Despite the crazy winters and unpredictable weather, South Dakota is the shining star of the midwest. “Great faces, great places” is so much more than a state slogan; it rings true of the people and pride of those who are lucky enough to call this state home. Here are 20 reasons you can’t help but fall in love with South Dakota:
1. Mount Rushmore
Four of the United States’ greatest presidents carved into stone. Need I say more?
2. Four Seasons
South Dakota truly has four beautiful seasons. Weather ranges from wintertime snow, spring thunderstorms, the sunny days of summer, and the jaw-dropping changing of the leaves in fall.
3. Lightning Bugs
In the summer, just after dark, lightning bugs can be spotted by the thousands. They light up the prairie and they’ll win over your heart.
4. Potato Oles
The crispiest, most flavorful, seasoned Tex-Mex potato bite you will ever eat.
5. Small Town Vibe
Everyone knows everyone. Literally, in the entire state there are less than 1,000,000 people.
6. East River Prairie and West River Hills
South Dakota is split in half by the Missouri River. On the East side of the river you will find rolling prairies. On the west side you will find the Black Hills National Forest.
7. Hot Air Balloons
In the summer, hot air balloons can be seen for miles.
8. Baby Bears
Fall in love with South Dakota and these baby bears! Once a year, Bear Country, located in Rapid City, SD lets you pet their baby bear cubs. The rest of the summer, you are able to drive through the park viewing the adult bears in their natural habitat.
9. Free Music Festivals
Another thing to love about South Dakota is that it is truly a state that values music. You can find free music all summer long at JazzFest, LifeLight Music Festival, and Hills Alive Music Festival. All offer free admission to days of live music!
10. Winter Sports
From snow shoeing to cross country skiing to snowboarding, you can do it all in South Dakota.
11. Low Cost of Living
Residents of South Dakota boast about the benefits of the low cost of living. Spending less on rent and taxes means more time and money to explore the rest of the beautiful state!
12. Booming Small Business Economy
If you are looking to start your own business, South Dakota is a great place to do it.
13. State Pride
People who live in South Dakota, love South Dakota.
14. Great Coffee
Coffee lovers, look no further. South Dakota has one of the world’s greatest coffee shops. Coffea, located in Sioux Falls, roasts their own award winning coffee. It is a MUST when visiting SD.
For all of you antique lovers, this is your state! Thrift stores galore - and tons of them with low, low prices on all the unique junk you’ve been hunting for!
Perhaps the shining star of South Dakota is Badlands National Park. Encompassing 244,000 acres, the park serves as a refuge for bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black footed ferrets. The perfect destination for hiking, camping, and photo ops.
17. Bagel Boy
Located only in Sioux Falls, SD, Bagel Boy may well serve the best bagel you'll ever eat. Best of all, these homemade bagels are piled high with cream cheese.
18. Unbeatably Fresh Farmer's Markets
Farmers Markets run from spring through fall in South Dakota. Being an agricultural state means the produce is fresh off the farm.
19. See for Miles
Whether East River on the prairie or West River on Harney’s Peak, you can truly enjoy the landscape for miles upon miles. Just another thing to love with South Dakota.
20. Rich History
South Dakota has so much to offer in the present day. Its rich history only adds to the awe and wonder of such a beautiful state. The state holds stories of Lewis & Clark, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Crazy Horse, finding gold and more.
How did we do, South Dakota? Did we miss any of your favorite things about our magnificent state? Let us know in the comments!