Only in North Dakota

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Looking to do something different this May? North Dakota is a one-of-a-kind place offering travelers a range of only-here things to do. Get acquainted with the state’s pristine, rugged outdoors on a hiking trail or bike path. Learn about the deep history of this prairie state which has seen the likes of dinosaurs, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, as well as Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. Delve into the rich culture that is North Dakota today, whether at a museum, a restaurant or community coffee shop.

An Array of Activities

Take advantage of North Dakota’s healthy wind supply and fill the sky with colorful kites at a kite festival. Get in step with runners at the Fargo Marathon or take part in Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at Sleepy Hollow Theatre and Arts Park in Bismarck. Catch glimpses of reemerging wildlife in its natural habitat at a state park or at North Dakota’s treasured Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The National Park Service loans visitors Fun Packs (binoculars, guide books and activity sheets) at the visitor center, so pick one up and help the kids earn a Junior Ranger badge. Art abounds in North Dakota, just not always in the most traditional forms. Explore the Enchanted Highway in the western part of the state to see some of the world’s largest metal sculptures, including a tin family. In Minot, visit an exquisite replica of a Norwegian Stave Church at the world’s only outdoor museum devoted to featuring all five Nordic countries. Fishing season is year-round in North Dakota, so spend an afternoon learning more about the state’s different fish species at the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery and Aquarium. A wetlands trail near the hatchery provides a unique perspective into the value of wetlands and affords views of a portion of Garrison Dam.

A Distinctive Past

Travelers today have many opportunities to learn about the state’s earliest residents. Dinosaurs were here first and several museums and sites comprehensively educate visitors on North Dakota’s prehistoric past. To learn more about ways Native American tribes thrived on the vast and sparse plains, stop at Mandan’s Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, which is also the site of On-A-Slant Mandan Indian Village. Tour reconstructed earthlodges and stop at the visitor center  to see artifacts from the site. Washburn’s Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center focuses on another point in North Dakota’s varied history and highlights the historical events and sites from the Corps of Discovery’s journey through the area. The Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora has an extensive collection of permanent and traveling western culture exhibits and a top-notch gift shop. Get lost in time and place roaming the must-see exhibits at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck.

A Unique Cuisine

Good food is not hard to find in North Dakota. Statewide agriculture provides local chefs with fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. Visit Pirogue Grille, Peacock Alley or Terra Nomad in Bismarck to taste the flavors of bison, pheasant and crisp field greens, Taylor Made BBQ in Mandan - which recently opened to rave reviews – features North Dakota meats on its menu. Join patrons of the 80-year-old Bismarck Tavern in downtown Fargo for a truly genuine, old-school pub vibe. Stop in at local diners and cafes in towns like Linton, Lisbon, Hettinger or Hague to interact with locals and savor regional favorites like knoephla soup or kuchen (German for ‘cake’). Refuel along your North Dakota journey in charming coffee shops like Jamestown’s Babb’s Coffee House, Urban Stampede in Grand Forks or the Brew Coffee House in Dickinson.