Our 10 Best Things To Do In Jamestown, North Dakota takes a look at a place nicknamed Pride of the Prairie. Jamestown, North Dakota was founded in 1872. According to the 2010 Census, it was the the largest city in North Dakota. Jamestown is 91 miles from Fargo, North Dakota and 98 miles from Bismark, North Dakota. Both, larger cities in the state. There are many amazing sights and fun things to do in Jamestown, North Dakota. It is a beautiful place to visit during the summer months. From personal experience, unless you like below zero temperatures and snow, then I don’t recommend visiting in the winter time.
Jamestown, North Dakota is most known for the buffalo. It’s like Wyoming, Texas, and Oklahoma with their pastures of cattle. Jamestown has buffalo. They have the world’s largest buffalo, a buffalo museum and a wide variety of places to eat that serve amazing buffalo burgers. You can visit other museums, a military base, beautiful parks, the dam, and dine at many scrumptious establishments. Jamestown is a family friendly area and a great place to live, if you are looking to move to North Dakota. I enjoyed living there for just over 2 years, except for the ice cold winters. But, some of us are just not made for the frigid cold and feet upon feet of snow.
Here are my personal top 10 “must do” adventures in North Dakota.
# 10 – Lakeside Campground
Jamestown, North Dakota has many places that are stunning and perfect for camping under the stars. Lakeside is my first choice because it has a special place for the little ones to go fishing. With Lakeside Campground you have easy access to the reservoir and many amenities; cabins, the marina, boat launches, and fishing docks. Camp out in a tent or bring your RV and during the day you can go out on the public beach or take the kids to Little Britches Fishing Pond. Lakeside Campground is just North of Jamestown and is the perfect place to enjoy sun, fun, and water.
# 9 – Jamestown Reservoir
If you don’t want to camp. that is okay! You can spend the day at the reservoir enjoying the many activities available to you. Jamestown Reservoir is located near Lakeside Marina. You can enjoy one of 7 picnic shelters and boat docks, play disc golf, 2 swimming beaches, biking trails, water sports, and much much more. The Reservoir has 2,492 acres of water. You can find a stocked fishing pond, concessions, and a playground for the kids as well. Grab some beach towels, sunscreen, a picnic lunch, and drive out to Jamestown Reservoir and relax in or near the water.
# 8 – Louis L’Amour Exhibit
Born in Jamestown, North Dakota in 1908, Louis Glamour he held many different jobs; professional boxer, ranch hand, able seamen, and mine claim manager. He traveled all over the United States and abroad before he settled, with his family in Oklahoma in the 1930s. There is where he decided to try his hand at writing. He has met so many unique and interested people during his travels and his many jobs, he actually incorporated them (with name changes) into his books. To learn more about Louis L’Amour, his family, his life in Jamestown and his childhood visit the Louis L’Amour Exhibit. It is a Kiosk that will give you all of the information about Louis and his life. This is the perfect place to visit for those of you who love to read.
# 7 – Annual Kite Fest
What adult, as a kid, didn’t like to or at least try to fly a kite? Take yourself back to your childhood with a 3 day weekend at Jamestown’s annual Kite Fest. The annual even happens in mid-June and attracts kite lovers from all over the United States and Canada. The event is free for everyone and the sites are gorgeous. Sponsored by Wings on Strings Kite Club and Jamestown Park and Recreation. There are an abundance of activities to participate in; kite making, contests for kids, door prizes, inflatable air games, and more. Meidtinger Park Field is the location for this colorful, annual event.
# 6 – Fort Seward Wagon Train
How about an out of the ordinary, week long vacation on a Wagon Train? You will travel across the prairie for a week. You can ride in one of the wagons, walk the trail, or even bring your own horse to ride. Enjoy nightly meals around a campfire, do some crafting, learn about historical sites along the way, and just enjoy the simpler life. When traveling on the Fort Seward Wagon Train you can experience breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, relax with the smells of prairie flowers and alfalfa, and see fields of growing crops by local farmers.
# 5 – Frontier Village
Open from Memorial Day through September, this is a must do when visiting Jamestown, North Dakota. These are the original buildings from the actual frontier villages, what were moved to this location. These stunning old buildings are filled with all kinds of history; artifacts, antiques, and even Louise L’Amours writing shack. Take a peek at the Frontier School, the bank, church, and Northern Pacific Railroad Depot. You can also shop in the well stocked gift shop. Taking home a beautiful and unique treasure from your Jamestown vacation.
# 4 – Fort Seward Military Post
If you are a huge history buff or you were in the military (or both), then the Fort Seward Military Post should be on your list of things to see while you are in Jamestown. As long as the weather is cooperating you will see the largest United States flag. Learn all about the operations of Fort Seward, which was running full swing from 1872-1877. The dedicated men who served at Fort Seward administered and supervised the building of the railroad. Besides the starting point for the Wagon Train, Fort Seward is also the host of the Big Guns of the Old West, which is an annual event held the 3rd weekend in June.
# 3 – Klaus Park
Part of Jamestown’s Park and Recreation Department, Klaus Park offers many exciting and enjoyable activities for residents and vacationers alike. You name it, they most likely offer it. With over 20 acres of space, you can keep busy for your whole vacation. 18-hole disc golf, Hillcrest Golf Course, Peppers Dog Park, a skate park, picnic shelters, and a large playground are only a handful of things available to do. If you are a resident of Jamestown they have a large variety of summer and winter activities that you can sign up for. Nearby is also many trails so you can take a bike ride, hike, walk through nature, or visit the Sensory Gardens.
# 2 – National Buffalo Museum
The museum was opened in 1993 after the National Bison Association determined the need for a place to display buffalo artwork, artifacts, and other memorabilia. The National Buffalo Museum has an actual pasture where they raise and care for Bison, and have been since the early 1920s. At one point they had a rare and sacred Albino Buffalo that is now a full body mount in the museum. The Buffalo was called White Cloud and was loved and adored by all at the museum. The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown also houses a 10,000 year old bison skull, artwork, and artifacts that are important to the history of the buffalo. You can also see the Buffalo Hall of Fame while you are touring the museum.
# 1 – Worlds Largest Buffalo
Dakota Thunder, the largest buffalo in the United States, is located in Jamestown, North Dakota. He is a 60-ton concrete, 26-foot-tall sculpture. Dakota Thunder is visible from Interstate 94 and in 2010 was named one of the top 50 roadside attractions ever. Dakota Thunder sits at Frontier Village in Jamestown, so you could see a few attractions and learn a lot of history if you visit the largest buffalo and then Frontier Village. Dakota Thunder overlooks the city of Jamestown and has been a ‘huge’ part of the city since 1959. You can also look down onto the pasture by the Buffalo Museum and watch the Buffalo graze and soak up the sun.
While in Jamestown, North Dakota don’t forget to check out some of the best restaurants in the city; Frontier Fort Bar & Grill, Great Dragon Buffet, LaCarreta, Johnny Bs Brickhouse, and Sabir’s Buffalo Grill. You will find some of the best burgers, Chinese, Mexican, and steaks that you have ever tasted. Don’t forget to try a delectable, delicious, and juicy buffalo burger! So, schedule that vacation today and go enjoy the sun, the history, and the many parks and trails located in Jamestown North Dakota. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Feature Photo at top of article: The Library of Congress from Washington, DC, United States, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons