The largest city in the state, Fargo is an oasis of sophistication, with classy restaurants, fun shops, cultural sites and a refurbished hotel that's 21st-century hip.
Knowledgeable guides discuss the changing displays of working vintage airplanes at the Fargo Air Museum.
The Plains Art Museum’s diverse collection includes works by impressionist Mary Cassatt and Native American artist George Morrison.
College hangout Spicy Pie has perfected its 17 kinds of pizza; try several by the slice.
The Nail Bar marries salon pampering with a drink menu. Indulge in a manicure like the Don’t Wine, which includes an exfoliating treatment and neck wrap.
Fargo Theatre’s glittering marquee announces films and live performances.
The Hotel Donaldson features regional artwork in its 17 stylish rooms (from $179); top off the day with meals in its contemporary HoDo Restaurant or inventive cocktails and nibbles in the HoDo Lounge.
Nichole’s Fine Pastry makes European-style treats like cannoli and éclairs.
Shopaholics head to Broadway or Main for stores such as Zandbroz Variety for toys, gifts, books, cards, paper and jewelry; Scan Design for modern decor; and Boucle Yarn Studio for all things knitting.
The contents of Bonanzaville’s 43 buildings shed light on the Red River Valley’s cultural heritage.
You’ll enjoy the laid-back feel and the Mediterranean flavors, as well as specialty grocery items, at Cafe Aladdin; try the savory sampler of spanakopita, falafel, baba ghanoush, hummus and stuffed grape leaves.
Sprawling Lindenwood Park hugs the Red River and is ripe for wandering, either on foot or by bike (rent wheels near the information center).
For dinner, Monte’s Downtown serves a wildly popular pecan-crusted walleye with cherry chutney.
More information: (800) 235-7654; fargomoorhead.org
The Woodchipper Fargo’s celebrity draws tourists to the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center for funny photo ops. Grab a fur-lined hat from the gift shop and pose with the prop from the Coen brothers’ cult-classic Fargo. (701) 282-3653; fargomoorhead.org
One big party
Vendors from across the country travel to the Downtown Fargo Street Fair each summer (July 16-18, 2015) to fill 250 juried booths with their handmade arts and crafts. Billed as the state's largest free outdoor event, it also has plenty of fair-style fast food, including kettle corn and corn dogs. (701) 241-1570; downtownfargo.com