My last post “Free Stuff to do in North Dakota” highlighted all of the free things to see along Interstate 94. It’s time to look around and discover some free attractions that the north country has to offer.
Head directly North on I-29 from Fargo and you’ll find yourself in the third largest city in North Dakota.
Grand Forks ND
It may feel like it’s off the beaten path, but Grand Forks is actually a great destination. It has a little bit of everything and still maintains its small town charm. It was named one of the Top 100 Communities for Young People 5 times (America’s Promise Top 100 Communities for Young People competition, Oct. 2011)
Here are some free things to see and do.
As you head West along Hwy 2 enjoying the beautiful scenery you’ll come to the town of Rugby which just happens to be the geographical center of North America.
Continue heading west and you’ll come to the “Jewel of the North”. With so many fun things to do in Minot, it’s hard to know where to start. Minot is an enchanting city full of culture and history, there is something fun to do everyday this summer and they have a cool website that helps you keep track of all the events going on.
Among the free attractions are:
Concerts in the park (Click on the link above to see times and locations)
The Taube Museum of Art has really cool exhibits and glass blowing!
The Scandinavian Heritage Park is awesome!! I love tasting the yummy food and hearing the stories of how North Dakota was settled. This is very much worth seeing.
Head a little Southwest and you’ll come to New Town. All by itself it’s just another small town, but it sits in one of the most beautiful locations in North Dakota. The town boarders Lake Sakakawea which is the third largest man made lake in the United States. There is a gorgeous bridge that spans over a section of the lake that makes for great photo ops. There are fun walking trails, picnic spots and great fishing, also check out the Crow Files High Butte.
If you go a little South of New Town, check out the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.
Wander a little Northwest and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Bakken. It is worth driving all this way just to experience the feel of a boomtown. You might have heard a lot of negative stuff about Williston, but I have to give this city kudos for taking on the huge population influx with as much grace as they have, it’s not easy adapting to the kind of changes that come along with an oil boom. Also, thumbs up to Williston Parks and Rec, they have done a great job, this city actually has some of the coolest children’s parks that I’ve seen.
If you take a walking tour of downtown Williston, stop in and check out the adorable Books on Broadway or the Daily Addiction coffee shop. Then swing by the park by the library or check out the Spring Lake Park and museum.
Also, make sure to stop by Fort Union Trading Post and the Confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.
Then head South to Watford City and check out The Long X Trading Post Visitors Center and the McKenzie County Heritage Park. Click on those links to find more fun stuff to do this summer in the Watford City area.
I asked people on Facebook what some good ideas were for free stuff to do around North Dakota and these are some of the responses I got.
- Stand in the wind– It is always free and as crazy as this sounds it’s actually really fun. There is one thing that is never in short supply in North Dakota and that is open spaces, so stand in the middle of a beautiful field and enjoy the wind!
- Fishing– Once you have your permit, which is only a couple bucks, you can pretty much fish anywhere.
- Go Fly a Kite– If you don’t have one, here is a cool tutorial that shows you how to make your own.
- Swimming– All of these lakes and rivers make for great swimming holes! I know what you’re thinking, but be brave, I’ve swam in a few and am still alive to tell about it… go make memories you’ll never forget.
- Eight Bridges Tour and the Rosebud visitors center– This is in valley city.
- Gingras Trading Post- in Walhalla ND.
If you have any more ideas please share them below:)