10Best readers choose Scandinavian Heritage Park as North Dakota's top attraction

Plains Art Museum takes second place

It was the landscapes of North Dakota that inspired Teddy Roosevelt to create the National Forest Service to begin protecting America's parklands. This sparsely populated Great Plains state hasn't changed much since Lewis and Clark passed through in the opening years of the 19th century – the dramatic scenery remains pristine, and travelers will still find old frontier towns and cowboy culture.

  • Medora

    A popular base for exploring the North Dakota badlands, the town of Medora is travel-worthy in its own right. In-town attractions include the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, Chateau de Mores mansion and the Medora Musical, a stage performance celebrating the American West through square dancing and country music. The spectacular Theodore Roosevelt National Park sits right in the town's backyard.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum
    Bismarck

    The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck is the state's largest museum – home of a collection of natural and cultural artifacts from the state's 600,000 million year history. The free museum is divided into several different galleries covering themes like geology, North Dakota's native tribes and the modern-day people of North Dakota.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan
    Washburn

    Fort Mandan served as the winter home of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the cold months of 1804 and 1805. Reconstructed and fully furnished quarters show what life was like for the Corps of Discovery men, while the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center has a series of exhibits on the expedition, fur trading and the history of agriculture in North Dakota.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • International Peace Garden
    Dunseith

    Straddling the border between North Dakota and the province of Manitoba in Canada, the International Peace Garden began in 1932 as a symbol of the fact that the U.S. and Canada have been at peace for (today) more than 200 years. The sprawling gardens comprise 2,300 acres, including hiking trails and two freshwater lakes.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    Medora

    In 1883, Theodore Roosevelt came to the North Dakota badlands to hunt buffalo, and the trip altered the course of history, as it would shape the conservation policies that have benefitted the park system ever since. Aside from its historical significance, the park also offers green prairie expanses, fascinating rock formations, lonely rivers and abundant wildlife, including iconic American bison.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • National Buffalo Museum
    Jamestown

    The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation established the National Buffalo Museum in 1991 as a herd of five buffalo from nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Today, modern museum facilities showcase buffalo related artifacts, artwork and historic items spanning 10,000 years of history.
    Photo courtesy of 2007, Dan Koeck

  • Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Historic Site
    Cooperstown

    This historic site in North Dakota tells the story of the Cold War years in the state. Visitors can tour two sites, the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility, two remnants of a larger ballistic missile launch complex once spread across a 6,500-square-mile area.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • Pembina Gorge
    Walhalla

    One of the largest uninterrupted swathes of woodlands in the state can be found within Pembina Gorge – 12,500 acres in total. The area, popular for hiking, biking, canoeing and winter sports, is also home to 30 plant species and 21 animal species considered rare in the state.
    Photo courtesy of Copyright 2008, Dan Koeck

  • Plains Art Museum
    Fargo

    Fargo is home to North Dakota's largest and most diverse art museum. The Plains Art Museum specializes in regional contemporary artwork, American Modernism and Native American traditional and contemporary works – some 4,000 pieces in total.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

  • Scandinavian Heritage Park
    Minot

    Strolling through Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot is like stepping across the Pond to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, thanks to a series of replicas. Highlights include a 25-foot Swedish Dala horse and a replica stave church.
    Photo courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorite attractions in the state, and the results are in. The top 10 winners in the category Best North Dakota Attraction are as follows:

  1. Scandinavian Heritage Park - Minot
  2. Plains Art Museum - Fargo
  3. Pembina Gorge - Walhalla
  4. Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Historic Site - Cooperstown
  5. National Buffalo Museum - Jamestown
  6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park - Medora
  7. International Peace Garden - Dunseith
  8. Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan - Washburn
  9. North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum - Bismarck
  10. Medora

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Kylie Blanchard and Annie Bennett (North Dakota Horizons), Lisa Meyers McClintick (The Dakotas Off the Beaten Path) and a representative of the North Dakota Tourism Division were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in the state.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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Kylie Blanchard and Annie Bennett

Kylie Blanchard and Annie Bennett

Lisa Meyers McClintick

North Dakota Tourism Division

North Dakota Tourism Division