4 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in North Dakota

Jul 22, 2021

New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and even New Orleans, the other major American cities may be on the map for travelers, but even when we vacationers hear about these towns, we often forget that they are actually within driving distance.

North Dakota is no different. This state, which might not be on the radar of most Americans, offers a stunning rural landscape that would rival any national park. Its lonesome, empty roads belie the fact that there are tens of thousands of people in the towns and cities, living and working in the agriculture industry. Still, North Dakota offers plenty of untouched vistas that make it worth a visit.

Like every state in America, North Dakota offers a unique culture and history that makes it a destination worth traveling to, but its favorite appeal may just be its spectacular landscape. With endless hours of spectacular sights like the vistas of beautiful Badlands National Park, or Old Souris National Fish Hatchery, the state offers something for everyone.

Plan your trip with our list of the top places to visit in North Dakota, United States of America.

Grand Forks

Photo of Grand Forks, North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota: en.wikipedia.org

Grand Forks, the northernmost city in the US, is known as "The Gateway to the Black Hills." It is also the gateway to North Dakota's magnificent countryside, which offers exceptional outdoor opportunities throughout the year. The city itself has a pleasant small town feel, with the Dakota Gallery, where the art of Native Americans and other regional artisans can be viewed, as well as the Westminister Chamber of Commerce. A number of outdoor activities can be enjoyed, including fishing, hiking, and hunting. There are several parks, one of which, Fitzgerald Park, has picnic tables and a shelter. Take the Children's Discovery Trail, a 2.5-kilometer paved trail along the waterfront that can be accessed through several points. The region is particularly well known for its numerous hiking trails, including the Beaver River Trail and the White Buffalo Trail. They can be reached via the parking lots at the Badlands Visitor Center, 1.5 km to the south of the city center, and at the Grand Forks Visitor Center, 30 km to the southeast, and are accessible in winter only.


Photo of Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck, North Dakota: en.wikipedia.org

Bismarck is the capital and largest city of North Dakota and the home of the state capitol. As of 2010, Bismarck has more than 50,000 residents and is located approximately midway between the city of Fargo and the Canadian border. Bismarck's attractions include historic downtown districts, the Water Power Park, and public art such as a river sculpture in the Bismarck Mall. The city's Water Power Park, located a short drive east of downtown, is a well-preserved and restored collection of early 20th-century buildings that serve as the headquarters of the Bismarck-Mandan Electric Cooperative, a co-op that provides electricity to more than 90,000 customers in 14 counties in North Dakota. There are two historic district districts: the northern section, a compilation of townhouses and commercial buildings, is located on North Broadway Avenue, while the southern section, along Pine Street, contains more stately residences. Downtown Bismarck's commercial districts, such as Commerce Square and Broadway, contain the city's office buildings, stores, restaurants, and bars. Bismarck is home to one of the largest assemblages of commercial buildings in the Midwest. Many of the downtown districts are narrow brick streets lined with two- and three-story buildings. Architectural styles vary, from Italianate and Greek Revival to Beaux-Arts and Collegiate Gothic.

International Peace Garden

Photo of International Peace Garden
International Peace Garden: en.wikipedia.org

This beautiful 145-acre park with one of the most stunning landscapes of North Dakota is located in the town of Temple. The park is a collection of flower gardens, ponds, an award-winning children's playground, a 4-foot glass-enclosed, 8,000-square-foot "Believe" sculpture by renowned artist Louise Nevelson, several art exhibitions, and the Fountain of Youth. Fountain of Youth, sculpted by Nevelson and installed in 1990, is located in the park. The fountain features a six-sided geyser, surrounded by six triangular ponds. Though many of the surrounding trees, meadows, and fields have been planted and maintained in the latest of Earth-friendly landscaping techniques, a parking area to the north remains the park's only open-to-the-public component.

Fort Abraham Lincoln

Photo of Fort Abraham Lincoln
Fort Abraham Lincoln: en.wikipedia.org

Founded in 1883, Fort Abraham Lincoln was built in a prominent spot on the Great Plains, to be used as a defense against an attack from the north. Today, the mission of the United States Army is not only to protect the country's territory, but to promote democracy abroad. Presently, they are engaged in a variety of missions in the Middle East and Africa. One of these missions is Operation Iraqi Freedom, which aims to promote a democratic future for the Middle East. With the end of the Iraqi war, the main base in Fort Abraham Lincoln may be closed. After a period of time, the historic fort may be converted to serve as a school for disadvantaged youth.