North Dakota – “Dakota” is Sioux for “friend” – earns the slogan of “a better place to be.” Found where the Midwest and Great Plains converge, the state also easily wins its nickname: The Legendary State. Those looking for awe-inspiring nature, nice folks, delicious food, starry nights, abundant jobs, low taxes, and stellar quality of life will find the comfort of a close friend here.

Mulling over a move to North Dakota? To help, we’ve created this convenient moving guide to North Dakota, separated into these four sections:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to ND
  2. Top Places to Live in the Great Plains State
  3. Handy Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Affordable Great Guys Moving Services

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Living in North Dakota: What to Know Before Moving to North Dakota

Moving to the Peace Garden State? If so, you’ll want to consider a few things before heading to the 19th largest state by size (70,700 square miles) and the 3rd smallest state by population (762,000).

Pros and Cons of Living in North Dakota


  • Happy state: When it comes to overall wellbeing, community, and environment, North Dakota is considered by many as one of the Top 10 happiest states to live in the United States.
  • Beautiful scenery: From golden prairies to majestic bison to clear starry nights (along with glistening lakes and the Missouri River), the Legendary State is a nature lover’s paradise.
  • Tax-friendly state: The top income tax bracket maxes out at only 2.9%. On top of the low tax rates, median rent ($775), and median mortgage ($1,326) are more than reasonable.
  • Plentiful jobs: Combine low unemployment and lots of jobs (in agriculture, energy, software, nursing, etc.) with low taxes and low cost of living, you get a recipe for upward mobility.
  • Peace & quiet: With 90% of the state filled with farms and ranches, plus super-low population density and being the least visited state, the environment is pleasantly serene up here.
  • Fast-growing cities: It’s not all about wide-open land and wondering bison, though. Cities like Fargo, Grand Forks, and Bismarck are bustling and attracting singles and families alike.
  • Friendly folks: Considered some of the nicest people in the country, North Dakotans like to maintain a strong sense of community. This state is a great place to raise a family.


  • Long, cold winters: Ready for subzero temperatures? If you’re coming from a temperate climate, buckle up (them winter boots, that is). Wintertime can be especially brutal in these parts.
  • Windy: As one of the Top 5 windiest states in the nation, North Dakota can make driving and other activities a bit more difficult. Plus, it can lead to dangerously cold wind chill factors.
  • Hot, humid summers: On the other side of the seasonal spectrum, temperatures can hit the 90s in the summertime. With the heat and humidity comes nasty pests like mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Job opportunities: Okay, this point shows up on both our pros and cons lists. Why? Though there are many jobs and low unemployment, most work is in the agricultural and oil industries, which is limiting.
  • Super quiet: Aside from major urban areas like West Fargo and Bismarck, most of the state lacks “things to do.” Of course, this might be exactly the reason you want to move here.
  • Animals on roads: The state has a ton of animals and long, lonely stretches of road. From deer to bison, you’ll want to keep an eye out. They tend to step out at the worst times possible.
  • Weird laws: Every state’s got them, including North Dakota. For example, you can’t keep an elk in your backyard sandbox. Also, a horse isn’t allowed to sleep in a bathtub in Waverly.

Is North Dakota a Good Place to Live?

North Dakota is an excellent place to live because it always ranks high on lists of the top states for livability and happiness, has low state income tax rates, and is home to some of the fastest-growing cities. The Legendary State isn’t all open pastures and farmland; Bismarck and Fargo have booming economies that attract families and young professionals alike. And since Dakota means “friend” in Sioux, it’s no surprise that North Dakotans are nice folks.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.01%. The effective real-estate tax rate is #28 in the US.
  • Sales Tax: North Dakota’s base state sales tax rate is currently 5%.
  • Income Tax: There are five brackets: 1.1%, 2.04%, 2.27%, 2.64%, and 2.9%.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? Overall, it is a cheaper option to rent rather than buy a home in North Dakota. The median monthly mortgage payment is $1,326, while the median monthly rent is $775. The difference between the average mortgage and rent is $551 per month or $6,612 per year.

  • Median Home Value: $235,000
  • Median Rental Expense: $583 (1BR), $750 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in North Dakota:

  1. Walhalla
  2. Langdon
  3. Cooperstown
  4. Ellendale
  5. Cando
  6. Gwinner
  7. Rolla
  8. Linton
  9. Oakes
  10. Lisbon

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in North Dakota by BestPlaces, North Dakota has a cost of living index of 89.9. This index is lower than the nationwide average of 100.

Using EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, we can compare the average monthly costs in three North Dakota cities. We’ll use a family of four for these examples (2 adults + 2 kids).

Fargo Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $810
  2. Food = $754
  3. Childcare = $1,990
  4. Transportation = $1,142
  5. Healthcare = $1,147
  6. Other necessities = $631
  7. Taxes = $959
  8. Grand total = $7,433 per month or $89,192 per year

Bismarck Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $869
  2. Food = $792
  3. Childcare = $2,201
  4. Transportation = $1,286
  5. Healthcare = $991
  6. Other necessities = $670
  7. Taxes = $972
  8. Grand total = $7,781 per month or $93,377 per year

Grand Forks Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $966
  2. Food = $753
  3. Childcare = $2,139
  4. Transportation = $1,190
  5. Healthcare = $1,159
  6. Other necessities = $693
  7. Taxes = $1,092
  8. Grand total = $7,992 per month or $95,905 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

North Dakota has a continental climate. This results in warm to hot summers and cold winters. It also leads to a wide variation of seasonal and daily temperatures (and some of the most unpredictable weather in America). The state has four distinct seasons (summer, fall, winter, and spring).

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall: 19 inches
  2. Average snowfall: 39 inches
  3. Sunshine: 201 sunny days
  4. Summer high: 82°F (July)
  5. Winter low: 0°F (January)

The state of North Dakota has seen its fair share of natural disasters, including blizzards and flooding. For more info, check out the State of North Dakota Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Severe Winter Storms
  2. Flooding
  3. Wildfires
  4. Tornadoes
  5. Extreme Heat
  6. Drought
  7. Windstorms
  8. Earthquakes

Economy & Job Market

According to Economy Rankings by US News & World Report, North Dakota is currently ranked #35 in the United States. This score is based on three subcategories: business environment (#41), employment (#7), and growth (#42). Its GDP is approximately $52.5 billion, and the median income is $34,041.

Top Industries:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Energy
  3. Tourism
  4. Transport
  5. Healthcare
  6. Retail
  7. Education
  8. Construction
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Government

Top Employers:

  1. Scheels (Fargo, 6,000 employees)
  2. TMI Hospitality (Fargo, 4,000 employees)
  3. Altru Health System (Grand Forks, 3,800 employees)
  4. North Dakota State University (Fargo, 3,410 employees)
  5. ICS (Grand Forks, 3,250 employees)
  6. Stallion Oilfield Services (Dickinson, 3,040+ employees)
  7. Varistar Corp (Fargo, 2,760 employees)
  8. Knife River (Bismarck, 2,370 employees)
  9. Titan Machinery (West Fargo, 2,350+ employees)
  10. Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Bismarck, 2,300 employees)
  11. Forum Communications (Fargo, 2,200 employees)
  12. Border States (Fargo, 2,140+ employees)
  13. Noridian Healthcare Solutions LLC (Fargo, 1,900+ employees)
  14. MBI Energy Services (Belfield, 1,900 employees)
  15. Eide Bailly (Fargo, 1,720 employees)
  16. Edgewood Vista (Grand Forks, 1,550+ employees)
  17. MeritCare South University (Fargo, 1,470 employees)
  18. RDO Equipment Co. (Fargo, 1,180+ employees)
  19. Leevers Foods (Langdon, 950 employees)
  20. Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. (Dickinson, 875 employees)

Looking for work in North Dakota? Here are some helpful resources:

  1. page: Finding a Job and Building a Career
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

As one of the largest states in America, along with less than a million residents, North Dakota is a place of unspoiled natural splendor and tons of space. That said, if you want to get around the state, you’ll need access to a vehicle. However, there are several transportation options to choose from in more populated areas like Fargo and Bismarck.

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Air (including Grand Forks International Airport)
  2. Major highways and roads
  3. Train (Amtrak’s Empire Builder Line)
  4. Shuttles and buses (various lines)
  5. Rural bus (Jefferson Bus Line, Greyhound, New Town Bus Line)
  6. Personal car, truck, SUV, and other vehicles
  7. Taxi and limousine service (major areas)
  8. Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc. in select areas)

Primary Interstate Highways:

  • Interstate 29: At a little over 217 miles long, this is the second-longest interstate highway in North Dakota. I-29 runs from the South state line to PTH 75 at the Canada-US border near Pembina.
  • Interstate 94: This is the longest section of interstate highway in the state (at more than 352 miles in length). I-94 travels from the Montana state line to US 52 along the Minnesota state line.
  • Interstate 194: As the shortest section of interstate highway – it’s just over one mile long – I-194 connects I-94 in Mandan to ND 810 in Bismarck.

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, North Dakota comes in at #25 in the country. This ranking is based on four subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#25), traffic & infrastructure (#8), safety (#38), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#47).

Things to Do

Looking for fun in North Dakota? Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, foodie, or a lover of the bizarre & obscure, there’s something for everyone in the Great Plains state.

Tourist Destinations:

The Peace Garden State is home to American history and natural attractions.

  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park: This is usually at the top of the list when it comes to North Dakota attractions. Named after the US president, this park is a must-see for any ND visitor.
  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site: Formerly the site of Mandan and Hidatsa Indian camping grounds, there now stands several reconstructed villages that preserve their culture.
  • Plains Art Museum: Found in Fargo, the popular art museum houses an extensive collection of works from both local and national artists (from Native American art to contemporary art).
  • Scandinavian Heritage Park: The outdoor museum is an ode to the cultural influences from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden (including a replica of Gol Stave Church).
  • Lake Sakakawea: As the state’s largest reservoir, the lake has over 1,500 miles of shoreline. It’s a very popular place to enjoy all kinds of recreational opportunities.

Food & Drink:

North Dakota has some tasty food, drinks, and treats! Here are the top picks:

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: Passage to India (Fargo)
  • Top Bar: The Parrot’s Cay (Grand Forks)
  • Top Beer: 1.21 Gigahops, Fargo Brewing Company (Fargo)
  • Top Brunch: Kroll’s Diner (Bismarck)
  • Top Burger: JL Beers (Various Locations)
  • Top Chinese Restaurant: Great Wall (Fargo)
  • Top Chocolate Shop: Carol Widman’s Candy (Fargo)
  • Top Coffee Shop: Fireflour Pizzeria + Coffee Bar (Bismarck)
  • Top Donuts: Sandy’s Donuts (Fargo)
  • Top Sandwich: Everything Grinder, Red Pepper (Grand Forks)

State Parks:

Want to explore North Dakota’s natural beauty? Check out these popular state parks:

  • Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park: Great place to explore both Native American history and military history. It also offers hiking, biking, and riding trails. Located in Mandan.
  • Grahams Island State Park: Found along the shores of Devil’s Lake, this wooded park offers great camping, swimming, hiking trails, beach area, and visitor center.
  • Icelandic State Park: Established in 1964 on the shores of Lake Renwick, this 912-acre park in Cavalier allows visitors to learn about the early settlement and enjoy recreational activities.
  • Lake Metigoshe State Park: Cradled in the Turtle Mountains, which is on the US-Canada border, this is one of the most popular year-round spots in North Dakota.
  • Cross Ranch State Park: Found along some of the last undeveloped, free-flowing miles of the Missouri River, the park in Center, ND offers 13 miles of hiking trails and more.
  • Fort Stevenson State Park: Known as the “Walleye Capital of North Dakota,” this Garrison park is popular with sportsmen, boaters, hikers, and military history buffs alike.


There are some fascinating museums in North Dakota. Here’s our Top 5 selection:

  • North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum: Home to awesome displays.
  • Chateau de Mores State Historic Site: Explore the Marquis de Mores’ home.
  • Red River Zoo: Found in Fargo, the zoo is home to native and exotic animals.
  • National Buffalo Museum: This museum showcases the buffalo’s role in the ecosystem.
  • Fargo Air Museum: This highly-rated museum promotes aviation via exhibits, education, and events.

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something different in North Dakota? Consider the following:

  • The Pyramid of North Dakota: On a plain in the middle of northeastern North Dakota sits an odd pyramid-shaped structure and silos constructed from concrete. This oddity is a missile defense system that the government built in the 1960s but abandoned shortly after its completion.
  • Enchanted Highway Sculptures: As one man’s mission to save his town, the large metal sculptures serve their purpose beautifully in attracting year-round visitors to the area.
  • Legendary Albino Buffalo: Comprised of three wondrous and extremely rare examples, this trio of albino buffalo is a sight to behold in Jamestown. The first one was born in 1996.
  • Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site: Another relic of the Cold War, this former missile launch site is well-preserved, transporting visitors to this time in American history.
  • The Geographical Center of North America: Yeah, we know, this claim may not be accurate – there are several challenges – but the monument found in Rugby is still worth the trip.

Schools and Universities

Ranked #15 among states with the best schools by USA Today, North Dakota has the 12th highest public-school funding in the US ($14,372 per student). It also has the 13th highest graduation rate (87.5%).

As for higher education, there are several small to midsize colleges and universities, including the University of Dakota. SD residents can attend select schools in Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota via the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) and the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE).

Top ND Colleges:

  1. University of North Dakota (Grand Forks)
  2. North Dakota State University (Fargo)
  3. University of Mary (Bismarck)
  4. University of Jamestown (Jamestown)
  5. Valley City State University (Valley City)
  6. Dickinson State University (Dickinson)
  7. Mayville State University (Mayville)
  8. Minot State University (Minot)
  9. Bismarck State College (Bismarck)
  10. Valley City State University (Valley City)

Top ND Public School Districts:

  1. Fargo Public Schools (Fargo)
  2. Park River Area School District No. 8 (Park River)
  3. Lewis and Clark School District No. 161 (Berthold)
  4. Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood School District No. 1 (Mohall)
  5. Westhope School District No. 17 (Westhope)
  6. Wyndmere Public Schools (Wyndmere)
  7. Edmore School District No. 2 (Edmore)
  8. Kindred Public School District (Kindred)
  9. Carrington Public School District (Carrington)
  10. Grand Forks Public Schools (Grand Forks)

How to Become a North Dakota Resident

There are several advantages to becoming an official resident of North Dakota, particularly when it comes to hunting licenses, tax filing, and college tuition purposes.

Here are some steps to establish ND residency:

  1. Obtain physical address in North Dakota (and receive mail there)
  2. Spend more than seven months (210 days) of the tax year here
  3. Get North Dakota driver’s license
  4. Title and register out-of-state vehicle here
  5. Register to vote in the state (and vote, if inclined)
  6. File North Dakota state taxes
  7. Set up a bank account in the state

Be sure to check the residency requirements from school to school. Colleges and universities typically use their own set of criteria to determine eligibility for in-state tuition and financial aid.

Moving to North Dakota DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to the state, new residents have 150 days to obtain an ND driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Move to North Dakota
  2. Visit local Driver’s License Site
  3. Present following: valid out-of-state driver’s license, along with legal proof of name and date of birth (such as a birth certificate or US passport).
  4. May have to pass written and road tests, as well as have a driving record check and provide medical information. Which requirements you must meet depends on the discretion of the driver’s license examiner.
  5. If the license is more than a year past the expiration date, then you must take all applicable tests
  6. Pass vision test
  7. Have photo taken
  8. Pay applicable fees

Note: Residents of North Dakota will be required to present a REAL ID when boarding a domestic flight, starting in October 2020.

Vehicle registration:

New ND residents must title and register out-of-state vehicles with the NDDOT.

First, visit a local NDDOT office. You will need to submit the following: 1) completed Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle 2) Proof of ID, such as valid license, ID card, or document that confirms your legal identity 3) Signed vehicle title 4) 5% excise tax 5) New vehicle: requires certificate of origin and odometer disclosure statement 6) Payment for applicable fees.

Note: You must carry auto insurance from an ND licensed insurance provider to legally drive here.

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A United States citizen
  2. An ND resident for 30 days before the election
  3. 18 years or older on election day
  4. Not under felony conviction or sentence
  5. Not disqualified due to a court order

North Dakota is the only state in America that doesn’t have a formal voter registration system (the government abolished it in 1951). The state does not allow no-excuse absentee voting or early voting. Voters in North Dakota must present some form of valid ID at the polls.

Note: A felon in North Dakota regains their voting rights upon release from prison.

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Best Places to Live in North Dakota

We’ve rounded up the top towns and cities to call home in the Roughrider State:

Devils Lake

Population: 7,300
Median Home Value: $166,800
Region: Eastern North Dakota

We begin our tour in Devils Lake. Don’t let the name mislead you. Devils Lake is a great place to live! Located in Ramsey County, the town gets its name after the popular local lake. About 53% of residents rent their homes, and the public schools rate above average.

Known for its natural beauty, fishing, hunting, golfing, and an assortment of lake activities, Devils Lake is ranked among the Top 5 places to retire in North Dakota (as well as a top recreation destination). As for housing, the current median listing price is less than $160K, and the median rent is even a better deal at under $525 per month. The town also offers convenient access to Spirit Lake Casino & Resort. On the downside, the average age is 41 years. But if you’re looking to retire here, that might be a big selling point.

  • Top public schools: Sweetwater Elementary School, Prairie View Elementary School, Central Middle School, Minnie H. Elementary School, Devil’s Lake High School.
  • Top private school: St. Joseph School.
  • Top college: Lake Region State College.

Looking for a great place to retire in eastern North Dakota? Check out Devils Lake!


Population: 122,000
Median Home Value: $227,000
Region: Eastern North Dakota

Next, we mosey on over to the City of Fargo. As the most populous city in the state of North Dakota – it accounts for approximately 17% of the population – and the county seat of Cass County, Fargo is certainly legendary. Approximately 57% of residents rent their places, and the public schools are ranked high.

Recently ranked #1 among the best places to live in North Dakota by The Crazy Tourist, Fargo (unlike many parts of the state) offers a ton of things to do. Downtown Fargo is a great choice for prime shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s also a genuinely friendly and caring community, perfect for raising a family. Though it’s the largest city in the state, it still retains a great small-town feel. Fargo is also home to musician Jonny Lang and acts as the backdrop of the popular TV series Fargo.

Like any other major city in America, Fargo has its drawbacks. First, it gets incredibly cold here during the winter. Also, crime rates could use some improvement (though they are certainly not even close to the worst in the country).

  • Top public schools: Fargo Davis High School, Discovery Middle School, Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School, North High School, and Horace Mann Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Top private schools: Oak Grove Lutheran School, Shanley High School, Nativity Elementary School, Dakota Montessori School, and Grace Lutheran School
  • Top colleges: North Dakota State University, Josef’s School of Hair Design – Fargo, Moler Barber College – Fargo, and Rasmussen College – Fargo

Are you looking for where the action takes place in North Dakota? Fargo easily takes the first-place ribbon.

Grand Forks

Population: 57,000
Median Home Value: $220,800
Region: Eastern North Dakota

Grand Forks, the third-largest city in North Dakota, is the county seat of Grand Forks County. This town of 57,000 residents is approximately 81 miles north of Fargo, ND. Approximately 56% of residents rent their homes, and the public schools are above average.

Situated on the North Plains (and right on the border next to the state of Minnesota), Grand Forks offers a great combo of bustling town and beautiful scenery. Add to the mix great schools, attractive cost of living, varied nightlife, an assortment of outdoor recreation (including 2,200-acre Grand Forks Greenway), and a college-town atmosphere thanks to the University of North Dakota (UND), and you can quickly see why Grand Forks is a top city to live and possibly the friendliest place in America!

  • Top public schools: J. Nelson Kelly Elementary School, Manvel Elementary School, Ben Franklin Elementary School, Nathan Twining Middle School, and Schroeder Middle School
  • Top private schools: St. Michael’s School and Holy Family School
  • Top colleges: The University of North Dakota and Josef’s School of Hair Design – Grand Forks

In search of the good life along the North Dakota-Minnesota border, complete with urban amenities and natural splendor? Grand Forks is waiting with open arms.


Population: 2,700
Median Home Value: $298,800
Region: Eastern North Dakota

We now make our way to Horace, ND. Located in Cass County, this town of less than 3,000 is ranked as the #1 suburb to live in the Fargo area. An astounding 97% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rate above average.

Offering a less suburban feel than a place like Devils Lake, Horace is officially a city. With nearly all residents owning their homes, there’s an undeniable sense of homey comfort here. Many folks consider Horace to be the best place to raise a family in the state. It’s also consistently ranked as the #2 place to buy a house. Crime rates here are lower than the ND average, and unemployment sits at only 0.6%.

On the downside, though housing prices are pretty reasonable (median home value is less than $300K), rental properties are hard to find here. But if you’re looking to buy a family home, then that isn’t an issue. Keep in mind, though, that you might have to wait for the perfect property to go up for sale.

Top schools serving the Horace, ND area include Kindred Elementary School, Horace Elementary School, Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center, Liberty Middle School, and Kindred High School.

For those looking to raise a family, Horace is probably the best place in the state to do just that!

West Fargo

Population: 35,000
Median Home Value: $244,500
Region: Eastern North Dakota

For our last stop in eastern North Dakota, we land in West Fargo. Considered the #2 suburb in the Fargo area, West Fargo offers safe and welcoming American living. About 68% of residents own their homes, and the public schools rate above average.

Offering lower crime rates than the city of Fargo, West Fargo consistently ranks as the second-best place to live in the state. It has friendly folks, safe neighborhoods, decent schools, plenty of job opportunities, various entertainment options, and a growing downtown West Fargo area. And, of course, West Fargo offers convenient commuting to Fargo (about a 15-minute drive to the east).

Top public schools serving West Fargo, ND include South Elementary School, Freedom Elementary School, Legacy Elementary School, Cheney Middle School, and Aurora Elementary School. Looking for K–12 private education? Consider Trinity Elementary School.

Looking for the American Dream in North Dakota? West Fargo should be at the top of your list.


Population: 3,300
Median Home Value: $202,800
Region: Western/Central North Dakota

Making our way to the western portion of North Dakota, we stop in Beulah. This small city of less than 3,500, situated in Mercer County, is in high demand these days. Around 80% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are considered average.

Yes, though it has a population of only 3,300, it’s still considered a city in North Dakota. It ranks high in low crime and short commute times (even relative to many other ND places that also do well in these categories). Homeownership is high here, and with a median listing price of just $171K, people are highly interested in buying a house in this close-knit, family-oriented community.

Have a family or planning on raising one? Top public schools serving Beulah, ND include Beulah Middle School, Beulah High School, and Beulah Elementary School.

Offering good jobs, housing prices, and an assortment of amenities, Beulah has become a popular choice for retirees and millennials looking to raise kids in western North Dakota.


Population: 73,000
Median Home Value: $280,000
Region: Western/Central North Dakota

Bismarck, as the county seat of Burleigh County, is the capital city and second most populated city in North Dakota. About 63% of residents own their homes, and the public schools rate above average.

A hot spot for millennials, families, and retirees alike, Bismarck offers a wide variety of opportunities and amenities. These include the Dakota Zoo, proximity to the Missouri River, Historic Downtown Bismarck (the heart of the city), University of Mary, and so on. Bismarck also offers plenty of entertainment options, including numerous live bands, DJs, clubs, and much more! As with Fargo and other cities, Bismarck does have its downsides. The main issue is a less-than-stellar crime & safety rating, though it’s far from the worst.

  • Top public schools: Sunrise Elementary School, Horizon Middle School, Northridge Elementary School, Victor Solheim Elementary School, and Bismarck High School
  • Top private schools: St. Mary’s Central High School, Shiloh Christian School, St. Mary’s Grade School, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit School, and St. Anne School
  • Top colleges: University of Mary, Bismarck State College, United Tribes Technical College, JZ Trend Academy, and Sanford College of Nursing

Want to enjoy all the benefits that come with living in a thriving capital city? Bismarck is waiting!


Population: 3,700
Median Home Value: $226,600
Region: Western/Central North Dakota

Last but not least, we end our list with Lincoln, ND. Don’t let its size fool you. With a population of less than 4,000, Lincoln still ranks as the best overall place to live in North Dakota. The majority (89%) of its residents are homeowners, and the public schools are above average.

What makes Lincoln a great place to live in North Dakota? For starters, it offers a quiet, safe, family-friendly atmosphere and affordable living away from noise and congestion. It also provides quick commute times to the capital city of Bismarck (10–20 minutes by vehicle). These factors prompted HomeSnacks to name Lincoln the #1 place among the ten best places to live in North Dakota for 2020.

Are you looking for the best K–12 education? Top public schools serving Lincoln, ND include Bismarck High School, Prairie Rose Elementary School, Wachter Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School, and South Central High School.

If you’re in search of arguably the best place to live in the state, you’ve just found it in Lincoln.

How to Move to North Dakota State

Moving to or from North Dakota can be daunting. That’s why it’s crucial to have a solid plan. Follow this interstate moving checklist for a seamless relocation to the Peace Garden State.

Start Early:

  • To begin, give yourself plenty of time to plan and execute. At 2–3 months before the move.
  • Create a timeline and list of logistics. Also, buy a folder to hold receipts and moving docs.
  • Have help? Awesome! Get everyone together. Discuss the plan of attack and delegate tasks.
  • Make a weekly to-do list. Place it on the fridge or another visible spot. Update when needed.
  • If possible, try to visit your new town or city. Explore everything it has to offer. Have fun!

Notify Important Parties:

  • Rent? Let the landlord know ASAP. This notice will help you avoid issues with deposit or reference.
  • Own? A real estate pro can boost your sale price or provide a smoother rental process.
  • Give employees and service providers ample notice (at least one month) before the move.
  • Don’t forget to tell your friends, family, and neighbors. Know wants to be that person.

Book ND Moving Company:

  • To begin, compare several qualified ND moving companies (at least 3–5 candidates).
  • Make sure each company is fully qualified and experienced for your ND relocation.
  • Try to book ASAP. Booking early will help you get the lowest rates and best availability.
  • Want even greater savings? Plan your move during the off-season (winter or fall).
  • Great Guys makes it easy to hire ND interstate movers. Request free quotes today!

Secure a Storage Option:

  • Remodeling? Traveling? Between places? A storage service could be extremely helpful.
  • Our North Dakota moving partners offer both short-term and long-term storage options.
  • Want a hand with choosing the right service? Contact us today for your storage solution.

Purge Your Household:

  • A purge, aka decluttering, can free up a bunch of space (and save money, too).
  • Begin by touring your place. Take note (mentally or on device) of household items.
  • While moving from room to room, consider what you want to pack or discard.
  • Once you’ve taken inventory, start (one room at a time) to sort through your stuff.
  • There are a few ways to sort: label, place in bags, or make piles accordingly.
  • Sell, donate, or recycle any possessions you longer want or have a use for anymore.
  • Be sure to properly dispose of gas, aerosol cans, and other hazardous materials.

Start Packing Process:

  • DIY Packing? Don’t procrastinate! Start packing a few weeks before the moving date.
  • The first step is to get plenty of quality boxes, tape, and other packing supplies.
  • Pro-tip #1: Pair heavier items and place them at the bottom of a moving box.
  • Pro-tip #2: Dealing with extra heavy stuff? Put these items in smaller boxes for easier lifting.
  • Pro-tip #3: Fill spaces with packing peanuts for better stacking and protection.
  • Once you’ve filled a moving box, make sure to fully tape and clearly label the box.
  • If you need a few helping hands, let us connect you with our pro packers.

Arrange for Travel:

  • Driving yourself? Have the vehicle inspected and serviced (including oil and tires).
  • Are you flying to your new home? Buy tickets ASAP to secure the best rates and seats.
  • If feasible, try to plan on arriving at your new home ahead of the moving truck.
  • New residents of North Dakota have 60 days to obtain a new driver’s license.

Prep Children, Pets, and Yourself:

  • Moving can be disruptive for kids, especially if it’s their first move ever.
  • Explain the upcoming change. Use a story or playtime to paint a clear picture.
  • This new information can be unsettling. Be patient, kind, and optimistic.
  • Also, try to maintain normal routines as much as possible during the process.
  • Be sure everyone sees their respective dentists, pediatricians, physicians, etc.
  • Transfer medical records, school transcripts, and other important records.
  • Got a furry friend? Take them to the vet. Also, check ND state/local pet laws.
  • Moving day will be distracting. Take little ones to childcare and pet care.

Deal with Utilities and Services:

  • Schedule utilities (electric, water, etc.) to be disconnected the day after you move.
  • Have new services (internet, etc.) active by the time you move into your new place.
  • Don’t forget to update your address. Visit the local post office or go online to the USPS site.
  • Another smart step is to update info for online services, box subscriptions, and so on.

Book Cleaning Services:

  • Rent your place? A deep cleaning service can protect your reference and deposits.
  • Own your home? Deep cleaning can greatly boost showing appeal or renter search.
  • While you’re at it, consider other services (repairs, paint, floor refinishing, and so on).
  • If doable, schedule the cleaning team to come in right after movers have finished up.

Celebrate Your Move:

  • It’s probably been hectic, but remember to commemorate your move with loved ones.
  • This transition is an emotional time for many. Be kind and have fun with your nearest and dearest.
  • Need help? Have a BBQ, schedule a group excursion, hang out one-on-one, and so on.
  • Plan out your activities over a day or several weeks. Whatever works best.

Moving Week is Here:

  • The moving week has arrived! First thing’s first: contact movers and double-check details.
  • Make an essentials box. Include prescriptions, toiletries, bedding, snacks, tools, etc.
  • Need to get rid of food? Donate to charity. Give rest to neighbors, family, and friends.
  • Don’t forget to fully clean and sanitize appliances for mold-free delivery to the new place.
  • The night before moving day, try to stay in, rest, eat healthy, hydrate, and sleep well.
  • Moving day is here! If possible, touch base with movers. Be sure your instructions are clear.
  • Once they have loaded the moving truck, perform a walkthrough of your old home.
  • Finally, remember to enjoy your move! Try to make lasting memories along the way.

Quality Moving Services from North Dakota Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers finds you top ND moving services at competitive prices.

Long Distance Moves

With the right help, your relocation doesn’t have to be painful. We work with a network of fully qualified and vetted long-distance moving companies that make a move to or from North Dakota a cinch!

Intrastate & Local Moves

Headed to Fargo? Moving to Bismarck? No problem! Our partners are affordable and skilled. If you want professionals that know the state like the back of their hands, hire one of our local movers.

International Moves

Moving to a new country? From corporate relocation to military moving, there are a ton of logistics involved with an overseas move. With our international relocation service, you’ll be able to enjoy a drama-free transition.

Small Load Moves

Large households aren’t the only ones that deserve convenient moving services. From 1BR apartments to studios to college dorms, our small-load movers provide cheap and quick moving options.

Furniture Shipments

Don’t want to risk damages or back injury? Have a few items that require special attention? Whatever your needs, our furniture moving companies arrive with the right tools and know-how for any job.

Piano Transport

Whether you have an organ or grand piano, you want a specialist that you can count on with your precious instrument. The piano movers in our network offer stellar delivery to a new home or venue.

Art Shipping & Transport

Need to transport fine art, collectibles or antiques? The last thing you want to do is leave it to amateurs. Our specialized art shippers provide top-tier services, from custom packaging to carpentry work.


Remodeling, traveling, or relocating soon? You could probably use clean and secure storage. Our moving partners also provide short-term and long-term storage solutions. Contact Great Guys today!

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Just landed your dream job? Facing eviction? Whatever the case, we know how stressful it can be. That’s why we make it super simple to find and hire quality short-notice movers in your local area ASAP.

Residential Moves

Relocating your entire household is no small feat. Plus, life tends to make things a lot more complicated. Remove the stress off your shoulders and book one of our ND residential movers.

Packing Services

Don’t have the energy, time, or ability to pack yourself? You’re not alone. From partial packing to full-service packing options, our group of professional packers is ready to lend a few expert hands.

Commercial and Office Moves

Expanding your business or relocating an office? Congrats! Now, down to business. To avoid unnecessary delays or downtime, hire one of our top-rated commercial moving companies.

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Want affordable, quality moving services? Get your free ND moving quotes today!

Get price estimates for your move right now.

Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More

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