Grand Forks may not be the biggest city in North Dakota, but boy does it pack a punch when it comes to things to do. If you're looking for a fun-filled adventure, or you just want to get away from Fargo for the weekend, Grand Forks has a bunch of activities in rain, shine, or yes, snow to keep you busy.
So without further ado, here are our top 10 activities you absolutely can't miss out on when visiting this Dakota gem.
When To Visit Grand Forks
If you're planning a visit to Grand Forks, it's a good idea to choose your season wisely. The city experiences four distinct seasons, each with its own unique climate and events.
- Summer (June-August) is the most popular time to visit Grand Forks. During this time, temperatures are warm and pleasant, with an average high of around 80°F. This is a great time to explore the city's outdoor attractions, like the Grand Forks Greenway and Turtle River State Park. Summer is also when many of the city's festivals and events take place, including the Potato Bowl USA and the Grand Forks County Fair.
- Fall (September-November) is a beautiful time to visit Grand Forks. The weather is mild and the fall foliage is at its peak, making it a great time for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
- Winter (December-February) can be cold and snowy in Grand Forks, but it's still a great time to visit for those who enjoy winter sports. The city has several outdoor ice skating rinks, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Indoor attractions, like the North Dakota Museum of Art and the Empire Arts Center, are also great options during the colder months.
- Spring (March-May) can be a bit unpredictable in terms of weather, but it's a great time to visit for those who enjoy seeing the city come alive with the new season. Springtime in Grand Forks is marked by events like the Grand Forks Garden Show and the annual UND Spring Football Game.
10 Best Things To Do in Grand Forks, ND
1. Explore the Grand Forks Greenway
If you're looking to get back in touch with nature, the Greenway is the place to be. This vast park system, which stretches across 2,200 acres along the Red River, offers the perfect setting for a family-friendly day out. There are plenty of trails for hiking and biking, as well as picnic areas and playgrounds for the kiddos to enjoy.
2. Visit the North Dakota Museum of Art
Next up, we have the North Dakota Museum of Art. This museum is a real gem and showcases a stunning collection of contemporary art, traditional art from around the globe, and Native American art. The museum also boasts a gorgeous sculpture garden and frequently hosts a variety of exciting events throughout the year.
3. Catch a game at Ralph Engelstad Arena
The Ralph Engelstad Arena is another top attraction that simply cannot be missed. This state-of-the-art sports arena is home to the University of North Dakota's hockey team and plays host to a range of other exciting sporting events and concerts throughout the year.
4. Take a brewery tour
Grand Forks is home to several craft breweries, including Half Brothers Brewing Company and Rhombus Guys Brewing Company (you might recognize Rhombus Guys from their must-try pizza in nearby Fargo). Take a tour and sample some of the local brews while learning about the brewing process.
5. Learn about local history at Myra Museum
If you're a history buff, the Myra Museum is a must-visit. This local history museum is packed to the brim with fascinating exhibits that showcase the rich history of Grand Forks and the surrounding area. It's housed in a beautiful historic building and features a wealth of artifacts, photographs, and documents that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages.
6. Enjoy a round of golf
Grand Forks has several top-notch golf courses, including King's Walk Golf Course and Lincoln Golf Course. These courses offer a challenging and scenic round of golf in a picturesque North Dakota setting.
7. See a show at the Empire Arts Center
The Empire Arts Center is another cultural hotspot that shouldn't be missed. This restored historic theater is now a thriving community arts center that puts on a range of events, including plays, concerts, and movies. It's the perfect place to unwind after a long day of exploring the city.
8. Visit the Japanese Gardens
The Sertoma Park Japanese Gardens offer a peaceful oasis in the heart of Grand Forks. The gardens feature a traditional teahouse, koi pond, and a variety of Japanese plants and trees, making it a serene place to relax and unwind.
9. Shop till you drop at Columbia Mall
For those who love a good shopping spree, the Columbia Mall is a must-visit. This large shopping center boasts a wide variety of stores, including both national chains and local boutiques, so you're sure to find something that suits your style.
10. Explore Turtle River State Park
Just outside of Grand Forks, Turtle River State Park is a beautiful place for hiking, biking, and camping. The park features miles of trails, picnic areas, and scenic views, making it a great place to spend a day outdoors.