Minot, fourth largest city in North Dakota, is known as "Magic City" and is home to Minot State University.
Minot's history was sprinkled with lawlessness, causing it to acquire another nickname ? "Little Chicago". During the Prohibition, a web of tunnels throughout the town, were used by Al Capone's cronies as escape routes for their smuggling operation.
Despite its somewhat illicit past, Minot has a genteel nature. Home to its own symphony orchestra, several dance troupes, and an art museum, Minot is an oxymoron. And that's part of its charm.
With nearly 40% of its population being of Norwegian descent, there is an unmistakable Scandinavian influence here. Each October, the town hosts the largest Scandinavian-American festival in North America (the Norsk Hostfest), a Scandinavian gala marked by colorful costumes, exquisite craftsmanship, and mouth-watering cuisine.
Other interesting points include the North Dakota State Fair, Roosevelt Park Zoo and Taube Museum of Art, housed in the old Union National Bank (circa 1925), a national landmark.
Eating out is a casual affair. Dozens of restaurants serve American, Italian, steak and seafood dishes. Shopping is concentrated at Dakota Square, a combination mall-hotel-amusement park with a 126-room hotel and waterpark. There's also a 9-screen movie theater and food court.
For the active crowd, there are several golf courses, the best of which is the Minot Country Club, rated one of the top five in the state by Golf Digest. Within an hour's ride, there's fishing, hiking, swimming and camping at Lake Metigoshe State Park in Rugby. Lake Sakawea State Park in Pick City has hiking trails, and Warsing Dam has facilities for boating, as well.
With the hush of the prairie interrupted only by the warbling of wild birds, Minot is a paradise for nature lovers. The town, located at a central artery between five different wildlife preserves, is a favorite among bird watchers. Among the many avian species found here are the Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague's Pipit, and the Chestnut-collared Longspur.
Minot is a charming boomtown in the north-central section of the Peace Garden State on Interstate-83.