North Dakota’s tourism slogan states, “Be legendary.”  We think life in the city of Bismarck is pretty legendary.  It may not be one of the largest metropolises, but our charming city is definitely home to some big adventures.

From exceptional local restaurants to outdoor opportunities and community events, Bismarck has a lot to offer. And we’re incredibly grateful for the visitors who stop by to see what we’re all about.

To honor this lovable city, we uncovered five little-known facts about Bismarck that you may not know.


Bismarck is home to the very first vehicular bridge in the region to cross the Missouri River.

The Liberty Memorial Bridge, which sits as the centerpiece of many native photographs, was completed in 1922. For many years, it remained as the only route within 500 miles that you could use to cross the river. 

Today, it’s a staple of the central North Dakota skyline, and the river below provides many more opportunities for fun.

Visitors can enjoy a trip on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat, fishing at the state parks, or discover one of the preserved Indian villages and learn about Native American culture.

The Bridge is a true gem.

Bismarck hosts one of the largest International Powwows in the region.

United Tribes Technical College hosts an annual international powwow event every September. 

The events last all week and are open for anyone to enjoy. The powwow features dance competitions, traditional Native American dress, delicious food, vendors and more.

In the past, the event has even garnered the attention of over 10,000 visitors from all over the US and beyond. We’re hopeful that this wonderful and unique cultural experience will return in 2021.


Before it was an established city, Lewis and Clark traveled the area that is now Bismarck in 1804.

Over 200 years ago, pioneers Lewis and Clark were among the first explorers to arrive in the central North Dakota region. Today, you can experience more of North Dakota’s history and heritage at the North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum.

Discover the history of the area via exhibits that showcase everything from geology to indigenous culture to the modern era. 

Four unique galleries tell the fascinating story of North Dakota through thousands of treasured artifacts, displays, and interactive exhibits. 


The Bismarck-Mandan area has more than 100 miles of recreational and interpretive trails.

Whether you prefer tire or foot, this area offers miles of opportunities to explore the natural world.

Bike trails are a great way to experience the outdoors and the entire Bismarck area — let alone get you from Point A to Point B when need be!

In fact, you can even use the trail system to get from Pebble Creek Golf Course on the east side to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park south of Mandan. 

In addition, the park holds a new bike repair station, so cyclists can make adjustments to their ride if needed.


The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck is home to more than 600 mammals, birds and reptiles.

There’s a lot to see at the Dakota Zoo. 

From tigers to bears to bison…  There will be no shortage of thrills for the whole family!

For visitors who want to spend time at the zoo, we encourage you to check out our Dakota Zoo Package. Included with your stay are four passes to the Dakota Zoo.

Visitors also have the opportunity to “adopt an animal.” 

By adopting an animal, you contribute to feeding, housing, and caring for the animals at the zoo via your donation. In return, guests receive a certificate of the animal they adopted, and their name displayed in the Adoption Center!

Maybe this one doesn’t count as “little known,” as some 150,000 people visit the zoo every year. 

Forgive us for needing to brag about our zoo a little bit.


By now, we hope you’ve seen a glimpse of what Bismarck has to offer.

Maybe you even learned something about the city in one of these little-known facts.

One thing remains certain, though: Bismarck is full of delightful surprises for both newcomers, or area natives.