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Hey South Dakotans! I just saw a commercial promoting South Dakota tourism. Is there really that much to do there? What are the "real" attractions? What cities are worth touring?
Rapid City, South Dakota
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Where do I start? If you come to the Black Hills there is so much to see and do. A lot of people make more than one trip to see everything. Different seasons........different things to do.
I would definitely go to Deadwood. Besides gambling, check out the Adams and the Wax Museums, walk around main street and see the casinos. If you are there in the afternoon you can see the shoot out (reinactment of Jack McCall shooting Wild Bill) and then go to the Trial of Jack McCall. Its fun to see. You can also see Mt Moriah Cemetary where Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, etc are burried. Don't miss saloon #10 on main street.
In Lead I would go to the mining museum for Homestake Gold Mine and view the open cut. Also near Lead are the ski resorts. The lift at Terry Peak runs year round and they say you can view 5 states from there. We also have awesome snowmobile trails in the winter.
Take the scenic route through Spearfish Canyon to Spearfish. The Passion Play and the Wildlife Sanctuary there are wonderful.
On to Sturgis, buy rally shirts and check out the rally town. (Admittedly its more fun the week of the rally though. Google Sturgis). Fort Meade is there and they have a cool Calvery museum also.
On to my town, Rapid City, I don't know how old you are or what your interests are but Rapid is definitely the town for shopping. Main street has a lot of different shops and they have statues of the presidents all over downtown. The Journey Museum is cool and if you have kids don't miss Storybook Island, Reptile Gardens, and Dinosaur Park. My kids have been to them all a million times and still love them. If you like camping Sheridan Lake isn't far out of Rapid and it's beautiful.
All of the cities above are in the Northern Hills. The next batch is in the Southern Hills.
Keystone is between Rapid and Mt Rushmore. It's a fun little tourist town and a great place to buy souveniers. Mt. Rushmore is still impressive to me even though I have seen it all my life....YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!!!!!
Custer is next and we love going there. Flinstone Village for the kids, the Mountain Music Show, Crazy Horse, Western Woodcarvings, and The Fort. Custer State Park is another must see.... buffalo etc. Great lakes and camping also.
Hill City has the 1880 Train Ride....that was fun.
Hot Springs has the Mammoth Site (AMAZING) and a natural hot spring pool with water slides etc., it's called Evan's Plunge.
Wall SD about 70 miles East of Rapid has the Badlands and Wall Drug.
One of my favorite things is the Cosmos, just outside of Rapid. It is a spot in the hills with a weird gravitational pull. The things you will see there are unbelievable. We also have many underground caves that are fantastic.
Anyway to answer your question, Yes there really is that much to do here and that book I just wrote you (LOL) is just some of the things that are offered here. As you can tell I love the Black Hills! Come and visit and see for yourself I promise you will love it here too.