Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Teddy Roosevelt Fell in Love with North Dakota. Here’s Why…

“ I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota. It was here that the romance of my life began.”

Teddy Roosevelt fell in love. Famously, he was in love with North Dakota. Historically, he visited the badlands of ND first in 1883 to hunt buffalo as a 24 year old New York ‘dude’ ( or city boy). Then, he embraced the rugged outdoor cowboy life, and fell in love with the badlands of the Little Missouri River.

Teddy became a rancher and a cowboy

North Dakota ‘the love of his life’

Teddy claimed North Dakota was the ‘love of his life’. He returned there to grieve the death of both his mother and his wife on Valentine’s Day, 1884.

Later, Theodore Roosevelt served as 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909. However, he is best known as a conservationist and for his environmental legacy. His achivements are many. Firtly, he expanded the National Parks system. Secondly, he established 150 national forests, five national parks and 51 federal bird reserves, according to the U. S. Department of the Interior. Eventually Roosevelt sold his ranches but continued to return to ND after becoming President, until shortly before his death in 1919 at 60 years old.

TRNP. There are sites thoughout North Dakota dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt and memorialising his deeds.
Hiking in TRNP

Teddy Roosevelt Fell in Love with North Dakota. A National Park Was Named After Him

There are two units of the pristine Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota; the north and the south- plus the historical Elkhorn Ranch unit. Moreover, this is the only U.S. National Park named for a person. The Park is a haven for a variety of wildlife including buffalo, wild horses and donkeys, prairie dogs and an amazing array of birdlife. However, visitors must explore via the scenic loop drives or hikes as there are no buildings in the park.

Wild horses in the Badlands

The Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness area covers nearly 30,000 acres and was dedicated in 1978.

TR stayed at The Maltese Cross cabin on his first visits to the Dakota Territory in 1883 before he became President. Now, visitors to the Park can see it for themselves and happily it is located at the entrance to the South Unit.

Medora North Dakota

Presidential library to open in Medora in 2022

The Medora Musical is a live Americana-style show running nightly in summer in the open air Medora amphitheater. This tribute show depicts some of Teddy Roosevelt’s experiences in North Dakota.

Currently, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential library is under construction in Medora, North Dakota, near the entrance to TR National Park’s South Unit. Moreover, it will be both a museum and repository for his presidential record. The Library will be completed in 2022. Firstly, artifacts will include his RoughRiders’ uniform, his buffalo gun, his sword and hat, and 1884 diary. In this, he famously wrote on the day both his wife and mother died, “ The light has gone out of my life”.

Fargo North Dakota <3 Being North of Normal …and so will you.

Five ways Fargo explodes the myths about this cool North Dakota city (spoiler alert: expect the unexpected!):


Downtown Fargo ND Fargo North Dakota

So far, so good! This city shot to fame around the world among cinema goers when Fargo, the 1996 Coen brothers’ dark comedy film hit the screen and won the Oscar for best original screenplay.

It depicted a cartoon stereotypical picture of a quirky, almost mythically miserable Midwestern town. But Fargo the town wants you to know it’s moved on and suggests you do likewise.

No.1: Fargo North Dakota is a hick town out in the middle of nowhere.

Fargo is actually a bustling progressive university city ( the largest community in North Dakota) only an hour’s drive across the North Dakota border from the large metropolis that is Minneapolis-Saint Paul. It is admittedly fairly flat but far from in the middle of nowhere!  For a midwestern city Fargo is a little off-center: in a good way. Hence the slogan, North of Normal. Visit Fargo and you’ll find it surprising and far above the norm.

Red River Fargo

The Red River devides Fargo form Moorhead, its sister city.

Oh and these days Fargo is formally known as Fargo -Moorhead as it is bordered on the Minnesota side by its sister city. The Red River runs through the two communities and is the natural boundary.

No 2: The weather sucks in Fargo.

Fargo gets cold in winter. Really cold. Fargo is not bitterly cold all year long and is far from the barren tundra depicted in the movie or the TV show of the same name. Did we mention snowmobiling, ice fishing, Frostival Festival??

Snoga- yoga at the Frostival Festival, Fargo, North Dakota     Fargo North Dakota Frostival

Frostival, Snowga, winter, Fargo, North DakotaThere are snowy winters like many similar locations in the US but from April to October Fargo has a short-but-sweet spring, followed by a hot summer (think 80–90-degree days on average), and a spectacular fall or autumn.

No.3: Fargo North Dakota natives speak with a thick accent and say funny things.

Well yes, there is an accent and a charming Midwestern way of saying things that is very appealing. But no, not everyone in Fargo says ‘don’tcha know’ at the end of every sentence!

But contemporary culture of all types abounds in Fargo; Fargo Blues Festival, Fargo Film Festival, Fiber Arts Festival and so much more. If you’re stuck in the 90’s, and the Woodchipper from the film is your must-do thing, you must first of all visit the Fargo Visitors Center where you can still have your picture taken with it wearing the famous trappers’ hats.

RedHawks play Fargo North Dakota    

The woodchipper on display form Fargo the Movie

Fargo movie woodchipper, Credit: North Dakota Tourism

No.4:  There’s nothing much to do in Fargo North Dakota.

Fargo is a mecca for young people and has developed all the vibrant facilities and fun that a university town should have- and then some. There are theaters, museums, breweries and major events, concerts and festivals. There are people here from all walks of life and from around the globe as Fargo (and North Dakota generally) is known for its friendliness.

Attractions are many and varied and appeal to all ages: from the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, Red river Zoo, The Fargo Air Museum, the Plains Art Museum and the historic  Art Deco theater, to Bonanzaville, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra or Opera, to Fort Abercrombie and the Bergquist Pioneer Cabin, you can satisfy, your craving for art, culture, history and entertainment here.

Fargo ND entertainment  Street Fair Fargo orth Dakota

The FargoDome holds up to 25,000 people and receives popular attractions from Monster Jam to Elton John and Celine Dion.

No.5 You wouldn’t want to live here (but want to know why the locals do)

Well, many people would disagree. In fact,  Fargo North Dakota was  named #8 on’s 2020 List of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. … and 6th Happiest City in the U.S.

It has the amenities of a large city with the attitude of a small one. While centered around agriculture it i s fast developing as a place for diverse and forward-thinking entrepreneurs and tech start-ups ( Fargo has been dubbed the Silicon Prairie).

Fargo art deco theatre Classic Fargo North Dakota  Fargo a thriving modern ND city

If your needs are more prosaic and great food and beverages are your scene, Fargo’s got you covered. Oh, and FYI to translate some local jargon: to some folks here, supper means dinner. Dinner means lunch. But breakfast pretty much still means breakfast.

From up-and-coming local craft breweries to uniquely local dining options you’ll be spoilt for choice. From Himalayan Yak, to Sons of Norway to Twenty Below Coffee, it’s a culinary voyage of discovery. Or take advice from a local foodie and sample charcuterie, coffee sand creamery delights:

Fargo is a hidden gem of nightlife, food, art, and frankly, fun.

Or if sport is your jam?

Fargo has 17 ice rinks, 7 full size golf courses, 58 basketball courts and 30 baseball fields; well, you get the picture! If you’re a spectator, the Fargo Force is a tier one Ice Hockey team and there is baseball, horseracing, American football and on it goes.

American football in Fargo North Dakota  Fargo North Dakota has 7 golf courses

So,  geez, come and experience Fargo, North Dakota; you just might want to stay awhile, doncha know?  You betcha!!

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Frago North Dakota- North of Normal