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.