Start your visit to North Dakota's capital with a guided tour of the former governor's mansion. The current governor's mansion and art-deco-style state Capitol, which is topped with a skyscraper, are also worth a visit. From there, go to the North Dakota Heritage Center, a combination of museum, state archives and art gallery. Anyone interested in Native American history will enjoy the center's collection of artifacts. If you have time, spend a few hours touring the Railroad Museum and the Cathedral Area Historic District.

A ride on the Lewis and Clark riverboat, which plies the Missouri River, isn't just a pleasant trip—it's also a convenient way to see bald eagles and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, just outside of nearby Mandan. (You can also take an old-fashioned trolley to the park.) The fort was the spot from which Gen. George Custer set out with his army for Little Big Horn. The Custer House is a prime example of Victorian architecture and has been reconstructed on its original site. You'll also find reconstructed Native American earthen lodges in the park (the On-A-Slant Village). Facilities in the park include a visitors center and amphitheater, and visitors can enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

The Prairie Knights Casino, 46 mi/75 km south (slots, blackjack, video poker and keno), Five Nations Arts Depot (Native American art) and Camp Hancock State Historic Site (an old church, steam locomotive and the remains of an 1872 military encampment) are nearby attractions. The United Tribes International Powwow, a gathering of more than 70 Native American tribes, is held in Bismarck every September. 200 mi/320 km west of Fargo.

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