South Dakota is known for a few things: Mount Rushmore, farming, hunting, and wide open spaces. But there are also some true hidden and surprising gems in SD. These unique things you never thought about doing in South Dakota definitely need to be added to your summer to-do list.
1. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
If you've never been on a hot air balloon ride, you should definitely go. This will be the highlight of your summer. One of the places that offers ride is
Black Hills Balloons
2. Learn how to scuba dive.
3. Go sailing.
Motorboats and pontoons aren't your only options! Sailing is an increasingly popular way to get out on the water in SD. One sailing hotspot is Lewis & Clark Lake in Yankton.
4. Visit the Statue of Liberty.
A replica of one of our nation's most popular monuments stands in Rapid City. It is 45 feet tall and the perfect place to visit when you just can't quite make it to NYC.
5. Climb the highest peak east of the Rockies.
Harney Peak, in western South Dakota, is the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. You can hike up and back down in half a day and the views are totally worth it.
6. See one million dollars worth of gold.
At Badlands Pawn Shop, there is a display that features one million dollars worth of gold bars. A pretty incredible sight that you can't see anywhere else in South Dakota.
7. Spend time at the center of the United States.
Even though the actual geographical center of the United States sits just outside of Belle Fourche, the monument that celebrates it is right in town. Stop by either so you can say you've been to the geographical center of the nation.
8. Pet a baby bear.
Once a year, at
Bear Country USA
, they have the baby bears separated from their mamas and you can actually pet them! This usually takes place one week before the park opens for the year, in May.
9. See a wild west reenactment.
On any given day you can walk through the streets of Deadwood and happen upon a reenactment of a Wild Bill Hickok shootout.