Jake Cain is an entrepreneur and writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He spends his free time driving around the country in his late 90’s conversion van, affectionately known as the “Monster Van” with his wife and 3 boys.
Wide-open spaces, lush woodland settings, rugged badlands, North Dakota is one of the most untouched states in the country and also the least-visited. Most of the state is covered in endless wheat fields.
You can explore the outdoors which can be a very rewarding experience in North Dakota. The state also has a fascinating history and culture which you can explore through its museums.
Let us explore some of the best North Dakota vacation spots which you can visit.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a must-see in North Dakota. This lovely park is located where the Great Plains meet the North Dakota Badlands.
The park is named after the naturalist, rancher, and 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. The park is divided into two sections.
The North section is a great entry point for tourists, plus there is a visitor’s center, where there are exhibits on display on the park’s history, animals, and geography.
The park is really huge and it is difficult to explore it in a day. So bring your RV’s or camping gear and stay here for a night or two at one of the three camping facilities.
Fargo, North Dakota
One of the most populous cities in North Dakota, Fargo is the cultural and economic hub of the state. The city was once known as the gateway to the west, today visitors will find a wide range of activities in this town to keep them entertained.
Once it was also a fur-trading post, a ‘divorce capital,’ and a frontier town. One of the best city attractions is the Plains Art Museum, housed in the historic International Harvester Warehouse.
You can also learn more about the history of the city at Bonanzaville USA and explore the Fargo Air Museum.
There are also numerous theatres, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Medora, North Dakota
The historic town of Medora is like you have stepped back in time to the 1880s. Many people regard this town as the gateway to the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
There are lots to do in this historic town as well. You can visit several historic sites like Chateau de Mores, the Harold Schafer Heritage Center, the Von Hoffman House, and the Billings Country Courthouse Museum.
The city is also blessed with breathtaking scenery and loads of great outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, or camping. Plus, there are a number of restaurants in town where you can have a meal and almost all will have a cowboy theme.
The legendary Maah Daah Hey Trail attracts hikers, bikers, and horseback riders from near and far and is worth a visit.
Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota
If you are a biker or hiker in North Dakota it is unlikely that you have not heard about the Maah Daah Hey Trail. This is the longest and probably the toughest mountain bike route in the U.S.
You can cycle, hike, or even get your horse on this incredibly scenic trail. The trail goes through 7 miles of the most striking landscape in North Dakota, crossing towering peaks and plateaus, valleys, rivers and so much more on this long trail.
There are ten campgrounds along the way as well where you can rest if you are tired. Plus, there are amenities every twenty miles and everything is signposted.
Minot, North Dakota
Found in 1886, Minot is also known as the “Magic City” because of its rapid growth expansion. Though it is a laidback town, the downtown is being rejuvenated and many new shops and restaurants have opened up of late.
One of the best attractions in Minot is the Scandinavian Heritage Park where you can look at aspects of Scandinavian culture in the countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.
The favorites in this park include the replica Gol Stave Church, an 18th-century home transported from Sigdal, and a 25-foot-tall Swedish Dala horse on display.
Grand Forks, North Dakota
The third-largest city in North Dakota, Grand Forks lies on the banks of the spectacularly named Red River of the North. This is a lively college town that dates back to 1870.
Learn more about the history of Grand Forks on a tour of the Myra Museum and Grand Forks Historical Society. In 1997, this city suffered a tragic fire and flood and has been rebuilt since then.
The town has a very vibrant art and culture scene, plus some great restaurants on the offer. The town has a lot going and makes for a great vacation spot in North Dakota.
Bismarck, North Dakota
The town of Bismark was settled along the east bank of the Missouri River in 1872 by European immigrants, which now makes it a great vacation spot in North Dakota.
The city’s downtown is a great place to hang out as it has great restaurants, shopping centers, and bars. The most prominent city in the city’s sky is North Dakota State Capitol which a 21-story building surrounded by parks.
Summers in the state capital are lovely as there are lots of wheat fields here. If you are a history buff you can head to Buckstop Junction Historic Town, the Camp Hancock Historic Site, and Chief Looking’s Village Historic Site. Families with kids will have a great time at Gateway to Science interactive science center and the North Dakota Zoo.
Jamestown, North Dakota
Jamestown is a historic city in the heart of the North Dakota prairie. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you will love this town.
Learn about the history of the town when you walk down the Jamestown Talking Trail which is a cellphone-guided walk through the most prominent historic sites in the city, including the National Buffalo Museum, Frontier Village.
If you are interested in outdoor activities then you can try fishing, hiking, and biking.
Lisbon, North Dakota
A small town located in North Dakota, Lisbon is located along the 63-mile Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway and makes for a great vacation spot.
There are lots of outdoor activities that you can pursue like hiking, biking, boating, and fishing at Dead Colt Creek and Fort Ransom State Park. You can also visit the Sheyenne National Grasslands.
In winter, head to Bears Den Mountain Ski Area for skiing and snowboarding.
The Enchanted Highway, North Dakota
If you want to drive and relax, then you can take the Enchanted Highway. Much like its name, the highway begins at Exit 72 on the I-94 near Gladstone and runs for 32 miles to the little town of Regent.
You will find a number of unique roadside installations along the way made entirely from scrap metal by local artist Gary Greff. You can even look at the installations up close.
One of the most impressive works is entitled Geese in Flight (close to Exit 72), which currently holds a place in the Guinness World Book of Records as the largest scrap metal structure in the world.
Little Missouri State Park, North Dakota
Located 27 miles north of Killdeer on Highway 22, you can view the beauty of the North Dakota Badlands whose intricate stone formations have been shaped by the forces of nature over thousands of years.
Most of the area is only accessible by foot, so you need to bring sturdy boots to navigate the over 47 miles of trails.
North Dakota makes for a great place to explore the great outdoors and you can really have a great time here if you are an outdoor lover.
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