Must See in South Dakota

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stilllurking
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Must See in South Dakota

Post by stilllurking » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:39 pm

I'll be visiting friends and family in Minnesota but want to take the kids to see Mount Rushmore. It's about a 9 hour drive from Minneapolis to Mount Rushmore so I was thinking of breaking up the trip a bit. Are there sites to catch in between Mount Rushmore and Minnesota not too far off from I-90?

StrangePenguin
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by StrangePenguin » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:41 pm

Well there is always the Corn Palace for a quick stop. One of America's more idiosyncratic attractions.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:45 pm

Stop in Sioux Falls and visit Falls Park for a rest stop.

https://visitsiouxfalls.com/things-to-do/falls-park/

There isn't a bunch to see on the interstate from Sioux Falls to Rapid City. Corn Palace (as mentioned). Wall Drug once you get closer to the Black Hills. Free ice water. Tourist trap. :wink:
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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packerguy
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by packerguy » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:45 pm

I would say the Badlands is a must see. Wall Drug and the Corn Palace are a not must see, but are along the way.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by bsteiner » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:47 pm

When I was there I saw Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and Wall Drug. If I go again I would visit the offices of South Dakota Trust Company to meet with the people I deal with there in person.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:00 pm

Check out Blue Mounds State Park in Southwest Minnesota, near Luverne for a herd of ~100 wild Bison, natural prairie trails, quartzite cliffs, etc.

Jeffers Petroglyphs is about 12 miles out of the way for you, but consists of a large rock outcrop containing many Native American estimated to be 7,000 to 9,000 years old. It's in southwest Minnesota north of the small town of Mountain Lake, off Hwy 60.

Depends if you're into nature or natural history, but these will be about 2.5-3 hours into your trip.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by hulburt1 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:02 pm

Get on the internet and have a some information sent to you. Mount Rushmore is a must, I like to travel and camp so I'm going to camp for 4 days in the back roads.

GCD
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:06 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:45 pm
Wall Drug once you get closer to the Black Hills. Free ice water. Tourist trap. :wink:
But as a tourist trap it's practically an icon.

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mhc
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by mhc » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm

Corn Palace
Pierre (state capitol)
Badlands NP
Wall Drug
Minuteman Missile Silo NM

Favorites in Black Hills:
Mount Rushmore
Mamoth site Hot Springs
Evans Plunge (Hot Springs, if you have kids)
Purple Pie Shop (Custer)
Bear Country (young kids)
Reptile Gardens
Jewel Cave NM

Random Poster
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Random Poster » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:19 pm

The South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre is worth a brief stop.

The Dairy Bar at South Dakota State University offers tasty treats. And good cheese selections too.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:20 pm


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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by nisiprius » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:28 pm

Loved Custer State Park. I didn't especially like Wind Cave National Park, adjacent to Custer, the big deal is just that it's utterly humongous (over 100 miles of mapped passages to date) but not all that stunningly beautiful... but on the drive back to Custer we got enveloped in a herd of buffalo crossing the road, ahead of us and behind us, just the luck of the day but that was memorable (and a little scary).

(Added) YES to the Purple Pie Shop in Custer. The actual dinners there were good, ended up going there three times. And the pie was fantastic.

Loved Badlands National Park.

Just us but we'd put either of them ahead of Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore, eh, we had to do it so I could get the selfie with the statues behind me for the grandkids, but it's one of the places that looks just the way you expect it to, and that's about all there is to it.

Really enjoyed Falls Park in Sioux Falls, spent several hours there, could have spent more, just a really pleasant ramble with a wonderful spread-out collection of many small waterfalls and interesting rocks.

We missed out on the Minuteman silo because we didn't understand that the actual missile site is about ten miles from the headquarters and didn't plan things out... and didn't want to spend several hours of time on that when there was the Badlands to visit again. Spend three days in Badlands, worth every minute.

We were camping at the pretty-good Sleepy Hollow Campground which is a couple of blocks from Wall Drug, and thus had many opportunities to stroll through Wall Drug and I found it strangely depressing. Not just a case of overhyped, I just actually didn't like it.

An hour at the Corn Palace is pleasant enough and right off the highway, worth taking the time to stop, there are some more murals inside, and at least when we were there you could go in and look at them at no cost.
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Smorgasbord
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Smorgasbord » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:38 pm

About 25 years ago I went on a month long road trip with the Boy Scouts, and one of the places we stopped was Mount Rushmore. From the perspective of a 13 year old, I remember it being interesting for maybe half an hour and then was ready to leave.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by JBTX » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:50 pm

Been to the corn palace in Mitchell. I wouldn’t go out of the way to see it, but it is a decent break along the way to Black Hills. There really isn’t a lot to see in SD outside of black hills area. Lots of wheat and corn along the way.

In August black hills can get very hot in the day and avoid going around the same time as bike (motorcycle) week.

Devils tower is just inside Wyoming.

One good thing about SD is speed limit is 80.
Last edited by JBTX on Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by samsoes » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:04 pm

Check-out the Crazy Horse Memorial near Rushmore - https://crazyhorsememorial.org/

Then take a ride to Deadwood, home of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock.
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BL
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by BL » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:09 pm

In Rapid City, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dak ... Technology

has a Museum of Geology with skeletons of dinosaurs, fossils, etc.
https://www.sdsmt.edu/Academics/Museum-of-Geology/Home/

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raidman
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by raidman » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:06 pm

I have made that drive many many times.

If you don't have much time to spare, I would drive through the Badlands and stop at some of the viewpoints. That is the best single thing to see along that route.

If you have more time or are trying to expand your vacation, here are some other ideas:

-Mt. Rushmore - if you go at dusk there is a Monument lighting ceremony with a video, some kid-interaction banter by a guide, the monument being lit by floodlights, and a military salute at the end. I have been to Rushmore 3 times and find it relatively bland, but that ceremony was cool to see.

-Badlands are definitely worth it. At very least you can drive thru the park (main road runs parallel to the interstate) and stop at some viewpoints. Very surreal. Best at dawn or dusk, as most natural places are. Kids will find the prairie dog colonies hilarious (and I still do). You could easily spend a few days at Badlands alone.

-black hills themselves are very pretty. Needles highway is the classic drive. Iron Mountain Road is also awesome with epic views of Mt. Rushmore and some interesting road engineering. Lots of day hikes all around the hills.

-Custer state park - super cool, especially for kids. Burros, prairie dogs, and bison everywhere. Several of our family's "classic stories" originate here ;). Do the wildlife loop road.

- sylvan lake in the black hills is cool for an afternoon of swimming. There are rock towers in the middle of the lake.

-Wind cave, Jewel cave - Always wanted to go
-Deadwood, Sturgis - historic cities if you're into that. Obviously be aware of the biker rally in Sturgis, might be a pro or a con depending on your family - it's tame enough during the daytime for kids.
-Minuteman Missile NM - always wanted to go, can't convince anyone to join me.
-Devil's Tower - always wanted to go, it's always just too far out of the way for it to make sense.
-Hot springs (multiple of these exist) - sounds kind of interesting, never been.


Other things that are further east and would make nice road breaks:


-Green Giant Statue in Blue Earth, MN: very quick stop, as kids we all thought this was super cool.
-Corn palace - I'd say skip it
-Wall drug - memorable, tourist trap, kids would get a kick out of it tho.
-Porter Sculpture Park - Montrose, SD. Kind of wacky, I always see it from the highway, never been. I think they charge a few bucks.

-Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD. It's a very pleasant park, it might make sense just because its a nice "halfway point" for the drive. Otherwise I wouldn't make it a must-see. Certainly doesn't rival the Badlands.
-Blue Mounds SP, Pipestone NM - These also would make for a good "halfway stop" - they're nice but I wouldn't call them must sees.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by cheapindexer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:07 pm

Crazy horse , mt Rushmore , deadwood , Custer state park , and the badlands are all fantastic

Wind cave NP was Mediocre , especially compared to mammoth cave NP

Skip wind cave do the rest

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by nisiprius » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:13 pm

JBTX wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:50 pm
...Devils tower is just inside Wyoming...
I was wondering if I should mention that, because for us, that year, Badlands National Park and Devils[sic] Tower were really the high points of a long trip. Devils Tower is not a huge site; if you aren't into technical rock climbing, basically you stroll around the tower on a paved path, which takes perhaps a couple of hours--doing it as a leisurely stroll with many stops to take pictures. And gawk and take deep breaths staring at this simply amazing thing. (And, in June, which is when we were there, wonder at the people who were climbing the tower during the month when people are asked not to climb it). But it is one of those places that photos just don't do justice to. And it is one of those places that when viewed e.g. from the KOA where we stayed, looks different every few hours or so.

When the light hits it a certain way, you swear there's a four-hundred-foot-high door in it.

Image

Image

I don't want to oversell it too much, because Devils Tower could of course be one of those things that is a thrill for some people and a big bunch of nothing for others.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:29 pm

Crazy Horse is a ripoff. You can see everything worth seeing from the road.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by SimonJester » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:45 pm

GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:29 pm
Crazy Horse is a ripoff. You can see everything worth seeing from the road.
Ummm the museum pieces were very nice and you cannot see those from the road.

We really loved Jewel Cave NM
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Mickey7 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:07 pm

Sioux Falls would be the best break between Minneapolis and Mount Rushmore. Hit on a few places going to Rushmore and hit the rest on the way back.
Depending on your length of time there consider staying in Custer instead of Rapid City. Check out the National Parks website to get a layout and overview of the area.
For Rushmore consider getting there late in the afternoon will get you an opportunity for the lighting ceremony at night. It will be somewhat cooler and will give great photo opts for daylight and night comparisons.
You could spend the morning and early afternoon at Custer State Park. Really cool park for buffalo and other wildlife. Buy food near your hotel/campsite for a picnic.
Badlands is really good and like Custer has some nice hikes, but are radically different areas.
Jewels and Wind Caves might be appealing for your group. They were just meh for me.
Remember for Minuteman that you will need to make reservations in advance to tour the silos.
If you can make time drive over to Devils Tower. It is worth it even if you didn't see Close Encounters (but more so if you did, watch it before you go.)
Deadwood, Wall Drug and Corn Palace are considered as tourist traps, but they exist because people want to say they have been there.

But upmost get everyone involved in the planning so they will have a stake.

Enjoy.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by lgerla » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:07 pm

I would take a detour to DeSmet and listen to Little House on the Prairie audiobooks the whole way!

(Books, not the TV show.) :oops:

http://www.desmetsd.com/desmet/visitors ... lls-wilder

:D

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:56 pm

SimonJester wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:45 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:29 pm
Crazy Horse is a ripoff. You can see everything worth seeing from the road.
Ummm the museum pieces were very nice and you cannot see those from the road.
We're talking about the giant 1/20th finished competitor to Mt. Rushmore, right? We walked through the buildings near the parking lot. I was unaware there was a museum. So I went on the website to see if there was something I missed. Nope. I hardly think anything there was worth seeing, especially at $30 per car. To me it was a $30 bathroom stop. I wouldn't consider it a museum.

However, on Yelp they get 3.5 stars so apparently some people are seeing things I'm not. Well, like anything, the OP can sort through the conflicting reviews.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by RetiredAL » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 pm

GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:29 pm


We're talking about the giant 1/20th finished competitor to Mt. Rushmore, right? We walked through the buildings near the parking lot. I was unaware there was a museum. So I went on the website to see if there was something I missed. Nope. I hardly think anything there was worth seeing, especially at $30 per car. To me it was a $30 bathroom stop. I wouldn't consider it a museum.

However, on Yelp they get 3.5 stars so apparently some people are seeing things I'm not. Well, like anything, the OP can sort through the conflicting reviews.
The museum IS the reason to go the Crazy Horse. History is generally written by the victor, and generally is very one sided. Be open minded!

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by GCD » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:16 pm

RetiredAL wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:11 pm
[
The museum IS the reason to go the Crazy Horse. History is generally written by the victor, and generally is very one sided. Be open minded!
I spent 4 years working on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. I know a bit about the history and the current situation. My statement is not meant to be political. It's a statement of monetary value compared to other attractions and museums I have been to. I don't think what they have there qualified under my definition of a museum.

When I say I was unaware there was a museum I was being snide. I knew they had exhibits there.

But like I said, many people clearly disagree. Although I was genuinely surprised to see that high a rating on Yelp.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by keith6014 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:31 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:20 pm
Custer State Park

https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/custer-state-park/
+100000000000000000

Bacchus01
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:49 pm

We went two years ago

Badlands - absolutely
Wall Drug - terrible
Custer Park - Must do
Needle Highway- beautiful
Hike to Harney Peak - long, strenuous hike. We did it with our then 6 year old. Took 6.5 hours. Was fantastic all but last 30 mins
Mammoth dig - family loved it.
Bear Country USA - awesome, we went twice
Train ride - not so great
Reptile Gardens - good stop
Dinosaur park - pretty neat. Nice ice cream shop
My Rushmore - wife thought she’d hate it. We went twice!
Wind Cave - we like caves, so we liked it, but tour guide seemed like he was running through it. Too rushed.
Crazy Horse - waste of money

There are some nice restaurants in Rapid City downtown. Nice walking area. A lot of tourists skip downtown Rapid City. Really worth going down there for. We stayed in a hotel on east side of Rapid City and could get everywhere we needed to go from there. People say to stay in Custer, but I wouldn’t.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by otinkyad » Tue May 01, 2018 2:16 am

Deadwood was one of the most crowded and least appealing places I’ve ever been. Tally’s Silver Spoon in Rapid City served one of the best breakfasts I’ve had.

Places we skipped for time include Crazy Horse, which I would have liked to see, since we had stopped at Little Big Horn and read some related books on the road, Devils Tower, and some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder museums and sites. De Smet and Walnut Grove are only a little out of the way.

Check the weather. We ran into hail in the Black Hills in late June.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Volkdancer » Tue May 01, 2018 8:28 am

You might also find the National Music Museum on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion interesting: http://nmmusd.org

It may be a little out of the way but is a fascinating space.

Karl V

stilllurking
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by stilllurking » Tue May 01, 2018 8:37 am

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I'm sure I can fill up 3-4 days with the above!!

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 01, 2018 9:35 am

I can't say a lot about Rapid City but I will just mention that if you like Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" books, the most recent one, The Midnight Line, is a good one... and a good part of it is set in Rapid City. I can't say there's a lot of local color or any good tourist tips, but it might be fun to read anyway. And if you don't know the Jack Reacher series, The Midnight Line is a good one, and there's no need to read them in order. I don't know how to describe them but I guess you would call them crime thrillers, or action-adventure novels, or something.
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Watty » Tue May 01, 2018 9:45 am

stilllurking wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 8:37 am
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I'm sure I can fill up 3-4 days with the above!!
+1

I will be driving through South Dakota in June with lots of free time so I have gotten lots of good ideas about things to see.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue May 01, 2018 10:13 am

I have to admit that Nebraska was my 49th state to visit and South Dakota was my 50th.

I found South Dakota to be rather disappointing in that so many of the attractions - Wall Drugs, the Corn Palace and the like were the type of places that held my interest for about 30 minutes. Mt. Rushmore was alright. I have to confess that we cut our time in South Dakota by a day so we could spend more time in Nebraska.

One thing we did like was the musical instruments museum at the university of South Dakota in Vermilion. That was a very nice museum with some great instruments.

We spent the rest of our trip in Nebraska in any number of interesting museums and a dozen other attractions. In the past fifteen years, we have been back to Nebraska six or seven times as we had an absolute blast on our first trip.

We spent an entire day walking through Devil's Tower National Monument.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 01, 2018 10:44 am

GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:56 pm
SimonJester wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:45 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:29 pm
Crazy Horse is a ripoff. You can see everything worth seeing from the road.
Ummm the museum pieces were very nice and you cannot see those from the road.
We're talking about the giant 1/20th finished competitor to Mt. Rushmore, right? We walked through the buildings near the parking lot. I was unaware there was a museum. So I went on the website to see if there was something I missed. Nope. I hardly think anything there was worth seeing, especially at $30 per car. To me it was a $30 bathroom stop. I wouldn't consider it a museum.

However, on Yelp they get 3.5 stars so apparently some people are seeing things I'm not. Well, like anything, the OP can sort through the conflicting reviews.
I've been to both and I though Crazy Horse was a much better stop than Mt. Rushmore. I really loved the museum, it was much more in depth about the entire process and not so commercialized like Mt. Rushmore was.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 01, 2018 10:48 am

mhc wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm
Corn Palace
Pierre (state capitol)
Badlands NP
Wall Drug
Minuteman Missile Silo NM
A great list though I would add an additional word about the Minuteman Silo. At least when I went a handful of years back, the place where you bought the ticket was ten miles past the actual silo (coming from Minnesota) and you had to purchase it by the next time slot available. So in our case, we would have had to back track ten miles and kill six hours before our time slot to see it and thus we skipped it. If I stop in the future, I will buy tickets online ahead of time and plan our arrival time accordingly.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by beowulf » Tue May 01, 2018 4:43 pm

Hill City is a pretty little town and features a great dinosaur museum (Hill City Institute) founded by the people who discovered Sue, the tyrannosaurus rex, now at the Field Museum in Chicago. There's an interesting story about the ownership of the skeleton, described in the documentary Dinosaur 13 and analyzed in a law review article in the South Dakota Law Review.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by alex_686 » Tue May 01, 2018 4:52 pm

I grew up in eastern SD. My suggestion for the eastern part of the state are audio books and the interstate. Maybe the Little House on the Prairie.

If you find yourself stuck in Brooking, check out the history museum and then cross the street for a ice cream cone from the Dairy Bar. The Corn Palace is O.K. but nothing that I would divert too.

Badlands is great. Crazy Horse is a excellent tourist trap. I will let you figure out if that is good or bad.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 01, 2018 8:00 pm

My wife is saying "the one thing I was sort of sorry we missed was Spearfish." Nobody's said anything about Spearfish. Anyone have any thoughts about it? I think the attraction that interested us is a spectacular gorge.
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by GCD » Tue May 01, 2018 8:35 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 8:00 pm
My wife is saying "the one thing I was sort of sorry we missed was Spearfish." Nobody's said anything about Spearfish. Anyone have any thoughts about it? I think the attraction that interested us is a spectacular gorge.
The gorge is Spearfish Canyon. It is spectacular. So much so that I found it hard to focus on the road the first few times I drove it. There are a couple nice waterfalls in it too. Spearfish itself isn't that remarkable. There is a lodge in the middle of Spearfish Canyon that is very scenic, and the food is decent but not spectacular. I never stayed overnight.

Google Spearfish Canyon images and you'll see what it's like.

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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by dixdak » Wed May 02, 2018 12:36 pm

South Dakota native. I spent my college summers building I-90 between the Missouri Bridge and Wall. As soon as my youngest was out of diapers, we went to South Dakota on vacation every summer. I still find new things to see and do there. Hey, everyone has their own thing, so I will just try to give my take on whats worth a stop.

Badlands NP- My favorite park. I have seen the most incredible things happen there. If you drive through at mid-day, it seems unremarkable. Camp there a few dozen times and you may love it, too. The Minuteman building is interesting. Its hard to schedule a time at the launch bunker.

Wall Drug- I dig it, as the bumper sticker says. Its a bit of an oasis with many nice ( and kitschy) shops. The photo and memorabilia walls are interesting. There are a lot of 1800s photos in the back alley building. You can pose on a giant jackalope for goodness sakes! The cafe is good and fast. The dining rooms are so cool with the western art collections and tiffany lamps. One of my favorite photos is my minivan parked in the front lot in an endless sea of Harley's during Bike Week.

Corn Palace - A college frat brother recently chided me about me extolling the Corn Palace when I was an undergrad. He thought it was unexceptional. WTF are you expecting? Its a building with corn murals on the outside. If you poke about on the inside, its a very un-palace like arena where the Mitchell Kernels play basketball, with broadcast play by play on station KORN. Heh.

Rapid City Area - I like rocks and planes so thumbs up for the South Dakota Air and Space Museum and the South Dakota School of Mines Museum of Geology. Go to the campus bookstore. They have a great selection of their mascot Hard Rocker tee shirts. Young kids like the Dinosaur Park on the hilltop.

Hill City- Train doesn't thrill me. The Alpine Inn is awesome for lunch. There are three wine tasting rooms nearby. They range from not half bad to appalling- both the wine and the businesses. I will not say which is which. There is a good bike rental shop there. They can take you uphill to a spot on the Mickelson Bike trail and you can coast back to town.

Caves - Jewel is decent. We backpacked on top of Wind Cave last year and it was better than the underground part. We saw a lot of wildlife.
You can do same from a car in Custer State Park.

Rushmore- Its like election day. A shot of patriotism and move on.

Spearfish Canyon is very scenic and fun to drive through, unless its Bike week. $*#&$*#&* Sturgis.

Deadwood- Meh. The museum is ok. Town used to be funky before the Costners fouled it up. In the old days you could tour Homestake Gold Mine and see the vats of cyanide solution. Now its a physics laboratory.

Hot Springs- Even the bikers pass on Hot Springs which makes it a good base if you are there in August. The Mammoth Dig is a worthwhile stop.

Bear Country and Reptile Gardens were really enjoyed by the kids.

Needles highway is beautiful drive.

Crazy Horse - Usually avoided due to the cost. I liked it the one time we went in.

Oddly, I have never been to the USD campus. I hear the music instrument museum is great. SDSU has the Harvey Dunn museum and ice cream. Winner!

Sioux Falls Park - I used to work in a factory and ate lunch there everyday. Pretty cool. Its yuppy now. No broken glass and hobos. Get a good view of the State Prison and the meat packing plant.

I have driven across South Dakota countless times. I have driven across Nebraska countless times. Folks, its not even close which state is the most interesting to cross.

Addendum- Devil's Tower is a bit out of the way, but ok. Actually, one of the great hikes in America is Little Devils Tower trail starting at Sylvan Lake.

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Watty
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Watty » Mon May 14, 2018 11:11 am

One thing I found was that in the Badlands National Park they have a night sky viewing program with telescopes on Friday through Monday nights.

https://www.nps.gov/badl/planyourvisit/ ... rogram.htm

The nights I will be there in June the moon will not rise until after 2:00 AM so that the viewing should be very good if there are not many clouds.

https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/usa/ra ... &year=2018

Wherever you will be it would be good to check out when you might have clear moonless nights to go out and watch the stars in some place that is away from any lights.

Be sure to let your eyes adjust to the darkness which can take over 30 minutes.

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather- ... e/70003473

If you out there in Mid August you might get a good view of the the Perseids meteor shower.

adam1712
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by adam1712 » Mon May 14, 2018 11:53 am

If your kids might be into tractors/heavy machinery, the AGCO plant in Jackson, MN could be a fun, quick stop off I-90. They have an interactive center that's nice and new. And all the modern manufacturing techniques (like workers using Google Glasses) are interesting to learn about. http://www.intivitycenter.com/

Could also consider a quick stop at Fort Belmont at the same exit.

VonRyan
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by VonRyan » Mon May 14, 2018 1:54 pm

A few off the beaten track things I like in South Dakota:

1) Lewis and Clark museum at the rest area on I-90 right at the Missouri River (east bank).
2) South Dakota Air and Space Museum adjoining Ellsworth AFB. One of the best collections outdoors.
3) Storybook Island Park in Rapid City. Great if you have little kids, and even if you don't.
4) DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish.
5) Scheels and Cabelas both have large stores in Rapid City or Sioux Falls.

and on the way there:

6) Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone Minnesota. Ancient Native American quarries.

Dottie57
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Dottie57 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:13 pm

VonRyan wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 1:54 pm
A few off the beaten track things I like in South Dakota:

1) Lewis and Clark museum at the rest area on I-90 right at the Missouri River (east bank).
2) South Dakota Air and Space Museum adjoining Ellsworth AFB. One of the best collections outdoors.
3) Storybook Island Park in Rapid City. Great if you have little kids, and even if you don't.
4) DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish.
5) Scheels and Cabelas both have large stores in Rapid City or Sioux Falls.

and on the way there:

6) Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone Minnesota. Ancient Native American quarries.
I had relatives in Pipestone, MN . My uncle took us once and as a y yr old I was mighty impressed.

Matt Y.
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Matt Y. » Mon May 14, 2018 9:48 pm

In De Smet SD we enjoyed the Laura Ingalls wilder homestead and in-town museum which would be more interesting if one read her biography as we had.

mnnice
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by mnnice » Tue May 15, 2018 11:03 am

Palisades State Park has not been mentioned yet. It’s my favorite park in eastern South Dakota.

I would like to clarify if you are going from the Twin Cities to the Black Hills Sioux Falls is not the mid-point. It’s about four hours of a thirteen hour drive.

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mhc
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by mhc » Tue May 15, 2018 3:25 pm

mnnice wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:03 am
I would like to clarify if you are going from the Twin Cities to the Black Hills Sioux Falls is not the mid-point. It’s about four hours of a thirteen hour drive.
Minneapolis to Sioux Falls: 4 hours
Sioux Falls to Rapid City: 5 hours

takeshi
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by takeshi » Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

It has been years since we went but I remember really liking the Delmonico Grill in Rapid City. We liked it enough to dine twice while spending about a week in the area.

It is a bit out of the way but we also really liked the Wild Horse Sanctuary though we took a smaller, private tour versus the bus.

Calhoon
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Re: Must See in South Dakota

Post by Calhoon » Wed May 16, 2018 7:07 am

custer state park

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