15 Things to Do in Jamestown, North Dakota

Jamestown, North Dakota is a city located in Stutsman County in the central part of the state. Its history dates back to the late 19th century when it was established as a strategic location for the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The area where Jamestown is situated was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. European-American settlers began arriving in the late 1850s, attracted by the fertile land and the potential for agricultural development.

Did you know that in Jamestown you can find the “World’s Largest Buffalo” statue Standing at 26 feet tall and weighing 60 tons, it attracts visitors from near and far.

Let’s explore together the best 15 things to do in Jamestown, ND.

Things to Do in Jamestown, North Dakota

1. Visit the National Buffalo Museum

National Buffalo Museum
Image source: flickr.com

Interested in the ecology and cultural significance of the American bison? Then the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown keeps a unique secret.

The highlight of the museum is the preserved remains of White Cloud, a rare white bison that was born in 1996. White Cloud lived in the herd at the National Buffalo Museum until her passing in 2016. Make sure you visit this museum so you can see her taxidermy mount and learn about her unique story.

2. Step back in time at Frontier Village

Frontier Village
Image source: tripadvisor.com

The National Buffalo Museum mentioned above is part of the larger Frontier Village complex, so what better way to continue your visit if not the collection the Frontier Village holds?

Frontier Village features a collection of authentic and replica buildings that represent the architecture and establishments of a typical frontier town. These buildings include a general store, a schoolhouse, a church, a saloon, a jail, a train depot, a blacksmith shop, and more. You can admire these structures and get a sense of what life was like in the early settlement days.

3. Immerse yourself in local history at the Stutsman County Memorial Museum

Stutsman County Memorial Museum
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Prior to European settlement, the land that is now Stutsman County was inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Dakota Sioux. These tribes relied on the land’s resources for hunting, gathering, and agriculture.

The home of the Stutsman County Memorial Museum was built by George Lutz in 1907. He was a prominent Jamestown businessman.

The museum houses an extensive collection of pioneer artifacts and other memorabilia. The collection includes railroad, military, household, agricultural, medical and archaeological items on four floors.

4. Enjoy outdoor recreational activities at Jamestown Reservoir

Jamestown Reservoir ND

This is a popular recreational area located people come for different activities. The reservoir offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, or picnicking.

One of the most fascinating things you can do here is admire the diverse wildlife. Birdwatchers can observe various species of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and pelicans. Other wildlife such as deer, foxes, and rabbits can also be spotted in the vicinity.

5. Pay a visit to the Louis L’Amour Writer’s Shack

Louis L’Amour was a renowned American author known for his Western novels. Louis L’Amour spent a significant portion of his life in North Dakota, particularly in the area around Jamestown.

He drew inspiration from the landscapes, people, and history of the American West, including North Dakota. While there may not be a specific writer’s shack dedicated to Louis L’Amour in Jamestown, the area’s connection to the author’s life and work is acknowledged and celebrated.

6. Experience the vibrant arts scene in Jamestown at The Arts Center

Jamestown at The Arts Center
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The Arts Center hosts rotating art exhibitions featuring a variety of artistic styles and mediums. You can explore visual arts such as paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, and more. These exhibitions often showcase the work of local, regional, and sometimes national or international artists.

7. Explore the serene Pipestem Creek

Pipestem Creek is ideal for canoeing and kayaking adventures. You can rent a canoe or kayak from a local outfitter or bring your own. Paddling along the creek allows you to immerse yourself in peaceful surroundings, enjoy the gentle flow of the water, and observe the natural beauty of the area.

Keep an eye out for waterfowl, songbirds, and other bird species that inhabit the area.

8. Catch a thrilling race at Jamestown Speedway

Jamestown Speedway

Jamestown Speedway hosts various racing events throughout the racing season. These events typically feature different classes of cars, such as stock cars, hobby stocks, and more. Races may include sprint car races, dirt track racing, or other forms of motorsports, depending on the schedule.

Attending a race at Jamestown Speedway offers an exciting atmosphere filled with anticipation and energy. You can expect to see passionate fans, hear the roar of the engines, and feel the thrill as drivers compete for victory.

9. Admire the architectural beauty of St. James Basilica

The exterior of St. James Basilica features a stunning combination of red brick and limestone accents. The façade is adorned with intricate stone carvings, including ornate details around the main entrance and decorative elements such as finials, pinnacles, and gargoyles.

The interior of St. James Basilica reflects the Gothic Revival style with its lofty ceilings, pointed arches, and ribbed vaulting. St. James Basilica is home to a notable pipe organ that enhances the musical experience during religious services and special events.

10. Spend some time in nature at Klaus Park

What better way to enjoy nature if not the park? Take a leisurely stroll along the winding trails, breathing in the fresh air and admire the trees.

You could also bring a blanket and find a cozy spot to have a picnic with family and friends, or simply sit on one of the park benches, allowing the soothing sounds of nature to calm your senses.

11. Tee off at Hillcrest Golf Course

People playing golf

During the good spring and summer days this is an 18-hole public golf course full of people practicing and playing golf. Established in the year 1941, this golf club has since been providing golfing opportunities for residents and visitors alike, becoming a cherished recreational facility within the community. Over the years, the course has undergone improvements and maintenance to ensure an enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels.

12. Admire the protected whooping crane at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
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This place is about 2 hours away driving from Jamestown, but it will provide you with a unique understanding of the protected whooping cranes in the area and nature. Unfortunately, these species are endangered, so take advantage of admiring the beauty nature has left us while you have the chance.

The Audubon National Wildlife Refuge consists of a diverse range of wetlands, grasslands, and forests, providing an ideal environment for various bird species, including the whooping crane. The refuge serves as an important stopover during the spring and fall migrations of the whooping cranes.

It’s important to note that whooping cranes are migratory birds, and their presence at the refuge may vary depending on the time of year. The best time to observe them is typically during the spring and fall migration seasons when they may be passing through the area.

13. Check the schedule for events happening at the Jamestown Civic Center

What better way to spend some hours than enjoying live performances such as theatrical shows, musicals, comedy acts, and dance recitals? The Civic Center serves as a hub for community gatherings and special events and here you can find a variety of them.

If you love basketball, then you should know that the Center is the home of the  University of Jamestown Basketball, so check their events calendar and make sure you secure your spot!

14. Delve into the military history of Jamestown at the Fort Seward Interpretive Center

Fort Seward Interpretive Center
Image source: app.familiohq.com

Named after General William H. Seward, an American Civil War veteran who played a significant role in the establishment of the fort, the Fort Seward Interpretive Center was established in 1872 as a United States Army post during the westward expansion and settlement of the American frontier.

The fort served as a strategic military outpost, providing protection for settlers, travelers, and railroad construction crews in the region.

The center has a variety of exhibits that offer insights into the daily life of soldiers stationed at Fort Seward.

15. Take a self-guided walking tour of Jamestown’s historic downtown district

A self-guided walking tour of Jamestown’s historic downtown district allows you to explore the city’s rich history and architectural heritage at your own pace. So buy a takeaway tea or coffee and start your tour.

Begin your walking tour at a central location, such as the Jamestown Civic Center or the Stutsman County Courthouse, which are often situated in or near the downtown area.

Jamestown’s downtown district is characterized by its well-preserved historic buildings. As you walk, you’ll come across various architectural styles, including late 19th-century Victorian buildings, early 20th-century commercial structures, and Art Deco influences. Look for ornate facades, decorative cornices, and unique architectural details.

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