Nicknamed “Magic City” for its rapid growth from tent town to city, Minot comes alive in summertime for the North Dakota State Fair. Enjoy music and street performances, agricultural expositions, carnival rides and food vendors making up an exciting week in July.
Despite being a busy cosmopolitan city, Minot has hung onto its small-town hospitality and gives a warm welcome even in the colder months. Minot is located in a scenic valley carved into the North Dakota prairies by the Souris River, just an hour’s drive south of the Canadian border. Home to the Festivals, a thriving arts and culture scene and the Minot Minotauros ice hockey team, Minot offers year-round attractions for diverse tastes.
More than one-third of Minot residents have Scandinavian ancestors; the city has honored this connection with the biggest Scandinavian-American festival in the U.S., Norsk Høstfest. Join in the autumn fun and celebrate Nordic culture, craft and cuisine. Dance the night away with traditional folk dances and shout “Skål!” with the locals when you clink glasses of Norwegian ale. Hotels fill up fast in fall, so book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Spectacular wildlife flourishes on Minot’s riverside during the warmer months. Walk or ride your bike along the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) Riverwalk Path to see rare and beautiful birds that live alongside the Souris River. Visit Scandinavian Heritage Park to see fantastic replicas of Scandinavian architecture, including a stave church and larger-than-life red carved Dala Horse.
Visit the Magic City in summer or fall to get the full Minot festival experience. Winters are very cold in the north, so be prepared and bring warm clothes.
Take Amtrak’s Empire Builder line to reach Minot by train. Minot International Airport, conveniently located on the city’s North Hill, has regular flights to and from Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Phoenix.
You can also reach Minot by car along the scenic route from Minnesota to Montana, passing through forested lands reminiscent of the Old Country of Scandinavia.