South Dakota August 30, 2017
These 12 Towns In South Dakota Aren’t Big And Aren’t Too Small – They’re Just Right
South Dakota doesn’t have any big cities – Sioux Falls is the largest, with a population of just under 175,000. We do have hundreds of small towns that are both charming and peaceful. Today we’re going to focus on a few town that are right in the middle. These 12 places are big enough to have plenty of amenities and small enough to have that hometown feel. We’ve chosen towns with 5,000 to 15,000 people, based on 2016 population estimates provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. These are listed by population.
1. Tea, Population 5,032
The town of Tea is located just minutes from Sioux Falls, so it enjoys the amenities of a bigger city without the crowding. The Teapot Days festival that's held every June is a community celebration that's fun for the whole family.
2. Belle Fourche, Population 5,655
"Belle Fourche" is French for "beautiful fork," which is certainly fitting. This pretty town is the geographic center of the country, and it's just north of the Black Hills National Forest, so its residents enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation.
3. Harrisburg, Population 5,734
Beautiful Harrisburg is a little gem surrounded by rural fields. Near the town of Tea, it's also just minutes away from Sioux Falls, but its residents love living in a more quiet, peaceful place.
4. Sturgis, Population 6,832
For a few weeks every August, a certain motorcycle rally you may have heard of brings thousands of tourists to this town, but the rest of the year it's a peaceful haven in the Black Hills. Surrounded by forest and mountains, Sturgis is heaven on Earth.
5. Madison, Population 7,425
The residents of Madison are lucky indeed. With five lakes, two state parks and 10 city parks, they have an almost endless amount of outdoor recreation available. You'll love this charming town.
6. Box Elder, Population 9,348
Box Elder is the proud home of Ellsworth Air Force Base, and much of its population comes from the service members who help keep our country safe. Just northeast of Rapid City, the town's proximity to the Black Hills makes it a prime location for outdoor recreation.
7. Brandon, Population 9,923
The slogan for the city of Brandon is "Building a Better Life," and that pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Northeast of Sioux Falls, it's far enough away to have a very rural feel, but close enough to the city when you want a more urban experience.
8. Vermillion, Population 10,844
It's hard not to fall in love with Vermillion. The University of South Dakota gives this town an infusion of youth during the school year, but it still keeps its rural roots intact, too.
9. Spearfish, Population 11, 531
Spearfish is one of the most beautiful spots in the entire state. Spearfish Canyon offers incredible hiking, camping and fishing opportunities, and the town is surrounded by the beauty of the Black Hills.
10. Huron, Population 13,117
Huron wins the prize for the little town with the most attractions. Not only is it the home of the South Dakota State Fair, and the World's Largest Pheasant, and championship bull riding and car racing...but it's also still got that hometown feel.
11. Pierre, Population 14,008
You might be surprised to find out that our state's Capital city is the eighth largest. Pierre is a charming town nestled on the banks of the Missouri. While it's located right at the geographic center of South Dakota, its distance for the state's largest cities (Sioux Falls and Rapid City) keep it more quiet and peaceful.
12. Yankton, Population 14,566
The largest town on our list, Yankton is also one of the most beautiful. The river provides scenic views as well as recreation, and the town has a rich history as the Dakota territorial capital.
Are you lucky enough to live in one of these towns? Tell us what you love about it!
If you’re looking for some cool small towns,
take a look at this list.