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14 Drops in the Bucket

Get started on your very own bucket list of things to see and do in North Dakota

We’ve all heard of bucket lists – the things somebody wants to do before they can’t do them anymore. Bucket lists, like people, are personal. Joe can’t really tell Sally what to put on the list, and vice versa. There are many things to do in North Dakota that would fit nicely, and they are as varied as the people trying to put their lists together. This is a list the North Dakota Tourism staff offered (from their own personal goals) for those having trouble starting. Consider these activities as you begin to throw things in the bucket for this winter or next summer:

  • RIDE ON: Motorcycle all around the state collecting Scenic ByRider (www.ndtourism.com/articles/north-dakota-scenic-byrider-program) routes and staying in quaint motels in small towns. Make sure one stop is the Cavalier Motorcycle Ride-In.
  • GIRLFRIEND GETAWAY: Gather some girlfriends and attend a culinary event at Coteau des Prairie Lodge near Rutland. Special concert and even seven-course meal events can be found on their calendar.
  • GETTING LOOPY: Hike Bob’s Loop Trail in rugged and beautiful Little Missouri State Park. It's a hidden gem.
  • REELING IN THE YEAR: Check out the Fargo Film Festival at the Fargo Theatre and watch a theatrical performance at Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts in New Rockford.
  • YE OLDE ENGLISH: Attend one (or more) of the three-weekend Dickens Village Festival events in Garrison this November. Potato on a stick, you can’t go wrong. 
  • GOBBLE IT UP: Don’t wait until November to enjoy turkey when Aneta puts on a mean turkey barbecue and summer festival in June.
  • GREAT EXPERIMENT: Check out the Denbigh Experimental Forest near Towner. This one-of-a-kind forest (an experiment, mind you) provides a place for hiking, horseback riding, berry picking, cross-country skiing, birding and wildlife viewing.
  • ICE ICE BABY: Go ice fishing on legendary Devils Lake. With many species holding at very high levels, you can catch some trophy perch, walleye and pike. This is a must for every avid angler with or without an ice house.
  • BIKE IT: Mountain bike the six-mile-long Nux Baa Gaa Trail at Indian Hills Resort neat Garrison. When you get hot and tired, head down to the soothing blue waters of Lake Sakakawea.
  • YURTING: It’s not roughing it or glamping. Yurting is something in between; off the ground yet not out of the woods. Cross Ranch, Fort Ransom and Lake Metigoshe state parks have these interesting lodging choices.
  • GIDDY UP: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan has nearly seven miles of trails conducive to horseback riding. After all, the fort was home to the 7th Cavalry.
  • LIFE’S A MARATHON: Full or half marathon, start training – or continue training – now to get ready for the Fargo Marathon in May. Thirteen miles or 26, don’t wait until May to start getting in shape. Fargo also offers a 5K, 10K and relays.
  • PEACE AND QUIET: Take a trip to the International Peace Garden on the U.S.-Canada border north of Dunseith. Spend the night in the Turtle Mountains. The quiet solitude – aside for an occasional noisy moose – will make you forget all your worries.
  • THEY’RE NO. 1: Most years, University of North Dakota hockey and North Dakota State University football can literally make that claim at some point in the season. See them in action at Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Fargodome.
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