Special thanks to North Dakota Tourism, South Dakota Tourism, Explore Minnesota and Tourism Winnipeg for the photos featured within.
Take a break from your 9 to 5 and escape on your own weekend getaway.
Do you need to get out of Fargo for a few days? If so, there are several places within driving distance of the Fargo-Moorhead area you can go. Whether it is North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota or even Canada, there is a place or event for everyone to escape to for a weekend. Jump out of the rat race and journey across state (or country) lines as we profile the best weekend getaway spots from A to Z! Well, what are you waiting for?
Distance from Fargo-Moorhead: Approximately 327 miles
The History Behind Medora
Much like Deadwood, SD, Medora has been billed as a Wild West town. In fact, that is relatively inaccurate. It was founded by French nobleman Marquis de Mores in 1883. He planned to ship meat to Chicago via the Northern Pacific Railway from Medora. So, originally, Medora was a meatpacking town. Later, Theodore Roosevelt would visit the area and fall in love with it. Since Roosevelt’s time in the Medora area, the town has become a total tourist destination thanks to the history behind it. However, the idea that it was once an Old West town like Deadwood is not true.
Top Ten Things to Do in Medora
#1 Medora Musical
The one tradition that will never die in Medora is the nightly musical that runs from June 1 through September 8. A show taking place at a spectacular outdoor amphitheater has been Medora's long-lasting legacy. It is a professionally produced and performed Western show dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt's legacy.
#2 Pitchfork Steak Fondue
With Medora's acclaimed chefs loading steaks onto pitchforks, you know you are in for a good meal. The most popular dining experience in the town goes unmatched by any other. Along with your steak, you will receive vegetables, fruit, coleslaw, baked potatoes, garlic toast, baked beans, salad, brownies, cinnamon-sugar donuts and a drink of your choice. Talk about a feast.
#3 Chateau de Mores
Take a step back in time as you peruse this 26 room Chateau built by Medora's founder Marquis de Mores. He built the fantastic premises for his wife, Medora (for which the town is named). The home features its original furnishings and has been restored to what it looked like in 1885.
#4 Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin
This historic cabin once lied seven miles from Medora, but has since been moved into Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The 26th President lived there when he first came to the Dakota Territory. There are still several original items which belonged to Roosevelt in the cabin too.
#5 Tour the Downtown Shops
There is no shortage of places to shop in Downtown Medora. Throughout this area, you will find several souvenir shops to remember your time in Medora by. You will also find several homemade items like honey and bars of soap.
#6 Get Your Old Time Photo Taken
As with any tourist town, you will be able to dress like they did in the Old West and get your photo taken. You can grab a friend or family member and collect a photo to remember your trip by.
#7 Enjoy a Sweet Treat
Depending on what you like, there are several places to satisfy your sugar craving in Medora. There is homemade saltwater taffy at Rushmore Mountain Taffy, assorted candies at Cowboy Lyle's and some of the best ice cream around at Marquis de Mores ice cream parlor.
#8 Elkhorn Ranch
The most notable of Theodore Roosevelt's cattle ranches is the Elkhorn. It lies roughly 35 miles North of Medora but provides an incredible amount of history with it. Roosevelt built the ranch after moving back to the Dakota Territory following the death of his wife and mother, on the same day. It has since remained one of the seminal locations for those interested in Roosevelt's life.
#9 Bully Pulpit Golf Course
Outside of an incredibly challenging golf course, Bully Pulpit is one of the most scenic in the region. Surrounded by the Badlands, players will be climbing through meadows along the Little Missouri River. It also features a few butte-top tee boxes overlooking the Badlands.
#10 Medora Riding Stables
There is no greater way to explore Medora and the surrounding landscape than on horseback. You will see the buttes and canyons that the Badlands have to offer while on the back of your trusty steed.