Experience the History and Culture of North Dakota
These stops offer nature, history, and the uniqueness of the Great Plains
North Dakota is a state filled with rich history and beautiful nature that travelers will absolutely love to explore. Since the state is situated along the Canadian border in the Midwest, the winter months can see cold temperatures and snow, making the more comfortable summer months the ideal time to travel there. North Dakota was named for the Sioux people who originally populated the region and has a rich culture and history that pays homage to its past. In addition, the state features natural beauty from the Great Plains, Badlands, and Missouri River. With so much to enjoy, both indoors and outdoors, North Dakota is a wonderful place to travel in the warm summer months. Here are six places that everyone should enjoy while spending time in North Dakota in the summer months!
Scandinavian Heritage Park
Minot, North Dakota is home to a wonderful experience that offers up the perfect combination of beauty, history, and culture to be enjoyed in the summer months. Scandinavian Heritage Park is run by the Scandinavian Heritage Association which began in 1989 to celebrate the culture and history of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. The park features many different things to enjoy, the most popular being the Scandinavian Heritage Center which offers up information about the park and its history as well as a gift shop.
While exploring the park, visitors can find statues of renowned Scandinavians including Hans Christian Anderson and Leif Erickson, a traditional Finnish sauna, and a Danish Windmill. The Gol Stave Church Museum is a replica of the original Gol Stave Church in Olso, Norway and welcomes visitors to explore the traditional architecture and learn about the culture behind it. The summer months are the best time to visit the Scandinavian Heritage Park and enjoy the warm weather while exploring all that the location has to offer.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Another wonderful outdoor location in North Dakota that is best enjoyed in the warm summer months is a National Park that attracts visitors from all over. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the town of Medora and is named for the president who first visited the Badlands in 1883 and took note of the declining number of wildlife and the decimation of their habitats.
Spanning over seventy thousand acres, the National Park offers hiking trails for every level, campsites, and sweeping views of the local beauty. While exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park, visitors can be on the lookout for local wildlife including bison, elk, horses, longhorns, coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, golden eagles, badgers, and more. This beautiful National Park is the perfect location to explore in the warm summer months!
The Dakota Zoo
Bismark is the capital of North Dakota and also home to a popular zoo that welcomes visitors year-round. The Dakota Zoo began on the farm of Marc and Betty Christianson and soon became so beloved by locals that it was relocated to a dedicated park in 1958 and has continued to grow ever since. Featuring mostly outdoor habitats and pathways, visiting The Dakota Zoo in the warmer months allows people to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the area as well as animals including Bengal tigers, grizzly bears, emus, arctic foxes, bald eagles, American bison, coyotes, bighorn sheep, grey wolves, Indian peafowls, highland cattle, great horned owls, llamas, and much more. The Dakota Zoo also hosts special events that visitors are sure to love including Breakfast at the Zoo, Brew at the Zoo, Children’s Day, Stories with Santa, and Zoo Boo.
National Buffalo Museum
The buffalo is indigenous to North Dakota and has become a symbol of the state and the Great Plains, so it is no surprise that one location in Jamestown was established to celebrate and help protect the beautiful animal. The National Buffalo Museum began in 1991 with the formation of the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation with the goal of preserving the history and livelihood of the animals while supporting the bison industry. The National Buffalo Museum is over six thousand feet in size and tells the history of the species in the culture of the Great Plains through exhibits showcasing artwork, photographs, and more. Visitors to the museum can also venture outside to the nearby two hundred acre reserve of pasture land and check out the herd of nearly thirty buffalo that are maintained by the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation.
Fargo Air Museum
The science and adventure of flight is celebrated in a wonderful museum found in the largest city in North Dakota. The Fargo Air Museum was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit organization that aims to help teach visitors about the history and science behind aviation while celebrating its legacy. The massive museum is home to two airplane hangars filled with planes from many different eras of aviation including fighter jets from World War II, a Wright Brothers’ flyer, and surveillance aircraft.
Visitors can take their time exploring exhibits including the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, Duggy, The Wright Flyer, Huey Helicopter, and Standard J1 and also check out one of the most extensive libraries dedicated to aviation in the world. The Fargo Air Museum is a must-see attraction in North Dakota at any time of the year!
North Dakota Heritage Center
One of the best locations to visit in North Dakota celebrates the state’s history, culture, and more through wonderful exhibits and resources. The North Dakota Heritage Center is home to thousands of artifacts including everything from artwork to dinosaur skeletons and welcomes visitors to learn about the story of the state from prehistoric to modern times. Those who spend time at the location can browse through four galleries featuring exhibits including Geologic Time, Early Peoples, Yesterday and Today, and The Horse in North Dakota. There are also other areas of the North Dakota Heritage Center that share the history of the Native Americans who called the state home such as the Native American all of Honor. This is an amazing way to learn all about the history of North Dakota in entertaining and interactive ways!