Explore > North Dakota > Welcome to North Dakota
welcome header

Welcome to North Dakota

From the stark beauty of the rugged Badlands to rolling plains as far as the eye can see, North Dakota’s diverse landscapes have never failed to entice outdoor adventurers. Journey on the same path Lewis and Clark traversed centuries ago. Let your inner explorer run wild in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and uncover the Peace Garden State’s rich history through numerous historic sites and museums. As one of the most underappreciated states in the country, you’ll get to enjoy North Dakota’s breathtaking scenery in a peaceful, uncrowded environment.

Follow the Footsteps of Legends

Before he was president, Theodore Roosevelt was a conservationist and cowboy. He summed up his late-1800s trips in North Dakota by saying, “Here the romance of my life began.” One visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located on the west end of the state near the Montana border, will make you feel the same way. Home to free-roaming bison and more than 70,000 acres of rolling hills, winding rivers and jagged canyons, the park offers all kinds of fun. Lose yourself in the park’s raw beauty by hiking, wildlife spotting and taking scenic drives. Visit Roosevelt’s restored Maltese Cross Cabin, or take in panoramic views at Painted Canyon, which shimmers with gold and rust hues. To the south, Badlands National Park showcases eerie rock formations that have spooked visitors for millennia.

You can also take a step back in time by trekking the Lewis and Clark Trail. Weaving through lakes, buttes and an array of historic sites, the trail is perfect for both outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs. During your expedition, stop by Washburn in the heart of the state and visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which tells the story of the Corps of Discovery journey, which crossed the northern American West from 1804 to 1806. Travel across town to see the reconstructed Fort Mandan — a major trading post near the Missouri River — and the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site for the remains of three Hidatsa villages about 26 miles to the west of Washburn.

In the north, a visit to the International Peace Garden is a must. Nestled in the Turtle Mountain region near the Canadian border, this 2,339-acre garden celebrates the friendship between Canada and the United States. Stroll through the serene grounds, look for deer and moose in the wildlife refuge or browse souvenirs in the visitor center’s gift shop.

Culture and History in the City

The state’s rich culture and history are just waiting to be discovered in Fargo, located on the Red River in the state’s eastern border and Bismarck, the state capital located in the center of North Dakota. In Fargo, the Plains Art Museum houses a dazzling collection of contemporary and Native American art, with pieces by local and national artists.

Not far away, you’ll find the National Buffalo Museum, a rustic log building featuring remains of prehistoric bison, Native American artifacts and exhibits highlighting the impact bison had on plains culture. You’ll also come face-to-face with the live buffalo herd living on the museum grounds. In Bismarck, check out the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum. Bursting with dinosaur skeletons and fossils, the museum covers North Dakota history from prehistoric times to today.