Small Business Saturday, an offshoot of black friday, is intended to boost business at locally owned stores nationwide. These companies represent a considerable portion of the American workforce, with 31.7 million businesses classified as small businesses in the United States. Supporting these businesses has a direct impact on the growth of our communities and helps keep businesses local.
Today we are going to provide a comprehensive guide to the many small businesses in the capital city of Bismarck, North Dakota. Whether you’re a foodie, window shopper or adventurer, here’s a taste of what you can find in Bismarck in some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.
To get a sense of Bismarck’s past, consider stopping at Bismarck Antiques Shopping Center on Main Street, the largest antique store in western North Dakota with over 20 vendors selling vintage items, 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 visionsan artistic clothing and accessories collective that works with dozens of artists to create beautiful, bright and often psychedelic clothing, rugs, hats and more.
If you are looking for a more classic gift shop, Punky’s has clothing, bath products, local food and beverage products and home decor. Their bath bombs are particularly popular, but they work with local and national suppliers to provide gift options for everyone on your list.
Around the corner from Punky’s is Ferguson Books, an independent bookstore with the largest number of used books in the region, as well as author signings and a book exchange program. A 10 minute walk down the street brings you to the aptly named Down Home General Store and Boutique. If you’re looking for products unique to Bismarck, Down Home provides everything from gourmet gifts like jam, homemade coffee blends and local popcorn to jewelry, clothing and other accessories you’ll find in the Dallas Lee boutique located in the store. .
Eat and drink locally
Just off E. Main Avenue, the canoe grid has been using local bison to create classic American cuisine since 2005. Those looking for a fine dining experience will appreciate the extensive menu and liquor list.
Prefer a more relaxed and family dining experience? The special one Space Alien Grill & Bar is on the other side of town. As the name suggests, the theme here is colorful aliens and space decor. You can even bring the whole family and check out the many arcade games the restaurant has to offer. A more adult arcade experience can be found at The CraftCadewith an entire bar filled with retro arcade games, a wall of craft beer, and New York-style pizza – a rarity in North Dakota.
The laid-back American vibe continues throughout Bismarck’s dining scene with restaurants like the Broadway Grill & Tavern featuring bison and beef burgers, steak and surf and turf. Bistro 1100located in the middle of E Front Avenue, once a carriage house, offers a traditional American menu with a twist: Italian dishes cooked over red oak on an open grill.
Beer lovers will find a lot to love in Bismark. You can start with a classic craft beer made from local hops at Bismark Brewery, just outside the city center. A short drive to N 4th Street takes you to Stonehome Brewing 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 brasserie and one of the best concert halls in Bismarck.
Whether you are 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 exploring the park. Another child-friendly place worth visiting is the Super Slide Amusement Parkwhich is home to a mini-golf course and plenty of rides to enjoy.
Those looking to explore the historic sites of Bismarck can start with the very modern Capitol building. You can opt for a guided tour or wander the grounds on your own. From there, head to the former governor’s mansiona fine example of Victorian architecture, and Buckstop Junctiona perfectly preserved historic site dating back to the 1800s.
If you are 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 pedal boats, canoes and kayaks for a small fee. Keelboat Park has a riverside promenade with sculptures made locally, including by students from the United Tribes Technical College. 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 are support small businesses in your community and those you visit, helping those communities continue to thrive. You can still earn rewardsbut you will end up with unique experiences and products that are not mass-produced.
Bismarck has a lot to offer on Small Business Saturday and beyond. Whether you’re looking for local buffalo burgers, craft beer, or history, or just want to pick up distinctive gifts from independent stores, there are plenty of options to choose from.