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You Betcha: Handicapped Accessibility in Fargo, North Dakota

Updated on October 16, 2014
The Fargo Theater
The Fargo Theater | Source

In recent years, Fargo, North Dakota has garnered national media attention for the city’s reputation for safety, encouragement to grow new business, and great cost of living. Fargo even won the “Best Place to Live and Work” honor from Ladies Home Journal and Redbook magazines, not to mention Forbe’s #2 spot for “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” as well as making their list of “Best Places to Retire.” While Fargo is a great city to live, work, raise a family, and spend your golden years, what is it like to live here or visit for people with disabilities? Check out a complete review below of handicapped accessibility in Fargo, North Dakota.

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Old Man Winter

The weather in Fargo can have people turning their backs on all the possibilities that the city has to offer, but don’t let the cold winters stop you from considering a visit. Fargo offers all 4 seasons, including very warm summers. Most of the snow is melted by April and typically does not return until late Fall which means easy access around the city during the warm months.

The winter is not to be taken lightly as temperatures can reach below 40 degrees with winds and blowing snow during the cold months. This can make getting around the city challenging, however most annoyances caused by Fargo’s winters can be avoided by taking precautions like:

  • Planning ahead. Don’t leave home without a checklist of winter attire to keep you warm, especially if you are slower moving due to physical limitations which may expose you longer to the cold weather.

  • Taking advantage of free food delivery. Many North Dakotans don’t make unnecessary trips into harsh weather winter so if you have a mobility impairment, you are not alone. Several grocery stores offer delivery, not to mention the majority of restaurants.

  • Arranging for snow removal. Most apartment buildings and even condo associations include snow removal as part of your rental agreement or condo fees. If you become a home owner in Fargo and have physical limitations, consider hiring a neighbor kid or snow removal service to keep your paths clear and safe.

  • Traveling with a buddy. Fargo is known for “North Dakota nice” so you will quickly find that making friends that are willing to give you a helping hand in the winter months will be as easy as pie.

  • Considering public transportation in the winter months or finding housing with a garage that you can easily access with your wheelchair. You will thank yourself when you see your neighbors scraping their car windows as you climb into your warm car or public bus.


Accessible Summer Events

Downtown Fargo street
Downtown Fargo street | Source

If you’re interested in checking out Fargo just to visit, the city is never short on community events especially during the warm summer months. One of the best parts of Fargo is that their community events are typically open and inclusive for all people and ages.

  • Rib Fest is typically one of the first events to kick off summer in Fargo. Vendors travel from far and wide to bring their ribs and BBQ cooking to be judged by Fargo residents. This is a great event for the disability community. All the vendors are in one place, located atop a flat parking lot so trying all the different foods is easy. Vendor booths are also low to the ground so you won’t have to worry about shouting over a tall counter top to place your order. Lots of sunshine and outdoor bands make this a great outing.

  • The Red River Valley Fair takes place in Fargo every summer. While this even is a little more challenging for limited mobility users than Rib Fest, “the Fair” offers something for everyone. Not all the rides are handicapped accessible and depending on if it rains, you may have to maneuver your wheelchair through muddy patches. A variety of food and vendor booths make it worth checking out with a buddy who could help you maneuver through the grass if needed.

  • The Downtown Street Fair is another great summer tradition in Fargo. While more accessible than the Red River Valley Fair, the Street Fair offers food vendors and retail vendors selling jewelry, pottery, crafts, and more. Beware of crowds which at peak times during the weekend could make it challenging to get your chair through the crowds of people. To avoid the crowds, visit during one of the week days in the evening to treat yourself to good shopping and yummy food.

Accessible Entertainment and Nightlife

Fargodome Entertainment Venue
Fargodome Entertainment Venue | Source

Fargo is no stranger to bars, restaurants, and nightlife. New restaurants are constantly popping up downtown. If you have difficulty traveling long distances, downtown is a great option for nightly entertainment as you can easily walk from restaurants to bars all along Broadway and even catch a show at the famous Fargo Theater, lined up and down the one street. You won’t be wandering for blocks or having to worry about finding a taxi or accessible transportation thanks to the close proximity that the businesses on Broadway have to offer.

The Fargo Dome is the premier events venue, offering a variety of shows and concerts throughout the year. You can easily purchase wheelchair accessible tickets for all events. All bathrooms, concessions, and facilities are also fully accessible.

Some restaurants you might want to check out thanks to their open spaces to accommodate mobility equipment, accommodating staff, and welcoming environment of patrons of all abilities include:

  • Spitfire

    • A BBQ restaurant, Spit fire offers great food and roll under booths for wheelchair users to easily slide up to their tables.

  • Old Broadway

    • A high energy restaurant, Old Broadway offers lots of different seating options to accommodate your physical needs, including bar stools, booths, or tables.

  • Granite City

    • A big floor plan offers easy access and space for wheelchair users to maneuver to their table at this American restaurant.

  • Juano’s

    • A staple Mexican restaurant downtown Fargo, the owner makes a point to greet all patrons and ensure you are comfortable at the table in which you are seated.

  • Smiling Moose

    • Lots of open space at this downtown restaurant and a low counter make ordering your food easy, even from the seat of a wheelchair. Although a quick service restaurant, the staff bring the food out to your table.

  • Moxie Java

    • The baristas at this downtown coffee shop are always willing to help carry your drinks and food to your table.

Getting Around

During your visit, Fargo offers a variety of public transportation options including a bus line reaching all neighborhoods in Fargo and Moorhead and all buses are wheelchair friendly. Mat Bus even offers paratransit services for those who are unable to ride the traditional bus without assistance. Rides for the paratransit service cost $3 a piece or you can purchase a coupon book for $60 that covers 20 rides.

Various taxi companies also operate in the Fargo area. FM taxi offers the ability to book your ride from the comfort of your home or online at taxifargo.com. Look for Lucky 7 or Doyle cabs, as well.

Finding Housing

Accessible housing in Fargo, ND
Accessible housing in Fargo, ND | Source

Thinking about making a permanent move? While we don’t all live in igloos “Up North,” finding accessible housing is becoming more and more easy in Fargo. Whether you are looking for an apartment or condo to rent or a house to own, Fargo offers lots of different options for wheelchair users or people with mobility impairments.

Fargo’s downtown has been prospering over the years and is quickly becoming the hot spot of the city, full of bars, restaurants, businesses, and nightlife. If you want to be a part of the downtown scene, you can pretty much find an old historic building being renovated into an apartment complex all the time. Start your apartment search with Park East apartments, High Pointe Apartments, and Central Park Apartments all feature handicap accessible units, made for wheelchair user access.

If you’re not into the downtown lifestyle, Fargo offers several cozy family neighbors in South Fargo, Moorhead (the adjoining city across the Red River) and West Fargo which is centrally located near the biggest shopping mall in the area. Split level homes are very popular in this area which may prove challenging for a house hunter on wheels. There are, however, rambler options scattered throughout the city which are a better option for people with mobility limitations concerned about navigating stairs.

Making Money

Now that you’ve found your perfect housing option, it’s time to find your perfect job in Fargo. Fargo is quickly becoming an IT hot spot. With companies like Microsoft, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Digikey, and Noridian, just to name a few, these IT companies offer a variety of jobs in an office setting which can easily accommodate an employee in a wheelchair or someone looking for low impact and not physically demanding employment.

Organizations and Support

If you are new to the area, and are looking for support services or to connect with other people with disabilities, there are several organizations that support the disability community in Fargo.

  • North Dakota Association for the Disabled

    A non-profit organization that assists people in the state of North Dakota with mental and physical disabilities. Watch the video below to learn more about how they service North Dakota’s disability community.

  • Freedom Resource Center

    This organization is dedicated to working for the rights of people with disabilities. Located in Fargo, their mission is to work toward equality and inclusion for people with disabilities through programs of empowerment, community education, and systems change.

  • Hope, Inc.

    Based in neighboring Moorhead, Hope Inc. Hope, Inc. specializes in improving the lives of children with disabilities in the Fargo area. They offer seasonal activities for children with disabilities like Zumba, wheelchair soccer, and hockey. They were even featured on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Daily Living

Hand controls in vehicle
Hand controls in vehicle | Source

If you are moving to the Fargo area and are looking for home health aides, start with a visit to North Dakota Health and Human Services. They will be able to connect you to a variety of home health services depending on your needs.

If you are looking to adapt your vehicle to make it handicapped accessible, you will want to stop by Bert’s Truck Equipment in neighboring Moorhead on Highway 75. They specialize in adapting vehicles and even sell mobility equipment to special fit your car, truck, van or SUV like wheelchair lifts and pedal extensions.

For other home healthcare products, Sanford Healthcare Accessories in Fargo will provide all of your product needs from wheelchair parts and repair to lift chairs and recliners and crutch / walker accessories.


So why not give Fargo a try? Fargo's warm people, abundance of events and activities, and wheelchair friendly attractions make Fargo a great travel destination for wheelchair users.

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    • WheelerWife profile image
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      WheelerWife 2 years ago from Minnesota

      hi Cari Jean - thanks for commenting! How cool you went to college in Fargo - ND is the best!

    • profile image

      Cari Jean 2 years ago

      Great Hub! I went to college in Fargo and now live in Bismarck. Both are great places to live or visit in North Dakota!