Trip Guide to Bismarck and Mandan | Midwest Living
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Trip Guide to Bismarck and Mandan

Innovation keeps history fresh here along the Missouri River. A museum expansion and the state’s first brewhouse-pub represent the novel things to check out in this south-central North Dakota area.
North Dakota Heritage Center. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism.
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State Capitol.
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Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
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Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism.
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Lewis and Clark Riverboat.
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Do

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Interpreters in frontier Army Calvary uniforms explain life at this post from which Lt. Col. George Custer rode out to the Little Bighorn. See his re-created house at this park 12 miles southwest of town. At the On-A-Slant Indian Village, guests explore a replica of the earthen mound village where the Mandan lived from about 1575 to 1781. parkrec.nd.gov

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center Lewis and Clark spent more of their epic journey in North Dakota than any other state. Inside a timber-frame building 38 miles north of Bismarck, slick touchscreens and displays detail the duo’s expedition. Also on-site is a replica of the explorers’ winter home, Fort Mandan, made from 800 cottonwood logs. fortmandan.com

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Narrated cruises on a 40-foot, flat-bottom riverboat introduce passengers to the Missouri River from Lewis and Clark’s perspective. lewisandclarkriverboat.com

North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum Stand beneath a T. Rex and a Triceratops as they battle. Stare down a mammoth. See casts of sea creatures that swam here millions of years ago. North Dakota’s past takes shape at this museum, which nearly doubled in size in 2014. history.nd.gov

North Dakota State Capitol Building and Grounds As the tallest structure in the region—241 feet, built in 1934—the Capitol earned its unofficial nickname of The Skyscraper on the Prairie. An arboretum trail, statues and memorials dot the grounds. nd.gov

Eat

The Blarney Stone Irish Pub Stop for a pint or a meal; you'll feel an old-world welcome among the hardwood paneling, small rooms and glowing fireplace of this downtown restaurant. blarneyirishpub.com

Kroll’s Diner We like local chain Kroll’s for all-day breakfasts, kuchen and knoephla. Check out the retro one in Mandan. sitdownandeat.com

Harvest Brazilian Grill South American food in North Dakota? You bet your Churrasco-style steak. The Parmesan-encrusted pork alone is worth crossing the river to this location in Mandan, but all the meats come perfectly seasoned on huge skewers. Reservations on weekends are recommended. harvestbraziliangrill.com

Laughing Sun Brewery In the state’s first brewhouse-pub, taste a strawberry wheat or chocolate porter while looking into the brewhouse. Live music and works from an artist-in-residence continue the creative atmosphere. laughingsunbrewing.com

Little Cottage Cafe Fluffy French toast. Crispy bacon. Superb knoephla. Add cheap prices and friendly service, and it’s easy to see why locals pack this tiny diner. (701) 223-4949

Peacock Alley Black-and-white photos at this eatery in the former Patterson Hotel celebrate famous politicians who have stopped in through the decades. The two-for-$15 lunchtime option is a deal, and dinners of hangar steak, halibut and ribs are excellent for special occasions. peacock-alley.com

Pirogue Grille Walleye, bison and house-made venison sausage are staples at this chef-owned downtown spot. Locally inspired entrees change with the seasons. piroguegrille.com

Terra Nomad Four Barrel, the famed San Francisco roaster, supplies the beans that baristas use to make Americanos and cappuccinos served in handleless cups. terranomadcompany.com

Stay

Radisson Hotel Bismarck Perks at this downtown chain hotel include plush bedding and free Wi-Fi. radisson.com

Rolling Plains Adventures For your-wish-is-our-command hospitality and simple-but-comfy cabins, check out this family-owned 17,000-acre ranch 25 miles southeast of town. ATV excursions, cattle drives, hunting and horseback rides are available. blacklegranch.com

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

 

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