If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, North Dakota might just be the place for you. This midwestern state is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country, as well as a number of interesting museums, cultural institutions, and other attractions. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, there’s something for everyone in North Dakota.
Here are some of the best tourist spots in North Dakota:
Theodore Roosevelt National Park -North Dakota
Located in the Badlands of western North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a must-visit for nature lovers. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and pronghorns, as well as a number of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Be sure to check out the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, which features exhibits on the geology and history of the area.
Address: 315 Second Ave., Medora, ND 58645
Contact: (701) 623-4466
International Peace Garden -North Dakota
Located on the border between North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada, the International Peace Garden is a unique attraction that celebrates peace and friendship between the two countries. The garden features over 150,000 flowers, as well as a 9/11 Memorial, a Peace Chapel, and a 9-foot-tall bronze statue of the goddess of peace.
Address: 10939 Highway 281, Dunseith, ND 58329
Contact: (888) 432-6733
Fargo-Moorhead -North Dakota
If you’re looking for a city with plenty of culture and entertainment options, Fargo-Moorhead is the place for you. This metropolitan area straddles the North Dakota-Minnesota border and is home to a number of museums, art galleries, and theaters. Be sure to check out the Fargo Air Museum, the Plains Art Museum, and the Fargo Theatre, which was built in 1926 and still shows movies today.
Address: Fargo, ND
Contact: (701) 282-3653
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site -North Dakota
If you’re interested in Native American history, be sure to visit the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. This park is home to the remains of several Mandan Indian earthlodge villages, as well as a museum that tells the story of the Mandan people and their way of life. Be sure to take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the area.
- Address: 564 County Road 37, Stanton, ND 58571
- Contact: (701) 745-3300
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/knri/index.htm
North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum -North Dakota
Located in the state capital of Bismarck, the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the state. The museum features exhibits on everything from prehistoric North Dakota to the state’s oil boom,as well as a collection of art and artifacts that showcase the diverse cultural heritage of North Dakota. Be sure to check out the outdoor Heritage Park, which features several historic buildings and a native prairie garden.
- Address: 612 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505
- Contact: (701) 328-2666
- Website: https://statemuseum.nd.gov/
Located in the heart of the Badlands, the town of Medora is a popular tourist destination that’s known for its Wild West history and outdoor recreation opportunities. Be sure to check out the Medora Musical, a western-themed outdoor show that’s been running for over 50 years. You can also explore the town’s historic sites, such as the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site, which tells the story of the town’s founder, the Marquis de Mores.
- Address: Medora, ND
- Contact: (701) 623-4830
- Website: https://medora.com/
If you’re looking for a place to fish, boat, or simply relax by the water, Lake Sakakawea is the place to be. This massive reservoir stretches over 180 miles and is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. There are also several campgrounds and recreation areas along the lake’s shoreline, making it a great place for a weekend getaway.
- Address: Lake Sakakawea, ND
- Contact: (701) 328-6300
- Website: https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/ndparks/lake-sakakawea-state-park
Scandinavian Heritage Park
Located in the town of Minot, the Scandinavian Heritage Park celebrates the contributions of immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. The park features several replicas of Scandinavian buildings, as well as a statue of the famous Norwegian explorer Leif Erikson.
- Address: 1020 South Broadway, Minot, ND 58701
- Contact: (701) 852-9161
- Website: https://scandinavianheritage.org/
Located in the northeastern corner of North Dakota, Pembina Gorge is a scenic area that’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The gorge features several hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for kayaking and fishing. Be sure to check out the nearby Frost Fire Ski & Snowboard Area in the winter months.
- Address: Pembina Gorge, ND
- Contact: (701) 265-4561
- Website: https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/ndparks/pembina-gorge-state-recreation-area
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Located just south of Mandan, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is home to several historic sites, including the reconstructed home of General George Custer. The park also features several hiking trails, as well as opportunities for camping and fishing. Be sure to check out the On-A-Slant Indian Village, which features reconstructed earthlodges that date back to the 1500s.
- Address: 4480 Fort Lincoln Road, Mandan, ND 58554
- Contact: (701) 667-6340
- Website: https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/fort-abraham-lincoln-state-park
Located in West Fargo, Bonanzaville USA is a living history museum that celebrates the pioneer era of North Dakota. The museum features over 40 historic buildings, as well as a collection of artifacts that tell the story of the state’s early settlers. Be sure to checkout the Bonanza Express Train, which takes visitors on a tour of the museum’s grounds.
- Address: 1351 Main Avenue West, West Fargo, ND 58078
- Contact: (701) 282-2822
- Website: https://www.bonanzaville.org/
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
Located on the banks of the Missouri River, the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site tells the story of the fur trade era in North Dakota. The site features reconstructed buildings, as well as exhibits and demonstrations that showcase the life of the traders and Native Americans who once lived here.
- Address: 15550 Highway 1804, Williston, ND 58801
- Contact: (701) 572-9083
- Website: https://www.nps.gov/fous/index.htm
North Dakota State Capitol
Located in Bismarck, the North Dakota State Capitol is a stunning example of art deco architecture. The building features a 19-story tower, as well as several murals and sculptures that celebrate the state’s history and culture. Visitors can take a guided tour of the building, which includes a visit to the observation deck on the 18th floor.
- Address: 600 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505
- Contact: (701) 328-2489
- Website: https://www.nd.gov/ndhp/capitol-complex
International Peace Garden
Located on the border between North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada, the International Peace Garden is a symbol of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. The garden features over 150,000 flowers, as well as several memorials and monuments that celebrate peace and goodwill. Visitors can also explore the garden’s hiking trails and scenic overlooks.
- Address: 10939 Highway 281, Dunseith, ND 58329
- Contact: (888) 432-6733
- Website: https://www.peacegarden.com/
Red River Zoo
Located in Fargo, the Red River Zoo is home to over 600 animals from around the world. Visitors can see everything from tigers and lemurs to sloths and kangaroos. The zoo also features several interactive exhibits and a petting zoo where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the animals.
- Address: 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo, ND 58104
- Contact: (701) 277-9240
- Website: https://redriverzoo.org/
North Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of tourist destinations, but the state has a surprising amount to offer. From stunning natural landscapes to rich cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone here. So why not plan a trip to North Dakota and discover all that this hidden gem has to offer?
READ MORE HERE: 9 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in North Dakota