Epic Getaways: South Dakota’s Top Vacation Locations Revealed

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the majestic landscapes and historical treasures of South Dakota with our guide to the top vacation locations. From the iconic Mount Rushmore to the rugged beauty of the Badlands, this article reveals the must-visit spots that promise an epic getaway filled with adventure, culture, and awe-inspiring sights. Discover the state’s rich heritage, natural wonders, and the unique experiences that await in the land where the spirit of the Old West still thrives.

Key Takeaways

  • South Dakota offers a blend of historical monuments and natural parks, including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park.
  • Experience the wild west with a visit to Deadwood for a Main Street shootout, and explore the history at the Broken Boot Gold Mine and Adams Museum.
  • Enjoy diverse wildlife and outdoor activities such as a buffalo safari in Custer State Park and witnessing majestic creatures at Bear Country U.S.A.
  • Immerse yourself in the Western atmosphere with stays at The Rushmore Hotel & Suites and the Rough Riders Hotel, enhancing your cultural experience.
  • The state’s vacation offerings are both educational and thrilling, with opportunities to visit Sanford Underground Research Facility and pan for gold at the Broken Boot Gold Mine.

1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Nestled within the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial stands as a testament to America’s rich history. This colossal sculpture features the 60-foot faces of four esteemed U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, each chosen for their significant contributions to the nation.

Visitors can delve into the history and artistry behind the monument at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center or gain deeper insights at the Sculptor’s Studio. For a closer look, the Presidential Trail offers a more intimate perspective of the granite faces and the surrounding natural beauty. Wildlife sightings are an added bonus for nature enthusiasts exploring the area.

While Mount Rushmore is a marvel in itself, the surrounding region is brimming with attractions. Rapid City, known for its vibrant Main Street and bronze statues of U.S. presidents, provides a patriotic ambiance that complements the memorial experience. With a plethora of activities and sights, including national parks and historic sites, South Dakota promises an unforgettable journey into America’s heartland.

2. Crazy Horse Memorial

The Crazy Horse Memorial stands as a testament to the spirit and culture of Native American tribes, particularly honoring the Lakota leader Crazy Horse. This colossal sculpture, still in progress, is set to become the world’s largest mountain carving, and its scale is a sight to behold against the backdrop of South Dakota’s Black Hills.

Visitors to the memorial can explore the Indian Museum of North America, the Native American Cultural Center, and the sculptor’s studio, gaining insight into the rich history and contemporary life of North American Indigenous peoples. The memorial also offers a range of educational and cultural programs throughout the year.

Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect during your visit:

  • Viewing of the monument: Witness the ongoing work on this massive sculpture and learn about the vision behind it.
  • Museum and Cultural Center: Discover artifacts, art, and exhibits that celebrate Native American culture.
  • Events and Activities: Participate in special events, including Native American dance performances and storytelling sessions.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is more than just a monument; it’s a labor of love and dedication to preserving and honoring the heritage of Native American tribes.

3. Wind Cave National Park

Nestled in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota, Wind Cave National Park offers a unique subterranean experience alongside the rich history and culture of the area. Established in 1903, it’s one of America’s oldest national parks, where visitors can explore one of the world’s most intricate caves, known for its rare boxwork formations, cave popcorn, and flowstone.

The park isn’t just about what lies beneath. Above ground, the rolling prairie grasslands and forested hillsides are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bison and elk. For those eager to witness these majestic creatures, the park provides opportunities for wildlife viewing in their natural habitat.

Guided tours are the best way to experience the cave’s wonders, with options ranging from easy walks to more strenuous adventures involving a significant number of stairs. Accessibility is a priority, with limited accessible tours available. After exploring the underground marvels, visitors can immerse themselves in the surrounding nature, perhaps catching a glimpse of the park’s free-roaming buffalo.

Here’s a quick glance at what to expect on a typical cave tour:

  • Duration: 60-75 minutes
  • Distance: 1/2 to 2/3-mile route
  • Stairs: 150-300 (up and down)

Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply looking for an adventure, Wind Cave National Park is a destination that should not be missed on your South Dakota getaway.

4. Custer State Park

Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Custer State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. The park spans over 71,000 acres, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and wildlife that South Dakota is renowned for. With the historic State Game Lodge as a highlight, once the summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge, the park combines rich history with stunning landscapes.

Visitors can embark on a unique buffalo safari, getting an up-close view of the park’s 1,400 free-roaming buffalo. The adventure doesn’t stop there; the park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including elk and prairie dogs, making it a perfect spot for wildlife photography and nature observation. For those seeking more active pursuits, the park offers a range of activities:

  • Guided cave tours showcasing natural formations like boxwork and flowstone
  • Jeep tours for an intimate look at the park’s diverse ecosystem
  • Hayride with chuck wagon dinner for a taste of the local culture

Custer State Park is part of South Dakota’s extensive park system, which includes over 50 state parks. Each park offers its own unique set of natural wonders, from the granite peaks of Custer to the intriguing rock formations of Palisades State Park. Whether you’re looking to explore underground caves or witness the majesty of free-roaming buffalo, Custer State Park is a must-visit destination on your South Dakota getaway.

5. Chapel in the Hills

Nestled in the serene Black Hills of South Dakota, the Chapel in the Hills offers a tranquil retreat for visitors seeking a moment of peace or spiritual reflection. This exact replica of the famous Borgund Stavkirke in Norway is not only a testament to intricate architecture but also a bridge between cultures.

Open to the public daily, the Chapel provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich Scandinavian heritage of the region. The surrounding grounds feature a museum and a traditional Norwegian log cabin, which serves as a visitor center. The Chapel’s intricate wood carvings and detailed craftsmanship are a sight to behold, making it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

South Dakota offers diverse golfing and outdoor activities in different regions like Western, Central, and Eastern SD. Over 100 golf courses provide scenic experiences for all skill levels, and while the Chapel in the Hills is a place for quiet contemplation, the state’s varied landscapes cater to those seeking more active pursuits.

6. Bear Country U.S.A.

Bear Country U.S.A. offers a distinctive wildlife experience in the heart of South Dakota. Drive through this unique park and encounter a variety of North American wildlife in their natural habitat. From the comfort of your vehicle, observe black bears, elk, reindeer, cougars, bighorn sheep, and buffalo. The park provides a safe and intimate opportunity to see these animals up-close, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and families alike.

After your adventure, consider a stop in the nearby historic Hill City. This charming town is perfect for a leisurely lunch and offers an array of art galleries, boutique shops, and diverse restaurants. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Hill City complements your visit to Bear Country U.S.A. with its walkable streets and welcoming atmosphere.

South Dakota offers diverse outdoor activities in various regions like hunting, fishing, golfing, and biking. Explore Western, Central, and Eastern regions for unique experiences that cater to every type of outdoor adventurer.

7. Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show

Step back in time at the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show, where the spirit of the Old West comes alive. Begin your evening with a stroll through the Dances With Wolves film set and explore the Fort Hays workshops, where the craftsmanship of the era is on full display.

When the supper bell tolls, prepare for a feast that rivals the best chuckwagon experiences in the West. Served on handmade tin plates, the menu boasts a barbecue-style buffet that’s both hearty and delicious. The culinary lineup includes:

  • Juicy steaks plunged into hot oil for a crispy exterior
  • Baked beans with a smoky flavor
  • Fluffy baked potatoes
  • Crisp garlic toast
  • Fresh coleslaw and vegetables
  • Sweet cinnamon-sugar donuts
  • Refreshing lemonade

As you savor the flavors of the frontier, the Fort Hays Wranglers take the stage, delivering the Black Hills’ most popular variety show. With music, comedy, and lively entertainment, it’s an evening that captures the essence of South Dakota’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a unique night out, the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show is an experience not to be missed.

8. Deadwood

Step back in time with a visit to Deadwood, a town that encapsulates the spirit of the Wild West with its rich Gold Rush history. Nestled in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota, Deadwood offers a unique blend of historical intrigue and modern entertainment.

The town’s storied past comes alive at the Days of 76 Museum, where the tales of rowdy characters and events are preserved. For those looking to delve deeper into the history, Mt. Moriah Cemetery is a must-visit. Here, weathered tombstones mark the final resting places of infamous gunmen, gamblers, lawmen, and madams. The cemetery, with its Victorian-style aura, provides a panoramic view of Deadwood, set against the backdrop of mountains that were once teeming with gold.

As you wander the historic main street, don’t miss Saloon No. 10, a site of legend where Wild Bill Hickok played his last poker hand. While the exact location of the event is a subject of local lore, the saloon offers a glimpse into the past with its period atmosphere.

In addition to its historical attractions, Deadwood is a hub for entertainment and dining. Visitors can explore diverse dining options, from casual eateries to breweries and pubs, each offering a taste of South Dakota’s hospitality. The region’s entertainment venues provide a variety of experiences, ensuring that there’s something for everyone in this storied town.

9. Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park offers a striking display of nature’s artistry, where rugged beauty and geological wonders await. The park’s dramatic landscapes feature layered rock formations, steep canyons, and towering spires. Visitors can explore the Loop Road, which provides numerous scenic outlooks perfect for capturing the park’s unique terrain in photographs.

The park’s diverse ecosystem is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. For those looking to delve deeper into the Badlands’ offerings, guided tours are available, enhancing the experience with expert insights into the area’s rich history and geology.

Here’s a quick glance at what to expect during a visit:

  • Multiple photo stops along the Loop Road
  • Guided tours with local experts
  • The chance to witness the park’s diverse wildlife

After a day of exploration, visitors can unwind at the nearby Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show, where they can enjoy leisure time and a taste of local culture. The Badlands National Park is not just a destination; it’s an adventure that contrasts wild beauty with the tranquility of the South Dakota landscape.

10. Wall Drug Store

A visit to Wall Drug Store is like stepping into a living piece of American history. Since opening its doors in 1931, Wall Drug has evolved from a small-town pharmacy offering free ice water to weary travelers, into a sprawling emporium of shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s a must-see for anyone traveling through South Dakota.

The complex boasts a variety of shops where visitors can find everything from unique souvenirs to local art. For those looking to grab a bite, there’s a selection of eateries serving up hearty meals to fuel your adventures. And don’t forget to check out the array of attractions nearby, including the Dakota Sky Stone and the National Grasslands Visitor Center, which are just a short walk away.

Whether you’re looking to explore the rich history of the area, shop for one-of-a-kind items, or simply enjoy a leisurely lunch, Wall Drug offers an experience that’s both memorable and uniquely South Dakotan.

11. Devils Tower National Monument

Rising dramatically 1,267 feet above the Wyoming plains, Devils Tower National Monument stands as a testament to the power of volcanic activity and the forces of nature. This striking geologic feature, which gained widespread recognition in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was designated as the first U.S. National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

Visitors to Devils Tower can enjoy a variety of activities, from exploring the visitor center to taking a leisurely stroll around the base of the tower on the paved walking path. The monument’s proximity to Rapid City, South Dakota, makes it an accessible and unforgettable addition to any Black Hills itinerary. For those embarking on the scenic drive from Rapid City, the journey to Devils Tower is an enjoyable hour and forty-minute cruise through the picturesque Black Hills.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, Devils Tower National Monument offers a glimpse into America’s rich geological and cultural tapestry.

12. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Nestled in the rugged beauty of North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park offers a glimpse into the untamed landscape that profoundly influenced the conservation policies of its namesake president. The park’s Scenic Loop Drive is a must-do, winding through the ‘Northern Badlands’ where the striking topography and diverse wildlife, including bison and wild horses, create a photographer’s paradise.

Visitors can explore the historical Maltese Cross Cabin, which was Roosevelt’s first ranch cabin, and gain insights into the life of this pivotal American figure. The nearby town of Medora provides charming accommodations, such as the Rough Riders Hotel, and serves as a perfect base for park exploration and attending local attractions like the Medora Musical.

For those interested in the historical aspects, a visit to the Chateau de Mores is enlightening. This 26-room mansion delves into the life of the Marquis de Mores, showcasing his various enterprises in the region. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or a dive into American history, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and its surroundings offer an enriching experience.

13. Medora Musical

The Medora Musical is a vibrant, open-air experience that captivates audiences with a spirited celebration of North Dakota’s rich heritage. Set in the heart of the Badlands, this musical extravaganza showcases a blend of singing, dancing, and comedy, all dedicated to the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt and the American West.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the Old West atmosphere with a visit to the historic town of Medora, where the musical takes place. The Rough Riders Hotel offers a comfortable stay, providing a taste of the Old West and is centrally located, making it an ideal base for exploring the area’s attractions, including the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Chateau de Mores.

For a unique start to your day, consider the title: Brunch with President Roosevelt. This event combines a hearty breakfast buffet with the opportunity to engage with Joe Wiegand, who brings Roosevelt’s character to life. It’s a perfect prelude to the evening’s Medora Musical performance, offering both sustenance and entertainment in true Theodore Roosevelt style.

14. Sanford Underground Research Facility Visitor Center

Nestled in the historic mining town of Lead, the Sanford Underground Research Facility Visitor Center is a gateway to scientific discovery. Here, visitors can delve into the fascinating world of particle physics and learn about the cutting-edge research conducted nearly 5,000 feet below the Earth’s surface.

The Visitor Center is not just about passive observation; it’s designed to be an interactive experience. To create an engaging attraction, the Visitor Center offers scavenger hunts and a variety of exhibits that cater to both the scientifically curious and the casual visitor. It’s a place where the complexities of dark matter and neutrino research become accessible to all ages.

Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply looking for a unique addition to your South Dakota itinerary, the Sanford Underground Research Facility Visitor Center is a must-visit. It’s a testament to the state’s rich history in mining and its current role at the forefront of scientific exploration.

15. Broken Boot Gold Mine

Step back in time at the Broken Boot Gold Mine, where the allure of the Wild West and the quest for gold come alive. This historic mine, nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, offers a unique glimpse into the gold rush era. Visitors can explore the old shafts through guided tours, learning about the mine’s history and the miners who once toiled in search of riches.

Although the Broken Boot Gold Mine is more famous for its iron pyrite, or ‘fool’s gold,’ than for actual gold, the experience is no less captivating. Try your hand at panning for gold and see if you can strike it lucky. It’s an engaging activity for all ages and a great way to connect with the history of the region.

Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • Guided tours of the century-old mine
  • A chance to pan for gold
  • Insight into the mining history and geology of the Black Hills

Whether you’re a history buff, a geology enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun family outing, the Broken Boot Gold Mine is a must-visit destination in Deadwood, South Dakota. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the legacy of the Wild West.

16. Mt. Moriah Cemetery

Nestled in the historic town of Deadwood, Mt. Moriah Cemetery stands as a testament to the Wild West era, capturing the essence of South Dakota’s rich history. Weathered tombstones and Victorian-style memorials paint a vivid picture of the lives of Deadwood’s most notorious residents, including gunmen, gamblers, lawmen, and madams. Visitors can delve into the past with a self-guided exploration or opt for a more structured experience through local guided tours.

The cemetery not only offers a glimpse into the lives of the Wild West figures but also provides a panoramic view of Deadwood, set against the backdrop of the Black Hills. The area, once teeming with gold, now offers a serene resting place and a chance to reflect on the region’s storied past. For those looking to immerse themselves further, a short interpretive video at the visitors center provides additional context to the cemetery’s significance.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply seeking a unique experience, Mt. Moriah Cemetery is a must-visit destination. It’s a place where the echoes of South Dakota’s top attractions resonate, from the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site to the majestic landscapes of the Badlands National Park and the underground wonders of Wind Cave National Park.

17. Adams Museum

The Adams Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich tapestry of Deadwood’s history. Housed in a two-story building that was once the residence of former mayor W.E. Adams, the museum is a treasure trove of artifacts from the town’s pioneer days, the gold rush era, and its Wild West legacy. Discover the tales of legendary figures like Wild Bill Hickok through exhibits such as his famed pistol, and marvel at the size of Potato Creek Johnny’s gold nugget.

Visitors can also explore the geological history of the Black Hills with a plesiosaur skeleton on display, and get a taste of early 20th-century entertainment with an antique slot machine. The Adams Museum not only preserves the past but also serves as an excellent starting point for those looking to delve deeper into the storied past of Deadwood.

Here are some highlights of the Adams Museum’s collection:

  • Wild Bill Hickok’s pistol
  • Potato Creek Johnny’s 7 rac{3}{4} ounce gold nugget
  • Plesiosaur skeleton
  • 1900s antique slot machine

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the Old West, the Adams Museum is an essential stop on your Deadwood itinerary.

18. Rapid City Main Street

Rapid City’s Main Street is a vibrant hub that captures the essence of American patriotism and the spirit of the West. Stroll through downtown Rapid City and you’ll be greeted by life-sized bronze statues of U.S. presidents, a unique feature that pays homage to the nation’s leaders and adds a touch of historical charm to the cityscape.

The Main Street experience in Rapid City is not just about the past; it’s a lively center where art, culture, and community events converge. Art Alley and Main Street Square are local hotspots, showcasing an array of artistic expressions and hosting events that range from live concerts to family-friendly festivals.

For visitors looking to immerse themselves in the local scene, here’s a snapshot of what Rapid City Main Street has to offer:

  • Art Alley: A dynamic display of public art and personal expression.
  • Main Street Square: The heart of downtown’s cultural events, buzzing with activities year-round.
  • Presidential Statues: Engage with history by exploring the statues of former U.S. Presidents.

Whether you’re in town for a day or staying for a while, Rapid City’s Main Street is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the city’s charm and the diverse stories of its people. For more information, visit Rapid City’s official tourism website.

19. Dinosaur Park

Perched atop a hill overlooking Rapid City, Dinosaur Park is a must-visit for families and history enthusiasts alike. This unique attraction, established in the 1930s, features life-sized concrete dinosaur sculptures that capture the imagination and offer a glimpse into the prehistoric past. The park not only provides educational fun but also affords visitors panoramic views of the surrounding Black Hills.

Visitors can embark on a self-guided tour to explore the various dinosaur figures, each representing species that once roamed the South Dakota region. The park is open year-round, with no admission fee, making it an accessible stop for all travelers. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • A leisurely walk among the dinosaur sculptures
  • Informative signage providing details about each species
  • A scenic overlook with photo opportunities
  • A gift shop with dinosaur-themed souvenirs

South Dakota offers diverse attractions including museums, parks, and historical sites. Explore different regions for unique experiences in Western, Central, and Eastern South Dakota. Whether you’re a dinosaur aficionado or simply looking for a fun and educational stop on your South Dakota adventure, Dinosaur Park is a destination that shouldn’t be missed.

20. Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center

The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center is a pivotal stop for those exploring the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Named after the son of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, the center offers a deep dive into the history and creation of this iconic monument.

Visitors can engage with a variety of exhibits that detail the painstaking process of carving the colossal figures, the tools used, and the challenges faced during construction. The center also provides educational films, giving guests a cinematic glimpse into the past. A stroll along the Presidential Trail, which is mentioned as a way to get more intimate views of the 60-foot faces, is highly recommended for a complete experience.

For those interested in the natural beauty and wildlife of South Dakota, the visitor center serves as a gateway to the Black Hills region, where one can explore South Dakota’s natural wonders through attractions like parks and wildlife encounters. The center is not just a tribute to the presidents immortalized in stone but also a testament to the human spirit and American ingenuity.

21. Sculptor’s Studio

The Sculptor’s Studio at Mount Rushmore offers a unique glimpse into the creative process behind the colossal monument. Here, visitors can engage with the history and artistry that shaped Mount Rushmore through the original tools and models used by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Discover the intricate details of the carver’s vision and the challenges faced during the construction of this iconic American landmark.

The studio is not just a static exhibit; it’s a place of learning and inspiration. Engage with park rangers who provide insightful talks, and explore the exhibits that detail the techniques used to transfer the scale models to the mountain’s granite face. The studio is open seasonally, so be sure to check the schedule before planning your visit.

For those looking to delve deeper into the Mount Rushmore experience, the Sculptor’s Studio is an essential stop. It complements the educational offerings at the nearby Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, providing a comprehensive understanding of this monumental undertaking.

22. Presidential Trail

The Presidential Trail at Mount Rushmore National Memorial offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the grandeur of American history up close. Winding through the pine forests and granite landscapes, the trail provides an intimate view of the iconic 60-foot faces of the four presidents carved into the mountain.

The trail is a 0.6-mile loop with over 250 wooden steps, leading to various vantage points for those perfect photo opportunities. Along the way, you may encounter local wildlife and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and engineering behind this colossal sculpture.

Accessibility is a priority, with the first 0.1 miles of the trail being wheelchair accessible. For those looking to delve deeper into the history of Mount Rushmore, the trail ends near the Sculptor’s Studio, where visitors can learn about Gutzon Borglum’s vision and the techniques used to bring it to life.

23. The Rushmore Hotel & Suites

Nestled in the heart of downtown Rapid City, The Rushmore Hotel & Suites offers a blend of comfort and convenience for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the local culture. This upscale, full-service hotel is centrally located, making it an ideal base for exploring the city’s attractions, including the life-sized bronze statues of U.S. presidents that adorn the streets.

The hotel provides a range of accommodations to suit various needs, from business travelers to families. Guests often praise the hotel for its friendly and accommodating staff, as well as the inviting lobby and well-sized rooms that offer ample space for guests to relax.

Here’s a quick glance at what The Rushmore Hotel & Suites offers:

  • Central location in Rapid City
  • Proximity to local attractions
  • Full-service amenities
  • Spacious and comfortable rooms

Whether you’re in town to visit the iconic Mount Rushmore or to enjoy the vibrant Main Street experience, The Rushmore Hotel & Suites ensures a memorable stay with its blend of modern amenities and warm hospitality.

24. Rough Riders Hotel

Nestled in the historic town of Medora, the Rough Riders Hotel offers guests a charming blend of comfort and Western hospitality. As the premier accommodation in the area, it serves as an ideal base for exploring the nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park and other local attractions such as the Chateau de Mores and the Medora Musical.

The hotel’s strategic location in downtown Medora places visitors at the heart of this quaint city, allowing for easy access to a variety of dining and entertainment options. After a day of adventure, the Rough Riders Hotel welcomes you back with its unique old-world ambiance and modern amenities, ensuring a restful and enjoyable stay.

Here’s what you can expect during your stay:

  • A two-night stay that immerses you in the spirit of the Old West.
  • Proximity to key attractions, making it a convenient choice for travelers.
  • A taste of luxury with a touch of historical charm, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.

Whether you’re in town for leisure or adventure, the Rough Riders Hotel promises an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of North Dakota’s rich history.

25. Black Hills and Badlands and more

The Black Hills and Badlands region of South Dakota offers an array of breathtaking landscapes and historical sites that promise an unforgettable adventure. From the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial to the rugged beauty of Badlands National Park, this area is a treasure trove of natural wonders and American history.

Embark on a journey through the Black Hills with a local guide to witness the grandeur of Crazy Horse Memorial and explore the subterranean marvels of Wind Cave National Park. The adventure continues with a buffalo safari and a chuck wagon dinner in the vast expanses of Custer State Park.

The historic town of Deadwood brings the Wild West back to life, where you can visit the graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane or try your luck at Saloon No. 10. Each day in the Black Hills presents a new opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s rich heritage and stunning scenery.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the top attractions in the Black Hills:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Custer State Park
  • Bear Country U.S.A.
  • Deadwood

Whether you’re seeking a serene retreat or an action-packed getaway, the Black Hills and Badlands are sure to exceed your expectations.

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Great Faces. Great Places.

South Dakota is an incredibly unique state in that each region offers a completely different experience then the others. Check out each of the regions to see what each has to offer!

Badlands

Western South Dakota

Featuring the Black Hills, Badlands, the Sturgis Rally. This region tends to be the most popular.

CENTRAL REGION

This region of South Dakota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire central US. 

Eastern Region

The eastern region is home to the largest city in the state and provides visitors with a true "prairie" experience.