Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Moorhead, MN

  • Published 2023/02/24

Moorhead is best known in Minnesota for being the twin city of Fargo on the opposite bank of the Red River.

Despite being the biggest city in Minnesota’s northwest region, Moorhead is always associated with Fargo.

Both cities share the same heritage, culture, arts, and entertainment, linking their communities despite the Red River and the North Dakota-Minnesota borders.

With its unique back story, Moorhead is also a unique travel destination.

It has a rich history, natural areas, and outdoor attractions worth discovering, with Fargo a stone’s throw away from the city.

Moorhead is huge enough for hardcore travelers who want to explore every city corner.

At the same time, Fargo offers its own unique experience.

Visit a life-size Viking ship, charming art galleries, parks, or enjoy quality leisure time.

There’s so much to enjoy in Moorhead that you’ll likely spend a couple of days experiencing everything it offers.

So, check out the 20 best things to do in Moorhead, MN.

Take a Closer Look at the Hjemkomst Viking Ships

Exterior of the Hjemkomst center

Steve Cukrov /

Vikings were both fascinating and terrifying during their era.

That’s why these warriors continue to attract many people.

Explore Scandinavian culture and heritage at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead.

Stepping inside the Hjemkomst Center takes you to the full-scale Hjemkomst Viking Ship.

Viking ship replica displayed in Hjemkomst center

Ken Lund, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This Viking ship’s design followed the Gokstad burial ship, and amazingly, this ship sailed to Norway from Minnesota.

Aside from the famous Viking ship, there are more fascinating things you’ll find inside this museum, including artifacts collected from around Clay County.

Spending Time at this museum is a worthwhile experience you shouldn’t miss in Moorhead.

Contents of the viking ship replica in Hjemkomst center

Ken Lund, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Drop by the Moorhead Welcome Center

Drop by the Moorhead Welcome Center to enjoy and experience what Moorhead offers.

A sizable welcome plaque to the State of Minnesota will greet you upon arriving at the welcome center.

You should visit this place first in Moorhead to get all the helpful travel information to help you enjoy the city to its fullest.

The place is the best place to get maps, directions, and brochures about Moorhead and Minnesota’s best attractions.

In addition, the Moorhead Welcome Center is where you’ll get the most recommended restaurants, shops, and services.

Before starting your Moorhead travel adventure, visit the Moorhead Welcome Center along Purple Heart Trail.

Browse the Rourke Art Gallery Museum

Exterior of Rourke Art Gallery Museum

Bjoertvedt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For art enthusiasts and even casual tourists, the Rourke Art Gallery Museum at Main Avenue in Moorhead is a fascinating place to discover unique masterpieces.

Being the oldest art museum in the Fargo-Moorhead area, it’s one of the best attractions you need to visit during your travel to Moorhead.

Inside this 1915 post office building, you’ll find a permanent collection of more than 5,000 artworks from local, regional, and national artists.

In addition, the Rourke Art Gallery has rotating exhibits and art events, making this place more exciting to visit.

The Rourke Art Gallery and Museum aims to inspire and educate the community through traditional arts and cultures of different countries.

Moreover, this place’s building is already a piece of art through its neoclassical architecture and design, dating back to the early 1900s.

Enjoy the Outdoors at MB Johnson Park

The MB Johnson Park is one of Moorhead’s most popular outdoor spaces.

It boasts miles of forested trails meandering the Red River, making it an exciting outdoor destination to discover.

It has boat ramps, picnic tables, shelters, and a playground for everyone to enjoy.

If part of your itinerary is visiting parks, check out MB Johnson Park.

It’s where locals hike through its trails; it’s also a popular spot for cross country skiing during the cold winter months.

In addition, its trails are also an ideal destination for mountain biking and snowshoeing.

MB Johnson Park is a charming and peaceful picnic area in Moorhead during the summer months.

Hunt for the Painted Bison

Searching for the painted bison scattered throughout Moorhead is a fun-filled and unique travel experience you shouldn’t miss.

These 39 life-sized, painted bison are found in Fargo-Moorhead and Minnesota.

Various artists painted these statues to give them a charming and unique look.

As a tourist, you can add more excitement and adventure to your experience in Moorhead by hunting for these painted bison while exploring the latter’s attractions.

These colorful statues are usually on the streets and in local shops in Moorhead and Fargo.

These statues have become a popular attraction in the area since 2005.

So, where can you find these painted bison statues?

One is at the Rourke Art Gallery and Museum, while the rest is in Fargo, less than five minutes away from Moorhead.

Appreciate the Victorian Beauty of Comstock House

Exterior of the Comstock House

McGhiever, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historic Comstock House is one of the prime examples of well-designed Victorian architecture.

This house in Moorhead symbolizes the city’s prosperity during its early days.

Considered a landmark in Moorhead, the Comstock House became the home of a hardworking family, which paved the way for businesses and institutions to open in Moorhead and Fargo.

Closer details of Comstock House's exterior

Minnesota Local History & Historic Preservation, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County manages this historic house, which the public can visit for free.

Touring the house is a fascinating experience you should try while in Moorhead.

You will learn various things about how people lived their daily life in Moorhead in the 1800s.

In addition, guided tours also detail the story of the house’s owner, Solomon G. Comstock, and his relevance to Fargo-Moorhead’s history.

Explore Gooseberry Mound

Gooseberry Mound, popularly known in Moorhead as Gooseberry Park, has existed for more than 8,500 years as part of the Glacial Lake Agassiz.

Besides being the oldest outdoor attraction in Moorhead, Gooseberry Mound is a worthwhile place to explore with your family or travel buddies.

Gooseberry Mound is a popular spot for sports activities such as cross country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, etc.

Likewise, Gooseberry Mound is a charming place to picnic with your loved ones and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

During winter, outdoor sports enthusiasts make Gooseberry Mound their venue for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Spend Time at the Plains Art Museum

Exterior of Plains Art Museum

AJ LEON, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Fargo, the Plains Art Museum is the most extensive in the North Dakota region.

The Plains Art Museum aims to connect people and artists through its extensive galleries and exhibits featuring various charming artworks to take a closer look at.

This art museum is in the downtown district of Fargo inside the renovated International Harvester warehouse.

More than 4,000 artworks from locals to renowned artists are inside, including Native American pieces.

Suppose you’re looking for an unforgettable experience when you visit this place; the Plains Art Museum offers an art workshop at the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity.

This area in the museum offers various art classes from pottery, painting, and sculpture.

Visit the Iconic Original Moorhead Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen might be a staple ice cream chain for most people, but Moorhead has a unique location that takes you back in time.

In Moorhead, you’ll find one of Dairy Queen’s original and oldest stores in its whole franchise.

It’s a must-visit, where you can learn about the history of this world-famous ice cream chain.

It has preserved its 1950s vintage look through its design, interior, and even its ice cream menu, making this place an iconic attraction in Moorhead.

Minnesota might be notorious for its cold weather, but grabbing a Dairy Queen ice cream scoop at this iconic vintage store remains worthwhile.

The Moorhead Dairy Queen has operated since 1949 through its original owners, Phyllis and Bob Litherland.

It originally opened as the Dilly Bar, but new owners Troy and Diane De Leon changed the name to Dairy Queen in 1995.

Experience the Fargo-Moorhead Caffeine Card

People in the Fargo-Moorhead area are coffee lovers.

The dozens of coffee shops scattered throughout these two cities are a testament to their love of coffee.

Suppose you want to have a unique travel experience there; you should participate in the Fargo-Moorhead Caffeine Card.

This activity takes you to various coffee shops to try different coffee blends, a dream experience for coffee lovers.

However, you should follow specific rules this activity sets for all those who participate.

Most participating coffee shops are local businesses, giving you a genuine experience you won’t find in mainstream coffee brands.

To experience the Fargo-Moorhead Caffeine Card, visit the South Fargo Visitor’s Center and participating coffee shops.

Stroll Lindenwood Park

A short bridge on Lindenwood Park

Life Atlas Photography /

Lindenwood Park is a multi-purpose park in Fargo which offers visitors a wonderful time, especially families and groups.

Aside from being the most extensive multi-purpose park in Fargo, Lindenwood Park is also a famous camping ground.

Along Roger Maris Drive, Lindenwood Park features five picnic shelters, a wonderfully landscaped green space and campground, trails, restrooms, and an innovative playground.

People love having a picnic and doing outdoor activities at this park.

Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, jogging, and numerous sports are the most common things to enjoy at Lindenwood Park.

Support Local Farmers at the Moorhead Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ markets are always fascinating to explore, considering it’s where you’ll find the community’s best local produce and other products.

In Moorhead, you can check out the Moorhead Farmers’ Market at First Avenue N.

It runs from June to September.

Everyone gets a sample of small businesses’ best local harvested fruits, vegetables, and artisanal products.

Aside from the usual vegetables and fruits, Moorhead Farmers Market also features baked treats, bread, cured meat, honey, dairy products, jams, honey, pet products, and handcrafted souvenirs.

In addition, this farmers’ market features artworks from local artists, making this place worth visiting.

Experience Farm Life at Doubting Thomas Farms

Doubting Thomas Farms is a vast 1,200-acre organic farm in Moorhead, known for its top-notch produce.

However, this massive farm is more famous for its fun-filled on-the-farm tours for everyone.

It is an incredible experience in Moorhead worth checking out.

Visitors will experience first-hand planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables.

During the tour at Doubting Thomas, guides will take visitors to gardens, patches, orchards, and tree nurseries to learn fascinating farming techniques through the farm’s expert guides.

In addition, visitors can feed farm animals, such as cows, ducks, and chickens, which kids should love.

The farm also offers heritage cooking workshops to learn various recipes, techniques, and cooking methods.

Witness Top-Notch Theatrical Shows at the Bluestem Center for the Arts

Amphitheater of the Bluestem Center for the Arts

Fargo-Moorhead CVB from Fargo, ND, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bluestem Center for the Arts is a charming place for performing arts and concerts.

It features a 3,000-seater outdoor amphitheater that regularly hosts top-notch stage plays, concerts, and community events in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Moreover, this amphitheater is famous throughout the entire United States.

The Bluestem Center for the Arts is more than a grand venue; it’s also a quintessential experience you shouldn’t miss while visiting Moorhead.

Take a Sip of Excellent Craft Beer at the Junkyard Brewing Company

Before heading home, drop by the Junkyard Brewing Company and chug down a cold pint of its fine craft beer.

The Junkyard Brewing Company is a microbrewery focusing on discovering new craft beer varieties.

Currently, this brewery features 11 taps in its taproom.

Order a mug of its craft beer and reminisce your travel experience in Moorhead before packing your things and returning home.

Aim for a Strike at Sunset Lanes

Sunset Lanes is a modern bowling alley that has something for everyone.

It boasts 24 lanes and automatic scoring, providing a top-notch experience with plenty of entertainment options.

Whether you’re an experienced bowler or just looking for fun, this bowling alley can satisfy your needs.

Sunset Lanes offers leagues throughout the year for league bowlers, so there’s always something new available.

The facility provides full-service food and drinks and arcade games for those looking for more than a bowling game.

Plus, they host fun parties and events for all ages so everyone can join in!

Unwind at Rustica Eatery and Tavern

Moorhead, MN, is gaining a new restaurant and bar: Rustica Eatery and Tavern, bringing a unique ambiance to the area with its modern-rustic European-inspired décor.

Rustica Eatery and Tavern’s goal is to provide an atmosphere where people can enjoy comfort while still having an exciting night out.

It gives its guests a wide selection of craft beers, wines, specialty cocktails, and delicious dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.

They aim to emphasize the importance of using local ingredients as they strive to support farmers in the community while providing quality food for their guests.

The menu features traditional European fare as well as vegetarian options.

Watch and Enjoy the Show at Bluestem Amphitheater

Bluestem Amphitheater in Moorhead is a beloved outdoor music venue providing locals with entertainment for decades.

The Amphitheater features a large grass seating area surrounded by trees and hills, making it an idyllic spot to take in live performances.

From concerts to festivals, there’s always something special going on at this iconic destination.

Over the years, more than 600 acts have taken the stage at Bluestem Amphitheater, including big names such as Darius Rucker and Kings of Leon.

The venue also takes pride in its environmentally friendly efforts; solar-powered lights illuminate evening events, while compostable cups are used for concessions.

Soak in the Scenery at Bison Plains Lodge

Moorhead is home to the luxurious Bison Plains Lodge, set in a picturesque setting near many local attractions.

Named after the iconic animals native to the area, Bison Plains Lodge is on ten acres of pristine prairie land.

This historic lodging destination offers guests beautiful modern amenities and furnishings while maintaining its rustic charm and ambiance.

Guests can book spacious rooms with breathtaking views overlooking nearby lakes and meadows.

For outdoor adventurers, there are plenty of activities like fishing in one of the many local lakes or taking a nature walk through lush pastures.

In addition, visitors can take advantage of unique dining experiences at their on-site restaurant or relax with friends around the fireplace in their comfortable lobby area

Shop and Stroll around the Moorhead Center Mall

Moorhead Center Mall is a premier shopping destination in the Moorhead area.

The mall boasts over a hundred stores, including popular retailers like JCPenney and Best Buy.

In addition to containing some of the most well-known brands in fashion and electronics, shoppers can enjoy an array of restaurants and eateries, from fast food favorites to upscale dining options.

Specialty shops featuring unique items are plentiful here, making Moorhead Center Mall a one-stop shop for all your retail needs.

Discover something special in the ideal fusion of businesses, eateries, boutiques, and services available.

Final Thoughts

Suppose you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway; you won’t have to travel to far-flung areas to experience a unique travel adventure.

Moorhead is a complete package for those looking for adventure, leisure, and entertainment without burning a hole in their pocket.

Before you head to Moorhead, bookmark this post as your itinerary.

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