South Dakota Things to Do Tips by bpwillet Top 5 Page for this destination
South Dakota Things to Do: 173 reviews and 269 photos
Wounded Knee Memorial
This was the sit of the last official battle in the Indian Wars. Situated around a creek bed, it was a good place to camp as well as for the 7th Cavalry to disarm the Lakota Indian leader Big Foot during the Lakota Ghost Dance "uprising" after the death of Sitting Bull. In 1890 thousands of Lakota were camped in the area after they were fleeing the local indian reservation. A shot was accidentally fired and over 300 Lakota were gunned down to the loss of only 25 US soldiers. There is a memorial at the site of a mass grave where the Lakota were buried.
The site is open free to the public.
Directions: Follow sings from Hwy 18 on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Norwegian "Stabbur"-Rapid City, SD
This chapel is a replica of similarly designed Borgund church found in Norway. It was built in Rapid City in the late 60's and is intricately carved of wood. There are services held here when it is open at 7:30pm. Feel like getting hitched? You can do it here in the beautiful surroundings of pine and tradition. The gift shop/information center is a Norwegian "Stabbur", carved in Norway and shipped over. Do not be surprised to see hosts and hostesses in traditional Norwegian dress if you visit in summer.
Address: 3788 Chapel Lane, Rapid City, SD 57702
Directions: Off Jackson Blvd and Hwy 44, follow the signs through the residential district off Canyon Lake.
Phone: (605) 342-8281/9426
When driving in the Black Hills take the time to take in the scenery. It is really incredible what a brilliant creation this world is-i am reminded of the importance of slowing down and taking it in once in a while. like this lake near Mt. Rushmore Monument.
Main Street; Deadwood, SD
The Deadwood of today is a bit different than that of its heyday in the late 1800's. It is a reconstruction of what the city would have looked like when Wild Bill and Calamity Jane would have walked its streets and stayed in its hotels. The entire city is on the National Historic Register and it takes you back in time as you walk down Main street. From humble beginnings as a Black Hills mining outpost in 1876, the discovery of gold soon brought prospective gold diggers as well as commerce to the town. Named after the Deadwood Gulch nearby lawless and rough characters soon moved in to the area once the Black Hills gold rush was on. Soon the railroad came bringing workers, commerce and establishing Deadwood as a business center, no matter what business it was conducting.
Directions: Northeast of Rapid City off Hwy 14A, from Hwy 85
Main Street-Wall, SD
One of the better places to stop coming from or going to the Badlands scenic roads, it is an old town that has kept much of its old time charm. However a bit of warning, the town is a mock up and decorated up like it would have been but it is a bit over the top. Wall was a small prairie town and it was a "good place for good people." Go there and see for yourself. There is also Wall Drug...see tourist traps for that one.
Directions: Exit 110 off I-90
Black Hills-South Dakota
The Black Hills are hard to miss. If you are anywhere near Mt. Rushmore or Crazy Horse Monuments-you're there! Named for their "black" color, the Black Hills and Black Hills National Forest reach from southwestern South Dakota into parts of eastern Wyoming. It is a great place to go hiking, camping, driving and is close enough to many interior cabins, and hotels offering tranquility and relaxation among the Ponderosa Pine forests.
Directions: Spearfish Canyon scenic byway and any part of Hwy 386 between Custer (S) and Deadwood (N) is spectacular for driving.
Homesteader Sod house
One of the last examples of homesteader life on the open prairie. This home is a replica of the sod dugout that once existed here built by Mr. & Mrs. Ed Brown, homesteaders looking for a new life and a piece of land. Re-built in 1962 by Keith and Dorothy Crew it still is a good example of sod houses and traditional prairie life.
21141 Hwy 240
Philip, South Dakota 57567
Directions: Interstate 90 at Exit 131, the entrance to the Badlands National Park
Phone: (605) 433-5400
Buffalo Gap National Grassland
Not much to tell about this site but it surrounds your trip down I-90 towards the Badlands. Administered by the USDA, Forest Service, it encompasses about 600,000 acres of southwestern South Dakota. Like the prairies and grasslands of old, the BGNG has native wildlife and plantlife as it did hundreds of years ago when homesteaders and native Lakota tribes crossed the hills. Interspersed are various private properties and ranches. Check out the BGNG information headquarters in Wall, SD.
Directions: Interspersed throughout southwestern SD and along I-90
Badlands vistas-Interior South Dakota
This is a must see when driving around western South Dakota. Once a marshy plain millions of years ago the Badlands were formed by erosion through the centuries due to the inability to support much plant life in the area. Now, mostly sandstone remains and in some areas there are multicolored layers caused by mineral deposits: oxided manganese looks purple, iron oxide is tan and orange, volcanic ash is white, and ash mixed with silt and clay looks grey. The Badlands got their name from the Dakota Indians who called it "mako sica" or "land bad" and was given National Park status in 1978.
It is a great place to ride bikes, or just drive through. The scenic byway (Hwy 240) is great for this and all paved. Sometimes other dirt roads my be too muddy or snow covered to traverse. Tickets are $10 at the visitor's center and are good for 7 days.
Directions: Between I-90 to the southwest and Hwy 44 to the northeast.
Phone: (605) 433-5361
Beginnings of Crazy Horse
Begun in 1949by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, the Crazy Horse monument is intended to be a representation of the Lakota hero Crazy Horse. The completion of the monument is still a work in progress. The complex around it is a nonprofit educational, and cultural project. The admission fee of $9/adult and $20/car is how the site is funded. The visitor's center provides a lot of information concerning the creation of hte monument as well as an Indian Museum. The front face stands 9-stories tall and the scale model around the visitor's center depicts the final product.
Address: Hwy 16/385
Directions: 4miles north of Custer and 17mi west of Mt. Rushmore
Other Contact: email@example.com
Phone: (605) 673-4681
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