Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Burleigh County, ND

  • Published 2022/11/11

Burleigh County is in North Dakota, United States.

It is renowned for its tranquility, security, and friendliness toward families.

Who would’ve guessed that this huge county offers more than cultural and prehistoric attractions?

You might be surprised at what else it has in store for you.

Do you want to find excellent and unusual things to do in Burleigh County?

Here are the best things to do in Burleigh County, North Dakota, that should be on your next trip itinerary.

Discover Local History at North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum

North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum

Nagel Photography /

This one is not your typical museum trip.

The North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum features an exhibit of several species’ skeleton models, including Ice Age mammals and dinosaurs, triceratops, and a T-Rex.

View North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum

Guy William /

The gallery also houses a kid-friendly miniature museum named Treehouse.

Kids can enjoy themselves while riding trains, climbing tubes, or even taking a boat ride.

The North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum should help you discover Burleigh County’s history.

North Dakota Heritage Center and Museum View

Steve Cukrov /

Enjoy Camping at Florence Lake National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re feeling stressed, camping is an excellent way to recenter yourself and connect with nature.

Experience breathtaking nature in a grass prairie and a 132-acre lake at Florence Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Place your camping tent inside the woods under the sky or rent a cabin in front of the lake.

The star-filled night sky is the perfect backdrop for grilling over smoky briquettes.

Sit in front of a bonfire with a bottle of wine or a good drink of hot coffee or chocolate.

If you want to disconnect from your stress-filled life, there’s no better way than sleeping under tall, swaying trees and the calming wind.

Spend the weekend at the Florence Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Enjoy the View along Missouri River View at Keelboat Park

View of Keelboat Park

Steve Cukrov /

Keelboat Park in Bismarck offers an excellent view of the Missouri River.

Even in the dead of winter, the Missouri River provides some of the most beautiful scenery, particularly between dusk and dawn.

Always check the weather conditions before venturing out to explore the river.

Don’t forget to bring an extra blanket along just in case it becomes unexpectedly cold.

View of Keelboat Park

Steve Cukrov /

You can also catch some fish at Keelboat Park.

Find your perfect fishing spot to catch various fish such as catfish, walleye, sauger, paddlefish, and many more.

Bring your kayak boat and enjoy the Missouri River’s calm currents.

Bring a friend along to take in the beautiful scenery of this park.

View of Keelboat Park

Kwanchanog Noiinwong /

Pick up a New Hobby at Nishu Bowmen Club

Want to level up and explore new adventures?

Burleigh County offers safe and secure shooting ranges accessible to the local community.

You might visit Nishu Bowmen Club to try shooting bows and arrows.

You must always follow the rules and safety measures at the range to help protect yourself and others.

If you want to make some friends, joining a hunting group might be something fun for you to do.

Learn a new skill at Nishu Bowmen Club!

Enjoy a Family Picnic at Sleepy Hollow Park

Why not go on a picnic vacation with your family?

It’s a fun way to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors.

Sleepy Hollow Park was built in 1977.

The playground and sizable picnic tables on site are perfect for a day of fun.

With a 3.78-mile walking trail, Sleepy Hollow Park is the perfect place to bring your mountain bike for outdoor fun.

The outdoor activities you can enjoy here and the serene, tree-lined atmosphere.

If you visit in the summer, catch talented local youth performing musical theater under the stars at Sleepy Hollow Summer Theater.

Join a Riverboat Cruise at Lewis and Clark Riverboat

View of Lewis and Clark Riverboat

Steve Cukrov /

This once-in-a-lifetime Missouri Riverboat cruise at Lewis and Clark Riverboat will help you wrap up your travels in Burleigh County with something truly memorable.

Lewis and Clark Riverboat’s Missouri Riverboat Cruise offers an aquatic bar and restaurant, depending on your budget.

Sign at Lewis and Clark Riverboat

Steve Cukrov /

Choose a seat on the top deck for a great view of the Missouri River’s landscape while enjoying a drink from their bar and dishes from their snack counter.

You can also explore the lakes through kayaking, swimming, and fishing if you want more adventure.

Book a reservation at the Lewis & Clark Riverboat for your cruise experience.

See the Migratory Birds at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Burleigh County is the perfect place to go birdwatching.

Prepare to go birdwatching at Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge as the flowers blossom.

It is in Moffit, North Dakota.

You’ll see the birds spreading their wings in the clouds in unison.

You can watch birds with unaided eyes or through binoculars or telescopes.

Set up your folding chair with a good book and refreshing drinks while watching birds at the Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Wander the Bismarck Art Alley

Strolling downtown Bismarck might lead you to discover its hidden gem, dynamic public art.

You can see a dynamic art community public gallery at Bismarck Art Alley.

Burleigh County is loaded with public art, such as murals on tractors, vending machines, and tunnels.

The Dakota West Arts Council began working on Bismarck Art Alley in 2016.

The 2016 Leadership Bismarck Mandan Project Team and the neighborhood worked together to open this gallery of twenty-two murals to the public.

You might also love having a picture taken in rainbow alley to add color to your trip.

Don’t forget to practice striking a pose!

Enjoy Good Food at Space Aliens Grill and Bar

If you want to enjoy a delicious beef brisket sandwich, then Space Aliens Grill and Bar is perfect!

Space and Aliens Grill and Bar, a restaurant based on outer space themes, started in 1997.

The moment you open the restaurant’s door, it will immediately transport you to a space dimension with its futuristic exterior.

There are numerous statues of aliens throughout the room, both hanging from the ceiling and standing on the floor.

Pizza cooked over a fire and barbecued ribs are the restaurant’s specialties.

Here, you’ll also find all your American favorites, like steaks and hamburgers.

The restaurant is full of surprises if you take the time to explore it.

In the Galaxy room, you can play arcade games and win prizes.

Space Aliens will appeal to both your kids and your inner child.

Explore Downtown Bismarck

View of Downtown Bismarck

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The state of North Dakota is renowned for its distinctive, abundant, and prehistoric attractions.

Visit the downtown Bismarck area and be astounded by the magnificent residences and striking landmarks.

You can take your time exploring it.

Simply drive your vehicle and take a tour around your area.

View of Downtown Bismarck

Bobak Ha’Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Even during summer, you can still feel the cool breeze in June.

If you plan to go outside for a bike ride or walk as you explore Downtown Bismarck, dress warmly.

Go straight to Buckstop Junction, where you may discover historical markers and witness genuine 1880s to 1990s-inspired historic buildings.

You’ll appreciate Bismarck homes giving you antique and ancient vibes.

Take a Trip to Dakota Zoo with Your Kids

One of Burleigh County’s most popular tourist destinations is the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck.

It opened its doors to tourists in the 1960s. It receives over 150,000 visitors annually.

Although it’s a small zoo, it is renowned for its wide variety of animal species.

One hundred twenty-five bird species, arthropods, a Bengal tiger, American alligators, and many more might attract your youngsters.

Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or not, you’ll enjoy the shows and activities the zoo offers.

You may also take your kids to the aquarium and the play areas for a memorable experience.

What makes a trip to the Dakota Zoo even better is that you can explore it via a train ride and see different animals along the way.

Take in Bismarck’s Panoramic View at Chief Looking’s Village

Chief Looking’s Village will give you the best view of Bismarck.

Admire the breathtaking view, whether by strolling through the park or sitting quietly on one of the benches.

This natural grass scenic area offers a stunning view of the Missouri River and its surroundings.

Not only will you enjoy the view, but you will also love the activities at Chief Looking’s Village.

These activities include an interpretive trail, a mountain bike trail, a playground, a sand volleyball court, and a reservable picnic shelter.

Try Ice Skating at Capital Ice Complex

Visit the Capital Ice Complex, featuring a two-sheet ice arena that offers hockey, figure skating, public ice skating, and roller skating.

If you want to practice your ice skating skills, the training area at Schaumburg Arena or Wachter Arena is the perfect place for you.

You can glide into adventure at either of these locations.

Likewise, you can see both rinks from the mezzanine level in the center.

Besides the cold atmosphere, the center has a picnic shelter and a playground with sensory play features.

Check out the Capital Ice Complex if you’re in the mood for some extraordinary adventure!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Outside of Burleigh County, there are a few exciting places that will not take you more than 30 minutes to reach.

Relieve Historical Events at Abraham Lincoln State Park

Scenic view of Abraham Lincoln State Park

Bob Pool /

Are you looking for historical vibes and outdoor activities?

After a 22-minute drive from Bismarck, you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery at this state park in Mandan, Morton County, North Dakota.

Try strolling through Abraham Lincoln State Park, the state’s first state park, to uncover historical sites.

You can see a commissary and civil war barracks in the park.

Explore the well-preserved General Custard’s home nearby as well.

Scenic view of Abraham Lincoln State Park

Bob Pool /

Go to the infantry blockhouse, where you may stroll the lovely valley and get a view of the Missouri river below, the park’s centerpiece.

Additionally, you can reserve an on-site camping lodge if you wish to stay the night.

The park is where the Missouri and Heart rivers converge.

The Abraham Lincoln State Park also offers horseback riding and vintage trolley rides during summer.

Scenic view of Abraham Lincoln State Park

Bob Pool /

Explore the Missouri River Natural Area and Trailhead

Located ten minutes away from Bismarck, the Missouri River Natural Area and Trailhead is also in Mandan.

Though it is a delightful place to hike or bike, adventurers should know that this river road is quite long and narrow.

You can see the longest river in the United States while strolling or cycling in the woods.

Sit beside your loved ones by the river and spend the day chilling around the area.

However, exercise caution, as there are areas near the river where sand slips off.

Final Thoughts

Burleigh County truly has a lot to offer visitors.

From ancient ruins to picturesque parks, you’ll find whatever you’re searching for in this county.

Experience the best things to do in Burleigh County, North Dakota!

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