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Best Small Towns in North Dakota For Retirement Living

There are many small towns in North Dakota perfect for retirement living. Many are near the metro areas and livable small towns throughout ND.

Most people don’t think of North Dakota when considering great places to live, but this northern state bordering Canada offers a lot of great small towns with character, friendliness, and things to do. North Dakota became the 39th state in 1889, and is known as the Peace Garden State.


Bismarck serves as the state’s capital and second largest town despite its small population of only 65,000 people. The town has an extensive array of parks and nature trails throughout, making it a great place for outdoor lovers. Sertoma Park sits on the banks of the Missouri River and stretches east over three miles. Also near the river is Super Slide Amusement Park which offers water slides, roller coasters, and several other amusement park attractions.

Grand Forks

Grand Forks offers a lot of small town charm yet quite a few things to do compared to other towns its size. This is due in part because of the University of North Dakota that brings a culture, higher education, and sports to the town. Along with the collegiate culture, Grand Forks is home to nearly 20 parks, an 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course, and the Empire Arts Center.

North Dakota retirement



Minot offers the small town seeker a taste of the arts and Scandinavia. This small town with a population of just 40,000 is over 40% Scandinavian. Because of its heritage, Minot is home to the annual Norsk Hostfest, which serves as the largest Scandinavian American festival in the country. Scandinavian Heritage Park is also located in the city and features replicas of buildings and landmarks that are famous in the countries of Sweded, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.


This quaint little town is located right across the Missouri River from Bismarck. As of the 2010 census the population was approximately 18,000. Mandan is your typical small town with its fair share of cafes, casual dining, antique shops, and small stores. Mandan was founded in 1879 and is known for having friendly citizens.


Jamestown is located in Stutsman County with a population of 15,000. Despite its small size the town offers great shops, casual dining, and a variety of recreational activities. The town features the Jamestown Reservoir, which is made up of three man-made bodies of water perfect for boating and fishing. This area gets plenty of use by locals and tourists alike. Jamestown College basketball games take place in the Jamestown Civic Center along with concerts and other events. The town also has two full 18-hole championship level golf courses open to the public. Baseball and softball lovers enjoy the use of Jack Brown Stadium.


This small North Dakota town is located in Stark County and is home to Dickinson State University. The population sits just below 18,000 as of 2010. One of the appeals of the city is its close proximity to Lake Sakakawea. Thousands of people flock to Sakakawea to partake in recreational water sports and fishing. The presence of the university gives the town more culture and entertainment options than many towns its same size. The community enjoys watching the Dickinson State Blue Hawks football and basketball teams compete.

North Dakota Towns and Communities:

Fargo Bismarck Grand Forks Minot West Fargo Mandan Dickinson Jamestown Williston Wahpeton Devils Lake Valley City Grafton Beulah Rugby Horace Hazen Lincoln Casselton Bottineau Lisbon Carrington New Town Langdon Mayville Oakes Harvey Watford City Bowman Hillsboro Stanley Garrison Park River Ellendale New Rockford Larimore Cavalier Rolla Washburn Tioga Hettinger Cando Linton Kenmare Velva Crosby Burlington Beach Wishek Walhalla Thompson Cooperstown New Salem Northwood Surrey Hankinson Parshall LaMoure Enderlin Drayton Glen Ullin Belfield Napoleon Mohall Underwood Hatton Dunseith Mapleton Gwinner Killdeer Ashley Hebron Mott Harwood Steele Wilton Kindred Lakota Milnor Lidgerwood Elgin Portland Minto New England Rolette Pembina Ray Turtle Lake Center Edgeley Towner Richardton Reile's Acres Forman North Dakota.