7 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bismarck
In the hope of attracting German capital, the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad was named after the German Chancellor. Having grown into a town, Bismarck became capital of the territory of Dakota in 1883.
Features of interest are the art-deco State Capitol, built in the 1930s, along with other interesting architecture, wonderful city parks, and a great zoo. Culture is alive in Bismarck and the multitude of art shops and galleries are testament to this fact.
See also: Where to Stay in Bismarck
1 North Dakota Heritage Center
The North Dakota Heritage Center contains the permanent collection of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. The center focuses on everything from prehistoric times to the 20th Century offering a good overview of North Dakota, and features temporary exhibits so there is always something new on display.
In addition to the galleries, the Heritage Center also offers educational programs open to the public.
Address: 612 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505-0830, United States
2 Dakota Zoo
One of Bismarck's best family attractions is the Dakota Zoo. The Zoo has been in operation since 1961 and has grown over the years. It now houses over 600 animals. The zoo, which focuses on education, allows for close up encounters and offers a variety of scheduled events to make visits even more interesting.
Address: 600 Riverside Park Road
3 State Capitol
The North Dakota State Capitol building is an Art Deco building, built in the mid 1930s. It features a landmark tower at one end. On the 18th floor of the State Capitol building is an observation deck with views over Bismarck. This building replaced the original State Capitol which burned down in 1930.
Address: 600 East Boulevard
4 Lewis and Clark Riverboat Cruises
Lewis and Clark Riverboat Cruises offer a pleasant and relaxing way to explore the Upper Missouri River. This 150-passenger paddle wheeler provides a comfortable environment to view the beautiful countryside. Lunch, afternoon, and evening cruises are available.
Address: 1700 River Road
5 Former Governors' Mansion
The Former Governors' Mansion offers a glimpse into the life of a governor in the 19th Century. The mansion has been painstakingly restored to its former glory and is decorated in period pieces. The mansion was built in 1884 and has housed 21 governors from its inception until 1960. The State Historical Society of North Dakota manages the property and has done so since 1975.
Address: 320 East Avenue B, Bismarck, ND 58505, United States
6 Camp Hancock State Historic Site
Camp Hancock was established in 1872 to provide a safe haven for the workers on the Northern Pacific Railroad. On site visitors will find the original log building that served as the camps headquarters. Inside the building are displays and artifacts from the local area.
Address: 101 West Main Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501, United States
7 Gateway to Science Center
Gateway to Science Center is located in the Frances Leach High Prairie Arts & Science Complex. The center features hands on exhibits on themes such as electricity, magnetism, light, machines, and air pressure. In addition to the regular displays the Gateway to Science Center also hosts traveling exhibitions. This is a great outing for all ages.
Address: 1810 Schafer Street
Where to Stay in Bismarck for Sightseeing
We recommend these convenient hotels with easy access to the top attractions in Bismarck:
- Sleep Inn & Suites Bismarck I 94: mid-range pricing, great breakfast, heated pool, hot tub, fitness room.
- Wingate by Wyndham Bismarck: affordable rates, great service, indoor pool, comfortable beds.
- Hampton Inn Bismarck: 2.5-star hotel, indoor swimming pool, family rooms, free parking.
- Days Inn Bismarck: budget hotel, friendly staff, breakfast included, fitness center.