2023 North Dakota Visitors Guide
North Dakota, with a total land area of nearly 71,000 square miles is the 17th largest state yet less than 700,000 people live there. Often called the Peace Garden State, after the International Peace Gardens that straddle the border with Canada, manufacturing, and agriculture are primary industries in North Dakota. In Central North Dakota, be sure to stop in Bismarck, the state capital, and visit the North Dakota Heritage Center. Take a trip to Devils Lake—the largest natural lake in North Dakota, encompassing over 122,000 acres and with more than 375 miles of shoreline. Fargo and Grand Forks in the Red River Valley also have interesting things to see and do. In western North Dakota, stop and see Lewis and Clark State Park outside of Williston or drive down to the historic frontier town of Medora and visit the Mansion of the Marquis de Mores. Be sure to see the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site just outside of Stanton.
The state of North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba share the International Peace Garden, located on the International border near the town of Dunseith. This unique attraction features an interpretive center, floral displays, and a peace tower, and serves as a popular venue for tours, camping, and events. The largest urban center in Central North Dakota is Bismarck, home to several tourist attractions. The Lewis and Clarke Interpretive Center, Dakota Zoo, Five Nations Art Depot, and the North Dakota Heritage Center each offer examples of history and culture unique to the region.
Central North Dakota Visitors Guide
The Central North Dakota region encompasses the state capital Bismarck, the northern town of Bottineau, and Devils Lake and Jamestown in the east. The Great Plains region of this friendly state is predominantly agricultural, sparsely populated, and ideal for those looking for a peaceful, natural retreat. Devils Lake is the largest lake in the state and offers fishing that is arguably the best in the Midwest. Graham’s Island State Park is surrounded by water and provides water activities, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Jamestown, located east of Bismarck, is home to the National Buffalo Museum and the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.
North Dakota Valley Visitors Guide
The North Dakota Valley offers visitors interesting sights and diversions. In Fargo, attend the Fargo Theatre, the Fargo Opera, or spend the afternoon at the Red River Zoo. In Grand Forks, the other major center in the North Dakota Valley, stop and see the North Dakota Museum of Art or shop in one of the city’s excellent malls. While in the North Dakota Valley take a drive out to Turtle River State Park where ample opportunities abound for fishing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. The North Dakota Valley and the beautiful Red River offer a real alternative for a peaceful vacation break.
West North Dakota Visitors Guide
The western region of North Dakota is characterized by spectacular scenery and limitless recreational opportunities. Following suit, full-service hotels, restaurants, shopping, and culture can be found in all municipalities. Dickinson is a prime example as one of the region’s main, yet modestly populated, centers. Home to museums that document the area’s natural and social history, this community also hosts the Roughrider Days Fair and Expo, which showcases rodeo activities along with live entertainment and a midway.
Perhaps the most visited attraction in the state’s “wild” west is Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park encompasses more than 70,000 acres of land and is divided into three sections that stretch from Medora in the south to Watford City in the north. Its roaming wild buffalo herds and cattle ranches are examples of Roosevelt’s legacy of resource conservation. Many of the trails are only accessible by foot or horse. The park offers fishing in the Little Missouri River, interpretive programs, and hundreds of resident wildlife species. The highlight of the region is the spectacular Badlands of North Dakota. Canyons, bluffs, and buttes colored in bright reds and browns comprise the stunning topography and are best viewed at the Painted Canyon Overlook near Medora. Lewis & Clark State Park is located on the upper bays of Lake Sakakawea, east of Williston. It commemorates the expedition leaders who explored a path to the Pacific Northwest through western North Dakota in 1805.
Bismarck, ND Visitors Guide
Bismarck is often referred to as Bismarck-Mandan, as the city of Mandan is just 6 mi (10 km) across the Missouri River from Bismarck. As the capital city of North Dakota, Bismarck is rich with educational attractions, historic sites, and cultural events. Architecture enthusiasts enjoy embarking on a guided tour of the State Capitol, a 19-story Art Deco building built in the 1930s. Those fond of animals appreciate the Dakota Zoo, where over 125 species are represented, including monkeys, lions, wolves, insects, and reptiles. The nearby Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a historic site that was once an important infantry and cavalry post. Camping, hiking, and picnicking are popular activities in this 1,000-acre park. Every September Bismarck is abuzz during the United Tribes International Powwow, an event that draws over 70 tribes and 1,500 dancers and drummers eager to participate in the powwow performances.
Fargo Visitors Guide
Fargo is often referred to as Fargo-Moorhead, since Moorhead, Minnesota, is a mere five-minute drive across the state line. Fargo offers a diverse selection of activities that draw many visitors each year, including fascinating museums, challenging golf courses, and superb shopping opportunities. Four museums are found within the city, including the Fargo Air Museum, which showcases vintage aircraft and educational displays. Over 400,000 artifacts from the 1800s and early 1900s are found at Bonanzaville, a 15-acre historic village that features over 40 preserved buildings. Located just 10 minutes from Fargo, this village commemorates the history of the Midwest through its many displays. Fargo is also home to five public golf courses, including Rose Creek, a course that offers 18 holes of championship golf. Avid shoppers appreciate West Acres Shopping Center, which features 120 specialty shops, department stores, and restaurants, making it the largest mall in the area.
Grand Forks Visitors Guide
Grand Forks is the birthplace of Cream of Wheat and the home of the University of North Dakota, the state’s oldest institution of higher education and a significant source of cultural activity. The university attracts a host of local and national touring art exhibits housed at the North Dakota Museum of Art and offers college theater productions at Burtness Theatre. A must-see, the restored 1919 Empire Arts Center hosts a variety of theater productions, performing arts events, films, and lectures throughout the year. Recreation in Grand Forks is made easy at several recreational centers and parks, including the Greenway, a massive park that follows the Red River through the city and offers a wildflower garden, an extensive path system, and ski trails. The Grand Forks Park District operates over 15 skating rinks, and the city boasts several golf courses, including the Arnold Palmer-designed King’s Walk Golf Course.