the insider blog

Stroll, Sip and Savor the Flavor of Downtown

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Much like a good Beaujolais, the Greater Grand Forks Art & Wine Walk keeps getting better with age.  The first glass of wine was poured back in 2006, when the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and North Valley Arts Council (NoVAC) partnered up to host one of the most popular annual events our cities have ever known.  This past year, the CVB handed over its duties to the newly formed Downtown Development Association but the Walk remains virtually unchanged.       Held every June through October, on the third Saturday of each month, Art & Wine Walk offers regional artists a chance to display their talents and wares at several downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks venues.  A sample of wine will be available, at specified sites, for those 21 years of age and older.  Some locations may also choose to serve nonalcoholic beverages and snacks, along with featuring live music.    On the day of the event, a map listing participating businesses can be purchased for $15 at either the Red Roof TownHouse Inn or Blue Moose Grill & Bar.  A partial list of participants includes: Kittson Boutique; Brick & Barley; RH Standard; River City Jewelers; Hey Ocean and …

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Shopping and Dining in Grand Forks

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Today’s blog comes from Grand Forks friend, Michelle Arnaud (@accordingtomio). Michelle is a Manitoba blogger we hosted for a simply grand weekend. She shares her opinions of shopping and dining here…   Dining   Ask anybody in Grand Forks where the best places to eat are and someone will give you a long list of where to go. There is a plethora of restaurants and diners, more than you can shake a stick at, and sometimes it is difficult to pick just one place. Have no fear because I have you covered – if you want something good to eat and experience unique dining, then these two places are your best bet.   The Toasted Frog – If you are looking for a place to hang out with your friends or spend an evening away from the kids, The Toasted Frog is that place. Located at 124 North 3rd Street, this establishment offers a small menu filled with tasty dishes with rotating specials and daily veggies. Each dish is carefully prepared by the talented chefs in the kitchen and each bite is so scrumptious that you want to savor it forever. Serving staff are knowledgeable and ready to help you …

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Summer in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Shel Zolkewich, travel writer from Manitoba and friend of Greater Grand Forks.   What could be better than summer sunshine and an outdoor swimming pool? Two outdoor swimming pools, that’s what! We often visit the massive outdoor pool at Sherlock Park in East Grand Forks (500 Block and 4th Avenue NW, East Grand Forks, Minnesota). Last fall, we stumbled upon a second outdoor pool. The Riverside Park and Pool (1801 North 1st Street, Grand Forks, North Dakota) is virtually identical to the one in Sherlock Park. A Saturday afternoon at either offers tan lines and endless summer fun.   Both pools are big! There seems to be room for everyone no matter how busy the day gets. Each also has a kiddie wading pool designed to keep the wee ones cool. There are some chairs and loungers around the pools but spreading your towel on the concrete works too. A small water slide at each pool offers a quick entry into the water. But the crowning glory of these pools are the springboards. Each has two perched over a deep section of the pool for fancy diving or amusing belly flops.   Adult admission is $3 …

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The first Art & Wine Walk of 2014 is coming up!

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Today’s blog is written by Julie Rygg, Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director.   This Saturday, June 21, will mark the first Art & Wine Walk of the season. There are five each year that occur the third Saturday, June-October. $15 gets you the map of participating locations, food and wine samples, commemorative wine glass, champagne reception and opportunities to win great prizes. There are also season passes available for purchase, which provide a discount if you plan on participating multiple times.   The event kicks off at 1 p.m. with starting locations at the Blue Moose Bar & Grill (East Grand Forks) or the GuestHouse Town House (Grand Forks). At 5 p.m. everyone comes together for a champagne reception at the Empire Arts Center.   Art & Wine Walk is a fun, social event that brings people together to enjoy unique wines while visiting many talented artists from the region all hosted in downtown businesses. You have the opportunity to purchase art during the event or follow up with artists after to see more of their works. Some walks even offer live entertainment. It is a great day to stroll around downtown Greater Grand Forks!   Don’t worry if …

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Art Fest week is finally here!

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Today’s blog is brought to you Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director and Grand Forks native Julie Rygg.   There is a lot of buzz and excitement in Greater Grand Forks this week with the  2014 Grand Cities Art Fest, produced by North Valley Arts Council, taking place downtown on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15. With approximately 175 artist and craft vendors as well as great food and entertainment lined throughout the Greenway, Town Square and Cabela’s parking lot, the downtown will be alive with activity.   I look forward to Art Fest every year. I love to go and hear the music, nibble on treats and purchase fun art for my home and gifts. Of course, this event isn’t just for the adults. The kiddos love it too. My kids’ favorites are the bouncy houses, funnel cakes and unique kids’ items.   If you are new to Art Fest or come every year, you absolutely cannot miss “Arts in Action”. It is a wonderful opportunity to see amazing artists turn raw materials into  original works. This is fun for the whole family!   Admission and parking are free. If you would like to download the map, Art …

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Summer temps are here and that means it is time for the Kegs!

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Today’s blog is written by Grand Forks native and Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Julie Rygg.   Even though it has been open for a little while now, I have been waiting for the warm temps to hit the Fabulous Keg Drive In, located at 901 North 5th Street. I look forward to the sloppy Joe’s, fries, onion rings and cherry-lime Coke all winter.   The Kegs is a Grand Forks landmark built with two barrel-looking root beer kegs on each side. The prices are low, the staff is casual and friendly and the food is worthy of the wait. While I highly recommend the Joe’s and fries, other faves include the burgers, fried chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches. This is summer comfort food at its best.   If you want to hit the Keg’s, make sure you get there during the warm-weather months. They are open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.   Do you love the Keg’s? What is you favorite item on the menu?  

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Good eats along the Boardwalk

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Today’s blog is brought to us from travel and food writer/blogger Shel Zolkewich from Winnipeg. Shel is a great friend to Greater Grand Forks!   The other day, my sister-in-law Mandy asked a tough question. “What’s your favourite place to eat in Grand Forks?” I was speechless. Images of pan-fried walleye, towering burgers and lemongrass-scented pad Thai danced in my head. It was like trying to name which of your children you loved best. Impossible.   So in lieu of singling out just one, here are a couple from my ever-growing list of good eats in Grand Forks. This pair of stars sit on the east side of the Red River, on the Minnesota side on a stretch of restaurants called the Boardwalk. If there’s not a seat to be had at one, stroll over to the next one. You won’t be disappointed.   The Blue Moose   If you’re in search of a restaurant that brings the comfortable North Dakota/Minnesota feel to the table, The Blue Moose is it. It’s seldom we don’t visit the city without making a stop here.   For those who like to sample more than one flavour, the tapas menu is just for you. …

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Greater Grand Forks…putting the “grand” in simply grand!

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The team at the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau would like to share the current giveaway we have running to win a $1,000 shopping spree by following us on Twitter @visitgrandforks!

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We are happy in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, Julie Rygg.   Gallup recently unveiled their annual ranking of well-being in the United States, and guess who ranked first? It was North Dakota (Minnesota was close at fourth)! That tells us, for the most part, North Dakotans are the happiest people in the U.S. I tend to agree with this report. We are quite happy here and there are many big reasons, but there are also lots of small things that we find great joy in!   Now I now it has been a long winter all over the county, and I like to look for some of those fun little things to brighten my day and add enjoyment. I am sharing my current five faves with you. Enjoy!   1. The martinis at the Toasted Frog are amazing. If you haven’t had one yet, I highly recommend them. My favorite is the Pink Lemonade. It is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and reminds me of a warm summer day.   2. There is nothing better than a hot mocha on a cold winter morning. My ultimate favorite place for a hot coffee is …

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Greater Grand Forks: A Tale of Two Hotels

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Today’s blog is written Shel Zolkewich, Manitoba travel and food blogger and friend to Greater Grand Forks.   Accommodations abound in Greater Grand Forks. There is truly a room for every traveler – whether you need the comforts of home (and more) or are in search of a rock-bottom deal. Let’s look at a couple of options.   Travelodge, 2100 South Washington Street, Grand Forks We have been staying at the Travelodge for so long that we still sometimes call it by its old name – The North Star Inn. There’s something to be said for a hotel that retains customers for decades upon decades. What the Travelodge might lack in fanciness, it makes up for in service and value. I’m not sure you can find friendlier front desk staff anywhere. And it’s not just one individual that stands out. They are all a joy to deal with and they always have been. The rooms are big – likely the biggest hotel rooms we’ve ever seen, each outfitted with a microwave and fridge. It has an old-style pool area and that means the pool itself is big – perfect for a game of keepaway with family and friends. The hot …

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