If you are looking for peace, quiet, spectacular natural beauty and warm hospitality, you will find it in North Dakota. Of the lower 48 states, North Dakota is one of America’s least populated and most scenic which is wide-open for travelers to explore.
A paradise for lovers of extreme outdoor adventure, North Dakota offers unspoiled wilderness, plush river valleys, unique rock formations of the wild and rugged Badlands, rolling grasslands, natural springs, wildflowers and a wealth of diverse wildlife which inspired Theodore Roosevelt to establish the National Forest Service as stewards of America’s finest natural resources and amenities.
Extreme outdoor adventure opportunities abound: hike, bike, rock climb, snow ski, fish, hunt or take a 4-wheel excursion on tracks seldom traveled. Recreational opportunities include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, photography, bird watching, boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and wildlife viewing. Grahams Island State Park near Devils Lake, located in the northern regions of the state, features the largest natural lake in the Dakotas.
Dig For Dinosaurs
It's said North Dakota once was a tropical paradise complete with giant lakes and the giant fish that used to swim in them. There is proof that other giants used to roam North Dakota in prehistoric times and they are being uncovered all the time. Take a legendary dinosaur tour to bone up on your very own Jurassic park.
With more wildlife refuges than any other state, North Dakota is the place for animal lovers. Wildlife of the region includes mule deer, whitetail deer elk, prairie dogs, wolf, moose, American Bison, wild horses, pronghorn sheep, bobcat and more than 180 species of birds. Get up close and personal with wildlife in North Dakota.
International Peace Garden
Tucked up against the Canadian Border to the north, North Dakota, known as the “Peace Garden State," is a Midwestern state with a diverse and rich historical heritage, a robust lifestyle and a treasure trove of scenic wonders to attract adventurous nature lovers and history buffs. Spanning the international border of North Dakota and Manitoba, the International Peace Garden, symbolic of the friendship between the United States and Canada since 1932 features more than 155,000 flowers, reflecting pools, lush gardens, chiming bells, and a memorial to 9/11 made from steel girders from the New York World Trade Center. Especially inviting in the spring and summer months, the garden is open year-round.
Dominated by the Great Plains, the eastern city of Fargo is home to the Plains Art Museum and thriving "foodie" culture as well as a broad assortment of galleries and unique shops featuring Native American and modern art.
The city of Minot honors the state’s immigrant history at the Scandinavian Heritage Association. Held every September in Minot, the Norsk Høstfest, is the largest Scandinavian festival in North America and the perfect place to sample inviting North Dakota hospitality and Nordic cuisine.
Adjacent to the Montana border, the Great Plains yield to the rugged Badlands near a point where the 70,000-acre Theodore Roosevelt National Park straddles the Little Missouri River. Visitors to this area can explore the painted canyons and unusual rock formations of clay and sandstone. From the park’s North Rim, visitors can view the erosional evidence of ancient ice sheets and giant glaciers that once covered the land.
Bismarck, the state capital, is home to the North Dakota Heritage Center-State Museum and just across the Missouri River near Mandan is Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, once utilized by General Custer as a vital military outpost. Within the park, restored military buildings and a Native American village known as “On-A-Slant” display artifacts to showcase the history of North Dakota. Honoring the state’s Native American legacy, the annual United Tribes International Powwow features 70 tribes from across North America.
The best way to explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park is to hike the complex web of hiking trails. Lace up your boots, slather on the sunscreen and you are ready to explore the natural environment and the many historical points of interest. The south unit of the park is easily accessed near the historic town of Medora.
This post is sponsored by North Dakota Tourism.