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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Fact vs. film in Fargo


Courtesy Plains Art Museum

Retreats on the river

Outside of town, a bright red barn welcomes retreats and other small gatherings. Rustic Oaks is on the Red River, nine miles south of Moorhead. Despite floods, “it [the river] is more of a blessing; we would not give up the river,” said Emily Finley, sales and marketing director.

Open for only three years, the business is growing. This month, an expansion will double the space of the original barn, giving Rustic Oaks some 2,400 square feet of meeting space, as well as new bathrooms, a kitchen staging area and a bar. Another bonus: french doors that open from the former hayloft onto a 900-square-foot deck that overlooks the river.

A 100-year-old home moved to the property this summer will become a 10-bedroom, 10-bath inn. Its historic bones preserved, the inn will have all new plumbing and other amenities. Rustic Oak’s original inn has six bedrooms and four baths.

Attitudes not altitude
One of the best places to grasp Fargo’s warmth and can-do attitude is the Fargo Air Museum, five minutes from the local airport and next to the Fargo Jetport. Corporate groups can “fly in the back door” for a meeting or event, said Fran Brummund, executive director.

There’s excitement and color there as volunteers move planes to make space for dinners and receptions or to give a plane a test flight.

“You never know when an engine is going to fire up and someone is going to take the airplane out,” said Brummund.

But people tend to trump planes there. Guests are captivated by an enthused bunch of volunteers who range in age from 10 to the mid-90s. There are veterans who once flew or worked on the planes displayed at the museum and youngsters who’ve only dreamed of doing so.

During one corporate event, for example, “a worldwide president for Cargill was here, and he crawled under an airplane with one of the kids,” said Brummund. “They are so inspiring for our guests.”