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What About A Weekend Staycation?

Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography and Hillary Ehlen

Fargo is surrounded by weekend getaway opportunities. Just hours from the Twin Cities, the cultural center of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sioux Falls, lakes country… we have it pretty good here in our North of Normal home base. Nichole and I take our family on our fair share of weekend road trips to explore the world around us. But sometimes, when life gets crowded, we want the getaway without the gas guzzling.

Downtown Fargo delivers on experience when we choose a weekend staycation. I’m excited to share with you some of the ways we’ve taken advantage of getting away to the vibrant downtown in our backyard.

When we are creating our weekend experience in downtown Fargo, we like to fill it with exercise, entertainment and friends.


We love to wrap some fresh air and exercise into our weekend plans. We often start our afternoon with a run or bike ride from downtown to Lindenwood Park, enjoying the historic Hawthorne neighborhood and the river trail that connects the river to downtown Fargo. Fargo has some incredibly well taken care of bike trails that wrap through the trees in Lindenwood and over river bridges. Bike Share makes it easy. Just across the river, Viking Ship Park is a picture-perfect backdrop for cross-country skiing, walking the path or even dropping a canoe in the Red for an adventure.



After that, we like to meet friends for a nice dinner, and downtown delivers. With more than 40 restaurants to choose from, I won’t go with a list. But I will say that you can likely find what you crave downtown, and if not, let us know so we can work on it.

Next, we’ll catch a show at The Stage at Island Park or the historic Fargo Theatre. Or take in local art and culture at the Plains Art Museum or the APT art incubator. There are so many wonderful places for art and shows in downtown Fargo.

We keep a close eye on the live music schedule from Jade Presents, which books shows at the Sanctuary Events Center, the Fargo Theatre and The Aquarium. Fargo Underground is another great calendar of downtown events. Whatever you choose, Downtown Fargo is a great night out with friends.


When the evening comes to an end, there are plenty of great places to stay inside the walkable downtown neighborhood for those looking to make a staycation of it.

The Hotel Donaldson and the Radisson are both right in the heart of the action and both offer a unique place to call it a night.

The HoDo is a world-renowned boutique hotel that is Fargo down to the bones of the historic building. Originally constructed in 1893, its 17 unique rooms, renovated in 2003, feature the work of local visual artists and musicians, and are filled with character and history. I’m a particularly big fan of the rooftop garden and lounge on a warm summer night.

The Radisson is the tallest building in downtown Fargo (second tallest in North Dakota after the state capitol) and has unbeatable views of the neighborhood. We love to grab a table by the window in Zest for their amazing Sunday brunch.

Airbnb options have grown downtown as well, with many of the hosts adding quirky touches to make sure your stay is memorable, like a plate of Freddy’s Lefse or treats from Yeobo.


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Written by Mike Allmendinger

Mike Allmendinger is the general manager of the Kilbourne Group, a company that strives to be a catalyst of inspiration and action for vibrant downtown communities by redeveloping and creating infill projects in Downtown Fargo.

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