A few miles from the state-of-the-art batting cage at the ARC, baseball fans in Williston find Ardean Aafedt Stadium. In August, this best-in-class amateur facility will host the 2016 Babe Ruth World Series
. This will be the third time the town has welcomed more than 40,000 youth players, families and fans to partake in the festivities provided by a national tournament. Teams who make it to the end and stay for all 8 days will just scratch the surface of things to see and do outside of the baseball diamond.
When it comes to leisure time, Williston takes it up another notch: a shooting range, pumpkin patch, ice-skating rinks
, go-kart track
, two golf courses
and a historic movie theater
dating back to the 1920s are highlights. None of these 21st
century attractions were around when the legendary Lewis & Clark expedition came through the area in 1805. But the same jaw dropping scenery the explorers wrote about stretches for miles and miles not far from Williston’s modern architecture. Here, outdoor
recreational opportunities are endless.
The place to be
Plains Indians and fur traders relied on the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers for their livelihood, but today, it’s all about recreation and relaxation. Fish for bass, trout, northern pike and walleye—Williston is the only place in the region where you can throw out a line for paddlefish. Watersports enthusiasts and anglers alike benefit from Williston’s close proximity to Lake Sakakawea, the third-largest man-made lake in the United States.
The Links of North Dakota, a nationally ranked golf course designed by Stephen Kay, challenges every skill level. Golf Week
and Golf Digest
rank The Links as a “Top 100 Golf Course”—its traditional layout, with wide fairways surrounded by sand bunkers, guarantee good times.
Hunting was, and still is, an extremely popular outdoor pursuit in the area. The nearby North Dakota Badlands are home to healthy populations of trophy-worthy waterfowl and wild game. Unlike hunting, which is seasonal, wildlife viewing around Williston is a year-round sport. Bison, bighorn sheep, moose, deer and golden eagles are just a few of the species found in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, an hour-drive south of Williston.
Naturally, hiking in the national park is a must, but there are also self-guided interpretive nature trails closer to town in Lewis & Clark State Park. Spend the morning picnicking among the park’s purple coneflowers while listening to the singing of a yellow warbler before spending the afternoon shopping or getting a spa treatment in downtown Williston.
Locally owned specialty shops and boutiques
occupy downtown’s vibrant Main Street, resulting in plenty of special finds for every taste and budget. The dining scene is just as robust and satisfying.
Fueling a boomtown is serious business. When it comes to wining and dining
, Williston claims dozens of noteworthy establishments ranging from saloons celebrating its Western heritage to pizza joints, a Japanese steakhouse, sushi bar, and a microbrewery boasting the largest wine and beer selection in the state. Between the premium beverages, aged steaks, barbecue ribs and exotic entrees, it’s impossible to go hungry or thirsty in Williston. And when the plates are licked clean, it’s time for a good night’s rest.
include an ample amount of new, full-service hotels and boutique properties that encourage kicking back and relaxing as well as easy access to Williston. Even during the busiest times of the year there is no shortage of rooms and suites for overnight visitors, including several area campgrounds that welcome RV-ers and tent campers keen on cooking out and sleeping under the stars. After all, western North Dakota—with its dark skies, rolling hills, and wide-open spaces where you can practically see forever—is a stargazer’s dream destination.
Like the stars, the future is bright for Williston. If its history is any indication, the city will continue to strengthen and grow for quite some time. Boomtown, USA is where residents can live the American dream and visitors can reap the benefits of a vibrant community—both today and for many tomorrows to come.
Plan your trip
to experience Williston’s booming culture.