To us in the Midwest, Labor Day signals the end of summer and beginning of fall. In order to savor the last moments of summer, many chose to embark on day trips to regional landmarks, state parks or roadside attractions. Whether you're willing to travel a few hours or just in town, here are my top 10 must-stop recommendations for North Dakota and Minnesota.
If you would like to pick your own stops, use this interactive map.
1. Enchanted Highway
100 1/2 Avenue SW, Gladstone N.D.
The Enchanted Highway begins at Exit 72 on Interstate 94 near Gladstone and terminates 32 miles down the road in the small town of Regent, N.D. See a variety of larger than life statues including Pheasants on the Prairie, Geese in Flight or Deer Crossing.
2. Theodore Roosevelt National Park Scenic Byway
Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit, Watford City, N.D.
In honor of the 26th president for his enduring contributions to the conservation of our natural resources, this byway (and throughout the park) provides breathtaking backdrops of the North Dakota Badlands and the last remnants of wilderness in the Northern Great Plains.
While at the state park, considering checking out other attractions including Medora, the Painted Canyon Visitor Center, Oxbow Overlook and the natural wildlife.
3. Fort Union Trading Post
15550 Highway 1804, Williston, N.D.
This post served as principal fur trading post for the American Fur Company on the upper Missouri River during the 1880s.
1351 Main Ave. W., West Fargo
Cass County Historical Society Bonanzaville consists of 40 historic buildings and more than 400,000 artifacts. This museum and village provide an insight into the earliest settlers' way of life.
5. Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Fort Mandan
2576 8th St. SW, Washburn, N.D.
This site features a large collection of artifacts and a new exhibit honoring North Dakota's family farms and much more.
6. Itasca State Park
36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, Minn.
Experience the forested wonders of Itasca State Park, established in 1891 to conserve its giant pines from logging. Visit the park to discover a variety of attractions including Douglas Lodge. Located at the south end of Lake Itasca, the lodge is open Memorial Day weekend through early October. It has a large, restful lobby with a stone fireplace and dining room open to the public.
7. The Beltrami County History Center
130 Minnesota Ave. SW, Bemidji, Minn.
Home of the Beltrami County Historical Society is located in the historic southern corridor of downtown Bemidji in the restored 1912 Great Northern Depot, a unique museum in the region.
8. Lake Maria State Park
11411 Clementa Ave. NW, Monticello, Minn.
Check out of the few remaining stands of the "Big Woods" that once covered large parts of Southern Minnesota. Hikers, backpackers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers enjoy this park.
9. Mill City Museum
704 S 2nd St., Minneapolis
Discover 19th-century flour milling machines and sit at a huge dinner table outfitted to feed a wheat harvest crew and trace the journey of wheat from farm to market.
10. St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail
Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis Riverfront
Walk the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail along the riverfront and discover stories about Native American tribes, early white settlers, individuals and groups related to the falls. End your trek at the Stone Arch Bridge, which is the only one of its kind on the Mississippi River.