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From art galleries and war museums to science centers and railroad museums, you’ll find a wealth of interesting sites and historic attractions to explore when traveling through North Dakota. Several destinations are open year-round and most offer guided or self-guided tours, so you can learn about each exhibit in detail. Science and nature enthusiast will enjoy spending the day at the Gateway to Science Center, a hands-on science museum that features interactive exhibits and active models that show off the magic and wonder of scientific discovery. The venue also hosts special events, like Einstein on Wine.
Pay a visit to the James Memorial Art Center, one of the most historic sites in Williston, to learn about the rich culture and heritage of the region. The art center features a combination of permanent and temporary art installations.
Discover North Dakota history at Bonanzaville, USA, a living history museum that’s open from May through October. This is the place to learn about pioneer living as you walk through 47 historic structures. The Buffalo Trails Museum is another cultural site near Williston, the place to see eight historic buildings and learn about life in an era gone by.
The Cass County Museum in West Fargo features a large display of Native American artifacts and tells the story of the Red River Valley. You can also see a 1903 Ford Model A vehicle here.
When you’re in Minot, be sure to visit the Dakota Territory Air Museum which houses a variety of military and civilian aircraft, including World War II aircraft passenger planes from the 1920s and a replica of the Curtiss Pusher. You can even see some old fire department trucks from the 1920s and 1930s here.
Learn about art and history at the Dickinson Museum Center, a giant complex that’s home to several cultural sites, including the Joachim Museum, the Prairie Outpost Park, and the Pioneer Machinery Building.
You could spend an entire afternoon learning about war history at the Fargo Air Museum which houses a large collection of radio-controlled aircraft, EAA 317 restorations, and a vintage WWII jeep. It’s an intriguing destination for kids and adults alike and will give you a chance to learn about North Dakota heritage.
Another way to learn about the state’s heritage and history is with a tour of the Frontier Museum in Williston. Here you’ll find a range of early and mid-20th century items on display and can walk through a traditional frontier town, complete with a schoolhouse and a train depot.
Learn about the Lewis & Clark expeditions that shaped American history with a tour of the Lewis & Clark Trail Museum. The museum is housed inside an old school building and features dozens of homestead artifacts.
Make your way to the former Burlington Northern yards to visit the North Dakota State Railroad Museum. You can explore both indoor and outdoor exhibits and see an HO scale model railroad on display.
Take a tour of the restored railroad depot in Minot for more details about the history of railroads and routes that led to the American West at the Old Soo Depot Transportation Museum. This museum is located near the Railroad Museum of Minot and the Magic City Express.
One of the most extensive collections of rocks and polished specimens from around the globe can be found at the Paul Broste Rock Museum. The creator of this museum described this museum as ‘my acropolis on a hill’ and the entire structure was built out of natural granite stones in the mid-60s.
Head to the Plains Art Museum in downtown Fargo to see the permanent collection of artwork and a traveling gallery called the Rolling Plains Art Gallery. Here you’ll find the works of Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and other legendary artists.
Learn about life on the prairie and explore fully furnished historic buildings that give you a chance to experience prairie life from a fresh perspective at the Prairie Village Museum. It’s also located in Minot and features six exhibition halls.
The Railroad Museum of Minot is home to a 3/5 scale stem engine, three rail cars, and a caboose that visitors can ride in for a tour of Roosevelt Park. You’ll find more than 100 years of artifacts here and can book a special tour.
Head to the Roger Maris Museum tolerant more about the famous New York Yankee outfielder and watch videos about baseball history while sitting in real Yankee Stadium seats.
Spend a few hours exploring the Taube Museum of Art that features a variety of art and historic exhibits throughout the year. IT’s located in downtown Minot and admission is free.
Learn about the history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes at the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum in New Town. New Town sits on the Fort Berthold Reservation in an area that was submerged by Lake Sakakawea.
Another destination in Fargo you won’t want to miss is the Yunker Farm & Children’s Museum. It’s located inside a 19th-century brick house and features more than 50 hands-on exhibits. Kids can play in the pumpkin patch, see the miniature train, and watch a show at Pipi Longstockings Playhouse.