Not only is South Dakota aesthetically pleasing and wonderful in every way, it’s also incredibly quirky (and we wouldn’t have it any other way.) From a huge dinosaur park to a gigantic auto show, there’s always an exciting attraction to experience. Take a peek at these 10 attractions that show just unique we really are!
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. Dinosaur Park, Rapid City.
Open to the tourists since 1936, this quirky attraction features larger-than-life dinosaurs that you can actually climb on and take pictures with. The area overlooks Rapid City and offers spectacular views of the Badlands. You’ll find it at 940 Skyline Dr, Rapid City, SD 57702.
2. Mammoth Site, Hot Springs.
This active paleontological dig site is home to the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world. Embark on a tour for an educational and intriguing experience the whole family will enjoy. The Mammoth site is located at 1800 US-18 BYP, Hot Springs, SD 57747.
3. The World’s Only Corn Palace, Mitchell.
This ginormous corn-plastered building is redecorated annually to showcase a new exciting theme. You can take a free tour of this iconic South Dakota structure anytime between Memorial Day and August. It’s located at 604 N Main Street Mitchell, SD 57301.
4. Pioneer Auto Show, Murdo.
As one of the largest auto shows around, featuring over 300 vintage cars, motorcycles and trucks, The Pioneer Auto Show is a must-experience for those who cherish classic collections and odd historical items. (They even have Elvis Presley’s motorcycle and General Lee from Dukes of Hazards.) You’ll find Pioneer Auto Show at 503 5th St, Murdo, SD 57559.
5. Sandford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, Lead.
This impressive facility provides an overview of the history and future of gold mining. View historic photos, videos, an intriguing 3-D model of the underground, and plenty of mining artifacts. The deck offers a fantastic view of the 1,000-foot-deep Open Cut. Admission is free! It’s located at 160 W Main St, Lead, SD 57754.
6. Center of the Nation Monument, Belle Fourche.
You’ll find this unique engraved patio at 415 Fifth Ave., Belle Fourche, SD. When you stand here, you stand at the center of it all, as this very spot is the geographical center of the entire United States.
7. Mount Rushmore National Monument, Keystone.
This one is a no brainer. No other state is home to a massive sculpture featuring the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. You’ll find this incredible monument and prominent tourist attraction at 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751.
8. Mount Moriah Cemetery, Deadwood.
The final resting place of Western legends, murders, and madams, this cemetery is unlike any other. Give yourself at least one hour to listen to an informative video and view the various celebrity graves and plaques that detail the area’s history. It’s located at 10 Mt Moriah Dr, Deadwood, SD 57732.
9. World’s Largest Pheasant, Huron.
You’ll find this 28 foot, 22-ton pheasant at Hwy. 14, Huron, SD. Erected in 1959, this gigantic fiberglass and steel bird is definitely a head turner, as well as a quirky celebration of our SD culture.
10. Custer State Park, Custer.
A herd of bison and other various types of wildlife roam this unique state park. Loaded with granite peaks, lakes, waterfalls, streams, and lakes, there’s plenty of opportunity for unique adventure in this wildlife reserve.