The state capital, Bismarck is the second largest city in North Dakota, with a population of about 60,000. Bismarck's location near the historic Missouri River, which Lewis and Clark once so famously explored, gives the city a beautiful backdrop for its parks, trails, and buildings.
North Dakota's state government employs over 4,000 people in Bismarck, more than any other employer in the city. Another popular industry in Bismarck is health care. Saint Alexius Medical Center and Medcenter One Health Systems combined provide jobs for just over 4,000 residents. Other important employers in the city include the U.S. Federal Government, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck Public Schools and the University of Mary.
Bismarck is considered a crucial distribution center for agricultural products and is also a major player in the retail and service industry.
Bismarck is the capital city of North Dakota and is the home to the tallest building in North Dakota, the North Dakota State Capitol, located off State St. north of Downtown.
Downtown Bismarck is famous for Kirkwood Mall, which is the city's major shopping center. Several other major retail stores are also located in the city along with a string of stores and restaurants. Medcenter One Health Systems and St. Alexius Medical Center are also in the vicinity of downtown.
The Cathedral District is a historic neighborhood and is named after the art deco Cathedral of the Holy Spirit located in the district. The district encompasses some old homes which date back to 1880s. However, many of the homes are built during the 20th century. A large number of retail shops are opening in the northern region of the city due to which this region is witnessing huge commercial and residential growth.
The total of housing units in the city is over 24,162 of which the owner-occupied units are 14,689 and the rental units are 8,469.
University of Mary: This four-year Catholic university has been offering students more than 40 degree programs since 1959. More than 2,500 students attend this campus, which is four miles south of Bismarck.
Bismarck State College: About 3,500 students attend this community college. Though it primarily offers two-year degrees, this college works with other schools in the North Dakota university system to offer more than 20 bachelor's degrees.
Performing arts groups: Bismarck has several theater companies, such as the Shade Tree Players, Sleepy Hollow Summer Theatre, Dakota Stage Ltd., and various college theater groups.
North Dakota State Capitol Building: As the tallest building in the Bismarck area, the capitol is a definite landmark. The building itself was constructed in 1934 and is surrounded by a 132-acre park, which houses plenty of memorials, statues, and scenic trails.
The Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra: This orchestra was established in 2000 and presents Bismarck with concerts year-round.
Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra: This group is comprised of local and out-of-state musicians. The ensemble entertains Bismarck residents with classical and contemporary symphonic music.
Belle Mehus Auditorium: This historic building was built in the early 20th century and is often the venue for anything related to performing arts in downtown Bismarck.
Golf: Five golf courses make up Bismarck's golfing community. The small, nine-hole Pebble Creek Golf Course is perfect for a short day of golfing. The more typical 18-hole courses include Hawktree Golf Club, Tom O'Leary Golf Course, Apple Creek Country Club, and Riverwood Golf Course.
Dakota Zoo: More than 600 animals reside at this nearly 90-acre zoo, located inside Sertoma Park.
Fishing and boating: The prevalence of bodies of water in Bismarck makes fishing, boating, swimming, and general sightseeing popular activities. McDowell Dam Lake, Lake Sakakawea, and the Missouri River, which also offers riverboat tours, are just a few major areas for outdoor recreation.
Both high school and college sports are taken seriously in Bismarck. Many residents regularly watch games between the Century High Patriots, Bismarck High Demons, and Saint Mary's Central High Saints. The University of Mary's 19 athletic teams are called the Marauders, and the Bismarck State College Mystics also have several athletic teams.
Air Travel: Bismarck Municipal Airport is one of the most popular airports in the state, using United Express, Allegiant Air, and Northwest airlines.
Highways: Interstate 94 is a major east-west highway that passes through downtown Bismarck. U.S. Route 83 eventually merges with Interstate 94 after running north and south through Bismarck.
Public Transportation: Amtrak no longer serves the Bismarck area, although travelers can catch it north of the city in Minot. The public transportation system offers 11 routes through the city and is referred to as CAT (short for Capital Area Transit).