Minot holds an adventure for every visitor.

From history and culture, to outdoor activities and live entertainment, this city and the surrounding area will keep you busy.

Plan Your Trip to minot

Let’s get you a FREE travel guide; you can download the guide or request the guide to be mailed to you. Minot is on the western edge of Central Time Zone, creating long summer days where the sun won’t set until 10:30 pm. Located on the prairie landscape, sunsets and sunrises are easily viewable, and we like to say we have some of the best in the nation. During the winter the sun dog phenomenon can be spotted on the coldest of days, and if you’re lucky you can catch the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights dancing in the nighttime skies between October and March.  


Situated near 6 national wildlife refuges Minot is located just a short drive from wildlife and nature experiences. There are many adventures you can discover and day trips you can take with Minot as your home base to stay overnight. Once you arrive, stop by and say hi at our Visitor Center in the Scandinavian Heritage Center at 1020 S Broadway. We have a charming gift shop where you can find Scandinavian gifts, North Dakotan-made products, and Minot souvenirs. Additionally, information is available including local, state, and regional travel information with maps, brochures, and guides. Give us a call at 701-857-8206 or 1-800-264-2626. 

Browse through our calendar of events to find things to do in Minot. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to know about all the cool happenings in the Magic City. Use our hashtag #MagicInMinot; we want to see where you’ve explored. Our website is chock full of resources to find the best places to eat or shop 


Explore the area

Getting To minot

Minot is in the north-central region of North Dakota, just 50 miles south of the Canadian Border. You can travel to Minot by car, train, and airplane. 

By Road: Several highways lead to Minot. If you are traveling east to west, take US Route 2. If you are driving from south or north, the route is ND Highway 83, with US Route 52 as another option. Minot is 110 miles from International Peace Gardens, 140 miles from Bismarck, 210 miles from Medora, and 275 miles from Fargo. Check road conditions for weather or construction at the ND DOT.

By Air: Minot International Airport (MOT) has non-stop flights to and from Minneapolis, Denver, and several other cities. Several airlines offer flights to and from Minot, including Delta, United, and Allegiant. The airport is easy to fly to and is just 2 miles north of downtown Minot. Transportation services once you land include rental cars, hotel shuttles, and taxis – Minot has both Uber and Lyft. Traveling elsewhere from Minot? Several hotels offer park and fly programs –  take your trip and leave the car parked at your hotel. 

By Rail: Amtrak’s Empire Builder route runs through Minot, making train travel a great option. Empire Builder connects Seattle and Portland to Chicago. Sleeper cabins are also available for those traveling from farther distances. The Minot Amtrak station is just a 7-minute walk from downtown Minot.

getting to minot

insider tips

Roosevelt Park Zoocatch the animals most active in the early morning or evening around feedings.  

Dakota Territory Air Museumdownload the Talking Trail mobile app to listen to content about the history of the planes and their historic flights at this aviation museum.  

Scandinavian Heritage Parkis accessible all year round, with tour guides and historic buildings open May 17 through September.  

Magic City Discovery Center – make a timeslot reservation to guarantee your entry for a day or afternoon filled with fun!

Where to find Knoephla, North Dakota’s official soup! – Kroll’s Diner, Charlie’s Main Street Café (on Wednesdays), and Jamaican Vybz Kitchen (made with Jerk Seasoning)  

Where to find lefse & Scandinavian goodies – you can purchase frozen lefse from our local grocery markets and some freshly made Scandinavian pastries at Prairie Sky Breads. Both can be bought at Norsk Hostfest (the last weekend in September), the largest Scandinavian festival in North America.  

Looking for a locally made souvenir? – Stop in the Visitor Center’s Gift Shop, chalked full of Pride of Dakota (ND-made items), Scandinavian gifts, and Minot/North Dakota gear and souvenirs.  

Check out the interactive map of Minot and the Surrounding Area below. Click on the different locations to learn more!

Explore the area

moving to minot

We can’t wait to have you join us in the Magic City! Minot has a population of 50,000, with a metro area that includes Minot Air Force Base, Burlington, Surrey, and more, with a total area population of 75,500. Located in the north-central region of North Dakota just 50 miles south of the Canadian border, this Upper Midwest community is nestled along the scenic Souris River Valley; Minot offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and is situated in the Central Time Zone.  

You’ll be moving to a vibrant community with life, locally owned restaurants, shopping options, and various things to see and do. Minot comprises a diverse population of different ethnicities and backgrounds, creating a melting pot of ideas, traditions, and celebrations in the community. The sizeable Scandinavian background brings gatherings like the Midsummer Festival in June at Scandinavian Heritage Park and the Norsk Hostfest, the largest Scandinavian festival in America in September. 

The fun stuff: Minot has something for everyone; take in our arts & entertainment, museums and culture, annual events, and top attractions. There is also a booming park scene with splash pads, an outdoor pool with slides, playparks, biking and hiking trails, and a new outdoor recreation area. Get ready to discover the hidden gems of downtown Minot, where quirky bars, eclectic shops, and restaurants offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience.   

Things that matter: Minot Public School District serves the city and surrounding areas with several elementary, middle, and high schools. There is Minot State University and the Minot campus of Dakota College at Bottineau for higher education. Trinity Health is the largest healthcare provider in Minot, with a wide range of medical services. Other hospitals and clinics are in the area.  

Quality of life: Minot’s cost of living is generally lower than the national average. Minot is considered a safe city with a low crime rate. Minot is known for its friendly residents and welcoming atmosphere. The community frequently comes together with several organizations and events. Employment opportunities in various fields include healthcare, energy, education, retail, and more.  

By living in Minot, you’ll be a part of a supportive community that cares about your well-being. We can’t wait to welcome you to Minot, and we hope you’ll love it here as much as we do! Download our guide or request a guide to be mailed to you.

You can also call us with questions or suggestions at 701-857-8206 or 1-800-264-2626. Additional resources to help with your relocation: Minot Area Chamber EDC, City of Minot, Downtown Minot, and Minot Public School District. City and state sales tax is 7.5%, and the lodging tax is 3%.  

Downtown Minot
Magic City Bridge

Minot Air Force base

“Only The Best Come North” is the motto of the Minot Air Force Base. The base is home to two Air Force units — The 5th Bomb Wing, known as the Warbirds, are capable of flying anywhere around the world and delivering precision-guided bombs and munitions, and the 91st Missile Wing members, known as the Rough Riders, are responsible for operating, maintaining and securing a fleet of missiles. The base is home to over 5,000 military members and over 5,000 dependents. 

The History of minot, the magic city

Winter was quickly approaching, and a construction crew for the Great Northern Railway set up camp, thus founding Minot in 1886. They named the new town after Henry D. Minot, a railroad investor. As if by magic, the tent town quickly grew to a population of 5,000 in the next five months, forming practically overnight. This gave the town the best-known nickname, ‘The Magic City.’  


Soon immigrants, particularly from Scandinavia, arrived to claim farmsteads during the Homestead Act that went into the early 1900s. Then came the Prohibition Era of the 1920s. Minot became known as ‘Little Chicago’ as it was the only “open” city between Chicago, IL and Butte, MT. This small North Dakota community was a center for bootlegging and the rum running traffic connecting Canada to the United States.  


In 1955 ground broke for the construction of the Minot Air Force Base, which would and continues to have a profound impact on the city. The base brought diversity to the community and supported the opening and success of new shops and restaurants. Located 13 miles north of Minot, the base is home to the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing and is one of two bases in the nation to house the B-52 bombers.  


Minot was built along the winding Souris River (also known as Mouse River), and the river has played a significant role in the community’s history. The river overflowed its banks in 1969 and swept through the streets, destroying homes and businesses. The community came together to rebuild. However, the river was mighty once again in 2011, and reached levels previously unrecorded. The Army Corps of Engineers called it a ‘Greater than 100 Year Flood’. This forced residents to evacuate and flood measures would be put in place in the next coming decade including walls along the banks of the river.  


Despite a national recession, North Dakota was soon in the thick of an oil boom beginning in 2006 and peaking in 2012. Unemployment rates were the lowest compared to the rest of the country, and workers from all over came to Minot to work in the Bakken Oilfield. This drilling brought significant economic and population growth to the community and surrounding area.  


Today, the Magic City is bursting with life, and is now home to 50,000 people. Art has had a profound impact adding color to downtown Minot, along with music and theatre performances as a common occurrence. The community boasts hosting North Dakota’s largest event, the North Dakota State Fair in July. If you’re visiting in late September, check out the Norsk Hostfest, the largest Scandinavian Festival in America, which pays homage to the culture of the early settlers of this area. Outdoor recreation, like hunting, hiking, fishing, and kayaking opportunities are just a short drive from the town adding to the quality of life and leisure.  

Scandinavian Heritage Center