Looking for things to do in North Dakota? We have got you covered with our list of the best North Dakota attractions.
Whether you have an interest in the outdoors, nature, culture, or history, this state has it all. That’s not all, this state has also been a land of adventurers and has seen the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, Sakakawea, Lewis and Clarke, and many more inspirational people.
Visitors can explore the Great Plains, learn about the history at North Dakota Heritage Center, or go to some of the hidden gems of the Midwest here. Also, North Dakota is extremely beautiful and one of the best places to experience fall in the midwest.
Trust me, there is no shortage of fun North Dakota attractions for you to explore. If you are also planning a trip to this state soon, then here is a list of 15 top things to do in North Dakota.
15 Things To Do in North Dakota: The Ultimate Bucket List
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
One of the top things to do in North Dakota is to visit the famous Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Theodore ND.
This North Dakota attraction is 70,000 acres in area, comprising of mountains, badlands, Missouri river, and canyons. The scenic beauty of the national park is what attracted Theodore Roosevelt in the first place, after whom it is named.
Visitors can indulge in a lot of fun activities here during their trip. For a relaxed trip, you can stay in a cabin, go stargazing, enjoy the scenic views, and more. If you love adventures, then this place is great for camping, hiking, skiing, and several other thrilling activities.
Trust me, exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park and spending a night here is one of the best things to do in North Dakota!
Visit the Scandinavian Heritage Park
Are you interested in learning about Scandinavian heritage? If so, then one of the top things to do in North Dakota is to visit the Scandinavian Heritage Park.
This park in Minot is the best way to learn about the history and culture of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. You will find several displays at this North Dakota attraction such as a Finnish sauna, Gol Stave church, an authentic Sigdal home, and more.
There are memorials to the Scandinavians who left their home for a better life in the USA. Visitors can also visit the on-site gift shop to buy Scandinavian-inspired souvenirs, gifts, and books.
If you are looking for a unique Midwest weekend getaway, then a visit to this center is a must.
North Dakota State Capitol
Built in the 1930s, the State Capitol is the tallest building in the state at 241 feet and one of the top things to see in North Dakota.
It is a 21-story building with an art deco style and is often called the ‘skyscraper of the prairie’. There are several monuments, parks, and trails on the capitol grounds where visitors can spend time and learn more about the history of this state.
One of the top attractions in North Dakota, the State Capitol also features an observation deck on the 18th floor. From here, one can enjoy stunning views of Bismarck and the nearby areas.
Join a tour to the State Capitol on a weekday to get a glimpse into the different branches of the government. You can also take an elevator to the top of the floor during the tour. Trust me, if you want to experience this state, then this is one of the best things to do in North Dakota.
Chase Sunflowers in North Dakota
What to do in North Dakota apart from exploring the major landmarks? Well, you can always go and chase sunflowers in the state.
This state sees the highest production of sunflowers in the country. So, visitors can wander around vast sunflower fields that can be found throughout North Dakota in the growing season, especially in August.
You can click photographs with blooming sunflowers, attend the sunflower events, or get these beauties home. You will find many places where the sunflowers grow in North Dakota including Emmons Country, Morton, Kidder, and more.
So, if you are looking for fun things to do in North Dakota, then do look out for sunflower fields and spend some time there. You can even plan a romantic Midwest getaway to any one of these impressive locations featuring sunflowers!
Visiting Lake Sakakawea Is One Of The Best Things To Do In ND
If you are confused about what to do in North Dakota, then don’t be. There are many beautiful state parks including the famous Lake Sakakawea State Park.
One of the perfect places to head to in the summer, this state park offers a lot of activities to the visitors. From swimming in the lake to camping by the shores, there is a lot one can do here.
For boating enthusiasts, there is a marina here as well to fuel up your boat and buy snacks and drinks for yourself. You can also rent a cabin to stay the night here if you are traveling with family.
Overall, this is one of the best family-friendly things to do in North Dakota.
Maah Daah Hey Trail
Looking for adventurous things to do in North Dakota? Then, you cannot miss out on the Maah Daah Hey Trail.
Covering more than 140 miles of the state, this trail is perfect for hikers, bikers, and outdoor adventurists. The route consists of varying landscapes including badlands, parts of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the valley, and more.
This attraction in North Dakota allows visitors to explore different trails which can take around 10 days to complete. You also encounter wildlife on the way if you are lucky.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Maah Daah Hey Trail is the perfect place to explore!
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
One of the best things to do in North Dakota is to visit the historical site of Knife River Indian Villages. This site has been preserved as it was the old camping ground of Mandan and Hidatsa Indians.
Visitors can check out the museums here which feature artifacts from the village. You can also explore the various hiking trails and reconstructed earth lodges here.
This is one of the top North Dakota attractions that host a lot of different events that include games, ceremonies, craft shows, and more. If you wish to learn about the local tribe of Northern Plains, then make sure you visit this site.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
If you are interested in the history of the state, then one of the best things to see in North Dakota is Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
Opened in 1907, this park features an ancient reconstructed village from 1600s, military buildings, an art gallery, and more.
Take a guided tour of the reconstructed buildings and learn how Mandan Indians lived here between 1575-1781. There are tons of fun activities to engage in here such as hiking, picnicking, camping, and more.
So, if you are looking for a fun yet informational excursion, then this is one of the best things to do in North Dakota.
The Pyramid of North Dakota
Looking for offbeat North Dakota attractions to visit? Then, you cannot miss out on a trip to The Pyramid of North Dakota.
This pyramid structure, one of the top hidden gems in the midwest, is the last remnants of the Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex. It was built during the Cold War to shoot down the missiles from Russia. However, it was shut down after 3 days of operation due to concerns about effectiveness and its unsustainability.
Visitors can visit the site and take photographs from a distance. Although you cannot visit the pyramid or the grounds, it still makes for an interesting visit.
Have you ever wanted to visit a unique attraction in North Dakota? If yes, then one of the best things to do in North Dakota is to try to see this famous Pyramid structure.
The Enchanted Highway
If you wish to explore a unique attraction in North Dakota, then visit the Enchanted Highway. It is a collection of metal sculptures placed at regular intervals I-94. The sculptures end at the town of Regent, 32 miles from the beginning.
Each sculpture has a parking area and a kiosk where the visitors can spend some time. There are many sculptures on the highway including ‘Geese in Flight’, ‘Grasshoppers in Field’, ‘World’s Largest Tin Family’, and more.
Visitors can also enjoy the gift shop at Regent ND where you get a miniature version of all these statues.
Spend a Day in Fargo
Are you wondering about things to do in North Dakota? Then you should spend a day in Fargo to see everything that this place has to offer.
Fargo is one of the most beautiful cities in the midwest that is home to a lot of fun and informative attractions. The Plains Art Museum in the city is one of the top attractions in North Dakota. There are over 3,000 art pieces here by artists around the world.
Another top attraction in North Dakota is the West Acres Mall in Fargo. With over 100 stores, it is the largest mall in the state and has several shopping and restaurant options.
There are several other museums, historic places, and fun attractions to visit in Fargo. Plus, the city’s skyline during sunset is too beautiful to miss out on. This is why one cannot miss out on this North Dakota attraction in the state.
Chateau de Mores
Chateau de Mores, a historic home in Medora, is one of the top things to see in North Dakota. Built by Marquis de Mores in 1883, this was his summer home and hunting lodge.
Visitors can go to this house and see the permanent exhibit to learn more about de Mores family. Take a tour of this beautiful home that features 26 rooms that have been turned into a museum now. The museum holds several original artifacts of the family including a small refrigerator, stagecoach, and more.
There are several fun activities to enjoy here such as the History Alive! program. Learn about the locals and their lives via entertaining monologues from the past.
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
Wondering what to do in North Dakota? If so, then you can visit Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site.
This was one of the grandest forts and the most important fur-trading stop in the 19th century. Built to impress the local tribes, the large white mansion is quite grand and was the home of the head merchant and his family.
Visitors can tour around the house to learn more about the family. Watch a short film about this trading post, attend the Indian Arts Showcase, or look through the artifacts from the American Indian war.
Are you interested in the history and culture of American Indians? Then do not miss visiting this national historic site!
Canoeing/Kayaking in the Little Missouri River
A tributary of the Missouri River, the Little Missouri River is a popular attraction in North Dakota for nature and water lovers.
This scenic river cuts through the famous Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the state. If you wish to experience the beauty of the Badlands in the state, then float in the Little Missouri River on a canoe. It takes around 5-7 days to cover the river starting from Medora and ending at Lost Bridge.
Apart from canoeing, one can also go boating and kayaking in the river. Visitors can camp near the river in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park for a fun adventure.
If you wish to experience water activities, then the Little Missouri River is one of the top North Dakota attractions not to miss!
North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum
Are you a history buff? If yes, then one of the best North Dakota attractions for you to visit is the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum.
Located on the same grounds as the State Capitol, this museum features history from prehistoric times. There are four museum galleries with thousands of exhibits and displays here.
From Tyrannosaurus skeletons to the Hubble Space telescope, you will find it all here. You can also watch the stunning northern lights in the steel and glass-based Northern Lights Atrium in the museum.
If you also love history and want to see cool spectacles, then this is definitely an attraction in North Dakota not to miss!
Packing List For Visiting North Dakota Attractions
If you will be traveling, either by plane or by car to North Dakota here are some tips on how to pack lightly.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting ND. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking selfies when staying in one of the best Airbnbs in Illinois.
Hydration is so important when traveling. You want to remain hydrated throughout your travels to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. when hiking This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Here we have presented to you 15 of the best things to do in North Dakota. There is something for everyone on this spectacular list!
We hope you have inspired you to explore the great state of North Dakota. Let us know if you have visited any of the suggestions here, and if you have any other to add, please do so in the comment section below.