What is Dickinson, North Dakota known for? Is it worth a visit? Here are some of the best things to do in Dickinson, North Dakota, which you will certainly love.
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting place to visit, Dickinson, North Dakota, is the perfect destination! Whether exploring the city’s deep history or enjoying its beauty, one step into Dickinson, and you’ll instantly fall in love with it. There are plenty of things to do in this charming small city that will undoubtedly blow your mind away.
The city is also an ideal vacation spot for all types of groups. Whether you’re traveling as a family, with friends, or even as a solo traveler, there’s always something for you here. You can explore the extensive hiking trails, enjoy the beautiful outdoors, marvel at historic buildings, or spend your time in one of the many great museums here.
And, did I say that one of the most beautiful national parks in the US is in this city? Well, you now know why Dickinson, North Dakota, won’t disappoint.
If your next trip leads you here, this is a comprehensive list of the best things to do in Dickinson, North Dakota. And you certainly should try some out:
Table of Contents
- Things to Do in Dickinson, North Dakota
- 1. Badlands Dinosaur Museum
- 2. Joachim Regional Museum
- 3. Prairie Outpost Park
- 4. Pioneer Machinery Hall
- 5. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- 6. Tour the Dickinson Extension Research Center Floral Gardens
- 7. Play Golf at One of Dickinson’s Five Public Courses
- 8. Patterson Lake Recreational Area
- 9. Ukrainian Cultural Institute
- 10. West River Community Center
- 11. The Enchanted Highway
- How to Get Around Dickinson, North Dakota
- Where to Stay in Dickinson, North Dakota
- Luxury Hotels
- Mid-Range Hotels
- Budget Hotels
- Most significant landmark: Patterson Lake Recreational Area
- Best park: Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Best free activity: A visit to Prairie Outpost Park
- The best activity for kids: Visiting West River Community Center
- The best activity for adults: Visiting the Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Best food: Yummy ribs at JD’s BBQ
- Best nightlife: Esquire Club
- Best all-around accommodation: La Quinta by Wyndham Dickinson
Things to Do in Dickinson, North Dakota
As we’ve mentioned, it’s hard to exhaust all the good things Dickinson city offers. However, to make your trip nice and memorable, check out some of the most fantastic places to visit or things to do while there.
Any combination of these activities will create unforgettable moments for you and your traveling buddies.
1. Badlands Dinosaur Museum
Location: 188 Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND 58601
If you thought that dinosaurs only existed in the movies, you should consider visiting this place. The Badlands Dinosaur Museum is part of the Dickinson Museum Center and contains numerous real dinosaur fossils, proving that these majestic animals once roamed the earth.
The museum hosts the most extensive collection of these fossils and offers a fast trip back to the era of the largest animals to ever live on earth. Here, you will see six complete dinosaur skeletons, a Triceratops skull, numerous fossils, and even a stunning mineral collection.
Whether alone or with your kids, this place offers some exciting memories.
See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit
2. Joachim Regional Museum
Location: 188 E Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND 58601
This is another museum that’s quite rich with the region’s history, also found in Dickinson Museum Center. The museum, which traces its origins to Daniel Milton Joachim, was established to collect and display the region’s historical and fine arts pieces, mostly from local artists.
It has an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents dating back to the early settlers of Dickinson. Plus, it contains an art gallery with temporary exhibitions from local, state, and even national artists.
If you want to go back in history, this museum takes you through various eras, including the railroad expansion, the resettlement of immigrants, and even the taming prairie grasslands era. You’ll have more to enjoy than you can imagine.
And to top it all up, there are various adult and kids’ fun activities that complete your tour.
See Related: Best Museums in Rochester, Minnesota
3. Prairie Outpost Park
Location: 188 Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND 58601
This park includes historical, ethnic, and cultural structures that give people a chance to learn about Southwest North Dakota’s story. While here, you can either stroll outside to enjoy the magnificence of the buildings or join a tour of the inside.
Generally, Prairie Outpost Park covers most of the Museum Center’s 12-acre campus. And it includes some stunning relocated historical and ethnic structures, which celebrate Scandinavian, Czech, and German cultures.
Other features that will pique your interest include several petrified tree stumps, a demonstration garden, and a coal mine recreation. The park also has restrooms, a gazebo, and a Heritage Pavilion for public use.
However, you should note that you can only access the park if you are on a guided tour. And the tours are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
4. Pioneer Machinery Hall
Location: 188 Museum Dr, Dickinson, ND 58601
This is the last section of the Dickinson Museum Center, which also offers a lot to see and do. The hall was, at one point, the largest building west of the Mississippi River and its attractions still remain.
It houses an impressive collection of farm equipment and other machinery used by early settlers in Dickinson. Plus, there are also a few hands-on exhibits that everyone will get to enjoy.
Some machines on display include a steam-powered threshing machine, a gas-powered tractor, and an antique combine. There are also several smaller machines, such as an ironing machine, a butter churner, and even an ice cream maker.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Minot, North Dakota
5. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Location: Billings and McKenzie counties, North Dakota, United States
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is another great place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of Dickinson. The park was established in 1947 and named after the 26th president of the United States. The president’s name has also been honored by Theodore Roosevelt Center, which is also named after him.
The park consists of three units, each with its own unique features. The South Unit is where you’ll find most of the visitor facilities, including a museum, an information center, and a gift shop.
The North Unit, on the other hand, is more rugged and less developed. And it’s here that you’ll find the Peaceful Valley Ranch, which was once owned by Theodore Roosevelt.
Finally, the Elkhorn Ranch Unit is where Theodore Roosevelt spent most of his time when he was living in Dickinson. It’s located about 35 miles north of town and is only accessible via a gravel road. Even though it’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s definitely worth visiting if you want to get a feel for what life was like during Roosevelt’s time.
Visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a must-do activity while in Dickinson, North Dakota. With over 70,000 acres of beautiful nature to explore, it’s the best place to enjoy the stunning views of the prairies and badlands. And if you love animals, there are lots of them here – whether it’s the famous bison, prairie dogs, or wild horses, your plate will be full.
Book a tour today to enjoy the best of North Dakota.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Medora, North Dakota
6. Tour the Dickinson Extension Research Center Floral Gardens
Location: 1041 State Ave, Dickinson, ND 58601
Are plants or flowers your thing? Do you enjoy spending some quality time admiring the beauty of nature? Then you’ll love the Dickinson Extension Research Center Floral Gardens.
The gardens feature a wide variety of flowers and plants, including some native to North Dakota. Some of the best highlights include the cactus garden, the rose garden, and the butterfly garden. There’s also a children’s play area where your little ones can run around and have some fun.
As you take that stroll on the beautiful paths surrounded by towering pines, natural grass, and beautiful flowers, the views are simply soothing. And the whole place oozes a sweet natural smell of these flowers that will make you not want to leave.
So, if you want somewhere, you can unwind as you marvel at the beauty that nature has to offer, this is the place.
See related: Best Things to Do in Fargo, North Dakota.
7. Play Golf at One of Dickinson’s Five Public Courses
How about spending some time playing golf? If you’re a fan of this top game, you’ll be excited to know that there are five public courses at Dickinson. And, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, you’ll find a course that suits your level.
Those looking for a challenge should try out the Heart River Golf Course. It’s located just outside of town and features 18 holes that are perfect for experienced players.
But, if you’re new to the game or just want to take it easy, then one of the three city courses would be a better option. The Riverside Municipal Golf Course is the most popular course in town and is perfect for all skill levels.
Whether you are here for just a few days or a long vacation, an afternoon at any of these golf courses is undeniably relaxing. It gives you the best feel of Dickinson’s nature and allows you to have fun and challenge your golfing skills.
See Related: Best Things to Do in North Dakota & Places to Visit
8. Patterson Lake Recreational Area
Another perfect place to enjoy all that Dickinson has to offer in terms of nature! Patterson Lake Recreational Area is located just minutes from the city center and provides a wide range of recreational activities for everyone.
Whether you want to go for a swim, fish, hike, or just relax on the beach, this is the place to be. And if you have kids, they’ll also love it here as there’s a playground and plenty of space for them to run around. You can also go camping, mountain biking, water skiing, or enjoy the disc golf course – the activities here are endless.
The best time to visit is during the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. But, even during the other seasons, this place is still worth visiting as it’s simply beautiful all year round. It’s open from Memorial Day through to Labor Day.
See Related: 22 Best Things to do in Tennessee & Places to Visit
9. Ukrainian Cultural Institute
Location: 1221 W. Villard St. Dickinson, ND 58601
Visiting Dickinson, North Dakota, can be made complete by a tour to the Ukrainian Cultural Institute. This is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Dickinson’s Ukrainian community.
The institute features a research library, folk art gallery, and religious displays. It also gives you a taste of handcrafted Easter Eggs, embroidered clothes, and heritage paintings.
And that’s not all! It produces incredible North Dakota ethnic food distributed throughout the Midwest. For example, if you want a taste Pyrohy (Cheese buttons), this is the place to find it.
Also, if you want to learn more about Ukrainian culture, there are classes and workshops offered here. So, whether you’re Ukrainian or not, a visit to this institute is surely an enriching experience. It’s open all year round, and admission is free.
10. West River Community Center
The West River Community Center is a place where you can come to have some fun, learn new things, and stay active. It features an indoor walking/jogging track, weight room, cardio equipment, a climbing wall, and even a gymnasium. And if you want an outdoor jogging or walking space, the center’s lazy river area offers just that.
There are also plenty of classes here, such as yoga, pilates, martial arts, dance, and Zumba. This way, whatever your fitness level or interests, you’ll find something perfect for you.
The center also has an indoor pool which is great for lap swimming or just relaxing after a long day. There’s also a sauna and steam room if you want to unwind even further.
If you’re looking for somewhere to have some fun, meet new people, and stay active in North Dakota, then this center is the place for you. It’s open all year round, and membership is very reasonable.
See Related: 23 Best Restaurants in Fargo, North Dakota
11. The Enchanted Highway
The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile road with seven giant metal sculptures. These sculptures are all located in the middle of nowhere and were created by a local artist, Gary Greff.
The sculptures include a Tin Family, Grasshoppers, Geese in Flight, Deer Crossing, Pheasants on the Prairie, and the world’s largest Tin Man. They are all imposing and definitely worth the drive out to see them.
Every sculpture has a pull-out where you can park and enjoy the views. Also, there are picnic shelters at each of these sculptures.
How to Get Around Dickinson, North Dakota
Dickinson, North Dakota, is a small city, so getting around is relatively easy. If you’re staying in the city center, you’ll be able to walk to most places.
Also, there’s a public bus system called MATBUS. It operates throughout the city and covers most of the major attractions. Their fares are relatively cheap and undoubtedly worth it if you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing!
Also, there are plenty of taxis and Uber drivers in Dickinson, so getting around is really easy and affordable. Lastly, you can opt for car rentals for more comfort and convenience. Try out Retalcars.com for the best car rental services.
Where to Stay in Dickinson, North Dakota
Now that you know what to do in Dickinson, North Dakota, let’s find out where you can stay during your visit. There are plenty of accommodation options in Dickinson, North Dakota. Whether you are looking for luxury and quality or just some nice place to rest your head, here are the best spots:
For a luxurious stay in Dickinson, North Dakota, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Dickinson takes the day. It boasts an indoor pool, a hot tub, and free WiFi, among other amenities.
Also, Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport is just 12 km from the hotel. This makes it quite accessible once you land in Dickinson.
La Quinta by Wyndham Dickinson is another excellent luxury hotel here. It also has an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub and is quite accessible. In fact, if you are visiting the Dakota Dinosaur Museum, the hotel is a mere 1.6km away.
If you are looking for a more mid-range option while in Dickinson, the Astoria Extended Stay & Event Center and Heritage Hotel and Suites are both great choices. They offer comfortable rooms with all the basic amenities you need for a pleasant stay.
The Astoria Extended Stay & Event Center is located near the Dickinson Museum Center, while the Heritage Hotel and Suites are conveniently located near the Dakota Dinosaur Museum.
The Badlands Inn & Suites is an excellent option if you want something affordable. It’s located 11 km from the Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport and offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and a private bathroom.
The Dickinson Inn is another excellent choice for those on a budget. It has air-conditioned rooms, flat-screen TV, and even an ATM for visitors.