Welcome to North Dakota, where the winds are strong, the pretzels are delicious, and the people are, well, some of the nicest you'll ever meet. If you're considering moving to this great state, here's a light-hearted guide to help you settle in and understand the local way of life. Trust me, everything you're about to read is 100% true.

KEYZ AM 660 logo
Get our free mobile app
  1. Ditch Drama: If you find your car in a ditch, stay calm. A posse of four guys in a four-wheel drive with a tow rope and a case of beer will be there shortly. Let them do their thing – it’s their moment of glory.
  2. Manners Matter: We’re all about the pleases and thank yous. Men nod at everyone, and women smile. It's called being nice.
  3. Brace for the Cold: Get used to hearing, "It wouldn’t be that cold if there wasn’t wind." Also, "You call this cold? Wait 'til January." Yep, it's a thing.
  4. Keep Your Comparisons to Yourself: No one here cares how you did things "back home." Seriously, no one.
  5. Summer Heat? Pfft!: Think it's too hot in the summer? Don’t worry, it’ll cool down – around December if you’re lucky.
  6. Tractors Over Mercedes: Here, status symbols are practical. A Mercedes-Benz might turn heads elsewhere, but here, a trusty tractor or a sturdy Chevy, Dodge, or Ford is where it's at.
  7. "Fixin" Means Prepping: When someone says they’re "fixin" to do something, nothing’s broken. They’re just getting ready.
  8. Essential Stops: Dollar General, Subway, and liquor stores – you’ll find one every 30 miles or so. Convenience at its finest.
  9. Road Courtesy: If a slower vehicle pulls onto the shoulder on a two-lane road, that’s called "courtesy." If you don’t get it, you might want to move to a ruder state.
  10. Grilling is Year-Round: Rain, snow, sleet, or shine – we grill. Period.
  11. Game Day Priorities: Weddings, funerals, and divorces must be scheduled around sporting events. No exceptions.
  12. Ranch and Ketchup: Everything tastes better with ranch dressing or ketchup. Everything.
  13. No Honking: Don’t honk your horn to be obnoxious. We’ll sit there until the cows come home.
  14. Emergency Vehicles: We pull over and stop for emergency vehicles. It's the right thing to do.
  15. Funeral Processions: We pull over for these, turn off our music, and men remove their hats. Some even put their hands over their hearts.
  16. Ope!: "Ope" is our way of saying excuse me. You'll get the hang of it.
  17. Weather Whiplash: Don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minutes – it’ll change.
  18. Hauling Hay: It’s a rite of passage. Embrace it.
  19. The Finger Wave: When driving on a country road, lift your index finger in greeting to everyone you pass.
  20. Flat Land: We’ve got a lot of it. Great for spotting deer and sunsets.
  21. Lefse and Lutefisk: Lefse is a staple; lutefisk is optional (and an acquired taste).
  22. Ice Skating Streets: Once the ice is thick enough, grab your skates and glide down the street to the nearest pond or outdoor rink.
  23. Year-Round Fishing: Yes, even in January. Ice fishing is a winter sport here.
  24. Tractors After Snowstorms: Seeing more tractors than snowplows after a storm? It's totally normal.
  25. No Hurry: We aren’t in a rush. Drive like you aren’t either.
  26. Uffda: Instead of OMG, we say "uffda." Try it out.
  27. Good Day Responses: If someone wishes you a good day, respond with, “You betcha. You too.”
  28. Community Care: If you’re facing a hardship, the community will rally around you. That’s just how we roll.

So there you have it – your essential guide to surviving and thriving in North Dakota. Embrace the quirks, enjoy the friendliness, and welcome to the neighborhood!

Best scenic drives in North Dakota

It's time to hit the road—Stacker compiled a list of the best scenic drives in North Dakota using data from Tripadvisor as of March 2024.

Best counties to retire to in North Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to retire in North Dakota using data from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From KEYZ AM 660