At the heart of America’s mid-west and rightly known as the Magic City, Minot is a charming town which is the centre of North Dakota’s Scandinavian community and is a superb place to enjoy winter activities.
Being a road and rail hub, the town is a natural venue for North Dakota’s state fair, and this is not an event for visitors to miss. Head to Minot in July to see a musical extravaganza, along with spectacular displays of horsemanship and the chance to sample the state’s delicious agricultural produce.
The city is also the host to a unique event in the Norsk Hostfest. In the nineteenth century many thousands of Scandinavians migrated to North Dakota, and the Hostfest (held in October) keeps their heritage alive.
Downtown Minot is a lively district that is filled with boutiques and restaurants (and the town has a reputation for serving up great value dishes), while the city is also a centre for the Arts, with the excellent Taube Museum of Art hosting the finest collection of modern art in the state.
However, outside the city, the region really shows its appeal. Head out cross-country skiing, ice skating, dog-sledding or snow-mobiling in the winter months (between December and March). When the weather is warmer, visitors can easily reach Lake Sakakawea, a superb site for water sports like water skiing and boating, as well as being a fabulously serene site for a spot of fishing.
North Dakota is also filled with sights of outstanding natural beauty, and Minot is perfectly placed to see them all. See the dramatic scenery of Theodore Roosevelt National Park or learn about Native American history at the Knife River Indian Sites. Hike, cycle, swim and kayak in stunning surroundings before heading back to a warm welcome in Minot.
To catch the town’s many festivals, visitors should book accommodation in July and August, although October is a great alternative with the Scandinavian Hostfest hitting town. Prices may be higher when the big events are on (as Minot has limited hotel space), so for outdoor adventures try April and May, or a magical Christmas escape to the snowy wilderness.
Minot is really built for the automobile, so renting a car (preferably something rugged and large) will be a necessity if visitors wish to see the state’s national parks and historic sites. Local taxis will take you wherever you need to go within the city limits, while the town’s terrain is pretty flat, making cycling a possibility as well.