1. North Dakotans Are In Deep With The ND
Sure the terrain is tough and the ND lifestyle is the rugged, but North Dakotans have a soft spot in their hearts for the Peace Garden State now and forever. There may not be a lot of people that call North Dakota ‘home’ and there isn’t a long line of transplants eager to migrate, but the ones who get it, truly get it.
This is a state that prizes quality over quantity, value over panache and knows a picturesque view is worth never having to utter a word.
2. This Is The Land That Built Roughriders
North Dakota turned “Teddy” Roosevelt into a bear of a man and there is little doubt about how. The country here is as rugged as it is sprawling and even in this modern day and age you have to be tough to make it in this unrelenting, unforgiving land.
3. Don’t Waste Time Traipsing All Over ND For the Best Meal. It’s At Mezzaluna.
If North Dakota is pushing to become the culinary capital of the Northern U.S., Mezzaluna is their fine dining flagship. The décor exemplifies rustic North Dakota industry while the food and drink show the delicate side of hearty classics.
The Happy Hour is the best in ND with chicken fried rice that is un-toppable, but the regular menu is robust and features a pistachio crusted lamb rack that it utterly life-changing. Paired with a cocktail from some serious mixologists and you’ll see why Mezzaluna is garnering attention from all over.
4. There Is Nothing Plain About Their Art Museum
Taking the pulse of the arts scene in North Dakota is easy, just keep your eye on The Plains Art Museum. Serving the heart of Fargo for nearly sixty years, PAM has been a bastion of the community while contributing to the creative climate of a state that is, itself, a vast work of natural beauty.
5. North Dakota’s Landscape Is Achingly Gorgeous
Its hard not to fall in love with the hills and buttes that spot North Dakota’s landscape. From the Red River to the Little Missouri and everywhere in between, Dakotans are one and inseparable from the scenic sights that serve as the states backdrop. And with with views like this it’s a wonder why they call the craggy magnifisense the ‘Badlands’.
6. There Is Money In The Honey
For most people the sight of a buzzing bee can instill fear, but all North Dakotans see is dollar signs. Sure those bees are busy pollinating much of the produce that represents a large portion of the state’s GDP, but also consider that North Dakota is the leading producer of honey in the United States.
According to the National Honey Board, the state produced over 17,000 tons of the sweet stuff in 2012. Thats enough to make Winnie The Pooh get up, down and touch the ground.
7. North Dakota Is Better By Bike
Taking it’s name for a Mandan Indian phrase meaning “an area that has been or will be around for a long time,” the Maah Daah Hey Trail is 96-miles of winding adventure bridging North Dakota’s sweeping grasslands and its jagged badlands.
Along the way, the trail stakes its claim as the longest continuous singletrack mountain biking trail in America. There is no better way to explore unfettered splendor of Theodore Roosevelt National Park; just remember to ease up and enjoy it along the way.
8. A Theater Is Neater Outdoors
There is only one way to get the real story of North Dakota, Teddy Roosevelt and how the Badlands were tamed to make the state the way it is today, and that is the Medora Musical.
What better stage for a western tale of the inception of North Dakota than the very rugged earth the story was born in. The Burning Hills Amphitheatre has delighted North Dakotans with some version of our be-speckled 26th president since the late 1950’s.
Since then the show and the stage have adapted to accommodate modern amenities, but the sentiment remains and so, too, does the importance of keeping history alive so younger generation can truly appreciate the greatness that is North Dakota.
9. Western North Dakota Is Boomtown U.S.A
The recent oil boom in North Dakota has people flocking to the state in hopes of raking in cash in the state of the U.S.’s lowest unemployment rate. Reports say the economy is booming and it is—it’s also changing the dynamic of the Peace Garden State.
10. The Definition Of “Traffic” In North Dakota Has Evolved With The Economy
In the beginning, there were two types of “traffic” in North Dakota. It was either your old-fashioned spring-time backup behind a tractor or the fall/winter congestion that comes hand-in-hand with week’s feature football or basketball matchup.
There are so few drivers in ND that those were the only way to really notice the amount of cars on the road, but now there is a new monster. In and around the heart of the Bakken oil patch there is now the constant activity of semis, cement mixers, oil tankers, wide-load trailers, CATS and civilian supreme-cab pickups swarming like busy worker bees.
Life was simpler in the beginning.
11. That Doesn’t Mean There Aren’t Still Some Quiet Places To Explore…
The remains of North Dakota’s pioneer towns are a testament to the hardships of the not-so-distant past. There is hope that their vanishing stories aren’t doomed to repeat themselves if the oil inevitably dries up again. For now, though, these hidden gems from yester-year are the perfect places to reflect on a simpler time that is much more accessible here than in more densely populated states.
12. One Thing That Hasn’t Changed Is The Bitter Winters
Even the train tracks need cleared of the winter whitewash. North Dakota sees temperatures fall well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so it takes a lot to get locals’ attention when it comes to all things frigid and frosty.
13. The Biathlon Says More About North Dakota Than Any Other Sport
Shooting and skiing combines two of North Dakotas favorite pastimes, so it seems only fitting that their National Guard marksman are regularly champions in the individual and team competitions held in the region.
14. Unless You’re Talking UND Men’s Hockey
Though the team is currently without a mascot, they’re not without championships. They have won the NCAA title seven times and have sent many players onto success on the professional level.
15. Or the Age-Old Tradition Of Ice Fishing
Whether you’re after perch, walleye or northern pike, Devils Lake in North Dakota is home to some of the finest ice fishing in the country.
16. North Dakotans Get Their Sun Any Way They Can
In contrast to all the winter weather, North Dakota is a U.S. leader in sunflowers. The flowers are primarily grown for their use as oilseeds, but it makes for striking visage during the summer months.
17. Maxwells Is Going Far In Fargo
Fine dining is a trend that is not slowing down in North Dakota. Blending a casual attitude with refined palate, Maxwells creates a dining experience that consistently ranks at the top of North Dakota’s best restaurants.
The menu explores the depths of American cuisine and injects it with a French flare that is both surprising and satisfying. Take the Day Boat Sea Scallops—scallops aren’t something you’d expect in North Dakota, but these are prepared perfectly. Tender and sweet, they are wrapped in prosciutto and paired with a red curry sauce that is perfectly earthy.
18. Sometimes The Blues Is Good News
Maybe all those snowed-in days and not having a whole heck of a lot to do isn’t all that bad. It’s given people like Johnny Lang the time to hone some uncanny six-string skills.
19. When It Rains, The Neighbors Come Out To Lend Helping Hands
North Dakota has a sordid history of flooding, but nothing shows the true ND spirit like neighbors coming together to support neighbors.
When the Red River crests, the people of Fargo and the surrounding areas are at their best. You’d think that sandbagging was an olympic sport what with the enthusiasm and zeal neighbors take to protecting—not just their own homes—but the surrounding community.
20. Bismarck’s Toasted Frog Is The Toast Of The Town
Toasted Frog is taking Bismarck’s food scene to new heights. Try this tasty tower: a pile of pork shoulder in an apple wood smoked bacon bowl, perched like a bird’s nest atop black bean-corn succotash and maple coffee grit cakes.
21. Pizza Is Always Something To Smile About
New York Style thin crust pizza from Spicy Pie in Fargo, whether whole or by the slice, is a universal pleaser. You can never go wrong with the supreme: pepperoni, canadian bacon, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and black olives.
22. Fargo Brewing Company Is Great Beer For The Great Plains
Don’t let people tell you there is nothing to do in North Dakota… there’s always something brewing at the Fargo Brewing Company. For North Dakotans looking for a pint to warm their winter woes, they need look no further than FBC’s Sodbuster Porter. It’s blacker than a North Dakota night with rich roasted coffee and a smoky chocolate finish.
23. Egypt Doesn’t Have A Monopoly On Pyramids
Safeguard was a Cold War-era defense program that was set to defeat a missile attack on the U.S. and while it quickly became defunct, it left a lasting impression on the North Dakota Landscape.
Stories abound on the exact purpose of the building and its functionality abound but the striking features are really what make the site stand out.
24. Flat Land Equals Big Sky
North Dakota is dominated my vast tracts of flat lands. What it lacks in diverse landscape, though, is made up by stunning views of the heavens; giving nature an immense easel with which to paint in an array of colors at night or torment with storms during the day.
25. No Matter How Far You Go, Everyone Knows You In Fargo
North Dakota’s few small cities are spread out between broad swaths of a whole lot of nothing.
Fargo is the largest city in ND, hovering around the 100,000 mark, so should you choose to socialize you’re going to get to know everyone (everyone) pretty quick.
26. In North Dakota, Every Road Is The One Less Traveled
Many of the places worth note in North Dakota aren’t reachable by interstate. This means travelers should take note and plan accordingly if they intend on keeping a schedule. A destination may not look far on a map and be relatively close ‘as a crow flies’ but NDDOT is not in the business of flight patterns, and remember the roads that do connect you will often be of limited speed and maintenance.
27. North Dakotans Don’t Give A Hoot About Tourists
Tourism is something that North Dakotans partake in, not something that they experience within their borders. Owing, in no small part, to ND not having a major tourist attraction and to a nation full of thrill seekers, North Dakota is considered the least visited of the state in the country.
While on some level the money associated with the leisure industry might be missed, something no North Dakotan wishes for is a taste of the slack-jawed, directions seeking, neck-craning, fanny pack-wearing masses. Call it greedy, but people in the ND like keeping the beauty to themselves.