South Dakota is famous for beautiful scenery, an abundance of wildlife, and a range of entertainment offerings, making it one of the most popular destinations for vacationers of all types. Family vacation options almost always include a visit to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, as children and adults alike can enjoy their majestic beauty. No matter what your mode of travel, just driving through the state can bring sight upon gorgeous sight.
In the Rapid City area, there are many family oriented popular destinations, including Bear Country, a zoo atmosphere in which you stay in your car and drive through open ranges full of bears, wolves, and other exotic animals. Custer Park is another beautiful park that has the biggest population of free roaming buffalo around, and you can drive right through the middle of the herd.
A visit to Reptile Gardens is a must, and snakes are not the only inhabitants of these gardens, as it houses many species of reptiles to observe and touch. To experience life sized dinosaurs visit Dinosaur Park and walk the trails among the largest reptiles that ever lived.
Traveling along Interstate 90 through the state will allow you to visit the famous Wall Drug, where you can find numerous pieces of history, and quaint shopping, mixed with activities for children, photo ops, and the largest animated T-Rex in the Midwest. Just a bit further down the road is 1880’s Town, a historically simulated town that allows the feel of life during that time. Veer a ways off of Interstate 90 and drive through the Badlands National Park, full of walking trails and rich with fossils.
Stop in Deadwood, South Dakota for a Wild West environment with theatrical depictions of shootouts and the Gulches of Fun Amusement Park for family entertainment. For adults there are casinos and many good quality museums in town. Everyone in the family will enjoy the Nelson’s Garage Car and Motorcycle Museum, full of vintage and unusual modes of transportation used over the years. The Roo Ranch in Deadwood is a must see as well, as it houses many species and sizes of kangaroos, and features a play area for interacting first hand with these curious creatures.
Last but not least, the Black Hills is one of the most popular destinations for those that love to ride motorcycles. With the winding roads, beautiful mountains, and breathtaking wildlife, thousands of riders visit the Black Hills every year. Especially popular is the Annual Sturgis Black Hills Rally that occurs during the first week of August every year. More than 50,000 motorcyclists attend that rally and ride the surrounding countryside, making it the largest attended rally of its kind.