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Grand Forks: I do love you!

By the time that you read this I’m probably somewhere between Winnipeg and Grad Forks or I’m probably already there and having a grand old time. This post has been pre-scheduled so you won’t see a recap on my trip (or any other post, unless its pre-scheduled) until I return. If you want to see what I’m doing, follow me on Twitter (Twitter feed is on your right) and I’ll hopefully share my escapades on there.

I’ve mentioned it a thousand times before…. Grand Forks is a great place to escape to for a weekend. It’s small, it’s quaint, people are friendly and it’s just a wonderful place to visit. Having it be three hours from here is also a bonus. It’s this little prairie gem that I think everyone should get out and explore. One day I have a dream to explore North and South Dakota in its entirety. They’re two states filled with rich history, old time feel and a relaxing getaway.

I have a few favorite places in Grand Forks that I love going to every time I’m there.

Lincoln Drive Park

Prior to the devastating 1997 Red River Flood Lincoln Drive was an affluent neighborhood. In April 1997 that all changed when the Red River surged, overflowed its banks cresting at a historic 54 feet and took on the city of Grand Forks. All homes in this neighborhood were destroyed. The city had to come up with a plan to prevent this from happening again. The city (Grand Forks & East Grand Forks), along with the State and Military engineering erected a permanent flood wall that is activated during flood seasons. This neighborhood was bought out and turned in to a beautiful greenway (flood walls are on west side of the greenway on the Grand Forks side and east of the greenway on the East Grand Forks side – Red River separates both cities). You can picnic, play frisbee, walk your dogs and the kids have an amazing play-structure to play on. It’s a beautiful park.

Downtown Grand Forks

I’ve been a few times and I absolutely love it. It’s small town America. Downtown spans a few city blocks, but it’s great to park your car and get out to explore! I’m looking forward to exploring it a bit more when I’m there. This time I want to check out Dakota Harvest Bakery, Toasted Frog (deep fried mozzarella and dill pickles!) and Porpoura Coffee.

Super Target

Need I say more? Yes, it really is super. I’m sure it has a cape and fights crime at night when no one is paying attention. I’m always there, I think some cashier’s know me by name. I also love it because this location has a Starbucks in it, just like WalMart Supercenter has Subway instead of McDonalds. I’m a little disappointed that the bakery got rid of the mocha cakes because of the peanuts. Like hello…. if people have a peanut allergy, they don’t buy them. Miffed.

All Seasons Garden Center

I went here in 2009 with my cousin to look at some flowers and I fell in love with the place. It smells beautiful, looks majgestical and the kids can have fun too. They’ve crafted handmade tables of X’s & O’s, checkers and Snakes and Ladders. How cute? They also have vintage tricycles and bicycles for the kids to wheel around on instead of walking. They also have a beautiful fountain at the back and bunnies in a cage! I just want to go back to look at the pretty flowers!

Caribou Coffee & Starbucks

Starbucks addict. I admit it openly and I don’t care. I love going to the location in Grand Forks because it’s cheaper. Like a lot cheaper. I pay close to $6 for a Venti Caramel Macchiato here, there it’s almost $5 for one. Rip off! My cousin loves Starbucks too so it will be nice for us to grab and iced drink and sit on their patio. I’m also wanting to try out Caribou Coffee. I always said I would whenever I was there or even in Minneapolis, but never did. I’ve offered to pick up some beans for Kyla, so this is going to give me a chance to finally visit!

University of North Dakota

This university has history and the buildings illustrate it. I always love driving around campus, looking at the various buildings, campus life and the students walking around. I’ve been on campus once and it felt like the university I am presently studying at. There’s a great park close to campus that I’ve been to twice and love. Great place for a picnic or for the kids to splash around in the splash pad!

With four days to free to explore the city, I’m sure I can take a lot of sights in. I’m also going to spend lots of time with my family and have fun with them. Maybe barbecue, a bonfire in the back yard and definitely street hockey. Can’t forget about Paradiso. Cannot. Forget. Paradiso! Yum!

When traveling to your favorite travel spot, what are some places that are a must to visit on your list? Do you typically stick to with what you love or do you like to explore new things?

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