Ride along with us as we tour Highway 83, a route that highlights the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the Missouri River Valley. From historical sites and culture centers to street art and outdoor adventures, Highway 83 combines the past, present, and future of North Dakota in its attractions. Here are some things to see and do on your adventure in the valley and beyond.
Day 1 | Bismarck + Mandan
Begin your journey at Terra Nomad with a coffee and light breakfast. Show your creative side in a photo op with the outdoor murals created by local artists in Bismarck Art Alley. Head north to the capitol building and tune in for a quick tour. Be sure to take a good look at the scenery from the 18th-floor observation deck as you may spot a few locations you will be visiting later. Immerse yourself in the state’s history by exploring the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum.
Order lunch at The Walrus Restaurant and prepare for a “roaring” afternoon. Stop by the Dakota Zoo to see some of the animals that Lewis and Clark may have encountered along their journey. To see what their adventure on the water was like, purchase tickets for the Lewis and Clark Riverboat tour to cruise up and down the Missouri River. Enjoy food and entertainment at Laughing Sun Brewing Co. and try your hand at axe throwing. End the evening with a splash at the indoor waterpark and relaxing accommodations at the Ramkota Hotel.
Day 2 | Bismarck + Mandan + Cross Ranch State Park
Wake up bright and early with a visit to the park’s commissary coffee shop and gift shop for a handcrafted latte. Spend the morning taking advantage of the guided tours of Fort Abraham Lincoln and On-A-Slant Village. Browse the displays of artifacts and history from the Mandan Village, Lewis and Clark Expedition, and General George Custer House within the visitor center.
Once you get hungry, it’s time for a stop at Kroll’s Diner. With a location in both Bismarck and Mandan, this diner is known as the place to “sit down and eat.” Try their award-winning knoephla soup to taste a bit of German cuisine. Following lunch, head to Harmon Lake where you can rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and more from Paddle On North Dakota. The outdoor adventure continues at Cross Ranch State Park. Explore the trails along the Missouri River and spend the night in the newly constructed full-service York Cabin or Pretty Point Yurt.
Day 3 | Washburn + Stanton + Riverdale
Start your day with a trip to Washburn and enjoy a coffee and hearty breakfast at Café 77. Spend the morning hours exploring the history of the residents and travelers of the Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Get hands-on experience by trying on a Corps of Discovery uniform or sampling the parched corn Lewis and Clark ate. Then drive to Fort Mandan to learn more about the expedition’s winter stay there from 1804 to 1805. Join the guided tours or browse the exhibits on a self-guided tour.
Grab a snack at the museum store before driving the beautiful Sakakawea Scenic Byway, west to Stanton’s Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Learn about the history and culture of the Hidatsa people and visit the reconstructed earth lodge, Hidatsa garden, and village sites then travel to Riverdale where you can find a late lunch at Spillway Coffee House. Stop for a visit at Lake Sakakawea State Park and walk the trails or cool off in the lake. Cap the evening with a meal at The Iron Oar Pub & Grill and a relaxing evening at Sakakawea Sunset Lodge.
Day 4 | Garrison
Hit the road for Fort Stevenson State Park where you can rent a boat, paddleboard or kayak at one of the two marinas and get out on Lake Sakakawea. Snag lunch at the marina restaurant before you visit the Guardhouse museum filled with artifacts and stories from the days when Fort Stevenson guarded supply lines in Dakota Territory.
After a day in the sun, head into Garrison to shop 1 North Main for unique, homemade goods from near and far. Be sure to take a picture with Wally the Walleye at Garrison City Park. At 26-feet-long, this whopper of a walleye represents Lake Sakakawea’s bountiful fishing opportunities. Dine at Four Seasons Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor and retreat to The Cabernet Inn for the night.
Day 5 | Garrison + Minot
As you leave Garrison for Minot, stop at Ye Olde Malt Shoppe for breakfast. Get a taste of Minot culture at Scandinavian Heritage Park. Step inside a stabbur hut and wander the full-scale replica Gol Stave Church, two popular attractions with roots in Norway. If your stomach has started rumbling, it’s time to visit The Starving Rooster, a local favorite with a unique story followed by an adventure at Roosevelt Park Zoo, home to more than 150 animals. Cool off with a trip to Magic City Sweets in Downtown Minot. Check out the street art murals before heading to Dakota Territory Air Museum for a glimpse of the area’s aviation history. Wrap-up the evening with dinner at Badlands Grill & Bar and check in to your stay at the Dakota Rose Bed and Breakfast.
These are only a few of the many attractions, diners, and accommodations available along Highway 83. Make this road trip your own and share with us your adventure using #BeNDLegendary.