Is Minot, North Dakota, a worthy tourist destination? What are the best things to do in Minot? Read on to discover more about this beautiful city.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled getaway in North Dakota, Minot is the place! This charming town is home to some of the best attractions and activities in the state.
From scenic nature trails to exciting amusement parks, mini-golf, and nightlife, there’s something for everyone in Minot.
The city is located in the picturesque Souris River Valley, and it’s a great place to start your North Dakota adventure. Even better, its convenient location makes it easy to explore even other attractions that the state has to offer. Although, I don’t think you’ll even want to explore beyond the city!
In this light, if you are planning for a trip, here is a list of the best and most fun things to do in Minot, North Dakota, that you can explore. Also, ensure you have a place to stay by searching for the best accommodations in Minot here.
How to Get to Minot, North Dakota
If you’re wondering how to get to Minot, North Dakota, it’s quite simple. The city is served by the Minot International Airport (MOT), with several commercial flights coming in daily.
But, ensure that you get the best deals on flights to the city, through Skyscanner.
Also, you can choose to drive into the city if you’re coming from a nearby state. And, once you’re in Minot, getting around is quite stress-free. The city has an extensive public bus system that will take you to most of the tourist destinations.
But, if you prefer it private, a rental car would be a great choice. You can decide to do it locally or use online car rental companies like Kayak or use the aggregator RentalCars.com. This way, your trip to this will be all fulfilling.
- Best park in Minot – Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- Best museum in Minot – Dakota Territory Air Museum
- Best event in Minot – North Dakota State Fair
- Best day trip from Minot – Touring Lake Metigoshe Park
- Best bar for nightlife- The Dad’s Bar (Tap Room)
Best Things to do in Minot, North Dakota
If you can’t figure out exactly what to do in Minot during your upcoming trip, there’s no need to worry. This list gives you more than you can exhaust.
So, where do you start?
1. Visit Roosevelt Park Zoo
This zoo features top of our list for a good reason. In fact, anyone visiting Minot will surely want to visit this awesome zoo.
Firstly, the zoo hosts 89 species of animals, over 200 individuals in total. These include rare species like Amur leopard and Red Panda to common animals like zebras, bison, and giraffes.
Besides that, the zoo has a petting area where you can interact with some friendly goats. And it’s also completely free to visit!
Even better, children are not left out. There is a children’s zoo where they can pet animals and play in a kid-friendly environment.
The zoo is open all year round, although the opening and closing times vary mostly based on the season.
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2. Dakota Territory Air Museum
Are you a fan of aircraft? If so, you will love the Dakota Territory Air Museum. This is one of the largest aviation museums in North America.
The museum was established in 1986, with the first building being constructed in 1988. Its main aim is to preserve the aviation heritage of North Dakota and beyond, honoring the machines and the people whose contribution saw the growth of the aviation industry.
Visiting the museum gives you access to the over 60 vintage aircraft on display. And, these are not just any aircraft. They include WWII fighter jets, bombers, and a replica of the Wright brothers’ first airplane!
In addition to the aircraft, the museum has a library, gift shop, and an auditorium. Admission is only $10 for adults, $5 for children above six years, and free for the younger ones. But, if you are booking as a family, you only need $20 for the whole family.
This is a must-visit attraction for those interested in aircraft or even history while in Minot. The various aircraft are some of the best things to see in Minot.
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3. Explore the Scandinavian Heritage Park
This park is a must-visit for anyone interested in Scandinavian culture or history. The park features a replica of a 13th-century Norwegian stave church and a museum with Scandinavian culture and immigration exhibits.
Located on the north side of Minot, the park is the best place to see replicas and remembrances from all the Scandinavian countries. For instance, you will find a Swedish Dala horse, Danish windmill, and Norwegian stave church.
In addition, the park has a beautiful walking trail that takes you around the different Scandinavian monuments. And it’s also home to the annual Norsk Hostfest, North America’s largest Scandinavian festival.
A tour to Minot, North Dakota, should certainly include visiting this beautiful place.
4. Attend North Dakota State Fair
This is North Dakota’s largest annual event, hosting over 300,000 people from all over the country. The fair features a wide range of activities, including concerts, rodeos, and agriculture exhibits.
The North Dakota State Fair usually takes place in July and lasts for about 11 days. Therefore, if you are visiting Minot during this period, you should certainly attend the fair.
During these 11 days, 5 nights are dedicated to popular country music artists, while 2 nights are for rock concerts. There are also two more nights for auto events and two for NPRA Bull Riding and Rodeo.
Anyone looking for a fun-filled activity while in Minot, the North Dakota State Fair is a perfect choice.
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5. Norsk Høstfest (Norwegian Fall Festival)
For Scandinavian culture and heritage enthusiasts, this is the best event to attend. Here, you get to interact with the culture and way of life of the 5 Nordic countries. These include Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.
The event is usually held in September and features a wide range of activities. There are concerts, food stalls with Scandinavian delicacies, as well as exhibits on the culture and heritage of these countries.
Generally, the festival attracts over 100,000 people from all over, making it the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.
The individual countries’ art, food, clothing, and music are all celebrated at this festival. Therefore, if you are looking to experience the culture and heritage of Scandinavia, this is the best place to be.
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6. Visit The Northwest Arts Center
When it comes to art and culture, Minot has a lot to offer. And one of the best places to experience this is at the Northwest Arts Center. The center is home to a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and pottery.
In addition, it’s home to Walter Piehl’s artworks. He is a world-renowned wildlife artist, and some of his art is on display at the center.
Over the years, the center has been promoting North Dakota’s artistic talent. This is done through exhibitions, public art classes, workshops, and performing arts.
Generally, the center’s programs are supported through membership fees, grants, student activity fees, and donations. However, exhibitions are free. And they are open to the public. When visiting Minot, North Dakota, this is one place you don’t want to miss.
7. Enjoy Minot’s Street Art
When we talk of street art, we mean just that. Paintings on the city buildings! Back in 2015, the Minot Street Art Movement embarked on a project to transform the city’s blank walls into beautiful art pieces.
The project was a success, and today, the city is home to some amazing pieces of street art. These are located on buildings in downtown Minot, and they are quite a view.
You’ll get around 18 murals and 23 locations to admire, which will undoubtedly make your city tour worth the while. Minot’s street art is one of the best things about the city. And, it’s something you should certainly experience when visiting Minot, North Dakota.
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8. Visit the Railroad Museum Minot
If you are fascinated by locomotives, Minot has an excellent place to satisfy your curiosity. The Railroad Museum Minot is one of the best places to learn about locomotives and their history in Minot.
The museum hosts a wide range of exhibits, including locomotives, railroad cars, and other artifacts. You get access to over 100 years of railroad tools, trains, technology, and history.
There are also lots of photos, memorabilia, logos, maps, uniforms, and memorials on display. In essence, there is no better place to learn about the region’s railroad progression from 1886 than here. The Railroad Museum Minot is open all year round, making it a perfect place to visit at any time.
9. Taube Museum of Art
This is another great art museum located in downtown Minot, North Dakota. The Taube Museum of Art is popular for its two galleries, which feature the work of famous local and regional artists.
Visiting this museum gives you an excellent chance to see and appreciate the area’s artistic talent. The museum, which opened in 1970, is named after its founder, Myron Taube.
Today, it has a permanent collection of over 700 old and contemporary artworks. These are spread out in the two galleries, as well as in the sculpture garden. And they include paintings, sculptures, graphics, and photographs.
Even better, the museum offers more than just artwork. If you have a birthday or any other special event, you can rent out the museum for such an event. It offers an excellent place to make those memorable moments.
Day trips are also among the most fun things to do in Minot, North Dakota. If you are an outdoors person, here are the best places to take a day trip.
10. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
The park comprises three units, including the North, South, and Elkhorn Ranch. However, the North unit is the closest if you are in Minot.
While the South unit near Medora is the most visited of the three, the North one also has as great features. Right from beautiful canyons, rock formations, buttes, and wildlife, this part of the park will undoubtedly give you an unforgettable experience.
There are also several hiking trails, campsites, and picnic areas in the unit, making it ideal for group trips. Taking a scenic drive through the unit is a great way to explore and take in all the beauty.
For instance, the 14-mile scenic drive through the badlands leads to two beautiful overlooks; the Oxbow and the River Bend overlooks. Bison and wild horses are also common sightings here.
11. Trip to Lake Metigoshe Park
Touring this lake is also one of the best things to do in Minot. Located on the American, Canadian border, Lake Metigoshe is one of the deepest and cleanest lakes in North Dakota.
The lake is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. You can also take scenic drives or go for hikes in the park while there. And, with over 12 miles of hiking trails, you have more than enough options to explore.
If you love camping, the Metigoshe State Park has over 200 sites, many of which have electrical hookups. Also, since this has been a popular tourist destination for decades, there are several old hotels, resorts, and cabins around the lake that are worth visiting.
Nightlife in Minota, North Dakota
Minot, North Dakota, has a great nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained. Here are some of the best places to try out;
12. The Spot Pool Hall
Everyone needs to relax after a long day. Doing it at the Spot, however, comes with additional benefits. For starters, it’s a pool hall that has 25 full-size pool billiards tables.
And, with just $15 an hour, you and your friends can rent a billiards table and enjoy the rest of the night. Now, this is an experience that not many bars in Minot will offer.
Also, if the pool is not your game, the place has other gaming options for you. For instance, you can try your luck at any of the six dartboards or even some gambling at their electronic pull tables.
Their restaurant also has you sorted when hunger strikes. They serve great food such as pizzas, burgers, and special tacos. The Spot is one of those places where you can have an incredible time without breaking the bank.
13. The Dad’s Bar (Tap Room)
For beer lovers, the Dad’s Bar, originally known as the Tap Room, is where your nightlife starts. Also, with a speakeasy setup, the Tap Room offers an excellent way to wind up your day.
This fine establishment was born in 2014 and has remained the best place in North Dakota, serving 100% craft beer. In addition, the bar offers more than the coveted craft beer. You can order some of the region’s delicious meals on their menu.
Those who frequent the place consider it a place to meet with friends, family, and business associates as they converse or play games, network, and enjoy beer through the quiet night.
So, if you are looking for a place to blow off steam after a tiring day, this is the place. It fits well on the list of the best things to do in Minot, North Dakota.