Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.

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Why Not Minot?

Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North DakotaA one-way, 100-mile detour from Bismarck, North Dakota, north to Minot (closer to the Canadian border than to the state capitol) didn’t seem even remotely unreasonable once I discovered that the Scandinavian Heritage Park is located in this northern city. With nearly 40% of its population claiming Scandinavian ancestry, it’s the perfect place for the park—and for me to indulge my ongoing obsession with everything Nordic. Read about it >

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No Need to Go Far in Fargo

Great Northern Railway Depot, Fargo, North DakotaI was ending my two-week trip around the Dakotas with a one-day stop in Fargo. It didn’t seem a sufficient amount of time for North Dakota’s most populous city, but, fortunately, most of the highlights—including its most beautiful buildings—are located in a fairly concentrated area of one square mile. Read about the top five buildings in Fargo, North Dakota >


The Best Ways to Spend Some Time in Bismarck, North Dakota

Keelboat Park, Bismarck, North DakotaOf all the people I know who have gone to Bismarck (a number that is, quite truthfully, very tiny), none intended to have a wild, rollicking, what-happens-there-stays-there time. The capital of North Dakota is calm and quiet, and the residents seem to like it that way. So, if you’re seeking the flash of, say, Minneapolis, you won’t find it here, even though the city has been growing by double-digit percentages every decade since 1880. But if you live a frenetic lifestyle and want a shift of gears, and if you remain observant, you’ll find some lovely gems. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Bismarck >

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Finding the Best Restaurant in Downtown Bismarck, North Dakota

An unexpected quiet had gently descended on the streets of North Dakota’s capital by 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. The few stores that weren’t boarded up had already closed for the night, nobody was strolling around, and the cars along East Main Avenue didn’t bother to stop. Not exactly deserted, but not exactly teeming with excitement, either. I became pensive as I considered returning to my car to start a search for a broader, or at least existing, range of restaurant choices for my final night in Bismarck. But then I spied signs of life at the historic, 10-story McKenzie Hotel, the tallest building in the city when it opened in 1911. It all centered around Peacock Alley — a fortuitous find for a terrific dinner. Read more >