Grand Forks North Dakota
The northern lights, or aurora borealis, illuminate the winter night sky
Revitalized Grand Forks bursts with energy
Nightlife and Culture
It’s not hard to find live music, fine dining, art and theater in the revitalized downtown. Visit restaurants and shops on the lively boardwalk on DeMers Avenue. Take in a performance by the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, or see a play or musical staged by the Empire Theatre Company or the Fire Hall Theatre. The city’s vibrant art scene includes exhibits at the North Dakota Museum of Art, The Empire Arts Center and the Third Street Gallery.
The Great Outdoors
The Greater Grand Forks Greenway consists of 890 hectares along the city’s two rivers. Summer activities include biking, hiking, in-line skating and camping. If you want to get on the water, rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard, or go fishing for channel catfish, northern pike, walleye, small-mouth bass, lake sturgeon or carp. The Red River Valley is a good base for a birding trip, with over 300 species in the area. In the winter, there’s cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding. Take energetic youngsters on an outing to Sherlock Forest Playground, which children helped design.
To learn about the 1997 disaster, visit the Flood Memorial Monument on the banks of the Red River. More distant history is revealed at the Grand Forks County Historical Society Myra Museum and Campbell House, dedicated to pioneer women. Military buffs should head to Grand Forks Air Force Base to see displays of restored aircraft. If you visit on a cold winter night, consider attending a college hockey game in the Ralph Engelstad Arena; some call it the most beautiful rink in the world. On warmer days, take a quiet stroll in Japanese Gardens at Sertoma Park.
Grand Forks’ founder Alexander Griggs established the city after his steamboat was frozen in the Red River in 1870, forcing him to spend the winter camping on its banks.