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Category Archives: Travel & Tourism

Find SimplyGraND buys under Fair skies


Put pen to planner (or stylus to mobile device) right now and mark off September 8 & 9. Why? Because that’s when the Downtown Development Association will host the 2017 Downtown Street Fair. From DeMers to Third, our Downtown District streets will be filled with great shopping, entertainment, food and fun galore. With Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau as presenting sponsor, the Street Fair is free and open to the public!   This excellent event will feature talented artisans and vendors from around the United States and Canada. Here’s a sampling of the many already booked: Dakota Sun Gardens Winery; Happy Magnets; Grain Designs; Hippy Feet; Hello Lucy; Raki Lifestyle and The Little Apiary. If you’re a fair food fan like me, I’m happy to report there is going to be a “Taste of the Fair” food experience! Just some of the delicious offerings will include samosas, steak on a stick, pulled turkey sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, mini donuts and kettle korn.   And the good times don’t end when the merchandise vendors shut down. Friday night is highlighted by the “JLG Rocks the Streets” concert, in Town Square, featuring two awesome acts: The Fabulous Armadillos and Wicked Bees. Food truck fare and beverages …

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Super Saturday in the City


Travel writer Shel Zolkewich puts together an action-packed itinerary to make the most of your summer Saturday in Grand Forks.   Start your day with a little exercise! The indoor pool at the newly remodeled Ramada Inn is big, bright and beautiful. Plus the adjoining hot tub means the pool is always pleasantly warm—no need to shiver during your dip. This classic hotel boasts a restaurant and bar onsite along with all the amenities you need including a fitness center and pet-friendly rooms.   Make your first stop Bully Brew Coffee, a made-in-Grand Forks success story, now with four bustling locations, including one in Fargo. Treat yourself to the White Chocolate Mocha—espresso, sweet white chocolate powder and steamed milk—and you’ll soon see why it’s the shop’s bestseller.   To market! To market! It’s a feast of color and creativity at The Town Square Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 9am to 1:30 pm at the corner of 3rd Street and Demers Avenue. Handmade goods, local vegetables and fresh baking are piled high as shoppers stroll the riverside market. The hot ticket seems to be The Bakers Wagon, where there’s an unending line-up of folks, no doubt stocking up on fried pies, …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Lodging, Shopping, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism
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Get uncorked in our Forks


See ya later Sonoma.  Maybe next time Napa Valley.  Why travel across the country when you can pick great grapes and taste grand wines right here in Greater Grand Forks…at the popular Grape Mill Vineyard and Winery!   While they may overlook the banks of the beautiful Red Lake River, Grape Mill’s cold hardy vines produce red, white and blush varieties with a unique, palate-pleasing flavor specific to our region. The Halversons – Russ, Gail and Matt – planted their first 200 grape vines back in 2006.  Today, the vineyard has well over 2,000 vines including the varieties Marquette, La Crescent, Frontenac Gris, Frontenac Blanc and Brianna.   Situated on the estate, take a stroll through the vineyard and discover just what makes their vines so special.  You’ll also learn how each variety is grown, cultivated and turned into delicious wine.   After taking the tour, be sure to stop in Grape Mill’s tasting room and try some of your favorites or grab a bottle to take home for later.  On most Saturdays, you’ll also be serenaded by talented local musicians while you imbibe.   Grape Mill is located at 18696 430th Avenue SW in East Grand Forks, MN.  They are open …

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SimplyGrand Shows Worth Standing O’s


Wanna take a trip to the Great White Way without ever leaving Greater Grand Forks? Since 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium stage has hosted numerous legendary performances. With upcoming events ranging from Broadway to Beethoven and Christmas bells to steel drums, The Fritz’s current schedule is sure to please a wide variety of tastes, as well.   At just over 2,300 seats, Chester Fritz is the perfect size to host musical theater and intimate concerts. Its top notch sound system, renowned acoustics and auditorium layout are such that it makes you feel at one with the production.   Experience a little of the auditorium’s great history by strolling down the halls lined with autographed pictures of past performers, just some of whom include Jerry Seinfeld, Kenny Rogers, John Mellencamp, Jewel, Gordon Lightfoot and Bette Midler. When you’re in the lobby, make sure to look up and enjoy the iconic beauty of the Starcher Chandelier. Custom made in Italy, it is lighted by approximately 30 lamps and blends 5,550 lead crystal beads, prisms and tear drops.   Whether it’s a family outing or date night out, Chester Fritz Auditorium has been the place to go for over 40 years. And no …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Reel in a SimplyGrand time


The organizers of Cats Incredible Catfish Days are feelin’ dirty at thirty! This popular catfishing tournament – taking place on our dirt-bottomed, north-flowing Red River – is celebrating its 30th year! Held the last weekend of July, in downtown East Grand Forks’ LaFave Park, Cats Incredible brings in top anglers from all over North America. However, even those not competing will find a variety activities, entertainment and food they’re sure to enjoy!   Friday, July 28 Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 5 to 8 p.m.  Saturday, July 29 Fishing Tournament – Day 1 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 30 Fishing Tournament – Day 2 Boat Launch – 4:30 a.m. Fishing Begins – 7 a.m. Gates Open to the Public – 10 a.m. Food Vendors & Beer Garden – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3rd Annual Cars & Catfish Car Show – 12 to 4 p.m. Family Entertainment – 12 to 6 p.m. Tournament Ends – 4 p.m. Cats Incredible Tournament Awards – 6 p.m. For further …

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Park it at Turtle River


Situated on in a scenic wooded valley, Turtle River State Park (TRSP) is located just 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2. TRSP was constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers year-round recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking and biking. Rustic group cabins can also be rented.   If fishing is your thing, the Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout.  No pole?  No worries!  You can borrow all the needed gear at the park office.   To truly experience TRSP, I suggest lacing up the hiking boots.  Another way to capture all the beauty is to pedal your way through. The park also offers up great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for some cool winter recreational opportunities.   Pack your own lunch or swing by a favorite Greater Grand Forks eatery (The Red Pepper and Jimmy John’s are right off Hwy 2) on your way out of town and pick up some perfect picnic fare.  The park’s shelters are always well maintained and offer up a picturesque spot to dine.   You’ll also want to stop in their visitor center and check out the interesting Conservation Corp Interpretive Exhibits and Displays. …

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Greater Grand Forks: Way Cooler Than You Think!


The Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proud supporter of the greater Grand Forks workforce recruitment and retention initiation that was recently launched.  As a supporter of this initiative, we focused on the development, funding, and implementation of a sustainable toolkit to support local organizations efforts to attracting and keeping talented people in our region.  As a part of the initiative, a campaign showcasing our region and personality (and poking fun at our weather) was developed.  The campaign, Greater Grand Forks: Way Cooler Than You Think! was launched through a centralized website,, which serves as a portal into the Grand Forks region. This portal is supported through social media, toolkits for employers, advertising, and more.   Please take a moment and check out the website and follow the social sites.  We all play a part in promoting our communities as a great place to live and work.  And, in return, that helps us attract more bright and talented professionals.   Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:  

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4 grand ways to spend 1 day at NDMOA


Yes, the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) is a perfect place to check out wonderful works of art but it’s also home to unique gifts, terrific tunes and delicious food! Here are four ways to enjoy our town’s cultural gem:   If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to peruse the Barton Lidice Bennes permanent exhibit.  Ranging from a mounted giraffe and warthog to tribal masks and antiques, this eclectic collection will leave you awestruck.  Acclaimed artist Barton Lidice Benes gifted the contents of his New York apartment to the Museum, which includes over $1 million in African, Egyptian and contemporary art, plus much more. Thanks to tremendous fundraising efforts, NDMOA raised enough money to dismantle Benes’ apartment in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and recreate it in North Dakota.   Looking for some one-of-a-kind gifts?  The Museum Shop is filled with artsy, cool items ranging from pottery and paintings to clothing and jewelry, many of which were handmade by artists featured in the galleries.   To curb your hunger pangs, stop by the Museum Café for some culinary works of art.  Master Chef Heather serves up a creative menu with a variety …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Dining, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Grand dining in the great outdoors


Looking to raise your fork, in our Forks, under grand skies? From large patios overlooking the river to small café tables dotting a downtown street…below is a listing of some great places to dine in the sunshine.   Blue Moose Bar & Grill (507 2nd St NW, EGF) – Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Barbecue, Burgers, Sandwiches, Steak; Seating: Large covered deck overlooking the Red River   Brick & Barley (9 N 3rd St, GF) – Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Burgers, Sandwiches; Seating: Parklet on a downtown street   Buffalo Wild Wings (2717 S Columbia Rd, GF) – Cuisine: Bar & Grill, Burgers, Sandwiches; Seating: Large patio with televisions   Eagles Crest Grill (5301 S Columbia Rd, GF)- Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Burgers, Italian, Sandwiches, Steak; Seating: Patio overlooking King’s Walk Golf Course   Little Bangkok (415 2nd St NW, EGF) – Cuisine: Asian, Bar & Grill; Seating: Patio overlooking the Red River   Mike’s Pizza (411 2nd St NW, EGF) – Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Buffet, Pizza, Sandwiches; Seating: Patio overlooking the Red River   Noodles & Company (3000 32nd Ave S, GF) – Cuisine: Asian, Fast Food, Italian; Seating: Smaller patio adjacent to restaurant   Rhombus Guys Brewing …

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Stock up Downtown: 1 Farmers Market + 2 Grand Forks


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 takes place every Saturday through September, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 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, hosted by the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre, are held at 1 PM during every Farmers Market beginning in July.   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 …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, Events, Shopping, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized