North Dakota – Take a Step Back in Time This Holiday Season
North Dakota’s history is as rich as it is varied and November is an ideal time of year to celebrate some of that variety.
Heed the History
Travelers to the state can get a taste of its history by visiting the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck. The center’s extensive collection features life-size dinosaurs, exquisite textiles of early people and an original European homestead shack. Just south of Mandan, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park offers visitors the opportunity to stroll through reconstructed earthlodges within On-A-Slant Mandan Indian Village. Washburn’s Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center showcases the North Dakota adventures of the Corps of Discovery during its quest to map territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. Medora’s Cowboy Hall of Fame is worth a visit to learn more about the American Wild West (limited hours in November). Bundle up and stroll through Minot’s Scandinavian Heritage Park to view a replica Stave church and a 25-foot-tall Swedish Dala Horse.
Celebrate Culinary Culture
Many North Dakotans carry on family traditions dating back generations. The holiday season is especially immersed in culinary traditions. Many small communities host events like the Almont Lutefisk and Lefse Supper offering visitors the opportunity to mingle with locals and taste uniquely Scandinavian and/or German flavors. Lefse and kuchen can be found in various North Dakota cafes, bakeries and grocery markets during the holiday season. A range of restaurants across the state offer anything from casual German comfort foods to elegant and delicious courses featuring locally-inspired fare like bison, walleye and pheasant. After a busy day of holiday shopping, treat yourself to a mouthwatering meal and a stein of German beer or a glass of Swedish Aquavit. Residents of this traditionally agricultural state incorporated farm-to-table dining long before it was hip. Locally sourced produce and meats continue to serve as an inspiration for North Dakota cooks today. Dine like a local at http://www.ndtourism.com/best-places/good-eats-north-dakota-style
Rejoice in Retail
The holiday season is upon us, meaning so is the season to s-h-o-p. Throughout November there are numerous art festivals showcasing and selling traditional North Dakota arts and crafts. The Big One Arts and Crafts Fair in Minot and Bismarck are sure-bets for a one-of-a-kind gift. Many communities across North Dakota have busy downtown commercial areas offering trendy clothing, homewares and gift boutiques. Kittsona, Lot 2029 and EcoChic have several locations in North Dakota. Unique boutiques like Fowler Heritage Company (Fargo), Unglued Market (Fargo), Crabapple Floral (Bismarck), 3rd Avenue Floral (Dickinson) and Hodenattes (Lisbon) are thoughtfully curated to appeal to a range of shoppers. Some of the biggest holiday shopping scores are off the beaten path. Antiquing enthusiasts often discover authentic North Dakotan heirlooms and traditional homewares in many of the state’s smaller communities. Check out the Capital Quilt Fest to snag a newly-made but soon-to-become family heirloom.
A Hunting Heritage
Hunting is a long-standing tradition in North Dakota and there’s a reason that the state ranks high in America’s top hunting destinations. Upland game and waterfowl hunting is at a peak during fall months. North Dakota’s prime location along the Central Flyway means that there are large flocks of migratory birds crossing the state, providing ideal circumstances for duck and goose hunters. Spend a day scouting autumn’s grassy prairie for pheasants in areas around Mott, Crosby and Ellendale. -Award-winning Rolling Plains Adventures offers more than 10,000 hunting acres for both waterfowl and upland hunting excursions. Multiple outfitters across North Dakota offer guided support and comfortable lodging to provide you with a memorable hunting experience.
For more information or for other pieces of North Dakota heritage, visit www.ndtourism.com.