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North Dakota hotels, resorts & accommodations Tourism & Travel Guides: North Dakota

NORTH DAKOTA has no nationally recognizable landmarks, nor is the state's history particularly lurid or glamorous. It seems like somebody's quiet afterthought, a place to pass through. Grain silos loom on the horizon; the haystacks resemble loaves of bread. In the summer, with the sun baking in a defiantly blue sky and the wind raking strong fingers through tall fields of golden wheat and flax, North Dakota epitomizes all things rural American. Charming, natural and picturesque.

The influx of Europeans into the Dakota Territory, spurred by the Homestead Act of 1862, precipitated a population and agricultural boom that lasted into the twentieth century. As in South Dakota, the fertile east is more thickly settled than the west, where vast cattle and sheep ranges predominate, and it was the east that was hardest hit by the so-called 500-year flood of 1997, when 1.7 million low-lying acres of farmland were inundated, and the entire state was declared a disaster area. Lately, North Dakotan lawmakers, ashamed of their state's reputation as an arctic wasteland, have proposed that the "North" be dropped from the state's title, leaving just "Dakota", a suggestion most locals vehemently protest.

From Fargo , the state's largest city, I-94 passes through the central capital of Bismarck , and on to the Bad Lands of the west, once cherished by President Theodore Roosevelt. Though the national park bearing his name is a key destination, Roosevelt would surely not be pleased about the continuing disfiguration of much of western North Dakota by strip mining operations.

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