Let's face it.  Big towns get all the press, Bismarck, Mandan, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Williston, Jamestown, bla bla bla.  North Dakota is full of small-town charm if you just take the time to look for it.  I came across an article on the website Far & Wide, "The Coolest Small Towns In America" that caught my eye.

It compiled data from popular magazines such as Reader's Digest, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful magazine, and The Travel Channel.  North Dakota's "coolest" small town is about 80 miles from Bismarck Mandan.  More on that in a minute.  Before we get to this little gem, let's look at the states around us and what their "coolest" small town is.

Minnesota's offering is Grand Marais. 

A small town located in the "Iron Range" of Minnesota.  Grand Marais is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Superior.  According to Wikipedia, it has a population of just over 1,000 people.

South Dakota's "coolest" small town is Spearfish.

A favorite vacation spot among people from Bismarck Mandan.  Spearfish is located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.  According to Wikipedia, this city was founded back in 1876 during the gold rush.  It has just over 12,000 people living it but is much bigger during the tourist season.

North Dakota's "coolest" small town is Garrison.  

Garrison, North Dakota is home to Wally the Walleye.  A very popular tourist attraction.

Google Maps Screenshot
Google Maps Screenshot

As you can see, they even decorate Wally during the holiday season.

Garrison is the "coolest" according to the article due to its endless outdoor opportunities.  Of course, this is where they hold the annual North Dakota Governor's Cup Walleye tournament each year.  According to Wikipedia, Garrison has a population of just over 1,500 people.  The city was settled back in 1905 and is situated on the north end of Lake Sakakawea.

There you have it.  Small town charm with a slice of "cool".  Garrison, North Dakota part of what makes North Dakota legendary!


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