a large downtown. It might be a nice dinner followed by a concert at the arena of a traveling Broadway play or local production at the theater. Or maybe it's a college football, basketball or hockey game. North Dakota has an array of things to see and do and a large variety of unique downtown dining and entertainment offerings.

Consider these options when planning your next weekend in the city.

Fargo-West Fargo

Fargo. The name itself stirs up a number of images: the Old West, the movie, one half of a major stage coach line in the 1800s. Well, this isn’t the 1800s and Fargo is more than just a lot of tired old clichés. The Fargo of today is a vibrant downtown of unique lodging, eating establishments and entertainment venues. It’s the largest city in North Dakota and the home of a two-time Football Championship Subdivision national champion in North Dakota State University. The metro area has several colleges and an active arts community. Metropolitan Fargo has much to see and do, so we urge you not to make it a stop on your way to parts unknown. Stop and stay awhile. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Things to see and do
Plains Art Museum
Take picture with “The Woodchipper”
Fargo Theatre
Yunker Farm
Red River Zoo
RedHawks Baseball
Fargo Force Hockey
NDSU Bison Football
 
Unique places to dine
Hotel Donaldson
Mezzaluna
Monte’s Downtown
JL Beers
The Winery
Nicole’s Fine Pastries
Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill
Special events
Big Iron Agricultural Show
Cruisin’ Broadway
Fargo Blues Festival
Fargo Film Festival
Fargo Marathon
Fiber Arts Festival
Ribfest
Pioneer Days at Bonanzaville
Red River Valley Fair
 

Grand Forks

Put all the flood stuff you know about Grand Forks out of your mind. This bustling college town is back and has a knack for making visitors feel young at heart, like the thousands of University of North Dakota students that call it home. Visitors don’t have to settle for the same old song and dance here. Live local music, a relaxing greenway along the Red River and unique dining in the historic downtown add a buzz to any stay. Don’t miss out on art exhibits and tours, special dining and attractions both downtown and at the university. This is a new city rebuilt from the ashes and water by hard work and great people. Take time to check it out.

Things to see and do
Ralph Engelstad Arena
North Dakota Museum of Art
Grand Forks Air Force Base
Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences
Empire Arts Center
River Cities Speedway
UND Football
UND Hockey
Splasher’s of the South Seas Water Park
 
Unique places to dine
Sanders 1907
Toasted Frog
Rhombus Guys
Red Pepper
Kegs Drive-In
Bonzer’s Sandwich Pub
 
Special events
Blues on the Red
UNDIA Powwow
Art and Wine Walks
Grand Cities Art Festival
Prime Steel Car Show
Town Square Farmers Market
 

Bismarck-Mandan

From the observation deck on the 18th floor of the North Dakota State Capitol, visitors get a bird’s-eye view of just what it is that makes Bismarck a true destination. History stares back from the Fort Abraham Lincoln blockhouses on the bluffs to the west and boats ply the Missouri River, which separates Bismarck and Mandan. Trees cover the Capitol Grounds just as they do the land on either side of the river and buildings downtown bustle with life. Bismarck is a shining light of arts, culture, history and the great outdoors. And it’s just a stone’s throw between eclectic dining and entertainment venues and exciting outdoor things to do.

Things to see and do
North Dakota Capitol and State Museum at the North Dakota Heritage Center
Lewis and Clark Riverboat
Fort Abraham Lincoln/On-A-Slant Indian Village
Dakota Zoo
Hawktree Golf Club
Buckstop Junction
 
Unique places to dine
Peacock Alley
Toasted Frog
East 40 Chophouse
Piroque Grill
Blarney Stone
The Bistro
Space Aliens
 
Special events
United Tribes International Powwow
Mandan Rodeo Days and Fourth of July Parade
Capital A’Fair
Buggies-n-Blues
Rip-Roarin’ Ribfest
McQuade Softball Tournament
Bismarck Marathon
Downtowners Street Fair
 

Minot

This is a city going through the process of rebuilding following devastating floods of 2011 and topped by an exploding energy boom in the nearby Bakken oil field. New hotels are going up, new dining is available and there are many activities to keep you occupied both day and night during an extended stay. It’s a college town, a boomtown, a small town and a big town … all at the same time.

 

Things to see and do
Dakota Territory Air Museum
Minot Air Force Base
Railroad Museum of Minot
Scandinavian Heritage Park
Taube Museum
62 Doors Gallery and Studios
Roosevelt Zoo
 
Unique places to dine
10 North Main
Baan Rao Thai Restaurant
Sweet & Flour Patisserie
Souris River Brewing
Ebeneezer’s Catery and Irish Pub
Off the Vine
 
Special events
PRCA Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo
Motor Magic
North Dakota State Fair
Norsk Hostfest
Wild About Wheels
 
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