5 Unique, Cool, and Weird Things To Do In North Dakota (2023)
North Dakota, or as it is commonly known as – the Peace Garden State, is a beautiful state. It stuns many to know that North Dakota is one of the least visited states in the United States. With an abundance of nature, North Dakota is blessed with an impressive landscape. Combined with impressive architectural structures and historical small towns, North Dakota is one of the best places to visit. Apart from the regular tourist attractions to see in the state, there are many fun and weird things to do in North Dakota.
5 Unique, Cool, and Weird Things To Do In North Dakota
Let’s take a look at some of the unique, cool, and weird things to do in North Dakota.
1. Check out the Cool Paul Broste Rock Museum in Parshall
This museum is actually what the name suggests – a museum dedicated to rocks. Well, actually, it is a museum made from one man’s massive collection of rocks, most of which have been cut and polished into amazing-looking spheres. There are many rock samples here that have been collected from far and wide. Housing some of the rarest rock samples to the more locally available granite that the museum is built out of, you will so many rock samples that it is indeed a sight to behold.
The Paul Broste Rock Museum is often touted as one of the most unusual museums in North Dakota, and it is definitely worth it to pay a visit to this fascinating but different museum.
2. Get Your Photo Clicked With The Real Wood Chipper From The Movie Fargo
If you want to have your picture taken while shoving a hand into this movie prop from the movie Fargo, then North Dakota is the place to go. Although the wood chipping scene in the film was portrayed to be in Minnesota, over time, the real wood chipper prop used in the movie has found its way to Fargo. Here you can pose for pictures and even help yourself to a cool hat on display at the visitor’s center in the town of Fargo. Many people might find a wood chipper to be a weird thing to be showcased in the town’s visitor’s center, but the city was made famous from the movie, and the prop is quite cool.
3. Check out the McHenry Railroad Loop in McHenry
This place can be safely said to be the unique hidden gem of North Dakota. Most tourists tend to skip this place while making their itinerary for the state. However, it warrants one visit at least. Even though the construction of the railroad loop may seem puzzling to people at first, you know that the railroad would eventually reach the end of the line in McHenry. So instead of having to go for the cheaper option of putting in a railroad turntable, the construction crew made a giant loop for the trains to just turn around on. In fact, the town was actually named after the man who designed the loop – E. H. McHenry.
This railroad loop remained the town’s biggest attraction for many years. After the railroad left the city, the loop was opened up for rides. Owing to the high cost of upkeep of the loop, the profit plummeted, and the station and loop were auctioned off a few years ago. Even though the place is in deteriorating condition today, it is still very much visible. In springtime, the railroad loop gets partially covered by the beautiful lake located next to it. While it may seem to be a dull visit, but for those who love trains and know their railroad history, this is a huge draw even today.
4. See The Legendary, Living Albino Buffalo
The city of Jamestown in North Dakota is crazy about its bison. And not just any bison, but its rare albino bison, fondly called White Cloud. There are actually three extremely rare albino bison in the city. The city loves its bison population so much that it is home to the world’s largest buffalo statue.
The original rare female albino buffalo, White Cloud, was born in 1996 and gave birth to a white calf in 2007. The calf was named Dakota Miracle. Another brown buffalo also gave birth to a third albino buffalo, known as Dakota Legend, in 2008.
Since then, White Cloud, Dakota Miracle, and Dakota Legend have been a big draw for the city. These animals are extremely rare and were even considered to be sacred by many Native American plains tribes in and around North Dakota.
While White Cloud passed away in 2016, the two other albino buffalos are still very much in Jamestown, and you can spot them roaming around freely amidst the 30-bison herd close to Interstate 94 to the north and south.
5. Enchanted Highway Sculptures of North Dakota
These unique and weird enchanted highway sculptures of North Dakota tell the story of one man’s quest to save his hometown with record-breaking sculptures. To be found in Western North Dakota, the enchanted highway sculptures are the handiwork of former School Principal Gary Greff, who was worried about the lack of interest in his town. He was afraid that his small farming town would eventually become a casualty of the rapid progress undergoing in the state if he didn’t transform the city into a tourist attraction.
So in 1989, he began building the world’s biggest metal sculptures and placing them all along the Enchanted Highway, or Highway 21. Greff had no prior experience in welding or making art, but by 2006, he had completed a grand total of seven mammoth sculptures that lay along the 32-mile long highway. The sculptures are all related to western North Dakota’s historical and cultural roots. For example, one sculpture shows Theodore Roosevelt (the 26th president of the US who hailed from North Dakota) dominating the rolling hills, while in another, grasshoppers as giant as a car are having a feast on golden wheat that rises from scoria rock beds.
The Geese in Flight sculpture is one such beautiful example that has earned the title of the world’s largest scrap metal sculpture by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002.
So head over to this Enchanted Highway or Highway 21 to view these awe-inspiring sculptures for yourself.
With so many interesting and weird things to do and places to check out, surely you will want to book your next holiday in North Dakota without delay.