8 Epic Things To Do in Minot North Dakota
Minot, North Dakota may be best known for being home to the Minot Air Force Base, the North Dakota State Fair or the annual Norsk Høstfest, but there’s so much more to the community. The town formed in the late 1880’s as a winter camp for the Great Northern Railway and has been a thriving community ever since. As a smaller town that still offers a lot to do, Minot is the best of both worlds. On our recent visit, we explored great food stops, attractions, nature trails and local shops and had a blast. Minot is perfect for a long weekend getaway either on its own or as part of a bigger North Dakota roadtrip. Read on for our favorite things to do in Minot.
Where to Stay: Hampton Inn
The Hampton Inn is conveniently located by the airport and only a five minute drive from the main area. We stayed in a suite which was perfect for our family of three. The room was spacious and clean and the staff was friendly. As the top rated hotel in Minot, The Hampton Inn is a great stay and we would definitely stay there again. There is breakfast included as well.
1. Check out the great food scene
Of all the things to do in Minot, make sure to enjoy the great food spots. All of these spots are within a 5-10 minute drive of each other so you could easily map out a fun foodie tour during your stay.
- The Station Coffee: a must for great drinks and healthy fare. I loved their matcha, pizza-wich and salad. They also offer great breakfast options.
- Whiskey Nine: one of the best places for food and entertainment in town. You can enjoy great whiskey cocktails, have fun playing the golf simulators and dine on delicious food. The Coconut Curried Chicken and Creme Brulee Bread Pudding were both fantastic.
- Charlie’s Main Street Cafe: The oldest dining spot in Minot is Charlie’s, a classic, diner, and is a must visit. It’s been ranked one of the best diners in the US by Tasting Tables and as having the one of the best hot beef sandwiches in the US by USA Today.
- Guilty Sweets: while the instagram worthy beautiful photo backdrops may get your attention initially, the delicious treats are the real reason to visit!
- Jamaican Vybz Kitchen: one of the most popular restaurants in Minot, the Jamaican cuisine is delicious!
- Prairie Sky Breads: the perfect spot for a pastry (get the cardamom knot!), scones and a packed lunch to go! We brought our sandwiches to the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge for a picnic.
- The Starving Rooster: known for their great flatbreads, The Starving Rooster is a great spot for a casual meal. In addition to flatbread, we also enjoyed a soft pretzel and brick oven pizza.
- Mi Mexico – loved the authentic Mexican food and the vibes – there was live music when we visited.
- Ironhorse Kitchen and Bar: this was one place on our restaurant list we didn’t get to because they are closed on Sundays. Check them out if you’re visiting on another day of the week – their menu looks fantastic.
2. Enjoy nature at Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge
Just 30 minutes Northwest of Minot is the beautiful Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge area. We loved how peaceful the rolling green hills around Lake Darling were. A unique feature is the Upper Souris Auto Tour which is a one-way driving route with gorgeous views. We were the only car doing the drive when we visited so it felt like we had a peaceful sanctuary all to ourselves. There’s also a great walking path called The Oxbow Nature Trail that was perfect for our family to enjoy a short stroll.
3. Sip brews at Atypical Brewery
One of the coolest breweries I’ve been to is Atypical Brewery. The brewery feels like it’s straight out of Europe but interestingly was converted from an old gas station. They made the brews right on site and we loved sampling some unique flavors including London Fog one one of their two patio spaces. Their calendar is full of fun events like trivia, live music and food trucks.
4. Explore Scandinavian Heritage Park
One of the neatest parks I’ve visited on my travels is Scandinavian Heritage Park. The park honors the five Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) through many replicas and features. The most striking features include a 25 foot tall Dala Horse, a real Stabbur, a full-scale replica Stave Church, the oldest house in North Dakota and a museum with incredible artifacts. Additionally, there are beautiful shaded picnic tables and water features to enjoy.
We were SO lucky to have a tour led by Martha, a volunteer of the park who’s a member of the Sons of Norway. She takes great pride in preserving her heritage and sharing it with others. If you visit, ask if Martha is there!
For another great North Dakota destination, check out Fargo!
5. Shop Local Boutiques
Minot has great local shops that are a great addition to your visit. My favorites were:
Weekender – full of fun women’s apparel, accessories and home goods items. I loved the shop’s vibe and took home a French Girl lip tint.
The Foundry – this shop is a gem! They curate a large variety of beautiful locally made home goods. I purchased kitchen towels, a dish brush and bamboo soap holder. I would have purchased more but we had limited suitcase space for the trip home!
6. Tour the Dakota Territory Air Museum
Minot is well known for the Minot Air Force Base which opened in 1957 and nearly 30 years later the Dakota Territory Air Museum was founded to honor aviation history. The museum has an impressive collection of aircraft and memorabilia from the 1900’s and 2000’s. I especially loved the old Northwest Airlines memorabilia and seeing a plane that was used to fly solo across both poles. It’s a fun spot to enjoy history and a variety of impressive planes – some that even flew in world wars.
7. Play at the Magic City Discovery Center
A relatively new addition to Minot is the Magic City Discovery Center. Their mission is to “engage children and families in the magic of lifelong learning through discovery, creativity and play.” The space definitely feels magical with many fun areas for kids and their families to explore and play. There are 12 different galleries so there is plenty to explore.
8. Visit animals at Roosevelt Park Zoo
Minot is home to a Roosevelt Park Zoo which houses many beautiful animals. I enjoyed the interactive displays for kids to learn more about the animals. My favorite section was where the zebras and giraffes live. During our visit, three giraffes walked over right by my family and for about 10 minutes we enjoyed each others company.
Thank you to North Dakota Legendary for inviting us to explore Minot! Why Not Minot? It’s a great community and well worth a visit!