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North Dakota: Vacation in the Peace Garden State

North Dakota is one of the least densely populated US states. This naturally brings forth formidable outdoor recreation as well as unspoiled natural scenarios. The warm summers attract many tourists who want to escape the hectic and stress of the Midwestern cities.

North Dakota can be divided into several regions. In the west, those are the Great Plains and the Badlands. Here, the state’s highest point, White Butt at 3,506 feet, is located. In central North Dakota, the topography is divided into the Drift Prairie and the Missouri Plateau. Lakes and rolling hills dominate the landscape. In the east, one finds the Red River Valley as well as Devil’s Lake, the largest natural lake in the state.

North Dakota has a continental climate, as is typical for a central US state. Cold winters and hot summers make for extreme differences between the coldest and hottest days of the year. It is one of the most rural states, with farms covering more than 90 % of the territory.

North Dakota was first reached by French explorers in the 1730s. In 1803, much of today’s North Dakotan territory was annexed by the US government in the Louisiana Purchase. In 1889, the state was formally admitted to the Union.

State Parks

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the Badlands in the northwestern portion of the state. Established in 1978, it actually comprises three different geographical areas. It was named after the former US President who worked here for some years. The Elkhorn Ranch has been preserved and may be visited. The park lies within the Little Missouri National Grassland, the largest grassland area in the entire US.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a different sight so see each season. The nature is made up of clinker rocks and the grasslands that display a golden hue in the summer months. In winter, snow is not unusual, covering the landscape with a white layer. The wildlife is great, including such rare species like buffalo, elk and longhorn as well as bighorn sheep and blacksnakes.


Bismarck is North Dakota’s second most populous city and the state capital, located in the central portion of the state. The population is estimated at only some 60,000 people. The city is located beautifully on the Missouri Plateau by the Missouri River. The town of Mandan sits on the other river bank. The North Dakota State Capital building towers over the cityscape. The region usually gets long, cold winters and hot and humid summers.

Despite not being a rather small metropolitan area, Bismarck-Mandan houses many galleries and art spaces as well as a symphony orchestra. Several biking and walking trails make for excellent outdoor relaxation. All in all, they span more than 30 miles in and around Bismarck.


Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota with about 90,000 residents. It is located at the eastern border of the state. The Fargo-Moorhead area spanning over to the neighboring state of Minnesota is a bustling community full of all kinds of events and activities, cultural and fun, sophisticated and mundane alike. Whether you are looking for a night out in the opera, theater or a visit to a rodeo, the zoo or a rock concert: Fargo is the place where you find it all.

Fargo houses North Dakota State University, which has a great fine arts division, among many other attractions. Several golf courses invite for some sportive moments. From stock car and horse racing to film viewing at the Fargo Theater, one of the oldest vintage movie houses in the region, Fargo is anything but boring.

Devils Lake

Devils Lake is the state’s largest body of water. The lake offers some of the finest fishing opportunities in the US (especially walleye and pike) and is a prime tourist destination. Additionally, some of the best duck and goose hunting can be undertaken at Devils Lake. Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime as well, for instance at Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve, where bison herds can be spotted. Devils Lake holds in store a vast variety of accommodation and is a great place for any water sports and natural activities.

Grand Forks & Red River Valley

Grand Forks in the northeast is home to the North Dakota Museum of Arts, located on the campus of the University of North Dakota. The city is located at the western banks of the Red River, which forms the eastern state border. In the far-reaching Red River Valley, some of the finest wineries can be found. The presence of the university gives Grand Forks many high-calls cultural facilities such as the Chester Fritz Auditorium. The Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra has been active ever since 1905. The Grand Forks Park District stems from the same year. Relaxation amidst a green environment is made possible in the Greater Grand Forks Greenway, running along the Red River banks.


Located in the northwestern portion of the state, the city of Minot was founded in 1886 during the construction of the Great Northern Railroad. There are several sites of interest here, including the Dakota Territory Air Museum, the Scandinavian Heritage Park, and the Roosevelt Park and Zoo.

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