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Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, located on the banks of the Missouri River. It is a hub of commerce, business, government, and education. Its thriving economy is based on oil, gas, coal production and distribution, dairy processing, government services, and the manufacture of construction equipment. It is also the state’s center of agriculture, including livestock raising and wheat, oats, and hay production.

The city is governed by a city commission system with an elected mayor and four commissioners on an at-large basis, who exercise a wide range of executive and legislative powers. The city commission meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

The original settlement of Bismarck was the home of the Mandan Indians, who built on the bank of the Missouri River. Today, one of their villages is preserved as a park; the other, On-a-Slant Indian Village, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A number of settlers from the South came to the area around 1870; many of them were influenced by the arrival of the railroad, which was completed in 1877. The railroad helped Bismarck become a major trade and transportation center, and long wagon trains pulled by oxen passed through town on their way to the gold fields in the Black Hills.

Downtown Bismarck has a vibrant business district, with an active street life. The downtown area has a variety of restaurants, shops, hotels, museums, and art galleries, as well as several churches.

Tourism is an important component of the Bismarck economy, and visitors come to enjoy the outdoor recreation and scenic views. The city hosts the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, as well as the Dakota Zoo.

Various theater groups perform in the community, and there are numerous museums, galleries, and parks. The University of Mary and Bismarck State College are also large attractions in the city.

The Capitol Shakespeare Society, Sleepy Hollow Summer Theatre, the Shade Tree Players children’s theater group, and the Dakota Stage Ltd are among the many organizations that provide entertainment for the citizens of Bismarck. The city also hosts the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, which is a community orchestra.

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The public school system operates sixteen elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools. It serves 13,350 students and employs 1,500 people. The school system is a mix of traditional and alternative schools.

Private schools in Bismarck include St. Mary’s Grade School, St. Anne’s Grade School, and Cathedral Grade School.

Bismarck is served by an airport with five passenger airlines, two fixed based operators, and regional truck lines. The airport has a single terminal, and accommodates about 2,400 aircraft passengers annually.

Travel is facilitated by the two US highways that pass through the city, Interstate 94 and U.S. Route 83, and by the BNSF Railway.


The city has experienced a dramatic growth in retail centers and other commercial buildings. The first shopping mall in Bismarck, Arrowhead Plaza, opened in 1954; the second, Northbrook Mall, was built in 1959 and housed a number of national retailers. Pinehurst Square, a “power center” mall that was built in 2005 and houses national retailers Lowe’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Old Navy, and TJMaxx, is another prominent retail development in the city.

Point of Interest #1 ND Life Spa, 521 E Main Ave #400, Bismarck, ND 58501

Point of Interest #2 Bismarck Barber & Style Center, 515 E Main Ave #1, Bismarck, ND 58501

Point of Interest #3 Anima Cucina, 101 N 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58501

Driving Directions TO Eden Med Spa From Anima Cucina