Stave Church of Norwegian design found in Minot, North Dakota.

Minot, North Dakota

Minot is a small city situated in Ward County in the north-central part of the US State of North Dakota. The city is best known as the "Magic City" and is nestled in the scenic Souris River Valley. Minot is North Dakota's fourth-largest city and also serves as the trading center for a greater portion of the northern part of North Dakota, southwestern part of Manitoba, and southeastern part of Saskatchewan. Minot is an excellent place to begin a North Dakota trip.

Geography And Climate Of Minot

View of downtown Minot, North Dakota, from the hill below the Grand International Inn
View of downtown Minot, North Dakota, from the hill below the Grand International Inn. Image Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the Drift Prairie region, Minot covers a total area of 70.68 sq. km, of which 70.59 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.09 sq. km is covered by water. Minot is situated approximately 170km north of the state capital Bismarck, 330km to the west of Grand Forks, 385km southeast of Saskatchewan's capital Regina, 425km northwest of Fargo, and 450km southwest of Winnipeg

According to the Köppen climate classification, Minot experiences a humid continental climate. Summers may be fairly hot, but winters can be severely cold and snowy. For weeks at a time, there have been severe winds and below-freezing point temperatures. Throughout the year, the temperature ranges typically from 5°F to 83°F, with temperatures seldom falling below -16°F or rising over 92°F. The perfect time of year to visit Minot for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.

History Of Minot

The Old Soo Depot Transportation Museum in downtown Minot, North Dakota
The Old Soo Depot Transportation Museum in downtown Minot, North Dakota. Image Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri via Wikimedia Commons

Minot was founded in 1886 after James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway interrupted its winter drive across the state due to difficulties in erecting a trestle across Gassman Coulee. A tent city rose overnight, as if by "magic," and the community became known as the Magic City. Over the following five months, the population expanded to over 5,000 individuals. The railroad picked Erik Ramstad's land for the town location. Mr. Ramstad was persuaded to give up his claim and soon became one of the city's leaders. The city was formed on June 28, 1887, and was named after Henry Davis Minot, a railroad financier, and friend of Jim Hill. Early on, Minot was a classic western boomtown. The Minot Air Force Base was established as an Air Defense Command Base in the 1950s, which eventually evolved into a Strategic Air Command Bomber and Minuteman missile base. A catastrophic flood damaged the city in 1969. Following that, the Army Corps of Engineers regulated the Souris River's flow through town and constructed many flood control facilities.

Population And Economy Of Minot

As per the latest US Census, Minot has a population of 49,875 people. The city's population has risen by 3.10% from the 2010 census, which reported a population of 48,377. The different ethnic groups in Minot include 84.09% white, 5.21% African American, 4.67% Two+ races, 2.10% Native Americans, and 1.90% Asians.

Minot has an average household income of $81,317 and a poverty rate of 10.77%. The city's economy relies on the Air Force Base situated 13 miles north of town, making the city's economy more robust than that of other communities of its size due to its broad service area. Yet, the city is plagued by severe difficulties with enterprise capital and wage standards. Two-thirds of the households in Minot make less money than the median household income for the country, while about 30% of citizens work in two or more jobs.

Attractions In Minot

A large "dala horse" in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota
A large "dala horse" in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota. Image Credit: MatthewUND via Wikimedia Commons

The North Dakota State Fair, the state's greatest event, attracts visitors from all around the area every July. The Roosevelt Park Zoo, Dakota Territory Air Museum, and the Scandinavian Heritage Park, commemorating the five Scandinavian countries, are among the many attractions in this thriving city. Minot features a 65-piece symphony orchestra, making it one of the smallest cities in the country to have a symphonic orchestra. The annual Norsk Hstfest, which translates to "Norwegian fall festival," is the largest Scandinavian celebration in North America. It attracts foreign tourists from all over the world with its traditional food and best entertainment. In bakeries, bars, fine dining, and family-style eateries, regional cuisines are combined with international cuisines. This lovely town is home to several top activities and attractions in the state. Minot has something for everyone, from stunning nature and walks to exhilarating amusement parks, mini-golf, and nightlife. 

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