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South Dakota is proud to share agriculture – the state’s #1 industry – with visitors. Travelers will love exploring fields of corn, soybeans, wheat and sunflowers that stretch for miles.

In the Sioux Falls area, learn about the field-to-glass approach to brewing at A Homestead Brew, where visitors can tour a hop farm before tasting the delicious final product. Not only can travelers stretch their legs at beautiful Falls Park, they can also taste the delicious Stensland Family Farms farm-to-table cheese and ice cream at the Overlook Café before an engaging visit to the Stockyards Ag Experience.

In western South Dakota, travelers can relax in cozy cabin accommodations while enjoying the company of farm animals at the Yak Ridge Cabins & Farmstead (located near Rapid City). Farm tours are available, and visitors can learn about the sustainability of chickens, honeybees and Himalayan yaks!

With more great locations like the World’s Only Corn Palace, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Ingalls Homestead and more, South Dakota is primed and ready to give travelers a fun and delicious agricultural experience they’ll never forget.

With locations like the World’s Only Corn Palace, South Dakota is primed and ready to give travelers a fun and delicious agricultural experience they’ll never forget. Courtesy Travel South Dakota

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

Unique and unexpected, Rapid City’s Sioux Pottery features handmade collectibles created by local Native American Sioux Indian artists. Intricate pottery pieces and specialty items are formed from red clay dug up just outside of Rapid City, in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The Paha Sapa (Black Hills) have provided food, shelter and substance for the Great Sioux Nation for decades, and the area continues to produce red clay today. Visitors to Sioux Pottery can not only purchase one-of-a-kind pottery, but also see the entire process from start to finish. Each piece is poured, shaped, fired in a kiln, sanded for finishing, painted and carved with designs and symbols important to the Lakota culture.

In 2020, Sioux Pottery was selected to participate in the Made In American Product Showcase at the White House – an annual show that highlighted American-made products from each of the 50 states.

Intricate pottery pieces and specialty items at Rapid City’s Sioux Pottery are formed from red clay dug up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Courtesy Visit Rapid City

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

Black Hills & Badlands

  • Spearfish Canyon Nature Area – Enjoy waterfalls, hiking trails and jaw-dropping views along one of the best drives in the country.
  • George S. Mickelson Trail – Bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can all enjoy the 109-mile-long trail through the Black Hills National Forest.

Glacial Lakes & Prairies

  • Lake Poinsett Recreation Area – Located between Watertown and Brookings, this oasis offers travelers the chance to camp, hike, disc golf and fish.
  • Sica Hollow State Park – This park’s streams, rustic bridges, waterfalls, wildflowers and 8-plus miles of trails are just part of Sica Hollow’s rugged beauty.

Southeast

  • Palisades State Park – Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular getaway for campers, photographers, sightseers, picnickers, rock-climbers and hikers.
  • Lewis & Clark Recreation Area – Marinas, camping options and sandy beaches bring beach-lovers to one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the Missouri National Recreational River.

Missouri River

  • Spring Creek Recreation Area – Conveniently located near South Dakota’s capital city, the lake has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline to explore.
  • Farm Island Recreation Area – Located east of Pierre, this island offers 8 miles of hiking trails where you can find peace and plenty of nature to observe.

Sitting on the shores of beautiful Lake Oahe, Spring Creek Recreation Area is a an adventurer’s paradise. The lake has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline, and its clear waters are ideal for boating, sailing, fishing, water skiing and diving. Campers, history buffs, mountain bikers and hikers will find new adventures in this rugged land first explored by Lewis and Clark. Courtesy Travel South Dakota

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

In the Rapid City area, traveling to your destination is part of the experience. Take in the brilliant display of granite spires, eroding buttes and captivating waterfalls on these top 10 scenic drives. (Friendly reminder: Our beautiful scenic drives have sharp/tight corners. Drive with care!)

One of the most famous scenic drives in the Black Hills is along Highway 16A. This highway offers amazing views of Mount Rushmore (perfectly framed), the Black Hills, Needles Highway and Custer State Park. This drive also gives groups the opportunity to drive through a handful of scenic tunnels. These beautiful granite passageways are known to be narrow, but don’t let that shy you away from this epic experience.

Forget the long commute. Stay in Rapid City and you’ll be within an hour’s drive from some pretty spectacular places.

A motorcoach bus squeezes between some rock walls on the Needles Highway in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Courtesy Visit Rapid City

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

Chef Chris Hanmer

Top Chef of the Bravo TV Show “Top Chef – Just Desserts,” Chef Chris Hanmer tells the story of bringing his craft to South Dakota and his passion for welcoming visitors. You can find his desserts at CH Patisserie and Parlor Ice Cream House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Top Chef of Bravo’s “Top Chef – Just Deserts,” Chef Chris Hamner brought some sweet treats to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Courtesy

 

Prairie Berry’s Sandi Vojta

Sandi Vojta explains the history behind five generations of making wine with local South Dakota fruit, leading to a successful tourism industry. You can find the production facility and large tasting room in Hill City, South Dakota, along with an additional tasting room in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Sandi Vojta explains the history behind five generations of making wine with local South Dakota fruit, leading to a successful tourism industry. Courtesy

 

Custer State Park’s Lydia Austin and Chad Kremer

Follow along with Lydia Austin, Custer State Park’s interpretive programs manager, and Chad Kremer, Custer State Park’s bison herd manager, as they detail their favorite sites and activities in the park and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Chad Kremer, Custer State Park’s bison herd manager, details his favorite sites and activities in the park and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Courtesy

 

Mount Rushmore’s Cheryl Schreier and Blaine Kortemeyer

Cheryl Schreier and Blaine Kortemeyer recall their memories seeing Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Black Hills for the first time.

Cheryl Schreier recalls seeing Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Black Hills for the first time. Courtesy

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

Stephen Yellowhawk was born in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was inspired to dance and learn more about his culture primarily from some situations that arose in his schooling. His grandfather then created his first regalia, and he started dancing at 14 years old.

“Traditional dancing and my Christian belief have strengthened my self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect and love for all my relatives,” Stephen said. “It has opened many doors and created many paths for my family and I.”He has been the board president for the Black Hills Powwow Association for 10 years and has seen this powwow become one of the largest in the world.

“This leadership opportunity is a blessing for me. My grandfather has told me stories of coming to visit Rapid City in the 1950s, and things were quite different here then,” Stephen said. “He says he remembers seeing signs on some of the store fronts that said ‘No Indians allowed,’ but now to have one of the largest powwows in the world in this same community shows how far we have come as a community, working on building bridges within our diverse community.”

The Black Hills Powwow has become one of the largest in the world. Courtesy

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

Hiking

Explore wooded trails, climb rugged peaks or walk through native prairie grasses. Countless trails lead to scenic landscapes, thundering waterfalls and invigorating overlooks. Conquer a hiking trail in South Dakota and the journey stays with you forever!

Situated behind a lake of the same name, the Horsethief Lake Trail is a genuine mountain wonderland. A hike back here makes you feel like you’re in the Pacific Northwest. Along this 3.5-mile trail, you will discover waterfalls, granite spires, mossy boulders and Old Man’s Beard dripping off some of the largest trees in the Black Hills. Horsethief Lake can be found on Highway 244 west of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Palisades State Park is one of the most unique areas in South Dakota. Split Rock Creek, which flows through the park, is lined with Sioux quartzite formations varying from shelves several feet above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular area for hikers to explore this unique landscape.

Sica Hollow State Park is a place filled with rugged beauty and ancient mysteries. The park, part of the Prairie Coteau Hills, offers a wide variety of year-round activities. Hiking is particularly popular in this area when the beautiful fall foliage makes an appearance.

Hilger’s Gulch in Pierre includes a 1.1-mile lighted walking trail along with attractive flower gardens and a scenic view of the South Dakota State Capitol. During holidays and special events, the park is decorated with a United States flag display. Governor’s Grove is located on the west slope of the gulch and contains hundreds of trees and 28 monuments dedicated to former governors of South Dakota.

Sica Hollow State Park. Courtesy Travel South Dakota

Wildlife viewing

Spy on abundant populations of waterfowl and songbirds. Spot endangered species like the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and whooping crane. Encounter deer, elk, prairie dogs and more. With diverse terrain throughout the state, South Dakota is home to many species of wildlife.

Take a stroll through the unique LaFramboise Island Nature Area along the Missouri River in the capital city, Pierre. The island is covered in trees and meadows, which are home to a variety of wildlife and bird species.

Wind through Custer State Park on the Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway for a chance to see bighorn sheep, elk, coyotes, the begging burros, wild turkeys and the big stars of the show, the bison. Get out in the morning or evening for your best chances at catching the animals in action.

The center of activity for the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is the 25-mile Lewis and Clark Lake. The lake is one of four large reservoirs on the Missouri River in South Dakota, and creates a wonderful opportunity to view many species of birds while walking along the water.

Pelican Lake Recreation Area near Watertown is a popular stopping point for migrating waterfowl. Each fall, geese and ducks use the lake’s open waters as a resting area. A variety of shore birds spend their entire summer in or near the park. Most noticeable are the large white pelicans that frequent the lake. An observation tower on one of the hiking trails gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the area.

Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. Courtesy Travel South Dakota

Scenic drives

South Dakota’s diverse landscape, iconic monuments, national parks and natural wonders are the makings for the perfect road trip. Life’s about the journey, and here, scenic byways take travelers through the other-worldly formations of the Badlands to world-famous monuments like Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Through tribal lands steeped in rich Native American history where spiritual leaders like Sitting Bull now rest to Custer State Park, where the buffalo still roam free, we encourage you take the scenic route and let life happen between the mile markers.

Breathtaking views of the Missouri River, diverse landscapes, and tribal history and culture are showcased on the Native American Scenic Byway running north and south through central South Dakota. The route takes travelers through the lands of the Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes.

Gradually climbing from the town of Spearfish on the northern edge of the Black Hills, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the gateways into the heart of an ancient mountain range. Spearfish Creek flows along the canyon bottom, acting as a natural guide for the scenic byway that follows the creek’s contours. Although the drive is only 19 miles, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the ride and pull over for pictures or a hike. Spearfish Canyon is one of the most beautiful spots in the country, so this is no time to put the pedal to the metal.

Sometimes described as “surreal” or “otherworldly,” you won’t want to miss the twisting curves climbing through passes in the Badlands’ “wall” of rugged rock pinnacles, buttes and mounds on the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway. Motorcycle riders and sports car enthusiasts love this road so much that it has been featured in driving video games, but is an enjoyable cruise with any vehicle.

Spearfish Falls off the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Courtesy Travel South Dakota


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

Dakota Drum Company

Dakota Drum Company has been in business for 20 years and specializes in traditional buffalo hide drums, powwow drums and traditional buffalo hide drums hand-painted by Lakota and Sioux artist Sonja Holy Eagle, who has won many major art show awards.

Known for their traditional buffalo hide drums made from hand-scraped buffalo rawhide with cottonwood frames, as well as one-sided drums, they pride themselves on the quality of their products and their Native American art.

They also carry hide paintings by Sonja, along with traditional beadwork and quillwork by artists from the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. You can also find beautiful buffalo robes, sweetgrass and sage, along with many other traditional arts.

Dakota Drum Company

Star of the West Hat Company

Star of the West Hat Company is known for hat refurbishing and custom felt hats that will ship all over the world! In their 20-year history, they have had the privilege of building hats for everyone from ranchers and rodeo cowboys to musicians and movie sets.

The store is pretty small, but they are able to show the kinds of equipment and materials that go into building hats as well as the process of building hats. With a small work area, there could be some hands-on experience for interested groups!

Star of the West Hat Company

Suzi Cappa Art Center

Suzie Cappa Art Center is a downtown non-profit studio and gallery where artists of all abilities create, exhibit and market their work. It offers an inspirational atmosphere for artists and visitors alike and is a division of Black Hills Works, which provides services and support to more than 630 adults with disabilities. Creations by their artists are sold nationwide and may be viewed and purchased on their website.

Suzie Cappa Art Center


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

Chislic Festival

July 25, 2020

Freeman, South Dakota

Website: https://www.sdchislicfestival.com

Chislic is a South Dakota tradition – especially in southeastern South Dakota. Legend says it was brought to that corner of our state in the 1800s by German/Russian immigrants. Today, chislic (beef or lamb on a stick) has grown from humble origins to a dish that was declared the official “nosh” of South Dakota in 2018. One year later, the first-ever Chislic Festival in Freeman attracted more than 8,000 people! Come enjoy this flavorful festival and celebrate with cooking competitions, live entertainment and more.

Chislic Festival. Credit: South Dakota Tourism

80th Anniversary of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

August 7-16, 2020

Sturgis, South Dakota

Website: https://sturgismotorcyclerally.com

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. Find out why this international phenomenon draws motorcycle legends, superstars and hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts to the Black Hills each year. It’s also listed as one of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.”

Main Street at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Credit: South Dakota Tourism

Black Hills Powwow

October 9-11, 2020

Rapid City, South Dakota

Website: https://www.blackhillspowwow.com

The Black Hills Powwow (or He Sapa Wacipi Na Oskate) is a preeminent Black Hills event featuring three days filled with Native American singing, dancing, drum groups, art displays, hand games, athletic competitions, and a variety of other events. Over the decades, the Black Hills Powwow has become one of the premier American Indian cultural events in the United States, attracting hundreds of dancers, singers, artisans as well as thousands of spectators from across North America.

Black Hills Powwow. Credit: South Dakota Tourism

TOP EVENTS TIMELINE 2020


For more information on the Great American West state of South Dakota, visit TravelSouthDakota.com.

Black Hills Powwow

As one of the premier cultural events and one of top three powwows in the nation, the Black Hills Powwow features a variety of dancers and events. This event attracts hundreds of spectators from around the world. Dancers come to this event from Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Most dancers at The Black Hills Powwow were winners from regional dances and fill the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. From the youth jingle dancers to elders, the beautiful dancers go around and around for all to see. This is a must-see event.

Learn more

Black Hills Powwow. Credit: South Dakota Tourism

Crazy Horse Volksmarch

Crazy Horse Memorial hosts a Volksmarch in the Spring and Fall. Hikers get the opportunity to climb to the arm of Crazy Horse Memorial for a close-up view of the largest mountain carving in progress. This opportunity is only offered twice a year. The bi-annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch is a 10K or 6.2-mile hike that follows dirt trails and gravel work roads up to the Crazy Horse Mountain Carving.

Learn more

Crazy Horse Volksmarch. Credit: Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation

Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo

The Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo® is the second largest event in the state of South Dakota following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. An estimated attendance of 331,000 people attend the ten-day event held annually from the last weekend in January to the first weekend in February. The stock show features 96 different agriculture driven events. Events such as the Ranch Rodeo and Sheep Dog Trials are crowd favorites.

Learn more

Black Hills Stock Show & Ranch Rodeo. Courtesy of: Visit Rapid City


For more information on the Rapid City, South Dakota area, visit VisitRapidCity.com.