Tag Archive for: south dakota

Cozy Indoor Attractions

  1. Museums: Redlin Art Center, South Dakota Art Museum and Days of 76 Museum are all worth spending hours enjoying.
  2. Breweries & Distilleries: Grab a brew, enjoy a tour and chat with a local in a cozy taproom at Lost Cabin Beer Company (Rapid City), Ben’s Brewing Co. (Yankton) or One-Legged Pheasant Brewery (Aberdeen).
  3. TV Famous Dining: CH Patisserie, located in Sioux Falls, features Chef Chris Hamner Winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef Just Desserts.” Food Network star Justin Warner recently opened Bokujo Ramen in Rapid City.

Winter Outdoor Activities

South Dakota’s parks remain open, along with incredible opportunities for outdoor activities.

  1. Skiing, Tubing and Snowboarding: Terry Peak Ski Area, Great Bear Ski Valley
  2. Snowmobile Trail Season
  3. Hiking & Snowshoeing: Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway and frozen waterfalls, Mount Roosevelt/The Friendship Tower

Winter Events & Festivals

  1. Annual Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo (Rapid City): January 26- February 4, 2023
  2. Forks, Corks & Kegs Food, Wine & Beer Festival (Deadwood): April 14-15, 2023
  3. PBR (Professional Bull Riding) Invitational (Sioux Falls): March 31-April 2, 2023

Did you know South Dakota is home to restaurants owned by Food Network and Bravo chefs? Delicacies from ramen to French-inspired patisserie. Photo courtesy of Travel South Dakota

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

Stratobowl Historic Hot Air Balloon Launch

Right outside Rapid City, South Dakota, lies the birthplace of the space-age Stratobowl. It was from this location in 1935 that the Army Air Corps and National Geographic Society launched a world-record-breaking manned hot air balloon. Each year in September, experienced balloonists gather to celebrate the flight.

Black Hills Powwow

Premier American Indian cultural event Black Hills Powwow-He Sapa Wacipi brings together Native American singers, dancers and drummers from all over the nation. All are welcome to come celebrate and learn more about why this event is so important to the Lakota culture. 

Scenic Cruising

At any given time of year, the open roads in western South Dakota live up to their glory. Fall scenic cruising adds colorful spice to the rolling hills of pines. Winter brings a beautiful, snow-dusted landscape, and spring brings the opportunity to spot baby wildlife amid the fresh scenery.

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo

The largest agriculture event in western South Dakota wraps up our Western roots into one celebration. For a stretch of two weeks every January, spectators can enjoy entertainment from saddle bronc riders to roping events to livestock showings.

Visitors can enjoy scenic cruises near Rapid City year-round, like the stunning Needles Highway in Custer State Park. Photo courtesy of Jacob Moon

For more information on Rapid City, visit VisitRapidCity.com.

Badlands National Park (Wall)
Known as the land of stone and light, the Badlands are a must-stop for South Dakota visitors seeking the most unique photos. Be sure to arrive before sunrise or sunset to capture the most incredible light in the park.

Spearfish Canyon (Spearfish)
Towering limestone cliffs and a rushing mountain stream keep you company along the 19-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 14A, known as Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Be sure to plan a hike to Roughlock Falls for breathtaking sights.

Nicolette Tower (Sisseton)
Climb the tower to capture the vast prairie landscape of three states – North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The observation tower honors Joseph N. Nicollet, the French mapmaker who explored the Coteau Des Prairies in the 1830s.

Dignity (Chamberlain)
The Dignity sculpture is a stunning combination of art and history, designed to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people. You can capture a beautiful image of the sculpture with the sparking waters of the Missouri river.

Falls Park (Sioux Falls)
Visitors will be in awe of the triple-tier waterfall, located in the heart of Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city. The views from the five-story viewing tower are well worth the climb!

The Dignity sculpture is a stunning combination of art and history, designed to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people. Photo courtesy of Travel South Dakota

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism has announced the launch of a free South Dakota Great Finds mobile exclusive passport that highlights hidden gems in South Dakota.

The Great Finds passport encourages users to explore and experience the many hidden treasures found throughout South Dakota. With the passport, visitors can check in at designated Great Finds locations to unlock a range of South Dakota prizes and receive discounts at participating businesses. The passport showcases more than 100 locations, including restaurants, retail businesses, outdoor activities and local parks for passholders to discover. South Dakota Great Finds will continue to expand by adding new partners, locations and businesses from across the state, with a goal of showcasing at least one hidden gem in every community. This mobile experience will allow visitors to discover what truly makes up the great state of South Dakota.

To ensure visitors continue to get the most out of their time in South Dakota, additional passports highlighting a range of niche offerings throughout South Dakota will continually be released.

The free passport can be accessed through TravelSouthDakota.com and delivered to mobile devices, with no app download necessary.

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant – De Smet (July)

The annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant is an outdoor theater experience that reenacts the famous “Little House on the Prairie” series of books.

Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo – Mitchell (July)

Watch incredible cowboys and cowgirls from all over the United States and Canada compete in the rodeo events over four days.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – Sturgis (August)

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the world’s oldest and largest motorcycle gatherings, offering incredible riding, exhibitors, motorcycle shows, demo rides, racing, concerts and much more.

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival – Custer (September)

Watch cowboys, cowgirls and park rangers as they round up and drive the herd of approximately 1,400 buffalo.

Annual Black Hills Powwow & Art Market – Rapid City (October)

Enjoy the incredible drums, dancing and Native American culture at the annual Black Hills Powwow & Art Market.

Levitt at The Falls – Sioux Falls (Fridays and Saturdays, June-September)

Levitt at the Falls is a state-of-the-art outdoor music venue offering 50 free concerts each summer, featuring acclaimed artists in a wide range of music genres.

See incredible riding, exhibitors, motorcycle shows, demo rides, racing, concerts and much more at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Photo courtesy of South Dakota Tourism

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

Mount Rushmore Evening Lighting Ceremony (May-August)

At sunset, visitors gather in the Mount Rushmore amphitheater facing the four lit faces as a park ranger begins to tell the storied history behind how this American landmark was created.

Legends in Light Laser Show (May-September)

Presented nightly after dark, the mountainside of Crazy Horse Memorial turns into a spectacular display illuminating our cultural diversity, celebrating our similarities and encouraging harmony while showcasing the story of the Native Americans

Summer Nights (May-August)

Every Thursday night, Rapid City blocks off a section downtown for summer fun. This is a true local experience with a different band each week. Enjoy music, delicious food, carnival games and much more.

Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival (September)

Just like a Wild West movie scene, a herd of 1,450 buffalo are rounded up each fall by cowboys and cowgirls on horseback at Custer State Park. This event draws thousands of spectators.

Black Hills Powwow (September)

An incredible three-day celebration of Native American culture with dancers, drummers, artwork and much more. You can experience the heritage of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota nations all under one roof in Rapid City.

Thousands of spectators gather to watch cowboys and cowgirls round up a massive buffalo herd in Custer State Park – just like a Wild West movie scene! Photo courtesy of South Dakota Tourism

For more information on Rapid City, visit VisitRapidCity.com.

  1. Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival: Feel the thunder of the massive buffalo herd as cowboys and cowgirls round up and drive them into the corrals. It’s an extraordinary experience seen only in Custer State Park.
  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant: Channel your inner pioneer during the theatre performance of Laura’s “Little House on the Prairie” books on the outdoor stage, and join in song as the Ingalls family is celebrated.
  3. 100th Anniversary of Days of ’76: Celebrate the 100thyear of parades, Native American performances and truly one of the best outdoor rodeos in the country with some of the best cowboys and cowgirls right here in Deadwood, South Dakota.
  4. Arc of Dreams: A tribute to the dreamers, the Arc of Dreams spans the length of a football field across the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls and is truly a marvelous sight lit up in the night sky.
  5. Black Hills Powwow: He Sapa Wacipi Na Oskate: Colorful finery, elaborate featherwork and intricate beadwork help make up the beautiful visual atmosphere of a powwow, or wacipi. Witness the power of the largest wacipi in the nation and admire the artistic traditions of the Native American culture.

Feel the thunder of the massive buffalo herd as the cowboys and cowgirls round up and drive the herd into corrals during the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of Travel South Dakota

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

The Black Hills Powwow is one of the largest celebrations of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota cultures in the United States. This colorful event takes place each October in Rapid City, South Dakota. In 2022, it will debut in the newly built arena at the Monument, Rapid City’s entertainment mecca. Attend to hear drums and honor songs, explore Native American art, shop different vendors, and witness an explosion of color as thousands of dancers come together in their regalia and flood the arena floor.

This special event is often described as a homecoming for these cultures. The Black Hills, or Paha Sapa in Lakota, are a sacred place and the birthplace of the Great Sioux Nation. To learn more about tribal history in the Black Hills region, explore The Journey Museum & Learning Center located in downtown Rapid City, or see art, crafts, beadwork and more at Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries. More places that hold significance to Native American culture near Rapid City include Crazy Horse Memorial®, Bear Butte State Park, Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park.

The Black Hills Powwow is often described as a homecoming for the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota cultures. Attend to hear the drums and songs, explore Native American art, and witness an explosion of color as regalia-clad dancers flood the arena floor. Photo courtesy of Chad Coppess – South Dakota Tourism

For more information on Rapid City, visit VisitRapidCity.com.

Cosmos Mystery Area

Gravity seems completely out of balance in a unique wooded spot where balls roll uphill, volunteers sit on walls and people change heights on level ground. Located 17 miles south of Rapid City on Highway 16, Cosmos is open April through October.

International Vinegar Museum & Festival

Hidden in the tiny town of Roslyn is the International Vinegar Museum, the headquarters for the annual International Vinegar Festival. Vinegar tasting might sound weird, but it’s actually delicious, fascinating and very available at this festival.

World’s Largest Pheasant

This 28-foot, 22-ton pheasant made of fiberglass and steel has affirmed Huron as home of the World’s Largest Pheasant. From its beak to the tip of its feathered tail, this giant bird spans more than 40 feet!

Chislic

South Dakota’s official state “nosh” or appetizer. These bite-sized cubes of seasoned meat (usually beef or mutton) are either fried or grilled on wooden skewers and can be found on pub and restaurant menus across the state. Popular chislic variations are served at Urban Chislic in Sioux Falls and Meridian Corner in Freeman. Those visiting South Dakota at the end of July can join thousands of chislic enthusiasts at the annual South Dakota Chislic Festival in Freeman.

Chislic, bite-sized cubes of seasoned beef or mutton, is South Dakota’s official state “nosh.” Photo courtesy of Travel South Dakota

For more information on South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

Chislic

The unofficial, and frankly delicious, state entrée of South Dakota is deep-fried, cubed pieces of beef or lamb. This mouthwatering appetizer is found in multiple Rapid City restaurants, but favorites include Minervas Restaurant & Bar and Dakotah Steakhouse. If you’d rather incorporate it into your main meal, try the Beef Bone Ramen from Bokujo Ramen, Rapid City’s new authentic ramen restaurant.

Buffalo burgers, steaks and more

South Dakota produces the largest number of bison for farming in the United States due to the animal’s nativity to the Great Plains. Chances are if your Rapid City dining location has burgers, they’ll also have a bison burger option like at Firehouse Brewing Co. Beyond burgers, head to Tally’s Silver Spoon for breakfast and enjoy buffalo hanger steak and eggs. For lunch or dinner, try Murphey’s Pub & Grill for savory buffalo meatloaf.

Pickle beer

Simply add a pickle spear to your favorite light draft beer to enjoy an iconic South Dakota drink – an odd combination (unless you’re from the state) that you can find at any sports bar. Or, if you’d rather try small-batch local brews, Rapid City is home to the largest collection of craft breweries on the western side of the state.

If your Rapid City dining option has burgers, chances are they’ll also offer a bison burger option (like here at Firehouse Brewing). Photo courtesy of Visit Rapid City

For more information on Rapid City, visit VisitRapidCity.com.