For a Fun Summer Weekend Getaway, Grand Forks is Grand

Looking for a fun weekend getaway this summer? Grand Forks is as much fun in the summer as it is during hockey season. Here are a few of my favorite things to see and do:

Kick off the weekend with a Friday night pie on the rooftop at Rhombus Guys. The atmosphere is fun; the pizza perfect (try "The Farm" with goat cheese, balsamic and prosciutto), and it offers a nice wine and beer list. Or wander over to the new Sander's, a fine Grand Forks tradition that is evolving in a new location. Both are right in the heart of downtown. 

My favorite thing to do on a summer Saturday morning is go for a run and end up at a great coffee shop. The Greenway offers an opportunity to enjoy views of the meandering Red River from both North Dakota and Minnesota. Bridges connect the trails, which also offer other recreation options like biking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, shore fishing, parks, disc golf and golf. The coffee at Urban Stampede was the perfect punctuation to the morning. The eclectic mix of patrons is a clue that you are in a university city.

After a quick shower, I was back downtown enjoying the weekly Town Square farmers market. End of July produce was colorful and so fresh. The beets and garden peas were my favorite. This Saturday morning standard offers a great mix of traditional farmers market fair, local artisans, fun entertainment and local foods - like awesome breads and cookies from Dakota Harvest. The bittersweet chocolate and sea salt cookie is indescribable. The town square was packed and with people of all ages.

Downtown shopping in Grand Forks also is fun and unique. Kittsona, named after Kittson Street in Grand Forks, has three locations downtown. Kittsona Lifestyle, located in the original location on Kittson Avenue, was a fun new find. The unique products were interesting and I found some great wedding gifts. You will also find Curious and Badman Design in the same area and a great upscale resale shop called True Colors.

If you have some time before dinner, check out the Japanese Garden or the University of North Dakota campus.  Both offer quant walking paths and plenty to see. For dinner, I chose Giuseppe's and was thrilled again with the authentic Italian options. The pasta tastes homemade, the specials are fresh, the wine list extensive - all in a small restaurant that feels like it could be in New York City.  Perfect for a family gathering, or in our case, a birthday dinner.