Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Medora? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Medora, N.D.?”
Arriving in this tiny North Dakota town is like stepping onto the set of a Hollywood Western from yesteryear. The weathered wood-fronted buildings, sweeping sandstone bluffs and horses trodding the streets keep the Old West vibes strong. But, if you know anything about Medora, it’s likely due to Teddy Roosevelt and the connection our 26th President had with the area. He was an avid explorer of the Dakota Territories, and they helped inspire his passion for conservation. It’s still easy to see why, even today.
Driving into Medora along I-94, the rolling prairies give way to otherworldly sandstone formations of the Badlands sprinkled with greens, blues and purples. Within the aptly named Theodore Roosevelt National Park, bison roam freely and prairie dogs yip from their plentiful burrows. While Medora is a town of only about 140 year-round residents, its population swells in the tourist season to welcome the thousands of visitors eager to explore the National Park and the rugged wilderness beyond. But there’s lots to see and do in Medora in addition to outdoor adventures. (Have you ever eaten steak that was cooked on a pitchfork before boot-stomping at a country-Western revue?) No matter what you do here, your trip to Medora will be a slice of low-key Americana.