Bismarck is the capital and the second largest city of North Dakota. Though this city does not usually make it in the bucket list of many, discerning travelers know that here is a city filled of interesting sites and must-see places. If you are planning to have an out-of-the-ordinary adventure with your friends, family or special someone, or thinking of having a holiday on your own to be away from the demands and pressures of everyday life, Bismarck is a charming city you’ll love to be.
If you adore the outdoors, Bismarck is definitely for you. Missouri River crosses the region and marks as its most prominent natural wonder, giving water-lovers excellent options for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and extreme water sports such as tubing, wakeboarding and waterskiing. The beauty of nature is upon the river’s surrounding land, where the Bismarck’s unique flora and fauna are seen. Huff Hills Ski Area, sitting on the river’s western banks, is North Dakota’s largest downhill ski spot. With a vertical drop of about 450 feet, thrill-seekers cannot get enough of what this famous ski area offers. With the river’s swift flow and the surrounding area’s captivating scenery, Bismarck’s Missouri River becomes the best place for recreational activities and outdoor pursuits.
For a much relaxed activity, consider joining the Lewis and Clark River Cruise. The traditional paddle boat, which accommodates 150 passengers, leaves the Port of Bismarck and smoothly sails to Fort Lincoln and heads to On-A-Slant Mandan Village. There are welcome drinks, dinner, narration and reenactment going-on to make sure that you enjoy every minute of the historic and scenic cruise. If you have kids in tow, let them have their own adventure in Dakota Zoo. Started in 1961, Dakota Zoo has always been Bismarck’s best family attraction. The zoo has over 600 animals for the children to have close encounter with, and also a park nearby where they can unleash their playful side. If you want to level-up your children’s educational trip, head to The Gateway to Science Center, a complex that focuses on interactive and hands-on experiences on machines, lights, electricity, magnetism and other science-related themes. In Bismarck, your kids will surely have their own experiences to cherish.
If you are fascinated with history, Bismarck has plenty of nostalgic and historic sites for you to see. Topping the list is no doubt the state’s biggest museum, the North Dakota Heritage Center, where an exhibit of prehistoric to 20th collection give a background of North Dakota’s relevant past. The state’s tallest building, The North Dakota State Capitol, is also in this city. The Old Governor Mansion, Camp Hancock Historic Site, and Buckstop Junction Missouri Valley Fairgrounds are also destinations that will satisfy your fascination with the region’s significant past.
The state capital, particularly the Downtown, is also home to quaint and locally-owned shops you should not miss. From home-made to designer brands, there is something that will satisfy your taste. And of course, the dining scene is always worth discovering. The ones that get most of the locals’ and tourists’ raves include Blarney Stone Pub, The Toasted Frog, and Pirogue Grill.