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7 of the Most Beautiful Places to See in North Dakota

Jamie Delos Reyes

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Nicknamed the Peace Garden State, massive expanses of plains dominate North Dakota’s geography. However, it is full of stunning nature spots that stand out from the rest of the country by its sheer diversity and beauty. From rolling badlands to gentle hills and gorgeous river valleys, North Dakota bursting with breathtaking sights. Go for the best road trip ever, and explore the most beautiful places to see in North Dakota!

1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

This is North Dakota’s most famous and popular park, located in the western region and visited by thousands of people year-round. It is named after the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.

Winding its way through the park, the Little Missouri River still enchants visitors the same way it enchanted the former president himself. It is separated into a North and South Unit, with plenty of hiking trails and scenic drives situated along both.

Aside from the rolling badlands, the park also features the Painted Canyons, and the Painted Canyons Visitor Center provides one of the best viewpoints to see the natural wonders.

2. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Park

The Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Park stands near Stanton, on an old camping ground of the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians. Villages have been rebuilt here, attempting to preserve Native American culture for the next generations. The grounds feature a museum, housing artifacts and relics from the villages, as well as important cultural emblems of the native people who resided in the area before.

Visitors can also walk along the Village Trail, experience the earth lodge, and hike along the different trails winding through the beautiful, scenic landscape. This site is a historic place that keeps traditional Native American culture alive.  Have a closer look at the life of ancient Native Americans. Experience their culture and history first hand, with visitors from all walks of life.

3. Plains Art Museum

Plains Art Museum, North Dakota
Photo Credits: Travel Notes

In the historic downtown of Fargo lies the Plains Art Museum. It features a diverse collection of contemporary art by artists interrogating the zeitgeist of North Dakotan culture. You can also find a colorful line-up of traditional Native American art as well. In addition, the permanent collection highlights traditional folk art.

The museum also hosts various exhibitions throughout the year and hosts public art and gardens throughout the city. Satisfy your artistic side in one of the most beautiful places to see in North Dakota!

4. Scandinavian Heritage Park

Scandinavian Heritage Park, North Dakota
Photo Credits: Star Tribune

Perhaps unique in the whole country, Minot offers a glimpse into a different culture via its Scandinavian Heritage Park. Featuring glimpses into the cultures of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, the Scandinavian Heritage Park is an outdoor museum. It has replicas of various historical buildings, statues, and art found in Scandinavian culture.

There is a replica of the Gol Stave church on the grounds, as well as an entire 18th century home transported from Sigdal. On display as well is a 25-foot tall Swedish Dala Horse. The site is popular with visitors due to its Finnish sauna and Danish windmill found on the grounds. Visiting the Scandinavian Heritage Park is like going into another country, without leaving the US!

5. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, North Dakota
Photo Credits: Bring Fido

Looking for a place where you can engage with history, hike stunning nature trails, and spend a few nights next to the water? Fort Abraham Lincoln is the place for you! It features its extensive military history but also honors its Native American roots. Every corner reflects this duality. Marvel at reconstructed buildings such as the Custer House and a Mandan Indian Village that looks straight out of the past.

A full seven miles of stunning nature trails attract visitors from all over. People come to camp, hike, and go horseback riding among the scenic views. The state park also offers a modern campground beside the Missouri River. Slow down, take a breather among the beautiful sights of the flowing river, and feel at home in this slice of North Dakota.

6. Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota
Photo Credits: Franklin Arts

It is North Dakota’s largest reservoir, found in the west-central region of the state. It is comprised of 1,500 miles of shoreline, and as such is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy their time near the water. The lake offers year-round fishing opportunities, as well as sailing, kayaking, and the like.

Visitors can camp on the shore beside its crystal clear, vibrant blue waters on the modern campgrounds offered. Visitors can enjoy their time among the gently rolling plains and the view of miles and miles of blue sky and uninterrupted blue water. With these scenic views, Lake Sakakawea is a quiet oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of city life.

7. Maah Daah Hey Trail

Maah Daah Hey, North Dakota
Photo Credits: Adventure Cycling

This trail is one of North Dakota’s best-kept secrets for avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Virtually untouched, the Maah Daah Hey Trail is popular for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. It is 140 miles of uninterrupted, iconic North Dakota views and landscape. The trails cover the badlands, the Little Missouri River Valley, and some parts of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The entire trail can take up to ten days to navigate for adventurous and ambitious trail goers and is not for the faint of heart. However, it is also ideal for day trips for hikers looking for a less strenuous hike. Scenic views and incredible landscapes make this trail hard to beat in terms of beauty, and it is considered one of the most beautiful trails in the state.

North Dakota is an underrated state when it comes to natural landmarks. However, its culture, scenic views, and hospitable people set it apart from the rest. Looking for something new to switch up your routine? Breathe new life into your usual vacation by visiting the most beautiful places to see in North Dakota!

When you’re done exploring these stunning sights, fill the next leg of your itinerary with the 10 best things to do in North Dakota!

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