Photo Courtesy of Lisa Meyers McClintickDowntown FargoDowntown FargoWheat Mural Downtown FargoSunny Brook Mural Downtown FargoSticks Garden

Families will love:

  • Urban destination with small-town welcome
  • Unique museums
  • Outdoor pools and skate park

Scandinavian heritage, deep agricultural roots, the energy of a college town and a welcoming Midwest spirit run through Fargo, North Dakota, which sprawls along the rich soil of the Red River Valley and connects to Moorhead, Minnesota. The communities dish up the amenities of an urban area -- and North Dakota's biggest city -- with the playfulness and friendliness of a ... more
Scandinavian heritage, deep agricultural roots, the energy of a college town and a welcoming Midwest spirit run through Fargo, North Dakota, which sprawls along the rich soil of the Red River Valley and connects to Moorhead, Minnesota. The communities dish up the amenities of an urban area -- and North Dakota's biggest city -- with the playfulness and friendliness of a smaller community that doesn't take itself too seriously -- especially with its new slogan "North of Normal."

Case in point: the wood chipper at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor Center, which stands tall along I-94 with its granary design. Teens and adults who are fans of the darkly comic 1996 cult movie "Fargo" put on plaid ear-flapped bomber hats and snap selfies with the infamous wood chipper. Used in the movie as a desperate way to get rid of a body, a flier even reveals the ewwww-worthy ingredients for the gory special effects.

With the movie spinning into a drama series in 2014, Fargo has shouldered its share of stereotypes, but it's not the winter-white hinterland Hollywood spins out. While most of the nation gimped through the Great Recession, North Dakota boomed. Tourism ranks as the state's third-largest industry behind oil and agriculture, and Fargo remains North Dakota's biggest hub with an ever-growing population of 118,000 residents in a city that sprawls 48 square miles -- roughly the size of Boston.

Fargo, North Dakota also ranks among the nation's safest communities, offering families a getaway that isn't flashy, but delivers a solid blend of modern and sweetly old-fashioned. A family can dine on artfully crafted pastries in downtown Fargo or clutch Dilly bars at Moorhead's timeless Dairy Queen that invented the treat. They can catch a flick at the historic Fargo Theatre or cheer for the Red Hawks baseball team. It doesn't take more than 15 minutes to reach most attractions, leaving plenty of time for swimming, exploring playgrounds or shopping during your Fargo, North Dakota family vacation.

Written by Lisa Meyers McClintick less

Fargo, ND Planning & Tips
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