Start Your Journey to North Dakota
Don't let vacation days go unused. Start planning your trip to Legendary North Dakota now
Every year, more than half of Americans (54 percent) fail to use all their time off, creating a stockpile of 662 million unused vacation days. The most effective remedy for American workers who want to use more vacation days is better planning. National Plan for Vacation Day, launched by Project: Time Off, is a call-to-action for Americans to stop making excuses and start making vacation plans. More planners report they are “very” or “extremely” happy with their relationships, health and well-being, company and job compared to non-planners.
From arts and entertainment to the great outdoors, and everything in between, visitors will find endless opportunities in North Dakota to have experiences tailored to their interests. Get your free North Dakota Travel Guide or choose from some of North Dakota’s more popular routes, and things to see and do along the way.
A few notable and new attractions:
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park 40th Anniversary — Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Grand Canyon of the North, offers great opportunities for breathtaking hiking, beginner and expert mountain biking and fantastic scenic views, many of which include wildlife like buffalo, wild horses, elk and bighorn sheep. The rugged 70,000-acre park honors Theodore Roosevelt, who ranched in the Badlands and established the National Park System while serving as our 26th president.
- A Smithsonian on the Plains — The North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum is a 97,000-square-foot world-class exhibit space located on the State Capitol Grounds in Bismarck. The facility boasts four interactive galleries and is home to a 67 million-year-old hadrosaur named Dakota found near Marmarth, N.D.; a NASA space suit built by the team at the University of North Dakota; and one of the premier displays of Northern Plains Indians artifacts. Watch for “The Horse” exhibit in 2018.
- North of Normal — Celebrating that it is unique in many ways, Fargo and its “North of Normal” attitude has much to offer visitors. Downtown is a destination that calls for repeat visits, especially from Canadians. Artists, entrepreneurs and foodies alike will enjoy attractions like the Plains Art Museum, Fargo Theatre, Hotel Donaldson, unique shops, eateries, microbreweries and eclectic variety. Fargo is also home to the North Dakota State Bison, the FCS college football champions in six of the last seven years.
- A Birder’s Paradise — With more wildlife refuges than any other state, 63 to be exact, North Dakota offers birders the opportunity to view some of the most unique species of birds on the planet. Locations like Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, near the Garrison Dam in central North Dakota, offer advice on where to find those must-see birds from its new visitor center. It also offers several viewing blinds.
- Lewis & Clark History — Explore where Lewis & Clark met Sakakawea on their journey through North Dakota with the Corps of Discovery. Experience Fort Mandan located along the scenic Missouri River near Washburn, North Dakota and visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center to see where the explorers spent part of their journey through the West.
- Adventure in the Gorge — Kayak the Pembina River and take a hike in the beautiful Pembina Gorge in northeast North Dakota. Check out the Pembina State Museum at North Dakota’s first settlement (on the Canadian border) founded in 1867 and view 10 miles of rich Red River Valley patchwork of farms.
- Ready for You — Minot is a cultural mecca best known as the home of the annual Norsk Hostfest, Scandinavian Heritage Park and the North Dakota State Fair. This is also the hometown of Josh Duhamel, who was quarterback for Minot State University. 10 North Main restaurant serves upscale steaks and a few of Josh’s favorite dishes with nice drinks.
- Get International — Travel to the International Peace Garden where you can have one foot in America and one in Canada! Celebrate its 85th anniversary July 14–15, 2018. The Garden is located near the Portal border crossing and feature a variety of northern flora.
- Great White Buffalo — Stop at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown and view a rare white buffalo, Dakota Miracle, which is sacred to our native tribes. White Cloud, a true albino bison and mother to Dakota Miracle, is on display inside the museum. You might also want a picture with “Dakota Thunder,” the “World’s Largest Buffalo” statue at the site.
- Rich Outdoor Opportunities — Fishing, birding and hunting adventures can be found at Devils Lake. This largest natural body of water in North Dakota is home to large numbers of walleye, northern pike and white bass, and is known as the “Perch Capital of the World.” Nearby attractions include Sullys Hill National Game Preserve, where wildlife viewing includes bison and elk.
- A Real Western Town — Medora is home to the greatest show in the West, the “Medora Musical,” as well as the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Chateau de Mores. Adventure seekers can ride a horse, ride a bike or take a hike on the Maah Daah Hey Trail. This 144-mile trail winds through the Little Missouri National Grassland (largest in the U.S.) and has been deemed an epic ride that challenges the most skilled while offering breathtaking views of North Dakota’s Badlands.
- Capitol City — Bismarck is the vibrant capital city of North Dakota and sits side-by-side with its sister city, Mandan, on the Missouri River, a recreation hub. Visitors to the area can experience historical and recreational activities, a vibrant nightlife, arts and a unique shopping scene. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, On-A-Slant Indian Village and one of the largest powwows in the country, the United Tribes International Powwow.
- Roadside Attractions at Their Best — The Enchanted Highway is populated with amazingly large metal sculptures, including one of the largest in the world, “Geese in Flight.” A tin family, grasshoppers, pheasants and more are spaced along a stretch of highway from the I-94 south to Regent.
- Rugged Western North Dakota — Williston offers visitors history, outdoor recreation and entertainment. Enjoy boating and fishing on Lake Sakakawea, play a round of golf at The Links of North Dakota, marvel at the beauty of the area at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center or step back in history with a visit to Fort Buford or Fort Union Trading Post.
- Hockey is the Sport of the North — A well-known hockey town, Grand Forks is home to the University of North Dakota championship hockey team which plays at what is often described as one of the finest hockey facilities in the world, “The Ralph.” This $104 million state-of-the-art facility has everything from marble floors to the leather seats. Grand Forks also offers up a lively downtown and town square for weekly events.
So you’re coming to North Dakota ...
How do you know what to bring? What to wear? Where to stay? What to do? You can find the answers to most of your questions online.
North Dakota can be fickle when it comes to weather, but other than the dead of winter, you’ll likely find enjoyable weather with warm, sunny days and cool to mild nights. Click here to find out what to bring and expect in terms of weather when you visit.
Should you be making a trip to North Dakota by automobile, plan ahead for possible construction zone delays. Click here for road conditions updated by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Click here for visitor services, digital travel guides and more to make your travels more hassle free.
Once you arrive, you will find adventures to fill your days and nights. Let the North Dakota Tourism website be your personal guide to attractions, accommodations and events. You may also find Best Places recommendations and itineraries.