Last updated: 12:00 AM ET, Tue January 01 2013
View of Bismarck, North Dakota from the Indian Village Overlook to I-94 Bridge and Missouri River. (Photo via sakakawea7 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


Destinations Home | North America | United States | North Dakota


Bismarck, North Dakota, is a capital city filled with numerous state parks, biking and hiking trails, historic Lewis and Clark attractions and performance and fine art venues.  Visitors to Bismarck can enjoy a peaceful escape filled with nature, wildlife, the arts and American history.  Beautiful in all seasons, the city can be serene and relaxing, yet also quite adventurous and exhilarating.

Fun for all ages, the Super Slide Amusement Park is a wonderful family experience.  With rides, slides, go-karts, batting cages, mini golf and more, this park is sure to bring the thrills.  Just south of Bismarck, in Fort Yates, is Prairie Knights Casino and Resort.  Visitors can roll the dice at the casinos’ 600-plus table games and slot machines.  Penny-slot lovers and high rollers alike will have a blast gaming and dining at the region’s best casino and resort facility.

The Dakota Zoo offers a variety of fun things to do while visiting the more than 600 animals that call the zoo home.  Take a train ride through the grounds, or get up close and personal with the tigers, monkeys, bears and native animals of South Dakota.  The zoo is not the only option in Bismarck to be around nature.  Visit one of the many state parks and wildlife refuges in the area, like Sertoma Park or Long Lake National Refuge.  Not only are the parks great for spending the day, having a picnic, bird-watching or fishing, but there are several hiking and bike trails as well. 

Like any great city, Bismarck has its fair share of great restaurants. As the sweeping plains and prairies would suggest, North Dakota is big beef country. Prime Steer and East 40 Chophouse are two of the city’s best places to get your fill of some of the country’s best steaks. For some gourmet dining that highlights all-American fare, check out Peacock Alley, with its Cajun-influenced options. For a first-rate neighborhood café focusing on Italian-style dishes, The Walrus is a must.

Located three miles southeast of the central business district, Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS) is the main area airport used for domestic flights. For international flights, travelers will have to use Hector International (FAR) in Fargo. For navigating around the city, Capital Area Transit provides public transportation with stops on all major routes throughout Bismarck. Other transportation options are taxis and rental cars.

Situated in the middle of the Great Plains, Bismarck is characterized by a continental climate with very cold winters and warm summers. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average low temperature is a bone-chilling -0.6° F (-18.1° C). July is the city’s warmest month, with average high temperatures around 84° F (28.8° C). Thunderstorms can occur in the late spring and summer months, but for the majority of the year, the city remains dry and windy.  Though there is a chance of rainstorm in the spring and summertime, these months are the best times of year to visit.