A Quick Guide to Fargo, North Dakota

guide fargo north dakota

For the past five years, I called Fargo home. And like many people I didn’t feel the need to go out and see the tourist attractions in town. I didn’t appreciate what was there in my own town. When it was time to move away, I felt the need to go see and do it all. It’s weird how that always seems to be the case.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Fargo. The 1996 movie of the same name gained a cult-like following. It seems you either love it or have never seen it. I  fall into the latter category and have never seen it. I did save it on my to watch list on Hulu, but then they removed it. Maybe someday I’ll get to see it.

A Little History

Fargo and its neighbor city across the river of Moorhead, Minnesota make up the Fargo Moorhead area. Way back when North Dakota was a dry state (in terms of alcohol) Minnesota was not. Being right across the river from Minnesota, people saw a prime business opportunity by opening up bars.

The bars backed right up to the river, and often when they took the trash out, that meant taking the bottles out back and dumping them in the river. Today, if you were to dive the Red River there is a possibility that you would find antique liquor bottles waiting to be found on the river bed.

What to See

A must see for anyone in Fargo is the Chipper. You can find the actual wood chipper from the movie Fargo in the FM Visitors center just off 45th street near I-94. If you are in the mood for a beer, check out Fargo Brewing Company’s IPA named the “Woodchipper.”

The Fargo sign is also a popular sight. The sign marks the old theater (it’s still in use and they even had the premiere of Fargo the TV series in the theater). I think the sign is iconic to Fargo as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.

guide fargo north dakota

Another popular place in the FM area is the Hjemkomst Center. The center is part of the Historical Society of Clay County and inside you can find a Viking style boat built by a local family, that then sailed the boat to Norway from Duluth, MN. around the back of the building, outside is the stave church. A replica of a Viking church in Norway that was built in the late 1100s early 1200s.

You are allowed to walk around outside the grounds and take photos of the church without paying the entrance fee (we checked with the woman at the counter inside). However, while we were out there, a man not so jokingly said that every photo is five dollars and the tour guide was incredibly nasty stating that we could not be out there taking photos. So be on guard.

Where to Eat

Nichole’s Fine Pastry because I have a sweet tooth and Nichole’s has some really fine pastries. Everything I have tried there has been out of this world delicious. The only downside is that every time I try to take Mom there, they’re closed. One of these I’ll take her on a day that they are open!

Kroll's Kneophla Soup
Kroll’s Kneophla Soup

Kroll’s Diner is a cute diner straight out of another decade. They have award-winning Kneophla Soup that is 100% different than every other Kneopla soup recipe I have tried. Kneopla is a regional dish to North Dakota pronounced like neff-lah.

Where to Stay

The Hotel Donaldson is the most well-known boutique hotel in the FM area. Locals affectionately refer to it as the HoDo.

Hotel Donaldson Fargo

Fargo also has all your standard hotel choices such as Holiday Inn, Quality Inn, Ramada, etc.

Ready to book your next trip to Fargo?

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