The small city of Devil's Lake, North Dakota might not seem like much when viewed from a map, but it's home to a history that dates back to 1882 when the first house was built. While the name of the town implies something sinister, this town is far from it! It's home to a number of outdoor activities thanks to nearby nature trails, more restaurants than one might imagine, and some quaint, charming lodging accommodations that are worth booking.

This begs the question: how did Devil's Lake get its name? Originally, it was called mni wak’áŋ by the Dakota; mni translates to 'water' and wak’áŋ translates to 'pure' or 'spirit water,' which was taken by the European-Americans to mean 'devils lake.' While there is no devil or similar 'bad spirit' in the Dakota philosophy, the settlers referred to this lake as 'bad' due to its high salinity level and the confusing, often deceptive, mirages that appear across the lake. Today, the name of the lake - and the city that shares it - is nothing more than a name for a great North Dakota destination.


Where To Stay In Devils Lake

Surprisingly, there are plenty of hotels and inns that travelers can choose from during their stay, all of which fit into any budget. Devils Lake is home to a number of cozy inns, as well, with simple yet inviting accommodation options.

Sunlac Inn Devils Lake

Sunlac Inn is a great place to book on a budget, and it's also right off Route 2, giving travelers easy access to the areas around Devils Lake, as well. Its position near Sixmile Bay, Creel Bay, and Devils Lake means that water activities and nearby parks are within easy reach.

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Fireside Inn & Suites

This is a great option for families as the indoor pool is also home to a hot tub, and the rooms are more on the budget-friendly side. It's also not far from a cafe, pizza takeout, and Route 2, so travel in and out is super easy.

Cobblestone Hotel & Suites

On the opposite side of the city is Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, with a variety of room options for any budget and party number. Some rooms feature large jetted tubs while others have sitting areas, making for a stay that's just as comfortable whether it's a weekend or a full week.

Airbnb Options

One of the most budget-friendly options in Devils Lake and the surrounding area is Airbnb. Travelers can rent an entire two-bedroom house for $110/night, a cabin, hunting and fishing lodge, or an apartment for less than $100.

A Unique Itinerary For Any Type Of Visitor

The great thing about Devils Lake is that it's home to a wide range of activities from outdoor recreation to small boutique shopping and entertainment. Nearly every dining establishment has a rating above four stars, and the nearby lake is home to a myriad of fun pastimes. Here's what to add to any perfect itinerary.

Day One

Every good day in Devils Lake starts with some doughnuts from Devils Lake Doughnuts, which are made fresh every single morning. It's best to get there early because they sell out of their most popular options! The best time to visit Devils Lake for families is during the month of July, particularly during July 4th to see the outdoor production put on by the Fort Totten Little Theatre.

Families can rent fishing boats for the day from Woodland Resort and head out on the lake to enjoy South Dakota's temperate, sunny weather; whether it's fishing or just enjoying being out on the open water, it's sure to be a blast. At Creel Bay Golf Course, families will find that they can rent kayaks or paddleboards for even more fun on the lake.

For the history buffs, Fort Totten is a must and visitors can take a self-guided tour around each building and the grounds. Then, head down to the Old Main Street Cafe which is just as historic as the photos of the town hanging on its walls. Plus, the food and drinks are fantastic! Nearby, the Sheriff's House Museum is a great way to finish off any historical walk around town.

Day Two

No visit to Devils Lake is complete without hitting the trails and seeing its natural beauty. But first, breakfast at the Cedar Inn is a must in order to fuel up before any big hiking trip. White Horse Hill National Game Preserve offers an interactive option with its audio tour, and hikers should be on the lookout for South Dakota's most popular wildlife and vistas. Out of all of the animals that hikers can see, elk, bison, white-tailed deer, foxes, mink, muskrats, and waterfowl are usually around the trails. A stop at the visitor's center will tell hikers all they need to know before hitting the trails.

After working up an appetite, Charras and Tequila is the perfect place to get dinner and relax.

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