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Fargo By Fargo: Weekend Getaways

Photos special to Fargo Monthly

As the Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow at an astonishing rate of a dozen residents a day, our identity is being shaped by the nearly 230,000 citizens. We went to you, the people who are molding and shaping our culture, to ask you about your favorite weekend getaway destinations. We asked, you answered. Here’s what Fargo means to you.

Meet The Fargoans

Amanda Wolf
Photographer and Owner of Lemon Drops Photography
Lived in Fargo for 16 years
Anna Larson
Corporate Writer at Eide Bailly LLP
Lived in Fargo her entire life
Jill Frederick
Jill Frederick
Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead who retired last May
Lived in Fargo for 25 years
Heather Hemingway
Anytime Mortgage, Director of Operations
Live in Fargo-Moorhead for 25 years

Your favorite weekend getaway spot…

Amanda Wolf: We love the Perham area because it is very family oriented with turtle races, great small town shopping, Zorbaz and, of course, relaxing evenings on the lake.

Anna Larson: If I can get away from Fargo, Smoky Hills State Forest near Park Rapids, Minn., is so pretty, especially in the fall. My parents used to take my two siblings and me there every year for a day trip, so I have memories attached to that place.

Jill Frederick: I like to drive out to Fort Ransom because the landscape changes so dramatically from the flat plains around Fargo. All of a sudden, there are hills and valleys and the town nestles down next to the Sheyenne River.

Heather Hemingway: Winnipeg is fun and adds a bit of excitement because it’s technically a different country. The people are welcoming and the city itself reminds me a lot of Fargo.

What you like to do in this spot…

Amanda Wolf: Being originally from Minnesota, I am a lakes person so every chance we get, we go to the lake and Perham is one of our favorite destinations as the lakes have just the right amount of fishing and boating. Wednesdays in the summer are turtle Races, which is a childhood must do.

Anna Larson: After you do the nature thing in the forest, it’s fun to drive into Park Rapids and check out the cute shops and get a bite to eat. The Good Life Cafe has gluten-free and vegan options, which I didn’t expect—so awesome

Jill Frederick: It’s a tiny place, so a hamburger and a beer at the Old Mill Grill, then a walk out into the surrounding countryside is a good way to spend an afternoon. Though there’s not much left of it, I like to wander around the old fort’s historical site.

Heather Hemingway: Wherever we go, we try to find out where the locals hang out. We enjoy smaller, locally-owned shops and bars.

Your favorite spot to get your fix of nature in…

Amanda Wolf: Maplewood State Park is just about an hour away and the perfect destination to pop up the tent and grab a canoe and just float and take in all of the beauty all around. They have great trails too.

Weekend Getaways
Photo: Explore Minnesota

Anna Larson: I love running by the river in way north Fargo by the old Trollwood Park. I remember when that park was vibrant and hosted craft fairs, plays and lots of other events. Now, it’s quiet but I still love it. Running past the “Yellowbrick Road” makes me happy because “The Wizard of Oz” is my favorite movie, and I’ve been coming to walk that little yellow road since I was a kid. It’s also very peaceful once you get into the trees on the other side of the river. I usually see animals, too, like cats, deer, turtles and eagles.

After that, it’s all about food. So many new restaurants open all the time so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I like to swing into Patisserie 46 for macarons and Pat’s Tap for brunch (great coffee and cocktails, no matter the time of day). On my way back to Fargo, I hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for goodies to bring home.

Jill Frederick: It’s easy in Fargo-Moorhead to get a nature fix – along the river, especially by Dike East to watch the spillway or any one of the parks (Gooseberry is one of my favorites). My backyard can do it too: one year about three dozen wild turkeys settled down there for about a week. I missed them when they finally left.

Heather Hemingway: Being from southern Minnesota, I do tend to miss the valleys, trees and water. Lindenwood or Gooseberry Parks are convenient and do the trick when I need the comfort of trees and a river. MB Johnson Park in Moorhead is a little further away, but worth the drive. You have to see it in fall.

Your favorite urban weekend getaway spot…

Amanda Wolf: We love getting to Duluth. Even the drive over is so beautiful it’s a vacation the second we get in the car. When there, we take in the aquarium, the ship tours if there are any, watch the drawbridge go up and down for the massive ships and, of course, grab a coffee to walk the cobblestone paths of downtown.

Weekend Getaways
Photo: Carol Kasper

Anna Larson: Minneapolis is great for a quick weekend getaway. I like to stay downtown wherever my Priceline bid ends up (I always pick a high star level and see how low I can go). I go to Southdale Center and the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park (Anthropologie!) to get my shopping fix. Downtown, I really like MartinPatrick3 even though it’s a men’s store. Their selection of candles and travel items is impeccable.

Jill Frederick: My husband is pretty much a homebody, so we tend to staycation. I have enjoyed weekends in Duluth, though, and can happily sit and watch Lake Superior all day. It’s so big, it’s like an inland sea.

Heather Hemingway: Waterparks, any of them. Unfortunately, Fargo doesn’t have a waterpark, so we like to go to any of the surrounding ones (South Dakota, Grand Forks, Wahpeton, Minnesota, etc.) for quick getaways.

Written by Andrew Jason

Andrew Jason is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media. He oversees the production and the wonderful team behind Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC!, Bison Illustrated and Design and Living magazines. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and pretending he's a much better piano player than he actually is.

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