My Top 10 North Dakota List

KristinBy Intern Kristin

Five years ago when I moved here, I was one of those people who thought North Dakota was some sort of arctic tundra, where a person had to be crazy to want to live. When I told my friends where I was moving some of them even said, “North Dakota? What country is that in?”

Fast forward five years: my family has long since moved to the East Coast, my boyfriend lives in Illinois, the entirety of my extended family lives in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and I don’t have many roots left here in North Dakota. Logic could tell me there aren’t many reasons for me to stick around, but it’s amazing what five years can do to your attitude about a place. The North Dakota Department of Commerce has a list of the “12 Reasons to Live, Work and Play in North Dakota,” and it lists some great reasons why everyone should want to stay in this great state. However, I don’t think it does justice to the heart of North Dakota (merely by virtue of the list being made up of statistics), so I made my own “10 Reasons Why North Dakota is Just Plain Awesome” list, because it is.

10. Creativity is key

Sometimes, friends from out-of-state will ask me, “What is there to do in North Dakota?” The answer is: there is a lot. The key is challenging yourself to come up with new and creative ideas! If you’re an outdoor person, there are places like Lake Sakakawea, the Missouri River, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park where you can begin your adventure. If you are an indoor person, there are good shopping opportunities, cool museums, and UND hockey games to start you off. In North Dakota there are many great things to discover, invent and uncover.

9. Peace consumes you

One thing that I love about North Dakota is how quiet it can get. You don’t have to search hard to find a place where you can be alone in complete silence. Even if you live in Fargo or Bismarck, the peace and quiet of the countryside is only a ten minute drive away. There’s more than one reason why North Dakota’s nickname is “The Peace Garden State.”

8. People are friendly

It doesn’t matter who or where you are, when you run across another person, you will almost always receive a warm smile and a friendly greeting. Folks here understand life is about people caring about each other, and it shows.

7. Weird animal statues rock my socks off

You probably already know this, but North Dakota has some really odd monuments and structures. The Enchanted Highway is just one example of some of the unique and fascinating ways people take their creativity and share it with the world. While it is true a 30-foot statue of a cow or a giant sheet-metal display of fish might be quirky and even a bit weird, they give North Dakota some character and they make life interesting. The truth is picnicking underneath Salem Sue can be pretty exciting!

6. Everyday life revolves around community

I know I already touched on this when I mentioned people here are outright friendly, but it bears repeating. Community is the fabric of life in North Dakota, and I say that in no small way. This state runs on hearty laughter, home-cooked food and great North Dakota phrases like “uf-dah.” People here genuinely care about others and you can’t beat it!

5. The “Land of Opportunity”

As a college senior, one thing I’ve started to notice is how much opportunity there is in North Dakota. This state doesn’t just have jobs, it has careers. Entrepreneurship is huge, and the state welcomes it with open arms. Opportunity is always right in front of you in North Dakota. This is a state of great job opportunities and exciting career beginnings for you and me!

4. Legendary charm at a contemporary pace

North Dakota has some great traditional roots and values, and the stability of faith, family and friends gives life to communities. At the same time, tradition meets up-and-coming, with the advanced thinking of engineers, businessmen and entrepreneurs moving the state forward at an accelerated pace. In addition to that, the cities of Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck combine to make some great places for young people to thrive. It is here, in North Dakota, where charm and custom blend seamlessly with hip and young to create something legendary.

3. The economy is unbeatable

This is where the “12 Reasons to Live, Work and Play in North Dakota” does a fantastic job of outlining the facts. Honestly, North Dakota is one of the best states to live in based on economy alone. For example, the state is enjoying some of the largest tax cuts and best job opportunities, as well as a state budget surplus of nearly $1 billion. Once you look at the numbers, you won’t want to live anywhere else!

2. Family first

Looking back at the traditional values and community environment of the state, one of my favorite things about North Dakota is the “family first” attitude. Employers respect your family time, many stores are closed on Sunday (or at least don’t open until noon) and time is set aside for the things that matter most.

1. Beauty is everywhere you look

My favorite thing about North Dakota is how absolutely beautiful it is. From the rugged snow-covered terrain in the winter to the bright sunflower-clothed fields in the summer, North Dakota has a wild, untamed beauty that is unmatched. Sunsets here are indescribable, and the sky takes your breath away. You can’t go wrong if you decide to stop by North Dakota, and you definitely can’t go wrong if you decide to stay awhile!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.