There are many places in North Dakota that everyone likes to visit, but what about the lesser known places that deserve some more attention? Skip the hotspots and check out these underrated destinations that more people should know about, even North Dakotans themselves. They’ll show state history and natural beauty while they provide fun experiences for all ages. Take a look:
1. Pembina State Museum
The Pembina State Museum is located in one of the longest active regions of North Dakota, where Native American tribes dwelled for hundreds of years and the first European explorers and settlers came through. The museum has tons of this history available for viewing but the coolest thing about it is the observation tower that will take you high up in the air. The panoramic view of the surrounding river valley is impressive to say the least! Located at 805 ND-59 Pembina, ND, 58271.
2. Sully Creek State Park
The South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of the most visited places in North Dakota, but did you know there is a state park not far south of it that's just as beautiful and in such a neat location? Sully Creek State Park is right by Medora, ND and is located in a valley along the Little Missouri River between badland canyons. You get all the natural beauty of the TRNP while being more secluded. What's not to love? Located at 1465 36th St S, Medora, ND 58645.
3. Chautauqua Park
This charming little park in Valley City is right next to one of the town's coolest attractions, the Hi-Line Railroad Bridge. Having a picnic in this place will put you right by the Sheyenne River and give you an awesome view of the bridge, which at one point was one of the longest and tallest bridges of its kind in the world and is still in use today. Located at 933 12th St NE, Valley City, ND 58072.
4. North Dakota State Railroad Museum
Speaking of railroads, the railroad has been an integral part of North Dakota's history. There is no better place to experience and learn about that than the North Dakota State Railroad Museum in Mandan. You can view actual trains and parts of the railroad itself and check out the extensive history held inside the buildings. Located at 3102 37th St NW, Mandan, ND 58554.
5. Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway
One of the best ways to explore North Dakota's charming countryside and small towns is by taking the Old Red Old Ten Scenic Byway along the old Highway 10. It will take you through quite a few small towns, some with unusual yet fun attractions, and show you a great part of the Peace Garden State. Take the old Highway 10 from Mandan to Dickinson or vice versa to experience it.
6. Beaver Lake State Park
North Dakota has quite a few beautiful lake areas to enjoy some fishing, swimming, boating, or time out on the ice, and Beaver Lake State Park is one place that more people should know about. The gorgeous park is surrounded by trees and gently rolling hills and has everything you need for some fun at the lake. Located 3850 70th St SE, Wishek, ND 58495.
7. Frontier Village
Most people in North Dakota know about the World's Largest Buffalo Statue in Jamestown, but fewer people know about Frontier Village that lies just below. This village will take you back in time and bring you to the frontier days on the prairie. There is a whole town of old buildings that were brought in to create businesses like a dentist's office, saloon, general store, and more. Located at 404 Louis L'Amour Lane, Jamestown, ND.
8. Sully's Hill National Game Preserve
One of the coolest spots in North Dakota for the view of a lifetime is at Sully's Hill National Game Preserve. This park has great trails, beautiful wildlife, and it's situated right by Devils Lake, North Dakota's largest natural lake. Take a hike up the hill itself and you'll be able to see for miles and miles over the trees and prairie one direction and over the lake the other direction. Located at 2 Brunswick Rd, St. Michael, ND 58307.
9. Enchanted Highway
This unusual stretch of road in western North Dakota has been made into a tourist attraction that more people should know about - the Enchanted Highway. Huge metal sculptures line the road, depicting everything from pheasants and grasshoppers to deer jumping over a fence, and even Teddy Roosevelt on a horse, all larger than life as huge towering structures. There is also the record-breaking world's largest scrap metal sculpture, Geese In Flight, on the Enchanted Highway. All of these were made by one man and he plans on adding more. Located just outside of Regent, ND.
10. Buckstop Junction
Buckstop Junction is a neat historic town near Bismarck, North Dakota that is so much more than just a street of old buildings. This is like stepping into an actual town in the state a hundred years ago. The different streets all come together to form an entire town of neat antique buildings filled with things to fit the time they represent. Plus, they hold an annual Applefest that is very popular with visitors. Located at 3805 E Bismarck Expy, Bismarck, ND 58501.