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Living a College Town Lifestyle in Bismarck, North_Dakota

Ranked number five of 179 metros with populations under 235,000 by Forbes magazine, Bismarck is a desirable college community. It is the capital city of North Dakota and the state's second largest city, home to five colleges, as well as a university of Bismarck. The population is over 55,000. The city is located in south-central North Dakota on the Missouri River. The capitol campus is one of the city's largest attractions and also the principle employer.  Of the five public and private colleges in town, the largest is the University of Mary.

Outdoor recreation is a big draw for people who wish to visit or move to Bismarck. Summers are beautiful and dry and winters are cold and long.

Where to Retire in Bismarck and Home Prices

Median sales price of a home in Bismarck was $268,400 in the 4th quarter of 2021 (NAR). There are active adult and retirement communities to choose from in and around Bismarck. The Cathedral District is a historic neighborhood near downtown Bismarck. Some homes in this neighborhood date back to the 1880s.

What Is Special about Bismarck

Several outstanding Art Deco buildings in the capitol, as well as a cathedral.  Bismarck has a large park system and an extensive network of exercise trails. The city is in the top 100 of's "Most Livable Cities". Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a very popular attraction.

What Is Not Special about Bismarck

Cold winters and a boom town economy from oil drilling in this state.

Climate and Physical Environment

Bismarck is on the Missouri River in south central North Dakota.  The average July temp is 70 and the average Jan temp is 10, so summers are mild and winters are cold.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Belle Mehus Auditorium in downtown Bismarck is a center for the arts in the metropolitan area and where the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra holds their performances.  There are also art galleries. The University of Mary and other colleges offer cultural opportunities


Crime rates are well below the national average.

Medical Facilities

The city has two hospitals: St. Alexius Medical Center (285-bed) and Sanford Health (238-bed).


I 94 runs through the city. Bismarck Municipal Airport is south of the city and is the second busiest in the state. There is public bus service.

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