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Bismarck - Popular Tourism City of North Dakota

5 Popular Tourism Cities of North Dakota (2024)

North Dakota is one of the most beautiful but least visited states in the United States. This Great Plains state has been undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in recent times thanks to an oil boom. Bordered on the western side by Montana and the eastern side by Minnesota, there are many beautiful and popular cities in North Dakota that are waiting to be discovered. There are many stunning locations across the state that are known for their distinctive culture and history.

5 Popular Tourism Cities of North Dakota

Here are the popular tourist cities in North Dakota that you simply cannot miss.

1. Fargo

If you have watched an episode of Fargo, the TV series, you will be familiar with the town. Fargo is the biggest city in North Dakota and is named after the co-founder of American Express, William George Fargo. Surprisingly, Fargo has one of the youngest populations in the US. Over the years, Fargo has undergone an incredible transformation to become a funky and vibrant city that you must visit.

The city is famous for being full of art, food, culture, and music. Its rich Scandinavian heritage and the frontier past of the town have made it a popular tourist destination for those who want to experience the past and present of America.

Fargo first became popular with the 1996 Coen Brothers blockbuster Fargo that firmly put the city on the pop-culture map of the US. Today the town is recognized for its family-friendly activities and natural beauty.

While in Fargo, take a cruise down Broadway to explore the many beautiful boutiques, shops, restaurants, and cafes in the downtown area. You must remember to take a family selfie as you pose in front of the famous Fargo Theater, which is an Art Deco landmark dating back to the 1920s. This monumental structure is actually on the National Register of Historic Places.

While here, you must visit the Plains Art Museum, which exhibits everything from modern art, photography to Native American art and much more. You can also check the bustling brewery scene in Fargo. The first cider bar of North Dakota, Wild Terra, is located in downtown Fargo. You can also see the brewing carried out by the Drekker Brewing Company and Fargo Brewing Company.

If you want to spend a fun afternoon with your family, a trip to the Red River Zoo is the best thing to do in Fargo. The zoo opened its doors in 1999 and is home to over 300 animals. It is built on a former ranch, so the surroundings are quite unique and different from your typical zoos.

2. Medora

A visit to the lovely city of Medora will surpass your expectations from the Midwest. Medora is perhaps most popularly known as the home of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of the most accessible national parks in the US. You will not be disappointed with your trip to this park. There are so many incredible animals to see up close here that you will be left pleasantly surprised. You will come across bison, elk, and hundreds of prairie dogs. Most visitors recommend visiting this national park once in the morning and again at night as you will find drastic changes in the landscape. Watching the sun come up and go down over the park is a unique experience.

Medora is a quaint little walkable town. There are many shops, coffee shops, museums, and wine bars here. The Teddy Roosevelt statue in the city near the Old Town Hall Theater is a must-see if you want to get an idea of how the ex-president of the United States influenced this beautiful community. Two shops you must visit while here are the Buffalo Gap Gift Shop and the Medora Boot and Western Wear. You won’t be disappointed and will leave Medora with a handful of shopping bags.

Medora is the town of cowboys, and you can learn more about cowboys at the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame museum here. This is a beautiful museum with many exhibits, artifacts, and displays that showcase the rich history of North Dakota.

Another highlight of Medora is the long-running American musical that features a variety of acts, singing, and dancing, combined with fantastic costumes, colorful sets, and an ode to Theodore Roosevelt and the Great American West. The sheer magnitude of this performance with an ending complete with patriotic fireworks is one of the biggest reasons why Medora is so popular with tourists.

To wrap up your day in this beautiful and adorable town, enjoy a glass of wine from Medora Uncork’d, or try out a cup of specialty coffee from Hatlee & Brae.

3. Bismarck

The capital city of North Dakota is hugely popular with tourists. This friendly and creative city is bound to leave a mark on your mind. The beautiful location of Bismarck on a bend of the mesmerizing Missouri River and the thriving arts scene around Main Street are big draws for visitors. The many museums located near the Capitol and the family-friendly attractions like the State Zoo have made Bismarck a favorite destination in North Dakota.

Bismarck is located bang in the heart of North Dakota, surrounded by a fantastic amount of pioneer history. The legendary Lewis and Clark, whose famous expedition to the Pacific Ocean began from Bismarck only. Fort Mandan, located just outside of Bismarck, was the renowned duo’s last stop before heading out on their expedition.

Check out the stunning Cathedral District, with the incredibly imposing art deco Cathedral of the Holy Spirit is the historical monument of the city. The city offers many outdoor activities for adventure junkies, from fishing to hiking, and of course, exploring the many historic attractions. Surrounded by many parks and the green banks of the Missouri River, there is much to explore in Bismarck, and you won’t be disappointed.

One of the must-visit sites in Bismarck is the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum. This is the place to visit if you want to learn about the rich history and culture of North Dakota. Make your way from one exhibit to the next. If you have children along, the sight of the life-size skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex will amaze them. The beadwork and rare pottery crafted by native people, a Mars spacesuit, and the world’s biggest giant squid fossil are some of the other fascinating things to see here.

This excellent museum is located inside the grounds of the State Capitol in the stunning glass and steel Northern Lights Atrium. The museum covers the entire history of this vibrant state, from its geology, prehistory, to the eclectic mix of cultures that have shaped North Dakota over the years.

4. Jamestown

Founded in 1872, this beautiful town sits between Bismarck and Fargo. Popularly known as the Pride of the Prairie, Jamestown is famous for its rich history that dates all the way back to the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway in the late 19th century. The best part is that you can yourself imagine how these days must have been at the Frontier Village. This re-created prairie town is the biggest tourist attraction of Jamestown.

Jamestown - Popular Tourism City of North Dakota

Image Source : Flickr (Jasperdo)

The Frontier Village is home to the renowned writer Louis L’Amour’s writing shack. L’Amour was a famous American novelist born in Jamestown in 1908. Apart from this, there is also the world’s largest buffalo monument located within Frontier Village. This 26 feet high buffalo monument is a testament to the importance of buffalo in this region. The National Buffalo Museum, also located in the same complex, is a sight to see as you get the chance to see a live bison herd and the world’s only rare albino bison who is fondly called White Cloud.

5. Walhalla

Sitting very close to the Canadian border is the beautiful city of Walhalla. This popular tourist attraction is the second oldest community in North Dakota. Walhalla is a charming little town that is very popular with history lovers. You will find yourself in the very heart of the Rendezvous Region, a term that is popularly used to describe the city of Walhalla. The town of Walhalla is the perfect place for learning about the history of this entire region.

Walhalla - Popular Tourism City of North Dakota

Image Source : Flickr (Andrew Filer)

In fact, Walhalla is home to the oldest building in North Dakota, the Kittson Trading Post. The Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area and the Gingras Trading Post State historic site are also located in Walhalla.

Apart from these historically significant monuments, Walhalla is also known for its miles and miles of trails that are lined with wildlife and many ancient buildings. The Pembina River that flows through the town also adds another charm to it. Popular activities to take part in here include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and tubing along the Pembina River. For those who want to be adventurous and rough it out, camping at the Tetrault Woods State Forest is also an exciting activity.

So don’t waste another minute thinking about where to go next on your holiday. Book your tickets for North Dakota right away and get ready to experience how life is in the Wild West of the US.

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