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What are Some Things to do in Bismarck, North Dakota?

Discover Bismarck, North Dakota's charm with a visit to the Dakota Zoo, a stroll through the serene Japanese Garden, or a step back in time at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Embrace the outdoors at McDowell Dam Nature Park. Ready to uncover more hidden gems in this vibrant city? Join us as we explore the best Bismarck has to offer.
Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

There are many fun culturally-based things to do in Bismarck. The city was founded in 1872 and features the state capitol building. Other excellent cultural attractions in Bismarck include the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum, the Five Nations Art Museum and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The North Dakota State Capitol building was finished in 1934 and was constructed to replace the original capitol that was destroyed by fire on 28 December 1930. The Capitol's grounds include trails, parks, statues and memorials. Guided tours are often available.

Bismarck is the capitol of North Dakota, and is located near the center of the state.
Bismarck is the capitol of North Dakota, and is located near the center of the state.

The North Dakota Heritage Center Museum shows collections belonging to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The exhibits relate to the history of North Dakota and include the contact and conflict between Native Americans and white settlers and the life of pioneers and homesteaders. The Museum has photographs and artifacts as well as interactive displays such as a Model T car you can crank and music from different decades you can listen to. Visiting the Museum's research facilities is one of the best things to do in Bismarck for history buffs as you can search through political policies and old newspapers. Films of life in North Dakota from 1916 to 1921 are also available for viewing at the North Dakota Heritage Center Museum.

The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame offers a great view of the Badlands.
The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame offers a great view of the Badlands.

The Five Nations Art Museum has Native American art that includes paintings, baskets, jewelry and sculptures. All pieces are made by local artists. The Art Museum is located in downtown Mandan and the building is a refurbished former train depot. Browsing the artwork at the Five Nations Art Museum is one of the best things to do in Bismarck for those interested in Native American Art as the Museum is known for some of the most beautiful First Nations artwork in the United States including its beadwork collection.

Visiting the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is a "must" on the list of things to do in Bismarck for fans of the Old West. The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame is located at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and covers the history of the Great American West. The Hall includes information about Native Americans, rodeo and ranching. You'll also find a theater, library and an outdoor patio with a view of the Badlands. The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame salutes rodeo stars from North Dakota as well as achievers in ranching and horse handling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Bismarck, North Dakota?

The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum offers a deep dive into the state's history, while the Dakota Zoo is perfect for families. The State Capitol Building, with its impressive architecture, provides panoramic views of the city. For outdoor enthusiasts, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a must-visit.

Are there any unique cultural experiences in Bismarck?

Yes, Bismarck hosts the United Tribes International Powwow, one of the largest gatherings of Native American tribes, showcasing vibrant cultural dances, music, and art. Additionally, the Bismarck Art & Galleries Association frequently exhibits local artists' work, reflecting the region's cultural diversity.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Bismarck?

Bismarck is a haven for outdoor lovers. You can hike or bike along the extensive trails of the Missouri River, fish or boat on the river itself, and during winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular at local parks. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy several scenic courses in the area.

Where can I find the best local cuisine in Bismarck?

Bismarck's culinary scene offers a taste of North Dakota's local flavors. Restaurants like Pirogue Grille serve dishes with locally sourced ingredients, while Kroll's Diner is famous for its German-inspired comfort food. Don't miss trying the bison burgers, a regional specialty.

Is Bismarck suitable for family travel?

Definitely! Bismarck is family-friendly with attractions like the Gateway to Science center, which provides interactive exhibits for kids. The Raging Rivers Waterpark is perfect for summer fun, and the Superslide Amusement Park offers entertainment for all ages. There's something for every member of the family to enjoy.

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    • Bismarck is the capitol of North Dakota, and is located near the center of the state.
      By: Ruslan Olinchuk
      Bismarck is the capitol of North Dakota, and is located near the center of the state.
    • The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame offers a great view of the Badlands.
      By: rruntsch
      The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame offers a great view of the Badlands.