North Dakota Vacation Ideas

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #1: North Dakota is a state of wonderful natural scenery that makes it a great place for scenic drives. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway idea or you are up for a week of exploring, get in your car and see the sights of North Dakota. Here are a couple scenic drives that will spice up your North Dakota vacations.

The Enchanted Highway is famous for its displays off giant farm-country-inspired metal sculptures by resident Gary Greff.

The claim is that they are the largest metal sculpture in the world and who’s to argue. They are huge and spread out along the 32 mile-long highway that runs from the town of Regent up to Exit 72 of Interstate 94.

For wildlife viewing and bird watching, head to the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge Scenic Backway. It’s up along the border of Canada and runs for 19 miles through some beautiful wooded and hilly North Dakota landscapes.

Raptors, deer, moose, grebes and snow geese are among the many animals in the area. Hiking trails can be found along the route.

Turtle Mountain Scenic Byway is also found along the Canadian border. Take in the beautiful views of the primal North Dakota plains and mountains as the 53-mile long drive takes you up and then down Turtle Mountain.

Take Highway 43 and while you are there, stop in and see the horticultural wonders at the International Peace Gardens near Dunseith.

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #2: Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to bison, elk, mule deer and wild horses.

The park is small and doesn't get the attention of the more well-known parks so you will have a lot of space to yourself.

There are over 100 miles of trails in the park. It has a lot of top quality self-guiding nature trails along with plenty of other outdoor activities.

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #3: The Dakota Zoo started out as a kennel for cats and dogs in Bismarck. Today it has grown into the state's largest zoo with more than 600 animals from 125 species of reptiles, mammals and birds. The Bismarck Tribune Discovery Center features an aquarium of native fish, a milking parlor, an anthill and other hands-on exhibits. The enclosures provide lots of room in a natural setting to promote happy and playful animals.
North Dakota Vacation Ideas #4: Historic Medora is an authentic Old West cow town. It's modern but full of Old West charm. The world famous Medora Musical has been presented to over two-million people in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre. You can go mountain biking on the challenging Maah Daah Hey Trail. Hiking, backpacking, camping, swimming, miniature golf, and horseback riding are available. Or enjoy the western themed museums or the Bully Pulpit Golf course.
North Dakota Vacation Ideas #5: Little Missouri Bay State Park, near Killdeer, is 6000 acres of rugged badlands. Companies such as Badlands Trail Rides will take you on a guided horseback trail ride through this spectacular country. There is an extensive trail system for hiking or riding. You can set up a tent or rent a cabin.

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #6: Over in the southeast corner of North Dakota in the town of Wahpeton, you’ll find the Chahinkapa Zoo. The Zoo is home to over 200 animals and birds of 70 different species including bison, grizzly bears, gibbon apes, monkeys, cougars, otters, camels, tigers and many more. If you are traveling near west North Dakota or west Wisconsin this would make a good stop.

The Fargo Skate Park in Fargo, North Dakota is a perfect place for adventurous skateboarders, rollerbladers and bikers. This 23,000 square foot facility is made of formed concrete and contains challenges for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes. Skate jams and BMX jams are held periodically. The park is open sunrise to sunset.

The quaint little town of Carrington, with just a little over 2,000 residents, could your vacation idea for North Dakota. This town just loves to hold tourist attracting events. There’s the four day "Potholes and Prairie Birding Festival" where you’ll get to the most remote birding sites in the USA. They also host an exciting "Roughriders Rodeo". There’s more, so you’d better check their web site.

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #7: Sullys Hill National Game Preserve in Devils Lake, ND is a super vacation idea just waiting to be hatched. The diorama in the visitors center shows all the animals and birds who frequent the park. Some of the tourist activities at the preserve include the Birding & Nature Festival in June, the Warbler Weekend in May and International Migratory Bird Day in May.

The Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora, ND has an abundance of attention-grabbing displays which highlight the life of the cowboys, the Indians and the great American West. With 15,000 square feet of display space, they have answered every question you could ask. The Hall also has an busy event program with Children’s activities, a Cinema and a film festival.

The goal of the North Dakota Dinosaur Museum Inc. in Dickinson, ND is to preserve and exhibit the geological and paleontology specimens. They also have an educational program for schools and communities. Some first-hand comments from visitors are; "We Loved the mineral collection", "It’s an excellent fossil museum", "It brought dinosaurs into perspective” and "Our kids loved it".

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #8: The North Dakota State Railroad Museum in Mandan, ND is a great idea for a vacation spot. With 5 acres of rolling stock plus many photos and artifacts, the Museum is prepared to meet its goal of maintaining the history of North Dakota railroading. An HO model of a hopper car alerts you to the special display of the many hopper car designs that were used in North Dakota.

If you've always been fascinated by the Lewis & Clark Expedition, it just might be a good idea to include a visit to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center located in Washburn, ND. The center presents a summary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition concentrating on the winter of 1804 to 1805 when the expedition camped at Fort Mandan, here in North Dakota.

The Lewis & Clark Riverboat in Bismarck, North Dakota is just what the doctor ordered. You’ll go back in time as you relax on this period paddle wheel river boat and cruise the majestic Missouri River. Add a delicious dinner to this picture and you've go a great vacation idea. A fully stocked bar might also fit nicely into this picture.

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #9: Fort Abraham Lincoln in Morton County North Dakota is now a state park but in 1875 it was a highly active fort in America’s advance westward. General George Custer’s troops were stationed at this fort and probably rode to their doom from the fort. History buffs will find a rich vein of historic papers, maps and artifacts at this fascinating location.

The road from Dickinson to Mandan in North Dakota is called the “Old Red/Old Ten Scenic Byway”. This scenic route runs sort of parallel to I-94 but zig-zags through each of the quaint small towns which were formally known as the CusterTrail or the Old Red Trail. If you end up in Mandan, read on to find out what’s going on in that historic town.

The historic town of Madan, North Dakota hosts several tourist types of events each year. In June they have the Buggies n’Blues Fest featuring Art in the Park downtown. In July you’ll find the exciting Mandan Rodeo Days and on the 4th you can catch the Mandan

North Dakota Vacation Ideas #10: Snoopers Tons of Fun in Bismarck ND really lives up to its name. It’s designed for the younger generation and some people say it’s the best kid’s arcade, ever. As you would expect, they serve pizza and it’s really good. The activities include crawl-thru tunnels, a punching bag, a Scooby Doo Room, a Sponge Bob Room as well as many games.

The "Gateway to Science Center" in Bismarck is one of the new breed of hands-on educational centers that are making an impressive positive effect all over the country. The center concentrates on interactive exhibits in the areas of light, magnetism, electricity, machinery and air pressure. The center also extends its knowledge base by using traveling exhibits.

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