Bismarck (North Dakota)

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Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second most populous city in North Dakota after Fargo. The city's population is around 62,000, while its metropolitan population has well over 100,000 inhabitants. Bismarck was founded by European Americans in 1872 on the east bank of the Missouri River. It has been North Dakota's capital city since 1889, when the state was created from the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union. Bismarck is across the river from Mandan, named after a historic Native American tribe of the area. The two cities make up the core of the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Statistical Area. The North Dakota State Capitol, the tallest building in the state, is in central Bismarck. The state government employs more than 4,000 in the city. As a hub of retail and health care, Bismarck is the economic center of south-central North Dakota and north-central South Dakota.



Sights and Activities

  • North Dakota State Capitol Building, 600 East Blvd, ☎ +1 701 328-2471, +1 701 328-2480, e-mail: The state's tallest building, and the location of all three branches of state government. Tours available M - F 9AM-11AM and 1PM-3PM year round, M - F 8AM-11AM and 1PM-4PM, Sa 9AM-11AM and 1PM-3PM, Su 1PM-4PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day. North Dakota State Capitol on Wikipedia North Dakota State Capitol (Q3696010) on Wikidata edit

Bismarck Art and Galleries Association, 422 East Front Ave, ☎ +1 701 223-5986, fax: +1 701 223-8960, e-mail: Art, photography and sculptures exhibits by local, regional and national artists. Open year round, Tuesday-Friday 10AM-5PM; Saturday 1-3PM Free admission.

  • Buckstop Junction Missouri Valley Fairgrounds, ☎ +1 701 226-1217, +1 701 223-4838. Reconstructed village with buildings from the late 1800s to the early 1930s. Turn-of-the-century atmosphere. By appointment. Admission fee is $2.
  • Camp Hancock, 101 West Main, ☎ +1 701 328-2666, fax: +1 701 328-3710, e-mail: State historic site. Open May 16 to September 15, Wednesday-Sunday 1:00-5PM. Originally established in 1872 as a military post, Camp Creeley, then renamed Camp Hancock in 1973. Its mission was to provide protection for work gangs building the Northern Pacific Railroad. The camp headquarters, a log building, is still standing on the site. Free, donations welcome.
  • Chief Looking's Village, Burnt Boat Drive NW, ☎ +1 701 328-2666. Native American village site with self-guided tour of the grounds, contains earthlodge depressions and a fortification ditch. Chief Looking's Village site (32BL3) on Wikipedia Chief Looking's Village site (Q5096829) on Wikidata edit
  • Dakota Zoo (Sertoma Park), ☎ +1 701 223-7543, fax: +1 701 258-8350, e-mail: Variety of animal exhibits, including endangered monkeys, moose, and brown bears, some in natural habitats. Open late April to end of September from 10AM-8PM daily. In the winter (October to late April), open Friday to Sunday, 1:00 to 5PM. Admission for children under age two is free, $4.25 for children 2-12, $7.25 for ages 13-60, and $6.25 for 60+.
  • Double Ditch Indian Village, Highway 1804 (7 miles north of Bismarck), ☎ +1 701 328-2666, fax: +1 701 328-3710. Remains of a large Mandan Indian earthlodge village that is believed to have been inhabited for almost 300 years until 1781. Eight interactive signs provide information on the site Free, donations welcome.
  • Old Governor's Mansion, 320 East Ave B, ☎ +1 701 328-2666, fax: +1 701 328-3710. State historic site. Restored Victorian mansion and carriage house. Originally constructed in 1884, it housed 21 ND governors from 1893 to 1960. Exhibits explain the restoration process, architectural style changes, and furniture used by several governors. Open May 16 to September 15, Wednesday thru Sunday, from 1:00 to 5PM.
  • North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, 612 East Boulevard Ave, ☎ +1 701 328-2666. This is North Dakota's largest museum. It displays a collection of Plains Indian artifacts, as well as exhibits of North Dakota's military, agricultural, and natural history. Includes a special children's historical area. Sakakawea was the guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806. Her statue is displayed near the center's entrance.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame, 600 East Boulevard Ave, ☎ +1 701 328-2480. In the State Capitol. Displays portraits of recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state's highest, given to North Dakotans who have brought honor to the state. Open Year-round, Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM and during Memorial Day to Labor day, also open on Saturday from 9AM-4PM and on Sunday from 1:00 to 4PM.



Events and Festivals


  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.


  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.




Situated in the middle of the Great Plains, between the geographic centers of the United States and North America, Bismarck displays a highly variable four-season humid continental climate with strong semi-arid influences. Bismarck's climate is characterized by long, cold, somewhat snowy and windy winters, and hot summers that are at times humid. Thunderstorms occur in spring and summer, but much of the rest of the year is dry. The warmest month in Bismarck is July, with a daily mean of 21.3 °C, with typically wide variations between day and night. The coldest month is January, with a 24-hour average of -12.1 °C. The highest temperature ever recorded in Bismarck was 46 °C, on July 6, 1936. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Bismarck was -43 °C, on both January 13, 1916 and February 16, 1936. Precipitation peaks from May to September and is rather sparse in the winter months. Winter snowfall is typically light to moderate, occurring with the passage of frontal systems; major storms are rare.



Getting There

By Plane

Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS) offers flights to/from [[Las Vegas, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Denver.

By Train

Bismarck does offer freight stops however no public train transportation exists. The nearest Amtrak station is located in Minot, ND, which is around 100 miles north of Bismarck on US-83.

By Car

You can get to Bismarck from the east or west via I-94, or from the north or south via US-83. Taxi 9000 does offer cab service for the area. They are usually at the airport upon arrivals. The city is spread out, so a vehicle of some sort is recommended.

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options.



Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

The city services public transportation by running several bus routes throughout the area. It is called the Capital Area Transit (CAT). Route maps and information should be available at all major bus stops and the airport.




Most national chain restaurants are off of I-94 Exit 159 (Hwy. 83/State St.), near Kirkwood Mall on the south side, and in the Pinehurst area (Exit 157, Tyler Parkway and Divide Ave.) on the west side. For a more unique dining experience, explore restaurants in the historic Downtown area. This district's Fiesta Villa, in the former train station, or Peacock Alley, in the former Patterson Hotel are local favorites.

Many North Dakotans are meat eaters and these restaurants do not disappoint in this area. Pasta entrees and seafood are quite popular as well, rounding out most menus. Due to ND's landlocked location, seafood must be flown in regularly, so a seared ahi tuna steak is likely to be at least 'good'. However northern pike, walleye, buffalo, and pheasant are likely to be local and fresh. These items are worth a try to capture a more authentic taste of North Dakota.

  • Kroll's Diner. American and German cuisine. Famous for their Knoephla soup, which you can purchase by the bucket. I-94 & Highway 83, +1 701 223-1907;

1915 East Main Avenue, +1 701 255-3850 $5-12.

  • Lucky Ducks Deli (Third Street and Thayer Avenue), ☎ +1 701 751-3989. M - Sa 8AM-8PM. Salads, sandwiches, and soup. Outdoor seating available during the summer. $3-13.
  • Scotty's Drive-In, 210 North 21st St, ☎ +1 701 255-4588, e-mail: Mon–Sat, 10:30AM–9PM. A locally owned, retro-style drive-in from 1965. One of the oldest restaurants in the city. Burgers, hot dogs, fries – all the things you'd expect, plus the possibility of a dill pickle milkshake at the end. $10.
  • The Walrus, 1136 N. 3rd St. (Arrowhead Plaza), ☎ +1 701 250-0020. Daily 10:30AM-11PM. A local favorite, The Walrus has been open since 1996. Try any one of their signature pasta dishes, unique pizzas, house-made soups, or select from 41 beers on tap, in addition to their reasonably sized wine menu. Live music on Tuesdays.
  • Fiesta Villa, 411 East Main Ave. (Downtown Bismarck), ☎ +1 701 222-8075. In the historic train station in the heart of downtown Bismarck enjoy the quiet and calm restaurant that is a local hit. Famous for its salsa, margaritas, wings, tacos, and other Mexican dishes that are sure to satisfy.
  • Fireflour Pizza, 111 N 5th St., ☎ +1 701 323-9000. Tu-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Hand made pizzas fire roasted in a stone oven.
  • Space Aliens Grill & Bar, 1304 E Century Ave., ☎ +1 701 223-6220. BBQ and pizza, in an alien themed atmosphere. Contains an arcade for the young, and young at heart.
  • Peacock Alley American Grill and Bar, 422 E. Main Ave., ☎ +1 701 255-7917. Located in the historic Patterson Hotel Building, within walking distance of the Bismarck Civic Center and Bismarck's downtown events. A healthy fresh lunch menu is available daily. Voted the best martini year after year and featuring 23 different tap beers.
  • Bistro, 1100 East Front Ave., ☎ +1 701 224-8800. Consistently rated best restaurant in Bismarck by readers of the Bismarck Tribune. It features a variety dishes including regional Italian specialties. Thursday night is Sushi night with live music.
  • East 40 Chophouse & Tavern, 1401 Interchange Ave, ☎ +1 701 258-7222. Another well-known fine-dining establishment in Bismarck. Monday night is sushi night with live music.
  • Pirogue Grille, 121 N. 4th St., ☎ +1 701 223-3770. The restaurant concept features Midwest regional cuisine that changes with the seasons. Featured menu items include walleye, bison, duck, and house-made venison sausage. Great selection of desserts and breads, all made in house; extensive wine list featuring many different varietals.
  • Kobe's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, 915 W. Interstate Ave. (Near TJ Max), ☎ +1 701 751-3088. Come for the sushi, stay for the Teppanyaki grill show. A variety of sake, beer, wine, and spirits are also available.
  • The Toasted Frog, 124 North Fourth St, ☎ +1 701 751-2229. M-Th 4-11PM, F-Sa 4PM-12AM. Wide variety of fine dining.




Bismarck has multiple local adult establishments. Popularity shifts as frequently as the weather. If you're into the nightlife, you'd be better asking the locals where most people in your age group hang out. Borrowed Bucks Roadhouse, simply called Bucks, is consistently popular with 20- and 30-somethings. The Elbow Room can be a veritable local high school reunion on some weekend nights.

If you like a variety of beers, try O'Briens, Sport's Page, or Peacock Alley.

The hangout for politicians when the state legislature is in session is the Peacock Alley Bar, located in the historic Patterson Hotel building in downtown Bismarck. Government-types have been calling the "Peacock" their after-hours home for more than half a century. The regular crowd includes a variety ranging from 20-somethings to middle-aged downtown business folk, generally people that appreciate the atmosphere, good conversation, and variety of libations the location has provided since first opening in 1911.

  • Steep Me (Downtown Bismarck by the Kirkwood Mall.). A tea shop that is a daily stop for locals. Once a dream by a local tea-maker is now a bustling business.




  • AmericInn, ☎ +1 701 250-1000, toll-free: +1-800-634-3444, fax: +1 701 250-1103. I-94 and Exit 159, north on Highway 83.
  • Best Western Doublewood Inn, 1400 East Interchange Ave (I-94 and Exit 159), ☎ +1 701 258-7000, toll-free: +1-800-554-7077, fax: +1 701 258-2001.
  • Best Western Ramkota Hotel, 800 South 3rd St (across from Kirkwood Mall), ☎ +1 701 258-7700, toll-free: +1-800-528-1234, fax: +1 701 224-8212. Formerly Radisson Ramkota. 306 rooms, 8 suites, indoor water park with 150 foot waterslide, sauna, whirlpool, fitness club
  • Bismarck Motor Hotel, ☎ +1 701 223-2474, fax: +1 701 223-3190.
  • Budget Inn Express, ☎ +1 701 255-1450.
  • Comfort Inn, 300 East Interstate Ave (I-94, Exit 159 north), ☎ +1 701 223-1911, fax: +1 701 223-6977.
  • Comfort Suites, 929 Gateway Ave (I-94, Exit 159 north), ☎ +1 701 223-4009, fax: +1 701 223-9119.
  • Days Inn, 1300 E. Capital Ave (I-94, Exit 159 north), ☎ +1 701 223-9151, fax: +1 701 223-9423.
  • Expressway Inn and Suites (Across from Kirkwood Mall), ☎ +1 701 222-2900, toll-free: +1-800-456-6388, fax: +1 701 222-3311.
  • Fairfield Inn North (I-94, Exit 159 north on Highway 83), ☎ +1 701 223-9077, fax: +1 701 223-9077, e-mail:
  • Fairfield Inn South (Near Kirkwood Mall off Bismarck Expressway), ☎ +1 701 223-9293, toll-free: +1-800-228-2800, fax: +1 701 223-9293.
  • Hillside Motel, 1601 N 12 St, ☎ +1 701 223-7986.
  • Kelly Inn, 1800 North 12th St (I-94, Exit 159 S on State Street), ☎ +1 701 223-8001, toll-free: +1-800-635-3559, fax: +1 701 221-2685, e-mail:
  • Motel 6, 2433 State St (I-94, Exit 159 north on Highway 83), ☎ +1 701 255-6878, fax: +1 701 223-7534.
  • Radisson Hotel, 605 East Broadway Ave, ☎ +1 701 255-6000, toll-free: +1-800-333-3333, fax: +1 701 233-0400, e-mail:
  • Ramada Limited Suites, 3808 E Divide Ave (I-94, Exit 161), ☎ +1 701 221-3030, fax: +1 701 221-3030, e-mail:
  • Select Inn, 1505 Interchange Ave (I-94, Exit 159 S), ☎ +1 701 223-8060, toll-free: +1-800-641-1000, fax: +1 701 223-8293.
  • Super 8 Motel, I-94, Exit 159 N, ☎ +1 701 255-1314, toll-free: +1-800-800-8000.
  • White Lace Bed and Breakfast, 807 N 6th St, ☎ +1 701 258-6877. 1918 historic Victorian style home with 2 guest rooms, antiques.
  • General Sibley Park Camping, 501 South Washington St (4 miles south on Washington Street), ☎ +1 701 222-1844, fax: +1 701 222-0774, e-mail: 150 tent sites, 115 RV sites with electric.



Keep Connected


There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.


See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.


The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.



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This is version 9. Last edited at 10:09 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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