Forbes Travel Guide: 3 Reasons to Visit

BBOnline's Forbes travel guide offers you three interesting places to visit when you're in this small town located right on the South Dakota line in the southeastern part of the state. While the area is not that populated (there are less than 60 residents according to the last census), there is plenty to do in the Forbes area.

Whitestone Historical Society
8692 98th Ave. SE
Monango, ND 58436
(701) 328-3710
www.history.nd.gov/historicsites/whitestone/index.html

First up on your Forbes travel guide, the Whitestone Battlefield Historic Site marks the location of a long and fierce battle between Yanktonai Indians and white soldiers under the command of General Alfred Sully on September 3, 1863. The soldiers surprised the Yanktonai in their camp and destroyed all their possessions. Indian casualties were heavy, and many women and children died or were captured. The attack was in retribution for the Dakota Conflict of 1862. A museum has exhibits on the conflict and there are two monuments, one honoring the Indian dead, the other the white soldiers. There is a picnic area and a small lake. The site is open May 16 to September 15. Admission is free. After a day of sightseeing there, it will feel great to relax back at your Forbes bed and breakfast.

Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge
9754 143½ Ave., SE
Cayuga, ND 58013
(701) 724-3598
www.fws.gov/tewaukon/

70 miles to the east of Forbes in Sargent County, the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge comprises 8,300 acres of grasslands and wetlands and a 1,000-acre lake. Established in 1934, the refuge is on the Central Flyway and is a great location for wildlife photography. There are nature trails and public boat ramps on the lake. Anglers can try their luck catching pike, walleye and muskie. Visitors can spot flocks of water fowl and bald eagles. The Visitors Center has several displays on the flora and fauna of the region and a wetlands diorama. There are environmental education programs offered as well. An 8-mile auto tour has several overlooks affording scenic views of the surrounding northern tall grass prairie. Pheasant and deer hunting are permitted in season; permits are necessary. The refuge is open all year round.

Lawrence Welk Birthplace Historic Site
845 88th St., SE
Strasburg, ND 58573
(701) 336-7103
www.strasburgnd.com/historicsites/

To round out your Forbes travel guide, here's a trip to the birthplace of a television icon from yesteryear. A 90-minute drive to the west from Forbes, on the outskirts of Strasburg, is the boyhood farm home of the famous band leader Lawrence Welk, who made his debut on national TV in 1955. Known to his fans as "Mr. Wunnerful," Welk went on to a long and successful career with his trademark white tuxedo and baton. Visitors are treated to his orchestra music as they tour the house. The 6-acre site includes the sod house where Welk was born in 1903, a summer kitchen, barn and granary, and the outhouse. After restoration, the site was opened to the public in 1992. The house has the original furniture he grew up with. The Welk Birthplace Site is open Thursday through Sunday for guided tours from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Advance reservations are necessary. After your day exploring, you can head back to the comfort of your Forbes inn.