One of my very best friends from college moved to LA a few years ago, so we don’t get a chance to see each other very often. Luckily, he was able to take some time to get together while visiting his family in South Dakota. We met halfway between my house and his parents’ house – Jamestown, North Dakota. I’ve stopped in Jamestown a couple of times before – mainly for gas or to grab a quick bite to eat on my way to Bismarck.
Jamestown is home to only 15,422 people, which gave me doubts on our ability to find much to do for an entire day. As we explored the city, I was immediately amazed at how much the city has to offer including museums, an arts center, a variety of restaurants and bars, shopping, and more. Not to mention, the city is spread over hills and valleys offering great lookout points that give you a birds eye view of the surrounding area.
After our first stop for lunch at Applebees, we headed over to the Reservoir area, which is popular for fishing and watersports. It was too cold for the lake so we swung into the Anchor Bar, which looked right up our alley as we find ourselves to be dive bar connoisseurs. Sadly, the bar was closed so we headed off looking for our next hole in the wall.
In a couple minutes, we were in downtown Jamestown and stopped at the Wonder Bar. This place truly was a wonder. I could have spent a week in there and probably would have still be spotting mystical oddities perched on the wall. In the world of dive bars, this place is a gem. There was a pretty good crowd for a Sunday in early afternoon. Then again, there’s nothing better than a good drink with friends when it’s a cold summer day.
After a couple drinks we journeyed to the next watering hole we saw – the Corner Bar. The entire place looked as if it had been recently remodeled. This was certainly no dive bar. We had a glass of their finest Summer Shandy and played some tunes on their jukebox before heading over to the Office Bar and Lounge. We opened the door and the place was hopping! The entire rail and all the tables in the front of the bar were full, along with the blackjack tables. We ordered two Miller Lites to a response of – did you want those in a jar? Looking around, it was clear that the obvious answer seemed to be yes. We took our jars of beer to the back of the bar and found a table.
A group of people were there celebrating a 50th birthday and it appeared they had been there for a while. The whole bar seemed to know each other and the fun was contagious. After we finished our jar beer, we headed back to the car to continue our exploration, making sure to check out the art park on the way.