07 Sep North Dakota Road Trip: Adventures in Minot
Even though we have been to North Dakota more times than we can count (we grew up about an hour away in Minnesota), we still haven’t explored much of the state. So, when the opportunity presented itself to take a road trip through North Dakota this summer, we were excited to hit the road. We partnered with North Dakota Tourism on this road trip and our focus was to explore the wide-open spaces and outdoor adventures in the north central region of the state. This is an area that we had yet to explore, so we couldn’t wait to see what it had to offer.
The first few days of our trip were spent camping, hiking, paddling, and golfing in Garrison, North Dakota. Read more about our adventures in Garrison in our previous post.
For the second leg of our North Dakota road trip, we spent three nights in Minot. We immediately connected with Minot and loved our time exploring the “Magic City”. Minot is a smaller city but still large enough to have a wide range of creative restaurants, a large art culture, museums, and plenty of outdoor adventures nearby. Here’s a roundup of all of our favorite activities during our stop in Minot during our road trip through North Dakota.
Where to Stay in Minot, ND:
Hampton Inn and Suites Minot Airport
We spent three nights at the Hampton Inn and Suites and were impressed with the cleanliness and health standards set in place. Our room was a king suite and came with a king bed, living room area, kitchenette, and large bathroom. And, even though this is technically an airport location, it is right in town and super close to all the places we had plans to visit. Our room was nice, our stay was very comfortable, and we were grateful that the hotel was located in a convenient location, as well!
Adventures in Minot, ND:
Paddling the Beaver Lodge Canoe Trail
To start off our first full day in Minot, we made our way to the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge for some paddling. We set up our SUP and kayak and got ready to explore the Beaver Lodge Canoe Trail. The launch point for this trail is located near the Outlet Fishing Area, and it was about a 30-minute drive from our hotel.
The entire trail is roughly six miles roundtrip—when you reach the dam that blocks the river downstream, you need to turn around and return to the starting point. Along the way, we paddled through small ponds and cattail pathways before reaching the Souris River. Unfortunately, we didn’t have quite enough time to paddle the entire length of the trail, but we estimated that we paddled about two-thirds of the way. We had so much fun paddling the river and soaking up the area’s peace and quiet—I’m not sure if this was the case, but it felt as though we were the only ones for miles!
Explore the Street Art in Downtown
There are over 18 murals located in downtown Minot, and many of the murals are within walking distance of one another. We spent an entire morning wandering the streets and alleys of Minot with our convenient street art map in hand.
Our first stop was an alleyway just off of Central Avenue where we found more than eight murals. Each piece of art had its own style and the bright colors seemed to burst out of every corner. After exploring the alley, we ventured to the art located along the surrounding streets. We always love it when a town embraces art, and we certainly found an abundance of art in Minot!
Learn about Culture and History at the Scandinavian Heritage Park
The Scandinavian Heritage Park is located in a park right in the middle of Minot. The park features all five of the Nordic countries and showcases elements of each culture. When visiting the park, you will find a Finnish sauna, a stave church, a 240-year-old Norwegian log house, a Swedish Dala horse that stands over 25 feet tall, and a Danish windmill.
Micah and I both have Scandinavian heritage, so it was interesting to learn more about that. The center made me think a lot about my grandpa with his Norwegian sayings and my great grandpa as he used to carve Dala Horses in his wood shop. Walking around the grounds was an excellent way to spend a sunny morning!
Listen to Music at Arts in the Parks
We noticed that there were several art and cultural events going on during our time in Minot. One of those events was the Arts in the Parks, which we made it to just in the nick of time. When we arrived in Minot, we unloaded our luggage in the hotel room, and beelined it to Oaks Park to take in all the summer fun. We watched the band, Soulshine, play a fun lineup of music as people relaxed in the park.
Take a Brewery Tour and Try a Flight of Beer
Atypical Brewery and Barrelworks: We started our afternoon at Atypical Brewery and Barrelworks for a tasting of their wide variety of beers. We sat outside on the patio under the shade of an oversized umbrella, as we sampled beer and chatted with the owners. I lost track of how many brews we tasted, but we tried barrel-aged sour ales and a variety of other unique beers. One of our favorites was the London Fog Cream Ale, which had an Earl Grey tea twist to it. We also got to take a peek at the inside of the facility—it was one of the coolest breweries we’ve been to in a long time!
Souris River Brewing Company: After the first brewery stop, we ventured over to Souris River Brewing Company for dinner, another tasting, and a tour of the facility. We ordered burgers for dinner and then the owner came over and brought us a flight with nine different beers to try…whew!
Souris River Brewing has created more than 70 different beers since they first started, and they typically have nine beers on tap at a time. Once we finished our dinner and tasting, we went on a quick tour of the facility. It was neat to see the similarities and differences between the two breweries—each of them had their own advantages, and we are glad we were able to experience them both!
Visit a Winery for a Wine Tasting
Pointe of View Winery: One of the wineries we visited in Minot was the Pointe of View Winery. This was the first winery to open in North Dakota. During our visit, we spent time tasting a few different wines in the shop before heading to the outside patio to relax with a glass of wine. The views overlooking the rolling hills were top notch.
Once we finished our glass of wine, we took a walk through the vineyards before making our way to the hiking trail that winds its way through the property. What a way to spend an afternoon!
Dakota Sun Gardens and Winery: The Dakota Sun Gardens and Winery isn’t actually located in Minot, but we made a stop there on our way home, so we figured we’d still include it in this roundup. The winery is located in Carrington about two hours southeast of Minot, and if you are nearby, it is well worth the stop.
The winery offers a wide range of grape and fruit wines to taste and purchase, as well as a beautiful garden to tour. We tasted wines made from pomegranate, rhubarb, blueberry, black currant, and more. They were all so different that it made it hard to pick a favorite! After our tasting, we toured the garden and relaxed in the sun. It was the perfect stop to break up our drive back home!
Find Your Way into Saul’s Speakeasy
And last but not least, we couldn’t resist making our way over to Saul’s, Minot’s speakeasy! It took a bit of sleuthing to find the location and figure out how to get inside. Basically, you have to text their phone number and you will receive hints as to the location, plus a riddle to solve for your entrance password. We came up with an answer and crossed our fingers that we were right…and we were!
Once we were inside, we took a seat at the bar and spent some time chatting with the bartender and other guests. The speakeasy has a long list of cocktails to pick from, and they also serve a variety of beer and wine. If you are feeling daring, you can also have the talented mixologist create something special just for you.
Where to Eat in Minot, ND:
Broadway Bean & Bagel
We are always suckers for a good bagel, so we were excited to visit Broadway Bean & Bagel. We ended up stopping here a couple of times during our visit for a quick and delicious breakfast with house roasted coffee. Their popular Eggel, which is an egg sandwich on a bagel with a variety of topping choices, was delicious. We also enjoyed the variety of bagels and flavored cream cheese—the chocolate chip and the peanut butter cream cheeses were both fantastic.
Prairie Sky Breads
We popped into Prairie Sky Breads one morning before heading around town to check out street art. This coffee shop and bakery offers a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, specialty toasts, pizzas, and more. Some of the options are only available later in the day, but we were happy as could be with our coffee and scones—all made to perfection!
With Room Coffee
Ok, so we didn’t actually get to dine at With Room Coffee, but I’m including it on my list because I know we would have loved it. We were super excited to grab breakfast here; however, when we arrived, we found a note on the door stating that they were closed on a “coffee break” for what happened to be the duration of our time in Minot. I snuck a photo of the gorgeous plants through the window and made a mental note to return next time we are in town. Their menu is filled with tasty treats like pastries, sandwiches, specialty toasts, yogurt cups, coffees, teas, and kombucha.
The Starving Rooster
The Starving Rooster was one of our favorite restaurants from the entire road trip! We enjoyed the historic, industrial atmosphere of the restaurant. The building was originally built for a tractor company in 1919, and most of the materials inside were repurposed into tables and other design elements that can still be seen in the restaurant today. We both had sandwiches during our lunch visit, and we loved our spacious booth by the giant garage door windows.
Souris River Brewing Company
I mentioned Souris River Brewing Company above with the brewery tour, but they don’t just serve beer, they also have a food menu filled with locally sourced ingredients! The menu consists of burgers, sliders, sandwiches, steaks, and more. Before we took a tour of the brewery, we ordered burgers to go along with our brews, and I have to say, the poutine burger was heavy, but amazing!
Spicy Pie Pizza
If you are looking for a tasty slice of pizza, Spicy Pie Pizza is the place to go. They serve New York style pizza with a wide range of specialty toppings such as the Rueben, the PBR (pickle, bacon, ranch), and the Smorgasbord Pie, just to name a few. You can order by the slice or grab an entire pie, and they also serve grinders, Mexican food, and a variety of sides. Micah ordered the Carnivore slice and I couldn’t resist trying a slice of the Bacon Mac & Cheese!
Located at the Minot Country Club, Elevation Minot offers views of the golf course along with a unique dining experience. We lucked out and nabbed a seat on the patio –it was a perfect evening to dine outside. The menu at Elevation Minot is filled with salads, sandwiches, pastas, and surf & turf. We tried the bacon wrapped chicken cordon blue and the pecan crusted walleye and were both happy with our choices. It was our last dinner in town, and a wonderful way to close out the trip.
One Last Stop on our North Dakota Road Trip:
World’s Largest Buffalo
On the way home to Minnesota, we had one more stop to say a final farewell to North Dakota. We couldn’t resist stopping at the World’s Largest Buffalo in Jamestown. The Statue was created in 1959—it stands at 26 feet tall, 40 feet wide, and weighs 60 tons…so in other words, it’s huge! In addition to the towering sculpture, you can also find the National Buffalo Museum, a live herd of Buffalo, and the Frontier Village on site. We didn’t have time to explore all the sights, so it will have to wait until our next visit to North Dakota!
Have you ever been on a North Dakota road trip? What would you want to do in Minot?
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