There are a lot of places to go in the great state of South Dakota. If you’re looking for new experiences and long-lasting memories then book your next vacation here. Come see some of America’s most beautiful landscapes and natural world wonders. From the historical Black Hills’ towering pines and granite peaks, South Dakota is a land of fantastic places.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)
You have to stand at the foot of Mount Rushmore National Memorial at least once in your lifetime. This incredible, manmade, granite mountain masterpiece is our country’s Shrine to Democracy and a testament to the American Dream. Share a part of America’s history with your family when you visit the four famous faces of Mount Rushmore. More then just the four stone faces, Mount Rushmore is home to some of South Dakota’s most beautiful species of wild flowers. Learn how Native Americans used them as you walk park paths.
Crazy Horse Memorial (The World’s Largest Mountain Carving)
Crazy Horse Memorial is a 563-foot-high monument, still in the making and considered the world’s largest mountain carving. Blasting began in 1948 and continues today, slowly and precisely carving out a fantastic memorial of the great Lakota Leader Crazy Horse. Monument visitors can see the progress and learn its story.
Black Hills National Forest (U.S. Forest Service)
From the Lakota words “Paha Sapa” which translates “hills that are black,” the towering pines, granite peaks and over 1.2 million acres of incredible scenery make up the Black Hills National Forest. When seen from a distance, these towering pines rise several thousand feet above the surrounding prairies and appear black. The forest is a unique ecosystem of plants, peaks and rocks and provides novel outdoor recreational activities and breathtaking scenic drives. The Black Hills is known to be a place of great physical and spiritual renewal.
Badlands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
The Badlands National Park contains the world’s richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds dating back over 30 million years. The evolutionary history of mammals such as the horse and rhinoceros arise from 244,000 acres of sharply eroded, colorful buttes, pinnacles and spires. Bison, bighorn sheep, black-footed ferrets and the endangered swift fox roam freely through this large, government protected mixed-grass prairie. The unique, lunar-like landscape, fossil beds and stunning scenery offers visitors a fantastic, outdoor adventure.
National Caves & Caverns
South Dakota is home to one of the largest National Caves and Cavern systems in the entire world. Located just beneath the surface of the Black Hills, visitors can discover a vast underground wilderness at such incredible places as Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Beautiful Rushmore Cave and Sitting Bull Crystal Cave. Most of the caves were discovered by gold seekers in the 1800’s. Lakota Indians found strength in the power of the calcite crystals centuries before. Come discover a glittering underground world.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)
The Cold War lives on in South Dakota at the Minuteman Missile Natural Historic Site. This once top secret nuclear weapons facility, buried just beneath the prairie grasses kept world peace for almost three decades. Today, these deactivated sites preserve the original missiles, mechanical equipment and furnishings to help tell the story of this very tense time in history and learn how nuclear war came to haunt the world.
South Dakota State Parks (Division of Parks & Recreation)
South Dakota offers more state-run parks then anywhere else in the country and showcases the best in scenery, wildlife, outdoor recreation and history. South Dakota is home to so many State Parks that they’re broken up into regional areas. Northern & Southern Hills, Oahe/Sharpe, Glacial Lakes, Heartland and the smallest, most exciting and historical region of Lewis & Clark located on the lower Missouri River.
National Scenic Byways & Loops Program of South Dakota
There are so many roads to travel on in South Dakota, but there are many that hold special, beautiful and historical significance. These Scenic Byways and Loops will thrill your senses and rejuvenate even the weariest traveler. Travel on a Byway that offers delightful adventure as winds spiral “pig-tail” shaped bridges, through six rock tunnels, among towering granite pinnacles and over pristine, pine-clad mountains. The Byway crosses the reservations of four Native American tribes, memorial markets, monuments, museums and sacred sites. Highlights include Mount Rushmore, Sylvan Lake, Needle’s Eye and Cathedral Spires Rock Formations. Travel the Byways & Loops to commemorate the heritage of South Dakota’s Sioux Nation.