Skip to main navigation.

Road trip: Highway 281

by North Dakota Tourism


Traveling through central North Dakota? Be sure to stop in these communities on your road trip.

Day 1  I  Jamestown
 Dakota Thunder, the “World’s Largest Buffalo,” is just the place to get started on Highway 281. See if you can spot the live buffalo herd roaming the area behind the giant monument and tour the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown. Explore the birthplace of North Dakota’s statehood at the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, then test your puzzle-solving skills at a Buffalo City escape room. End the evening at Sabir’s Buffalo Grill and see what’s happening at The Hansen Arts Park across the street.

Day 2  I  Jamestown/Pingree/Carrington
Try the Dancing Goats Coffee from Babb’s Coffee House, then hit the road for Pingree. The Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge is a birder’s paradise. Of the 300 species in the area, how many can you find? Hike or bike the wildlife refuge’s leg of the National Recreation Trail, a 9-mile historic trail connecting the former military posts of Fort Seward near Jamestown and Fort Totten near Devils Lake. Unwind with a wine tasting at Dakota Sun Gardens and enjoy the garden tour of the wide variety of perennial flowers.

Day 3  I  Carrington/New Rockford/Devils Lake
Sleep late before ordering breakfast from The Garden Gate. Don’t pass through New Rockford before trying to catch a matinee performance at the Opera House. Resting along the southern shores of Devils Lake, the Fort Totten State Historic Site is full of history from its time as a military post and boarding school. Enjoy a meal at Charras and Tequila, then go for an evening stroll along the trails of Graham’s Island State Park. See how many constellations you can spot in the night sky before heading into the cabins for the evening.

Day 4  I  Devils Lake/Belcourt/Dunseith
 Take advantage of what Devils Lake is known for: four seasons of fishing. Cast a reel from the shoreline or rent a boat for the morning. Stroll through the memories of the boomtown at the Lake Region Heritage Center. Then continue north to Belcourt and experience the vibrant multicultural traditions from the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) and the Metis/Cree people at the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Indian Heritage Center. Wrap up your road trip with a walk through the formal gardens along the border of the United States and Canada at the International Peace Garden.

 Visit https://belegendary.link/RoadTrips to customize this road trip for your own legendary North Dakota adventure.