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Welcome to North Dakota
Welcome to North Dakota
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Warm Welcomes, Epic Events

There’s a common thread running through North Dakota – friendliness. In fact, “Dakota” is a Sioux Indian word meaning “friend.” This warmth extends throughout the many cultures who call the state home. Two of the state’s largest events are celebrations of cultures. In September, head to Bismarck for the United Tribes International Powwow, one of the nation’s largest powwows. It draws thousands of spectators to watch 1,500 Native American dancers and drummers from 70 tribes across the USA and Canada. Typically held in early October, the Norsk Høstfest is another awesome cultural experience. Held in Minot, it is the largest Scandinavian festival in the world outside of Scandinavia, complete with a Viking village, Nordic kitchen and plenty of food and craft vendors.


Touring North Dakota’s Attractions

In every corner of the state, you’ll find history, culture and nature. Stroll through a turn-of-the-20th-century pioneer town at Bonanzaville in West Fargo. Exercise creative muscles at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo. Check out the Badlands, which early Americans called “hell with the fires put out.” But today, explorers today call the North Dakota Badlands beautiful, rugged and amazing. Teddy Roosevelt was so impressed he built two ranches here. Visitors can tour the Maltese Cross Cabin before entering the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora. The Elkhorn Ranch unit north of Medora is the most remote of the park’s three units. The north unit near Watford City and south unit at Medora are also near trailheads of the 232-kilometer Maah Daah Hey Trail, a horseback riding, hiking and biking trail linking all units of the park. While in Medora, be sure to try the pitchfork steak fondue while watching the nightly Medora Musical.

Follow the Missouri River corridor and the Lewis and Clark Trail through North Dakota. At Bismarck-Mandan, visit Fort Abraham Lincoln, home of the 7th Cavalry when it left for Little Bighorn and On-A-Slant Mandan Indian Village. Other villages in the area include Chief Looking’s Village on the bluffs above the Missouri River within Bismarck and Double Ditch Indian Village adjacent to the river north of Bismarck. Learn about North Dakota’s colorful past at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum on the state capitol grounds (also in Bismarck). At Washburn, tour the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan, and stop at Sakakawea’s home at Knife River Indian Village in Stanton. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site was a hub of peaceful trading activity between area tribes and fur traders in the early 1800s. Hugh Glass, whose story was told in the movie “The Revenant,” was a hunter at the fort on the banks of the Missouri River near the confluence with the Yellowstone River and the Montana border.

Finally, the 930-hectare International Peace Garden on the border of the USA and Canada symbolizes peace between the two neighbors. During spring and summer, the gardens bloom with thousands of flowers surrounding rolling woodlands, two lakes and hiking and biking trails. Roam freely between the two countries within the garden’s borders.

Welcome to North Dakota
Welcome to North Dakota
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Fun Fact

A sunflower field in North Dakota
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Proof of North Dakota’s sunny disposition: The state grows the most sunflowers and makes the most honey in all of the USA.

Posing with statues at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in North Dakota
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During the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the explorers spent 214 days in North Dakota, of which 146 were spent at Fort Mandan near Washburn. That is the most time spent in any one location on the journey from the mouth of the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, which lasted more than two years.

Must see places

Aerial view of Wind Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Before he became the 26th president of the USA, Theodore Roosevelt became a conservationist and a cowboy inspired by his many years spent on this land. Drive through the Badlands to all three units of the park, and visit Roosevelt’s restored Maltese Cross Cabin. Take in the breathtaking view of Painted Canyon, where the rugged landscape described as “hell with the fires put out” competes with grazing bison for a most-worthy image. The only lines found at this lesser-traveled park are those separating the horizon from the blue skies.

Viewing sculptures along the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

Enchanted Highway

The rural roadside around the town of Regent is more than wide-open prairies and kilometers of pavement. It’s also a canvas of sorts for a local artist whose giant metal sculptures have a place in the Guinness World Records. The creations along the 48-kilometer route include a gaggle of geese, grasshoppers, fish and fishermen and a tin family. The highway ends – or begins – in Regent, where you’ll find a gift shop offering all the sculptures in miniature, as well as the Enchanted Castle Hotel.

A group tour at Fort Mandan in North Dakota

Fort Mandan

This replica fort along the Missouri River near Washburn recognizes the site where explorers Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-05, met Sakakawea in a nearby village and began logging their observations about the people and environment around them. Tour the reconstructed fort to imagine what life was like for the intrepid explorers and visit nearby Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center to see artifacts from the journey.

Exhibits inside the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota

National Buffalo Museum

This Jamestown museum dedicated to Plains history is in a log cabin within Frontier Village, a 19th century town with restored buildings, homes and businesses to tour. Museum exhibits reflect the history of bison in the area and feature Plains Indian artifacts. Among its collection is a full-body mount of the legendary white buffalo “White Cloud,” which used to live within the on-site herd. Don’t miss a photo op at the “World’s Largest Buffalo” statue.

Exterior of the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck

North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum

The official North Dakota history museum in Bismarck tracks the state’s evolution from 600 million years ago to the present and includes thousands of fossils, dinosaur skeletons and other exhibits. Permanent exhibits offer a glimpse into both the state’s past and future, highlighting prominent Native Americans, the settlement period, and North Dakota’s role in the nation’s military history and energy development.

Replica of a Stave church at the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota

Scandinavian Heritage Park

This Minot park commemorates Scandinavian pioneers who helped shape North Dakota. The park grounds feature statues of prominent Scandinavians, traditional structures and symbols, including a 9-meter-tall Dala Horse, a grass-roofed Stabbur (little Norwegian house used to store food), windmills, flags and the centerpiece – a full replica of a Stave church.

Inside the earth lodge at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

The remnants of three villages can be found at this site near Stanton, where Sakakawea first met Lewis and Clark. The museum showcases artifacts and crafts from the site, and a reconstructed earthlodge allows visitors a first-hand look at life in the lodge. Remains of earthlodge dwellings, cache pits, fortification ditches and trails can be seen.

Exploring the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota

Plains Art Museum

Fargo’s plains-oriented art museum houses nearly 4,000 works in its permanent collection, including regional and national art, Native American art, historic photographs and murals. The museum is located within a collection of craft breweries, eclectic shops and unique eateries in the city’s vibrant downtown.

Fishing on Devils Lake in North Dakota

Devils Lake

Devils Lake is a summer and winter recreational destination for those who love the outdoors, especially fishing, boating, hunting and water sports. Graham’s Island State Park, White Horse Hill National Game Preserve and Fort Totten State Historic Site surround the lake. Plan a stay or enjoy entertainment and dining at Spirit Lake Casino & Resort, which sits on the banks of Devils Lake within the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Visitors taking a selfie at International Peace Garden in North Dakota

International Peace Garden and Mystical Horizons

The 930-hectare garden dedicated to peace between two nations is located in the Turtle Mountains on the USA-Canada border near Dunseith. Wander freely through the two countries, or stand in both countries at one time while in the lush, hilly, forested gardens. Attractions include a 9-11 memorial, floral flags, floral clock, a conservatory and Game Warden Museum. Nearby Mystical Horizons is known as North Dakota’s Stonehenge of the Prairie.

Explore North Dakota destinations

The Ace Hotel Rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, California
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Explore North Dakota destinations