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Fargo is North Dakota’s premier city, and a fascinating place that’s assumed a lot of different guises throughout its long history. At various times it’s been a frontier town, a hub for fur-trading, a key location in the Federal Witness Protection programme and, of course, the setting for the classic Coen Brothers film of the same name. Expect to hear plenty of the inimitable accent made famous by Frances McDormand.
Book a hire car in Fargo and you’ll have the freedom to explore everything the city and North Dakota have to offer. Plus, with a prime location right on the border with Minnesota, you’re well positioned for a trip to Minneapolis (about four hours away) or the Detroit Lakes (about 45 minutes away).
Visitors to Fargo are likely to fly into Hector International Airport. It’s within the city itself, about 10 minutes from the centre by hire car. Getting around the place is straightforward. Like many cities in the US, Fargo is built around a grid, so you’ll find navigating to be a cinch.
The two main providers of rental cars in Fargo are National and Alamo. You’ll find they have great range of vehicles to choose from, including larger SUVs and minivans.
You can’t visit Fargo without making a visit to at least a few of the sets from the eponymous film. Most of it wasn’t actually filmed in the city, but many locations are within easy reaching distance by rental car. Two easy ones are the Minneapolis Club Parking Ramp – scene of the ill-fated handover between Carl and Wade – and the Hitching Post Motel in nearby Forest Lake, in which Jerry was arrested. Both are around a three-hour drive from Fargo. Don’t miss the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors’ Centre, which features a charming exhibit about the film, including plenty of memorabilia.
Fargo also has a great zoo, which specialises in breeding some of the world’s rarest cold climate species. Head to Red River Zoo, about 15 minutes southwest from the city centre, and learn about their populations of grey wolves, red pandas and many more.
Make sure to check out Fargo’s Plains Art Museum before you leave. It has a fascinating collection of local and international art from throughout the area’s history, as well as exhibitions on art produced by local native Americans.
Fargo offers nothing out of the ordinary if you’ve driven in the US before. Having said that, the area will often experience heavy snow in winter. The locals are excellent at clearing busy roads quickly, but be aware that very rural routes may be inaccessible after a heavy blizzard.
Ready to start planning your own trip to Fargo or the US? Use this Fargo city guide and the Expedia search tool to track down the best deals on flights and hotels, and to find to research the best tourist attractions and activities.
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