Best Things to Do in Fargo

BY Fifty Grande Editors | October 24, 2020

Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series.. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Fargo? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Fargo?”

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when we say “Fargo”? You’re not alone if you said “that show with Chris Rock” or “that movie with Steve Buscemi.” But North Dakota’s largest city is far too often depicted as “that place from the movie” or a barren landscape full of snow. It’s full of cool eateries, interesting craft drink projects, vibrant art and a collectively awesome sense of humor. When we Fifty Granders talk about exploring the best of the U.S., especially the spots overlooked often, this is what we mean. Say it with us: Fargo! With multiple universities, a thriving downtown and a population that’s grown by 23 percent since 2010 — 23 percent! — more people are discovering Fargo’s welcoming nature and little-big-town vibe. Let’s check ’er out. Here are the best things to do in Fargo right now.

 

You’re here for the street art scene

Compared to other cities, Fargo isn’t a huge canvas, but street artists and muralists use every inch they can. When you’re in Downtown Fargo, walk slow. You don’t want to miss a single painted electrical box or mural tucked inside an alley. 

Art Alley in Fargo, North Dakota. Pic via Shutterstock.
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Art Alley in Fargo, North Dakota. Pic via Shutterstock.

Art Alley

121 5th St N, Fargo, ND, USA

In 2015, the city named the wall behind the Fargo Forum a legal street art location, and artists jumped on it. Today, this stretch on First Ave. N. (between Fourth St. and Fifth St.) is an ever-changing exhibit of overlapping pieces. 

Mario Wall in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Mario Wall in Fargo, North Dakota.

Mario Wall

Pickled Parrot Casino, 3rd Avenue North, Fargo, ND, USA

This might be the most Instagrammed wall in North Dakota. Why? Because you can jump on a goomba, punch a question block and generally pretend to be everyone’s favorite Italian plumber. 

Sticksgarden in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Sticksgarden in Fargo, North Dakota.

Sticksgarden

6th Street at Main Ave Fargo, ND, USA

Technically, this is on the Moorhead side of Fargo-Moorhead. It’s literally a garden full of sticks (more like wooden posts), each one designed and/or painted by a local artist. 

 

Where to eat

Mezzaluna in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Mezzaluna in Fargo, North Dakota.

Mezzaluna

309 Roberts St N, Fargo, ND, USA

This is your date-night or your “let’s celebrate” spot. An upscale New American eatery with a stylish, Prohibition-era interior. 

Vinyl Taco in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Vinyl Taco in Fargo, North Dakota.

Vinyl Taco

520 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND, USA

Authentic street tacos on fresh-daily, house-made tortillas. Pro tip: on Friday and Saturday nights from nine to close, margaritas are just two bucks. 

Sickies in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Sickies in Fargo, North Dakota.

Sickies Garage

3431 Fiechtner Dr S, Fargo, ND, USA

Fifty different burgers. Fifty different beers. It’s a North Dakota institution with an auto garage theme because why not? Plus, look at that burger.

Wurst Bier Hall in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Wurst Bier Hall in Fargo, North Dakota.

Wurst Bier Hall

630 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND, USA

Locations downtown and in West Fargo serve creative renditions of classic German beers and dishes. They also have a bacon flight with beer pairings. Bacon!

Catch a show

The Fargodome hosts the big names, but if you want to be in the action, pushed up against the stage, close enough to touch the band (resist the temptation!), head to The Aquarium.

The Aquarium in Fargo, North Dakota.
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The Aquarium in Fargo, North Dakota.

The Aquarium

226 N Broadway Dr f2, Fargo, ND, USA

It’s not huge, but that’s part of the appeal. Situated above Dempsey’s Public House in downtown, this hidden gem has hosted some big names of its own, including Bon Iver, Father John Misty and Band of Horses.

Drink local

Fargo has plenty of bars where you can nurse a light beer and chop it up with the bartender, but while you’re here, you might as well try something crafted in town.

Drekker Brewing Company in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Drekker Brewing Company in Fargo, North Dakota.

Drekker Brewing Company

1666 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND, USA

Drekker (which means “drinking” in Norwegian) pays homage to Norway and North Dakota’s heritage with their sour beers and “Brewhalla” brewery, which features an awesome mural from local artist Punchgut. 

Wild Terra Cider in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Wild Terra Cider in Fargo, North Dakota.

Wild Terra Cider

6 12th St N, Fargo, ND, USA

This urban cidery continuously experiments with North Dakotan apples, native yeasts and fermentation methods to produce some truly unique ciders. 

For the family

Grab the kids, the friends and grandma. Here are the places that ’90s amusement park voiceovers would call “fun for the whole family.”

Red River Zoo in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Red River Zoo in Fargo, North Dakota.

Red River Zoo

4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo, ND, USA

Situated on land that was once a 33-acre farm, the Red River Zoo has 600 animals, including rare cold-climate species like red pandas and Pallas’ cats. 

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Plains Art Museum

704 1st Ave N, Fargo, ND, USA

North Dakota’s largest art museum, with over 4,000 works in its permanent collection, including regional Native American art.

Bonanzaville in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Bonanzaville in Fargo, North Dakota.

Bonanzaville USA

Bonanzaville USA, Main Avenue West, West Fargo, ND, USA

A West Fargo village with 40 historic buildings and 400,000 artifacts that makes you feel like you wandered into a turn-of-the-century North Dakota pioneer town.

Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Roger Maris Museum in Fargo, North Dakota.

Roger Maris Museum

3902 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND, USA

Fargo’s tribute to their hometown hero, a Yankees legend and the first Major League Baseball player to hit over 61 home runs in a season.

Thunder Road in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Thunder Road in Fargo, North Dakota.

Thunder Road

2902 Thunder Rd S, Fargo, ND, USA

Go-karts, bitches!  Plus it’s got laser tag, a mini-golf course and more.

Where to crash

In downtown. Near entertainment. Stylish accommodations. Hotel Donaldson checks all the boxes. 

Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, North Dakota.

Hotel Donaldson

101 Broadway North, Fargo, ND, USA

First of all, HoDo is in a perfect location, on the corner of Broadway and First Ave. N., the crux of Downtown Fargo. It’s walking distance from all kinds of bars and restaurants (Vinyl Taco, see above, is across the street). But the in-house restaurant and lounge are solid, there’s local art in the rooms, and don’t forget the rooftop bar and hot tub. 

Downtown is where it's at

This is the place to walk around, eat, drink, shop and basically anything else. It’s the heart of Fargo’s activity and the epicenter of its culture and nightlife. 

Fargo Theatre in Fargo, North Dakota. Pic via Shutterstock.
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Fargo Theatre in Fargo, North Dakota. Pic via Shutterstock.

Broadway

Broadway North, Fargo, ND, USA

The feather in its cap is the art-deco style of the historic vaudeville Fargo Theatre. You can catch an art-house film there, grab unique cocktails at Twist, then all-day brunch at The Boiler Room and pick up a latte at Atomic Coffee (or 20 Below Coffee Co. nearby). 

Take a day trip to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

When you border the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there’s bound to be some water nearby. In under an hour, you can drive to Detroit Lakes for an endless variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing and water sports in the summer and skiing or snowmobiling in the winter.

Detroit Lakes City Beach
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Detroit Lakes City Beach

Detroit Lakes City Beach

Detroit Lakes City Beach, Detroit Lakes, MN, USA

Didn’t think you were going to North Dakota for a beach vacation, did you? This mile-long, sandy beach is a hot spot for swimmers and sunbathers.

While you’re here:

Woodchipper in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Woodchipper in Fargo, North Dakota.

Woodchipper from the movie Fargo

2001 44th St S, Fargo, ND, USA

Yes, this is the original movie prop. No, it hasn’t actually chipped any dead bodies. You can find it inside the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.

Painted bison in Fargo, North Dakota.
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Painted bison in Fargo, North Dakota.

Painted bison

Fargo, ND, USA

There are 20 or so fiberglass bison sculptures scattered around the city, each painted by a different artist. Keep an eye out for them.

walk of fame fargo nd
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walk of fame fargo nd

Walk of Fame

2001 44th St S, Fargo, ND, USA

It’s not as extensive as Hollywood’s, but it’s got a lot of charm (and a lot fewer tourists). These cement slabs sport handprints and signatures from 100+ celebrities, including Bill Gates, Neil Diamond, John Updike and KISS.