Take Your Pick
704 1st Ave N, ND
Largest Art Collection in North Dakota
Plains Art Museum - The Plains Art Museum has the largest public art collection in all of North Dakota. Containing roughly 3,000 permanent works of art, artists include Native Americans, folk artists, as well as national and regional contemporary artists. The museum opened at its new location in October of 1997, in a restored 1904 International Harvester Branch House. While there, grab a bite to eat at the Cafe Muse or pick up an ostrich egg in the museum store. Mmmmm, ostrich eggs.
Bismarck, ND
Buffalo Outside the Heritage Center
North Dakota Heritage Center - For great exhibits on North Dakota's history, both prehistoric and recent, drop by the North Dakota Heritage Center. Inside the main gallery you will find seven sections including, "The Corridor of Time" with fossil displays, "First People Exhibits" showing the Indian life of the region, "The Settlement Period" containing artifacts and displays of the late 1800s, and several others. Special and temporary exhibits change often, so it's never the same museum twice.
Bismarck, ND
Tallest Building in ND
State Capital Building - The State Capitol Building in North Dakota was built between 1933 and 1934 and is the tallest building in the state, standing 241 feet, 8 inches high (19 stories). Because of its height it is nicknamed "The Skyscraper on the Prairie". The original State Capitol Building burned to the ground in 1930, forcing the state to build the new one, during the Great Depression. There are many statues, memorials, trees and even a Capitol Park to explore while visiting. But if you want a grand view of North Dakota, head to the 18th floor observation deck, the highest viewing point in the state.
Blanchard, ND
No Matter What - It's Tall
The Nation's Tallest Man-Made Structure - Standing at 2,063 feet tall, the KVLY-TV tower is the nation's largest man-made structure and the second tallest man-made structure in the world. Completed in 1963, it held the title as the largest man made structure until 1974, when it was out-done by a tower in Poland. As luck would have it, the Polish tower collapsed in 1991 (insert Polish joke here) and for 10 more years it was number one. Now the Burj Dubai tower in the United Arab Emirates out does it by about 600 feet. So we will just change the category and say the KVLY-TV tower is the tallest supported man-made structure in the world. Take that Dubai.
Dickinson, ND
Visit Dino
Dakota Dinosaur Museum - The small town of Dickenson has a nice little Dinosaur Museum. This 13,400 square foot museum is home to specimens from all over the world, and contains 11 full-scale dinosaurs. Outside you will also find 3 full-scale dinosaurs. Each year the museum focuses on a different theme, be it fossils or meteorites, I just came because I love dinosaurs. Other museums in town that you may want to check out include the Joachim Museum, Pioneer Machinery Building, and the Prairie Outpost Park.
Dunseith, ND
Peace Tower
International Peace Garden - The International Peace Garden celebrates the long-standing friendship between Canada and the USA. The idea for this over 2300 acre garden was conceived by Henry T Moore in 1931 and construction was finished in 1932. The Peace Tower near the back of the park stands over 120 feet tall, was constructed with four corners which represent the four corners of the world all coming together in peace. Other areas of the Peace Garden include a Bell Tower, Peace Chapel, 9-11 Memorial Site, and Formal Garden Area. The park is evenly split down the middle, with half in Canada and half in the USA. Cool eh?
Fargo, ND
Oh Jeez Der's a Movie
Fargo Theater - The 1920s interior of the Fargo Theater is fantastic. Blue neon surrounds the center stage with its Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and recreated period fountains. Originally built in 1926 at a cost of $350,000, the theater got a $2,600,000 restoration in 1998. They host live music, independent films, and live plays throughout the year. Before going, rent the movie "Fargo" so you can talk like everyone else and not look like a tourist. You will then be able to say "Oh jeez", "You betcha" and "Oh ya" with confidence.
Fort Totten, ND
Trotting Around Fort Totten
Fort Totten State Historic Site - Fort Totten is billed as the best preserved military post of the post-Civil War Era. Built in 1867 as a military post to enforce Indian policy, it later became property of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Today the fort is a state historic site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When visiting, you can learn about the history of the fort at the interpretive center and then take a tour of the 16 original building on the grounds.
Fort Yates, ND
Grave of Sitting Bull
Grave of Sitting Bull - This is the first of two possible places where Sitting Bull is buried. Chief Sitting Bull, Tatanka Iyotaka, was born in 1831 and later became a Sioux Chief and Medicine Man. He is most famous for his role in defeating Gen George Custer in the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. After years of being pursued, Sitting Bull was offered a full pardon if he surrendered. Unfortunately, during a skirmish with reservation police in 1890, the leader of the Sioux People was killed. He was then buried nearby where a marker mentions his life and makes the following statement; "He was laid to rest here and may have been disinterred in 1953 at the request of four of his grandchildren". So he could be buried in Mobridge, SD.
Grand Forks, ND
A Great Hockey Venue
Ralph Engelstad Arena - Since it's winter 51 weeks out of the year in North Dakota, hockey is big-time entertainment. And if you are going to see hockey, see it in the Ralph Engelstad Arena, home of the Fighting Sioux Hockey Team. This complex has nearly 12,000 seats all of which are made of leather and cherry wood, the floors are highly polished granite, and the training facility is first class. Construction finished in 2001 on this 400,000 square foot $100 million facility, and even if you don't like hockey, check this place out.
Grand Forks, ND
The Arts of Grand Forks
Empire Arts Center - The Empire Arts Center is the place to catch the performing arts in Grand Forks. The Empire Theater was originally built in 1919 as a movie house and featured its first "Talkie" in 1927 - Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer". After changing hands a few times and falling into disrepair, the historic theater was completely refurbished in 1998 and converted into a multi-purpose theater. Today it hosts plays, concerts, speakers and yes, even films. The 416 seat theater features a state-of-the-art sound and light system and an art gallery for local artists.
Mandan, ND
Custer's Second to Last Stand
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park - One of the top sights of North Dakota, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, has a very rich history. The Mandan Indians, an agricultural tribe, occupied this area from 1575 to 1781. A village of around 90 round earth-lodges overlooked the Missouri River. Then in 1873 Col George Custer became the first commander of the fort with his 7th Cavalry. Stationed there until 1876 when they rode off on their ill-fated battle of Little Bighorn. Replicas of the "On-A-Slant" village, Custer's house, and infantry block-houses can be toured on your visit. The park is North Dakota's oldest, started in 1907 and encompasses over 1,000 acres.
Medora, ND
Vast and Beautiful Desolation
Theodore Roosevelt National Park - Theodore Roosevelt National Park contains over 70,000 acres of the North Dakota badlands. In 1978 President Carter honored Teddy by signing the law that changed the memorial park to a National Park. President Roosevelt was a big fan of this area and once wrote, "I would not have been President, had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." The park itself is divided into two units, north and south. The south unit is the more accessible and with a quick stop off of I-94 you can see the Painted Canyon, a vast and beautiful piece of desolation. If you have more time to travel, head north to find some picturesque sandstone formations in the north unit.
New Salem, ND
One Big Ol' Cow
Salem Sue - Salem Sue is the World's Largest Holstein Cow measuring 38 feet long, standing over 50 feet tall, and weighing an impressive 12,000 lbs. Built in 1974 by the New Salem Lions Club, the $40,000 price tag for Sue's construction was paid for by donations from local dairy farmers and residents. Salem Sue stands tall and proud on top of a hill over-looking the North Dakota countryside. She is easily spotted from I-94 and is a must-see for roadside attraction fans.
Regent, ND
Geese in Flight
Enchanted Highway - While driving from Bismarck west towards Theodore Roosevelt National Park on I-94, you will run into the Enchanted Highway. The Enchanted Highway is a 32 mile stretch of road where you will find seven sculptures constructed by Regent native Gary Greff. The first sculpture called "Geese in Flight" is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest metal sculpture in the world, standing 110 feet tall, 154 feet long, and weighing nearly 80 tons. Others along the way are "Deer Crossing" and "Grasshoppers Delight".
Rugby, ND
The Center of Everything
Geographical Center of North America - Determining the exact Geographical Center of North America is an imprecise science at best. But since it is located in the United States and not our neighbors to the north, I'm good with it. The spot is marked with a large 21 foot tall stone obelisk, built by the great people of Rugby in 1932. It's a nice place to sit and reflect about being in the middle of everything while almost being in the middle of no where.
Strasburg, ND
Birthplace of Lawrence Welk
Lawrence Welk's Birthplace - Lawrence Welk was born on March 11, 1903 in this very small rural town in North Dakota. On the property you can see the little farm house, a bandstand, a freshly painted barn with a likeness of a young Lawrence playing an accordion, and even an outdoor privy. After leaving the farmstead at the age of 21, Lawrence created his own TV show that ran for 28 years. He never returned home despite repeated requests, I guess he didn't think the place was too "wunnerful" any more, but you will. OK, I have to say it, a one and a two....
Washburn, ND
Lewis and Clark's Winter Digs
Fort Mandan - Lewis and Clark's expedition team arrived in this area in November of 1804. Because the Mandan Indians were very friendly and helpful, the team decided to build a fort and stay through the winter. Fort Mandan is significant because it was the place where Lewis and Clark met Sacagawea, planning was done for the Pacific expedition, and it was the longest occupied fort of the expedition team. The current fort is a full-scale reconstruction of the original, and guides are on hand to answer all your questions.
Washburn, ND
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center - Situated above the Missouri River Valley, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is a great place to learn about the expedition. Inside you can wrap yourself in a buffalo robe, treat yourself to Native American music, and view written descriptions, sketches and paintings from the early 1800s. German Prince Maximilian, a trained scientist, kept a journal during his trip from St Louis to Montana in 1833. Joining him was Swiss painter Karl Bodmer who sketched and painted the daily lives of the Plains Indians. You can see all of their works on display at the Center.
West Fargo, ND
North Dakota at the Turn of the Century
Bonanzaville USA- In the late 1800s after the railroad reached this area, "Bonanza Farms", farms that produced a large abundance of crops, began to sprout up in North Dakota. Bonanzaville USA is a museum that preserves this time-period with roughly 50 buildings filled with vehicles, aircraft and over 400,000 artifacts from the 19th century to present. The 12 acre museum is one of the area's largest historical attractions and has a great display of antique phones and horse drawn vehicles.