Channel your inner explorer by venturing to the picturesque state of North Dakota, where legends and legendary getaways are born. From an abundance of outdoor activities to rich history and culture, there are so many great things to see and do in North Dakota. Fill your itinerary with exciting attractions or special events, and take your pick between luxury properties or cozy accommodations. Book your North Dakota vacation rental today. Wherever you choose to visit in this Great Plains state, your experience will be unforgettable. Check out the best cities and towns in North Dakota this Independence Day.
This North Dakota attraction is number 1 on our list for a reason. You and your kids will love Frontier Village and the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown. Original buildings from frontier villages in North Dakota have been moved here and filled with antiques and artifacts to transport you back in time and bring the prairie pioneers to life. You can also shop for handmade goods and souvenirs, have a light lunch at the General Store, or watch a live show at the outdoor amphitheater. Don’t leave without taking a picture in front of the World’s Largest Buffalo Monument!
Fargo might have become well-known across the nation thanks to the TV show and movie of the same name, but it’s also an amazing vacation destination. Any kids fascinated with planes will love the Fargo Air Museum, the premier flying museum in the Upper Midwest. See a rotation of historic flyable airplanes including P-51 Mustang, Duggy – “the Smile in the Sky” airplane, TBM Avenger, Corsair, L Birds, PT-19 Fairchild, Pitts Special, Wright Flyer replica, Ag Cat and more. Second on your list should be the Red River Zoo featuring more than 300 animals of 75 species, including many endangered species.
Bonanzaville is located in West Fargo, but we had to list it on its own. Cass County Historical Society Bonanzaville is comprised of 43 historic buildings and more than 400,000 artifacts, and it’s definitely the area’s top tourist attraction. There is always something new to see at Bonanzaville, and be sure to join them for their Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration! This family celebration has a BBQ picnic, train rides, and costumed historical figures.
4. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
Take a self-guided tour at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park and get transported back to 1875, the year before the 7th Cavalry rode to the Little Bighorn. General George Custer’s last home is reconstructed along with the central barracks, granary, commissary and a stable. There are also five reconstructed earth lodges of On-A-Slant Indian Villages. Finish your visit at the Commissary Bookstore which houses a large collection book about Custer and the history of Fort Abraham Lincoln.
5. Theodore Roosevelt National Park – South Unit
Another park named after a famous president, but this one is more scenic splendor than the blast from the past. Take in the beauty of the North Dakota Badlands with a scenic loop drive, wildlife viewing, hiking, camping and ranger activities. To add a little education to your vacation, the South Unit Visitor Center is located in the adjacent town of Medora and has an information desk, park film, and museum with opportunities to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt and the Badlands.
Medora is home to the South Unit Visitor Center, but the family will also want to make a stop here for the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. Rustle up some of North Dakotas rich western heritage at this 15,000-square-foot interpretive center. For something a little more international, visit Chateau de Mores. This 26-room, two-story frame building was built in 1883 as the summer residence of the Marquis de Mores and his family and is now a historic house museum.
7. Lake Sakakawea State Park
Haven’t gotten enough of the great outdoors? Lake Sakakawea State Park, on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea, adjacent to Garrison Dam, offers a wide range of water-based recreational activities and facilities. The park has a full-service marina, modern picnicking facilities and a segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Sleeping cabins are also available during the summer months, or choose a nearby vacation rental for your stay!
Williston has not one but two awesome historic sites for your family. The Fort Buford State Historic Site was a military post and supply depot for the U.S. Army during the Indian wars. Sitting Bull, a Sioux Indian surrendered and was imprisoned here, as was Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site was home to John Jacob Astor’s powerful American Fur Company and the trading post that dominated the fur trade on the Upper Missouri River between 1829 and 1867. Today, you can see museum exhibits in the Bourgeois House and shop for gifts and souvenirs in the reconstructed Indian Trade House.
Minot was devastated by the floods of 2011, but now it’s back and better than ever with new hotels, new dining, and new activities to keep your family entertained. Our favorite attraction is the Minot Air Force Base, home to the 5th Bomb Wing. Take a drive-around tour of the facilities or flight line, or make a reservation for a step-on guide.
10. New Town
Last, but certainly not least, on our list is New Town, North Dakota. New Town is home to the Three Tribes Museum and Four Bears Bridge. At, Three Tribes Museum, named for 19 tribal chiefs of the three tribes, you can see artifacts relating to Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribal history and find traditional American Indian arts, crafts, and books. Four Bear Bridge is the longest bridge in North Dakota, spanning nearly a mile of Lake Sakakawea. Time for a new family photo!