Downtown Fargo, ND Offers Cool, Trendy Attractions

By Jessica Walker on April 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Antony Boshier

Exciting nightlife, trendy restaurants and unique shopping – all in downtown Fargo.

Yup, Fargo. Unlike the cold, rural place the popular Coen brothers’ movie portrays, Fargo’s downtown district is actually hip and urbane, with plenty of cool attractions.

Higher Education, Younger Crowd

One reason for the hip quotient? Fargo is teeming with young adults thanks to multiple colleges nearby, including North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota Moorhead, Concordia College, Rasmussen College and Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

“We have about 3,000 students taking classes within the downtown district,” says Mike Hahn, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Downtown Community Partnership. “We’ve seen major growth in the past two years, including a huge development of condos and apartments, as well as art galleries and a wide array of fun places to eat.”

Downtown Living

For full immersion into the thriving Fargo - Moorhead downtown scene, downtown living options include Cityscapes Plaza Apartments, 300 Broadway Condos and Riverside Condos.

Offering apartments with as many as four bedrooms, Cityscapes Plaza Apartments feature a variety of amenities, such as cherry wood cabinets and fully furnished kitchens, while 300 Broadway Condos include rooftop gardens and granite countertops. Riverside Condos offer a scenic view of the river.

Eat, Drink, Enjoy

Fargo’s downtown also offers an assortment of restaurants and eateries, including Atomic Coffee, where customers can sip a variety of beverages and savor sandwiches, wraps and desserts.

“Students enjoy studying at the various coffee shops with wireless Internet,” Hahn says. “There are also unique places to eat, like Spicy Pie, Drunken Noodle, The Old Broadway and Grand Junction Sandwich Shop.”

Get Cultured

In addition to fine fare, the area is home to several eclectic art galleries, including the Plains Art Museum. The largest of the area’s galleries, the Plains Art Museum comprises 56,000 square feet of both rotating and permanent exhibits.

Other cultural opportunities in the area include the historic Fargo Theatre, which features independent and foreign films and live performances, and ecce art + yoga, displaying works created by local and regional artists.

Serious Shopping

And Fargo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to shopping, either. “We've seen a lot of expansion on the retail side,” says Jed Pahan, who also is a Downtown Community Partnership employee.

Shoppers can score fabulous finds at Revolver, the city’s only vintage clothing store. Fargo also offers shops such as Zandbroz Variety, Great Northern Bicycles and Orange Records.

More Than Winter Weather

Surprised? So was Hahn, who first experienced the Fargo - Moorhead area while running a marathon.

“I’ve been amazed with what there is to do on a nightly or weekend basis,” he says. “I moved my family here, and we’re all transitioning well.”

While Hahn agrees the winters can get pretty chilly, he hopes people understand that there’s a lot more to the city than low temperatures during the winter months.

“People think Fargo is this cold place that's kind of off the end of the earth, and it's really not,” he says. “This is a really neat community, and there's a lot to do here.”

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This is a really neat community, and there's a lot to do here.

Mike Hahn, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Downtown Community Partnership