If South Dakota isn’t already on your bucket list, you’re doing it wrong.
Not only does it make a relaxing and laid-back getaway, but there’s plenty of things to do in SD.
Between the unforgettable scenery and intriguing history, this state makes for a trip you won’t soon forget.
With campsites, hotels, and casino resorts, you can either lounge in luxury or rough it under the stars – take your pick.
Awesome, Interesting, and Unforgettable Things to Do in South Dakota
Whether you’re planning a summer trip or just passing through, fear not.
There is no shortage of fun and interesting things to do in SD.
From hiking unforgettable landscapes to soaking up history, Deadwood, Black Hills, Badlands, Sioux falls, and other key places have something for everyone to enjoy.
1. Strike Gold at the Casinos in Historic Deadwood, South Dakota
Deadwood, SD is known for its gold rush history. Today, you can strike gold and kick-back at one (or several) of Deadwood’s 24-hour casinos.
Deadwood has over a dozen casinos to choose from so if you strike out at one, just head over to the next.
If you’re looking for something low-key and focused on relaxation, check out The Lodge at Deadwood. This casino resort overlooks the Black Hills and comes complete with a private deck, fireplace, and crisp mountain air.
2. Capture Amazing Shots at Palisades State Park
No matter what your favorite outdoor activity is, Palisades has you covered.
Scenic rock formations, bodies of water, and geological features make this State Park an ideal place for capturing that perfect shot.
Looking for something more exciting?
Palisades has plenty of other interesting options to choose from including hunting, fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing, archery, winter sports, and much more.
3. Hike Unforgettable Landscapes through Black Hills, South Dakota
If you’re planning a hiking-centric trip, you might want to consider Black Hills, SD. This National Forest is filled with local pine trees and over 30 campgrounds to choose from.
Black Elk Peak inside the park is the highest natural point in not only Black Hills, SD, but the entire state. (Over 2.2 miles.)
It isn’t the only peak in the park. Iron Mountain also towers over the forest at over 5,400 feet.
Black Hills, SD is also home to some extraordinary monuments including Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial for all indigenous tribes.
4. Travel Back in Time at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes
Book lovers won’t want to skip this attraction.
Laura Ingalls Wilder is a favorite for her classic American series: Little House on the Prairie.
Here, you can take a guided tour of Wilder’s childhood home and browse the museum. You can also spend some time attending class at her school or learning Braille in the activity center.
5. Soak up the History and Sights at the National Park: Badlands in South Dakota
No trip to SD would be complete without visiting the Badlands in SD.
Between the hotel and two campsites, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to stay.
The 1990 film Dances with Wolves was shot here due to its stunning scenery and never-ending landscapes.
Protected wildlife fill the park’s 244,000 acres and the Night Sky Program offers stunning stargazing for people who love the cosmos.
6. Get Cultured in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Ready to learn?
Head over to Sioux Falls, SD. This city is filled with museums and other attractions to keep you busy for days.
The Sioux Falls Park has plenty of permanent sculptures and scenery to enjoy. Spend a day or night on the town treating yourself to a fabulous meal or some shopping.
Whether you’re looking for some history or entertainment, Sioux Falls, SD has you covered for events.
7. Take a Road Trip Down the Native American Scenic Byway
As you’re cruising SD’s glorious landscapes, make sure to take a drive down the Native American Scenic Byway.
This route takes you past breathtaking views of the Missouri River and through the cities of Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, and Cheyenne River.
It also gives you the opportunity to learn about indigenous tribal history, culture, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Choose Your South Dakota Map and Hit the Road
Before you jump into the car, make sure you get your SD map ready.
Oh sorry, more like maps.
Since you’ll be traveling through sleepy towns and National Parks, relying on your cell phone for directions isn’t exactly the best idea.
Stock up on some maps. Get one general SD map of the state as well as individual maps for parks and regions.
SD has no shortage of fun and interesting things to do.
Now you just need to figure out how to fit it all into one trip!