For an unlikley but absolutely must-try stop, plan to have lunch at AllisoNicole’s Interior Design Showroom and Floral shop, located in an upscale retail center a few miles from downtown. The young owner and her mom run a bistro out of a kitchen in the back and serve perfectly executed German dishes like knoephla (small dumplings) and kuchen. At Avant Hair and Skincare Studio downtown, gracious staffers provide facials, massages and hair treatments. Wood-fired pizzas sate visitors at The Toasted Frog before fans leave for the Ralph Engelstad Arena, called The Ralph and known for its granite floors and ultracomfy seats. University of North Dakota’s hockey games regularly sell out, and national music acts and traveling shows stop here, too. Nearby Canad Inn’s guest rooms offer flat-screen TV and comfy beds.
The Canad Inn’s Aaltos Garden Cafe offers a well-stocked breakfast buffet. Adults try blackjack in Playmaker’s All-American Lounge while kids (and kids-at-heart) flock to Splasher’s of the South Seas, the largest indoor water park in North Dakota. Cabela’s draws outdoors enthusiasts; Dakota Harvest Bakers makes killer breads and deli sandwiches with names like the Pesto Pig. And no trip to Grand Forks is complete without a stop at Widman's Candy Shop, best known for chippers, chocolate-covered potato chips that become addictive.
For information: Grand Forks (701) 746-6609; visitgrandforks.com