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North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum - Things to do in North Dakota

7 Top Rated Things To Do In North Dakota (2022)

The beautiful state of North Dakota is known for its rolling plains. This state has not seen much change since the days of Lewis and Clark or Theodore Roosevelt. In fact, Roosevelt often referred to North Dakota as being a world of beauty and color, and limitless space.’ Much of the state still remains untouched. North Dakota has much to offer for those interested in the wildlife, outdoors and nature, and it should feature prominently on your holiday list.

There’s something to do for everyone with zoos, museums, casinos, history, agritourism, and theater in North Dakota.

7 Top Rated Things To Do In North Dakota

Here are some of the top-rated things to do while in North Dakota.

1. Explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota is known for its untouched natural beauty. The state contains over 70,000 acres of mountains, canyons, badlands, and of course, the mesmerizing Missouri River that captured everything that Roosevelt loved best about this stunning state.

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is divided into two main sections, nearly 50 miles apart. The president’s former Elkhorn Ranch is located between these two sections of the park. The southern part of this national park is the more popular part, owing to the city of Medora, while the northern part is famous for the spectacular landscape.

You can choose to camp, horse ride, rock climb, or just drive through this beautiful park. During the peak tourist season, there are many park rangers here who give guided tours of the place. There are also many nature walks that take place throughout the day.

The park is also an excellent place to spend your evenings enjoying around a campfire and learning about the famous president who has made the park famous.

2. Indulge in History at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum

The North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum is the best place to spend a few hours for history buffs. This is the official history museum of the state, located in the same place as the State Capitol building.

The museum is known to have both temporary and permanent displays that beautifully showcase North Dakota’s 12,000 years of history. The museum is divided into various sections that take you through the different time periods of the state. Some of the featured exhibits include the Native American cultural artifacts display, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus skeletons, agricultural machinery, and many more. There is a special Treehouse section at the museum that is solely dedicated to young children. The section allows children to learn and explore their surroundings through play. There are many kid-friendly exhibits at the museum as well, making it a perfect place to visit with your family.

3. Bison Monument and Frontier Village

Located between Bismarck and Fargo is the world-renowned Bison Monument and Frontier Village. This one of its kind monument is a must-visit when you are in North Dakota. You can even find the rare albino bison grazing near the well-preserved monument itself. In fact, visitors are lucky to get the chance to visit the National Buffalo Museum here, another unique feature of North Dakota.

While here, you will get the opportunity to learn all about bison and how these magnificent animals helped in shaping the Plains Indian way of life.

When you go to the Frontier Village, you will find that it is a complex full of ancient pioneer buildings that include an old-time drugstore, a barbershop, church, post office, school, jailhouse, and many other interesting structures. An interesting fact about this place is that these ancient builds got moved here from various other frontier spots across North Dakota in order to preserve them in one area.

Some of the highlights you can see include the first railroad depot in Jamestown, the writing shack of Louis L’Amour (the famous American novelist and short-story writer), and you can even shop for beautiful handmade handicraft items. During the summertime, there is a fascinating Wild West shoot-out show that is put up on Saturday afternoon.

4. The Dakota Zoo

North Dakota is well known for the Dakota Zoo, located on the banks of the beautiful Missouri River in Bismarck. The Dakota Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, including Wild Turkey, Bengal tigers, Whitetail Deer, grizzly bears, and many others. One of the highlights of visiting the zoo at Bismarck is that visitors can feed animals at the Prairie Dog Town, the whitetail deer enclosure, and the barnyard area as well.

There is only one concession stand at the zoo that sells a variety of popular street foods like nachos, hotdogs, cotton candy, and a variety of beverages. It is also possible to rent strollers from the concession stand. You can also buy tickets for the nearby train. The zoo is made in a way that is handicap-friendly, though there are a limited number of wheelchairs for guest use.

The Dakota Zoo was founded by March and Betty Christianson in 1961, and it opened its gates on June 3, 1961. The zoo opened with just 23 species of birds and 75 mammals. Today, the zoo has grown to include 600 animals, reptiles, birds, and fish. You can view over 125 species of animals here.

5. Check Out The Medora Musical

Before becoming the President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt was a cowboy of the fast-fading Wild West at North Dakota. The outdoor musical show at Medora is very near to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The show depicts the former president’s life through singing, dancing, live animals, and a spectacular fireworks show.

The Medora Musical - Things to do in North Dakota

Image Source : Flickr (Roderick Eime)

The first production of the Medora Musical took place in the 1950s, and since then, this has become one of the star attractions of North Dakota. So if you want to feel an authentic American Old West experience, this is the venue to head to.

6. Get To Know The Story Of The Mandan Indians at the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

The Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is another exciting thing to add to your to-do list when you are in North Dakota. This state park is located near Mandan and is home to the reconstructed ancient On-A-Slant Indian Village. The village is the place to visit to learn about the stories of the Mandan Indians who populated this area from 1575-1781.

You can also view several other reconstructed military buildings that hail back to the military post that used to be located on the site, including the Custer House. The state park is also home to many recreational facilities like a modern campground. There are several picnic spots and playgrounds on the campground, making it a popular place for tourists and locals. The campground is mainly famous as it offers some of the most stunning views of the Missouri River. You can also check out four ancient campsites that have horse corrals.

7. Go Hiking on the Maah Daah Hey Trail

This beautiful hiking trail lasts for just over 100 miles, and it connects the northern and southern sections of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Known as the Maa Daah Hey Trail, a turtle symbolizes this trail, implying both patience and determination required to hike the trail. Some of the stretches of the path are known to be quite challenging and takes you through rocky Badlands and gorgeous prairie landscapes.

Maah Daah Hey Trail - Things to do in North Dakota

Image Source : Flickr (Roderick Eime)

In fact, if you are lucky, you can even spot deer, coyotes, golden eagles, bison, and bighorn sheep on your hike.

With so many delightful things to do and places to see in North Dakota, you will hardly be left with any time to think about anything else.

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