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Innovation keeps history fresh here along the Missouri River. A mural alley, new horse exhibit and the state’s first brewhouse-pub represent the novel things to check out in this south-central city. Check out our trip guide for ideas on what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

By The editors of MidwestLiving.com
Updated February 26, 2021
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Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.

Do

Alley 5.5 Bismarck's most photographed alley, off 5th Street halfway between Broadway and Main avenues, features colorful murals by local artists. artscapital.org

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park Explore the post from which Lt. Col. George Custer rode out to Little Bighorn, and see his re-created house (12 miles southwest of town). Journey further back in time at the On-A-Slant Indian Village, which houses a replica of the earthen mound village where the Mandan tribe 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 in Washburn, 40 miles north of Bismarck, slick touch screens and displays detail the duo's expedition. Also on-site is a replica of the explorers' winter home, Fort Mandan. fortmandan.com

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
| Credit: Photo Courtesy of North Dakota Tourism/David Borlaug

Lewis and Clark Riverboat Narrated cruises on a 40-foot flat-bottom riverboat are scheduled to resume in summer 2021. Learn about the Missouri River from Lewis and Clark's perspective. lewisandclarkriverboat.com

North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum A new exhibit called The Prairie Post Office looks at the role of small-town North Dakota post offices through photographs, letters and a delivery wagon. Explore more of the state's past in exhibits on dinosaurs, ancient sea creatures, mammals on the savanna and early peoples. history.nd.gov

North Dakota Heritage Center
North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum. Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism.

State Capitol As the tallest structure in the region—242 feet, completed 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

Butterhorn Local ingredients shine in French- and Italian-inspired dishes such as cavatelli with sausage. Sides include the lovely little crescent bread rolls known as butterhorns. butterhorn210.com

The Craftcade The retro joint buzzes with 25 vintage arcade games, a pour-your-own craft beer wall, New York-style pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. Enjoy free games on Sundays. thecraftcade.com

Laughing Sun Brewery Bismarck's first craft beer taproom recently expanded to a second location in Mandan. Both offer a menu with hearty portions of ribs, pork and brisket, plus live music and events such as trivia nights. 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. Little Cottage Cafe's Facebook page

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 hanger steak, salmon and ribs are excellent. peacock-alley.com

Peacock Alley
Peacock Alley

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

Terra Nomad Minimalist surroundings, gourmet coffee and a vegan-friendly breakfast and lunch menu provide a fresh alternative to the area's meaty joints. terranomadcompany.com

Stay

Rolling Plains Adventures For hunting and fishing adventures, check out this family-owned, 17,000-acre ranch 25 miles southeast of town. Also available: ATV excursions, cattle drives and horseback rides. rollingplainsadventures.com

For more information: Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau noboundariesnd.com