Williston, North Dakota, might not be the first place that pops into your head when planning a trip. But this unassuming city in the heart of the Great Plains packs a surprising punch. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique escape, Williston has something for you.

For your perfect travel experience, here is your key list of the top fun things to do in Williston, ND.

Fun Things to do in Williston, North Dakota

1. Fort Union Trading Post

Step back in time at this reconstructed 1860s fur trading post. The trading post was a melting pot where various Native American tribes, such as the Assiniboine, Crow, Blackfeet, and others, interacted with traders. The post saw bustling trade, negotiations, and cultural exchange, marking a significant chapter in the history of the frontier.

Today, Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site stands as a reminder of this era, offering visitors a glimpse into the past through reconstructed buildings, exhibits, and educational programs that illustrate the rich history of the fur trade in the American West.

Explore the restored buildings, wander through living history exhibits, and learn about the vital role Fort Union played in westward expansion.

2. Explore The Fort Buford State Historic Site

One of the best spots to include on your list of things to do in Williston, ND, is to visit the Fort Buford State Historic Site.

Built in 1866 close to the junction of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, the ruins of a historic military outpost are preserved at the Fort Buford State Historic Site.

The fort was named in honor of Major General John Buford, a cavalry general of the Union Army during the Civil War.

For 29 years, it played a crucial role in keeping watch over the northern plains and protecting the routes from settlers migrating to the west.

Nevertheless, the location of Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull’s 1881 surrender is the most famous association with the Fort Buford State Historic Site.

It developed into a major military field artillery with original components that are still present.

These artifacts include the field officers’ quarters, the guardhouse office, a post cemetery, and a gunpowder magazine. Interpreters offer visitors tours of the reconstructed barracks and quarters.

3. Williston Area Museum

The Williston Area Museum is one of the top captivating museums to visit if you’re looking to delve deeper into the historic past.

The museum offers exhibits that delve into the development of industries like agriculture, ranching, and oil exploration, which have played pivotal roles in shaping the local economy and community. Visitors can explore artifacts, displays, and interactive exhibits that highlight the diverse heritage and stories of the people who have called the Williston area home over the years.

Additionally, the museum often hosts events, educational programs, and activities aimed at engaging visitors and fostering a deeper understanding of the region’s past and present.

4. Attend Concerts at Harmon Park

Anyone who comes to Williston, North Dakota, will be happy to visit Harmon Park, one of the many parks the city has to offer.

This accessible park close to Williston’s downtown hosts the North Dakota Chokecherry Festival and free summer concerts.

With its open green areas, Virgil Syverson Performance Center, picnic shelters, and contemporary facilities, this park is a favorite venue for bands to play.

With additional features like contemporary playgrounds, a skate park, and basketball and tennis courts, Harmon Park is a recreational area ideal for people of all ages.

Enjoy walks in the park and take in the amazing wood carvings of animals, as well as the fascinating carvings of an elderly man, a dwarf, and other subjects.

5. attend the Performance at the Old Armory

The Old Armory has played a significant role in the evolution of local history.

This unique and amazing structure, which opened in 1916, housed soldiers and performers and served as a location for memorials honoring lives lost and lives saved, among other noteworthy occasions.

Due to its historical significance and architectural design, it was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The Old Armory is Williston’s top performing arts and events venue.

In addition, weddings, art exhibitions, graduation ceremonies, meetings, and business conferences can be held in this historic building through rental agreements.

6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park honors President Theodore Roosevelt’s interest in the American West and is a picturesque natural area located in southwest and western North Dakota, United States.

It was founded as a national memorial park in 1947, underwent additional territorial revisions, and was declared a national park in 1978.

This park showcases the rugged beauty of the Badlands, characterized by colorful rock formations, grasslands, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can explore scenic drives, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife viewing, including bison, wild horses, elk, deer, prairie dogs, and numerous bird species.

Apart from its natural beauty, the park preserves historical sites related to Theodore Roosevelt, including the Elkhorn Ranch site, where the president lived and developed his conservation ethic. The park offers camping facilities, visitor centers with educational exhibits, and ranger-led programs to enhance visitors’ understanding and appreciation of the park’s natural and historical significance.

If you’re looking for outdoor things to do in Williston, ND, Theodore Roosevelt should be on your list.

7. Explore the Frontier Museum

Unlike any other, the Frontier Museum offers a singular and engaging educational experience.

In a welcoming and educational environment, visitors can walk through homes, a school, a general store, and a church to make connections with different historical eras.

A few exhibits feature antiques from the area that span the 1800s to the 1950s.

You are also welcome to organize your event or participate in the entertaining events hosted by the Frontier Museum! 
Additionally, the Frontier Museum provides photography excursions and private tours.

Constructed in 1909, the charming church makes a perfect venue for small weddings, and the courtyard is great for outdoor events.


8. Reconnect with Nature at Spring Lake Park

Spring Lake Park is a beautiful recreational area nestled in the state of North Dakota. Located in the city of Williston, this park offers a serene getaway for nature enthusiasts and visitors looking to relax. With its picturesque landscapes, numerous amenities, and fascinating history, Spring Lake Park has plenty to offer for a memorable visit.

One of the top reasons to visit Spring Lake Park is its stunning natural beauty. The park boasts a tranquil lake surrounded by lush greenery, making it an ideal spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking.

Visitors can also enjoy hiking and biking trails that wind through the park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Spring Lake Park is home to several notable points of interest. The park features a historic Pioneer Village, where visitors can step back in time and explore restored buildings from the late 1800s.

9. Spend your Weekend at the Buffalo Trails Campground

One of the best places to spend quality time with your group is Buffalo Trails Campground, which is five miles north of the city center.

The campground features 40 pull-through sites, 59 full hookups (20, 30, and 50 amp systems), 79 sites (widths of approximately 30 feet), and RV supplies.
They even provide showers, laundry, ice, limited groceries, and phone and internet access!

When visiting Williston, make Buffalo Trails Campground your weekend home or a place to spend the night.

10. Visit the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center

The Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center is just a half-mile from Fort Buford on the eastern side.

It is a museum that chronicles the history of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers’ magnificent confluence.

The same magnificent views that the Lewis and Clark Expedition crew witnessed during their visit in 1805–1806 can also be found at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center.

The center has displays of the geology, geography, and history of the area, in addition to a 2,000-square-foot gallery that depicts the history of the confluence.

Among the featured exhibits are Fort Union, the fur trade business, the growth of transportation in the rivers, and the Corps of Discovery and their adventures in the area.

11. Thrilling Adventures at Eagle Ridge Golf Club

Golf enthusiasts, rejoice! Eagle Ridge Golf Club offers a picturesque setting and challenging courses, promising a thrilling day amidst lush landscapes and panoramic views.

This par 71, 6,904-yard track, set in spectacular, wooded rolling terrain, is a 10-minute drive from downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Since its opening in October 2000, Eagle Ridge has continued to provide a challenging and rewarding test for players of all levels.

Tom Kite, the 1992 US Open Champion, did much more than just contribute his well-known name to Eagle Ridge’s design.

12. Savor Local Flavors at Williston Brewing Company

One of the best places in Willinton to treat your taste buds to a delightful experience is Williston Brewing Company.

Williston Brewing Company is a great place for parties large and small. Selected appetizers are only $7 for Happy Hour, and all of their beers are $3 all day, every day! Their bar is furnished with pool and shuffleboard tables and blackjack after 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Indulge in craft brews and delectable dishes while soaking up the city’s lively ambiance.

13. Lewis and Clark State Park

Lewis and Clark State Park, located along the banks of the Missouri River, honors the historic expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The park offers a range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy, including camping, hiking trails, fishing, boating, and birdwatching.

Named after the famous explorers, this park provides stunning views of the Missouri River and its surrounding landscape. Visitors can explore the riverbanks, participate in water-based activities, and take advantage of the picnic areas and campgrounds available within the park.

Lewis and Clark State Park also holds historical significance, as it lies within the path of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The park showcases interpretive displays and markers that offer insights into the expedition’s journey through the area, adding an educational component to the natural beauty and recreational opportunities it provides.

14. Links of North Dakota

The Links of North Dakota is one of America’s most authentic Links-style golfing experiences, nestled upon the bluffs overlooking Lake Sakakawea.

The Links of North Dakota has frequently been recognized as the number one golf course in North Dakota by Golfweek and Golf Digest and the second most affordable golf course on their Top 100 lists!

The Links’ breathtaking setting and immaculately manicured course provide an ideal and unforgettable experience. One of the purest examples of links-style golf ever built in the US.

As golf aficionados, this captivating golf course should be on your itinerary of things to do in Williston, North Dakota.

15. Lake Sakakawea State Park

Lake Sakakawea State Park is a scenic park located along the Missouri River shores. This park offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors, including camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.

Named after the Shoshone woman Sacagawea, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Lake Sakakawea is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. The park provides camping facilities, picnic areas, boat ramps, and trails, allowing visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

With its expansive waters, stunning vistas, and diverse wildlife, Lake Sakakawea State Park is an ideal destination for both relaxation and outdoor adventures, attracting visitors throughout the year.

Frequently asked questions about Williston, North Dakota

What is the best time to visit Williston?

The city’s beauty shines year-round, but the summer months offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

Are there family-friendly activities in Williston?

Absolutely! Parks, museums, and recreational spots cater to visitors of all ages.

Is Williston expensive to explore?

Not at all! Many attractions are budget-friendly, ensuring a memorable yet economical trip.

Can I explore Williston’s history in a day?

While a day trip is possible, to truly absorb the city’s heritage, consider a more extended stay.

Are there accommodations near these attractions?

Yes, Williston offers a range of lodging options conveniently located near major attractions.

Are there any unique local events to experience?

Keep an eye on the city’s event calendar; Williston often hosts unique cultural events and festivals.

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