Bismarck and Mandan Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Bismarck and Mandan Trip Guide

The Missouri River separates the state capital (population: 58,000), Bismarck, from Mandan. Things to do in the area include Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park and the North Dakota Heritage Center.
North Dakota Heritage Center. Photo: North Dakota Tourism/David Lee.
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Fort Abraham Lincoln Home.
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Pirogue Grill.
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What to do

North Dakota State Capitol Building and Grounds Nicknamed "The Skyscraper on the Prairie," North Dakota's 1934-era capitol building is the tallest man-made structure in the area (at 241 feet). You can take a guided tour, including a visit to the 18th-floor observation deck, for free. Also on the grounds: an arboretum trail, prairie trail and numerous statues and memorials, in addition to the North Dakota Heritage Center.

North Dakota Heritage Center The recently expanded center traces North Dakota history from dinosaur days to the present. Exhibits include fossils and casts of sea creatures that lived in the area 80 million years ago and artifacts used by Native American peoples who inhabited North Dakota from about 13,000 years ago to 1860. (701) 328-2666;

Former Governors' Mansion State Historic Site, Bismarck The Victorian house, built in 1884, was home to 21 chief executives between 1893 and 1960. The State Historical Society of North Dakota has restored it to its 1893 appearance. Visitors learn about the restoration process as well as Victorian lifestyles. The 1903 Carriage House has been restored as well.

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Living-history tours visit reconstructed Mandan earth lodges, as well as a rebuilt infantry post that includes the Custer House. Seven miles south of Mandan. (701) 667-6340;

Where to eat

Kroll’s Diner We like local chain Kroll’s for all-day breakfasts, kuchen and knoephla. Check out the retro one in Mandan. (701) 667-0940;

Pirogue Grille Bismarck's chef-owned downtown restaurant has built a solid reputation on locally inspired dishes. (701) 223-3770;

Harvest Brazilian Grill Carnivores head to this churrasco-style Mandan restaurant for perfectly seasoned meat delivered on huge skewers. The Parmesan pork alone is worth the trip, but also try the Brazilian rice and beans. Spendy for North Dakota? Yes. Good for a special occasion? Absolutely. (701) 751-4393;

Laughing Sun Brewery At North Dakota’s first brewery-taproom, learn about bitterness units from the bartenders, then sip on a warming porter or an easygoing strawberry wheat. Local bands play several nights each week. In Bismarck. (701) 751-3881;

Where to stay

Radisson Hotel Bismarck Perks at this downtown chain hotel include plush bedding and free Wi-Fi. From $119. (701) 255-6000;

For information: Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 767-3555;

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