Exploring North Dakota’s Rich Heritage: Prairie Skies and Cultural Highs

Discover Devils Lake

Devils Lake, often hailed as the crown jewel of North Dakota’s lakes, stands out as the largest natural body of water in the state. Nestled in the scenic Coteau des Prairies region, this expansive lake covers over 122,000 acres, providing a picturesque setting surrounded by rolling hills and vast prairies. Devils Lake offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities, from fishing for walleye and perch to boating and birdwatching. Its ever-changing shoreline, influenced by natural fluctuations in water levels, adds to the allure, creating a dynamic and visually captivating landscape.

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Interesting Facts about North Dakota

01

Plenty of Lakes

Despite being known for its prairies, North Dakota is home to over 1,000 lakes, including the prominent Devils Lake.

02

International Peace Garden

Straddling the U.S.-Canada border, the International Peace Garden features stunning floral displays, hiking trails, and a serene environment for outdoor recreation.

03

Highway 200

North Dakota has a unique stretch of U.S. Highway 200, known as the “Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway,” offering picturesque views.

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Must See Attractions

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Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Nature & Parks

Nestled in the rugged Badlands of North Dakota, is a captivating wilderness area renowned for its dramatic landscapes, diverse wildlife, and the preservation of the rugged terrain that inspired the 26th President of the United States in his conservation efforts.

Scandinavian Heritage Association

Speciality Museums

The Scandinavian Heritage Association is a cultural hub dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of Scandinavian immigrants through events, exhibits, and educational programs.

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

Nature & Parks

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, located near Mandan offers a journey into the region’s history, featuring reconstructed military structures and the iconic On-A-Slant Indian Village, providing visitors with a glimpse into the area’s Native American and military past.

Where to Sleep

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North Dakota Lakes to Discover

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1. Alkali Lake

53 Miles

Located in the Badlands, Alkali Lake offers a unique outdoor experience with its rugged surroundings, making it a destination for hiking and wildlife observation.

2. Lemmon Lake

119 Miles

A hidden gem in the Sheyenne National Grassland, Lemmon Lake offers a peaceful environment for fishing, camping, and connecting with nature.

3. Spiritwood Lake

120 Miles

Surrounded by woodlands and parkland, Spiritwood Lake provides a picturesque setting for water recreation, including boating, fishing, and lakeside picnics.

4. Ashtabula Lake

150 Miles

Nestled in the Sheyenne National Grassland, Ashtabula Lake is a peaceful reservoir popular for fishing, birdwatching, and enjoying the serene prairie surroundings.

5. Devils Lake

161 Miles

As the largest natural lake in North Dakota, Devils Lake spans over 122,000 acres, attracting anglers with its diverse fish species and providing a scenic retreat.

6. Lake Sakakawea

180 Miles

Lake Sakakawea, formed by the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River, boasts over 1,300 miles of shoreline, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and camping.

7. Sweetwater Lake

192 Miles

Tucked away in the Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area, Sweetwater Lake provides a serene retreat for fishing, kayaking, and exploring the scenic trails nearby.

8. Stump Lake

205 Miles

Known for its scenic beauty and abundant waterfowl, Stump Lake is a reservoir offering a tranquil escape for kayaking, birding, and nature enthusiasts.

Annual Events and Festivals

Wednesday, March 6 – Sunday, March 10, 2024

North Dakota Winter Show

The event is a winter extravaganza that celebrates the resilience of agriculture and rural life in the northern plains. It offers a diverse array of attractions, including a thrilling rodeo that showcases the skills of both seasoned and up and coming cowboys and cowgirls. Livestock enthusiasts gather for impressive displays of farm animals, while a bustling trade show provides a platform for the latest agricultural innovations and products.

Saturday, June 15 – Thursday, July 4, 2024

Dickinson Roughrider Days

Dickinson Roughrider Days is an annual western celebration that encapsulates the spirit of frontier heritage. Held in Dickinson each June, this event is a vibrant amalgamation of rodeo excitement, live music, and community festivities. The highlight of Roughrider Days is the rodeo, where skilled cowboys and cowgirls showcase their prowess in various events, including bull riding, barrel racing, and bronc riding. Families can enjoy a diverse range of activities, from carnival rides to delicious fair food. Dickinson Roughrider Days not only pays homage to the region’s cowboy culture.

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Wednesday, September 25 – Saturday September 28, 2024

Norsk Høstfest

Norsk Høstfest in Minot stands as the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, offering a captivating celebration of Nordic heritage and traditions. Held annually in September, this cultural extravaganza transforms the North Dakota State Fairgrounds into a bustling hub of Scandinavian festivities. Attendees can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Nordic culture through a myriad of activities, including traditional folk dancing, authentic cuisine, and captivating live music performances.

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Top Hiking Trails

Wind Canyon Trail

Wind Canyon Trail, Medora, North dakota 58645

Wind Canyon Trail in North Dakota is a beautiful but short hiking trail that offers nature enthusiasts a captivating journey through the rugged Badlands terrain. Located within Theodore Roosevelt National Park, this loop trail is known for its stunning views and unique geological formations. The Wind Canyon Trail provides hikers with an opportunity to explore the dramatic landscapes carved by the flow of the Little Missouri River.

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The Big Plateau and Ekblom Trail Loop

Ekblom Trl, Medora, north dakota 58645

This scenic loop encompasses both the expansive Big Plateau Trail and the picturesque Ekblom Trail, providing hikers with a diverse and immersive experience of the park’s unique landscapes. Hikers are treated to sweeping vistas of the Badlands, with its rugged canyons and distinctive rock formations but also the more intimate exploration of the park’s flora and fauna, including the chance to encounter the diverse wildlife that inhabits the region. The loop is well-marked, making it accessible for hikers of varying skill levels.

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Prairie Dog Town via Buckhorn Trail

Caprock Coulee Trl, Grassy Butte, North Dakota 58634

As hikers traverse the Buckhorn Trail, the terrain gradually unfolds into expansive grasslands, providing a scenic backdrop to the lively prairie dog community. These curious and social creatures can be observed in their bustling town, engaging in playful interactions and standing sentry to alert their companions of potential threats. The Buckhorn Trail, just less than 2 miles, with its moderate difficulty level, allows hikers to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the Badlands while providing an up-close encounter with the park’s charismatic wildlife.

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Best Golf Courses

The Links Of North Dakota

5153 109th Avenue NW, Ray, north dakota 58849

The Links of North Dakota is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts, offering a blend of beauty and challenging play. Located in Ray, North Dakota, this championship golf course unfolds across the picturesque landscape of the state’s northwest region. Designed by renowned architect Stephen Kay, The Links is renowned for its links style layout, featuring fairways, bunkering, and greens. As players navigate the course, they are treated to views of the surrounding prairie, creating a serene and immersive golfing experience.

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The Rock Golf Course

3400 Burnt Creek Loop Bismarck, north dakota 58501

Nestled along the scenic bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, Hawktree Golf Club in Bismarck, North Dakota, stands as a golfing gem that seamlessly integrates the beauty of the prairie landscape with a challenging and meticulously designed course. Created by renowned golf course architect Jim Engh, Hawktree is celebrated for its unique layout, featuring dramatic elevation changes, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating fairways that demand precision and strategic shot-making. The signature 14th hole, known as the “Island Green,” is a testament to the course’s creativity and difficulty, providing a thrilling experience for players.

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Kings Walk Golf Course

5301 Columbia Road Grand Forks, north dakota 58201

Kings Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks, North Dakota, offers golfers a delightful blend of challenging play and scenic beauty. Designed by Arnold Palmer, this 18 hole championship course seamlessly integrates the natural features of the Red River Valley, providing a picturesque backdrop for an exceptional golfing experience. The signature hole, the par-3 16th, boasts an island green surrounded by water, adding an exciting element to the round.

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Water Sports

Lake Metigoshe Boating

Boating

Whether you prefer the serenity of a quiet paddle on the Sheyenne River or the thrill of water skiing on Lake Metigoshe, North Dakota’s diverse waterways cater to all boating preferences. Boaters can enjoy the unique combination of wide open spaces, breathtaking landscapes, and the occasional wildlife sighting, making every excursion on the water a memorable and rewarding experience in the Peace Garden State.

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Perch Eyes Guide Services

Fishing

Devils Lake, often heralded as the “Perch Capital of the World,” stands as a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts in North Dakota. Nestled in the scenic landscapes of the state, this expansive natural reservoir boasts a thriving fishery, drawing anglers from far and wide. Known for its robust population of walleye, perch, northern pike, and white bass, Devils Lake offers a diverse and exciting fishing experience and with the help of Perch Eyes Guide Services anglers can cast their lines out onto the lake’s expansive waters, which cover over 200,000 acres.

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Sweetwater Lake Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking enthusiasts in North Dakota discover a serene and immersive experience as they navigate the calm waters of Sweetwater Lake. Sweetwater Lake crystal-clear waters offer a perfect setting for kayaking adventures. Paddlers can leisurely explore the lake’s intricate shoreline, gliding past lush forests and scenic coves. With minimal motorized boat traffic, kayakers can relish the tranquility and connect with nature.

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01

01 / Cross Country Skiing

While North Dakota may not boast towering mountains, it offers excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing. Winter recreation areas like Turtle River State Park and Icelandic State Park provide groomed trails that wind through picturesque forests and along frozen riverbanks. Cross-country skiers can glide through the peaceful winter scenery, enjoying the tranquility of snow covered plains and the crisp northern air. These trails cater to skiers of all skill levels, making it an accessible and family-friendly activity.

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02 / Ice Skating

Many communities throughout North Dakota embrace the colder months by creating outdoor ice rinks in parks or designated areas. Whether gliding on a frozen pond in a quiet town or enjoying the festive atmosphere of a community ice rink, ice skating provides a timeless and family-friendly activity. Local parks often feature well-maintained rinks where individuals of all ages can lace up their skates and navigate the smooth ice surfaces.

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03 / Ice Fishing

Ice fishing in North Dakota is a winter tradition that draws anglers to frozen lakes and rivers like Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea. Fishers can hope to catch walleye, perch, northern pike, and other cold water species.

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Resorts to Explore

Coteau des Prairies Lodge

Recreational, Rustic
9953 141st Ave SE, Havana, North Dakota 58043

Woodland Resort

Lakeside Resort, Recreational
1012 Woodland Dr, Devils Lake, North Dakota 58301

Indian Hills Resort

Lakeside Resort, Family friendly
7276 14th NW, Garrison, North Dakota 58540

Tips on Vacationing in North Dakota

Prepare for Scenic Drives

Explore the state’s beauty through scenic drives like the Enchanted Highway or the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway. These routes showcase the vast landscapes and unique landmarks.

Outdoor Activities

Take advantage of the state’s natural beauty by engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and birdwatching. Check out the Maah Daah Hey Trail or explore the shores of Lake Sakakawea.

Northern Lights

If you’re visiting in the winter, consider heading to rural areas with minimal light pollution to catch the Northern Lights, a mesmerizing natural phenomenon.

Rural Sights

Some attractions may be in rural areas with limited services. Plan accordingly, ensuring you have sufficient fuel, snacks, and other essentials for the journey.

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Jet Skiing

North Dakota beckons with its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and friendly atmosphere. 

The state’s striking landscapes, including the Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, offer outdoor enthusiasts and photographers opportunities to immerse themselves in rugged, unspoiled terrain. Visitors can explore the historical sites, museums, and cultural heritage that highlight North Dakota’s role in shaping America’s past. 

From the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, inspired by the former president’s love for the area, to the historical sites commemorating Native American heritage, North Dakota is where history comes to life.

Beyond its natural and historical attractions, North Dakota offers unique experiences like chasing the Northern Lights. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the state provides an authentic American adventure, often at a more affordable cost compared to popular tourist destinations. 

North Dakota is a hidden gem worth exploring if you seek a quieter and less traveled corner of the United States that offers a rich tapestry of experiences.

Local Attractions in North Dakota

While visiting North Dakota, get ready to explore some fantastic events, festivals, and attractions. Here are some of the tourist destinations you should include in your itinerary.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park welcomes you with its beautiful landscapes, wildlife sightings, and outdoor activities. Unwind by hiking, participating in guided tours, or enjoying the picturesque views.

At Ralph Engelstad Arena, a world-class facility in Grand Forks, catch thrilling sports events and concerts. This popular spot draws visitors worldwide, making it a must-see for entertainment enthusiasts.

Dive into the region’s history at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park South Unit Visitor Center. Learn fascinating facts and immerse yourself in the captivating stories of the area’s past.

During your stay, take advantage of the opportunity to attend some of the many festivals held throughout the year. Two of the most popular are the North Dakota State Fair in Minot and the Fargo Film Festival. These events showcase local talents and provide an excellent chance to engage with the community and taste the state’s culture.

Your North Dakota vacation rental is a perfect base to explore all these attractions and more. Don’t hesitate to venture further and visit other notable spots like the Enchanted Highway, famous for its enormous metal sculptures, or the International Peace Garden, a symbol of peace and friendship between the US and Canada.

In summary, your trip to North Dakota offers a variety of opportunities to experience events, festivals, and attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, sports enthusiast, history buff, or art and culture fan, you’ll find something to suit your interests in this beautiful state.

Top Destination Recommendations

Medora
When visiting Medora, make sure to explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A stay in a charming vacation rental will make your trip all the more enjoyable. With local B&B options and cozy cabins, you’ll feel right at home in this picturesque town.

Bismarck
Bismarck, North Dakota’s capital city, offers a variety of sightseeing opportunities and cultural experiences. Choose from vacation rentals like condos and houses for a comfortable stay. Remember to visit the iconic State Capitol while you’re in town!

Devils Lake
Devils Lake is perfect for a relaxing getaway. Discover lakefront vacation rentals with incredible Lake Sakakawea views to enjoy your time here. Spend your days fishing, boating, or simply taking in the area’s natural beauty.

Grand Forks
Grand Forks offers a mix of urban excitement and natural beauty. Book a vacation rental near the Alerus Center for convenient access to events or explore the local parks and trails. You’re sure to find a rental that suits your needs here.

Badlands
The ND Badlands, with towns like Grassy Butte and Gladstone, provide a unique and rugged experience. Opt for a cabin or vacation rental near Beulah as your base for exploring these majestic landscapes. You’ll appreciate the beauty and history this region has to offer.

Remember to check reviews and choose vacation rentals that best suit your needs and preferences during your stay in these charming North Dakota destinations. 

Types of Vacation Rentals in North Dakota

Cabin Rentals
Whether you’re looking for a quaint, cozy getaway or a place to relax after a day of outdoor adventures, cabin rentals in North Dakota are a popular choice. For instance, the charming cabin in Medina offers a comfortable stay with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a grill, and great prairie views.

Cozy Apartments
For travelers who prefer to stay in the heart of the city, cozy apartments are available throughout North Dakota. In Bismarck, you can find a lower-level apartment in a duplex with daylight windows, perfect for a quiet stay near shopping, food, and entertainment options. Remember, these apartments usually have separate entries for added privacy.

Tiny Houses
If you want unique and minimalist accommodations, consider staying in a tiny house near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. These small houses typically sleep 2-4 guests, have 1 bedroom and a bathroom and are a great way to experience North Dakota’s picturesque surroundings without compromising comfort.

Log Cabins
For an authentic North Dakota experience, check out a log cabin. These lodgings often feature rustic interiors and exteriors, allowing you to immerse yourself in a serene, natural environment. Be prepared to find comfort and simplicity in their 1 or 2 bedroom accommodations.

City Center Properties
City center properties in North Dakota offer convenience and easy access to all the attractions in bustling city centers such as Fargo. Staying close to the city center means you’ll have a choice of various apartment types, from clean and comfortable 1 bedroom accommodations to luxurious penthouses with private rooftop patios.

Penthouses
Indulge in a luxurious stay with a penthouse in the heart of downtown Fargo, complete with a private rooftop patio for panoramic city views. These upscale accommodations come with multiple bedrooms, spacious living areas, and modern amenities, providing an unforgettable vacation experience.

Vacation Houses
For larger groups or families, spacious vacation houses offer ample space and accommodations, often including multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. North Dakota has a variety of homes to choose from, such as bright lakefront houses with stunning views. Some even have bonus features like saunas, making your stay much more enjoyable.

Vacation Rentals Features

With options ranging from cozy cabins to spacious houses, you can find the perfect accommodation.

Views
Many vacation rentals in North Dakota offer stunning views of natural landscapes—imagine waking up to the sight of rolling prairies, lush forests, or serene lakes! Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, these picture-perfect views will never disappoint.

Sleeps
North Dakota rentals cater to various group sizes, ensuring comfortable and cozy accommodations for everyone. House rentals can average host up to eight guests, making them an ideal choice for family trips, friends’ gatherings, or even corporate retreats.

Availability & Prices
Ensure a smooth booking process by searching early and comparing prices from multiple platforms like Lake, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Rent By Owner. Prices average around $131 per night, often with 30-40% discounts compared to hotels. Just make sure to check the availability during your intended travel dates.

Kitchen
Home-cooked meals can quickly become the highlight of your vacation. Most rentals in North Dakota feature fully equipped kitchens.

WiFi
Staying connected during your trip is a breeze, with most vacation rentals offering free WiFi. Catch up on work, share your travel experiences on social media, or stream your favorite shows without hassle.

Onsite Parking
Have a car at your disposal? Opt for a rental that provides onsite parking, ensuring convenience, safety, and peace of mind throughout your stay.

Barbecue Grills
Enjoy a memorable cookout with family and friends by choosing a rental with outdoor barbecue grills. Nothing beats bonding over delicious food and conversations under the North Dakota sky.

So go ahead and start browsing your options—your dream rental awaits!

Tips for Booking a Rental Property

Here are some helpful tips to guide you through the booking process:

1. Determine your priorities

Consider what amenities are essential for your stay. Do you want a pet-friendly property or a vacation rental with a pool? Are you looking for a tiny house near Theodore Roosevelt National Park or a private entry ground floor townhome? Knowing what you value most will help narrow down your search.

2. Keep your budget in mind

North Dakota accommodations can vary in price, so be sure to set a budget beforehand. Remember, sometimes, booking during off-peak seasons can lead to better deals.

3. Research locations

Consider the activities and attractions you plan to visit, such as Roosevelt National Park, Lake Sakakawea, or River Cities Speedway. Finding a rental property near these attractions can save you time and provide a more enjoyable experience.

4. Review available properties

Use search platforms like Airbnb, Hometogo, or Rent By Owner™ to explore various rental options in North Dakota. Pay attention to the property ratings and user reviews to find highly rated, inviting accommodation.

5. Check for additional features

Besides the standard amenities, look for unique offerings like a garden, crib, TV, or elevator that can enhance your stay. Property near water parks like Splasher’s of the South Seas might be a great option if traveling with family or kids.

6. Be flexible with dates

If you have some flexibility in your travel plans, take advantage of it. Changing your dates slightly may help you find better deals or secure a rental property with your desired amenities.

7. Book early

Popular areas, especially near attractions like the Black Tiger Bay State Recreation Area, may fill up quickly. Booking your rental property early ensures you have an incredible selection of available properties.

You can make the most of your North Dakota vacation rental experience by following these tips.

Frequently Asked Questions about North Dakota

North Dakota offers a variety of cabin rentals in picturesque locations. Some popular areas include Medora, near the beautiful Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Dickinson, near Dickinson State University. When searching for the perfect cabin, consider your desired vacation activities and the nearby attractions.

Use vacation rental websites like Lake, Vrbo, Rent By Owner, and Hometogo to find the perfect North Dakota cabin rental. Enter your desired location, dates, and any specific preferences to narrow your search. You can also filter your search based on your budget, number of guests, and preferred amenities.

North Dakota cabin rentals come with various amenities to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. You can expect essentials like bedding, linens, and a fully-equipped kitchen for preparing meals. Additionally, many cabins offer conveniences like Wi-Fi, parking, and wheelchair accessibility. Don’t forget to check the listing details to confirm the specific amenities available in your chosen rental.

Yes, there are pet-friendly vacation rentals available in North Dakota. When searching rental websites, filter the results to display pet-friendly options. Read the property description carefully to understand any specific pet policies or limitations before making your reservation.

The average cost of renting a cabin in North Dakota varies depending on location, size, and amenities. On average, the nightly price for a vacation rental in North Dakota starts at $54. House rentals cost about $265 per night, while apartment rentals average $196 per night.

While this search doesn’t specifically mention lakefront cabins, there is a possibility that such rentals exist in North Dakota. When searching for your ideal vacation rental, it’s a good idea to include “lakefront” as a keyword in your search criteria or use the available filters to narrow down the results.

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