If you truly want to experience some of the more unique and interesting aspects of North Dakota and places within it, then you have to check out these eight attractions. You won’t find anything like them anywhere else and you may not have heard of some of them before. They are all well worth a visit, so next chance you get, take the trip to see these places.
1. North Dakota Heritage Center - Bismarck
This is definitely a must-visit for anyone from North Dakota. It's just as great even if you aren't. This museum explores the history of the state all the way back to the dinosaurs, featuring huge dino skeletons, all the way to the heritage of the plains Indians, to the European settlers, and to present day. The beautiful facility is located directly on the capitol grounds, so you can see and visit the Skyscraper on the Prairie itself while you are there, too.
2. Mystical Horizons - Bottineau
Do you want to visit the Stonehenge but a trip to the United Kingdom is a bit too far for you? Fear not - there is a "modern Stonehenge" right here in North Dakota! Mystical Horizons is an installment of various stone pillars to represent a prairie version of the famous structure, and better yet, they are located right on the edge of the Turtle Mountains so the view is fantastic. These interesting pillars also serve as a functional solar calendar. Check them out for yourself!
3. Paul Broste Rock Museum - Parshall
Alright, I know that a rock museum doesn't sound too exciting - cue the famous Charlie Brown quote - but this one is actually awesome. The building itself is made from rocks in the area and is sometimes referred to as "the acropolis on the hill." The castle-like design entices people inside to check out what it holds, and it is well worth it to go in. The collection of polished rocks, gem stones, agate slices, and other minerals is hard to find matched elsewhere. In fact, some of the only known polished specimens of certain minerals are kept here among other very rare and valuable pieces. You'll never believe how fascinating rocks can be until you've visited this place.
4. Scandinavian Heritage Park - Minot
This impressive structure is based on a real Scandinavian church built hundreds of years ago. The park is a great place to explore the heritage of a lot of people who live in North Dakota. Over 35 percent of North Dakotans have Scandinavian ancestry. The park also features other attractions such as a massive dala horse and yearly events like the Norsk Høstfest. If you haven't been there yet, you should definitely plan a trip.
5. Fargo Air Museum - Fargo
This is a great stop if you're in Fargo, regardless of if you are a plane enthusiast or not. They have tons of planes - a lot of them still flyable - and other neat artifacts. You can see these beasts of the skies up close and personal. This is also a perfect one for the kids, because they'll be amazed at what this museum holds, and so will you!
6. Enchanted Highway - Regent
Why drive down a boring interstate when you can take a detour and travel down a highway with absolutely massive sculptures lining the sides? For this attraction you don't even have to step out of the car - just cruise down the road and see these towering structures appear as you go. This highway holds the world's largest metal sculpture, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
7. Plains Art Museum - Fargo
North Dakota isn't exactly famous for any of its art museums, and that is really quite a shame. The Plains Art Museum is a great example of a fine art museum that holds art of all styles from both local artists and others. And they also host yearly galas and they are always a blast and something that everyone should experience at least once. The next gala is May 7th, so get your fancy clothes on, enjoy the party, and check out some awesome exhibits in the museum.
8. Keelboat Park - Bismarck
Right along the Missouri River in Bismarck lies the Keelboat park. Not only is the river beautiful to take a stroll by, but various sculptures line the pathways, many by students and faculty of the United Tribes Technical College. One of the most interesting and beloved ones is the four-headed thunderbird statue. The thunderbird is a mythological creature and one of the only ones said to be found in North Dakota. According to legend, the massive wings of the giant bird caused thunder and stirred up the winds. The creature is also the mascot for the school. It's an easy to visit place to see some fascinating art installments as well as the beautiful Missouri River, right in the heart of Bismarck.