Many people don’t think of North Dakota when considering great retirement locations, but this northern state has much to offer! In fact, the Peace Garden State has plenty of places to visit and live just full of genuine small-town character! Here are some of my favorite options for a small-town retirement in North Dakota.
Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and the second largest town, despite its small population of only 65,000 people. This town has an extensive array of parks and nature trails throughout, making it a great place for outdoor-loving seniors. Sertoma Park sits on the banks of the Missouri River and stretches east over three miles. Also near the river is Super Slide Amusement Park which offers water slides, roller coasters, and several other amusement park attractions.
Grand Forks, ND
Grand Forks offers a lot of small-town charm, yet quite a few things to do compared to other towns its size. This is due in part because of the University of North Dakota which brings culture, higher education, and sports to the town. Along with the collegiate culture, Grand Forks is home to nearly 20 parks, an 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course, and the Empire Arts Center.
Minot offers the small town seeker a taste of the arts and Scandinavia. This small town with a population of just 40,000 is over 40% Scandinavian. Because of its heritage, Minot is home to the annual Norsk Hostfest, which serves as the largest Scandinavian American festival in the country. Scandinavian Heritage Park is also located in the city and features replicas of buildings and landmarks that are famous in the countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.
This quaint little town is located right across the Missouri River from Bismarck. The population is approximately 18,000. Mandan is your typical small town with its fair share of cafes, casual dining, antique shops, and small stores. Mandan was founded in 1879 and is known for having friendly citizens.
Jamestown is located in Stutsman County with a population of 15,000. Despite its small size, the town offers great shops, casual dining, and a variety of recreational activities. The town features the Jamestown Reservoir, which is made up of three man-made bodies of water perfect for boating and fishing. This area gets plenty of use by locals and tourists alike. Jamestown College basketball games take place in the Jamestown Civic Center along with concerts and other events. The town also has two full 18-hole championship-level golf courses open to the public. Baseball and softball lovers enjoy the use of Jack Brown Stadium.
This small North Dakota town is located in Stark County and is home to Dickinson State University. The population sits just below 18,000 as of 2010. One of the appeals of the city is its close proximity to Lake Sakakawea. Thousands of people flock to Sakakawea to partake in recreational water sports and fishing. The presence of the university gives the town more culture and entertainment options than many towns its same size. The community enjoys watching the Dickinson State Blue Hawks football and basketball teams compete.
Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts