Unique Places in North Dakota

  • Fargo bike path
    Fargo bike path
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  • Northern Pacific Depot
    Northern Pacific Depot
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  • Off The Beaten Path
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in North Dakota

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    Salem Sue: The World's Largest Holstein Cow

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated May 24, 2007

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    Just outside the small town of New Salem, North Dakota on School Hill stands Salem Sue, "The World's Largest Holstein Cow." She is 38 feet high, is 50 feet long, and weighs about six tons. New Salem, population 900, is a leading dairy center in North Dakota. Salem Sue was built in 1974 for approximately $40.000 by local residents, dairymen, farmers and businessmen. The local Lions Club maintains the site. The New Salem High School athletic teams are all named Holsteins as a tribute to the area's main source of commerce.

    You may see Salem Sue for free, but visitors are asked to drop $1.00 on a milk can to help pay for maintainence. There is a small seasonal gift shop for your Salem Sue Souvenirs.

    Directions:
    New Salem is 34 miles west of Bismarck on I-94. You will be able to see Salem Sue for about 5 miles before you reach her. She is on the south side of the interstate.

    Reaching up to Milk Salem Sue
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    Take some of the backroads in...

    by pipsqueak Updated Apr 20, 2007

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    Take some of the backroads in North Dakota. Many old farmsteads have buildings still standing, and you can practically feel the old ghosts talking to you. Even many of the current farms have a bucolic quality. This farm is on a scenic drive that follows the Sheyenne river from Valley City to Fort Ransom.

    Prairie Ghost- North Dakota Backroads
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    White Butte: Highest Point in North Dakota

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Feb 14, 2005

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    I would never have gone to White Butte if it were not for my goal to visit the highest point in every state. White Butte, 3,506-feet, is not in a park, but on the private Van Eason Farm. No road or established trail leads to the top of White Butte. The only way to get there is to park at the Van Eason home and hike along a cow trail, about 3/4 mile across the prairie and up the side of the butte. The Van Easons are congenial people and allow "highpointers" like myself to traipse across their property for a small fee. Please be respectful of their privacy and their property if you do so. Close fences behind you.

    From the top of White Butte you can see miles of cultivated fields, however, the butte itself resembles some of the most the severe terrain of the Badlands, 100 miles to the north. Local folks say there are many rattlesnakes in this area, and for that reason some locals are afraid to climb the butte. I was not fortunate enough to encounter a rattler on my trip.

    Contact:
    Joseph Vandaele
    HC1, Box 4
    Amidon, ND 58620

    Directions:
    White Butte is in the southwestern corner of North Dakota, just east of US-85, about 7 miles south of the tiny town of Amidon and 18 miles north of Bowman.

    The View from atop White Butte
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    International Peace Garden

    by bdwoot Written Jan 1, 2005

    It certainly is out of the way, on the border with Manitoba just south of Brandon. It is west of the (so-called) Turtle Mountains, actually mere lumps that are one of the few places in the eastern half of the state that goes up. The gardens are lovely in the summer, and anyone who goes there gets their picture taken on a bench on the border, one cheek in the US and the other in Canada.

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    Drive the "Enchanted Highway"

    by pipsqueak Written Aug 10, 2004

    This road runs from Gladstone (exit 72 on Interstate 94) south to the town of regent. It is filled with various metal sculptures and is actually adds some excitement to an otherwise boring drive. This falls into the "Ball of Twine" category for me, that is: If you would drive somewhere to see a ball of twine, you will probably like this, if not, you probably won't.

    North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
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    Prairie Dogs

    by zrim Updated Jan 16, 2004

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    Always a family favorite. Prairie Dogs are highly socialized rodents. They live in communities of up to hundreds of members. They tirelessly tunnel under the prairie, building an interconnected complex of warrens. The communities are known as prairie dog towns. It is useless to try to approach prairie dogs because they will pop down into their underground fortifications. However, if you are polite and quiet it is possible to observe hundreds of prairie dogs as they go about their business in their "town".

    observe from a respectful distance
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    Threshers, we got your threshers

    by zrim Written Aug 23, 2003

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    At the southern end of the "Enchanted Highway" is the smaller than small town of Regent, population two hundred and change. The only sight that I could make out in Regent was this ancient thresher. Interestingly enough, it was purchased by H.G. Anderson in 1925 (I could have sworn old H.G. bought it back in '23). Oh well, you find your fun where you can get it.

    need anything threshed?
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    Typical one-horse town

    by zrim Written Aug 23, 2003

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    Stanton, North Dakota: population 516. Seventy miles from Bismarck and hundreds of miles from anywhere else. A pleasant enough place in the summer, but one wonders what do the locals do in the dead of winter when the winds roll across the prairies and the temperatures dip well below zero.

    Stanton, ND
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    Red Crown Gasoline

    by zrim Written Aug 4, 2003

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    I love this place. No, it is not a service station circa 1954. It is a rest stop circa 2002. In Minnesota and in most states in the U.S. we have very bland rest stops with the requisite map, drinking fountain (by the way who is brave enough to drink from a fountain at a rest stop?) and bathrooms. In North Dakota they have decided to jazz up the rest stops. I'm all for it. Good on you, North Dakota.

    hey bud, fillerup with regular and check the oil
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    Ukranians

    by zrim Updated Aug 4, 2003

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    It seems odd that there would be a Ukranian Catholic church in the boonies of western North Dakota dozens of miles from the nearest town. But we had learned at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck that as of 1900 Ukranians comprised the second largest ethnic group in North Dakota (Norwegians being the frontrunners), therefore while pleased with the little church, we were not surprised..

    Ukranian onion-domed church
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    Grotto at the St. Demetrius Church

    by zrim Written Aug 3, 2003

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    This is the type of scene that before VT, I would have looked at, enjoyed, pondered on the oddity of a grotto in the isolated backwoods of North Dakota and then promptly forgot. Instead I took the photo and when the film came back from processing I saw the picture and once again remembered the strange sight.

    grotto
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    Buffalo

    by zrim Written Aug 3, 2003

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    Known also as bison. Buffalo thrived in the high plains areas of North America. Their numbers in the mid nineteenth century stood at approximately 60 million. Then the white man began the slaughter. They were hunted to the verge of extinction. Today buffalo roam free only in national or state parks. A male buffalo (bull) is indeed a sight. The largest land mammals in North America. They weigh in at 2000 lbs.

    impressive
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    A cactus in North Dakota? How wierd is that.

    by zrim Written Aug 3, 2003

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    Strange but true. The arid parts of western North Dakota supports the prickly pear cactus. I didn't realize that a cactus could withstand subzero temperatures, but obviously they can and do. The western part of the state only collects an avaerage of 12-15 inches of annual precipitation.

    flowering prickly pear
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    Geographical centre of North America!

    by bkathryn Written Jan 4, 2003

    After spending a year at the University of New Brunswick, I returned to BC with some classmates. We drove across the country in a Volkswagon van. As we passed through Rugby, North Dakota, we spotted this cairn; Rugby is, apparently, the geographical centre of the continent!

    Rugby, Centre of North America

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    #THE HIKE BEGINS AT THE...

    by marko727 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    #THE HIKE BEGINS AT THE FARMHOUSE, A RATHER RUN DOWN AND JUNKY FARMHOUSE, OF MS. BUZALSKY. THERE WAS NO ONE HOME WHEN I PULLED UP, SO I GATHERED MY CAMERA AND WATER AND HIKED THROUGH HER FALLOW FIELD FOR A MILE OR SO, BEFORE ASCENDING THE WHITE COLORED BUTTES, AND TO THE HIGHEST BUTTE...WHICH IRONICALLY IS GREEN.

    MS. BUZALSKY WAS STILL NOT HOME WHEN I LEFT HER PROPERTY.

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North Dakota Hotels

  • Hilton Garden Inn Fargo

    With a Hilton Garden Inn you know that you will get the same clean hotel, same basic layout, and...

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  • Hampton Inn Bismarck

    1440 Mapleton Avenue, (opening March 10, 2008), Bismarck, North Dakota, 58501, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • My Place Hotel - Grand Forks

    1315 S. 42nd Street, 58201

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

Top North Dakota Hotels

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North Dakota Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of North Dakota off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for North Dakota sightseeing.
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