North Dakota – The Peace Garden State

North Dakota, a state still roamed by buffaloes and bison, is located in the north-central United States. The word “Dakota” is reminiscent of the Native Americans, the first settlers, and the wild west, wild and romantic. And for good reason – the Indian word, translated from the language of the Sioux tribe, who lived in this territory before the arrival of Europeans, means “friend.” So the unofficial name of North Dakota is the “State of the Sioux Indians.” However, there is another nickname – “The state of the ground squirrel” (not to be confused with the groundhog that circled the life of Bill Murray – he lived in Pennsylvania).

Official slogan for the state of North Dakota

North Dakota can hardly be called a tourist state. Nevertheless, there is something to see and how to entertain yourself.

About 680 thousand people live in North Dakota (most of them come from Germany and Norway) on 183,000 square meters. km. That is, the population density is just over 3 people per square kilometer – which is quite sparse, the state is sparsely populated.

The capital is Bismarck, with more people living in the city of Fargo than in the capital. Two other major cities in North Dakota are Grand Forks and Minot.

How to get there

If you already have a visa to the United States and money for a ticket, it’s easy – you need to be a little patient, because there are no direct flights to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, or to Fargo, the largest city of the state, from Russia, you will have to fly with at least two transplants. From Moscow, the flight will take at least 18 hours.

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Weather in North Dakota

The climate of North Dakota is sharply continental, anyone who has been to Siberia will understand. This means that it is hot in summer (+49 °C – absolute maximum), cold in winter (-51.1 °C – absolute minimum). But that’s the beauty of this state – pronounced seasons can be used to its fullest. In winter, you can go skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling. In summer – hunting, fishing (for example, for perch, pike perch and pike), mountain biking, camping, hiking and walking in forests and nature reserves. In the off-season, there is also something to do, for example, to study the history of the West in museums and national parks.

Another feature of the climate of North Dakota is floods, in the spring the Red River Valley, which separates North Dakota from Minnesota, often floods. By the way, this valley, Red River Valley, is the heroine of the folk cowboy song of the same name.

Cuisine of North Dakota

North Dakota is a multinational state with ethnic Germans, Norwegians, French, Irish, Swedes, Russians, British, Indians and many others. Accordingly, the cuisine of North Dakota is highly influenced by different cultures, it intricately combines German, Russian, Scandinavian culinary trends with the traditions of the indigenous population. For example, dumplings and a specific raw smoked sausage came from German cuisine to the gastronomy of North Dakota, and dried fish and sweet waffles came from Norwegian cuisine.

Pies, very reminiscent of chebureks, ended up in the arsenal of local chefs thanks to either Russian or Tatar tradition – now you can’t make out.

So the food in North Dakota is extremely atypical, eclectic and even unexpected – it strikes the imagination even of guests from neighboring states, Minnesota and Montana.

Entertainment and attractions

North Dakota can hardly be called a tourist state. Nevertheless, there is something to see and how to entertain yourself, in addition to seasonal sports, hunting, fishing and unity with nature.

Festivals and fairs take place every year, for example, the Fargo Spring Film Festival (usually held in the first half of March), the Norwegian Autumn Festival – the largest Scandinavian open air in the United States, the North Dakota Fair, which takes place every summer on a special scale and rather resembles a carnival, and also an annual summer music festival in the style of the “Wild West”, which takes place near the city of Medora. In addition, there are many museums in North Dakota, both historical and patriotic, dedicated to the heroic American past, and art.

One of the most interesting points of the tourist cultural program in North Dakota is the Empire Arts Center in the city of Grand Forks, a gallery and theater in one bottle.

Perhaps one of the most interesting points of the tourist cultural program is the Empire Arts Center, an “arts center” located in the city of Grand Forks, a gallery and theater “in one bottle”, uniting under its roof a variety of manifestations of creativity – painting, sculpture, cinema, theater, music, art performances and lectures. It’s not worth passing by!

And, of course, if you get to North Dakota, you should definitely visit the picturesque Theodore Roosevelt National Park – this is a historical and cultural attraction (and at the same time a great place to relax).

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The magnificent National Park named after Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States) is located in the southwest of North Dakota. The park is so large that two time zones pass through its territory: in the southern part, the time is one hour behind the northern one.

A small digression into history – in 1884, Theodore Roosevelt suffered a misfortune, he buried his wife and mother (who died in different places, but on the same day). From such a blow, he recovered in the following way – he retired from political activity to lead a quiet life as a farmer on the secluded Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota. He lived there for two years, recovered from his loss, returned to politics (and even remarried), drawing vitality from the vast plains of the west. Already after his death, in the 30-40s, the US authorities began to develop the territory of North Dakota in order to create a reserve.

By the end of the 70s, the reserve received its current appearance, status and name – Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

It is good to walk in the park – a tourist route runs along the ditches, fields and forests, you can even go hiking for several days. True, be vigilant – a lot of wild animals live in the park: bison (the symbol of North Dakota), moose, wild horses, antelopes, coyotes, bighorn sheep and even rattlesnakes.

In the first half of the 20th century, people completely destroyed bison and bighorn sheep – and only in the 50s these rare animals were brought back to the reserve. If you do not meet a bison, do not be sad – you can always go to the giant statue of a bison, installed near the city of Jamestown, it is also very impressive.

North Dakota - The Peace Garden State