Living in the Twin Cities and wondering what to do for a fun week-end? Tribune article says spend the weekend in Fargo, a lively city by the river.
Here’s the full article I inserted my own pictures into the text of the article:
- Article by: MASON RIDDLE , Special to the Star Tribune
- Updated: August 2, 2013 – 12:04 PM
The Fargo Theatre, in a restored Art Deco building, hosts movies, plays, music and other events in the heart of downtown.
Photo: Photo provided by Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Fargo, the Red River Valley city of 106,000, is now in the midst of a 21st-century cultural renaissance.
On a mid-July weekend, Fargo was overflowing with people. Literally. Vacant hotel rooms were nonexistent. Fargo’s main artery, Broadway, was host to its annual street fair and open only to pedestrian traffic. A wrestling convention was in progress nearby and reunions were in high gear. The collision of people with wildly different interests made for active street life.
Fargo is North Dakota’s largest city and flanks the Red River on the west, directly across from Moorhead, Minn. Founded in 1871, and initially named Centralia, Fargo was an early port for steamboats traveling the Red River in the 1870s and 1880s. Centralia was renamed Fargo after William Fargo, a co-founder of the Wells Fargo Express Co. who was also the director of Northern Pacific Railway. With the railroad, the area flourished and Fargo became known as the Gateway to the West. Indeed, rails still encircle Fargo’s town center.
WHAT TO DO
Art and more: A good place to start is the Plains Art Museum (704 1st Av. N.; 1-701-551-6100; plainsart.org). Housed in the redesigned International Harvester brick warehouse since 1997, the museum is featuring an inspired retrospective by acclaimed American Indian artist and Minnesota native George Morrison (1919-2000) through Sept. 1. Also on view are the monumental, crowd-pleasing pet portraits by Mankato artist Brian Frink.
Of Fargo’s several art galleries, of particular note is Ecce (216 Broadway; 1-701-298-3223; http://ecce216.com). Ecce’s spare renovated space is filled with contemporary Midwest art, as well as furniture and jewelry, often with a North Dakota focus. Jonathan Adler and Design House Stockholm represent contemporary design.
Catch a film at the historic Fargo Theatre (314 Broadway; 1-701-239-8385; fargotheatre.org), a restored 1926 Art Deco cinema that screens first-run films and hosts film fests and concerts. (Johnny Lang plays on Sept. 21.) No time for a film? Open to the public, its classic Deco lobby and 870-seat interior are a must-see.Fargo and Moorhead jointly support several theater and music organizations including the Fargo-Moorhead Opera (114 Broadway; 1-701-239-4558; www.fmopera.org) and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra (1-701-478-3676; fmsymphony.org).
Go shopping: Broadway Avenue is a hub for storefront boutiques. The recently opened Pinch & Pour (210 Broadway; 1-710-356-7779) features more than 50 different olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. It also owns the adjoining casual clothing shop, Fowlers Heritage Company. Unglued (408 Broadway; 1-701-205-1597; ungluedmarket.com) is part DIY haven, part gift shop filled with dozens of items including dish towels and origami birds. Zandbroz (420 Broadway; 1-701-239-4792), an airy space, is filled with books, handmade papers, glassware, candles, jewelry and body products.
Even if you are not a cyclist, a trip to the Great Northern Bicycle Co., housed in the historic 1898 Northern Pacific Railway Depot, is a must. GNBC’s staff is as accommodating as the shop is spacious (425 N. Broadway; 1-710-280-1796; gncycles.com). For espresso, the tiny Blue Goose Café has recently sprung up on the premises.
Enjoy the outdoors: Fargo features many neighborhood parks, including Island Park, that flank the Red River and feature walking and biking trails. Fargo also boasts six golf courses (www.fargogolf.net), including the new par-33, nine-hole Osgood Golf Course (1-701-356-3070).
WHERE TO STAY
For smaller digs, the attentive service and ambience at Hotel Donaldson (101 N. Broadway; 1-701-478-1000; hoteldonaldson.com) cannot be beat. Affectionately called HoDo, the 17-room hotel was renovated in 2003. It occupies the original International Order of Oddfellows building, constructed in 1894, a year after fire destroyed most of downtown. Each room features work by Fargo artists, and bed frames and other items were made from locally sourced materials and local artisans.
HoDo sources local foods for its fine-dining HoDo Restaurant, its busy HoDo Lounge and its intimate Sky Prairie rooftop lounge. Its green roof (yes, you can put your feet in the grass) helps cool the building in the summer. Mezzaluna (309 N. Robert St.; 1-701-364-9479; dinemezzaluna.com) serves innovative modern American cuisine. Featuring a marble horseshoe bar and sculptural clamshell banquettes, Mezzaluna provides an intimate fine-dining adventure.
Another popular downtown eatery is Monte’s Downtown (220 Broadway; 1-701-526-0149; montesdowntown.com).
For a good American bar with burgers and beer, visit JL Beers (518 1st Av. N.; 1-701-492-3377; jlbeers.com/518). Nichole’s Fine Pastry (13 S. 8th St.; 1-701-232-6430; www.nicholes finepastry.com) serves great soups, sandwiches and sweets. Red Raven Coffee Shop (916 Main Av.; 1-701-478-7337) is an alt espresso bar/art gallery/music venue with a peaceful courtyard. Across the street explore the multiethnic Asian & American Market (1015 Main Av.; 1-701-271-0687).
IF YOU GO
The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau: 1-701-282-3653; www.fargo moorhead.org.
St. Paul-based Mason Riddle writes on the visual arts, architecture and design.