At first glance Minot appears almost as bleak as the landscape, but it makes for a more pleasant stopover than Williston on the long drive across Hwy 2. North Dakota's fourth-largest city is a rare sign of life along this road, which is otherwise dotted with oil rigs and forlorn little settlements crumbling back into the prairie soil. The city has high-quality lodgings and a gritty downtown that's in the midst of a minor comeback with new shops and restaurants.
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