Scenic wonders throughout North Dakota create the foundation of an attractive and intriguing destination. Some states are renowned for water parks, colossal shopping malls, or sports events, but North Dakota's biggest attributes are closely tied to nature. North Dakota tourist attractions reveal much about the history of the vast and rural state through historical sites, stunning state parks and wildlife refuges, lakes and valleys, and many other pristine natural areas. North Dakota vacations invite an unrivaled opportunity to explore one of the most unique U.S. states.
Boasting four distinct seasons, North Dakota offers a variety of backdrops for visitors to choose from. Steamy summer days by the lake and warm refreshing spring days illuminated by new blooms attract warm-weather lovers. The explosion of intense fall colors and crisp winters presenting powdery vistas are ideal for spectacular scenery. Though most attractions in North Dakota can be visited any time of year, there are certainly more advantageous times to see specific places. The hundreds of lakes are best enjoyed in the warm months when swimming and other water recreation is ideal. A trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, one of the more famous North Dakota tourist attractions, is most breathtaking during the fall months when the foliage brightens every turn.
The majority of North Dakota attractions aren't limited to any one area of the region, but one of the biggest attractions of all, the Badlands, is located in the western part of the state in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Badlands are a striking example of a landscape modeled over time by intense weather and wind. Erosion of the soft sedimentary rock across the area played a major role in sculpting this environment into an artwork of nature. Of paramount interest to anthropologists and geologists, some of the most important fossils of our time were discovered in the Badlands.
The mysterious and mesmerizing ghost towns are another of the unique attractions in North Dakota well worth visiting. In some areas you'll see clusters of old buildings, creating a portrait of early pioneer days. In some of the best-known ghost towns there may be only one or two relics left behind, faded over time. Of interest to many tourists, ghost towns are found throughout the state and near interesting and noteworthy cities such as relaxed Minot and picturesque Williston.
One of the most captivating of all North Dakota attractions, and one created from hearty ambition and a great sense of perseverance, is the Enchanted Highway. Begun in 1998, this incredible example of larger-than-life metal sculptures, depicting everyday scenes around the state, is the handiwork and passion of Gary Greff, a retired teacher and hobbyist metalworker. Visitors with car rentals will find it especially convenient to tour this exciting stretch of highway, home to seven colossal statues. Within driving distance are the two memorable cities of Dickinson and Bismarck.
Scores of museums offer the best indoor North Dakota tourist attractions. Visitors can absorb a range of historical information and view an array of artifacts, dinosaur fossils, artwork, depictions of early settlers’ lives, and much more. The state capitol is another of the attractions in North Dakota not to be missed. Tours of the building and grounds are a great way to view the entire expanse of this destination. Nature lovers relish an unrivaled number of wildlife refuges and parks ideal for many outdoor activities but best for bird-watching. Hundreds of striking bird species can be seen throughout the year at most of the protected areas.
Outdoor adventurers will love the large number of attractions found in the great outdoors. Outdoor North Dakota attractions include golfing, fishing, and all levels of hiking. For the thrill seekers, there are numerous casinos, and for those seeking an all-encompassing vacation, there are many diverse North Dakota vacation packages available. From the arid Badlands to the lush parks and intriguing cities, North Dakota is more than just rural—it's distinct and unequaled.