If you’re planning a trip to the Mount Rushmore State, then this vacation guide for South Dakota is just the thing for you! A few of South Dakota’s points of interest include the Wind Cave National Park, Bear Butte State Park, Mount Rushmore National Park, and many more. With over sixty state parks and seven national parks, you’ll never run out of South Dakota vacation ideas. Read on to find out how you can plan your next great adventure in South Dakota.
Exploring the Beauty of South Dakota: A Vacation Guide
1. South Dakota 101
South Dakota is located in the Midwest of the United States. One of the least populated states in the country, South Dakota was once home to the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes. Its state capital, Pierre, was established shortly after the U. S. acquired the land in 1803. South Dakota is divided in half by the Missouri River, with most of the population residing in the eastern half.
2. Getting to South Dakota
South Dakota is accessible via different modes of transport. You can arrive by plane either at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport or the Rapid City Regional Airport. You can also arrive by bus via Jefferson Lines, which has connections along two interstates. Another option is to get there by your own car; Interstate 90 runs east-west from Washington to Massachusetts. From Kansas City to Canada, there’s Interstate 29, which runs south to north.
3. Sights to See
Crowds at inspirational Mount Rushmore National Memorial; four examples of what a great president should be. pic.twitter.com/4igPSpAccZ
— Katherine Baylor (@KJBaylor) September 12, 2017
Bear Butte State Park is located in the northern Black Hills. Formed by magma that never erupted, the formation is said to resemble a sleeping bear. To this day, more than sixty native American tribes venerate the formation as sacred land. Another notable destination is Custer State Park, which is composed of 71,000 acres of prairie, granite and pine. Here, visitors can witness pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and bison in their natural habitat.
For those looking for adventure, the Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument are great places to visit. The Wind Cave is one of the world’s most complex caves, while the Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world.
Of course, a South Dakota vacation guide can’t be complete without visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Built between the years 1927 to 1941 by Italian sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the granite stone features George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Mount Rushmore is located in the Black Hills, and attracts more than 2 million visitors every year.
4. Where to Stay
A popular vacation spot for families, South Dakota has accommodation for every price range. Near the Black Hills, there’s the Town Hall Inn, a three-star hotel with consistently good reviews. For a slightly higher price, the suites at the Martin Mason Hotel can take you back in time with its Victorian Era-decor. Then, there’s the M Star in Rapid City for the budget-conscious. Most hotels are accessible to the parks and tourist sites, with many of them located in Deadwood, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City.
5. South Dakota Weather & Time
South Dakota has a temperate climate with four seasons. Temperatures during the winter can dip below freezing, while summer highs can go up to 90°F. Nevertheless, locals recommend the summer season as the perfect time to visit. South Dakota falls on two time zones: Central Time is followed east of the Missouri River, while Mountain Time is followed on the west side of the river.
Want to witness the beauty and grandeur of South Dakota? Check out this video below and see for yourself: