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Cross Border Sample Itinerary
With 3 final options making itinerary 11 Days, 12 Days or 14 Day
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are not identical twins. Minneapolis’ contemporary, sleek skyscrapers contrast with St. Paul’s European-style architecture. The city tour includes Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall, the Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater and Sculpture Garden. In St. Paul, Summit Avenue leads to the St. Paul Cathedral overlooking the State Capitol, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota Science Museum, James J. Hill House and Minnesota History Center, Mall of America, the USA’s largest shopping/entertainment center, beckons shoppers with 500 stores, restaurants, nightclubs, Nickelodeon Universe and Underwater Adventures.
Enjoy an entertaining evening at a play in the Hennepin Avenue Theater District, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theater or Mystic Lake Casino.
Overnight: Twin Cities metropolitan area
Fargo-West Fargo-Moorhead Area
SCHEELS ALL SPORTS features over 85 Specialty Shops under one roof, making it the ultimate destination for athletes, fans and outdoor sport enthusiasts. FARGO THEATRE is a 1926 Vintage movie palace and has a restored Wurlitzer pipe organ. THE PLAINS ART MUSEUM is one of the largest art museum between Minneapolis and Seattle offers three galleries for your enjoyment. HERITAGE-HJEMKOMST CENTER displays an authentic handmade Viking longship that was sailed to Norway in 1982.Tour the FARGO AIR MUSEUM and see these beautiful Aircraft on display. Stroll through BONANZAVILLE’S acres of historic buildings, including a sod house, a church, court house and country store.
Tour the UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA CENTER FOR AEROSPACE SCIENCES A leader in aviation training and research development Tours feature. Also on campus is the RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA, the “finest facility of its kind in the world.” And the NORTH DAKOTA MUSEUM OF ART and exhibits of regional, national and international art housed in three galleries.
Dinner and Overnight in Grand Forks.
Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital (pop. 670,000) is a cosmopolitan city with an exciting and diverse range of attractions, activities, dining, shopping and people. Discover some pieces of Manitoba history with theatrical walking tours at The Forks, a riverwalk of shops, restaurants and special events; the architecture and atmosphere of The Exchange District and the old world charm of St. Boniface.
Board the Nonsuch, a life-size replica of a ship that sailed from England to Hudson Bay at the Manitoba Museum. Discover the flying machines of the north at the Western Canada Aviation Museum or take in the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Legislative Building.
Paddle canoes at Oak Hammock Marsh (2 hrs) or stroll through the Sculpture and English Gardens at Assiniboine Park and learn how Winnie the Pooh was named after this city (1 hr). Evening activities include dinner theater, Broadway musicals, gaming and ethnic and neighborhood dining.
Follow the Trans-Canada/Yellowhead Highway to Riding Mountain National Park, a wildlife mecca, lush forest and lake oasis in the middle of the prairies. Stop at Fort la Reine Museum in Portage la Prairie (1 hr). Take time to smell the lilies at Neepawa’s Lily Nook and visit the famous Margaret Laurence Museum (1.5 hrs).
Riding Mountain National Park is wild and wonderful – a fascinating blend of forests, lakes, cultures and people. Some of the largest elk, moose and black bears can be found in the park. Wasagaming or Clear Lake, the resort townsite, offers shops, restaurants, a movie theater, a museum, visitor center, marina, accommodations, miles of walking and hiking trails, a championship golf course and so much more.
After an early morning wildlife tour along Highway 19 travel south to Brandon, Manitoba’s second largest city with a population of 42,000. Its rich agricultural heritage is showcased at the Daly House Museum (1 hr) and the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum where RCAF pilots trained for World War II (1 hr).
A warm prairie welcome awaits in Boissevain, voted as one of Canada’s most beautiful towns. It features outdoor art murals, the Moncur Gallery, Walkinshaw Place’s map of Canada fields and Dueck’s Cedar Chalet for a homemade meal (4 hrs). Boissevain is located just north of the International Peace Gardens and an ideal stopping place.
The International Peace Garden (2 hrs), just 12 miles north of Dunseith, is a symbol of peace between Canada and the United States. The 2,300-acre botanical monument spans the international boundary and honors the longest unfortified border in the world. The International Peace Garden is one of the most spectacular floral gardens on the continent with more than 140,000 annuals planted each year.
The Turtle Mountain Byway (.5 hr) travels 24 miles through the tree-covered Turtle Mountains. Here the visitor can enjoy beautiful lakes, lush foliage, wildflowers, and an abundance of wildlife.
In Minot, visit the Scandinavian Heritage Park (.5 hr). This heritage park features a typical Norwegian house, stabbur and statues of famous skiers. The Roosevelt Zoo (1 hr) offers educational displays, zoo tours and over 200 mammals, birds, and reptiles. Home to the Fifth Bomb Wing, the Minot Air Force Base (1 hr) offers drive-around tours of the facilities and the flight line of aircraft.
Lake Sakakawea is 609 square miles and is formed behind Garrison Dam, near Riverdale. It is the largest lake in North Dakota, as well as the largest man-made lake wholly within one state. The lake was named for the young Indian woman, Sakakawea, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Visit the ruins of an ancient Indian village last occupied in 1845 by the Hidatsa and Mandan Indians at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (1.5 hrs) in Stanton. This is also the site of a beautiful state-of-the-art museum dedicated to preserving the culture of the Plains Indians. The grounds contain a reconstructed earthlodge and an array of artifacts from the Plains Indian culture.
In Washburn, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (1.5 hrs) is a world-class interpretive site along the route Lewis and Clark traveled on their “voyage of discovery” almost 200 years ago. Nearby, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is the reconstructed site of Fort Mandan (1 hr), winter home of Lewis and Clark in 1804-1805. A new visitor’s center at the fort opened in June 2002.
Located in Bismarck is the North Dakota Heritage Center (1 hr). This State Museum has one of the largest collections of Plains Indian artifacts, second only to the Smithsonian. There are also displays of North Dakota’s varied military and agricultural history.
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a 977-acre park located on the banks of the Missouri River just south of Mandan, Bismarck’s sister city. The park’s history goes back more than 300 years and includes: The On-A-Slant Indian Village (1 hr), which was once home to a thriving Mandan Indian population in the mid-1600s that lived in earthlodges along the river. Take a walk to the reconstructed and furnished earthlodges of the Mandan Indians. Near the village is the Fort Abraham Lincoln Visitor’s Museum (.5 hr), displaying exhibits relating to the life of the Mandan Indians and the military history of the Fort. Tour the Custer House (1 hr), the last home and command of General George and Libby Custer.
Enjoy a relaxing ride on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat (1-2 hrs). This 100-foot paddlewheeler features twin decks and a 70-foot cabin, and can carry more than 150 people. There are several tour options available.
Make a stop in Richardton at the Assumption Abbey (1 hr), a historic Catholic Church that was built in 1904. The Abbey library, gift shop, wine cellar and shop are open by request. The Dakota Dinosaur Museum (.5 hr) in Dickinson features a life-size Triceratops and Pachycephalosaurus outside the entrance and 10 full-scale dinosaurs in a central display.
Adjacent to the dinosaur museum is the Joachim Regional Museum (.5 hr), which contains artifacts and rotating displays from southwest North Dakota. Medora is the gateway to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This authentic Old West cowtown was founded in 1883 by the Marquis de Mores and named for his wife. It offers something for everyone. A musical extravaganza, trail rides, mountain biking, hiking, museums, many gift shops and restaurants are bustling during the summer season.
In Medora, tour the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site (1 hr). This elegant 26-room, two-story mansion, built in 1883, was the summer residence of the famous French nobleman who founded Medora. The chateau contains many of the original furnishings and personal effects of the de Mores family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Museum of the Badlands (.5 hr) offers displays of Indian regalia and artifacts, wildlife relics and wax figures of frontier days. View the unique collection of antique dolls and toys housed in the VonHoffman House built by the Marquis de Mores at the Doll House Museum (.5 hr). Sit back and enjoy Bully the Play (1 hr), a one-man performance from the Broadway play presenting the life of Theodore Roosevelt as president, father, husband and hunter in the North Dakota Badlands.
Experience the Pitchfork Fondue, June – September, (1 hr), a unique western steak meal served at the Tjaden Center on the bluffs, offering a spectacular view of the scenic Badlands and the town of Medora. After the Fondue, sit back and enjoy the Medora Musical, June – September, (2 hrs) which is a broadway-style musical show staged in the Burning Hills Amphitheatre, carved into a Badlands canyon on the edge of Medora. Western entertainment and a patriotic salute are part of each show. This variety show will fill your evening with foot-stomping family entertainment.
Interstate 94 East (approximately 220 miles from Medora) Jamestown community is home to the Frontier Village & World’s Largest Buffalo. The Frontier Village is home to a 60-ton concrete buffalo, buffalo herd and a pioneer village. The National Buffalo Museum & White Cloud & Buffalo Herd museum houses artifacts, many original art works and has an observation point for the live buffalo herd, which includes “White Cloud,” a rare albino buffalo.
Valley City (60 miles east of Jamestown on Interstate 94)
Rosebud Visitor Center houses 1881 superintendent’s railroad car., 1 of only 8 coaches with over 700 antiques being displayed throughout the car. The North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame is also located at the visitor center.
Historic Bridges Tour (City-wide): 8 beautiful and historic bridges. The Hi-Line Bridge is 126 feet high and is the longest, and one of the highest bridges on the former Northern Pacific Railway. Medicine Wheel Park was constructed from local rocks, the 28 spokes radiating from the center represent the lunar cycle. Unique American Indian astronomy.
SHEYENNE RIVER VALLEY NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY (63 miles, from Lake Ashtabula, north of Valley City, south to Lisbon along Barnes County Highway 21): North Dakota’s only National recognized Scenic Byway.
3 to 3 ½ hours driving time
Deadwood, an Old West town started with the gold rush of 1876. Highlights in Deadwood include historic tours which depart from Main Street every hour in summer months which tell you the history and legends of characters such as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice and Potato Creek Johnny. Other highlights include the ’76 Museum which contains the old buggies and wagons from early days, the Adams Museum, the historic Franklin Hotel with rooms named after those who stayed their and historic Main Street itself. Gaming was brought back in 1989, but has always been a part of Deadwood history. Tatanka: Story of the Bison commissioned by Kevin Costner, with an interpretive center and 17 larger than life bronze sculptures, including three Indian hunters on horseback chasing 14 rampaging bison off a cliff, the Adams Museum and House, Mount Moriah Cemetary – where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried, Saloon #10 – the only museum in a bar where Wild Bill Hickok was shot. In Lead there is Presidents Park, Black Hills Mining Museum and Homestake Visitor Center.
From Rapid City and travel to Badlands National Park via I-90 east to Exit 110 at Wall. Travel on Highway 240 (Badlands Loop Road), a state scenic byway through Badlands National Park, a 244,000 acre wilderness area formed during the Oligocene age. This fossil-laden sea bed offers spires, pinnacles and wide views. Stop at a few of the scenic overlooks to see the vistas. (1 ½ hours) Morning and evening are the best time for photo opportunities.
Tour the Custer State Park wildlife loop and watch for bison, pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, prairie dogs, coyotes, mountain goats and bighorn sheep in this 73,000 acres wildlife preserve that is the second largest state park in the U.S.
Overnight in Rapid City
Beginning in Sundance, you’ll start tracking the footsteps of Butch Cassidy and his famous partner, The Sundance Kid, who earned his reputation and nickname in this Black Hills town after a stint in the local jail. Then it’s off on Highway 14 on a scenic 30-mile drive through the mountains to Devils Tower National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm). Rising 1,280 feet from the valley floor, this monolith was proclaimed the United States’ first national monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving taking place in the world at this time. The face has been completed and work has begun on the horse’s head. First stop is the theater, where a short film will show you the progress and work on the carving. Also offered are the Indian Museum of North America, sculptor’s home, gift shops and a restaurant which is open during summer months.
Tour Mount Rushmore National Memorial, offering a visitor center and museum, amphitheater used for the evening lighting ceremony in summer months, the presidential walking trails, gift shop and restaurant which serves 3 meals daily. You might catch a glimpse of mountain goats along the road as you depart Mount Rushmore.
Overnight in Cheyenne, WY – 307 miles -5 hours driving time
Driving Time: 8 hours Distance: 811 km (504 miles)
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park. It is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world’s most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. www.nps.gov/yell
Drive the upper loop of Yellowstone National Park.
Visitors will enjoy:
The Canyon Area – home to a new visitors’ center that explains such things as how the thermal features in the park came about and the benefits of forest fires in the park.
Lower Falls of Yellowstone – watch the Yellowstone River plummet 90 meters into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone creating a beautiful site from Artist’s Point.
Upper Falls of Yellowstone – located near Canyon, Upper Falls walkway is an up-close look at where the Yellowstone River falls 33 meters. Feel the power of the river as you watch it crash below the walk.
Mammoth Hot Springs – formed by years of trickling water, these calcium deposits now show shades of green, red, orange, white and brown.
Overnight Old Faithful
Enter Yellowstone National Park. With its thousands of thermal features, waterfalls, wildlife, and spectacular views, Yellowstone National Park is like nowhere else on earth.
Drive the lower loop of Yellowstone seeing:
West Thumb – a variety of small geysers, fountain paint pots, and hot springs
Lake Yellowstone –
Fishing Bridge – wonderful clear water flowing where you will be able to see fish swimming in the river. There is also a chance you could see a bear in this area.
Old Faithful Geyser – one of Yellowstone National Parks most famous attractions, Old Faithful Geyser erupts 46 meters (150 ft) into the air about every hour and a half
Grand Prismatic Hot Springs – the largest hot spring in the park, featuring wondrous blue and green shades throughout the spring.
Old Faithful Inn – built in the winter of 1903-1904, largely using materials such as lodge pole pine trees and rhyolite stone from Yellowstone National Park. The inn was a modern marvel when it originally opened in 1904 featuring luxuries of electric lights and steam heat.
Leave Yellowstone National Park and head south into pristine Grand Teton National Park. With its mountain peaks reaching high into the wide open Wyoming sky and its beautiful lakes and streams, the park is a paradise for hikers and sightseers alike.
Some of the must see attractions are:
The Visitors Center at Moose Junction – the visitors’ center investigates the many different types of wildlife in the park, gives directions to all of the park’s sites and describes the history of the park using a hands-on approach.
Jenny Lake Lodge – enjoy a wonderful meal or spend the night in one of the lodge’s quaint cabins, just beneath the high mountain peaks of the park. If you are only able to stop for a short amount of time, take a boat from South Jenny Lake to the head of Hidden Falls trail.
Jackson Lake Lodge – at the northern most point of Grand Teton National Park. Make a quick stop to view the gorgeous scenery from one of the lodge’s front decks. The decks offer visitors many spectacular panoramic views of the park as well as a wonderful opportunity to see wildlife.
Once in historic Jackson, enjoy a shoot out in the streets (melodrama) or enjoy the open air shopping that town square has to offer. There are numerous shops, multiple galleries, four elk antler arches, and even the world famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, which are all located on the main street.
Activities in Jackson could include: a float trip (scenic) down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, or a whitewater adventure, a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, a wildlife watching trip through Grand Teton National Park, a chuck wagon dinner, or the Jackson Hole Rodeo (if available).
Fossil Butte National Monument contains millions of years of fossil remains on open display.
Continue to Salt Lake City
Overnight from Salt Lake City (81 miles or 131 kilometers – 1 hour 20 minutes)
A monument to Mormon pioneers crowns a peak above Salt Lake, where Church leaders proclaimed “this is the place” for thousands of Mormon pioneers who traveled in covered wagons west to Salt Lake in 1847. Adjacent to the monuments is Old Deseret Village, a cluster of homes, shops and buildings dating back 100 years and staffed by friendly volunteers in period garb.
Depart from Salt Lake City