North Woods Paradise: ND’s Land of Trees and Autumn Beauty

Fall has arrived and I wish I could be everywhere at once. Since I can’t, I’m asking friends and fellow writers and photographers to fill us in on their fall adventures.

Here’s a dreamy look at Jack Dura’s latest trip to one of North Dakota’s prettiest (and most overlooked) spots, the Turtle Mountains. You can see more stories like this on his website, acrossnorthdakota.com.

Here’s Jack!
– Alicia

Leaves and grass change with the seasons of summer to autumn along a Lake Metigoshe shoreline. Photo by Jack Dura.

Autumn color is so fleeting in North Dakota. If you don’t time …

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A Fall Party On The Slopes

I’m a sucker for a good fall festival. And I love the atmosphere of a cozy ski lodge despite the fact that I am the absolute worst skier on the planet.

Seriously. The worst. When I snowplow, pointing my toes in a perfect pie shape just like countless instructors have showed me, I don’t stop. Ever. You’re supposed to, but I don’t. After narrowly avoiding crashing into a ski lodge at 18 (I finally just tumbled out of the way at the last minute) I hung up my skis and become a cocoa drinking, fire-sitting connoisseur …

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8 Ways To Make A Road Trip More Fun

Summer is winding down, but it’s still prime road trip season. Whether you’re off on a fall foliage expedition, a weekend getaway or a trip to see family, autumn is a great time for road trips.

I spend a lot of time on the road and I’ve learned that the drive is a lot of fun when you make it about the journey and not just the destination. Here are eight of my favorite ways to make getting there part of the fun.

1. Take the Scenic Route
The interstate might be the fastest way to get where …

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Meet Your Neighbors At Welcoming Week: Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo

“Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today.”
Jinato Hu

I have a diverse group of friends. This doesn’t seem remarkable to me. My friends are my friends and we don’t sit around and talk about what our friendship means or what it represents to other people.

But since some of my friends are New Americans, here as refugees or recent immigrants, I’ve been writing a few stories about how their experiences in the Midwest have touched and changed …

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Score A Sweet Gift Pack From Surly Brewing Co.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you already know that I’m a huge beer fan. And Surly Brewing Co. in my home state of Minnesota is responsible for some of my favorites.

To celebrate Surly’s recent expansion into my adopted state of North Dakota (Yay! Finally!) I’m giving away a sweet Surly Brewing Co. gift pack this month.

One lucky winner will score a Surly T-shirt, a beer glass and a key chain bottle opener so you’ll always be able to open your beer, no matter where you are. The prize package also …

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The Greenway: Outdoor Adventures In The Heart Of The City

If you can’t decide between an outdoor adventure and doing a little urban exploring, The Greenway is the perfect solution. You can be busy outdoors all day, yet still be steps away from boutique shopping, art galleries and restaurants in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

The Greenway is the gorgeous, green heart of these sister cities, 2,200 acres of outdoor space along the banks of the Red and Red Lake Rivers. Start your trip on the 20 miles of mixed use trails. Those trails lead to parks, pools, golf (and disc golf!) …

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Break the Rules and Decide What Tastes Good: Fluffy Fields Vineyard And Winery

When I saw that Fluffy Fields Vineyard and Winery opened in Dickinson, North Dakota in late August (and featured North Dakota-made wines to boot) I was excited to check it out. Then I looked at my jam-packed calendar (which includes one very cool project I’ll announce later this week or early next) and realized I wasn’t going to be able to get to Dickinson for weeks, if not months.

Thankfully, Sarah Feist was on it. Sarah is from Hazen, North Dakota and writes about food, drinks, and socializing and staying active on her blog Feisty Eats. She …

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Nearly Free Family Fun At Como Park Zoo And Conservatory

When you want to have a lot of fun for not a lot of money, Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Saint Paul, Minnesota are a great bet. You’ll find a variety of animals, fair rides, carnival food, breathtaking gardens and pretty picnic spots, all within walking distance.

And did I mention that it costs next to nothing?

There’s a suggested donation of $3 per adult and $2 per child. But if you’re really in a tough financial spot, signs remind you that you’re always welcome to enter whether or not you choose to donate. …

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Into the Ice Caves: Exploring The Unexpected in North Dakota

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my High Plains Reader colleague Jack Dura on Twitter (he’s @JackFromNoDak — you should follow him for sure) when he mentioned he’d explored the Ice Caves in western North Dakota.

My extremely visceral reaction happened three distinct stages: 1.) Eeeeeeee! That sounds awesome! I wanna do that! When am I free? (I react this way to almost everything that pleases me greatly. Travel writers are basically children with credit cards and reliable transportation.) 2.) Wait, what?!?! Ice caves? 3.) Jack must tell me all about that, like, immediately.

So now I’ll shut up …

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Red River Market: A Feast For The Senses In Downtown Fargo

“What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.”
– Bryant Terry

A farmers market on a warm summer day flirts with the senses.

There’s something satisfying about feeling the weight of the potatoes, just pulled from the dirt, in your hand. You learn forward to watch shimmering water droplets dance on the frilly edges of the lettuce, as flirty as the ruffles on a skirt.

There’s magic in the scent of the still damp earth that gathers in the corners of the produce boxes, the tang of dill and the …

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