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Plan for a Simply Grand time

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Conveniently located at the junction of Interstate 29/Exit 141 and Highway 2 (4251 Gateway Drive), the Visitor Center is a friendly stopping point for information on Greater Grand Forks events, attractions, shopping, dining and accommodations.  We also have brochures on North Dakota, Minnesota and Winnipeg, along with maps for most states.   Professional travel consultants will be available to answer your questions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.  Even when we’re closed, there is an after-hours information box right outside the front door which is always stocked with Grand Forks Visitors Guides, Simply Grand $avings Coupon Books and North Dakota state maps.   The Visitor Center also houses our Simply Grand Gift Shop, featuring a wide variety of local and regional products.  You’ll find items ranging from RBJ’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, North Prairie Signature Bison Sticks and Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels to Grand Forks wine glasses, mugs and t-shirts.  We’re excited to announce that our visitor center manager and in-house designers are currently working feverishly on some cool new souvenir additions soon to be hitting the shelves!   Our updated Visitor Center offers free Wi-Fi for guests; plus, use of …

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Five Fabulous Food Farmers’ Market Finds

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strawberries

  Travel writer Shel Zolkewich selects a handful of tasty treats to sample as you stroll the market on a summery Saturday morning.   Market season is upon us! And there’s no better place for foodies to taste the bounty of the season than at The Town Square Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Whether you come to the market hungry and want to snack and stroll—or take home some treats for dinner, the market offers delicious options, all locally made and fresh as can be.   Kick off your visit with a stop at Bully Brew Coffee for a cold-brewed coffee. It comes in a reusable plastic cup that turns blue when it gets cold! It’ll keep you energized at you explore the rest of the market. You could also opt for a hot coffee and a variety of every-changing treats including a monster cookie, scone or toffee bar. This local business has four bustling locations, and plans to open a fifth in East Grand Forks this summer. Coffee for one and all!   The irresistible aroma of freshly roasted nuts is coming from the far …

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What’s up is Downtown

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Interested in doing some shopping but still want to enjoy the beautiful summer weather?  Then you really need to check out the region’s top Outdoor Farmers Market!  It kicks off June 16 and takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 AM to 1:30 PM, in Town Square (corner of DeMers Avenue and 3rd Street).  Vendors sell everything from fresh produce and flowers to home baked bread and pies to handmade jewelry and pottery.  You’ll also be able to enjoy an array of tasty food truck fare and great live entertainment on the Square’s main stage.  If you’d like to learn more about how our fabulous Forks were founded, guided Historical Walking Tours are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market.   While in the area, make sure to explore both of our beautiful downtowns (Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota) and discover all they have to offer.  Below are some suggestions for a day or two of fun.   Downtown Adventures             Take a stroll through streets that lead to places where past and present meet.  Historic buildings house 21st century businesses.  Attractive public art captures the spirit of our …

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Six SimplyGrand Gifts for Mom

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Vector illustration, Happy Mother's day card design with realistic flower and hand written lettering.

Mom loved and raised you…time to raise the bar and show her just how much you appreciate and love her back!  Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day and the perfect chance to express your feelings.  In case you forgot or haven’t figured out yet what to get her, here are just a half dozen suggestions:   One can never go wrong with dinner and a movie. First, take her to a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Crooked Pint, Eagle’s Crest Grill, Ely’s Ivy, Ground Round, Hilton Garden Café or Sky’s.  Follow that with a matinee of the soon to be released mother-daughter flick, “Life of the Party”, starring Melissa McCarthy, at River Cinema 15 or AMC Classic 10 Theater.   Is mom an 80s rocker chick, by chance? A certificate to The Darkside Tattoo plus tickets to Metallica on September 8, at Alerus Center, would equal one forkin’ grand gift!   A bouquet is ok but how about putting a new spin on it? Escort mom to All Season’s Garden Center, tour her through the amazing greenhouse and then let her pick out a planter or two for her garden or patio.   She put Pampers on you as a …

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Where to find hot brews & cool beans

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Seattle and Portland may have started the whole coffeehouse craze but Grand Forks has definitely perfected it!  Throughout our two towns, we have several java joints (some locally owned, some national chains) ready to brew you up a cup of deliciousness.  Each has a little something different to offer…but all offer a great place to have a grand time.   BULLY BREW COFFEE COMPANY – This Grand Forks original is the only place in town that actually roasts their own beans.  The Cowboy Coffee is my favorite blend and since they can bag it to-go, y’all can brew up a cup for yourself at home anytime.  Make sure to also try one of their famous fresh baked caramel rolls or scones.  Locations: 2100 S Columbia Rd; 4571 S Washington St; 2900 14th Ave S   CARIBOU COFFEE – This popular regional chain has a variety of tasty coffee creations to either warm you up or cool you down.  My top choices are the Northern Lite Latte, Peanut Butter Mocha and Iced Caramel High Rise.  They even have drinks for little ones including a yummy Hot Chocolate and Strawberry Banana Smoothie.  The South Columbia Road location also serves up fresh baked …

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SimplyGrand values for our valued visitors

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During times when the economy/exchange rate may not be so great, we realize how you spend your money is more important than ever.  When you visit Greater Grand Forks, you’ll find a variety of top-notch accommodations, dining, shopping and entertainment options at unbelievably low prices.   Should our community have the privilege of hosting you, either for a weeklong vacation or weekend getaway, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau will assist in any way possible to help find the best deals out there.  Our website Discounts page will have lots of awesome new offers going live April 1!  You’ll also wanna make sure to stop in the Visitor Center (4251 Gateway Drive, I-29 Exit 141) to pick up a hot-off-the-press 2018-19 SimplyGrand $avings Coupon Book.  It includes great discounts at over 60 local businesses including: Holiday Inn Express; Staybridge Suites; Caribou Coffee; Mexican Village; Paola’s Pastries; Up North Pizza Pub; Cost Cutters; Kittsona; Maurices; King’s Walk Golf Course and Northern Air Family Fun Center.  We also have copies of Best of the Forks that will provide lots more coupons to use.   Even though we offer a grand getaway, it definitely won’t cost you a grand.  Moreover, as our …

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Hamming & (s)hopping it up in Forks

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Looking to get your Easter brunch on in Greater Grand Forks?  If you don’t feel like going through all the hassle of cooking it yourself, we have several restaurants serving up a feast.  Luckily, they’ve got a spot reserved just for you…and it’s not even at the kids’ table!   Aaltos: 1000 S 42nd St (Canad Inn), Grand Forks, 701-792-1957; 10 AM to 8 PM   Aroma Café: 1205 N 43rd St (Ramada), Grand Forks, 701-775-3951; 10:30 AM to 2 PM   Blue Moose Bar & Grill: 507 2nd Ave S, East Grand Forks, 218-773-6516; 10 AM to 2:30 PM   Boardwalk Bar & Grill: 415 2nd St NW, East Grand Forks, 218-399-3000; 10 AM to 2 PM   Crooked Pint: 1930 S Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, 701-780-9000; 10 AM to 2 PM   Ground Round: 2800 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-775-4646; 9 AM to 2 PM   Hilton Garden Inn: 4301 James Ray Dr, Grand Forks, 701-775-6000; 11 AM to 2 PM   Ruby Tuesday: 3915 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, 701-772-1105; 9 AM to 2 PM   Just in case Mr. Bunny didn’t put everything in your basket that you wanted, the following stores have notified us they …

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SimplyGrand times for grown-ups

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If you’re looking for some fun after the sun goes down, our two towns are one hot ticket!  With everything from live music and karaoke to bar bingo and trivia takeovers, we’ve got plenty of ways to entertain you.   Listed below is just a sampling of all the different places to play around after 5 PM and beyond:   Bar Bingo/Bargo – Up North Pizza Pub (Tuesday at 7 PM); Ground Round (Thursday at 8 PM) Karaoke – Brick & Barley (Tuesday at 10:30 PM); Rhombus Guys Pizza (Wednesday at 10 PM); O’Really’s Irish Pub (Wednesday & Friday at 10 PM); Diamond Lounge (every other Thursday at 7:30 PM); El Roco Bar & Grill (Thursday at 9 PM) Live Music – The Ember (Thursday Bluegrass Jam); Diamond Lounge (Weekends at 9 PM); Half Brothers Brewing Company (every night, times vary); Long Haul Saloon (Weekends at 9 PM); Shotgun Sally’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Saloon (Weekends at 9 PM); Southgate Bar & Grill (Weekends at 9 PM) Pool & Foosball – El Roco Bar & Grill; The Loft; TJ’s Sports Bar, Up North Pizza Pub Trivia – Bonzer’s (Monday at 8 PM); The Diamond (Tuesday at 7 PM); Rhombus Guys Pizza …

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Great things are springing up at Alerus Center

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No need for April showers…the Alerus Center is already blooming with simply grand events before, during and after that time!  With new General Manager Anna Rosburg at the helm, Grand Forks’ premiere entertainment and convention facility will be hopping, more than ever before, with a variety of different events.   March 2-3: 2018 First Robotics Competition March 20-22: 25th Annual ArtWise Elementary Art Show March 23-25: Home Design & Garden Show 2018 March 31: 16th Annual Kids Easter Egg Scramble April 13-15: Jurassic Quest April 14: GF Horticultural Society presents Gardening Saturday 2018 April 21: Toughest Monster Truck Tour Championship Weekend April 21-22: Red River Valley Motorcyclists 2018 Motorcycle Show May 3: Thomas Rhett w/special guests Brett Young & Russell Dickerson May 20: Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown w/special guests Starset & Bad Wolves   For more information, including ticket/admission prices, go to www.aleruscenter.com.   If you’d like to grab a bite or enjoy some cocktails before or after your event, there are several awesome spots nearby to indulge and imbibe.  Just some of them include: Aalto’s, Tavern United and l’Bistro in Canad Inns Destination Center; Crooked Pint Ale House; Grand Junction Subs; Ramada Aroma Café & Dreamers Lounge; …

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Wooing your Valentine in #SimplyGrand style

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other?  Well then, you best read on!  Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   LOVE ON THE EAST SIDE. Drive your date to downtown East Grand Forks for a romantic movie and some ‘heart’y food.  Start out the evening with an earlier showing at River Cinema 15, perhaps in one of the theaters with new heated recliner seating.  Afterward, journey down the Riverwalk Centre hallway and canoodle over noodles at Mamma Maria’s.  Just some of the divine dishes to try are the classic homemade lasagna, chicken milano, lobster ravioli and cranberry tortellini.  And of course, a nice bottle of vino is a must.   UPSCALE AFFAIR. The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that, I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles are so amazing, they’ll make your head spin!  Upon exiting the Frog, grab your date’s hand, then stroll down 3rd Street, over and up to Sky’s on the 2nd floor of 322 DeMers.  Treat your 5-star sweetie to a 5-star dinner that includes classic cocktails, crab cakes, a king or …

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