WDAY.com |

North Dakota's #1 news website 10,650,498 page views — March 2014

Published June 06, 2013, 11:55 PM

5 free regional tourist attractions

FARGO – Considering the price of gas this sum-mer, travelers may be looking for ways to trim vacation costs.

By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

FARGO – Considering the price of gas this sum-mer, travelers may be looking for ways to trim vacation costs.

Recently, the North Da-kota Tourism Division launched a revamped web-site with a prominent button to “find fun free things to do.” This week, 27 different tourist attractions graced the list, and more will be added as travel partners update their listings, says Kim Schmidt, public and media relations manager.

We pulled a few ideas from ndtourism.com and culled a couple more from exploreminnesota.com, to highlight five free tourist attractions in the region.

Basilica of St. James

622 1st Ave. S., Jamestown, N.D.


One of only 60 minor ba-silicas in the U.S., this Catholic Church was built from 1910 to 1914. Its stun-ning American Gothic-style architecture and stained glass windows draw visitors regularly. Call ahead for a guided tour, (701) 252-0119.

(Other Jamestown sites on the free attractions list include The Arts Center gallery, 115 2nd Ave. S.W., and Frontier Village, home of the World’s Largest Buffalo.)

Maple River Winery and Distillery

628 Front St., Casselton, N.D.


The small artisan distill-ery produces brandies, vodkas and cordials with locally grown fruit. The winery boasts award-winning wines made from rhubarb, chokecherries, apple, plum and even dan-delion. Tours and samples are offered on a daily basis. The business is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (701) 347-5900.

(The winery is located across from Governor’s Park, another noted free attraction.)

Big Bruce, Newman Outdoor Field

1515 15th Ave. N., Fargo


Made out of white ash, Big Bruce is the world’s largest wooden baseball bat at 13 feet, 5 inches. Its barrel is 12½ inches in diameter. It is located in the downstairs lobby of Newman Outdoor Field, as is the Maury Wills Museum, which honors the Los Angeles Dodgers star. Open daily in the summer. (701) 235-6161.

Becker County History Museum and Research Library

714 Summit Ave., Detroit Lakes, Minn.


Many county museums open their doors to visitors for free. The Becker Coun-ty Historical Society’s museum features two levels of exhibits detailing the history, life and culture of Becker County communities.

The research library has valuable information for genealogical researchers and history buffs. They’re currently open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Kids program-ming is offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays in August. (218) 847-2938.

Nemeth Art Center

301 Court Ave., Park Rapids, Minn.


Located on the second floor of the historic court-house building in Park Rapids, the art center features monthly curated shows of contemporary art and a permanent collection of 42 European paintings, some dating to the 16th century.

The first floor of the courthouse is home to the Hubbard County Historical Society, which also offers free exhibits.

This week kicks off the Nemeth Art Center’s 2013 Visiting Art Series with the work of Brad Kahl-hamer, who will give a public reception and lec-ture at 4 p.m. Saturday. His work explores the naviga-tion between his Native heritage and American pop culture.

The center is open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. As is the case with many free attractions, donations are accepted. (218) 237-5900.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556