50 States Road Trip – North Dakota

North Dakota is a state often forgotten by most of America and the rest of the modern world. Nothing particularly life-changing or significant seems to happen there, it didn’t birth any global geniuses, and it hasn’t suffered any huge tragedies like earthquakes or hurricanes. But North Dakota is a pretty awesome state. Why? We will tell you.

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Teddy Roosevelt

When studying at Harvard University, Theodore Roosevelt was a frail, weak young man and was told by his personal physician that he didn’t have long to live. He spent three years living in North Dakota, where he gained weight, became stronger and got a fabulous tan. Later he was reported as looking as ‘hearty and strong enough to drive oxen’. So don’t sweat North Dakota, because it’s awesome!  It helped heal a future President of The United States of America!

National Park

As well as a number of national parks, make sure to visit the Teddy Roosevelt national park, if just for the Painted Canyon Overlook. The view is intensely beautiful, showing a stunning vista of the plains and the badlands of North Dakota. In contrast, The Teddy Roosevelt national park is also home to Peaceful Valley, a gorgeous valley filled with native wildflowers and butterflies. Previously a horse ranch, it is now one of the most scenic spots in the National park.

Fairs and Festivals

North Dakota is also known for taking great pride in its many Fairs and Festivals. North Dakota is home to countless Festivals and Fairs, from fairs about kites and polka dots to Mardi Gras to a 3 day long barbeque. One of the biggest festivals in North Dakota is the Scandinavian Norsk Hostfest. Held annually in the autumn season (or fall in the USA) it is the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, attracting tens of thousands of people from all over the world every year.

swedish-food-festivalFounded in 1978, Norsk Hostfest provides a host of world class entertainment, Scandinavian cuisine, handcrafted merchandise and bric-a-brac for sale and on display, plus a selection of purchasable foods inspired by the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland among others.

The Festival occurs over 5 days from the 30th September to the 4th October 2014, and offers on site accommodation for those wishing to stay for more than one day or for the entire trip.  With a variety of accommodation to choose from, you can stay in a hotel, in a private house or even camp out for the full festival experience! The Norsk Hostfest is located along route 83, and is right next to Minot’s town centre.

Next on our 50 states road trip by hired car we will be visiting the state of Minnesota, humble home of the Green Giant, Scotch tape and masking tape! Ho ho ho!

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