The Best Hotels to Book in Grand Forks, North Dakota

The countryside around Grand Forks offers a taste of classic Dakotas charm
The countryside around Grand Forks offers a taste of classic Dakotas charm | © America / Alamy Stock Photo
Doug Murray

As the Red River lazily snakes along the eastern border of North Dakota, it forks with the Red Lake River coming in from Minnesota. The French named Grand Forks but it was an American steamboat captain who planted a community here after his boat got stuck in the river. The terrain is so flat you don’t even need a clear day to see forever: just get to the top floor of one of the best hotels to book in Grand Forks and look out over a city buzzing with youthful energy.

1. Hampton Inn & Suites Grand Forks, for easy highway access

Budget Hotel, Suite Hotel, Chain Hotel

Hampton Inn and Suites Grand Forks dining area and bar with high ceilings and dark wood furniture
Courtesy of Hampton Inn and Suites Grand Forks / Expedia

Located on the western side of town, this hotel is just off a different kind of grand forks: where the 32nd Ave artery into town crosses the I-29. To the east are residential neighborhoods and big-box stores; to the west, the farmland and agribusinesses that remind you that Grand Forks is still, at its heart, a farming town. You’re walking distance to the Columbia Mall and an easy 15-minute drive from the historic downtown without being in the midst of the bustle.

2. Expressway Suites Grand Forks, for mingling with fellow guests

Chain Hotel, Suite Hotel

Expressway Suites Grand Forks indoor hot tub with seating area
Courtesy of Expressway Suites Grand Forks /

Maybe you’re in town for a convention at the Alerus Center just down the street. Maybe you’re enjoying the company so much that you want to keep socializing after hours. This is the perfect hotel for that. There’s the continental breakfast. The complimentary Tuesday night mingle. The foosball table. The indoor pool. And then there’s the hot tub that surpasses those you’ll find in other hotels in Grand Forks – or in the world, really: if it were deeper, you could do laps in it. Bring 20 of your friends for a relaxing soak before bed.

3. Hilton Garden Inn Grand Forks-UND, for proximity to the UND campus

Chain Hotel, Hotel

Hilton Garden Inn Grand Forks-UND dining area with high ceilings and unique lamps
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Grand Forks-UND / Expedia

Whether you’re in Grand Forks to help move your nest-leaver into their dorm or for some sightseeing at the nearby North Dakota Museum of Art, you don’t get to stay much closer to the University of North Dakota than this. In fact, take the skywalk for an almost futuristic step onto the UND Aerospace campus across the street. There’s ample parking, even for a U-Haul trailer, and the hotel is easy to reach: it’s just off the interstate. It’s a bit of a walk to all the UND’s sports stadiums so a car is essential if you want to catch your favorite Fighting Hawks team in action.

4. SpringHill Suites Grand Forks, for retro-futuristic decor

Chain Hotel, Hotel, Suite Hotel

SpringHill Suites Grand Forks room with sofa, wall art and desk
Courtesy of SpringHill Suites Grand Forks / Expedia

Unlike other hotels in this chain, the lobby and breakfast area here are reminiscent of how designers in the Sixties imagined the year 2000: retro-futuristic if you will. Like other hotels in this chain, a hot breakfast is included and you have access to amenities like a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub. Look out west towards the interstate at the right time of day and you can catch one of those Prairie sunsets over fields that seem to stretch forever.

5. Best Western Harvest Inn & Suites, for pet-friendly perks

Suite Hotel, Hotel, Chain Hotel

Best Western Harvest Inn and Suites indoor pool with seating area
Courtesy of Best Western Harvest Inn and Suites / Expedia

On a road trip with your dog? Park your RV, book into this pet-friendly hotel in Grand Forks and go shopping: there are several pet-supply stores within a few blocks from here. While there are plenty of green spaces around for walking good doggies, it’s only a 15-minute drive to Lincoln Drive Park along a bend in the Red River, where you can unleash your playful pups. Back in your suite, your fur babies can curl up next to you on the couch and try out their new toys.

6. Sleep Inn & Suites Grand Forks Alerus Center, for catching a Fighting Hawks game

Chain Hotel, Hostel, Suite Hotel

Sleep Inn and Suites Grand Forks Alerus Center room with sofa carpet and black and white wall art
Courtesy of Sleep Inn and Suites Grand Forks Alerus Center / Expedia

A dropkick away from Alerus Center, this is the perfect place to stay to catch a Fighting Hawks football game. If your furry friend is a Hawks supporter too, dress them in the green and white, turn on the TV and turn down the sound: they might just hear the cheers from the stadium in real-time from this pet-friendly hotel. After the game, relax in the heated indoor pool or hot tub: like the on-site fitness center, they’re open until midnight.

7. My Place Hotel-Grand Forks, ND, for a home-away-from-home with extra perks

Budget Hotel, Hotel

My Place Hotel-Grand Forks exterior with wood and brick construction and car park
Courtesy of My Place Hotel-Grand Forks / Expedia

Need to stay for a while? This all-suite hotel kitty-corner from the Alerus Center is easy on your wallet while still making this feel like a home away from home but with more luxuries: a prepackaged breakfast delivered to your fridge the day before, for instance, so that once the cat or dog woke you up – the hotel is pet-friendly – you can stumble out of bed, switch on the coffee maker, pop whatever you ordered in the microwave and get back into bed with a hot morning meal.

8. Staybridge Suites Grand Forks, for access to walking trails

Suite Hotel, Hotel, Chain Hotel

Staybridge Suites Grand Forks indoor pool with seating area and loungers
Courtesy of Staybridge Suites Grand Forks / Expedia

Sure, it’s conveniently located across from the Alerus Center and close to the university. Sure, the happy-hour socials are fun. But what if you’re just not up for mingling? This pet-friendly hotel is just over half a mile from tranquil Sertoma Park with its Japanese gardens and meditation area. Your dog will love the walk along the fitness trail that follows the meandering creek. Come back along the leafy residential streets to Prime Steel Park and from there take the trail that passes along the back of the hotel.

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