There are so many interactive things to do in Jamestown, North Dakota, that we didn’t want to leave. Trust us when we say that you’ll want to discover Jamestown on your next summer vacation. 

Located between Fargo and Bismarck on Interstate 94, Jamestown has a perfect mixture of interesting and interactive things to do. In this post, we’ll share a few of the things we discovered on our first (and won’t be the last) visit to Jamestown, North Dakota.


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Our visit to North Dakota and to Jamestown was hosted, and this is a sponsored blog post. As always, the views and opinions expressed are our own. 

Fuel up at Babb’s Coffee House

But first, coffee. Start your day off right at Babb’s Coffee House. This over-the-top-with-friendliness coffee shop was one of our favorite places in Jamestown. Coffee is made-to-order just the way you like it. And when I say they can make anything – I mean anything! 

Babb's Coffee shop flavors Jamestown, North Dakota

In addition, Babb’s Coffee House is a large space with plenty of room to spread out for a private conversation or to get some work done. 

Things to do in Jamestown Babb's Coffee Shop

Memorabilia from the owners’ family as well as lots of cool art adorns the walls. And then, there are the baked goods. Made fresh daily with love, the pies and pastries were divine! 

Babb's coffee shop baked goods and tea

Best of all are the friendly folks who will greet you at the counter. It’s the kind of place you’ll want to visit again and again. We were in town for less than 48 hours and stopped there three times. Definitely put this place on your list of things to do in Jamestown.

Things to do in Jamestown friendly people

 

Stutsman County Courthouse State Historic Site 

We’re not sure we’ve ever seen another state preserve history quite as well as North Dakota. The State Historical Society brings history alive all around the state and the Stutsman County Courthouse State Historic Site is no exception.

You’ll want to plan a couple of hours for a visit to this venerable building. Take a docent-led tour to hear about its history and prepare to have fun! 

The building is full of old offices set up as they were when the building was in use as a courthouse. What we liked best is that you don’t just look at the rooms. You immerse yourself in them. 

Not only did we try on some period garb, we also tried out some of the old office gadgets and had so much fun stamping documents and making phone calls on the antique phones. We bet you’d never have included stenography and manual typewriting on your list of things to do in Jamestown, yet here they are.

Things to do in Jamestown Stutsman County Courthouse

 

Discover Jamestown through a walking tour

Jamestown is home to famed western author, Louis L’Amour. We took some time to enjoy the fresh Dakota air while strolling the streets in his footsteps on the self-guided walking tour that includes the local library. We had fun checking out some of the historic sites that influenced his writing and helped inspire some of the greatest Western stories ever told. 

Things to do in Jamestown Louis L'Amour books

Download the walking trail HERE or pick up a paper copy at the Jamestown Library downtown. 

Louis L'Amour Walking Tour things to do in Jamestown

 

Things to do in Jamestown: Visit Frontier Village

No visit to Jamestown would be complete without a visit to Frontier Village. Made up of original buildings from actual frontier villages in North Dakota, this “main street” has been filled with historical artifacts and interesting displays. You’ll want to take your time here to do a little exploring as you immerse yourself in history. We even found ourselves immersed in a jail!

Things to do in Jamestown Frontier Village jail

 

Try the pie at Jonny B’s Brickhouse

A delicious thing to do in Jamestown is to head down to Jonny B’s Brickhouse. We enjoyed sampling the local beers on tap as well as hot pizza from their wood-fired oven. They have unique pies like “The German,” and “Peanut Butter Jalapeño Pepperoni” pizzas. 

Thins to do in Jamestown Johnny B's Brickhouse

Jonny B’s also offers burgers, sandwiches, wings, and more. We loved the lively atmosphere that showed us this was clearly a favorite among locals.

Discover why Jamestown is called the “buffalo city.”

Right there at Frontier Village, you’ll find Dakota Thunder, the world’s largest buffalo. Standing 26-feet tall and weighing in at a svelte 60 tons, sculptor Elmer Petersen’s cement creation has been a popular roadside attraction for more than 50 years. 

Things to do in Jamestown Dakota Thunder

Also in the area is the National Buffalo Museum. Take some time and stop in to learn why this animal has been so important to the history and ecology of North America. The museum is home to artifacts, information and artwork related to bison.

National Buffalo Museum Jamestown

It’s also home to Jamestown’s bison herd. You can stand on a hillside and watch these majestic creatures graze in the grassland below. You’ll definitely want to include time here on your list of things to do in Jamestown.

Travel tip: This museum has a fantastic gift shop and is a great place to purchase your ND souvenirs. 

Discover frontier life in Jamestown at Fort Seward

From 1872 to 1877, the Union Army set up camp in Jamestown at Fort Seward. From there, they mostly oversaw construction of the railroad through the area. Today, Fort Seward offers visitors a thoughtful interpretive center filled with firearms and other artifacts excavated from the site. 

It also offers camping, RV hookups, and the largest US flag on display in North Dakota.

Volunteers have worked hard to bring Fort Seward back to life, and they offer immersive living history programs, family activities, and more. 

Fort Seward immersion Jamestown

They also provide an opportunity to camp in conditions like the soldiers would have experienced. Tent, straw beds, campfire site, and a fantastic overlook view are all provided. Click HERE for more information or to book.

Have a meal at Sabir’s Buffalo Grill

Feeling famished? Head over to Sabir’s Buffalo Grill downtown. There you’ll find a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and bar with great drinks, beers, and wine. 

With a kitchen serving up everything from steaks and burgers to wraps, salads and pasta, this restaurant a must on your list of things to do in Jamestown. 

While you’re in the area…

After visiting Jamestown, head out and explore central North Dakota. Like in Jamestown, you’ll find a lot of immersive things to do.

Ronald Reagan Missile Site

Due to its location in the center of the North American continent, North Dakota is home to a number of nuclear missile bases. 

Oscar Zero Ronald Reagan Missile Site

Over the years, the military decommissioned many of the bases under the START Treaty with the former Soviet Union. While the Air Force destroyed the closed bases, North Dakota’s forward-thinking State Historical Society asked to preserve one of them. The Air Force Agreed, and so we have the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site

Stepping into the base means stepping back to the mid-1990’s, the day the base was closed. You see it just as the soldiers who worked there did, right down to the magazines of the era on the rack. 

As part of the tour, you get to ride the elevator down to the bunker below. You’ll view the control panels from which missiles could have been launched in the event of war. You’ll learn about the safeguards in place and actually be able to see the launch keys that could have ended the world as we know it. 

Ronald Reagan Missile Site launch control

The base’s address is listed as Cooperstown, though it is actually about 4 miles north of there in the middle of an empty field. It’s interesting to think of what lies below the surface…

Dakota Sun Gardens Winery

Near Carrington, North Dakota, you’ll find a winery unlike any other. Dakota Sun Gardens Winery sits in the middle of the prairie in beautiful gardens. Enjoy views of their expansive gardens while sipping wines they’ve carefully crafted from fruits grown on their property and nearby farms.

Dakota Sun Gardens

Haskap, aronia, chokecherry, and raspberry are some of the fruits used in crafting their wines. This results in unique flavors likely different than those you’ve had before. We had fun sampling and even purchased a couple of bottles of these award-winning wines to bring home with us.

Dakota Sun Gardens Winery awards

Pipestem Creek Lodging

If you’re looking for a quiet place to stay, one possibility is Pipestem Creek Lodging. Located just outside of Carrington, this property offers a variety of cabins and lodging types as well as RV hookups and is ideal for nature lovers and birders.

Pipestem Creek Lodging kitchen and dining

Here, you can stay in a cabin or in more rustic accommodations like a nicely renovated corn crib. We enjoyed exploring the well-maintained trails on the property and checking out the vintage farm antiques for sale. 

Pipestem Creek Lodging Corn Crib room

Central North Dakota

With so many things to see and do, Jamestown and central North Dakota are a must visit on any road trip through the midwest. We had so much fun immersing ourselves in this area, and we think you will, too.


Thanks to North Dakota Tourism and Discover Jamestown for hosting us and helping us discover historic Jamestown. To plan your visit to legendary North Dakota, CLICK HERE.

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