Getty Images

Stock Photos from 123RF

North Dakota


Wind Canyon sunset, North Dakota© Michael J ThompsonWind Canyon sunset, North Dakota
© Michael J Thompson
When you visit North Dakota, be prepared for an immersion in all things Lewis and Clark. The famous explorers spent the winter of 1804–5 here, and the state has been capitalizing on it ever since, with countless attractions named for the adventurers. For a good introduction to their tale, visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, just north of Bismarck.

Bismarck itself is home to the Raging Rivers Waterpark, a summertime hit with families. As well as pools and waterslides, the park offers go-carts, mini-golf and laser tag. In early September, the city is the site of the United Tribes International Powwow, where you can enjoy performances by top drummers and dancers.

On the western edge of the state, the two-part Theodore Roosevelt National Park gives visitors two distinct Badlands experiences. In the South Unit you can see rolling and often stony hills and outcrops stretching to the horizon. The landscape in the North Unit is both greener and eerier, with more trees and higher buttes. Scenic drives in both units give you the chance to glimpse bison, wild horses, coyotes, mule deer, elk and the ubiquitous prairie dogs.

At the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site near Stanton, you can find out about the native tribes that inhabited this site for 11,000 years. Ruins, reconstructions and a museum help you learn about these early inhabitants. One famous resident was Sakakawea, the Shoshone woman—known to English speakers as Sacagawea—who guided Lewis and Clark through the West.

Red barn in a canola field, North Dakota© Jewelie SwartwoutRed barn in a canola field, North Dakota
© Jewelie Swartwout
On North Dakota's border with Manitoba, don't miss the International Peace Garden, a 946-hectare (2,339-acre) park planted with 150,000 flowers. Have a picnic (or eat at the garden's café), listen to the carillon, spend a moment of silence at the 9-11 memorial in the Peace Chapel, enjoy a concert, go birdwatching or hike around a peaceful lake.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF