Top 5 Places to Visit in South Dakota
1. Mount Rushmore National Monument – Mount Rushmore National Monument is, indeed, the most iconic of all iconic landmarks in the USA and an enormous and symbolic part of the American historical and cultural heritage. Naturally, this historic landmark is also the main reason why tourists are travelling to the state of South Dakota, where it is carved into the side of Mount Rushmore. The carving designed by Gutzon was created for several decades and finally finished in 1991 and consists of the heads of the Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. In its creating, more than 400,000 tons of rock was blasted from the side of the mountain. The 0.6-mile Presidential Trail allows for a closer look at the monument.
2. Badlands National Park – Composed of uniquely shaped by Mother Nature hills and pinnacles, Badlands National Park offers a truly stunning and dramatic landscape and a very unique experience of spotting the large heard of bison roaming around the park. Despite reminding of a lunar landscape, Badlands National Park is a strangely beautiful and quirky place and one of the state’s most visited destinations. The Badlands Loop Road is one of the best ways to explore and enjoy the park. It starts from the northwestern Pinnacles Entrance and runs to the Ben Reifel Visitor Center with plenty of viewpoints along the way.
3. Custer State Park – Custer State Park covers a wide range of a vast and diverse terrain and offers plenty of options for outdoor adventures and sightseeing, which makes it one of the best destinations and national parks in South Dakota. Large herds of bison are not a rare occasion in the park, which is also a home to plenty of other wildlife species. The granite peaks towering over the forests, lakes, and streams make up for a very spectacular setting you can enjoy through plenty of scenic drives, the most popular of them being the Needless Highway and Iron Mountain Road. The more adventurous tourists will appreciate the many options for hiking, biking, trekking, horse riding.
4. Crazy Horse Memorial – Located north of Custer, the Crazy Horse Memorial remains a work in progress since its start in 1947. Inspired by the Mount Rushmore carving just down the way, the monument is not finished for already more than 6 decades. The head and the upper body portion of Chief Standing Bear are carved into the rocky mountain and can be accessed by scheduled bus rides to the base of the memorial, while the Indian Museum of North America is an additional attraction in the region.
5. Mammoth Site – Situated in Hot Springs, the Mammoth Site features a large collection of Columbian mammoth bones of more than 60 mammoths. Part of the mammoth bone collections is still partially uncovered and shown as they were found in a covered building. Guided visitors are available too, as well as Junior and Advanced Paleontology Classes.