Bismarck, ND downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 57
Demographics 31
Economy 49
Education 65
Health 65
Housing 74
Infrastructure 53

#77. Bismarck, ND

Bismarck does North Dakota proud as its capital city. Located in the south-central part of the state, along the Missouri River, Bismarck is an outdoor paradise, with plenty of space to spread out and go fishing, camping, hunting, cycling, hiking, canoeing and kayaking. Plus, Bismarck’s 72,000 residents benefit from the region’s low crime rates and top-notch health care, education and housing options. But, of course, Bismarck’s great quality of life doesn’t break the bank, either – media home values here are around $247,000.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Mary & Bismarck State College 

Top Industries & Employers: Health care, education, agriculture, energy, government.

Weekend Plans: Canoe or kayak along the Missouri River or catch a Bismarck Bobcats hockey game.

Favorite Place to Feast: Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews, which makes incredible tater tots and “tater kegs,” which are oversized tots filled with cheese, bacon and chives and served with sour cream for dipping.

Beloved Beverage: Smith and Curran (also referred to as Smith and Kearns or Smith and Kern), a cocktail created for two oilmen who spend time in Bismarck during the early 1950s. It’s made with chocolate liquor, soda or soda water and cream or milk.

Outdoorsy Activity: Playing golf at one of Bismarck’s scenic courses, including Tom O’Leary Golf Course and Pebble Creek Golf Course.

Rooftop Bar: LÜFT, a relaxing downtown spot for grabbing a craft cocktail with friends and enjoying the view.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Never feel guilty about leaving your dog at home again – in Bismarck, pups are welcome at hip places like Laughing Sun Brewing Co., which also sells cool dog-approved merch like collapsible water bowls.

Remote Work Perk: You’re never far from anything when you live and work in Bismarck, where commute times average about 15 minutes. When you want to grab a quick cup of coffee or take a short walk at Keelboat Park between Zoom calls, you won’t have to speed to get back to your desk.

One More Thing … The North Dakota State Capitol building, located in Bismarck, is the tallest in the entire state at 21 stories high.

– Sarah Kuta

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