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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to this 24 hours in Fargo tour! I have to assume you’re trying to visit all 50 states and now you want to check North Dakota off your list. Or maybe you live near Fargo in a more rural area and just want to check out the big city? Perhaps you just like getting off the beaten track?
Well, whatever your reasoning, I can certainly arrange an amazing 24 hours in Fargo tour for you. Even though Fargo isn’t the most famous city in the US, it’s full of fun attractions, adorable architecture, and that small-town Americana feel. Join me and I’ll show you the thrilling side of Fargo–one that doesn’t involve woodchippers.
24 Hours in Fargo Tour
Where to Stay?
One of the nice things about heading to a more off the beaten track destination is that you get more bang for your buck. When I’m back in NYC, I can’t afford a glamorous boutique hotel like the Hotel Donaldson. (I mean, I usually don’t stay in hotels in NYC because it’s my hometown. But you get the point.)
The Hotel Donaldson has amenities on amenities. Breakfast in bed? Check! Wine and cheese evening? Check! Turndown service with chocolate truffles and gentle music from obscure local artists? Check check and check. I would never stay anywhere else in Fargo.
If you’re interested in a great deal on this hotel, click here.
And if you’d rather explore great deals on other hotels in Fargo, click here. This search engine will help you find the best places for your taste and budget so you can really enjoy your 24 hours in Fargo tour.
24 Hours in Fargo Tour
Morning: Fargo Air Museum
I’m so excited to get started on our 24 hours in Fargo tour! You’re going to really love this under-visited city. I usually advise balancing one major cultural attraction in the morning, like a museum, with a more relaxed attraction in the afternoon.
Some of you might be thinking, “Does Fargo have cultural attractions?” Mais bien sur, y’all, as they say in North Dakota! And one of the best of cultural attractions to see on your 24 hours in Fargo tour is the Fargo Air Museum
It’s a little bit of a long walk from Downtown Fargo, so you can either prepare for a lengthy stroll through North Dakota State University Campus to get here, or you can just take an Uber.
The Air Museum has two separate buildings, so you’ll definitely be able to enjoy more than an hour here exploring the planes. You can find more detailed info about the hours, price, and address on their website here. I’ll give your exploring some direction and purpose with…
Three Fun Facts: Air Museum
1) What About Breakfast?
Before we go to the museum, we’re going to need breakfast. We’re starting it strong with arguably the best breakfast in Fargo! I’m talking about BernBaum’s, a Scandinavian-influenced delicatessen.
I’m from New York City, and I can promise you these bagels are actually delicious, not just “Good for North Dakota Bagels”. You could serve these bagels at any place in NYC, and they’d be crazy popular. Plus the cream cheese was farm fresh, and the Scandinavian pickles added an intriguing zing.
The staff here is so friendly, and once they figure out that you’re not a local, they’ll be happy to make suggestions for things to see and do in Fargo. They’re very used to getting tourists trying to check all 50 states off their bucket list!
2) Why is there an Air Museum in Fargo?
Great question! Airplanes have been important in North Dakota practically since they were invented. That’s because North Dakota is a deeply agricultural state, so they’ve been using airplanes for farming purposes, like cropdusting.
Cropdusting always makes me think of the scene in North by Northwest when Cary Grant is being chased by a cropdusting plane. I think they should get ahold of that plane for the museum.
The Fargo airport is named Hector International Airport after a dude named Martin Hector who donated the land to the city. I guess even in Fargo, being rich gives you the right to put your name on a whole bunch of stuff. If you arrived in Fargo by airplane, I’m sure you landed here.
The airport’s main claim to fame is that it’s where Richie Valens, Buddy Holly, and the Big Bopper were supposed to land on the day of their fatal plane crash, aka the Day the Music Died. But they never made it to Fargo, so the crash is not Fargo’s fault. Blame Iowa!
3) What are the Best Planes in the Museum?
Many of the planes are incredibly interesting, but my favorite plane is this adorable little fellow called Duggy. He’s also known as “The Smile in the Sky”! So happy and cheerful!
I think you could cure someone’s fear of flying just by showing them this plane. He looks brand new, but he actually served in Australia as a military plane during WWII.
At first I was curious to know how they used a smiling plane in battle. Did he distract the Axis powers with his cuteness and then just bomb the heck out of him?
But apparently Duggy wasn’t smiling during World War II. After the war, he was sent to Canada to work for the Department of Transportation. (Of course it was those polite Canadians who repainted him to have this smile!)
Aside from the military planes and crop dusters, I enjoyed seeing homemade planes that amateur aviators had built themselves. The Maltese Falcon you can see in this photo above is just one example. Got to admire someone who’d name a plane after a Humphrey Bogart movie.
Also, I’m so impressed with anyone who can build an entire plane from scratch. How do you even learn to do something like that? I can’t even put an IKEA chair together.
24 Hours in Fargo Tour
Afternoon: Take in a Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Game
We’ve been inside all morning during our 24 hours in Fargo tour, so our next stop is going to be all outdoors! Yes, Fargo has extremely pleasant weather during the summer months–I promise it’s not blizzards and woodchippers year round.
One of the most fun things to do in a smaller American city during the summer is going to a Minor League baseball game. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere than a Major League game, and the fan rivalries don’t get so intense. (I speak from experience here. I’m from New York City, and I promise that Yankees-Red Sox games are for hardcore fans only.) Plus Minor League tickets are much more affordable.
Fargo, North Dakota is home to the RedHawks, a team that plays for the American Association of Independent Baseball, so they’re an MLB partner, not an official Minor League team. We’re going rogue with a rebel baseball organization here! We’re living on the edge here in Fargo, my Internet Strangers!
You can check the schedule for the RedHawks and buy tickets on their website here. And I’ll give you some other pointers that will help you enjoy the game with…
Three Fun Facts: Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
1) First, Will You Feed Me?
We can’t bring food into the baseball field, and they will inspect your bags at the entrance. I don’t know what they will do if they find food in your bag, but I assume that they will eat it all in front of you and then laugh in your face. So that means we’ll have to buy lunch at the stadium.
For a true Midwestern experience, head to the Potato Brothers stand and pick up a tater tot hot dish. If you’ve ever wanted to nosh on a warm plate of fried potatoes, mushrooms, and cooked meat while sitting in the sun watching a ballgame, now you can live your dreams!
I guarantee you can’t find this at any ballpark in the northeast. They’ll just try to give you a hot dog or something. BORING!
Wash it all down with a local craft beer from the Fargo Brewing Company! Starch + meat + brew = a happy baseball watching experience!
2) Why are they The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks?
They’re technically the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks because the team belongs to both Fargo and its neighboring city, Moorhead, Minnesota. Yes, that’s how close Fargo is to Minnesota.
You can literally walk from Fargo to Moorhead, and I know because I’ve done it. I’ll tell you about it in my other 24 hours in Fargo tour. But the Red Hawks ballpark, Newman Outdoor Field, is all in Fargo.
The team isn’t very old; they’ve only been playing since the 1990s, and I don’t think anything more recent than the fall of the Berlin Wall counts as old.
However, they’ve obviously been around long enough to inspire local devotion. The ballpark was full of enthusiastic local fans when I attended the game. And the children of Fargo were especially excited to cuddle up with the team’s mascot, Hawkeye.
3) How is it Different From a Major League Game?
Well, the ballpark is smaller, the tickets are cheaper, and the players aren’t millionaires, for one thing. But the biggest difference for me is that the games only run seven innings, as opposed to nine innings in Major League baseball.
So the RedHawks were triumphant against the visiting team, the Chicago Dogs when the 7th inning finished. (That team name is not a joke; they are really called the Chicago Dogs. And no, their mascot is not a hot dog. It’s actually a bottle of mustard.)
At this point, I was expecting a 7th inning stretch, but instead, I heard the song “All I Do is Win” blast over the loudspeakers, and all the fans started to leave. “How presumptuous and unlike Midwesterners to assume they were going to win with two innings still left!” I thought.
Then I realized they were right, and the game was over. Don’t be like me. Leave at the end of the 7th inning. Then go back to the Hotel Donaldson.
See! We’re living large here in North Dakota! Enjoy your free wine and cheese, Fargo-styles. Then you’ll still have plenty of time to freshen up before we head out to a glamorous North Dakota dinner.
24 Hours in Fargo Tour
Evening: Dinner and a Movie
Fargo has traditionally been home to a large German community. So naturally, they know what they are doing when it comes to both beer and sausages.
I suggest stopping for dinner at Wurst Bier Hall if you’re looking for some of the best German food in Fargo, and possibly the entire state of North Dakota. This place is so popular that they recently opened a location in West Fargo. But we’ll be dining at the original location in Downtown Fargo.
Wurst Bier Hall serves such a wide variety of beers that there’s sure to be something on tap to please any drinker. They have everything from ordinary lagers to experimental craft beers.
I’m definitely more on the experimental side, so I got a tangy and sour cucumber beer with the adorable name Benedict Cucumberbatch. It was delicious, though it was a little strange…Doctor Strange.
Of course it wouldn’t be the Wurst Bier Hall without Wurst. For the best sausage bang for your sausage buck, try the sausage flight. It comes with a crunchy Banh Mi sausage, a spicy blue cheese buffalo wing-style sausage, and a Hawaiian sausage with pineapple, habanero aïoli, and grilled onion and sweet Italian peppers.
It was so fun to experiment with different toppings like this, especially when all the sausages are clearly handmade and delicious. And I had no idea that there were so many different exciting foods to try in Fargo! That will teach me to underestimate the fine folks of the midwest.
When the dinner is over, end your 24 hours in Fargo tour by catching a show at the beautiful Art Deco theater, aptly named The Fargo. Even an evening ticket will cost half of what you would pay in NYC. And I can’t stress enough what a gorgeous building it is! I even bought a magnet of the building at the concession shop, so I can see the famous Fargo sign any time I get a yogurt out of my mini fridge.
The Fargo shows new popular films like Top Gun, as well as smaller art films and retrospectives of classic cinema. So basically, no matter what you are into, movie-wise, there will be something at the Fargo for you!
Plus you get the chance to see a show in a gorgeous historic building that’s still nice enough to wish happy birthday to a mysterious lady named Ava. (And yes, in case you are wondering, they show lots of movies, not just the movie Fargo.)
24 Hours in Fargo Tour
Tools For Travel
- A portable cell charger so your cell phone won’t run out of juice during your 24 hours in Fargo tour.
- My favorite North Dakota travel guide
- The most reliable travel umbrella that is small enough to fit in my purse, but strong enough to stand up to powerful winds on our 24 hours in Fargo tour
- These great TSA approved clear toiletries bags, so I can always keep spare toothpaste and travel sized toiletries in any carry-on.
- My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you how travel can take you on a journey of self-discovery.
That’s a Perfect 24 Hours in Fargo Tour
What would you like to do on a 24 hours in Fargo tour? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Fargo right now? And is there anything more appetizing than eating a plate of hot dish out in the hot summer sun at a ball game? Please email me at email@example.com and let me know!
Note: Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a 24 hours in Fargo tour.