Best Places to Live

Fargo, ND

Population: 113,464
Jeff Adkins

Young professionals are quickly laying claim to available homes in and around downtown Fargo, N.D. They find the area’s mix of entertainment options, affordability and proximity to jobs highly attractive. Fargo has the highest percentage (28.2%) of new homeowners out of the cities that made our Top 10 Best Downtowns list. Low vacancy rates, a projected climb in household income and low median age show that downtown Fargo is becoming more of an “it” spot every day. The downtown area played a big role in Fargo landing on our list of the best Cities for New College Grads. The city's high quality of life helped it rank as one of the Best Places to Live two years in a row.

Fargo’s central business district overlooks the Red River and is connected to the city of Moorhead by three bridges. A once neglected and somewhat abandoned area of downtown, now called the Renaissance Zone, has seen the renovation of 67 buildings and the construction of eight new buildings equaling a $125 million investment in Fargo’s core since 1989, according to city officials. A section of Broadway in downtown Fargo received a $10 million facelift. The city has designated it as a bicycle/pedestrian safety zone, requiring that motorists allow cyclists to integrate into traffic and watch for those on foot. The city offers bicycle lockers at three downtown locations, which can be rented for $10 per month.

The Plains Art Museum and Fargo Theatre top the collection of cultural attractions in and around downtown Fargo. Banjo pickers and other street performers often entertain pedestrians walking to the many coffee shops, bars, restaurants and galleries that line downtown’s busy streets. Restaurants in Fargo like HoDo Lounge, JL Beers and Mezzaluna give diners much to crave and downtown residents a good reason to eat out. While the Red River provides opportunities to canoe, kayak and fish, Oak Grove Park includes trails, a disc golf course and plenty of shady spots for a picnic.