Medora, the southern gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, languished in obscurity until the early 1960s, but has become one of North Dakota's principal attractions, an inoffensively touristy place with enough to keep you busy, and reasonably interested, for most of a day. The biggest noise in town is the Medora Musical (daily 8.30pm; $28.50–32.50; Tel:1-800/633-6721, Web: www.medora.com ), a pseudo-Western, super-Americana variety show staged beneath the stars in a vast, modern amphitheater. The extravaganza is preceded by a fantastic feed whereby 240 steaks are simultaneously fondued on pitchforks inside giant oil vats (6.30pm; $24.50).
Before you stuff your gullet, feel the burn on a mountain bike along the 96-mile Maah Daah Hey Trail. Rent wheels from Dakota Cyclery in Medora (Tel:701/623-4808; $25 for a half-day). The Medora Campground (Tel:701/623-4435) caters to both tents ($18) and RVs ($25–30). For something a little more rural, try the Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch (Tel:701/623-4200, Web: www.buffalogapguestranch.com ; Price: Under $100), six miles west of Medora at the trailhead of the Buffalo Gap Trail. The ranch offers accommodation ranging from tent sites to cabins and has stables and a restaurant as well, which is handy as eating options are limited to a few taverns and restaurants clustered in the downtown with menus limited to burgers, fries and the like.