North Dakota is ranked the best state in the nation for Millennials, according to in 2017. In addition, our state has the second-highest population of people aged 20 to 24.

Just across the Missouri River from each other, Bismarck and Mandan are cities of rolling hills, peaceful life, and surprising natural beauty. The people are uncommonly friendly, and the cities are easy to get around, safe, and packed with plenty of things to do.

But don't take our word for it. Here's what the experts have to say:

  • #2 of the Happiest Cities in America*
  • #4 in Best States Ranking of all U.S. States**
  • #5 Best State Capitals to Live In***
  • #8 Best Small Cities for Starting a Business****

* (WalletHub)
** (U.S. News & World Report)
*** (WalletHub)
**** (WalletHub)

How to Get Here

Bismarck-Mandan is easy to reach by air or road. The Bismarck Municipal Airport has daily service from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines, and additional flight offerings from Allegiant Air and Frontier. For road warriors, Bismarck is the intersection point of Interstate 94 (which runs from Detroit, MI to Billings, MT) and U.S. Highway 83 (a major north-south highway reaching from Canada to Mexico).

Eating Out

Whether you crave a wood-fired pizza, gigantic burger, or formal restaurant experience, you can have it all because restaurants are abundant in Bismarck-Mandan.

Check out local favorites like A&B Pizza, Kroll's Diner, The Bistro, Space Aliens Grill & Bar, and The Walrus. If you’re looking for a restaurant to impress someone – a date or your parents – try one of the many restaurants in downtown Bismarck, such as Broadway Grill & Tavern, Peacock Alley, Pirogue Grille, Fireflour Pizza, or the Toasted Frog.

Breweries and coffee shops are also popular in the area. Spend an evening at Laughing Sun Brewing Co., Buffalo Commons Brewing Co., or Bismarck Brewing. Stop by Caffe Aroma, City Brew Coffee, Classic Rock Coffee, or Terra Nomad for your cup of coffee. If you prefer national chains, you’ll find Applebee's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Johnny Carino's Italian Grill, Panera Bread, Qdoba, Ruby Tuesday, and many more.

University of Mary students at Fireflour Pizza in Downtown Bismarck.The Toasted Frog Restaurant in Downtown Bismarck.Classic Rock Coffee Shop in MandanThe Classic Rock Coffe Shop in Mandan.Peacock Alley is Downtown Bismarck.

Lots of Shopping

Just a few miles from campus, Kirkwood Mall is the area's ultimate shopping destination with nearly 100 stores ranging from H&M to Target to Scheels Sports. For an eclectic selection of everything from clothes to art, you can hit the downtown boutiques. Or, head north to Pinehurst Square, which is home to the likes of Old Navy, Best Buy, and T.J. Maxx or the Hay Creek Shops with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Kittsona Boutique in Downtown Bismarck.

Things to Do

There are plenty of options of activities in the area, all year long. Besides the miles of trails and water-ways, Bismarck-Mandan is home to six public golf courses, great parks, softball diamonds, rodeo grounds, Fort Lincoln State Park, Huff Hills Ski Area, Dakota Zoo, and lots of places to hunt and fish. If indoor activities are more your style, try Midway Lanes bowling alley, museums, galleries, local arts performances, or over 20 movie theater screens.

Places to Go

There are always events happening at the Bismarck Event Center, like concerts, Broadway shows, sport shows, PRCA Championship Rodeo, and more. Or maybe you want a smaller, more personal setting? Then, check out the Belle Mehus City Auditorium, home of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. It's a striking historical facility that has hosted talent such as The Blenders, Shannon Curfman, Arlo Guthrie, and Leon Redbone. If you’re an all-around sports fan, you’ll enjoy cheering on the Bismarck Larks (members of the Northwoods Baseball League), Bismarck Bobcats (an NAHL hockey team), and Bismarck Bucks (part of Champions Indoor Football), in addition to our University of Mary Marauders!

Larks Baseball Photo taken by Lyle Ripplinger

You'll Love It

You'll love Bismarck-Mandan and all of North Dakota, with our four distinct and beautiful seasons, and year-long outdoor activities. It’s a safe and welcoming metro area that is growing and prosperous, but you can still drive most anywhere in 20 minutes or less. Bismarck and Mandan are big little cities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.