4480 Fort Lincoln Rd., Mandan, ND, US
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan is where Custer and his men rode out from right before their infamous Last Stand. This old fort has that bit of history going for it, but the park also has some really awesome recreations of the kinds of earthworks built by the Mandan tribe who also lived in the area. Plus, it's a great place to appreciate the rolling plains that make up the North Dakota landscape.
1304 E Century Ave, Bismarck, ND, US
1252A 41st Avenue NW, Garrison, ND, US
On the other side of Lake Sakakawea is Fort Stevenson State Park. It has a campground, a visitor center, and a marina, as well as a prairie dog town where you can observe the wildlife native to North Dakota. Prairie dogs are very social and active creatures, so they're super fun to watch! Fort Stevenson State Park is also home to an arboretum, in which you'll find more than 50 different species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and more.
1712 20th Ave SE, Minot, ND, US
Also in Minot is Schatz Crossroads, a no-frills truck stop. This 24-hour diner serves up an amazing breakfast, but don't get too full on omelettes and hash browns, because this place is best known for their delectable pies, hand-baked by a longtime employee.
1020 S Broadway, Minot, ND, US
Beginning in Minot, North Dakota, visit the Gol Stave Church Museum. It's a replica of a famous Norwegian church that was built in the 1200s. The crazy building is located in the Scandinavian Heritage Park, where, you can also find a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish windmill, and 25-foot-tall Swedish Dala horse as well. With all of that, it does a pretty good job of paying tribute to all kinds of aspects of Scandinavian culture.
4904 119th Road NW, Epping, ND, US
Named in honor of two of the first settlers to explore the Dakotas, Lewis and Clark State Park preserves rocky badlands on the shores of Lake Sakakawea. The lake offers fishing and boating, as well as a sandy beach for swimming. You can also hike and bike on trails through the striking scenery, or take the interpretive path that sheds more light on Lewis and Clark's journey through North Dakota. Campsites offer lovely views of the lake, and the park's marina provides rentals so you can make the most of a stop here.
120 S Main St, Watford City, ND, US
315 2nd Avenue, Medora, ND, US
While you're in Medora, explore North Dakota's rugged badlands at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It's not hard to see why Teddy Roosevelt fell in love with this part of the country and the Wild West lifestyle in general. It really is beautiful, and there's something so exhilarating about the untamed landscape. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is actually comprised of three units, all connected by the Maah Daah Hey Trail. The North and South Units are popular for their vibrant grasslands, wildlife viewing (bison, wild horses, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and other animals populate the park), backcountry camping, and hiking. The Elkhorn Ranch unit, in between the North and South units, preserves an estate once owned by President Theodore Roosevelt. A huge patron of land conservation, Roosevelt had a special love for the badlands. As you explore the old shops and buildings on the ranch property, you'll probably see why! Pro tip: Stick around until nightfall-- the park has outstanding star-gazing, and occasionally, views of the Northern Lights. (AIRSTREAM) Teddy Roosevelt was famously into conservation and creating National Parks, so stop by Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which preserves some of North Dakota's most gorgeous badlands and pay tribute to him. Prairie dogs, Teddy's old cabin, and great stargazing can also be found here.
301 3rd Avenue, Medora, ND, US
Keep the Theodore Roosevelt theme going with a stay at Medora, North Dakota's Rough Riders Hotel. The 19th-century building and Western decor add an authentic charm, but it's still got TVs and wifi. Plus, the price is super reasonable.
300 Pacific Ave, Medora, ND, US
Grab a bite to eat at Boots Bar and Grill. This is the best place to chat with the locals over an elk burger and a local craft brew.
PO Box 224, Medora, ND, US
Since you're in North Dakota, why not stay in a gorgeously restored historic log cabin? The Diamond Bar Bed and Breakfast in Medora has every modern convenience, but they'll still make you a home-cooked, ranch-style breakfast, and offer "guitar-pickin and story-tellin' upon request".
1902 N Merrill Ave, Glendive, MT, US
Thick, rich milkshakes, triple-decker sandwiches, and awesome classic roadside vibes make CC's Family Cafe the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1301 Snyder Avenue, Glendive, MT, US
502 Main St, Jordan, MT, US
Considered sacred by the surrounding Native American tribes, Devils Tower National Park is a natural wonder, and it is a great place to finish off your trip across the Badlands. The monument consists of an 867-foot natural igneous rock protrusion and was the first-ever national monument, created by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The best times to visit the columns are at sunrise and sunset, where you'll have ample opportunities for beautiful photos. The kids will love the Tower Trail, where you might even spot a porcupine or two! (THOR)
Your next stop is Custer's Last Stand: Little Big Horn. Here you should visit the Indian Memorial, the theme of which is "Peace Through Unity." It's a circular structure that's just a few dozen yards from the 7th Cavalry obelisk, commemorating the fallen soldiers. The walls of the Indian Memorial contain the names of the Native Americans who died during the battle. The most moving part of the memorial is the "spirit gate", which is a window in the circular memorial that opens onto the Cavalry monument as a symbolic way to welcome the cavalrymen into the Native American memorial.
Over in Worden, Montana, you can climb to the top of Pompeys Pillar National Monument and take in the outstanding views, but the natural feature probably best known for the Native American pictographs and the signatures from pioneers passing by. You can even find some famous names here- like that of William Clark, from the famed Lewis and Clark expedition.
Relax with a glass of wine and some charcuterie at The Fieldhouse Cafe in Billings. Or stop by for a fresh, locally-sourced dinner or a boozy brunch. There aren't many places in Montana where you can get a kale salad with quinoa dressing, but this is one of them.