Straddling the border between North Dakota and Canada is the International Peace Garden, a beautifully, and intricately designed botanic garden, and it is from this feature that the state has decided to name itself. The fact that the garden must have been constructed with a combined effort between the two countries is special, however I prefer to think it is the beauty of the Park that the people of North Dakota have identified with, because that beauty is a reflection of the rest of the state.
North Dakota is filled with glorious landscape. It is the countryside that featured in the animated movie Spirit, and is comprised of vastly contradictory conditions. From bold, deep canyons and towering limestone pillars of the Badlands to sweeping grasslands that carry on forever and were once the home of hundreds of thousands of Mustangs and Buffalos, there is nothing about North Dakota that is not magnificent to behold.
There are several State Parks designated to protect the natural splendor, and multiple museums and historical sites that tell the tales of the expanding frontier without forgetting the conflict between the settlers and the Native Americans that formed such an important element of that story. The state honors the Lewis and Clarke Discovery Corp, with sites of significance along the trail where visitors can come to understand the manner in which the assistance of Sakakawea underwrote the success of that venture.
Alongside the history and culture, North Dakota has developed a lively entertainment scene, with live music and theatre venues spread across the state. But by far the best way to experience North Dakota is outdoors. There are an unlimited number of options available for travelers who wish to experience the majesty of the North Dakota landscape first hand.
Lets have a look at the best resorts in North Dakota:
1. Woodland Resort
Woodland Resort on Devil’s Lake is a definitive destination for fishing and camping enthusiasts (and by the way, who doesn’t want to go for a holiday at a place called Devil’s Lake). As the Lake’s only full service lakeside resort, the camp has the largest fleet of boats and pontoons available at the location. Accompanied by the lakeside restaurant and bar, and a general store stocked with bait, line, rods and everything else you would need to enjoy a successful fishing trip.
The campground itself is made up of cabins, modern suites and motel rooms, providing a range that should suit any guests. The cabins are fully self-contained, with several bedrooms (depending on which one to take), kitchen, laundry and living area. Perfect for cooking up the day’s catch and sitting back to reminisce about the one that got away. If fishing is your game, North Dakota can’t match Woodland Resort at Devil’s Lake.
2. Haybale Heights Campground and Resort
Also on Devil’s Lake the Haybale Heights RV resort provides guided fishing tours, and specializes in ice fishing seminars. The operators run Snobear winter fishing tours, allowing guests to engage in ice fishing on the lake while being toured in the comfort of the Snobear.
The campsite includes a handful of cabins, however is geared towards RV and tent sites. With minimal amenities, and a focus on fishing and hunting tours of the Lake and surrounds, visitors to Haybale Heights come for a very specific reason. And if fishing and hunting are on your agenda, and you don’t need the comfort of the cabins provided by the Woodland Resort, this may well be your perfect destination.
3. Grand Lodge, Rolling Plains
Rolling Plains Adventures in Sterling is another guided hunting service, located in prime area for hunting pheasant and deer. The team at Rolling Plains maintain the Grand Lodge as an accommodation offer for hunters taking the tours. The Lodge is a traditional timber hunting lodge, decorated with meticulous detail to capture the essence of the experience.
The Lodge features a large central room where guests are able to swap stories and wind down after the day’s activities. Located within walking distance of pheasant and deer hunting zones, ensuring guests will be able to make the most of their stay at the property. With the magnificent timber construction, and attention to the needs of the guests, the Grand Lodge is an essential destination for the keen hunter.
4. Moose Creek Lodge
Located roughly equidistant to Langdon, Cavalier and Walhalla, in the center of North Dakota’s Rendezvous region Moose Creek Lodge provides for a beautifully relaxing destination for hunters and conservationists alike. Large enough to sleep a reasonable family, or a small team, the self-contained lodge provides for everything needed to complete a stay, including a kitchenette, stereo and TV, and outdoor BBQ facilities.
The countryside around the Lodge is filled with wildlife, and makes a sensational destination for bird watching, photo safaris, or genuine hunting expeditions. The region is also stacked with areas of historical interest, and significance to the Native American populations, which makes for interesting tours and opportunities. Get engaged with the North Dakota outdoors and history with a visit to Moose Creek.
5. Lake Metigoshe State Park
The Department of Parks and Recreations maintain accommodation inside the State Park. Three family cabins, a primitive cabin, a yurt and group dormitories are all available for reservation through the Department. The cabins are all available all year round, and during winter skis and snow shoes are available for hire through the park office.
The Lake Metigoshe State Park, in the Turtle Mountains, is a gloriously wooded area and nature reserve commissioned in the 1930s. The Lake is stocked with fish, and the Park is a beautiful destination all year, with summer activities centred around the Lake (canoe, rafting etc), and winter activities about exploring the nature trails through the oak forest. An ideal location for an adventurous family.
6. Indian Hills Resort
For thirty years the Indian Hills Resort has been hosting guests on the banks of Lake Sakakawea where the fishing is spectacular. Log Cabins, RV sites and powered and primitive tent sites are available, making the Resort ideal for all manner of campers.
With a convenience store on site for last minute supplies, and a fully stocked bait and fishing shop, the Resort provides for keen or amateur fishermen alike. Guests can take advantage of the Lake without fishing of course, with a concrete boat ramp and paddle boat hire on site. There are also over 6 miles of mountain bike trails extending from the location for when it’s time to get out of the water.
7. Spirit Lake Casino and Hotel
Accommodation options at Spirit Lake Casino include the Hotel complex, plus self-contained cabins and RV and camping options, making Spirit Lake one of the more accessible casinos in the country. There are a range of rooms available in the Hotel, and the log cabins have been designed to present the rustic tone that is evident through much of the Peace Garden State.
With several restaurant and café options on site, a fitness center, pools and of course the casino complex and auditorium, there is always plenty to do at Spirit Lake. The complex also avails guests with access to the Lake, as well as fishing and hunting tours to nearby Devil Lake. For a holiday jam packed with things to do and see, the Casino at Spirit Lake is an excellent option.
8. Prairie Knights Casino and Resort
The Prairie Knights Casino south of Mandan incorporates a Lodge with over 200 rooms, including 12 luxury suites, to provide a comfortable overnight respite from the activity of the Casino itself. The rooms are fully equipped with a safe, TV and kitchenette, with guests gaining access to the Casino pool and fitness center. The pool offers a 125-foot water slide and a kids’ splash zone.
The complex hosts 4 restaurants and bars on site, offering a wide range of dining experiences. There is also a large auditorium on site where major acts are regular visitors. As a self-contained holiday destination, the Prairie Knights Casino Resort provides for everything a guest could need.
9. Sky Dancer Casino and Resort
Located in the wooded hills of the Turtle Mountains region of North Dakota, is the Sky Dancer Casino and Resort. The Turtle Mountain region presents unique landscape, with the turtleback hills and scooped out lakes an oasis amount the greater plains that make up much of the state. This individual environment creates an area of scenic beauty that stands out in the region.
The Casino and Hotel complex presents as a perfect location from which guests can explore the unique location. With 192 rooms at varying levels of elegance combined with multiple restaurants, the casino and theatre for live entertainment, the Resort provides for a magnificent experience in Northern North Dakota.
10. Bismarck KOA RV Resort
The Bismarck KOA RV Resort, located off I-94, provides for cabin, RV and tenting sites, and is open all year. Situated in Bismarck, within close proximity to Fort Abraham Lincoln, and the site of General Custer’s home, the resort acts as a perfect base camp for those exploring the region. Despite that, the complex has amenities of the high standard you would expect from a KOA site.
With a heated swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, and a playground for the kids there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained between field trips. Central to a number of historical attractions, the Bismarck KOA resort is a comfortable destination at a reasonable price.
11. Element Hotel
The Element Hotel in West Fargo is a modern and contemporary hotel situated in the heart of the Red River Valley. The Hotel is in close proximity to the North Dakota State University, and historic downtown Fargo. With 130 rooms ranging from the Deluxe King room (sleeps 2) up to the Family Suite (sleeps 6) there is accommodation of a size and budget to fit any travelling group.
An Eco-friendly (and pet friendly) hotel, the Element operates a breakfast bar on the premises, and also has a gourmet convenience store on site, selling ready to cook meals. Local grocers will also deliver online orders to your room due to the relationships the Hotel has formed. The facility also has a pool, a fitness center, and bike hire available for those who want to remain active. A great destination for a comfortable holiday stay, or a business retreat, the contemporary air of the Element Hotel in Fargo makes it a highly-regarded destination.
12. Buffalo Gap Ranch
In terms of getting in touch with the character and identity of North Dakota, there are few places that are more ideal than the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch. Located in Sentinel Butte, Western North Dakota, Buffalo Gap features a Guest Ranch, Steakhouse, Bar and Trailhead. But more importantly it represents an opportunity to become fully entangled with the North Dakota Badlands.
With 27 modern, air conditioned rooms in the rustic styled log cabin the Lodge and Ranch are a wonderfully individual destination that provides an unparalleled experience in the state. The Lodge provides guided hunting and fishing opportunities, and also serves as a perfect launch for a ride or hike along the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Bring your favorite horse, and they can be stabled on the premises. How often do you hear that as a feature? For a truly individual, and up close and personal experience of North Dakota, Buffalo Gap is an essential item on your itinerary.
13. Lund’s Landing Marina and Lodge
Located on the banks of the iconic Lake Sakakawea, the Lund’s Landing Lodge provides access to unsurpassed hunting (primarily water fowl) and fishing while base camping in a tidy, comfortable, and homely lodge environment. The operators of the Lodge are fully engaged with the guests and will arrange, or run tours of local historic sites. Additionally, the marina on site provides access to pontoon tours of the Lake.
There are cedar cabins spread around the grounds, situation to provide guests with unrivalled views over the Lake. The cabins are fully self-contained, and constructed to maximize privacy for the guests. The cabin accommodation is supplemented with a range of camping sites spread around the property.
14. North Park Campground
Located in Dickinson, the North Park Campground offers RV and tent accommodation in a quiet, safe and family friendly atmosphere. Within close proximity of 3 highly ranked North Dakota golf courses, the Campground is a fine destination as a base camp for a short period, or an overnight stay (with a sneaky 18 holes in the morning before departure).
The campground also reserves overnight accommodation for members of Adventure Cycling, which are perfectly designed to suit long haul cyclists.
15. Enchanted Castle Hotel
Located away from the hustles of busy lives is an enchanted castle with everything they need to blow your mind away. Although the hotel isn’t surrounded by mountains and lakes, it does come with a unique and rustic elegance that will sweep you off your feet. Featuring mouthwatering seafood and delicious steak options, the dining experience here will leave you wanting for more.
Featuring separate breakfast rooms, a full-fledged gym and a fitness center, this place has your workouts covered. When you’re done sweating out, you can chill in one of their luxurious 8 person hot tubs to relax your muscles. And when you want to lay down, you can choose between standard suites to a beautiful honeymoon suite all uniquely designed and beautifully maintained. This hotel is perfect for those who just want to unwind and bask in the glory of peaceful living!