South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of South Dakota’s best-known attractions and biggest visitor draws. But the state also is filled with plenty of other attractions from the quirky to the awe-inspiring. Here are just some of the many tourist attractions in South Dakota.
1. Mount Rushmore
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Mount Rushmore National Memorial may be the most famous landmark in the Black Hills of South Dakota Tourism is South Dakota’s second-largest industry, and Mount Rushmore is the state’s top tourist attraction. The memorial hosts nearly three million visitors a year. The site attracts many visitors over the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
2. High Plains Western Heritage Center
The High Plains Western Heritage Center, located at exit 14 on I-90 near Spearfish, features western art, artifacts and Native American exhibits chronicling the heritage of 5 plains states.
It includes a Five-State Regional Museum founded to honor the old west pioneers of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming & Nebraska. Over 20,000 sq. ft. of quality exhibits feature Western art, Artifacts & Memorabilia including the original Spearfish to Deadwood Stagecoach, turn-of-the-century Kitchen, Saddle Shop & a Blacksmith Shop. Forestry, Mining, Ranching & Rodeo are also represented. Outdoor displays feature Longhorn Cattle, a furnished Log Cabin, rural Schoolhouse & antique Farm Equipment.
Inside the center, visitors can enjoy monthly live Western music and poetry shows in a spacious theatre and visit the transportation room, home to a stagecoach, chuckwagon, buggies and sleighs. Displays honor Native American lore, cowboy culture and the mining and forestry industries
3. Deadwood History & Information Center
Established during the Black Hills’ gold rush, like Vegas meets Bonanza, Deadwood is known for gambling, prostitution and lawlessness. Only the gambling remains today, but street shows and memorabilia at stores lining the brick streets evoke the town’s wilder days. Deadwood’s history is so unique that it’s the only city in the United States to be named a National Historic Landmark.
4. Jewel Cave National Monument
Immerse yourself within the third longest cave in the world. With over 166 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, this underground wilderness appeals to human curiosity. Its splendor is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service.
Jewel Cave is open year round. The Park Service offers three tours: the scenic tour, a half-mile loop through a paved and lighted central portion of the cave accessible by elevator; the historic tour, a candlelight tour through the earliest-discovered part of the cave; and a spelunking tour, through an undeveloped part of the cave near the scenic loop.
5. Custer State Park
Custer State Park offers a unique state park opportunity. All natural and cultural resources are protected. Picking up antlers, rocks or artifacts, collecting plants, feeding or disturbing wildlife is prohibited.
While enjoying the park’s lakes, ponds and streams visitors are asked not to jump or dive from bridges, rocks or cliffs.
In Custer State Park warm days and cool nights are common in the summer, but July and August are typically hot. Moderate temperatures usually prevail in the winter months with some below zero temperatures. Afternoon thunderstorms in the summer may bring lightning, hail, strong winds and heavy rains. Snow may fall as early as September and may last until mid-May.
Rock climbing is allowed in Custer State Park. The park encourages visitors to only rock climb under the supervision of trained instructors.