Go Away With ... Josh Duhamel

Actor Josh Duhamel says the more he travels, the more he appreciates his hometown of Minot, North Dakota.
(North Dakota Tourism)

Josh Duhamel won’t deny that big cities can be glamorous and fun to explore. But when he isn’t working, his haven is his cabin just outside of Fargo, North Dakota. “It is probably my favorite place to relax, clear my mind and get my hands dirty,” says the actor, who was born and raised in Minot, N.D. “It’s also a place where I can bring my boy and give him a taste of what my childhood was like. It’s like I can see myself in him when he’s running around the woods.” Best known for his work in films such as “Love, Simon” and the “Transformers” series, Duhamel will next be seen in “The Buddy Games,” which he also directed and co-wrote.

Q. You’ve been doing a lot of work with North Dakota tourism. What are a few things you would tell people that you love about your home state?

A. I’m proud of my home state and feel it is one of the best secrets in the country! Anybody going for the first time should drive across the state. If you’re coming from the West, go through Medora, for sure. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is absolutely beautiful. The Badlands are amazing. The North Unit of the Park is also awesome -- this is near Watford City and Williston. I would love to bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail someday. It’s over 100 miles of scenic adventure. (North Dakota) is not always winter. In fact, the summers here are some of the most beautiful in the country. I love summer here. There are plenty of activities both inside and out to keep people active, everything from great museums and film festivals to snowmobiling and ice-fishing.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?


A. Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, the Great Wall of China and the moon.

Q. How have your vacations changed since traveling with your son?

A. I wouldn’t say my vacations have changed too much. I want him to see the world and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to travel with him. We’ve been all over the world and it’s only going to get more fun as he gets older and can truly appreciate everything that’s out there. We’ve traveled to a lot of places, but sometimes some of our best memories have involved a simple day spent playing on one of the lakes or driving the back roads (of North Dakota). We always find a fun adventure when we’re home in Minot and he loves seeing his cousins. We also try to get out to my cabin in Minnesota a couple times a year, which is great because he gets a chance to experience what I had growing up. I really treasure our vacations together.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. Going through my family history this last spring, I went to London and traveled around the English countryside and it reminded me very much of home -- the open roads, the plains that went on forever and the beautiful sunsets.

Q. How have your feelings about Minot changed as you’ve gotten older?

A. Minot will always be home. It’s close to Lake Metigoshe and Lake Sakakawea. It has a fun zoo, great restaurants and big events. My mom and my sister also live there -- can’t forget them. It was there as a Minot High Magician that I developed a love of sports early on, leading to a stint as quarterback at Minot State. Now it’s fun to follow national powerhouses North Dakota State football and University of North Dakota hockey. And I enjoy golfing Bully Pulpit Golf Course, the Links of North Dakota and the Vardon Golf Club Minot.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?


A. While a lot of people may think of North Dakota for its outdoor activities, which are awesome, there are also many North Dakota cities with fun downtowns. I love all the unique restaurants, live music venues and craft breweries popping up all over the state. Each community has its own personality. I love when my schedule allows for a trip to Fargo in the fall months. There’s nothing better than being a part of the football culture that makes a North Dakota State University football game so unique.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at You may also follow “Go Away With...” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)