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North of Normal in Fargo-Moorhead

By Danielle Letenyei

Frostival 2018 Media Event-14 CREDIT Visit Fargo-Moorhead
Snow-ga at Viking Ship Park in Moorhead | Courtesy of Visit Fargo-Moorhead

If you’re looking for someplace different to hold your meeting or event, consider Fargo-Moorhead, an area along the border where Minnesota meets North Dakota. The Fargo-Moorhead region prides itself on being beyond what you normally find in other locales. “Fargo is a place that transcends typical. It’s off the beaten path and a little quirky. We like to call it ‘north of normal,’” says Mallari Ackerman, director of sales for the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Fargo-Moorhead area contains three main cities in two states—Fargo and West Fargo in North Dakota and Moorhead in Minnesota, with the Red River dividing them.

Vibe: Fargo-Moorhead has a younger vibe, partly due to the number of colleges in the area. “Fargo-Moorhead is one of the coolest cities in the Midwest that no one knows about,” says Dannielle Melquist, director of marketing for the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau. “From unique events to James Beard [Award]-nominated restaurants and chefs, the vibe is completely unexpected for a Midwest city of its size.”

Transportation: Hector International Airport is located just 10 minutes from downtown Fargo. Five major airlines fly into the airport—Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, and United—and the airport offers flights from 12 locations throughout the U.S. If you’re driving from Minneapolis-St. Paul; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; or Winnipeg, Manitoba, Fargo-Moorhead is just a 3.5-hour drive away.

Hotels: There are 5,600 hotel rooms in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The Holiday Inn Fargo is the area’s largest hotel with 310 rooms and 27,000 square feet of event space near the West Acres Mall. Delta Hotels by Marriott, also near the mall, has 185 rooms and 23,000 square feet of event space. If you and your attendees prefer to be in downtown Fargo, the Radisson Blu Fargo and Jasper Hotel both offer over 100 hotel rooms and meeting space.

Restaurants: Fargo-Moorhead has more than 450 restaurants and bars where you can grab a cocktail or bite to eat. If you want true Fargo fare, visit Rosewild in the Jasper Hotel for farm-to-table favorites or Prairie Kitchen for traditional Nordic dishes. Sol Ave. Kitchen in Moorhead is a bright, happy place offering globally inspired street food with a Midwest twist.

Fargo-Moorhead also has its share of local breweries. The Fargo Brewing Co. was the first brewery in the area. Other breweries include Drekker Brewing Co. and Pixeled Brewing Co. in Fargo, Junkyard Brewing Co. and Swing Barrel Brewing in Moorhead, and Iceland Brewing Co. located right outside of West Fargo in Mapleton.

Must-Sees and -Dos: The Fargo-Moorhead area is proud of its Norwegian heritage, and you can learn all about the area’s history at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead—it even has a full-size replica Viking ship. Fans of the Coen brothers’ film “Fargo” can get a picture with the woodchipper used in the movie’s infamous murder scene. The woodchipper is located inside the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center.