Welcome to North Dakota
North Dakota has been described as legendary, with a captivating
history featuring some of America's greatest leaders, adventurers
and warriors. At its many preserved historic forts, visitors can
discover the stories of Native Americans, led by Sitting Bull,
fighting to preserve the plains culture, as well as of the soldiers
who manned these lonely outposts. History buffs can retrace Lewis
and Clark's journey along the Missouri River, beginning at Fort
Mandan, where their expedition acquired as a member one of the most
famous North Dakotans, Sakakawea (or Sacagawea). Today, North
Dakota has one of the highest populations of Native Americans in
the country. Their reservations are rich cultural destinations,
where traditional powwows are held throughout the year.
North Dakota's heritage also encompasses the traditions of
Scandinavia and Germany, the homelands of many of the state's
original pioneers. Many local festivals celebrate these cultures.
These immigrants were lured here, no doubt, by the same vista that
tempts today's athletes and outdoorsmen. North Dakota's pristine
land, under an empty sky, seems to stretch toward infinity. One of
the best places to experience the state's natural beauty is in the
Badlands of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, in western North
Dakota. Roosevelt was a rancher here for a time, and his memories
of North Dakota would later fuel his passion for conservation.
Visitors to the stark cliffs and buttes of the Badlands can camp,
view species like bison and elk or bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail.
Lake Sakajawea is another scenic spot, so expansive it can
accommodate sailors as well as avid sport fishermen. Winters this
far north can seem formidable, but North Dakota lightly blanketed
by pure-white snow is stunning, and the snowshoeing, snowmobiling,
cross-country skiing and ice fishing is unparalleled. In the
summer, the 2,339-acre (946 ha) International Peace Garden is a
serene place to visit. Situated on the world's longest unfortified
border between the United States and Canada, it is a symbol of
peace and friendship.
Though many may be surprised to hear it, North Dakota does have
more to offer than history and the great outdoors. The Indian
reservations, reservoirs of cultural knowledge, are also home to a
number of glitzy casinos. Fargo and Grand Forks are college towns,
complete with arts scenes, bars and clubs and, in the case of Grand
Forks, the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux ice hockey
team, the state's major sports competitor. North Dakota's most
unusual, though perhaps most impressive, attraction seems
impossible to categorize. The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile (52km)
stretch of lonely road, along which the world's largest metal
sculptures have been erected, capturing the surprising quirks
waiting to charm visitors to North Dakota.
Information & Facts
North Dakota has a continental climate with four distinct
seasons. Its average temperature is cool, ranging from 37-43°F
(3-6°C). Winters are dry and sometimes bitterly cold, especially in
January. However, the state has a longer temperate season than many
imagine, when, due to its northern latitude, the sun rises before
6am and sets after 9.30pm. Summers are sunny and can be quite hot
at times, and thunderstorms are common, but North Dakota is one of
the driest states in the US.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
Eastern North Dakota: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from March to November);
Western North Dakota: GMT -7 (GMT -6 from March to