Explore a viking ship at Fargo’s Hjemkomst Center. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

Culture + Style

Museum Miles: Explore the Unexpected in Fargo

All work won’t make you a dull person (at least, not for the length of a business trip), but it will upend your brain’s ability to be at its best. The fix when in Fargo? Take a mini mental vacation. After all, staying in overdrive is no way to live — or think.

Fargo and its next-door neighbor, Moorhead, harbor many specialty museums to help satisfy a curious mind. Take yourself out for a break during your stay at Delta Hotels Fargo and learn a thing or three in the process.

Discover Your New Favorite Artist

Travel time by car from Delta Hotels Fargo: 11 minutes

Duration: 2 hours

Discover regional and international works of art at the Plains Art Museum. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

Housed in a turn-of-the-century former warehouse, the Plains Art Museum offers a near endless supply of ways to wake up your brain. From traditional visual arts to nature-inspired temporary exhibits and more, the museum features local, regional and national artists.

The North Dakota Mural alone, painted by North Dakota–born artist James Rosenquist (who has serious cool cred as one of the originators of the pop art movement), provides a perfect way to perk up in the middle of a meeting-heavy day.

Completed in 2010, the 24-foot-wide mural serves up a colorful take on some of North Dakota’s many charms, from nature to industry to the state’s seemingly endless night sky.

Get a Midday Airlift

Travel time by car from hotel: 9 minutes

Duration: 45 minutes

Rise high at the Fargo Air Museum. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

Your imagination will take flight at the Fargo Air Museum. Housed in two hangars near Hector International Airport, the museum’s extensive collection of flying machines and paraphernalia includes military, commercial and recreational planes.

And 90 percent of the aircraft are still in flying condition — so call ahead to find out when some of the museum’s planes will head skyward. You could find yourself a lucky passenger.

True aviation geeks (er, enthusiasts) should ask about the museum’s ongoing roster of cool projects, including the current restoration of a Vultee BT-13 Valiant.

Celebrate a Baseball Great — At the Mall

Travel time by car from hotel: 4 minutes

Duration: 30 minutes

Learn more about a baseball great. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

Museums don’t get much more topic-specific than this: The well-named Roger Maris Museum celebrates — you guessed it — Roger Maris. The Fargo-born Maris played for the New York Yankees and (though some debate it) beat the Babe’s home-run record.

As requested by Maris, the museum is free and easily accessible to all. Housed in a mall, you can even get some gift shopping done on your museum run. Score!

Get Hygge with It

Travel time by car from hotel: 12 minutes

Duration: 1 hour

See a replica of a Hopperstad Stave Church. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

Thanks to the cozy side of their culture — a Scandinavian concept known as hygge — Norwegians have been in the news quite a bit over the last year (hygge was on the Oxford Dictionary’s shortlist for 2016 word of the year). Dig deeper into the culture at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. Your mini vacation here includes exploring both a Viking ship and a replica of the 12th-century Hopperstad Stave Church. Skoal!

Take a Trip back in Time

Travel time by car from hotel: 9 minutes

Duration: 2 hours

Find a history fix at Bonanzaville. (Photo: Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss)

The members of the Cass County Historical Society sure know how to pull people into their passion for history. Bonanzaville, which is equal parts megamuseum and recreation pioneer town, features (hold onto your bowler hat) a whopping 43 historic buildings and more than 400,000 artifacts to ogle.

Take a tour around the collection of cars, tractors or pretty much anything else you could conjure up on the old-timey collection front.

From North Dakota to the World

Travel time by car from hotel: 12 minutes

Duration: 1.5 hours

The Rourke Art Museum specializes in a mix of pop art and art produced by “masters” of the Midwest. The permanent and temporary exhibitions will dazzle your eyes while helping you understand that, yes, North Dakota has quite the reach in the art world. Founded as an art gallery, the now-museum is housed in the old post office in Moorhead. The building, with its marble staircase and elegant courtyard, is itself quite the treasure. This is the perfect spot for those looking for a quiet and contemplative trip away from work.