10 Places to Travel on a Budget: North Dakota
Curious about 10 places to travel on a budget in North Dakota? North Dakota is often hailed as one of the cheapest states to visit, but this doesn’t mean it’s boring. Here are 10 popular sites all around North Dakota that are free of charge. Some are natural, some historic, some modern, but all are easy on your budget.
- Lewis and Clark Steamboat Parks. This famous adventuring duo spent most of their time in the west in North Dakota. Replica steam and keelboats, like the ones they used back in the day, are available for touring. Located in Bismarck, these parks are a great place to travel on a budget.
- Enchanted Highway. For the 30 miles between the towns of Regent and Gladstone in southwestern North Dakota, dozens of metal sculptures line the roadway. While some are cartoony, others are majestic. This is a great way to spice up a drive through this area, but is also a fun place to stop and visit. The gift shop in Regent has miniatures of all the sculptures, but the drive and your photos are free!
- Five Nations Art Center. In 2009, Rand McNally featured Bismarck’s Five Nations Art Center as a “must see” in their nationwide Best of the Road program. The artwork and crafts of over 200 Native American artists are sold through this refurbished train depot. It's a great place to travel on a budget.
- Assumption Abbey. In the tiny town of Richardton in southwestern North Dakota, there’s a beautiful Benedictine monastery that is free to tour. The Assumption Abbey houses a community of monks and is open for visitors. The architecture alone is worth coming to see, but there is also a gift shop and a wine cellar.
- Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site. The area around Bismarck was once home to a thriving civilization of over 10,000 Mandan Native Americans. The village of Double Ditch was a commerce hub for 300 years before small pox tore through the area in 1785 and the Mandans relocated. Today, the ruins of Double Ditch village are available for touring year round and are a great place to travel on a budget.
- The Greenway. In the middle of Grand Forks, North Dakota’s third largest city, is over 2,000 acres of nature, open year round for tourists and locals alike. The Greenway includes a campground, golf courses, several parks and nearly two dozen miles of trails as well as opportunities for fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The Greenway is a great place to travel on a budget.
- Crow Flies High Scenic Overlook. New Town, North Dakota, is nestled in the biggest bend of Lake Sakakawea in Northwestern North Dakota. The Crow Flies High Overlook in New Town lets you see miles of the long, sloping hills and huge sky that North Dakota is famous for as well as the Four Bears Bridges and Lake Sakakawea. Ruins of the town of Sanish, now covered by Lake Sakakawea, can be seen when the waters are low. Visiting the overlook is free.
- Painted Canyon Visitor Center. The town of Medora, population around 100, is located smack-dab in the middle of the huge Little Missouri Grassland in Western North Dakota. The Painted Canyon Visitor Center near Medora lets tourists and locals alike read about the area’s history and the grassland itself. This free center also boasts an incredible view of the Badlands.
- Japanese Garden. Grand Forks’ sister city Awano, Japan, gifted the city a beautiful Japanese garden in the aftermath of the Red River Valley flood in 1997. Today, touring the garden, located Sertoma Park, is free of charge, which makes it a perfect place to travel on a budget.
- Lillian & Coleman Taube Museum of Art. This art museum is not the stuffy, uppity type found in big cities. The Taube Museum of Art is run as a nonprofit with a focus on bringing art to the community and making it accessible to everyone. Open year round, admission is by suggested donation of $2 per person or $5 for a family. The museum has regular exhibits as well as art related activities for the whole family.