Prairie Knights Casino Resort is the top dawg in Fort Yates, North Dakota. But it’s not the only hot spot you need to get excited over. Today’s post covers a few of many destinations in the area that can turn your weekend getaway to Prairie Knights Casino Resort into an all-out vacation.
So, if you’re traveling to or through the Heartland during the warmest months of the season, chances are you’ll want to catch more of the beautiful North Dakota scenery. You’ll discover all there is to love about this area outside of the resort.
Today’s post is one that you must read. You’ll find more than a few hot spots near the casino or within a respectable radius. So, without saying anything more, let’s discover all there is to love about Fort Yates, North Dakota.
1 – Welk Homestead State Historic Site
You’ll find the Welk Homestead State Historic Site near Strasburg, North Dakota, and it’s a phenomenal way to gain an educational experience. Learn all about farming life in the German-Russian culture during the early 20th century.
The site also documents the career of bandleader, Lawrence Welk, who grew up right here on this six-acre homestead. It served as the official homestead of Ludwig and Christina Welk, who immigrated to the area from Odessa, Russia, in 1893.
They built the house on the property of dried mud brick, or batsa, which of course is where your architectural education will begin. The Welks, and many like them, used the material to build many buildings right here on the prairie.
You’ll find batsa-inspired architecture and German-Russian architecture all over the property, including the summer kitchen, outhouse, and so much more. If you’re into history, architecture, or culture, a trip to the Welk Homestead State historic site is worth your time.
2 – Prairie Bells Grotto
You’ll find Prairie Bells Grotto about 25 miles away in nearby Linton, North Dakota. Now, given the fact this tiny roadside attraction resides way out in the country, it’s easy to miss. However, if you find it, you’re in for quite the display of a lifetime.
The Grotto is really a shrine to the Holy Family. The bells included on the site are of the former St. Andrew, St. Anthony, and Holy Trinity Churches.
As with the Welk Homestead in the above section, German-Russian Heritage also inspired the Prairie Bells. Established by the Vetter Family, the Grotto features an earth house, with material used from the surrounding fields during its construction.
Along with a fantastic tribute, you’re also be getting more than a few awesome scenic views all over the sweeping landscape. A few reviewers on TripAdvisor have stated that it makes for the ideal lunch or picnic area. Be sure to bring some of your favorite foods and gaze out into the vivid North Dakotan scenery.
3 – Klein Museum
This one is a good half-hour from Prairie Knights Casino Resort, and you’ll find it in Mobridge, South Dakota. The museum is a preserved schoolhouse. And it makes for an outstanding stop along the way if you’re heading to or from the casino.
You’ll find more than just a schoolhouse on the property. If you’re interested in learning what it was like to learn out on the prairie, you’ll find an old mud house, tractors, and farm tools from the 19th century, and more.
Inside the school, they have an immense display of artifacts, along with old photographs, display boards, and even captions that add to the visual story you’ll experience.
Reviewers on TripAdvisor praise the Klein Museum for its well-maintained and organized venue. They’re also fond of the low prices, which appear to range between $4 and $6, depending on who’s giving the review.
You will also find a phenomenal lesson on local history at the Klein Museum in terms of old buildings still standing in the area. Per one reviewer, they have an old dental operator, tracker’s cabin, and a barbershop where you can also take a tour. So, you’re getting a lot here for such a small entry fee.
4 – General Sibley Park and Campground
About 45 miles from Prairie Knights Casino, you’ll uncover the General Sibley Park and Campground. This is an excellent place to connect with nature if you’re looking to make a longer drive into the North Dakota Wilderness but don’t want to be too far away.
You’ll find the park and campground in the Bismark area, putting you closer to a metro area than most of the hot spots on this list. But you’re still far enough out there to reconnect with nature through the trees, fresh air, waterways, and the clear skies on a sunny day.
It also makes for a great camping site if you’re looking to spend a few nights in the wild after a few days at the casino. Yup, that’s two lodging opportunities in one, albeit on different ends of the spectrum.
Besides camping sites, you’ll also find several awesome walking trails, well-kept paths, river access if you’re into boating, playgrounds, and even a disc golf course. It’s an excellent place to spend an entire day if you’re cool with making a drive into the next area for a day or two.
5 – Indian Creek Recreation Area
If you’re looking for something a little closer, the Indian Creek Recreation Area provides an excellent consolation. Another solid campground, the Indian Creek Recreation Area serves as a fantastic fishing spot, drawing campers in from all over the region to catch their next batch of walleye.
It’s a great place to take a trip to and relax in South Dakota’s wild and wonderful outdoors. As with the Sibley Campground, it’s still a drive from Prairie Knights Casino Resort. But you’ll save a good 10 minutes to and from there if you’re just looking to spend the day rather than a weekend at the site.
6 – Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
If you’re heading out to the Bismark area, a trip to the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park should grace the top of your vacation itinerary. As with many attractions on today’s list, it will take a bit of a drive but this 2020 recipient of TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Award is more than worth it.
And if you’re already heading out to the General Sibley Park and Campground, you may as well drive a bit farther out to this phenomenal hot spot.
You’ll find a phenomenal education here in both Native American and military history, along with statewide regional significance. So, you’re getting a lot here in the convenience of one location. If you’re a history buff, this is the place for you.
Reviewers on TripAdvisor have raved about the visitor’s center and how it’s chock-full of information. If you’re looking to explore the entire area and immerse yourself in each exhibit, you can easily spend three to five hours here.
Tack on the 45-minute to one-hour drive it takes to get to and from the state park, and chances are, you’ll make at least half of a day trip out of visiting the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
7 – Missouri River
And yes, you’re not horribly far from the Missouri River when you visit Prairie Knights Casino Resort. So, if you’re looking for perhaps multiple places in the area for recreation, consider spending a day on the river.
You can also have some fun on the river if you’re up here in the summer—from water-skiing, to kayaking, boating, and canoeing. If anything else, sit alongside the banks and opt for a picnic.
Plan Your Trip Today
Given the tiny region in which Prairie Knights Casino Resort sits, you will have to drive a little to find a few of the hot spots listed in today’s post. However, if you’re cool with taking a day or two off from the casino and plan to be in the area for a while, then definitely explore the attractions we listed.
Everything listed above is within a one-hour drive from the casino. So, you can even stop at any of the above hot spots either to or from the casino. For a couple of them, you can even take just an afternoon off. You may even stumble upon something that’s not listed above. And feel free to let us know if you do!
Have you been to Prairie Knights Casino? And if so, did you visit any of the above attractions? Tell us your story in the comments. We cannot wait to hear from you.