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North Dakota?

OK, Some May Call It America's Outback, But There's Much More to Our Least Visited State Than Buffalo.



GUIDEBOOK: Dakota Digs

Getting there: Northwest and Frontier fly to Fargo, with a change of planes in Minneapolis and Denver respectively. Advance-purchase round-trip fares start at about $340.

Where to stay and eat: Fargo: Bohlig's Bed and Breakfast, 1418 3rd Ave. South; telephone (701) 235-7867. Historic home surrounded by gardens and porches; $40-$45 double.

Zandbroz Variety, 420 Broadway; tel. (701) 239-4729. Pastries, croissants and Dakota Sodas in the back of a converted grocery.

Tower City: Tower City Inn Bed and Breakfast, 502 Church St.; tel. (701) 749-2660. Country Victorian rooms in a 1904 house with porch swing and views of the owners' horse farm; $58 double. (Tower View Cafe is a highway-side diner with aspirations and homemade sour cream raisin pie, run by the inn's owners.)

Bismarck: White Lace Bed and Breakfast, 807 N. 6th St., tel. (701) 258-4142. Charming, private upstairs rooms in a family home; $60 double.

The Drumstick, 307 N. 3rd St.; tel. (701) 223-8449. Plate-size pancakes in a 24-hour luncheonette owned by its waitresses and recommended by the governor.

New Town: Four Bears Casino and Lodge, tel. (800) 294-5454. Businesslike but austere hotel and casino run by three affiliated tribes on the grounds of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; $55 double.

Medora: Rough Riders Hotel, a rough reconstruction of the original where Teddy Roosevelt stayed, run by the nonprofit Medora Foundation; tel. (800) MEDORA1. Its handful of rooms sell out in season, leaving visitors with only the Badlands Motel, more basic roadside rooms also operated by the foundation. Both hotels, $70 double.

The student-staffed Rough Riders dining room serves up a $12.95 bacon-wrapped filet mignon, among pages of choices, but the Iron Horse Saloon has an outdoor porch, more character and better steaks.

Marmarth: Pastime Club and Steakhouse; tel. (701) 279-9843. Steakhouse of such repute that, despite its remote spot in the southwest corner of the state, reservations are recommended on weekends.

For more information:

North Dakota Tourism Department, 604 East Blvd., Bismarck, ND 58505; tel. (800) 437-2077.

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