Fargo’s centrally located West Acres Shopping Center has long served the region as a consumer destination. But this nearly 1-million-square-foot space containing more than 100 stores also provides interesting scenery and free access for walkers. A printable online guide details the mall’s footprint and an .82-mile walking route isn’t necessary, but may be worth a look before visiting.
West Acres opens its doors early (7 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. on Sunday) for exercisers seeking a comfortable indoor venue. Except for the department stores and a handful of food court vendors, most of the retail shops don’t open until three hours later, which lessens the foot traffic. Mall-walking seems to the most popular among parents pushing strollers and local seniors who gather in clusters for coffee after their laps. Many regulars walk here five days a week; some even bring walking sticks.
Window-shopping, examining artwork by regional artists or checking out the Roger Maris Museum entertains. Elevator music provides a low-key soundtrack; those seeking a more active workout should bring headphones. West Acres has free on-site parking and Wi-Fi and is accessible by local bus service. The mall also welcomes walkers during regular hours, but true exercise seekers should go early to find premium parking and plenty of room to stretch your legs.