South Dakota October 26, 2017
11 Unimaginably Beautiful Places In South Dakota That You Must See Before You Die
If you’re new to South Dakota, or just haven’t ever taken the time to thoroughly explore every corner of the state, you might wonder where to start. While we have endless scenic views and picture-perfect places, here are 11 of the most iconic to start with.
1. Badlands National Park
Take the Badlands Loop Road for some of the best views this park has to offer. You'll see spectacular rock formations and unique spires. Nearly one million people visit this national park every year.
2. Falls Park, Sioux Falls
South Dakota's largest city doesn't have lots of skyscrapers, but who needs big city lights when you've got a spectacular waterfall? Falls Park is a community gathering place with the gorgeous Big Sioux River as its centerpiece.
3. Roughlock Falls State Nature Area
You'll find Roughlock Falls in the Spearfish Canyon area, which is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the entire state. From the viewing platform, you'll have some great photo opportunities to capture these tumbling falls.
4. Mount Rushmore National Monument
Mount Rushmore might be our most iconic place - the spot most people think of when they think of South Dakota. Photos don't begin to do it justice. Visit in person to see the 60-foot-tall faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, carved in granite.
5. Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
This park is one of the state's most popular, and you can see why. In addition to its beauty, this little recreation area near Yankton offers some great fishing and boating.
6. Custer State Park
Drive the Wildlife Loop, climb Black Elk Peak and visit Sylvan Lake (pictured here) to see just a few of the gems in this gorgeous park. Custer State Park is South Dakota's first state park, and one of its most alluring.
7. Crazy Horse Memorial
This ambitious project has been in the works for decades and still is nowhere near complete, but it's undeniably beautiful anyway. With the gorgeous Black Hills as its backdrop, this immense memorial is pretty majestic.
8. Bear Butte State Park
Located near Sturgis, Bear Butte is a sacred spot for native people; many famous chiefs have visited this place throughout the years, including Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. When you visit, be mindful of the special, spiritual nature of this place, and leave the prayer cloths alone.
9. Palisades State Park
The towering bluffs at Palisades State Park are made of pink Sioux Quartzite, and they line the Split Rock Creek, creating an enchanting visual. The park covers 157 acres and is located near Garretson.
10. Wind Cave National Monument
You'll see views for miles at Wind Cave National Monument, which is located near Hot Springs. In addition to the immense cave system, you'll find lots prairie and forests here.
11. Spirit Mound Historic Prairie
This 240-acre gem in Vermillion is definitely scenic. The sweeping vistas of the prairie are stunning, and Spirit Mound is one of the few places where historians know for sure that Lewis and Clark stood during their epic journey. The Plains Indians think that this hill was occupied by "little people," or malevolent spirits.
What other places would you add to this list for our readers?