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Scandinavian Heritage Park - Top Rated Tourist Attraction in North Dakota

5 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in North Dakota (2024)

A trip to North Dakota is as adventurous as it can get. The state has some of the maximum must-visit national and state historically important places, parks, and other attractions. You can fill an itinerary for weeks with all the beautiful places to visit in North Dakota.

Popularly known as the state of ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, North Dakota remains largely unexplored and untouched. From the sprawling Midwestern wilderness to the rolling prairies for miles on end, North Dakota is often called an explorer’s paradise. One of the least visited states in the US, there are many things to do in North Dakota and endless places to visit.

5 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in North Dakota

Here are some of the top-rated tourist attractions to see in North Dakota.

1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

One of the top-rated tourist attractions in North Dakota is the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A visit to this national park should be the highlight of your trip. Named after the 26th President of the United States, this national park still includes many of the same landscapes that once charmed Roosevelt himself.

As the mesmerizing Little Missouri River makes its way through the Badlands and rolling hills of the park, you are in for a visual treat as you see miles and miles of untouched nature all around you. Visitors to the park are encouraged to hike, take a stroll, or even drive through the park to check out its stunning natural beauty. Don’t be surprised to find many free-roaming bison around.

The park is divided into two sections, with the President’s former Elkhorn Ranch located between the two sections. The city of Medora is situated towards the southern part of the park, making this section of the park more popular. The northern part of the park is famous for its natural beauty.

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. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Located near Stanton on the old camping ground belonging to the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site is a must-see when you are in North Dakota. Take out time to explore the many villages that have been rebuilt here in ancient style to preserve the old way of life and culture. This historical site attracts visitors from all over the country. There are many camping facilities, field trips, and other exciting activities that introduce visitors to the native traditions and environment.

One of the most popular things to do while visiting this site is to check out the museum located within the complex. This museum functions as an educational facility that showcases many relics and artifacts from the village. Important cultural emblems of the native people of this area are also on display.

While here, you can enjoy spending some time walking the Village Trail, exploring the reconstructed earth lodge, and hiking along the many trails that take you through this scenic landscape.

There are many events and activities that take place at the Knife River Indian Villages throughout the year. This includes games, ceremonies, and art and craft shows.

3. Bison Monument and Frontier Village

The Bison Monument and Frontier Village is a well-known tourist attraction in North Dakota. Sitting between Bismarck and Fargo, this is a one of its kind monument that is a must-visit when you are visiting this side of the United States. If you are lucky, you can even spot the rare albino bison known as White Cloud grazing near the well-preserved monument itself. In fact, visitors are fortunate 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. Scandinavian Heritage Park

The Scandinavian Heritage Park may appear to be out of place so far away from Europe. Situated in Minot, the Scandinavian Heritage Park offers a unique and up-close look at the various features of the Scandinavian culture from the countries of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.

This is an outdoor museum that includes many statues, replica buildings, and many other cultural things to do and see. One of the favorites with tourists is the replica of the Gol Stave Church, which is an 18th century home that has been transported here from Sidgal. A 25 foot tall Swedish Dala horse statue is also on display, and it is a hot favorite with the children. You will also find the replicas of a Danish windmill and a Finnish sauna on the grounds. The Danish windmill is a very popular spot for photographers.

5. The Dakota Zoo

The Dakota Zoo is another top-rated tourist attraction in North Dakota. The zoo, located on the banks of the beautiful Missouri River in Bismarck, is home to many types of animals, including Bengal tigers, Wild Turkey, grizzly bears, Whitetail Deer, and many others. One of the main highlights of visiting the zoo at Bismarck is that you can feed the animals staying at the Prairie Dog Town, the whitetail deer enclosure, and the barnyard area as well. This is usually a massive hit with the children who get fascinated at seeing these animals come right up to eat from their little hands.

There is one concession stand located at the zoo’s entry point 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. It is also possible to purchase tickets for the nearby train. The zoo has been developed in a handicap-friendly way, though there are a limited number of wheelchairs for guest use.

The zoo opened in 1961 with just 23 species of birds and 75 mammals. From there, today, the zoo has grown to include 600 animals, reptiles, birds, and fish. You can view over 125 species of animals here.

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