North Dakota Top 10 Attractions

North Dakota is one of the top destinations in the United States for those with an interest in nature or wildlife, but it also houses zoos, museums, and theaters to provide well-rounded entertainment options for all. Visitors travel to North Dakota for hunting and fishing in a tranquil state, but you can also go for a walk along a river, enjoy the friendliness along the border with Canada, or go out for a night on the town. Agritourism thrives in North Dakota, as do casinos and with the choice of cities or countryside locations, you can find the type of attractions that appeal to you. Lets explore the top 10 attractions in North Dakota.

1: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Matt Zimmerman

Comprised of three separate wildlife areas, this national park is named for President Theodore Roosevelt, a noted naturalist and outdoorsman. His Elkhorn ranch, the second of his ranches that he purchased after falling in love with North Dakota on a buffalo hunt, gives name to the Elkhorn Ranch Unit of the park. The main attraction here, besides the sparse and empty beauty of the badlands, is the wildlife. Roosevelt's beloved buffalo can be found here, as well as various types of deer, elk, wild horses, sheep and prairie dogs.

Address: Medora, ND 58645
Website: www.nps.gov

2: Fort Mandan Overlook State Historic Site

Fort Mandan Overlook State Historic Site

In the winter of 1804, the famed explorers Lewis and Clark built the fort over which this overlook presides. It was here that they met their equally famed Native guide, Sacagawea. Because the fort itself was ultimately swallowed by the nearby river, most of what is known about the fort's history was extrapolated based on found artifacts like arrowheads, pottery, and tools made from animal bones. Today visitors can enjoy an extensive and interactive exhibit detailing the area's history, as well as its current activities and conditions

Address: 8th St SW, Washburn, ND 58577

3: Maah Daah Hey Trail

Maah Daah Hey Trail

This 96-mile trail connects the North and South Units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, allowing hikers and horseback riders to get an intimate look at this beautiful and desolate area. The trail is marked by the Maah Daah Hey symbol of a turtle, signifying patience and determination, two necessary components to hiking the trail in its entirety. Overnight campsites with potable water and fire rings exist for thru-hikers, although campers are advised to be aware of the surrounding wildlife.

Address: Medora, ND 58645

4: North Dakota Heritage Center

North Dakota Heritage Center

This fascinating museum details the history of North Dakota going all the way back to the age of the dinosaurs. Visitors can explore exhibits featuring indigenous people and the artifacts that they left behind. But the past is not the only thing on display. Exhibits with their sights trained on the future include a prototype of a Mars space suit and the possibilities afforded by industry and energy. In every exhibit, the star of the show is North Dakota, whether during its prehistory or its modern iteration as an agricultural powerhouse.

Address: 612 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501

5: Chateau de Mores State Historic Site

Chateau de Mores State Historic Site

Named after the Marquis de Mores who purchased this estate and lived here beginning in 1893, this historical site preserves his life and daily tasks as they existed at the time. The Chateau itself was the summer home of the de Mores family, and still displays some original family artifacts. Nearby, the former packing plant where de Mores would slaughter and process beef is now only recognizable by the lone clay chimney that remains. Stagecoach tours run from here to nearby Deadwood, and there is even an undercurrent of intrigue as visitors can observe a dramatic re-enactment of the Marquis de Mores being charged with murder.

Address: 3426 Chateau Rd, Medora, ND 58645

6: National Buffalo Museum

National Buffalo Museum

Once upon a time, buffalo roamed the plains of the United States in such numbers that the land would appear black all the way to the horizon. These days, the land has been tamed and the roaming buffalo herds are a mere fraction of their former numbers. The National Buffalo Museum seeks to preserve the heritage and history of this animal that was such a hallowed part of life on these plains. In addition to educational exhibitions, a live buffalo herd is kept here, which includes the famous albino buffalo known as White Cloud.

Address: 500 17th St SE, Jamestown, ND 58401

7: International Peace Garden

International Peace Garden
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Kurt Haubrich

This garden lies on the border between the United States and Canada, and was constructed in 1932 as a monument to the peaceful relations enjoyed between the two nations. As it is a garden, over 150,000 flowers are planted every year. Four concrete towers stand, two in each country, with a chapel at the base for quiet reflection. The park also features fountains, chimes, and parts of the World Trade Center from the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks.

Address: 10939 US-281, Dunseith, ND 58329

8: Fargo Theatre

Fargo Theatre
Photo Courtesy: fargotheatre.org

The marquee that marks the Fargo Theatre reveals its origins as a vaudeville and cinema theatre built in 1926. In addition to the high caliber films for which it is known, it also occasionally features live performances. Because of its long and successful history of being a downtown destination since the Jazz Age, it has been officially added to the National Register of Historic Places, making it a necessary stop for history buffs as well as film enthusiasts.

Address: 314 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102

9: Dakota Zoo

Dakota Zoo
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Josh Grenier

This zoo's origins are humble, beginning with a married couple's domesticated animals. What began as a boarding house for cats, dogs, and horses soon grew, as concerned citizens would leave strays and feral animals to the couple for safekeeping. Eventually a petition to open a community zoo was signed, and the Dakota Zoo began. It now houses a variety of exotic animals including camels and snow leopards, as well as native fauna like pronghorns and coyotes.

Address: 602 Riverside Park Rd, Bismarck, ND 58504

10: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

Originally inhabited by the Mandan native tribe in 1575, this area became a military post in the 19th century. Famed and ultimately ill fated U.S. lieutenant colonel George Custer served here before his demise during the Battle of Little Bighorn. The On-A-Slant Indian Village, an earthlodge compound inhabited by the Mandans, has been partially recreated for visitors. The Custer House has been rebuilt for the sake of preserving history, and the Five Nations art house deals in works created by Native peoples.

Address: 4480 Fort Lincoln Rd, Mandan, ND 58554

Read More

North Dakota Travel Guide

Explore Guide