No one’s ever uttered the phrase, “What happens in Fargo, stays in Fargo” or called it the “City that Never Sleeps.” We don’t have a Six Flags Over Fargo or a Playa del Woodchipper. Heck, we rarely make lists of top tourist destinations.
You might find this odd coming from an organization whose purpose is to promote Fargo as a destination for visitors.
So we want to be clear.
We’re none of the above things, but we’ve got an edge that well-worn tourist places don’t: undiscovered originality and a goofy personality (if we do say so ourselves).
Here are some of the reasons you should come to Fargo:
1. It will cost you less.
Seriously, a drink in Vegas is upwards of $18 a pop. In Fargo? The most expensive cocktails you can find run for $12, but usually range around $8. A craft beer: $6. A good ol’ Coors Light with a pickle: $4.
Minnesota has no sales tax on clothing, so you can pick up an outfit in Fargo’s sister city, Moorhead, and simply pay what the price tag shows. Many events are free entry, most bars have no cover charges for live music, and the city’s art museums are all free, while other attractions never cost more than $15 to enter.
The standard cost of living is lower in this section of the U.S., and that’s reflected in the price of, well, everything.
2. Movie and TV buffs know us by name.
Instead of presidents’ faces carved in stone, we have the original Woodchipper from the cult classic, Fargo, and an entire FX series named after us. While the actual place looks nothing like what you see on TV, there is only one Woodchipper from the movie Fargo in existence… and we have it. Enough said.
3. Skyscrapers? Pfft, try friendly people.
The Red River Valley has incredibly rich soil (we’re surrounded by fertile farmland and are some of the top crop producers in the nation). That said, the silty soil doesn’t allow for very tall buildings.
So, instead of skyscrapers, we’ve got an ever-expanding metro chock-full of “North Dakota and Minnesota nice” people.
People you’ve never seen before will smile at you and say “hi” and then possibly even strike up a conversation (most likely about the weather). Don’t be alarmed, that’s just how we are.
Fargo’s got a small-town heart with big-city amenities.
4. You can shop ’til you drop.
The sheer amount of shopping choices always surprises visitors. We’ve got the largest mall in the region, West Acres, as well as the largest sporting goods store in the state, Scheels (there’s a Ferris wheel inside!).
Beyond tons of name-brand stores (think Target, Costco, Old Navy, Home Depot, etc.), Fargo’s shining glory is its array of local shopping. From boutiques to antiques, you can find cool souvenirs and items that are only sold in Fargo. Check out the unique places to shop in Downtown Fargo for just some of those local gems.
5. No mountains? No problem.
All the better to see the sunset, my dear.
With the lack of skyscrapers and very, very flat prairie land, there is nothing to block the incredible wide-open sunsets and sunrises of the prairie.
If you’ve never experienced wide-open space, Fargo and the surrounding areas are some of the best places to do it.
6. We’re not the typical choice.
Fargo’s not the standard. We get it. You could go somewhere with mountains or beaches or world-famous attractions. You could get that Instagram shot all your friends have or tick that “must-see” monument off your bucket list.
Or, you could stand out. Buck the trend. Be weird. Be the first to discover a place off the typical tourist trail.
Also, you can still get some great Insta shots (see below).
7. We’ll surprise the heck out of you.
When visitors come to Fargo the biggest reaction we get is surprise – at how big it is, how nice people are, how great the nightlife is (we’ve got a median age of 30.5, so we know how to party), how good the food tastes, and how much there is to do.
This community has it all, and it’s not too big that new ideas get squashed, or too small that great things can’t happen.
Art museums, craft beverages (breweries, wineries, cideries, and even a meadery), performing arts (think opera, symphony, and theatre), live and local music (every night, no less), a hopping bar scene, and an incredibly diverse food culture, you’ll need days to take it all in.