Bismarck is one of those places that proudly acknowledges its past, but lives in the present in a thoroughly modern way. Need proof? Check out some of the city's most popular attractions. You will be immediately struck by how the area's distinctive art, history, and nature all intertwine to create a striking yet appealing tapestry of choices that, while all significant in their own right, all contribute to the identity and appeal of the city of Bismarck.
You'll go absolutely wild when you plan a visit to Bismarck's Dakota Zoo
. This renowned facility is located on the east bank of the Missouri River in Sertoma Park. The attraction holds the distinction of being the state's largest zoo. The expansive venue is home to over 500 reptiles, birds, and mammals. In addition to offering tours to various school groups, the zoo also presents special exhibits and seasonal programs throughout the year.
Address: Sertoma Park Road, Bismarck, ND - MAP
Phone: (701) 223-7543
Get a stunning picture of the incredible art scene when you buy a picture---or several of them–at Bismark's highly popular Five Nations Art Depot
. This historic Burlington Northern Railroad Depot has been converted into an eye-popping collection of several different varieties of Native American arts and crafts. The works of more than 200 North Dakota American Indian artists are on display and available for sale, so the chances are better than good that you'll find something you'll want to bring home with you!
Address: 401 Main Street, Bismarck, ND 58501 - MAP
Phone: (701) 663-4663
Learn about how the development of the American railroad system affected the history and progress of Bismarck and its surrounding areas when you experience the North Dakota State Railroad Museum
. See various exhibits and attractions that tell the dramatic story of how this then-new method of transportation transformed the way people lived, communicated and did business. The story is vividly accentuated by an impressive collection of artifacts, machinery, pictures, and documents.
Address: 3700 Thirtieth Avenue Northwest, Bismarck, ND - MAP
Phone: (701) 663-6779
If you think that the concept of the cowboy was invented by John Wayne-types, Bismarck's North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame
will challenge everything you think you know about cattle rustlers from the past. This attraction is an interpretive center for the history of Native Americans, and you will see the dramatic link between their culture to various “western” traditions like the rodeo, ranching, and the rustic “cowboy” lifestyle that owes much to the tribes that first inhabited the land.
Address: 1110 College Drive, Bismarck, ND 58501 - MAP
Phone: (701) 250-1833
The Japanese Garden
in Bismarck is one of those startlingly unexpected treasures that you will find yourself coming back to again and again. Many people find this beautiful swath of greenery the perfect natural escape from the pressures of the everyday. When you visit, it won't be unusual to see many folks strolling leisurely on the walkways and basking in the natural allure and serenity of these meticulously landscaped gardens and the floral attractions in bloom.
Address: 1600 East Century Ave, Bismarck, ND 58503 - MAP
Phone: (701) 328-2874
Even though Bismarck is a truly progressive city, it still exhibits a deep love for various aspects of history and tradition in the face of its own modernity. One of the most charming examples of this is the Fort Lincoln Trolley
. While it may echo the types of trolleys that have made San Francisco famous, this charming mode of transportation has put a smile on the faces of many locals and visitors alike as it offers a relaxing ride through the scenic Heart River bottoms to historic Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. You'll see some of Bismarck's main attractions on your ride through town.
Address: Bismarck, ND - MAP
Phone: (701) 663-9018
Satisfy your adventurous nature by hopping aboard the Lewis and Clark Riverboat
for an unforgettable day of exploration. You will cruise through the picturesque Missouri River on this state-of-the-art 150 passenger riverboat. This is an all-weather paddlewheeler and it docks at Port Bismarck. There are various packages to enjoy that include excursion cruises, moonlight treks, and dinner cruises, as well.
Address: Port of Bismarck on North River Road, Bismarck, ND 58506 - MAP
Phone: (701) 255-4233
One of Bismarck's most distinctive attractions is the North Dakota State Capitol Building
. Known by the locals as the “Skyscraper on the Prairie,” the facility is well worth visiting for its fascinating historical significance. This Art-Deco style building was completed in 1933 and stands at an impressive 19 stories. The state's past, present and future all reside within the walls of this structure that also features an arboretum garden that includes a bronze Sakakawea and a rendering of a pioneer family.
Address: 600 East Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505 - MAP
Phone: (701) 328-2480