Here’s The Ultimate Bucket List For South Dakotans Who Are Obsessed With Nature
If you love all things nature, you already know that South Dakota is THE place to be, thanks to our diverse landscapes, all-natural landmarks, and outdoor recreation opportunities galore! If you want to make sure to see all of the best spots, however, you will want to check off all of the boxes on this ultimate South Dakota nature bucket list:
We're aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we're continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Cascade Falls (Hot Springs)
You know that the Mount Rushmore State has some pretty epic water parks, but did you know that we also have an all-natural waterpark of sorts? Located near Hot Springs, Cascade Falls is a refreshing swimming hole that comes complete with super smooth, slide-like rocks. Speaking of swimming holes...
2. Sylvan Lake (Custer State Park)
...there is no SoDak swimming hole that is more beautiful and iconic than Sylvan Lake! Tucked away in the heart of Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake is a manmade dam surrounded by picturesque cliffs and Black Hills landscape, all of which make for a perfect summer day.
3. Falls Park (Sioux Falls)
Arguably the most famous waterfall in South Dakota, Sioux Falls is the centerpiece of the state's largest city and gushes some 7,400 gallons of water over a 100-foot cliff every second. Do you think that sounds intense? Wait until you see it with your own eyes!
4. Wind Cave National Park (Hot Springs)
After you take a dip in the previously mentioned Cascade Falls, take a trip to the 6th-longest cave in the world! Spanning some 140 miles, the Wind Cave is also considered to be the densest cave on earth and is said to contain 95% of the world's discovered boxwork formations.
5. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area (Yankton)
Located along the banks of the Mighty Missouri, the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is your one-stop-shop for all things outdoors, including swimming, hiking, boating and kayaking, biking, fishing, camping, and birdwatching.
6. Badlands National Park (Interior)
While this picture may look like it was taken on Mars, it was indeed snapped at the jaw-dropping 242,756-acre Badlands National Park. Created by deposition and erosion some 69 million years ago, the Badlands are a colorful sight to see, thanks to its red and orange (iron oxides), white (volcanic ash), purple, and yellow (shale), and gray and tan (gravel and sand).
7. McCrory Gardens (Brookings)
If you love fragrant flowers and pristine landscape, get ready to go ga-ga for McCrory Gardens! Housed on the campus of South Dakota State University, McCrory is comprised of 70 acres of gardens and a 45-acre arboretum, making for an urban retreat that cannot be beaten.
8. Needles Eye (Custer)
For a near once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, take a drive through the unique Needles Eye: a narrow tunnel tucked between an interesting cluster of rock formations.
9. Buffalo Gap Natural Grassland (Hot Springs)
Last but certainly not least on our all-natural bucket list is the second largest grassland in the country: Buffalo Gap. When you visit, be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled, as not only will you discover 600,000 acres of pristine grassland and eco-systems, but also bison, deer, bighorn sheep, and jackrabbits.
Where is your favorite all-natural attraction? Let us know in the comments or via our
nomination form. For even more SoDak bucket list inspiration, click on The Ultimate And Definitive Bucket List For Everyone In South Dakota. Address: Buffalo Gap National Grassland, Northeast Fall River, SD 57766, USA Address: MP 31, SD-87, Custer, SD 57730, USA Address: McCrory Gardens Drive, Brookings, SD 57006, USA Address: South Dakota, USA Address: 43349 SD-52, Yankton, SD 57078, USA Address: South Dakota, USA Address: E Falls Park Dr, Sioux Falls, SD, USA Address: Sylvan Lake, East Custer, SD 57730, USA Address: Cascade Falls, Northeast Fall River, SD 57747, USA