Summer is coming (despite what the Game of Thrones folks might say), and that means road trip time. North Dakota should definitely be on your radar if you’re planning to pack up the car and head out onto the great open road this year. Filled with quirky, one-of-a-kind roadside attractions, North Dakota is certain not to disappoint. Here’s a rundown of some of the fun attractions that await you in The Peace Garden State.
The Enchanted Highway
Situated along a 32-mile stretch of highway in North Dakota’s southwest between the town of Regent and I-94 lies retired school teacher’s Gary Greff’s dream. Worried about the demise of his hometown of Regent as younger folks flocked to larger centres, Greff drummed up a plan to drum up tourism in the area. The plan? A series of gigantic metal sculptures leading from the main highway to his hometown. The result is the motherlode of roadside attractions — seven larger-than-life sculptures dotting the route (and eighth is currently in the works,) and one of the creations, titled Geese in Flight, holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for Largest Metal Sculpture in the World.
Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel
If you’re in the market for something a little less touristy, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that fits the bill more than the Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel. Stretching 1320 feet across the Yellowstone River from Cartwright, North Dakota to Fairview, Montana the bridge itself was designed as a lift bridge to make way for steamboat traffic along the river. The thing is, it was only ever “lifted” once — the steamboats stopped before the bridge was completed in 1913. It served automobile and train traffic until 1955, when it was turned into a walking bridge. These days, save for the odd cyclist, you’ll pretty much have the place to yourself. Don’t forget to explore the Cartwright tunnel as well — the only railway tunnel in all of North Dakota.
Raging Rivers Water Park
Pitchfork Steak Fondue
If you can plan your road trip such that one of the days ends in Medora, North Dakota (and you really should!), you’d be nuts not to take part in the town’s nightly summer Pitchfork Steak Fondue. Set atop a bluff overlooking the striking North Dakota badlands, local chefs simmer steaks on a pitchfork fondue style. The dinner comes with salad and all the side dishes, plus you’ll get to see a show. Dinner and a steak for 29 bucks? Yes please!
For even more roadside attractions, check out the official North Dakota tourism website.
*This post has been brought to you in collaboration with North Dakota Tourism