For your next vacation, if you’re searching for a place that has jaw-dropping natural beauty, iconic national monuments, Wild West Thrills, Native American folklore, American history galore, herds of stampeding buffalos, and freaky natural wonders, then look no further than areas in the South Dakota region. The South Dakota attractions tempt even the most jaded of travelers. From Mount Rushmore to Badlands, it’s a well-rounded vacation destination or an ideal spot for a fun road trip in the United States.
1. Mount Rushmore
Settled in the Black Hills in the touristy town of Keystone, this iconic National Memorial is definitely the real deal. Giants busts of four US Presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt – are carved into the mountainside. It is one of the most iconic sights in the US, and definitely worth a visit, even if you can’t really get up close to the monument. Hike the half-mile Presidential Trail to get as close as you possibly can, but make sure to carry your binoculars.
2. Badlands National Park
This stunning national park is home to plains with wildlife like prairie dogs, bison, bighorn sheep, and has a spectacular landscape of rocky pinnacles. The park offers the best of both worlds – superb wildlife in America’s popular prairie and hiking through otherworldly rock formations. You can also camp here and experience the insanely dark skies, meaning that you can easily see the stunning Milky Way in all its glory.
3. Mammoth Site & Museum
This is an archaeological site, which is still being excavated, and was once a sinkhole that swallowed up dozens of mammoths. It is a graveyard of at least 61 mammoths, all of which happen to be male. The spot in Hot Springs, South Dakota, is surely considered as one of the coolest places to visit. Tourists can actually get into the sinkhole to see the bones.
4. Custer State Park
This 71,000-acre state park in the Black Hills is regarded as one of South Dakota’s natural gems. Just like the Badlands, Custer is popular for its bison herds but is also famous for its elk, mountain lions, and coyotes. After animal sightseeing, it would be best to head to one of the park’s five stunning scenic lakes, camp in the pine forests, or drive a portion of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway.
We are sure that you recognized the name Deadwood from the critically acclaimed but short-lived HBO TV series. But it is important to know that, Deadwood is a meticulously restored 19th century Wild West mining town and a popular tourist attraction thanks to its Main Street which is a National Historic Landmark District. Not only do its various hotels make Deadwood a great base for exploration, but just wandering in and out of the old-time saloons and soaking up local history is time well spent.
6. Roadside Attractions
Historical places kept aside, South Dakota is also popular for its roadside attractions. The most well-known is Wall Drug, which began as a small-town drug store and now covers the whole city block with all kinds of craziness. Another roadside option is Al’ Oasis, a rest stop along I-90. The place has everything from a grocery store to souvenir shops inside.
With this list of major places to visit in South Dakota, you now have a small base for an itinerary. South Dakota is a land that will fill you with wonders at every turn and you must definitely go explore it. If you desire to see all of these amazing places in South Dakota, connect with us at Travel Gooru today. We help clients search for cheap hotels and rental cars at their vacation destination. We instantly compare prices and provide precise details to make it easy for our clients.