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Bismarck or Fargo?

Melbourne, Australia
5 posts
Bismarck or Fargo?

Hi, I am planning a trip to USA later this year, and would like to visit North Dakota for a few days.

I need help deciding between Bismarck and Fargo.

Due to the fact I will not be driving over there, I am hoping to stay in a main city, which is why I decided I will visit one of these cities; plus the flights from LA to these cities isn't too bad a price.

If someone can help me, by letting me know which city is easier to get around? Has more activities to do? I am looking at being there from Oct 31 - Nov 3.

I will be travelling solo, and would love to try new things. I keep seeing photos of the dog sleds, which look like fun!!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
261 posts
1. Re: Bismarck or Fargo?

I grew up in Bismarck and went to NDSU in Fargo. Best to rent a car in either city to get around.

I would recommend Bismarck as the area has farmland to the east and ranchland to the west with the Missouri River in the middle. Among other things that might interest you include the state capital as well as the state Heritage Center museum. Fort Lincoln State Park with ties to Gen. Custer and rebuilt Mandan Indian mounds is nearby across the river. Theodore Roosevelt National Park with bison, wild horses, elk and prairie dogs is a couple hours west and easily a day trip.

Fargo definitely has some good things about it such as Minnesota lake country to the east but Bismarck has a bit more diverse countryside that might appeal a little more to you.

It might be a bit chilly at the beginning of November, but it is highly unlikely there would be snow enough for dogsledding. That is more a northern Minnesota activity anyway.

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
261 posts
2. Re: Bismarck or Fargo?

After giving this some more thought and taking into account the time of year that you plan on visiting, I do have one thought about Fargo that may be intriguing to someone from Melbourne. That thought is to attend the North Dakota State University (American) football game against rival South Dakota State University. The game is on November 1st at 2:30pm at the Fargodome on NDSU's campus. You'll probably need to inquire about tickets now.

The experience would definitely be unique. The team is defending National Champions in the NCAA FCS Division I league. The place will be raucous to say the least. You do not need to know anything about the sport to enjoy the loud and energetic atmosphere of a US college football rivalry game. Perhaps someone who's been to a game recently can fill you in on what to expect if it interests you.

Early November can be pleasant in ND but on rare occasions it can be pretty harsh as winter is close. The summer outdoor things have wound down like boating on the lakes east of Fargo or the activites at Medora outside of Theodore Roosevelt NP and the winter activities have yet to start. Personally, I would still prefer Bismarck but the Fargo-Moorhead area has plenty to see and do as it is home to three good-sized universities and a regional metropolis, so you have museums and art and sports and shopping and all the things that come with the colleges.

Melbourne, Australia
5 posts
3. Re: Bismarck or Fargo?

I have always wanted to go to an American football game! Now I will have to try to decide again!!

Thanks for the info about the game!!

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,400 posts
6,456 reviews
3,330 helpful votes
4. Re: Bismarck or Fargo?

I just was in North Dakota. Of the two, I personally liked Fargo the most as its a college/university city. There is also a Fargo/Morehead Passport with a lot of fun things to go see


I liked all of it.....except perhaps one of the art galleries (they were changing exhibits so it was just "bad timing" - the next week would probably have been quite nice.

The college spirit of Fargo is really super.

If you do choose Bismarck, I liked the river boat cruise on the Lewis-Clark on the Missouri - We went on pizza night.

In terms of downtown, I liked Fargo a bit more with its fargo Theater - saw a good move there.

Its a hard one - both cities have things going for them.

Enjoy whatever you decide.

My most fun thing in Fargo however is just held yearly which is Happy Harry's RibFest - best ribs ever!

and great music!

5. Re: Bismarck or Fargo?

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