Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota. US Census estimates the 2007 Bismarck MSA population at 103,242 (up from 94,839 in 2000), making it the second largest in the state. The core of the metro, where you'll find the majority of the population, is made of the cities of Bismarck, Mandan, and Lincoln, among other smaller communities. A quickly growing city, you'll be surprised to find names common in larger cities, such as Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, 2 Wal Marts Supercenters, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s, Old Navy, Starbucks, Olive Garden, Hooters and numerous others. I grew up in the Los Angeles area. My family moved to Bismarck in the mid 90's. I moved to Minneapolis a few years later, but found myself moving back because of the great quality of life enjoyed there. There are few night spots, so at times a trip to the "twin cities" is needed. Otherwise this is a great community. Local retail growth has been record breaking for the state of North Dakota, with over 2 million square feet of retail being built during 2005 & 2006. You'll also be surprised to find Bismarck isn't flat! It has beautiful rolling hills and valleys formed by the Missouri River, which separates the cities. The river also creates plentiful recreation from late spring through early fall. Shopping isn't Rodeo Drive by any means, but with the usual retail you would expect to find in most American cities this size (Sears, JC Penny’s, Herbergers, TJ Maxx, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Wet Seal, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, etc) you'll find what you need. A warning, Bismarck is an extreme city when it comes to weather. During the winter it's cold and harsh. Seasonal snow amounts can easily top 100 inches, with wind chills around the -30 mark. However during the summer it's a complete 180, with temperatures steadily in the upper 80's and 90's with a week or two in the 100's. Not to mention the humidity, causing some pretty spectacular storms producing hail, tornadoes and winds topping 80 mph. But these two extreme seasons leave you with some beautiful, colorful springs and falls.