Moving to Bismarck

Ah, Bismarck, ND--the hidden gem of the Great Plains! Relocating can seem daunting, but don't fret. Our comprehensive guide is about to make your move to North Dakota's capital a breeze. Bismarck, a hub brimming with history, culture, and incredible outdoor adventures is calling you. Whether you're lured by its bountiful job opportunities, low cost of living, or enchanting local charm--Bismarck indeed has something to offer everyone. Ready to kickstart your new chapter here? Buckle up, as we venture into all you need to know about moving to this friendly and vibrant midwestern city.

Moving to Bismarck, ND landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Bismarck

1. Embrace the Great Outdoors

The first thing you need to know about moving to Bismarck, ND is that it's an adventurer's paradise. The landscape is dotted with rolling hills, lush greenery, and sparkling rivers perfect for hiking, fishing and boating. Nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park offers a unique opportunity to experience the solace and simple joys of the Great Outdoors. So dust off that fishing rod and lace up your hiking boots because nature is calling!

2. Say hello to winter...for a good part of the year!

Bismarck is a winter wonderland for most of the year, with heavy snowfall starting as early as October, and continuing until April. But worry not. This is an excellent excuse to enjoy winter sports. Think snowshoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, or even a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Don't forget to keep your snow boots and warm clothes handy!

3. Catching a big fish is a big deal here

Here's something you might not know: Bismarck takes fishing pretty seriously. The Missouri River, which flows right through the city, is home to some of the biggest fishes in North Dakota. Each year, the city hosts a number of fishing derbies where locals and visitors compete to snag the biggest catch. So, practice your casting and aim for the big one!

4. Low unemployment and a thriving economy

Bismarck boasts a low unemployment rate and a robust economy primarily driven by the energy, healthcare, and agriculture sectors. The city also has a wide range of job opportunities in education, government, and small businesses. No matter your profession, there's likely a place for you in Bismarck.

5. One of the Oldest (and Coolest) Libraries in the Nation

Unknown to many, Bismarck houses one of the oldest and coolest libraries in the nation! Known as the "State Library of North Dakota", this historic establishment first opened its doors in 1907. But don't let its age fool you. This library is as hip as they come, with public access to 3D printers, a recording studio, and even musical instruments!

6. The Local Cuisine is Something to Write Home About

Your tastebuds are in for a thrill when you move to Bismarck. One of the little-known things about Bismarck is that it has an amazing local food scene. From local favorites like knoephla soup and walleye dishes, to the wide variety of international cuisines available, there's something to satisfy every palate. And don't forget to try the Dakota-style pizza - a local delicacy that's a must-try for any food lover.

In conclusion, Bismarck, ND is more than just a city - it's a vibrant community brimming with opportunity, adventure, and down-to-earth charm. Whether you're after the serenity of the great outdoors, the excitement of a bustling economy, or the warmth of a tight-knit community, Bismarck is definitely a place to be considered when planning your next move.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Bismarck

Pros of Living in Bismarck

Low Unemployment Rate

The city of Bismarck boasts an impressively low unemployment rate. Not only does this reflect a strong local economy, it also means that it's easier to find a job here than in many other places around the country. A diverse economy with plenty of job opportunities awaits in industries ranging from healthcare to energy to government services.

Unique Recreational Opportunities

Bismarck offers unique recreational opportunities English folk don't typically encounter, such as ice fishing, snowmobiling, or hunting. With its beautiful outdoor spaces, like Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, there's also plenty of more traditional outdoor activities to enjoy like hiking, camping, and bird watching.

Lower Cost of Living

Living in Bismarck can be more economical when compared to many other cities across the US. The cost of things like groceries, healthcare, utilities, and transportation can be significantly less, meaning your paycheck can go further.

Excellent Education System

Bismarck is known for having an excellent education system, from the elementary level all the way up to higher education. Schools in Bismarck typically perform above the national average, for a well-rounded learning experience.

Community Oriented

Part of the appeal of Bismarck is its sense of community. The city frequently holds events and festivals that are great opportunities for residents to mingle and feel part of a community. It's an ideal environment for those looking to settle down and foster strong community ties.

Cons of Living in Bismarck

Harsh Winters

Bismarck is known for harsh winters that can be a big challenge, especially for those not used to such conditions. The extreme cold can lead to difficult driving conditions, sudden school closures, and general discomfort for significant portions of the year.


Some might feel a sense of isolation living in Bismarck, as it is somewhat removed from other large cities. This could mean less access to some amenities, and it could make traveling to see out-of-town family and friends more difficult.

Limited Diversity

While Bismarck can offer a strong sense of community and familiarity, some may see the city's relative lack of diversity as a downside. This may limit exposure to various cultural experiences and points of view.

Higher Property Taxes

Despite a lower cost of living, property taxes in Bismarck tend to be relatively higher than in many other parts of the country. This could potentially add substantial costs for homeowners.

Less Nightlife

Compared to larger, more cosmopolitan locations, Bismarck has a relatively tame nightlife. For those who enjoy a buzzing bar scene or a wide variety of restaurants and nightclubs, Bismarck may leave them wanting.

Modern day picture of Bismarck, ND highlighting pros and cons of living in Bismarck, ND

Is Bismarck a Good Place to Live?

Bismarck, ND is a great place to live because of its low unemployment rate, affordable cost of living, and abundant outdoor recreational activities. Additionally, the city boasts a high quality of education and a solid health care system, which wholesome families and adventure seekers will find quite appealing. It's all rounded up nicely with the charm of a small-town feel, making Bismarck a fabulous choice for setting down roots!

What Is Bismarck Famous For?

The Dakota Zoo

With over 125 species of animals from reptiles to mammals, it's no surprise that Dakota Zoo brings in over 100,000 visitors each year! Located on 15 acres along the beautiful Missouri River, it's the perfect spot for a family fun day or a chill solo adventure.

Missouri River

Flowing right by the capital city, the Missouri River provides a stunning backdrop for Bismarck, as well as an array of recreational activities. Visitors and locals can enjoy boating, fishing, picnicking or simply marveling at the rippling water set against a picturesque sky.

State Capitol Building

Bismarck proudly hosts North Dakota's 21-story State Capitol building. Known as the "Skyscraper on the Prairie", it holds the title for the tallest building in North Dakota, and its grounds also host the stunning North Dakota Heritage Center.

Awe-inspiring Natural Beauty

Four words - Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Just a short drive from downtown Bismarck, the park offers breathtaking views of the Missouri River Valley and is a beloved destination for camping, hiking, and soaking up some North Dakota history.

Capital building of Bismarck, ND in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Bismarck, ND, as of 2023, the average property tax rate is approximately 1.34% of the home's value which is slightly higher than the U.S. average of 1.07%.

Sales Tax

As for sales tax in Bismarck, ND, it is currently at 6.50% as of 2023. This is about average when compared with the rest of the United States, where the median sales tax rate is approximately 6.73%.

Income Tax

The income tax in Bismarck, ND, ranges from 1.10% to 2.90% as of 2023, which is lower than the top marginal tax rate across the U.S. which is typically above 5% in most states.

Housing Market

The Bismarck, ND housing market offers unique value for buyers and renters. The median home value in Bismarck is significantly lower than the national average, delivering significant savings for buyers. Renters enjoy a comparatively affordable standard of living with the median rent lower than the U.S. median. While property appreciation rates in Bismarck have been somewhat slower than other U.S. areas, it still offers an affordable, steady market. However, it's advisable to closely monitor market trends, as the area can be affected by local economic factors such as job growth and the energy sector.

Cost of Living

The current cost of living in Bismarck, ND is relatively lower compared to many other cities in the United States. Factors such as housing, grocery costs, transportation, and healthcare are all considered to be below the national average. This means that residents of Bismarck can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle even with a modest income. While it might be smaller than many other cities, its affordable nature is attracting people looking for lower living expenses. It's definitely a city worth considering if cost of living is a significant factor in your decision on where to live.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Bismarck, ND, features a humid continental climate with distinct seasons. Summers are typically warm but can reach high temperatures while winters are characteristically cold and snowy, which could get severe at times. Spring and fall extend mild to moderate weather, forming transitory phases. The average annual precipitation is approximately 16.8 inches, distributed throughout the year but mainly in June. Natural disasters in Bismarck involve occasional hazards like tornadoes, blizzards, floods, and ice storms. However, Bismarck's resilience in managing such occurrences is notable, making it a relatively safe place despite these natural challenges. In essence, Bismarck orchestrates a harmonic symphony of seasons, only occasionally interrupted by natural hazards. Living in Bismarck not only offers an opportunity to experience a panorama of seasonal shifts but also testifies to the robustness that the city displays in confronting nature's ebbs and flows.

Typical weather in Bismarck, ND

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and social assistance

* Retail trade

* Educational services

* Oil, gas extraction and related services

* Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting

Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, has a diverse economy that has its roots in agriculture, with a particular emphasis on sunflowers, flax, and wheat. Over the years, additional industries have blossomed, leading to a broad economic base. Today, healthcare and social assistance drive a good chunk of employment, providing residents with various opportunities in a wide array of specialties. Retail trade and education also play crucial roles in supporting the local economy. Lastly, let's not forget our friends in the oil and gas extraction industries. Bismarck sits comfortably atop the Bakken oil formation, making black gold an integral part of the city's economic fiber. Its related services have also created a lot of employment opportunities.

For those planning a move to Bismarck, ND, the good news is, it has a pretty robust job market. Its unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national average, making it a relocation haven for job seekers. Healthcare and education services form the majority of job openings, so individuals with backgrounds or interest in these fields will find Bismarck particularly welcoming. Oil, gas, and agriculture jobs are also plentiful, giving the city a robust economic resilience. For those interested in retail, Bismarck offers great opportunities, as retail trade is one of the city's significant economic pillars, providing many residents with gainful employment. So, get ready to enjoy some wholesome country living with a side of great career opportunities!

Traffic and Transportation

Zip along in North Dakota's capital, Bismarck, where your journey is as enjoyable as your destination! Here, average commute times are a breeze, clocking in at just under 16 minutes - almost half the average U.S. commute. Gone are the grueling hours stuck in traffic, replaced with more time to enjoy coffee before work! While you're exploring Bismarck, don't forget to hop on the CAT bus - no, not a feline, but Capital Area Transit, the city's efficient and convenient public transportation system. Buses here are accessible, reliable, and a downright fun way to get around town. And for those flying the friendly skies? Capitalize on Bismarck Airport, offering a variety of scheduled flights nationwide. Don't be surprised when the journey becomes a joyride as you navigate the delightful roads, airways, and busways of Bismarck, ND. Buckle up, adventure awaits!

What is the traffic like in Bismarck, ND?

Best Neighborhoods in Bismarck

1. Cathedral Area

Get ready for an authenticity spark in the Cathedral Area, the historical heart of Bismarck! This is a neighborhood that brims with character, offering an eclectic mix of old, charming homes and modern condominiums. Filled with tree-lined streets, the area stands out with the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Spirit as its centrepiece. Art lovers will be thrilled with Belle Mehus Auditorium and the galleries downtown, just a short walk away. If you are an advocate of sustainability, bike paths and public transit links are readily accessible.

2. Northridge

Geared towards families and outdoor enthusiasts, Northridge sits in the northern part of the city and is surrounded by nature. For active residents, the walking trails of the North Dakota State Capitol grounds and the serene Seratoma Park are local favorites. Pixie Park is perfect for your little ones with its playground and summer activities. You'll also find here a plethora of retail options and dining places that contribute to the lively, yet relaxed atmosphere of this wonderful neighborhood.

3. Highland Acres

If a community spirit is what you're after, Highland Acres might just be your cup of tea. This neighborhood in the south of downtown boasts top-rated schools making it a perfect destination for growing families. For leisure, you can swing your clubs at Tom O'Leary Golf Course or visit the Hillside Aquatic Complex for water-fun. Don't miss Highland Park, where old-school ice cream socials and BBQs bring the community together.

4. Wachter

Wachter is a thriving neighborhood nestled between Bismarck Expressway and East Boulevard Avenue. Primarily residential, it's prized for its peaceful ambiance and the city's largest indoor regional mall, the Kirkwood Mall. It is also home to Wachter Park, which boasts an aquatic center and a popular skateboard park. If an inviting neighborhood with plenty of amenities is what you're looking for, this might be the place.

5. Southport

Lastly, prepare to be dazzled by Southport, located along the Missouri River. With proximity to recreation like boating, fishing, and picnics at the shoreline parks, it brings a slice of vacation to everyday living! Moreover, Southport Marina offers extraordinary sunset views turning your evening walks into a breath-taking experience. As an added bonus, eateries and shopping are steps away, so you'll always have options for dining and leisure.

Transitioning to a new city can be daunting, but exploring the neighborhoods can help ease the process. Consider what each neighborhood has to offer and assess your lifestyle to make the best choice. Whether you're drawn to the historic charm of Cathedral Area, the family-friendly atmosphere of Northridge, the strong community vibe of Highland Acres, the tranquility and convenience of Wachter, or the stunning waterside life in Southport, Bismarck has got you covered. So go ahead, pack your bags, and enjoy the delightful journey of finding your ideal neighborhood in the charming city of Bismarck.

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Things to Do

Planning a move to Bismarck, North Dakota? Fantastic! It's not just the state capitol with beautifully maintained landscapes, Bismarck is also a city with loads of history, adventure, and activities to seal your love for it. Apart from being a perfect place for professionals and growing families, it is also a hotspot for fun, food, and frolic. So, let's dive into the 7 top things you need to do in Bismarck, ND.

1. Explore the State Capitol Building

The North Dakota State Capitol Building is the tallest building in the state and boasts a fascinating Art Deco aesthetic. The building has 19 floors, with an observation deck on the 18th. From here you can get a panoramic view of Bismarck and the Missouri River. This is a must-see if you're a history buff or an architecture enthusiast!

2. Visit the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum

This outstanding museum allows you to explore 600-million years of history under one roof. Their exhibits cover everything from prehistoric animals and dinosaurs to early Native American cultures and modern industry. Best of all, entry is free!

3. Take a Scenic Walk on the McDowell Dam Nature Park

The McDowell Dam Nature Park is a refreshing oasis for those who crave nature within city limits. Perfect for a relaxing walk, the park offers picnic areas, a beach, paddle boats, and fishing spots.

4. Bismarck's Own 'Pizza and Ale Trail'

Follow the locals to their favorite downtown stops on Bismarck's unofficial 'Pizza and Ale Trail'. If this peaks your interest, then Fireflour Pizza, Laughing Sun Brewing, and Wood House are a must-try. Craft brews and unique pies await to tickle your taste buds!

5. Checkout the Art Alley

This one is a little less known secret. In downtown Bismarck, there's an alley between 4th and 5th street that's transformed into an outdoor gallery of murals. Here, local artists get a chance to showcase their work, bringing a burst of color and creativity to the urban space.

6. Kayak Adventure on the Missouri River

For all the thrill-seekers moving here, a kayaking adventure on the mighty Missouri River will surely pump up your adrenaline. It is a fantastic way to explore the city's waterways, capture stunning views, and watch wildlife.

7. Discover Bismarck's 'Farm to Table' Scene

Bismarck's thriving food scene is a little known gem. Passionate local farmers and chefs work together to deliver the freshest 'farm to table' menu items across the city. For such an experience, try Terra Nomad or Pirogue Grill.

Put these on your list, and you'll hit the ground running when you come to Bismarck. Whether you want to sip locally brewed beer, check out local art, immerse yourself in history, or just connect with nature, Bismarck has it all. It's a vibrant, friendly city that's just waiting for you to call it home!

Things to do in Bismarck, ND?

Find Movers for Your Bismarck Relocation

As you contemplate your move to the serene and welcoming city of Bismarck, keep in mind that a stress-free transition can make all the difference and set the stage for your new chapter. Great Guys Moving stands ready to ensure your move is both streamlined and affordable. We connect you to a network of reputable, licensed, and insured movers committed to delivering quality service. All it takes is a few clicks to access immediate quotes tailored to your moving needs. Unlock your smooth Bismarck relocation experience and ensure peace of mind from the onset by requesting your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

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