Hidden Gems in North Dakota You’ll Find Off the Beaten Path

Visiting unusual and hard-to-find hidden gems is easily one of my favorite ways to experience a new place. I’ve ventured off the beaten path and found hidden gems in my backyard and brand-new places. Therefore, it’s only natural to find some hidden gems in North Dakota too. 

I love knowing about the spots only locals know about or visiting the extremely quirky and weird roadside attractions. Some people consider North Dakota off the beaten path in general and there is good reason to think so – it is one of the most underrated states in the United States.

However, there are plenty of outdoor adventures and city life in North Dakota. While North Dakota may be a bit off the beaten path for some, I discovered some ways to go even further off the beaten path in the Sioux State.

Hidden Gems of North Dakota

Scandinavia Heritage Park

Located in Minot, the Scandinavia Heritage Park pays homage to Scandinavians. The park features something from each Scandinavian country – a Swedish Dala horse, a Finnish sauna, a Gol stave church, and more!

This is definitely a highlight for us as we love everything Scandinavian. 

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hidden gems in north dakota
Photo: CC-By-SA-3.0

The Village of Murals

With only about 75 residents, the town of Jud is located roughly 35 miles south of Jamestown. Normally, you would drive right through this town. Don’t blink or you’d miss it kind of deal!

Nevertheless, there is at least one reason to visit Jud though – it’s known as the ‘Village of Murals.’  

I love street art and murals. It’s even more unique that such a small town is known for this.

The Geographical Center of North America

The very center of North America, geographically speaking, sits right in Rugby, North Dakota. 

The location is marked by a 15′ tall rock obelisk, a US, and a Canadian flag.

Salem Sue

Cows – my favorite thing!  ‘Salem Sue’ stands at almost 40 feet and you’ll find her near New Salem, North Dakota. Sue was built in 1974 and takes home the title of the World’s Largest Cow.

That’s reasoning enough for me to visit!

Hidden Gems of North Dakota
Photo Courtesy of North Dakota Tourism

World’s Largest Buffalo

North Dakota may have the World’s Largest Cow but they didn’t stop there! The state is also home to the World’s Largest Buffalo.  

Known as ‘Dakota Thunder’, the buffalo was built in 1959 and reaches a whopping 26 feet in height.  North Dakota really likes their large animal statues and that oddly makes me very happy.

hidden gems in north dakota

Hilltop Viking Statue

In 1972, a Viking statue was built to honor the fact that many people in North Dakota believe to be descended from Vikings. North Dakota is starting to sound more and more like our kind of place.  

We love, love, love Scandinavian and Viking history.

Hidden Gems of North Dakota Overview

In conclusion, North Dakota is full of hidden gems if you know where to look – everything from large animal statues, outdoor gems, Scandinavian and Viking history galore, a tiny town full of murals and so much more wait for those ready to get off the beaten path in North Dakota!

Do you know of any off-the-beaten-path destinations or hidden gems in North Dakota??

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Kemkem

    Love Salem Sue That l would love to see. I saw really big buffalos in India, but it might be nice to see the world’s biggest one as well 🙂 . Love how you said N.D itself might already be considered off the beaten path 🙂

  2. Marge Gavan

    You found many interesting places in North Dakota indeed. As a traveler, I like it more when I get to see places not frequented by people. It makes the trip more worthwhile for me. Nice list, I’m sure people who would go to North Dakota would find this helpful.

  3. travelling chingrita

    I would have never thought that North Dakota was the center of North America. I do think it’s pretty cool that they put the Canadian and American flag to mark it. Sounds like I need to make my way back to the mid-west pretty soon! I really enjoyed South Dakota but North Dakota looks like it has some sweet spots

  4. Aisha

    Pretty cool. I definitely would visit the Scandinavian gem!

  5. I love hidden, funky sights like these! The village of murals sounds cool. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂

  6. Jessica

    Interesting spots. I love most the SCANDINAVIAN HERITAGE PARK. A direct travel guide which I guess most travelers want.

  7. Tom Stevenson

    Would not have thought there was a Scandinavian Heritage Park in North Dakota. Surprising what you can find in some places!

  8. elisa

    This looks really exotic!

  9. Nathan

    I’ve never considered going there but these pics make it look awesome. I’ll have to check into it soon!

  10. melody pittman

    ND has been on my radar for a few years now so you know I am trying to follow right in your footsteps, especially getting my picture made with the worlds tallest buffalo. I love cheesy things like that!

  11. Tami

    I guess you can probably find hidden gems just about anywhere! But it takes a little extra work and research. This is a fun list of North Dakota finds–keep sharing all the hidden gems you find!

  12. Rodrigo

    Never been to North Dakota, but your post really inspired me to put it on my list!

  13. Stephanie Siu

    I can honestly say that I never considered there would be much to see in North Dakota. I’m surprised there is a Scandinavian Heritage Park. Is there a large Scandinavian population in North Dakota?

  14. Lara Dunning

    I would love to see the Scandinavian village. How cool!

  15. Carly Moore

    I don’t even know where North Dakote is in the USA <_< But I'd go just to see the big cow.

  16. Nathan

    I’ve never considered visiting N Dakota before but after this post I may have to! Great job.

  17. Paul

    It’s always great seeking out the hidden gems of places, and it always amazes me the scale of some of the states in America, can’t wait to do a road trip one day!

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