South Dakota. Outdoor adventures. Stunning landscapes. Prehistoric time machine. American history. Do these words conjure up images of a fantastic vacation destination? Because they should! South Dakota is chock full of fun, funky, fabulous adventures just waiting for you to experience.
Not sure where to start your own South Dakota adventures? I’m here to help! Here’s a snapshot of our own adventures in this adventure-filled state. Be inspired! Then book your own fun times in South Dakota. Happy trails!
On The Road To Western South Dakota
A drive through South Dakota just isn’t complete without stopping at it’s most well known fun and funky roadside stops, The Corn Palace and Wall Drug. These unique, one-of-a-kind venues are perfect for stretching limbs and letting the kids burn off excess energy. Don’t forget the camera. Where else will you be able to take a photo of that ever so elusive jackalope?
Read about our favorite South Dakota roadside stops at Stop the Car! 3 Fun and Funky Roadside Stops In South Dakota. They’re sure to make that long day of driving fly by.
The Iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial
With nearly three million visitors a year, this iconic national park is one of the most well known and most visited landmarks in the United States. There’s a reason for that! Step back in time to meet a nation’s earliest inhabitants. Come face to face with the birth of a nation. Take a hike beneath the watchful eyes of four of this nation’s most influential leaders. Good fun, and a fun history lesson too!
Plan your own Mount Rushmore experience at 7 Tips to Maximize Your Day At Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It’s a perfect place to begin any South Dakota vacation.
Loads of Fun In Custer State Park
Custer State Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise, and a fantastic family vacation destination. Whether hiking, horseback riding, or swimming, panning for gold or going on an old-fashioned hay ride, Custer State Park offers adventures to please practically everyone. In fact, there is so much to do here that you probably want to plan at least three to five days to fully appreciate all that Custer State Park has to offer.
Find loads of fun action and adventure at 9 Favorite Things To Do In Custer State Park. It’s a place where kids will rediscover nature, and the whole family will reconnect.
Cave Adventures And More In Hot Springs
So much to do, and so much to see in Hot Springs! Glimpse into Ice Age life and touch prehistoric mammoth bones. Go underground into one of the world’s longest caves. Step back to a time where mustangs ran wild and free. Channel your inner cowboy with your own wild and free horseback ride. Hike or bike along an abandoned railroad line, complete with railroad bridges and tunnels. Yep, there’s a lot of action here!
Catch all the action at 5 Amazing Experiences That Make Hot Springs South Dakota A “Must Visit”. If time is limited, the Mammoth Cave Dig Site and Wind Cave National Park are a must see.
Bear Cubs at Bear Country U.S.A. Wildlife Park
Bear Country USA Wildlife Park is a most unique drive-through wildlife adventure where, from the safety and comfort of your vehicle, you’ll see bears, reindeer, mountain goats, and more go about their daily life. Don’t forget to park the car and hit the trails for a walk through Babyland! Meet the baby bear cubs, so full of energy and action. Their playful antics will entertain you, and are certain to cause fits of giggles and laughs.
Explore Bear Country at Bear Country U.S.A. Wildlife Park – Another Fun South Dakota Adventure. If limited on time, combine Bear Country USA with Mount Rushmore.
Geological Masterpieces in Badlands National Park
The Badlands National Park is an expansive area of spectacular geological formations and flowing, grassy plains perfect for discovery and exploration. Witness prehistoric life at the Paleontology Lab, where you might just see the remains of ancient mammals that once roamed this very land, including rhinos, horses and saber toothed cats. Hike a park trail in search of the park’s current residents, including bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and ferrets.
Plan your own adventures at Badlands National Park. Our time was limited to a single day here, but a single day in the Badlands National Park is better than no days!
Good Bye South Dakota!
We had a spectacular time exploring western South Dakota. Sadly, the sun has gone down on our adventures here, though we hope to return again some day soon.
Have you been to South Dakota? What was your favorite adventure? Do you see a South Dakota road trip in your future? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Images from C.Biederman and National Park Service (Badlands photo).