Bismarck Tourist Information and Tourism

(Bismarck, North Dakota - ND, USA)

Whilst the city of Bismarck may not be especially large for a state capital, it is actually the second-biggest city in North Dakota, after the city of Fargo. Much of the appeal for potential holiday makers is that the city is ideal for a stopover and is conveniently placed for day trips.

For avid tourists, Bismarck does provide a surprisingly decent choice of tourism offerings, including established zoological gardens and some interesting Native American Indian remains. However, it should always be noted that the warm summer months are followed by harsh, long winters, when a number of the main attractions either reduce their opening hours significantly or close up shop altogether. If you do choose to visit during the winter season, then the cross-country skiing opportunities at the nearby Huff Hills Ski Area and also at the undulating Riverwood Golf Course may well beckon.

When the weather is altogether more pleasant, locals and tourists alike tend to be drawn to the Missouri River, which actually separates the neighboring railway town of Mandan. Boating, fishing, swimming, tubing and water skiing are just some of the activities on offer on the river in the summer, while others simply prefer to stroll along the banks. Tourist information is best obtained from the Bismarck-Mandan Visitors Center on Burnt Boat Drive, which is roughly a five-minute walk south of Igoe Park and just under ten minutes east of the Chief Looking's Village archaeological site.

Bismarck Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Tourists are certainly well catered for in Bismarck, despite its size, with summer being the busiest time in the city when it comes to tourism. This is when you can partake of guided tours of the historic buildings that make up the Buckstop Junction Missouri Valley Fairgrounds, or take a cruise along the Missouri River onboard the Lewis and Clark Riverboat. Families often head straight for Dakota Zoo, where annual visitor numbers top 100,000 people, or spend time playing at the Superslide Amusement Park. For something altogether more historical, Native American heritage abounds at both the Chief Looking's Village on Burnt Boat Drive and at the nearby Double Ditch Indian Village, the latter of which is located just a short distance to the north. Also worth making a note of is the Bismarck Civic Center, which boasts an overall capacity of more than 10,000 people and stages many of the largest local events, fairs and concerts. More information about Bismarck Tourist Attractions.

When it comes to sightseeing in Bismarck, the North Dakota State Capitol Building offers something quite different to traditional capitols, since this is actually a tall Art Deco-style skyscraper, with no sign of any gleaming golden dome whatsoever. Guided tours take place all through the year and head on up to the 18th floor, where the observation deck features uninterrupted vistas. The spacious grounds cover roughly 53 hectares / 130 acres and comprise a number of important landmarks, such as the All Veterans Centennial Memorial, the John Burke Statue, the Pioneer Family Statue and the Sakakawea Statue (also known as Sacagawea), which commemorates the live of this Shoshone Indian woman. Sacagawea famously guided much of the Lewis and Clark Expedition between the years of 1804 and 1806, traveling many thousands of miles, between North Dakota and the Pacific Ocean. Further eye-catching landmarks in Bismarck include the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Raymond Street, the Liberty Memorial Building on East Boulevard Avenue and the Old Governor's Mansion on East Avenue B, not to mention the centrally located Camp Hancock, which dates from the 1870s and is packed with information documenting its interesting military past, when it was used to protect the workers building this stretch of the Northern Pacific Railroad. More information about Bismarck Landmarks and Monuments.

Bismarck is certainly not known for its wealth of museums, although there are several worthy distractions of that nature. On East Boulevard Avenue, the North Dakota Heritage Center is the principal draw for history buffs, with its themed information being categorized and covering topics such as Geologic Time, Early Peoples, and Yesterday and Today. Both the Great Plains Theater and the Missouri River Events Center reside at the Heritage Center, along with the Pembina River Plaza and also the Russell Reid Auditorium. The Gateway to Science attraction is a more hands-on museum-type complex, with its fun educational exhibits and frequent events. Another notable cultural draw card in the North Dakota capital is the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame, where many portraits of significant individuals from the state reside. Further art works hang on the walls of the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association on East Front Avenue. This particular gallery is known for promoting regional artists from all over North Dakota, as well as its annual 'Cookie Walk'. More information about Bismarck Museums and Bismarck Art Galleries.

With the southern side of North Dakota being found right on the doorstep of Bismarck, tourists on vacation here often make time to get out and about, visiting the numerous neighboring attractions connected by busy highways such as Interstate I-94. This road heads all the way to the Chase Lake Wildlife Refuge, Jamestown, Valley City and Fargo, to the east, and westwards to Dickinson and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. If you head southwards along Highway US-83, then it won't be too long until you reach the state border with South Dakota. To the north of Bismarck, the North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Washburn may prove to be a worthwhile excursion. More information about Bismarck Attractions Nearby.

More Bismarck Information / Fast Facts and Orientation