8 Scenic Spots to Visit in South Dakota

8 Scenic Spots to visit in South Dakota

Read about 8 Scenic Spots to visit in South Dakota, some of the places on the Plains…one of the settings in my book.

The photos are in the slide show below. Scroll down to see a brief description of the places we toured. Getting to see some of the places on the Plains, one of the settings in my book, was a memorable of experience.

    1. Wall Drug has grown since I last visited when I was a child. The shops are clustered together, there is a large bookstore among other interesting experiences.  We enjoyed the restaurant and meeting the people who were serving us.  Very friendly atmosphere.
    2. Custer State Park was stunning.  The rolling hills, the quiet roads, and the real buffalo!  We finally found a herd we could see “up close.”  There are MANY, many warnings to stay far away from these wild animals. It is amazing to me that people parked their cars within 30 feet of the herd and then got out of their cars to take better photos.  Why?!  We stayed back, and got some fantastic photos. I was afraid for these other people who ignored the warnings. One mobile tour guide stopped his vehicle in between a young mother with her three young kids and the herd… to tell her to go back inside her car.  Yikes!  Pay attention, be safe, and enjoy this incredible park.
    3. I last saw Mt. Rushmore in the late 1980s, and was surprised to see all the changes. There are a few more things to see there, including a hiking trail.
    4. Crazy Horse Memorial has always been a favorite place of mine. I was pleased to see the progress that has been made recently.  The campus has been updated and expanded.  I loved seeing the introduction video in the theater, and browsing the entire site.  There is SO much to see here. Definitely a MUST SEE!
    5. Near Rapid City is a large area that includes Keystone, Deadwood, Buffalo Chip, and Sturgis. We happened to be in the area just a few days before the yearly Sturgis motorcycle event, so we saw tons of motorcyclists on the roadways and in the towns.  It was exciting, but we also had to figure out how to move around Sturgis so we didn’t get stuck in traffic.
    6. Staying at Prairie Knights Casino near Fort Yates, ND allows you to see more of the nearby Standing Rock Reservation.  In the summer, there are usually some powwows going on in a different district each weekend. We saw the Ft. Yates Powwow and Rodeo. We also found out the annual Wounded Knee Motorcycle Ride starting point was at Prairie Knights. (We actually intercepted with the ride on our way back from Rapid City – in Eagle Butte).  We also saw Chief Sitting Bull’s gravesite in SD (there is one in ND- you’ll have to do some research to find out why). The Sakakawea Memorial is also within walking distance of Sitting Bull’s grave. And, we spent some time along the Missouri River.
    7. Mitchell, South Dakota is the home of the Corn Palace.  Each year, an artist designs the artwork and then the mosaics are changed…the illustrations are all made with corn.
    8. Once you enter the Badlands, you feel like you’re on a different planet! There are scenic stopping points along the roads.  We took the “dirt” Rim Road through the Badlands and saw prairie dog towns, among other animals.

I’m leaving you with some of my favorite scenes I love to photograph when I travel – sunrises and sunsets.  Enjoy your trip!

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