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North Dakota

10 Best Things to Do in North Dakota

Suny Errot

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Channel your inner traveler and give the Peace Garden State a visit. The best things to do in North Dakota is too many to mention, but you’re sure to enjoy many outdoor activities, including those that highlight history and culture.

Check out the whole list:

1. Visit the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum

North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum
Source: North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum | Wikimedia Commons/State Museum

Go through thousands of specimens and artifacts, as well as interactive displays and exhibits in a place that believes history is for everyone. The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum shares the fascinating stories that trace the state’s rich history from the earliest geologic formation 600 million years ago to today. See the Northern Lights Atrium which is considered as the most unique architectural structure of the Northern Plains. Then, head to the museum store to check out gifts, or get some light snacks at the James River Cafe.

About the museum:

  • It is open from Monday til Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Address: 612 East Boulevard Avenue Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
  • Contact Number: 701-328-2666
  • Admission is always free!

2. Be Enchanted at the Enchanted Highway

Enchanted Highway
Source: Enchanted Highway | Flickr/Scott Yanke

Take a trip down the Enchanted Highway and see classic roadside art that’s sure to wow you and your family! This highway begins at Exit 72 on I-94 near Gladstone. It ends 3miles down the road in the town of Regent.

What to expect:

  • Geese in Flight (Gladstone on Interstate 94)
  • Deer Crossing
  • Grasshoppers
  • Fisherman’s Dream
  • Pheasants on the Prairie
  • Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again
  • Tin Family

Each sculpture or roadside attraction has its own parking area and kiosk with the exception of “Geese in Flight,” which can be viewed from the adjacent interstate.

3. Check out the National Buffalo Museum

The story of the American bison is worth exploring! No doubt, this is one of the best things to do in North Dakota. The National Buffalo Museum is a 6,000-square foot facility at the Frontier Village in Jamestown and displays the history of the bison in native American plains culture. It also showcases the evolution of the buffalo, its near extinction and restoration, as well as the designation as the United States national mammal.

After you’re done exploring the displays and exhibits, look for the live herd of bison and the rare white bison, Dakota Miracle. The museum maintains and protects a 25-30 head live buffalo herd that freely roams approximately 200 acres of pasture land.

4. Embrace the Scenic View of the Badlands Overlook

Badlands Overlook in North Dakota
Source: Badlands Overlook | QT Luong

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is just right off Interstate 94. There, you’ll see the most amazing view of the rugged Badlands. A lot of visitors go there for a quick bathroom break, but they all end up staying for a good hour or two because of the view. Look for a ranger who can also give you a presentation on how the cool formations came to be.

5. Spend the Day at Raging Rivers Waterpark

Raging Rivers Waterpark
Source: Raging Rivers Waterpark

Are you ready to spend the whole day experiencing four acres of wet and wild fun? Sure, you are! Cool off on a hot summer day and visit the Raging Rivers Waterpark, which is all about pools, tube slides, and a lazy river. There’s even a mini-golf, a snack bar, and the newest Aqua Play Area at this summer park.

Daily Pass Rates are as follows:

  • Captain Day Pass: $15.00 (for guests 48″ & taller)
  • Mate Day Pass: $12.00 (for guests less than 48″ tall)
  • Senior Day Pass: $12.00 (age 62+)
  • Age 3 and under: FREE
  • Spectators or non-swimmers can also get a pass at $ 8.00

6. Ride a Go-Kart at Thunder Road Family Fun Park

The Thunder Road Family Fun Park is known for having multiple attractions under one roof. There are golf courses, batting cages, bumper cars, and even a 5,000-square foot multi-level Lazer Tag Arena. Perhaps one of the most exciting activities to try is the 9-turn 1100 foot go-kart track which can be enjoyed by kids and adults! Zoom around the track’s different turns and race your friends head to head. The rate for the Go-Karts: Single or Double Kart $6 each, or you can also buy 5 tickets and get 1 free. * prices based on Feb 2019 update

Address: 2902 Thunder Rd S, Fargo, ND 58104

7. Attend the Norsk Hostfest

North America’s largest Scandinavian festival is held annually each fall in Minot, North Dakota. It’s a one-of-a-kind event that gives you the best Nordic entertainment, culinary treats, as well as a trip back in time showing the ancient traditions of artisans! Stick around to catch this Festival. You don’t want to miss this.

8. Beat the Heat at Splashers of the South Seas

Splashers of the South Seas
Source: Splashers of the South Seas | Flickr

Experience wild family water fun at this indoor water park complete with thrilling waterslides, pools, a play area, a lazy river, and a hot tub! This is a dream destination for people of all ages. There’s also the Garbonzo’s Pizza and Arcade where you can try exciting arcade games while snacking on their bestseller pizza.

9. Visit the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame

Examine the culture of the old West and its modern-day equivalent! Learning never stops here at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, which provides incredible exhibits on Western, Native America, and rodeo exhibits.

Admission Rates:

  • Adults – $9
  • Seniors – $7
  • Students – $6

If you have kids 18 and under, it’s best to take them on a Wednesday or Sunday to avail of the free admission!

10. Try Winter Sports at Huff Hills Ski Area

North Dakota’s source of winter fun is none other than Huff Hills Ski Area. The ski area can be found south of Bismarck/Mandan and along the western slope of the Missouri River. Enjoy skiing or snowboarding in this great family environment! Beginners in winter sports need not worry because the place also has a family-friendly terrain, and competent Snow School instructors who are available to give lessons.

Details:

  • 450-ft. vertical drop
  • 16 runs, the longest is .75 miles long
  • 4 lifts — double chairlifts, and a handle tow
  • A dedicated terrain park area
  • Off-piste runs and hike-in terrain

What are you waiting for? Give North Dakota’s largest ski area a visit!

North Dakota is a beautiful state that’s just waiting to be explored. Plan your visit now!

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