Hugging the west bank of the Red River, Grand Forks lies along the border between North Dakota and Minnesota. It was originally referred to as Les Grandes Fourches by French-speaking fur traders before Alexander Griggs founded the town in 1881. Once an agricultural hub, it is now a centre of higher education and scientific research.
Things to do in Grand Forks
Spend an afternoon wandering around the Grand Forks Historic District, which dates back to the city’s founding. It’s home to around 70 historic buildings that have been beautifully preserved, including the Renaissance-style Masonic Center and the Beaux-Arts Grand Forks City Hall. For fresh produce and seasonal delicacies, coincide your visit with the farmer’s market that takes place in the Town Square.
Art enthusiasts can visit the North Dakota Museum of Art, which comprises three galleries, a cafe and a gift shop on the campus of the University of North Dakota. It hosts changing exhibitions by national and international contemporary artists, as well as a permanent collection that includes works by the Azerbaijani photographer Rena Effendi and the Canadian sculptor Aganetha Dyck.
On the northwestern outskirts of Grand Forks is the River Cities Speedway, an oval track that hosts 410 sprint car and late model races. Also known as the “Bullring”, it started out as a horse racing venue before garnering a reputation as one of the best dirt race tracks in the United States. In addition to its regular Friday night meets, it provides a setting for the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in the summer.
Getting around Grand Forks
Grand Forks International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across the United States. Empire Builder trains stop at the Grand Forks railway station while buses travel throughout the city.