South Dakota Quick Facts
Uniquely South Dakota: the town of Wall Drug
Must-See: Badlands National Park
Most Unusual: Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon
Highest Point: Harney Peak in the Black Hills National Forest, 7244 feet
Food to Try: Kuchen, a German cake
What to Do
1 Smell the ponderosa pines in the Black Hills
2 Watch for bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park
3 See the presidents at Mount Rushmore
4 Stand in a place where Jesse James once stood
5 See the Mashed Potato Wrestling contest in Clark
6 Tour the Corn Palace in Mitchell
Off The Beaten Path | South Dakota
South Dakota is best known for the amazing Mount Rushmore. However, visitors to South Dakota will find many more attractions and destinations to enjoy. Throughout the state visitors will find parks with beautiful natural features, history and fascinating museums. Here are a few of the places that visitors to South Dakota should take the time to explore.
Sertoma Butterfly House
Located in Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls this is a great destination to enjoy in the city. The Sertoma Butterfly House has hundreds of butterfly's flying freely in the beautiful display. Visitors to the Butterfly House will see tropical plants, a pond and waterfall in addition to the many species of butterflies they will see freely flying throughout the exhibit.
This beautiful park is located within the city of Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River. Visitors to this park can enjoy the Falls, from which the city got its name. The park covers many acres and remnants of some of Sioux Falls earliest buildings are located within the park. One notable feature within the park is the Queen Bee Mill, which was created to use the falls to produce water.
Badlands National Park
The Badlands National Park protects one of the most amazing landscapes in the country. Visitors to the park will see the millions of years of sediments and minerals exposed by the elements. The 244,000 acres of the park also protects one of the largest expanses of mixed-grass prairies in the country. Badlands National Park is a great place for hiking and camping, it also has a wide range of animal species. This park also has amazing deposits of fossils.
Visitors to South Dakota can enjoy the unique art at the Corn Palace. This unique destination features art and murals created from colored corn, grains and grasses. Originally created to showcase the thriving agricultural industry in the state, the Corn Palace has grown over the years and now has a different theme each year.
Jewel Cave National Monument
This cave has some truly spectacular underground sights. The cave is the second longest known cave in the world, measuring over 152 miles. Visitors to the cave will find all sorts of cave formations and calcite crystals. There are a variety of activities to be enjoyed on the surface at the park, but for visitors wishing to go underground there are a few different guided tours. All visitors wishing to enter the cave have to take a tour.
Circle B Ranch
Visitors to the Circle B Ranch get to take a trip back in time to an Old West town. The Circle B Ranch has Chuckwagon Suppers and Cowboy Music Show. Visitors can also stroll the streets of the Old West town, enjoy trail rides, gun fights, the petting corral and much more.
Custer State Park
This park is home to some of the country's wild areas. Visitors can drive the Wildlife Loop Road around the southern edge of the park, which has some spectacular opportunities to see the park's wildlife up close. Custer State Park is home to over 1,000 bison, and many other species of animals. In addition to the wildlife, the park has some other fascinating natural features. One feature in particular are the granite "Needles," which are slender rock outcroppings, which can be viewed from the Needles Highway.
South Dakota | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Beautiful South Dakota is filled with fun and sometimes funky destinations for visitors to explore. Here are a few of the state's fun attractions as well as some of the more interesting and funky destinations.
1880 Cowboy Town
Visitors to South Dakota that want to take trip back to 1800s South Dakota should be sure to stop at the 1880s Cowboy Town in Murdo. The town is filled with period style buildings, which are filled with authentic furniture and all sorts of relics and memorabilia. Visitors can take tours of the town and visit the diner, store and of course the gift shop.
Bear Country USA
Located in South Dakota's Black Hills near Rapid City, Bear Country USA is an excellent destination to see some amazing North American wildlife. Visitors take a drive through the park and can see all sorts of animals, including Badgers, Bighorn Sheep, Buffalo, Bobcat, Timber Wolves and Black Bears. In fact, this destination is known for its collection of Black Bears. Visitors will have a fantastic time exploring the exhibits with all of the animals.
Ingalls Homestead Laura's Living Prairie
Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House stories should be sure to stop at the Ingalls Homestead. This destination is a spot where Wilder wrote many of her stories and is a fun family destination as well. There are ponies, horses, pioneering activities and even covered wagon rides among other things. Located in De Smet, the Ingalls Homestead is an excellent destination to learn about the prairie and pioneering.
Petrified Wood Park
Found in Lemmon, the Petrified Wood Park displays an amazing collection of sculptures and buildings created from petrified wood, dinosaur and mammoth bones, as well as round river rocks. Visitors can see the conical sculptures, the castle and many more fascinating sculptures.
Porter Sculpture Park
Travelers that are interested in giant metal sculptures along the side of the road will love the Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose. This park is filled with amazing sculpture will be stunned by the creations of Wayne Porter. This park has over 40 sculptures, including the Bull's Head, a Chinese dragon, the Grim Reaper and many more.