North Dakota : Safety by City
- Devils Lake
- Fort Ransom
- Grand Forks
- Valley City
- West Fargo
Minot, North Dakota, is in the north-central part of the state and is known as the Magic City.
Originally settled in the late 1800s as a railroad town, Minot saw its first major growth spurt thanks to the construction of the Great Northern Railway–it sprung up overnight “like magic.”
In the early 1900s, local farmers cultivated arid land, growing crops like wheat, barley, and flaxseed.
The town continued to expand, especially during World War II when the U.S. Air Force established Minot Air Force Base to train B-52 bomber groups.
Today, the Air Force base remains one of the largest employers in Minot and gives the city a unique connection to aviation history.
Minot (“my-knot”), rhymes with “Why Not?” and is also the hometown of Hollywood hunk Josh Duhamel.
Poker fans might also enjoy knowing that this is where Greg “Fossilman” Raymer was born long before he became the World Series of Poker Champ in 2004.
If you want to get a conversation going among the locals, ask if Minot is really the geographic center of North America.
Minot might not be the most desirable destination in the country, but it’s far from a boring town.
It’s also pretty safe to visit.
I just hope you like winter… a lot.
Warnings & Dangers in Minot
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here but a little more crime than you might expect. However, you'd have to be from a pretty safe place to have crime concerns here. Plus, you'll be shocked to see how much there is to do.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
City Transit is a fixed-route bus service on weekdays but doesn't offer weekend service. Taxis and rideshares are available, but this is a remote area, and I can't guarantee how fast or available those would be. Having your own vehicle is ideal, but all options come with very little risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Three pickpockets or purse snatchings were reported in 2022, so it's a low risk, on top of a theft rate that is 1/3 the national average.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Winters are brutal. Even North Dakotans would likely agree with me. You should be prepared for dangerously cold weather in the heart of winter. That could come on top of blizzards, ice storms, and snow storms. When the weather warms up, the peak of tornado and severe thunderstorm season starts. Flash flooding and ongoing flooding are problems here, too. It's a medium risk, and you need to review emergency management documents to be informed on how to stay safe and prepare.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
With just eight robberies in 2022, the risk is low. However, that was a 100% increase from the previous year. Let's just hope the trend doesn't continue. You can help with that by still using standard safety practices when you're out at night or walking in an unfamiliar area.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk due to the Minot Air Force Base and the nuclear missiles on the base. Any risk is all but washed away by strong security and intense safety measures. However, you should know that two legs of the country's nuclear missile triad are located here.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
I've seen some scams about people calling residents claiming to be with the city or police and demanding payments–nothing that should worry a tourist. You can check the police department's social media sites to look for new scams. The risk is low, but keep it that way by knowing the signs of a scam artist.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Nothing in the crime data shows a woman would be more at risk here. Just be sure to dress appropriately in winter, even if you're going out to a nice dinner. You'll want to pick function over fashion to stay warm.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
As soon as I went to read the Water Quality Report, I was greeted with a Water Alert due to some repairs being made. To me, that signaled a great communication step that punctuates the low risk in the area. You can read the most recent report on the North Prairie Water District website.
Safest Places to Visit in Minot
VisitMinot.org is the official tourism site for the city.
If you’re searching social media for Minot things to do, use #MagicInMinot.
The Visit North Dakota tourism site has a couple of pages for international tourists coming to the state or for those crossing back and forth between Canada.
Downtown Minot is a hub of energy and culture.
Wander the streets, where historic architecture meets modern boutiques and eateries.
Don’t miss the Scandinavian Heritage Park, a tribute to the city’s Scandinavian roots, with charming full-scale replicas of Norwegian stave churches and Swedish windmills.
For those seeking a touch of mystery and intrigue, make sure to include a visit to Magic City Discovery Center in your Minot itinerary.
This interactive science and technology museum is an educational gem that’s fun for all ages.
Uncover the wonders of the universe in the planetarium, experiment with hands-on exhibits, and let your imagination run wild in this captivating haven of learning and exploration.
Step back in time as you explore vintage aircraft and artifacts from World War II and beyond at the Dakota Territory Air Museum.
From iconic fighter planes to historic bombers, this museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of flight.
From planes to trains, the Railroad Museum of Minot celebrates the impressive history of trains through this region.
My dad was a huge train fan with a model railroad setup in our basement.
This is exactly the kind of place he would’ve loved.
Be sure to take railroad fans to the nearby scenic view of the Gassman Coulee Trestle.
The Taube Museum of Art brings a vibrant world of local and regional art to life.
Stroll through its galleries, soaking in the diverse exhibitions that showcase the creativity of the community.
For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Roosevelt Park is a must.
This sprawling urban oasis offers a tranquil escape, complete with a beautiful flower garden and the Roosevelt Park Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with a variety of exotic animals.
The Ward County Historical Society Museum Pioneer Village Museum takes you through more than a dozen historical buildings, where you can explore like a pioneer.
Plan your trip for Old Settler Days in June if you can.
That’s one of the biggest events of the year.
Places to Avoid in Minot
Minot doesn’t have neighborhoods that are too dangerous to be in.
However, that’s not an open invitation to drive around any neighborhood.
Pockets of crime can happen anywhere.
You can follow the Facebook group @minotcrimeawareness, which has citizens posting updates from different neighborhoods.
If you’re visiting and considering a move or being transferred here in the military, you should avoid the low-lying areas prone to flooding.
The city and county have flood zone maps on their respective websites.
Avoid going to the military base if you don’t have a reason to be there.
You won’t stumble upon nuclear silos, and all that walking around the base will do is get you a visit from the military police.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Minot
- Minot does have its own police department. You can follow them on Facebook @minotpd or call (701)852-0111 to ask specific safety questions.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through Hyper-Reach. You can sign up by texting the word “Alerts” to (701)354-1430. You can also use the Hyper-Reach website. This will send emergency warnings from the National Weather Service to your mobile device.
- Minot has one tornado emergency shelter that’s open to the public in the event of a tornado warning. It’s located at the Municipal Courthouse at 420 3rd Avenue. You should also check with your hotel to ask where the tornado shelter is in case a storm comes in overnight.
- North Dakota recently updated the law to make seat belt use a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over for not using your seatbelt. That goes for everyone in the car, even the backseat.
- Minot has a Service Request form where you can report anything, from a crime tip to a pothole on the road. This is a great way to help keep the city safe while you’re visiting. You can check the box to keep your communication private, so it won’t take too much of your time.
- The city of Minot offers a monthly newsletter, which can be signed up for through the community section of the city’s website. The newsletters can have important information like local events or road construction.
- You might see B-52 Bombers flying around, and that’s only because of the Air Force Base here. Tours of the base are available seasonally, but you’ll need to make that request at least 40 days in advance. Check the Minot AFB website for more information and security guidelines.
- Use North Dakota 511 to check road conditions across the state. You can create an account and set up your favorite routes to get instant alerts about traffic, accidents, or weather conditions.
- It’s especially important when temperatures get well below freezing to keep your pipes dripping when you leave your rental home or hotel. This will keep pipes from bursting or freezing.
- Anglers 16 and older need a fishing license from the North Dakota Department of Fish & Game. Licenses are available for three days to a year.
So... How Safe Is Minot Really?
North Dakota as a whole falls in the middle of the safest-state rankings.
Statewide, the violent crime rate is 20% lower than the national average.
Minot is 8% safer than that.
At the same time, the city has held the violent crime rate fairly steady since 2016.
In 2022, violent crime was up 12% in Minot, which follows an increase in statewide patterns.
You’re still looking at a safe city with a less-than-average crime rate across the board.
On top of that, just 6% of violent crimes happen against strangers.
Theft rates are 60% lower than the national and state averages, but at least 22% of those are related to car break-ins.
Most car thefts or break-ins are due to unlocked cars, cars left running or with the keys inside, and cars with valuables in plain sight.
You can immediately lower than risk by doing none of the above.
You should focus more on the weather risks, especially if you’re visiting in winter.
The temperatures can get cold enough to freeze skin within minutes at times.
The summer thunderstorms can bring powerful storms.
Common sense and disaster awareness go a long way here.
How Does Minot Compare?
|New York City||67|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)||60|
International visitors can review the visa requirements on the U.S. State Department website. Each person will need either a visa or a visa waiver, depending on your eligibility for each one. A passport that isn't within six months of expiring is required as well.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency allowed here. You can use ATMs to exchange currency, but using a bank where you are already a customer will offer the lowest fees.
May through October will require layers of clothing, with December through February being the coldest. You'll want snow boots, insulated layers, and a waterproof outer layer. Only two months (July and August) reach average highs in the low 80s, so keep those jackets and/or hoodies with you year-round. Bring bug spray for any outdoor activities.
Minot International Airport is fewer than three miles from the center of Minot. It's not the largest airport, but it's the only feasible one nearby. Delta, United, and Allegiant fly out of this airport.
Anytime you take a trip where weather could potentially interfere with flights or driving, we highly recommend getting travel insurance. Don't forget to look into health insurance too if you won't already be covered at your destination. Also, double-check the insurance on your rental car and make sure you have roadside assistance.
Minot Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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North Dakota - Safety by City