It was kind of a tradition: every time we watched an episode of Fargo (the TV-series) we swore we would never ever go to Fargo. The freezing cold, the endless flat – and boring – landscapes, the snow, the strange accent people talk with, and let’s not forget: the presence of some really weird and evil characters (yes Billy Bob Thornton, every time you show up something bad happens).
But you know, never say never and when 20th Century Fox invited us to write a travel-related post about Fargo – with the opportunity to win a free ticket to Fargo – our curiosity was triggered. The timing was a bit off: they contacted us last week, a day before we were leaving for Istanbul. Today we got back – Istanbul is a fantastic city by the way! – and the winner of the Fargo-ticket will be chosen on the 29th of April, the day the Fargo DVD & blue ray will be released in Belgium (update: and we won, yeehaa!). But anyway: we’re big fans of the series and yes, now we’re intrigued by Fargo as a travel destination. So here it goes: 5 reasons why you should travel to Fargo.
1. Fargo is a bit different
You think there are no interesting facts to know about Fargo? Think again!
- There are 6 places in the United States are named Fargo. The Fargo we’re talking about, is the one in North Dakota.
- Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota.
- Fargo takes its name from William George Fargo, co-founder of American Express.
- In 2004 and 2005, according to data from the FBI, North Dakota was the safest place in the country.
- And bizarre: according to Lonely Planet Fargo is also “a haven for folks in the Federal Witness Protection Program”.
- Fargo has one of the youngest population in the United States with an average age of 30,2 years.
- In 1948 a UFO was seen in the skies over Fargo. It is known as the Gorman UFO dogfight, named after George F. Gorman, a North Dakota National Guard-pilot who claimed he had a 27-minute ‘dogfight’ with the UFO. In 1949 the US Air Force said the Gorman Dogfight was caused by a weather balloon.
2. Fargo is north of normal
The people from Fargo don’t mind being different, in fact: they cultivate it. The town’s slogan is ‘north of normal’ and on the Fargo-website you’re welcomed by this little text: “You know it the moment you hit the ground. You can sense it in the air and feel it on the prairie wind. This place is different. Not like anywhere you’ve been before. It’s unfamiliar ground, but it is ground you want to spend some time on. Welcome to Fargo, a place that sets the bar far above the norm.” Admit it, pretty cool, no?
3. There are some surprisingly fun things to visit and to do:
- The Red River Zoo: the Red River Zoo opened in 1999 and was a former ranch that now features 300 animals from similar climates.
- Don’t miss the Alley Fair: this event in downtown Fargo brings the area’s best food, music, and art together.
- The Plains Art Museum organizes various exhibits throughout the year. Check out the website for a full calendar.
- Fargo is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, making it the perfect place to enjoy a breath-taking sunset. Go to Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway for a beautiful view.
- Those who love history will certainly love Bonanzaville. This historic open-air museum consists of several buildings from the early years of the United States. Perfect for a trip back in time.
- The Fargo Theatre is located in downtown Fargo.
4. There’s a lot of food, drinks and more
There are hundreds of restaurants, bars and other dining options to choose from in Fargo.
- How about tasting the true American cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. Take a pit stop for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough cupcake, Scarlett’s Red Velvet cupcake or a Snickerdoodle.
- Stumbeano’s Coffee Roasters is an absolute must for a delicious cup of coffee.
- Enjoy an all American breakfast (including blueberry pancakes!) at The Boiler Room.
- Widman’s Candy Shop is run by the same family since 1885. Try the potato chips with a layer of chocolate!
- For a fresh beer you should definitely drop by The Fargo Brewing Company. On Saturday afternoon, you get a tour of the brewery and you can enjoy a freshly pulled pint. Definitely try the Wood Chipper or the Iron Horse.
5. If you love Fargo (the series), you’ll probably love Fargo (the place)
The series FARGO has won a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards and is based on the eponymous film by the Coen brothers. Think: dry humour, murderous chaos and weird characters. Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton shines like Lorne Malvo, a manipulative master criminal who changes the life of underdog Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) radically. Gus Grimly and Molly Solverson, two local policemen, join forces to unravel the secrets of Lester and stop the ruthless, destructive Malvo.
We’re really big fans of the series and if you haven’t watch it yet: you’re missing out of one the most unusual television series ever.