South Dakota

Tucked into the heart of the U.S.A., the ‘Mount Rushmore State’ offers untouched nature in abundance, vast stretches of prairies and early pioneer towns.

Natural beauty and wonder await you in South Dakota. Across the state, you will be inspired to expand your journey in the west from the Black Hills and Badlands, to the northeast to explore the glacial lakes and outdoor adventure. Along the way, you’ll follow the Missouri River as it flows down through central South Dakota, allowing you the chance to experience the history of Lewis and Clark. Discover the land of the southeast and its bustling cities, quiet country escapes and family attractions. 

Mainly rural, South Dakota has two main cities. Sioux Falls, the largest in the region, boasts its namesake waterfall and Rapid City offers easy access to Mount Rushmore and is known as the gateway to the Black Hills where mountains, caves, forests, and lakes are waiting to be explored.

Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse

The Black Hills are the highest mountains east of the Rockies, the most famous of which is Mt. Rushmore where presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, were carved in granite by Gutzon Borgium. This spectacular sight is still as popular today drawing visitors from across the globe. Near the figure of Custer, a memorial to Crazy Horse is now also being carved and is thought to be the world’s largest mountain sculpture currently in progress. It is being created in honour of the North American Indian and will stand an amazing 563 foot high and 641 foot long.

Badlands

This striking South Dakota landscape boasts a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires. Skeletons of three-toed horses and saber-toothed cats are among the many fossilized species found here. Wildlife abounds in the park’s 244,000 acres and can often be seen while hiking, camping and traveling the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway.

 

Custer State Park

Few truly wild places remain in this country. Custer State Park is one of them. Nearly 1,300 bison wander the park’s 71,000 acres, which they share with pronghorn antelope, elk, mountain goats and a band of burros. Trail rides, scenic drives, bike rides and safari tours are perfect ways to explore this impressive South Dakota attraction.

Jewel Cave & Wind Cave

With a name derived from the crystals that line its walls, Jewel Cave National Monument is even more significant as the third-longest cave in the world. Features of this South Dakota treasure include a variety of cave tours below the forest and a 1,279-acre park with nature trails above ground.

The first cave to be designated a national park, Wind Cave National Park features the world’s largest concentration of rare boxwork formations along with 33,970 acres of forest and prairie on the surface that act as a natural sanctuary for wildlife.

Deadwood

Walk in the footsteps of historic Old West legends like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. This 1870s gold rush town became a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Today, it teems with Black Hills entertainment and things to do including concerts, casinos, museums, historic sites, spas and parades. Deadwood still reflects the life of a bygone era offering an intriguing blend of old meets new.

South Dakota Destinations

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