Travel Spotlight on Fargo, North Dakota, and Its 13 Best Attractions

See Hopper's travel guide to Fargo, North Dakota, and its 13 best attractions, restaurants and hotels, and see travel tips from local bloggers.

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Joe Richard Francis
Hopper Author

Famed largely for its role as the sleepy town backdrop of the Coen Brothers’ 1996 masterpiece of the same name, the town of Fargo, North Dakota, is a great day trip option for travellers making their way through the Peace Garden State. Naturally the iconic woodchipper that played a pivotal role in the movie’s plot is one of the biggest attractions in town, while a certain energy has begun to take hold in recent years brought in with a variety of bars, clubs, boutique hotels and quirky eateries opening up in the center. Joined with its sister city of Moorhead across the Red River, the larger metropolitan area here offers a wealth of cultural highlights, from modern art exhibitions to historical museums, making this one definitely worth a visit.

Relive the history of North Dakota at the Bonanzaville Historical Center

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Bonanzaville, USA, Fargo – photo by bonanzaville

Home to a number of immersive exhibitions the pièce de résistance of Bonanzaville is the Pioneer Village. A clever recreation of traditional life, the village comprises of 43 restored historic buildings of interest, from the timber-clad town hall (dating from the 1890s) to the Cass County Courthouse display in the original Hagemeister Schoolroom. Other permanent exhibits show a real wealth of artifacts that help chronicle North Dakotan history from its earliest times.

See what visitors have to say:

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Bonanzaville, USA
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"It was not uncommon for 12 people to live in a cabin of this size." - bonanzaville
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Bonanzaville, USA
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"The Transgrud House was constructed around 1871." - bonanzaville
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Bonanzaville, USA
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"But, really, let me just SHOW you how amazing this little place is." - Sohailah

Local artistry and curious relics to boot:

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Plains Art Museum
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"our first stop was the Plains Art Museum." - businessinsider
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Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretative Center
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"This Hjemkomst Viking Ship was built by a resident and his family and sailed it to Norway in 1984." - Joanne Boyle
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Fargo Air Museum
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"My visit however ended up being much more than I expected" - fargomoorhead

Education, conservation and some seriously exotic animals at the Red River Zoo

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Red River Zoo, Fargo – photo by fargomoorhead

Home to Yukiko the red panda, and packs of prowling grey wolves, the Red River Zoo also has a huge variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish on exhibition. However, it’s not all about gawking at animals here – the Zoo’s emphasis on educational and conservationist programs make this one a truly hands-on experience, where guests are encouraged to learn and get involved in the day-to-day lives of every animal.

See what visitors have to say about the Red River Zoo:

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Red River Zoo
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Red River Zoo" - BJ Travels
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Red River Zoo
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Our friends, the wolves, greeted us with a friendly howl and ran up to the fence to say hello." - redriverzoo
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Red River Zoo
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Well known nationwide for exhibiting some of the world’s most rare cold-climate species." - 310tofargo

Something for the adults and something for the kids:

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Northern Plains Botanic Garden
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Its leaves and flowers are quite beautiful!" - John and Diana Schramm
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Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch
Northwestern Minnesota , Minnesota
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"It was a beautiful fall day and we had a great time picking out our pumpkins!" - The Fam
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The Children's Museum At Yunker Farm
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Music exhinit at The Children's Museum At Yunker Farm" - fargomoorhead

Warm up with the Fargo Brewing Company

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Fargo Brewing Company, Fargo – photo by Lacy

Establishing itself as one of North Dakota’s leading independent breweries just five years after setting up, the Fargo Brewing company is the product of a beer-loving partnership that’s truly passionate about their craft. Visitors are invited to sample products in the on-site tap room or take one of the regular weekend brewery tours. The latter costs just $1, and all the proceeds are donated to local food charities.

See what visitors have to say about the Fargo Brewing Company:

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Fargo Brewing Company
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"Give us a crash course in making beer." - prairiestylefile
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Fargo Brewing Company
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"I’m so excited for their public opening!" - prairiestylefile
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Fargo Brewing Company
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"I love people that love beer." - Feisty Eats

Check out JL Beers, Fargo's best burger bar

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Jl Beers, Fargo – photo by iamproisrael

Big burgers and home cut potato fries are the name of the game in this hearty pub-style eatery. Come to savor the large portions of filling meat creations, where healthy eating is forced unashamedly into the back seat. Specialities include Fargo’s own 1st avenue burger, and the in-house special JL burger that comes doused in deep-fried onions; is your mouth watering yet?

See what diners say about JL Beers:

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Jl Beers
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"the range of beers is worth the trip" - FightingEntropy
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Jl Beers
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"I was told their burgers were very good so we checked it out." - monarchway
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Jl Beers
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"Yummy food and nice beer selection." - shelikesbeer

From hearty grills to local fine dining, there’s also a twist of the exotic on Fargo’s culinary scene:

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Mezzaluna
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"Super trendy" - businessinsider
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Kobe Japanese Cuisine
Fargo, Red River Valley
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"The sushi took about 25 minutes to arrive, but it was well worth the wait." - Joan

From hearty grills to local fine dining, there's also a twist of the exotic on Fargo's culinary scene:

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The Hotel Donaldson, Fargo – photo by businessinsider

Since renovation in 2003, the Donaldson has become one of Fargo’s premier hotels, and one that offers much more than just a bed and breakfast. Today, guests enjoy luxurious, boutique rooms, one of the city’s best roof garden bars, and a cultural experience that incorporates local art events and live music. The in house restaurant also serves a wide variety of organically sourced dishes prepared in the regional style.

See what guests have to say about the Hotel Donaldson:

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The Hotel Donaldson
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"when I got there it was closed." - doingitdt
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The Hotel Donaldson
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"Our hotel room was WONDERFUL!" - wom-mom
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The Hotel Donaldson
Downtown Fargo, Fargo
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"Sometimes, you just need to go Big" - hoteldonaldson

See Fargo on the map:

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