18 ‘North of Normal’ things to check out in Fargo-Moorhead
Fargo’s tagline is “North of Normal.” The phrase is about an attitude and a way of doing things that’s different and unexpected, so we thought it would be fun to highlight a few places in the area that you might not find in any other destination – North of Normal places, if you will.
1. Camp Lone Tree
Enjoy a cooler of pounders on ice or play a round of bags on this rooftop patio in Downtown Fargo. Camp Lone Tree has a fun, cabin-like atmosphere with Midwest drinks and eats to match.
The bar doesn’t close down in the winter either, igloos go up once it’s too cold to sit outside for a different kind of dining experience.
701 University Dr N, Fargo | (701) 532-0734
2. Fargo Mario Wall
Two local artists – Dark Elvis and Icky Hiccup – channeled their inner Mario and Luigi to create this interactive (and hugely popular) #FargoMarioWall in the alley behind The Toasted Frog. Head over to get your own jumping picture in front of this cool spot.
For a list of all of Fargo’s sweet murals, check out this post.
Alley behind The Toasted Frog, Downtown Fargo
3. Viking craft beer heaven – Brewhalla
The Viking-themed brewery, Drekker Brewing Company, expanded into a new location just outside of Downtown Fargo in 2018. This place is awesome and has been dubbed as one of the coolest buildings in Fargo after it took over an untouched, vacant Northern Pacific Railroad shop.
1666 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 532-0506
4. A herd of painted Bison
The Fargo area doesn’t have any herds of live buffalo roaming around (head to Jamestown’s National Buffalo Museum to see that), but we have something almost as cool – a herd of painted bison scattered throughout the metro.
These creatures are every bit as majestic and awe-inspiring as the real deal. Painted by local artists, each bison has a unique look. Finding these bison around town makes for a pretty fun scavenger hunt! If you want to try it out, check this map to find each of the beautiful statues.
5. Fargo Woodchipper
Although the cult classic movie with Fargo’s namesake was not actually filmed in Fargo, the Visitors Center has one of the most iconic props as a photo-op. Stop by to take a free picture with The Fargo Woodchipper.
2001 44th St S, Fargo | (701) 282-3653
6. Crazy Tree
Named for its wild branches and interesting shape, the “Crazy Tree” in Moorhead is definitely a bit eccentric, and that’s probably why people are so fond of it. The tree is located on the Concordia College campus.
Mention the legendary tree to a Fargo-Moorhead resident or anyone who went to Concordia and they’ll likely take a trip down memory lane telling you about the family photos they took by (or in) the tree, how they proposed to their significant other beside its branches, and more!
The corner of 11th St & 12th Ave S, Moorhead
Not only does the Arts Partnership host their yearly Chalk Festival at the Red River Zoo, but the Fargo Park District also hosts events throughout the summer at Broadway Square with different themes and artists there to assist with advice and guidance.
Red River Zoo | 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo | (701) 277-9240
Broadway Square | 201 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 551-5898
8. Pie Day at Son’s of Norway
Pie Day at our local Son’s of Norway is a truly authentic experience. It’s a bit like going to grandma’s house. All of the pie is homemade and don’t be surprised if you hear “oh honey here, take this piece… it’s the biggest.”
Every Thursday is Pie Day and pie is served during lunch (11 am-1:30 pm). Try to get there early because the pie goes fast!
722 2nd Ave N, Fargo | (701) 232-9222
9. Rattlesnake rabbit bratwurst
Rattlesnake and rabbit bratwurst may not sound like the most delicious thing you’ll eat this week, but it’s one of those things you almost have to try when you’re dining at Wurst Bier Hall.
Go ahead and order it, and add some Bavarian pretzels or sauerkraut on the side… and you might as well get some sweet potato fries with marshmallow fluff, too.
Downtown Fargo | 630 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 478-2437
West Fargo | 3179 Bluestem Dr, West Fargo | (701) 532-0484
10. Canoe Parade
Each fall, the Fargo-Moorhead community dresses up their canoes and kayaks and takes to the river for a parade. There are tons of great places to watch the parade, or you can enter your vessel if you’d like to be part of the fun.
Viking Ship Park | 202 1st Ave N, Moorhead
11. Colored pencil fence
This colorful piece of functional art at the Red River Zoo has a way of brightening your mood. The fence, consisting of over 1,000 large colored pencils, is in the Nature Playground area of the zoo. If you visit the zoo, grab your next Instagram against this backdrop.
While we think the fence itself is almost worth a trip to the zoo, it’s also fun to meet all the cold-weather, adorable animals while you’re there!
4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo | (701) 277-9240
12. Comedy in the Cellar
In the basement of Front Street Taproom, you’ll find The Cellar which brings in professional and amateur comedians as well as hosts many open-mic nights for everyone else that has a funny bone.
614 Main Ave, Fargo | (701) 566-7226
13. Red River Market
A trip to the Red River Market is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday. At the market in Downtown Fargo, you’ll find local produce, jams, crafts from local makers, ready-to-eat food vendors, and much more!
The market happens Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. during the months of July-October. If you need a little more convincing, read this blog post with five reasons to visit the Red River Market.
63 5th St N, Fargo | (701) 491-8892
14. 16-foot Dilly Bar statue
The Moorhead Dairy Queen is different. They pioneered the Dilly Bar which is reason enough for them to be an object of affection in the hearts of many. AND you can take your photo in front of the 16-foot-tall Dilly Bar statue out front!
24 8th St S, Moorhead | (218) 233-3221
15. Take a winery tour
Surprisingly enough, you can find 6 wineries within an hour and a half drive from Fargo. Within city limits, you’ll find Bear Creek Winery, head a bit more South and you’ll run into Dakota Vines Winery. Then, to the West there is 4e Winery, Maple River Winery, and Red Trail Vineyard with Rookery Rock nearby as well.
Each of these local owners would be happy to show you around and provide a selection of delicious wines to try and buy. Plus, you can grab a Red River Wine Trek passport – if you visit them all, you can get a free t-shirt!
16. Get in on the skateboarding scene
A little known secret about the Fargo community is that there is a huge skateboarding community. Head to one of the skateparks or shop at THIS Skate Shop and you’ll see why it’s a great place to pick up this hobby.
THIS Skate Shop |625 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 365-8017
This event (happening at the beginning of the holiday season) is a German-themed Christmas market. Four days of festive cheer includes mulled wine, live music, art demonstrations, holiday treats, a Gift Market, and a Beer Hall.
18. Attend an outdoor concert
There are many beautiful spots in Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo for an outdoor concert in the summer. Some of our favorites include Essentia Health Plaza at The Lights, Bluestem Amphitheatre, and Fargo Brewing Company.
Check out our guide to attending a concert in Fargo-Moorhead for more recommendations.
To see all things to do (including many more North of Normal stuff), look at the full list of things to do & our events calendar.