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Minot [3] is a city in Ward County, in north central North Dakota with about 40,888 people in 2010 Census. Known as the Magic City, it's a significant rail hub (for freight, anyway). However, its location deep within North America and off the Interstate System generally means you don't see Minot if you don't plan on it.


A view of Minot, looking South

The Souris River goes through the middle of town, carving a valley in the middle of flat prairie. The town arose in 1880s as a stop along the Great Northern railway. During Prohibition the city became a nexus for alcohol smuggling. After World War II the city settled down into quiet suburbanation. There's a US Air Force base north of town. You can drive to Canada in just over an hour.

Minot is a rather unusual city, though possessing levels of services similar to much larger cities, it struggles between small-town and cosmopolitan attitudes. Civic growth is not greatly helped by the climate. T-shirts available at the airport have this motto: "Why not Minot? Freezin's the reason!" However, it should be noted that while North Dakota is typically associated with a cold climate, the weather actually has its extremes, and Minot reaches temperatures of 90s (sometimes even 100s) in the summer months.

  • Minot Convention & Visitors Bureau 1020 South Broadway (Located in the Scandinavian Heritage Visitors Center) [4]
  • Minot Air Force Base "Only the Best Come North" [5]
  • Minot Area Development Corporation [6]

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Minot International Airport (IATA: MOT) (ICAO: KMOT), [7] is served by daily jet service on Delta Air Lines [8] from Delta's hub at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. [9] It also has daily round-trip jet service to Denver on United Airlines, and weekly round-trip jet service to Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa on Allegiant.

To reach Downtown Minot by transit, you can take the North Central route, operated by City Transit.

By car[edit]

Minot's location towards the center of the continent places it well off the beaten path for travellers. Most commonly, visitors are passing by. Often they are taking the scenic route west through Montana (or coming from that direction). Also, many Canadian tour buses bound for points east (Minneapolis, Chicago, etc) will cross into the US through Portal, and stop in Minot for fuel and a quick bite.

The major routes through the city are US 2 (east-west), US 83 (north-south), and US 52 (northwest-southeast). US 2 intersects with Interstate 29 in Grand Forks, US 83 intersects with Interstate 94 in Bismarck, and US 52 intersects with Interstate 94 in Jamestown. Successors to 83 and 52 also intersect with the Trans-Canada Highway.

By train[edit]

  • Amtrak, 400 1st Ave SW, phone 852-0358.

Minot is a stop on Amtrak [10]'s Empire Builder line, which goes between Chicago and Seattle/Portland. Minot is one of three layovers between the Twin Cities and Spokane, as it is a refueling stop. There is one train in each direction every day: Westbound trains pass through about 9AM; Eastbound trains pass through about 9PM.

Freight rail service to Minot is provided by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific Railways.

By bus[edit]

  • Minot Bus Depot, 300 18th Ave SW, phone 852-2477

A local company provides road transportation to and from Grand Forks ($45.05) and Bismarck ($25.80) every day except Wednesdays and Saturdays, and also to New Town ($13) on weekdays.

Primary interstate carrier Greyhound Lines [11] serves none of these cities; though from Grand Forks, Jefferson Lines [12] connects to Greyhound in Winnipeg and Fargo. From Bismarck, Rimrock Stages [13] connects to Greyhound in Fargo and Billings.

Get around[edit]

Unless you've brought a bicycle and happen to be in good shape, you aren't getting anywhere in Minot without a car. Some public transit is available at certain times, but for visitors it's more trouble than it's worth. City Transit operates hourly between 7AM and 7PM Monday-Friday.

Car rental[edit]

Avis (838-7665), Hertz (852-0104), and National (852-5115) located at the airport. There is a Rent-a-Wreck (838-0098) at a Sinclair gas station three (hilly) blocks south of the Amtrak station. There is an Enterprise location (838-3800) on the south end of town. Enterprise and Rent-a-Wreck will pick you up; Avis, Hertz, and National are oriented primarily towards airline travelers.


Taxi service is also available.

See[edit][add listing]

Winter view of Minot looking southward.
  • Minot Railroad Museum, 19 1st Street NE, 701-852-7091. The museum has provided its guests with a glimpse at the fascinating history of the westward railroad expansion since its opening in 1986.
  • Riverwalk of Minot, A 2.5 mile walking and biking trail along the Souris River which is accessible from a number of Minot attractions including the Railroad Museum and Roosevelt Park.
  • Roosevelt Park and Zoo, 1219 Burdick Expressway East, 701-857-4166, [14]. May: 10AM-6PM; June-August: 10AM-8PM; September: 10AM-6PM; October: Weekdays 10AM-5PM (Weather Permitting). Roosevelt Park is the city's largest park. Features include a zoo, a swimming pool, and a 2/5ths scale railroad you can take a ride on around the park, in addition to gardens, walking paths, picnic shelters, tennis courts, and a band shell. Be sure to check out the sundial near the train station and the statue of Theodore Roosevelt in the southwest part of the park.
  • Scandinavian Heritage Center, 1020 S. Broadway, 701-852-9161, [15]. A 14 acre park highlighting the Scandanvian roots of the region. Feature of the park include a 230-year-old house from Norway and a stave church.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The North Dakota State Fair, State Fairgrounds, 2005 Burdick Expressway East, [16]. The North Dakota State Fair is one of the biggest entertainment events of the year, bringing big name concerts, carnival rides, and fairway fare. The fair runs 9 days, from the second-to-last Friday in July to the last Saturday in July.
  • Norsk Høstfest, State Fairgrounds, 2005 Burdick Expressy East, [17]. The Norsk Høstfest is North America's largest Scandinavian heritage festival, running more than 25 years. The Høstfest, like the State Fair, brings in big-name entertainers to Minot, along with a lot of other folks! The Norsk Høstfest runs 4 days, starting the first Wednesday in October to the following Saturday.
  • Lillian and Coleman Taube Museum of Art, 2 N. Main St. (corner of Main St. & Central Ave. downtown), 701-838-4445, [1]. Tues - Fri: 10:30 am - 5:30 pm Sat: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. This venue has over 1600 square feet of gallery space, for emerging and established talent locally, regionally, and internationally. Showcase guest artists and member’s work, as well as maintaining a permanent collection. Also located within the gallery is the Museum Gift Shop primarily consisting of ND artists work. Tours are welcome anytime. Admission is by suggested contribution..  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shopping opportunities are ample in Minot. Souvenirs are available at the airport.

  • Downtown Minot, northeast of the intersection of Burdick Expressway and Broadway, has small shops and restaurants, particularly along Main Street and Central Avenue.
  • Dakota Square Mall, [18], just off the US 2/52 bypass on 16th Street SW. Target, Sears, Herbergers, J C Penney, and Scheels Sports. Numerous specialty shops. The mall is in the middle of a shopping district that grew around it, including Hobby Lobby, Super Wal-Mart, and Best Buy.
  • Town and Country Center, a strip mall located on Broadway. Much of it is office space but there is a drugstore, a variety store, and a travel agency.
  • Arrowhead Mall, a strip mall on 16th Street SW quite a bit north of the mall. There's a drugstore, a supermarket, some restaurants, and some offices.
  • Budget Music and Video, 1944 S. Broadway, phone 852-5321, A locally owned record shop with a large collection of new and used cds, body jewelry, incense, lighters, posters, and paintings amongst other odds and ends.
  • Thunder Mountain Rockfest, Rock Dakota Ranch, Sawyer (CR 23 N of Sawyer), 7015091065, [2]. North Dakota's Party of the Summer. 17 mainstage bands from the 70's to today. Great music and and a great time.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food is pretty cheap in Minot. You're looking at $10 tops per person in most cases, maybe $20 at some of the nicer sit-down restaurants. If you really want to pull out on the stops, it is theoretically possible to spend $50 a plate at a handful of places in town... if you care to.

You will not need a reservation for any restaurant in town. Some restaurants do have private rooms that can be reserved, which are generally for business or political meetings.


  • Charlie's Main Street Cafe, 113 South Main St. (Downtown), phone 839-5900. American fare.
  • Schatz Econostop, 1712 20th Ave SE (on the 2/52 Bypass East), phone 852-5044. One of two main truck stops in Minot, Econostop provides good food at a very reasonable price. Open 24 hours.


  • Applebee's, 2302 15th St SW (Dakota Square Mall), phone 839-2130. It's an Applebee's. Open Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, and it has a bar. Private rooms available.
  • Behm's Backroad Bar & Cafe, 3800 2/52 Bypass West, phone 838-4029. Daily specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two homemade soups daily. All desserts are baked fresh in the kitchen. Hot Stuff Pizza is also served in the bar and restaurant. Restaurant hours are 5am-11pm daily. Call ahead for takeout orders too.
  • Homesteader's Restaurant, 2501 2/52 Bypass West, phone 838-2274. Down-home cooking.
  • China Star, 1631 S Broadway, phone 838-3833. Chinese Buffet and Mongolian Barbecue. Open lunch and dinner. Local delivery.
  • Planet Pizza, 220 South Broadway, phone 852-1700. Pizza and Video Games! The place to take your kids. Party room available. Local delivery.
  • Royal Fork Buffet, 1420 24th Ave SW (Dakota Square Mall), phone 838-6581. American buffet; fresh cut roast beef and ham, variety of other dishes. Private rooms available.
  • Sammy's Pizza, 400 North Broadway, phone 852-4486. Italian cuisine. Local delivery.
  • Bad Lands grill and Saloon, 2300 15th St SW (directly south of Dakota Square Mall). A new franchise operated by Apple Corp., owners of the Applebee's chain. Focus is on seafood and steak prepared in a southern style with family friendly atmossphere. Open 10AM to 10PM, bar open until 11PM. Full bar and wine list similar to other chain restaurants. Call ahead for a private room reservation (large parties only).
  • Yenti's Villa, 22 South Main St (Downtown), phone 852-9180. Japanese and Chinese food made to order. Open lunch and dinner Tu-Sa, sushi available after 5PM weekdays and all day Saturday. Try the iced pearl teas (bubble tea), home made pancake, spring roll, and dumplings.


  • Primo, at the Grand International, 1505 North Broadway, phone 852-3161. Italian and American cuisine. Biggest list of wines, scotches, and cognacs in town. If there is a place to wine and dine in Minot, this is it. Open 24 hours. Private rooms available. This restaurant does not take reservations.
  • Seven's, at the Vegas Motel 2315 North Broadway, phone 852-4343. Live Lobster and Seafood, American and Italian cuisine. Also has a bar. Private rooms available. This restaurant does not take reservations.
  • Ten North Main, 10 N. Main St. (Downtown), phone 837-1010. An upscale restaurant located across the street from an old train depot. Co-owned by actor Josh Duhamel, a Minot native. Private rooms available. Wi-Fi hotspot. This restaurant does take reservations.
  • Michael's, 515 20th Avenue SW, phone 837-6133. Michael's Restaurant offers Italian/American cuisine in a beautiful Italian/Bistro setting. The menu includes pasta, seafood, chicken, ribs, and steaks. For a special night out, come visit Michael's. Located near the Harley Davidson store. Don't be surprised if the owner stops by your table to see how you are doing. Great service!

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Blue Rider, 118 1st Avenue Southeast, 701-852-9050

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Minot during a snowfall

Accommodations are easy to find in Minot -- except during the State Fair and Høstfest. Be sure to reserve your rooms well in advance if you're planning to stay during late July and early October.


  • Super 8 Motel, 1315 N Broadway, phone 852-1817, toll free reservations 1-800-800-8000. $30-$60
  • Select Inn, 225 22nd Ave NW, phone 852-3411, toll free reservations 1-800-641-1000. Accepts Canadian dollars at par. $30-60
  • Guest Lodge, 1937 North Broadway (across from the airport), 701-852-5600. Canadian at Par.


  • Comfort Inn, 1515 22nd Ave SW (near Dakota Square Mall), phone 852-2201, toll free reservations 1-800-424-6423. $70-$100
  • Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 900 24th Ave SW (near Dakota Square Mall), phone 838-2424, toll free reservations 1-800-228-2800. $70-$100
  • Hyatt House Minot, 2301 Landmark Drive NW, +1 208 838 7300 [19]. An extended stay hotel for business & leisure travelers located near the Dakota Square Mall, Minot Air Force Base, and near Minot State University.
  • Days Inn, 2100 4th Street SW (near the Broadway and 2/52 Bypass interchange), phone 888-327-6466. $50-$80
  • Dakota Inn, 2401 2/52 Bypass West (west of Dakota Square Mall), phone 800-862-5003. $40-80
  • Best Western Kelly Inn, 1510 26th Ave SW (near Dakota Square Mall), phone 800-735-5868. $50-75
  • The Vegas Motel, 2315 North Broadway (near the airport), phone 701-839-3000. $79-$109


  • Grand International, 1505 North Broadway, phone 800-735-4493. Located on North Hill near the Airport, the Grand International is widely regarded as the best hotel in town, though this may simply be a local conceit as the Holiday Inn provides about the same level of service. $60-$95
  • Holiday Inn, 2200 Burdick Expressway East, phone 800-468-9968. Almost immediately across Burdick Expressway from the fairgrounds, the Holiday Inn rivals the International Inn as the best in town. $65-$100

Stay safe[edit]

There is little crime in Minot. Most residents do lock their doors, but in wintertime many people leave their cars running in parking lots as they run their errands.

Probably the most significant danger comes from city traffic. Pedestrians should yield to oncoming traffic -- most people will not stop to let you by, even at crosswalks. Also, drunk and exhibition driving is a risk late on weekends. Stay alert on the roads at those times.


The telephone area code for Minot is 701.

Minot has excellent telecommunications infrastructure; the telephone system is modern, internet access is ubiquitous, and cellular coverage within the city is excellent. Analog and digital PCS, CDMA and GSM networks are available. Coverage in the city and along the roads is excellent. Coverage gaps deep in rural territory are quickly being filled. Local telephone provider SRT [20] is a partner with Sprint and Verizon Wireless, among others. Alltel Wireless also maintains infrastructure in the area; while its native service is based on CDMA technology, it offers a parallel GSM network that some carriers such as T-Mobile US use for roaming. AT&T Wireless now offers limited coverage in the city but not in the surrounding rural areas.

Minot has a web cafe, the Bagel Stop, on South Broadway. Public Internet access is also available at the Public Library (next to the Amtrak station) and Minot State University (North Broadway). Free WiFi access is available in pockets downtown and around MSU.

Get out[edit]

  • Rugby (70 miles E) is the geographical center of North America. From Minot, take US 2 east and drive for about one hour.
  • The International Peace Garden (120 miles NE) is on the Canadian border near Dunseith. From Minot, take US 2 to Rugby and turn north on ND 3, park is on left at border crossing.
  • Lake Sakakawea (40 miles S) provides ample water recreational opportunities. From Minot, take US 83 south and drive about half an hour, US 83 crosses the lake. The cities of Garrison and New Town have boater services.
  • 4 Bears Casino near New Town (60 miles SW) has a wide variety of entertainment. From Minot, take US 83 south about fifteen minutes, then turn west at ND 23 and drive about forty minutes.

Routes through Minot
WillistonBurlington  W noframe E  TownerGrand Forks
EstevanBurlington  NW noframe SE  BalfourJamestown
Jct W ND-5.png E
 N noframe S  MaxBismarck

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