Beyond the well known places and attractions in North Dakota are the hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. If you’ve already visited the more notable places in the state and are looking for more, then this is the bucket list for you. There are no other places in the world quite like them and they are what makes the Peace Garden State unique.
1. Edinburg General Store
This store draws people in to the small town of Edinburg based purely on the uniqueness of it. It is more than just a cute general store, it is practically a museum. On the inside of this three story building is just about everything you need, but also things like three tracks with replica trains running on them around the store. It is full of local history and its own quirkiness, and is a true hidden gem more people should know about.
2. Walk of Fame
Did you know there is a Walk of Fame in Fargo? Right outside of the visitors center on the sidewalk is a series of concrete slabs with the signatures, handprints, and footprints of many famous people who have been through there. The band Metallica, for instance, has made their mark on this walk. It is fun to see what names you can find and recognize here and see what they wrote.
3. Des Lacs Wildlife Refuge
This stunning wildlife refuge in North Dakota surrounds part of the Des Lacs lakes and are full of birds, animals, and more. It is definitely a place you'll want to bring a camera with for pictures; it is absolutely gorgeous.
4. Sertoma Park, Japanese Gardens
Grand Fork's sister city of Awano, Japan donated a Japanese Garden within the 22 acre park. Beautiful statues, fountains, and more that make it a delightful place to see. There aren't any other places in North Dakota to experience a Japanese Garden at this size, so get a taste of Japan by visiting this park.
5. The Larger-Than-Life Animals
This could be a bucket list on its own for those of you who like roadside attractions. North Dakota has a group of behemoth animals scattered around the state, of all shapes and species. Salem Sue the holstein cow in New Salem, Wahpper the catfish in Wahpeton, and Dakota Thunder the buffalo in Jamestown are just a few that you can find. Take a road trip across the state just to find them all.
6. Lake Metigoshe State Park
One of the most serene, naturally gorgeous places in the state is definitely Lake Metigoshe. The dense forests surrounding the marshes, ponds, and lakes creates the most mesmerizing experience when hitting the trails here, camping among the trees, or setting out on the crystal clear waters in a canoe or kayak. It is nothing short of perfect and a wonderful way to just immerse yourself in nature and relax.
7. Petrified Forest
If you're going to visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which you should if you haven't, there is a trail you should take to see a part of the park that is truly historic - prehistoric, that is. This loop trail will take you through one of the last remaining petrified forests in the country, and you can go up and see the massive, mineralized tree stumps that once stood during the time of the dinosaurs. Through a lengthy process lasting thousands of years, the stumps of the trees turned to stone as natural fossils still standing today. It is the perfect extra stop while in the park that more people should know about.
8. Paul Broste Rock Museum
Speaking of stones and minerals, North Dakota has an extremely unique rock museum near the town of Parshall. This stone structure was made out of local rocks, but its not just what's on the outside that is special. Inside there is an immense collection of rocks and minerals from all over the world, some of which are only found right here. Many of them are polished into unusual spheres or slabs. Even if you aren't that into rock collecting, the special attributes these gems have are fascinating and pretty to look at.
9. Fort Ransom State Park
Nestled in the Sheyenne River Valley is a picturesque forest among gently rolling hills that contains some of the early homesteading heritage of North Dakota. Not only is it a great place to hike, camp, and more, it also has a historic farmstead with an annual event called Sodbuster Days to celebrate those early farmers in the state that made a life off the land.