A first-timer’s itinerary to Fargo (winter edition)

Photo Credit: © 2018 Redsent Aerial Solutions

So you’re visiting Fargo in winter and you’ve never been here before. Your friends probably think you’re crazy. We think you’re great.

Before we jump into the itinerary, let’s demystify Fargo in winter. Is it cold? Yes, but we’ve added a section on what to pack to help you combat that. Is it snowy? Usually, but that adds to the fun! Is it barren? No! Fargo is packed with things to do in winter. Keep reading for two days full of the best Fargo has to offer (while still staying warm).


Full two-day itinerary

Want to customize this to suit your travel style? Check out other things to do in Fargo and add whatever you’d like!

Day 1

Morning

Young Blood Coffee Co.

Fargo’s craft coffee scene deserves to be your first stop in the morning… and you can get more than caffeinated. The gourmet toast menu at Young Blood Coffee Co. will fill you up with something warm and (excuse the pun) toasty. Couple that with a hot cup of Joe and you’re ready to tackle the rest of your wintry day.

622 2nd Ave N, Fargo | (218) 770-4728

Hjemkomst Center

Duration: 2 hours

This Scandinavian culture center showcases a replica Norwegian stave church, a Viking ship that actually sailed from Minnesota to Norway, and one of the region’s largest art collections. You can also take a guided tour of the inside of the stave church, they’re scheduled each hour (the views are incredible!).

202 1st Ave N, Moorhead | (218) 299-5515

Snowshoeing

If there’s snow on the ground (which is pretty likely in a Fargo winter), you can rent snowshoes at Edgewood Golf Course, and M.B. Johnson Park, and take to the park along the river for some good tromping through the flakes. Added bonus: snowshoeing burns between 420 and 1000 calories per hour.

Afternoon

Rosey’s Bistro

This gourmet grilled cheese and seafood bistro is the perfect place to warm up and refuel after snowshoeing. Its cozy interior looks out onto Downtown Fargo’s main street, so you can people-watch while you eat your weight in grilled cheese goodness.

We recommend starting with the Smoked Gouda Fondue, moving on to the Snobby Frenchman sandwich (creme de brie with caramelized apples and candied walnuts) or the BGT (bacon-Gouda-tomato), and finishing with some cheesecake.

212 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 551-0777

Twenty Below Coffee Co.

The short walk from Rosey’s to Twenty Below should help your food settle, and get you ready for a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up. Twenty Below Coffee Co. roasts its own beans in-house, so you can try a truly Fargoan cup of Joe.

Sit inside and chat or play one of their many board games, or take your coffee to go and use it as a hand warmer as you walk to your next stop.

14 Roberts St N, Fargo | (701) 566-0977

Plains Art Museum

Duration: 1 hour

This is the largest art museum in the entire state. Take a guided, 60-minute tour for $4 per person, led by an experienced guide. Reservations are required for the tours, but you can also take a free self-guided gander through Plains Art Museum‘s three main exhibitions.

704 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 551-6011

Puzzled Escape Rooms

Test your puzzle skills and possibly meet some other travelers or locals while trying to escape together. Puzzled Escape Rooms pits you against the clock. You have 60 minutes to unlock the codes and get out of any of their themed rooms, from a wedding gone wrong to an NDSU Bison Fan Cave.

114 Broadway N L1, Fargo | (701) 446-8548

Evening

Wurst Bier Hall

Wandering around the art museum and puzzling your way out of the escape room will probably leave you a tad hungry. Luckily, you’re steps away from one of the top recommended spots for local food in Fargo: Wurst Bier Hall.

Long, wooden tables fill this German-style pub. Order a boot of German beer (or a classic local draft) and some weinerschnitzel, spaetzle mac & cheese, or gourmet wurst sausages.

630 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 5478-2437

HoDo Lounge

Class up dessert and drinks tonight and head to the HoDo Lounge. Huge windows line the outer walls, giving you a great view of Downtown Fargo’s main drag, and you’ll often find a live band or musician playing.

They’ve got a full menu of martinis that we think work great as an after-dinner treat, but if you really want something sweet, check out their dessert menu, too.

101 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 478-1000

After dinner entertainment

Fargo always has some sort of event or show happening. So after dinner and drinks, you have a few entertainment options – we recommend you research them beforehand (our Facebook page is a great place to start!).

Several places downtown will have something set to entertain you. The Aquarium is a great place to look for live music, while The Cellar is the city’s only dedicated comedy club for some late-night laughs. Pictured below is The Sanctuary, a great spot to look for larger musical acts and shows. Check out this guide to the best places for live music to learn more.

Fargo Theatre

The iconic Fargo Theatre hosts nightly shows varying from old movies to ballet to stand-up comedy to live music, check ahead for what’s happening.

314 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 239-8385

Fargo Force

If you’re the sportier type, Fargo Force hockey games happen frequently in the winter at Scheels Arena, and are a ton of fun. Puck drop is usually at 7:05pm. Check their schedule to see if there’s a game while you’re in town.

Scheels Arena | 670 4th Ave N, Fargo | (701) 404-9006

Day 2

Morning

The Shack on Broadway

This mom-and-pop diner is a local favorite… you’ll see why as soon as you arrive. Its classic diner interior means cozy booths, friendly waitstaff, and the smell of home-cooked food in the air. We recommend one of their massive omelettes, a delicious stack of pancakes, and a huge caramel roll (if you can manage to fit it all in).

Pro tip: If you’re in Fargo on a weekend, make sure to get here early. The “after church” crowd starts arriving around 9 am, so you may have to wait for a table if you come much later than that.

3215 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 356-2211

Fargo Air Museum

Duration: 2 hours

Housed in two huge airplane hangars, wander through historic aircraft – 90% of which are still in flying condition. Call ahead to schedule a guided tour, which are informative and fun for kids and adults.

In winter, the Fargo Air Museum opens at 10 am.

1609 19th Ave N, Fargo | (701) 293-8043

Fargo  Woodchipper

Duration: 30 minutes

In case you didn’t know, a famous movie was named after our fine city. Fargo, the Coen brothers cult classic film, doesn’t actually take place in Fargo, ND, but we still have the iconic Woodchipper on display at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center. Stop in and take your picture with the well-known movie prop… there’s even a leg sticking out of it for excellent action shots.

2001 44th St S, Fargo | (701) 282-3653

Afternoon

Kroll’s

This 50s-style diner is our number one go-to for local food. Start with a cup of award-winning knoephla soup, followed by the German classic, fleischkuechla, and finish with kuchen. Don’t know what any of those are? We promise you’ll like them (but if you don’t, you can always order a standard burger or ice cream malt instead).

1033, 45th St S, Fargo | (701) 492-2319

Red River Zoo

Duration: 1 hour

Fargo’s accredited zoo specializes in the care and breeding of some of the world’s rarest cold climate species. Don’t be surprised when you see camels and red pandas out in the snow… they’re actually cold-weather breeds who normally live in places with similar weather to Fargo.

Call ahead to see if you can schedule a guided tour and to find out if any special events or zookeeper talks will be happening during your visit.

The Red River Zoo also has special winter hours from 10 am to 5 pm every day.

4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo | (701) 277-9240

Souvenir shopping in Downtown Fargo

Find something to remember us by at some of the cool, local shops in Downtown Fargo. They’re all right next to each other, making it easy to pick up a Fargo magnet, dish towel, t-shirt, or whatever you fancy. We usually recommend three places for great souvenirs.

Zandbroz Variety overflows with goodies, from books to handmade soaps to home decor… the list goes on. Wandering through is an experience in itself, and you can find cute Fargo mugs and interesting wooden postcards.

420 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 239-4729

Just next door, Unglued Market sells goods made by local artists, including dish towels that say ‘Uffda’, baby items, dog collars and outfits, mugs, coasters, and much more. Everything is quirky and has a uniquely Midwestern feel to it – just like Fargo.

408 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 205-1597

One more stop down the street, you’ll find STABO Scandinavian Imports. Fargo has a rich Scandinavian heritage, and the items here reflect that, from Norwegian and Swedish cookbooks to trolls for your garden to bowls shaped like Dala horses.

406 Broadway N, Fargo | (701) 282-0421

For more great shopping in Downtown Fargo, check out this article on the top 21 places to shop.

Evening

Vinyl Taco

Music and Mexican street food set Vinyl Taco apart from every other Mexican restaurant in town. Instead of large plates, you can order individual street tacos.

Inside, you’ll be surrounded by musical artwork, exposed brick walls, and a central bar guarded by a bison statue. Menus come on record albums, the margaritas are served with giant rosemary leaves, and vinyl records spin behind the bar.

Note: You must be 21 to enter and eat here.

520 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 365-8226

Nichole’s Fine Pastry

For dessert, head to this European-inspired bakery. Overflowing shelves of small-batch, delicate pastries, cookies, truffles, and decadent cakes fill this cozy shop. We recommend the lemon curd cake which Food Network voted as the ‘Best Cake in North Dakota’.

13 8th St S, Fargo | (701) 232-6430

Nichole’s Fine Pastry is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so if you’re looking for dessert on those days, head to one of Fargo’s gourmet ice cream shops. You have three downtown ice cream options: Silver Linings Creamery for small-batch and experimental ice cream flavors, Scoop N Dough Candy Co. for cookie dough and ice cream medleys, or Tea & Crepe Cafe for trendy Thai rolled ice cream.

Wild Terra Cider Bar

If there’s one thing Fargo has plenty of, it’s places to have an adult craft beverage. After dinner and dessert, experience the craft beer or cider scene with one of these three options (or check out all eight of Fargo’s breweries).

The only urban cidery in the entire state, Wild Terra is a great alternative if you want a craft beverage that isn’t beer. They make their own ciders in-house and include regional varieties on their menu. Housed in a converted horse barn, peaked ceilings, bold wallpaper, and comfy leather couches make it a great place to just hang out.

6 12th St N, Fargo | (701) 639-6273

Drekker Brewing Company

Located just outside of Downtown Fargo, Drekker Brewing Company’s  Brewhalla crafts beer for the Viking in all of us, in a large hall fitting the Norse-heaven it’s named after. Besides the ultra-cool interior and delicious rotating menu of beers, they’ve got board games and pinball machines to keep you occupied for hours.

1666 1st Ave N, Fargo | (701) 532-0506

Pixeled Brewing Company

The most recent addition to the craft beer scene in Fargo, Pixeled doubles as the city’s first-ever arcade! More than 50 arcade games line the walls from classic games like Frogger, Space Invaders, and Ms. Pacman, to the newest kid on the block, Killer Queen. They’ve been experimenting with their beer flavors since opening, so taste a few as you unleash your inner gamer.

1100 NP Ave #101, Fargo | (701) 532-0915


What to pack

Coat: A (very, very) warm coat. Locals don long winter coats with crazy good insulation, and we recommend you do the same.

Hat: Any winter hat that covers your ears. Here in Fargo, we prefer good ol’ trapper hats as tributes to the Fargo movie, but a warm stocking cap or fuzzy ear muffs works just as well.

Gloves: Most locals have one or two pairs on at any time when outdoors. Your outer pair should be a warm pair of mittens. Inside this, we recommend wearing thinner finger gloves. That way, you can still operate your phone without freezing your fingers off when you take off the outer pair.

Scarf: You’ll know a local by the fact that the only exposed part of their body is their eyes. A scarf, wrapped tightly around the lower half of your face, will keep blowing snow off your neck and warm your cheeks and nose all at once.

Boots: Fashion be darned, it’s all about warm boots in a Fargo winter. The clunkier they look, the warmer they usually are, and no one will judge you.

Warm socks: Inside those boots, a pair of wool socks will go a long way toward keeping your toes from feeling the cold. Feel free to double up sock layers if you get cold feet.

Thermal underwear (optional): Sometimes called long johns, Cuddl Duds, or long underwear, they all mean the same thing – an incredibly warm pair of full-length underwear to keep your legs extra cozy.


Like what you see? Find other Fargo itineraries here.