North Dakota is a delight for families who revel in the unspoiled, untamed beauty of the wilderness.

Family Vacations in North Dakota Overview

North Dakota, the northernmost of the Great Plains states, is a land rich with history and steeped in tradition. This northern half of The Dakotas is filled with wide-open spaces for families to explore. Outdoor purists will also appreciate the endless opportunities for adventure, education and fun in the state's historic parks and expansive gardens.

In the following article, you'll find a profile of gardens, parks, historic sites, and North Dakota State Capitol. Included is contact information to help you plan your trip as well as photos of the destination. Here's a preview:

International Peace Garden

Straddling the US-Canadian border between North Dakota and Manitoba, the 2,339-acre International Peace Garden commemorates peace between the United States and Canada.

Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Mandan

A trip to Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Mandan will take you back to another century, to the time when this fort was the largest and most important on the Northern Plains.

North Dakota State Capitol

The front lawn of the North Dakota State Capitol, a 19-story building known as "The Skyscraper on the Prairie," is decorated with some 5,000 petunias that spell out "North Dakota."

Continue reading to find out about the International Peace Garden.

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©International Peace Garden. The enormous Floral Clock, which is made up of thousands of flowers, is a popular Peace Garden attraction.

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Family Vacations in North Dakota: International Peace Garden

The International Peace Garden that celebrates the peace between the United States and Canada is made up of 2,339 acres of gardens along the world's longest unfortified border. Visitors can stand with one foot in each country as they straddle the border.

The International Peace Garden features a number of exhibits, including the September 11 Memorial Site. Ten steel girders salvaged from the rubble of the World Trade Center are on display; a formal memorial is in the planning stages. There are miles of hiking trails, dozens of bike paths, and several campsites. The entire garden is a wildlife area where you're likely to see loons, grouse, moose, deer, and beavers.

International music, art and dance performances are regular features of summer programs. Children can participate in craft-making sessions and scavenger hunts and learn about creatures such as monarch butterflies and tadpoles. The area is home to a sports camp for kids on the Canadian side and a music camp on the U.S. side. If you visit in June, you can catch the annual fiddler contest that features a category for children ages eight and younger.

Continue to the next page for details on family vacations to picturesque Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Mandan.

 

 

International Peace Garden Information:

Address: 10930 Peace Garden Way

Dunseith, ND

Telephone: 701/263-4390, 888/432-6733

Hours of Operation: Dawn - Dusk

 

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • North Dakota State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in North Dakota, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

Family Vacations in North Dakota: Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Mandan

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Fort Abraham Lincoln's Web site proclaims: "Welcome to 1875, enjoy your visit." And a trip to this picturesque frontier fort and national historic park on the upper Missouri River will indeed take you back to another century, to the time when this fort was the largest and most important on the Northern Plains.

Visitors are invited into the home of General George A. Custer, appointed exactly as it was in 1875 before he rode off to meet his destiny at Little Bighorn, and into the barracks of the seventh Cavalry (decorated with the biographies of the men of Company I).

The fort also contains the remains of the Mandan Indian settlement On-a-Slant Village, discovered by explorers Lewis and Clark in 1804. The settlement was abandoned and collapsing by the time Lewis and Clark found it, so they canoed north to find shelter for the winter. They encountered a Mandan trading town.

Today, that location is Fort Mandan National Historic Park -- it's a 70-minute drive from Fort Lincoln. When visiting Fort Mandan, see the fascinating Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. And don't forget the nearby North Dakota's Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site and Fort Union Post National Historic Site.

Continue to the next page for details on family vacations to historic North Dakota State Capitol.

Fort Abraham Lincoln and Fort Mandan Information

Address: 4480 Ft. Lincoln Rd

Mandan, ND

Telephone: 701/667-6340

Hours of Operation: Dawn - Dusk

Admission: $5 per vehicle

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • North Dakota State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in North Dakota, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

©2005 Mohammad Smadi. This Art Deco skyscraper replaced the original state capitol, which burned down in 1930.

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Family Vacations in North Dakota: North Dakota State Capitol

The North Dakota State Capitol, a 19-story building known as "The Skyscraper on the Prairie," towers over Bismark. In this city of 50,000, the skyscraper is startling, especially in spring when the front lawn of the building is decorated with some 5,000 petunias that spell out "North Dakota." While the capitol stands only 241 feet, 8 inches tall, in winter, its upper stories often disappear in low-hanging clouds.

Like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, North Dakota's capitol is an Art Deco gem with an interesting story. And like the two Manhattan skyscrapers, it was completed in 1934 during the Great Depression. But to save money, the builders simplified the building's exterior, canceling plans to etch stylized decorations on the steel panels and cornice stones. The result was exemplary of the Art Deco International Style -- a stripped-down offshoot of the Bauhaus School.

The capitol's grounds have become the site for many memorials and museums in the years since it was built. Enjoy the North Dakota State Heritage Center Museum and Fountain Garden, the capitol's Judicial Wing, the Pioneer Family Statue, the Statue of Sakajawea, and the North Dakota Hall of Fame. Guided tours of the building, including a visit to the 18th-floor observation deck, are also available. Or if the weather is lovely, take a stroll along the capitol complex's lovely 132 acres.

North Dakota State Capitol Information

Address: 600 E. Boulevard Ave

Bismarck, ND

Telephone: 701/328-2471

Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sat. and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., Sun.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • North Dakota State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in North Dakota, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.