Day and Weekend Trip Ideas

Minot is a hidden gem on the prairie. It’s only fair to let you in on a secret: It’s not the only one. Tons of treasures are tucked throughout the surrounding area if you’re willing to make a short drive. On the way to any of these destinations, you’ll experience big skies, rolling hills, and the rugged beauty that makes North Dakota legendary. Make an adventurous playlist, pack the cooler, and get behind the wheel for a mini road trip!

Cross Ranch State Park (1.15 hours south)
Formerly an actual working ranch, this quiet piece of land along the Missouri River is a calm place to engage with nature on a hike or in a canoe. Make a memory by renting a cabin or yurt for the weekend, or stay in a tipi during the summer months.

Medora (3 hours southwest)
Medora is a tiny town with big personality. Set on the edge of the Old West, Medora is nestled alongside the stunning Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s a perfect weekend getaway for the family, with campsites, a zip line, a mini-golf course, and hiking trails. History buffs will love visiting the Chateau De Mores or stepping inside Teddy Roosevelt’s cabin. Don’t leave before you’ve tried a Pride Dairy ice cream cone! And of course, stick around for the main feature: the nightly showing of the Medora Musical. It’s a star-spangled music spectacular that pays tribute to cowboy culture and North Dakota’s wild and free lands.

Bismarck (1.45 hours south)
Just a short drive south is North Dakota’s state capital, a bustling city with lots to discover. Raging Rivers waterpark is a worthwhile summer trip for water-lovers. The Heritage Museum near the capitol building hosts a spectacular collection of dinosaur fossils, Native American heritage pieces, and an interactive kids’ zone with an indoor tree house. Downtown Bismarck is home to cool breweries and unique restaurants, too. (We’d suggest Luft, a rooftop bar, or some delicious wood-fired pizza at Fireflour.)

International Peace Gardens (1.5 hours northeast)
The Peace Gardens lie in neutral territory between the United States and Canada. This long, green stretch celebrates the world’s largest non-militarized border and the ideals of cooperation among nation. Flowers bloom all summer long, making for a lovely picnic location. Inside the conservatory, which is open year-round, you shouldn’t miss the elaborate collection of cacti and succulents from around the globe.

Lake Metigoshe (1.5 hours northeast)
Nestled in the scenic Turtle Mountains, Lake Metigoshe is a haven for outdoor activities year-round. Summer brings swimming, boating, and hiking, while winter is a perfect time for snowmobiling, ice-fishing, skiing, and cross-country skiing. Skiiers of all levels will love nearby Bottineau Winter Park!

Devil’s Lake (2 hours east)
The outdoorsman will love exploring all the Devil’s Lake has to offer. Whether you’re looking to catch the next record-breaking walleye or want to hike through Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve, you won’t be disappointed you made the trip. Don’t forget to try your luck at the nearby Spirit Lake Casino and Resort!

Fargo (3.45 hours southeast)
North Dakota’s largest city has a lot to offer. During football season, make sure to stop by NDSU for a football game, as this collegiate team has won eight of the past nine NCAA national football titles! Check out Fargo’s street art, visit the Roger Maris museum, or stop by the Visitors Center to grab a picture with the original wood-chipper from the movie Fargo.