What South Dakota lacks in population (it’s the sixth least-populous state), it gains in incredible natural beauty. The northern regions are similar to Wyoming and Montana in their vast rolling hills and prairies where the horizon seems lightyears away. In the south, the smooth geography gives way to rugged Badlands and wild canyons. As a part of the Midwest, it’s fiercely American -- the capital of Pierre is pronounced “peer,” the icons of Mount Rushmore tower over the land, and the state sport of rodeo still rallies an impressive following.
A visit to South Dakota should include many things central to the classic American road trip. Visit the larger-than-life statue of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, check out the jagged peaks of Badlands National Park, see mammoth fossils from the ice age, and spot wild mustangs and buffalo.
For the music inclined, take a tour through the National Music Museum, and history buffs should pay a visit to the Wild West origin town of Deadlands. No matter what kind of traveler you are, a road trip through South Dakota will definitely be worth your time.
Most of the state’s action takes places in the southwestern corner. If you’re short on time, visit here to see most of best stopping points.
Winters are long in South Dakota, so we recommend visiting between the months of May and October.
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