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Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday meant to drive business to locally-owned stores throughout the country. This kind of support has a direct impact on the growth of our communities and helps keep businesses local.
Today, we’ll provide a full-fledged guide to the many small businesses in the capital city of Bismarck, North Dakota. Whether you’re a foodie, a window shopper or an adventure seeker, here’s a taste of what you can find in Bismarck in a few of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.
To get a feel for Bismarck’s past, consider stopping at the Bismarck Antique Mall on Main street, the largest antique store in Western North Dakota with over 20 dealers selling vintage goods, from mugs, clocks and vases to sports memorabilia and more.
Shoppers looking for an eclectic, even trippy shopping experience should look no further than Many Visions, an apparel and accessories art collective that works with dozens of artists to create beautiful, bright and often psychedelic clothes, rugs, hats and more.
If you’re looking for a more classic gift shop, Punky’s has clothing, bath products, local food and drink products and home decor. Their bath bombs are especially popular, but they work with vendors both locally and nationwide to provide gift options for everyone on your list.
Around the corner from Punky’s is Ferguson Books, an independent bookstore offering the largest number of used books in the region, as well as author signings and a book trading program. A 10-minute walk down the street brings you to the aptly named Down Home General Store & Boutique. If you’re looking for goods unique to Bismarck, Down Home provides everything you need from foodie gifts like jam, homemade coffee blends and local popcorn to the jewelry, clothes and other accessories you’ll find in the Dallas Lee Boutique located within the store.
Eat and drink locally
Right off E. Main Avenue, the Pirogue Grille has been using local bison to create classic American cuisine since 2005. Those looking for a fine dining experience will appreciate the expansive menu and spirits list.
Prefer a more relaxed, family-friendly dining experience? The unique Space Aliens Grill & Bar is on the other side of town. As its name implies, the theme here is colorful aliens and space decor. You can even bring the whole family and experience the many arcade games the restaurant has to offer. A more adult arcade experience can be found at The CraftCade, with a whole bar filled with retro arcade games, a self-pour craft beer wall and New York-style pizza — a rarity in North Dakota.
The downhome American feel continues throughout Bismarck’s food scene with restaurants like the Broadway Grill & Tavern featuring bison and beef burgers, steak and surf and turf. Bistro 1100, located in the middle of E Front Avenue, once a carriage house, offers a traditional American menu with a twist: Italian favorites cooked over red oak on an open grill.
Beer lovers will find a lot to love about Bismark. You can start with classic craft beer made from local hops at Bismark Brewing, just outside the downtown area. A short drive to N 4th Street takes you to Stonehome Brewing’s menu with over a dozen beers on the menu, and just as many pizza options. For your grand finale, Laughing Sun Brewing is considered by many to be the best brewery and one of the best live music venues in Bismarck.
Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, there are plenty of attractions to visit in Bismarck. One of the most popular is the Dakota Zoo. With over 90 acres and 600 animals, you could spend an entire day just exploring the park. Another kid-friendly venue worth checking out is the Super Slide Amusement Park, home to a mini-golf course and plenty of rides to enjoy.
Those looking to explore Bismarck’s historical sites can start at the very modern Capitol building. You can opt for a guided tour or stroll the grounds on your own. From there, head to the former governor’s mansion, a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, and Buckstop Junction, a perfectly preserved historical site dating to the 1800s.
If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, McDowell Dam Nature Park, five miles east of Bismarck, offers trails, a swimming area, a playground and 271 acres of land to explore. You can rent paddle boats, canoes and kayaks for a small fee. Keelboat Park has a river-front walk with locally-made sculptures, including by United Tribes Technical College students. Just off Burnt Boat Drive in north Bismarck, Chief Looking’s Village offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River and hiking trails with markers that explain the history of North Dakota’s first inhabitants.
Source: Google Maps
The bottom line
When you shop local, you’re supporting small businesses in your community and those you visit, which helps those communities continue to thrive. You can still earn rewards, but you’ll end up with unique experiences and products that aren’t mass-produced.
Bismarck has plenty to offer on Small Business Saturday and beyond. Whether you’re looking for local bison burgers, craft beer or history, or if you just want to shop for distinctive gifts in independently-owned shops, there are multiple options to choose from.