When traveling through the northwestern part of North Dakota, the city of Williston is a good place to stop for a while. Though Williston North Dakota is a small city, it is big on attractions, and these attractions can satisfy a range of tastes and preferences. Visiting historic sites is among the top things to do on Williston North Dakota vacations, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors here.
Williston rests on the northern banks of the Missouri River, and to the near east, Lake Sakakawea beckons those who have recreational activities in mind. Exploring downtown Williston is a joy in and of itself, especially if you like to shop. Main Street alone offers enough specialty shops to keep you busy for at least a couple of hours, and when you get hungry, the city and general area boast an array of restaurants to choose from. There's a lot to like about Williston North Dakota, and when you're not enjoying all that it has to offer, you can hop in the car and head out for some interesting side trips.
Lake Sakakawea is the largest man-made lake in the state, and the state park that shares its name offers fishing guide services, a marina, boat rentals, and more. Getting out on the water is easy at Lake Sakakawea State Park, and if you prefer to stay on dry land, you can always go hiking. The North Country National Scenic Trail, which is slated to stretch from the park all the way to upstate New York when finished, is an excellent trail for hiking, as it offers numerous opportunities to take in the landscape, the park's plants, and its animals. Birdwatching is an especially rewarding pursuit in Lake Sakakawea State Park, and among the bird species that you can spot here are golden eagles, northern mockingbirds, and whooping cranes. As for the land-based animals that call the park home, they include white-tailed deer, jackrabbits, and the occasional fox or coyote. More wildlife viewing can be enjoyed at the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge if you are interested. It's an even shorter drive to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is one of the best sightseeing destinations in the entire state.
The North Dakota Badlands, which offer some of the most breathtaking natural sights in the entire upper Midwest, pass through Theodore Roosevelt National Park, offering an ideal backdrop for hikers and campers to enjoy. In addition to hiking in the park, visitors can also enjoy tours on the paved auto route, and seeing animals along the way is usually part of the deal. Bison, wild horses, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs are just some of the animals that are commonly seen along this route and throughout the park itself. Williston North Dakota vacations often include trips to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and for good reason. The Lewis and Clark State Park, which is one of the top Williston attractions for nature lovers, offers plenty of recreational opportunities as well.
Booking a round of golf when visiting Williston North Dakota is another good way to get outside for a while. The Links of North Dakota at Red Mike Resort is a fantastic 18-hole course that any golfing enthusiast will enjoy. You'll find it along the shoreline of Lake Sakakawea, which only adds to its allure. Another area golf course that you can play is the Williston Municipal Golf Course, which offers nine fun and challenging holes. You'll enjoy scenic views when teeing it up on Williston North Dakota vacations, and if you want to learn more about those views, you can always include a visit to the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center on your agenda. This museum, which offers exhibits that focus on the geography and geology of the area, can be found just west of Williston near the Montana border.
Not far from the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center, you'll find both the Fort Buford State Historical Site and the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, which are two Williston attractions that history buffs certainly won't want to miss. Fort Buford, which served as a United States Army base in the late 1800s, is renowned for being the site where the famous Sioux Chief, Sitting Bull, surrendered. Some of the original buildings remain at Fort Buford, and one of them houses an interesting museum. The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site also has a museum, and the National Park Service has done well to reconstruct the post as it would have looked in the mid-1800s. Special events and activities take place at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site throughout the year, so checking the schedule when in town is always a good idea.
As mentioned, the Williston attractions are quite diverse, and the list of fun things to do only gets longer when you decide to include a few side trips in your plans. The city boasts its own small airport if you are interested in flying in, and you can also arrive here by way of an Amtrak train. Driving into town is of course a possibility as well. However you choose to arrive, the Williston hotels will provide you with a fair range of options, and you can always head to an area lodge or campground should you prefer.