2014 Coleman Explorer
2014 Coleman Explorer
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Drayton sits in the upper northeast corner of North Dakota, hugging a curve in the Red River, which forms the border between it and Minnesota. It’s a very small community with just one main street that’s about a mile long. The American Crystal Sugar Company, which has a factory north of town, employs many of the city's residents.
When you book an RV in Drayton, it's all about getting off the beaten path, and although the city sits adjacent to Interstate 29, it doesn’t get much more off the path than northeastern North Dakota. There are some fairly interesting sights there and in the surrounding region too. One of the more unique ones is a drawbridge that was built in the early 20th century, which was meant to facilitate traffic on the Red River. Unfortunately, water levels remained too low to accommodate shipping traffic, and the bridge has never been raised.
The Red River is undoubtedly the heart of outdoor recreation in the Drayton area. Walleye fishing is particularly popular, with more than 70 unique species of the tasty fish making their home in it. If you’re not very experienced or are lacking the equipment, you may want to hire one of the guides in Grand Forks to get you all set up.
Lake Bronson State Park in Minnesota is another great spot for nature enthusiasts. Kayaks and canoes are available for paddling around the lake, and there’s an excellent swimming beach too. Not a fan of the water? It also offers superb hiking trails and bird watching opportunities in the surrounding forest.
If you decide to take a trip down to Grand Forks, you might embark on a stroll or have a picnic in the town’s Japanese gardens. While the wind and cold of North Dakota isn’t an exact match for the flora of Japan, the city has done a pretty great job of organizing the plants that can survive it with a Zen-inducing layout.
When you choose an RV rental in Drayton, the closest place to stay is Schumacher Park on the north end of town. Not only does it have a couple of dozen sites with full hookups, but the public park also has great recreational facilities like a swimming pool, tennis court, and an adjacent golf course.
If you don’t want to stay in Drayton proper, the next closest option is Grafton Campground outside the town of Grafton and about a half hour's drive from Drayton. It’s run by the city and has full hookups for your camper rental from Drayton along with wireless internet and flush toilets.
For a more rustic experience when you rent an RV in Drayton, there’s Lake Bronson State Park over in Minnesota. Most of their sites have no hookups, but some of them offer electricity. The lack of amenities is part of its appeal, though for those who want to spend more time enjoying nature.
Another camping option for those doing a quick stay with their travel trailer rental in Drayton is the parking lot of the Grand Forks Walmart. It’s a little bit of drive from Drayton and has no amenities, but if you get the manager’s permission before setting up camp, it could be a good spot to spend the night.
Being as it has a very small population, Drayton doesn’t have the liveliest restaurant or entertainment scene. While that’s probably expected for a small community in North Dakota, it’s important to mention, as you may have to drive for 30 minutes or so to towns like Grafton, Oakwood, or Hallock (across the border in Minnesota) if you want to eat anything besides what you can cook at your campsite. The same goes for the retail experience; there aren't many shops to explore when you get a motorhome rental in Drayton, giving you the chance to see a town that has been untouched by tourism. In fact, these quiet oases are sometimes the best part of a road trip.
If you do find yourself lacking in activities though, there’s always the option of popping down to Grand Forks, the closest large town, about 45 minutes' drive away. It’s home to the University of North Dakota, so expect a much more happening bar scene and a variety of excellent cultural experiences. Check out the North Dakota Museum of Art, which plays host to a revolving set of exhibits from nationally and internationally famous artists.
If you’re bringing the kids and a lengthy visit to an art museum sounds like a bit too much for them, a trip to the waterpark in Grand Forks might be in order. It’s all indoors, so this is still an excellent activity during North Dakota’s frigid winters.