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South Dakota Cities Worth Visiting

Updated on August 30, 2012

Enjoy breaktaking views and attractions in the South Dakota cities.

Inspiring history
Inspiring history | Source

South Dakota Makes a Great Vacation Spot

I've visited South Dakota many times and I find that you never run out of things to see. It's a great place to visit alone, with friends, or for a family vacation. Some areas have more to do in them while others are great hidden diamonds. Here is a list of South Dakota cities to add to your next vacation.

Eastern South Dakota

East South Dakota Cities:De Smet

The east part of South Dakota is more populated and is known for its prairie. If you enjoy history, you will want to stop in De Smet. The site of several of the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this town is an enjoyable stop for the entire family.

Places to Stay

You will have to visit the bed and breakfast located in De Smet. It's called the Prairie House Manor and was once the home of Banker Ruth from the books. The hospitality is delightful as the hosts seek to ensure a pleasant stay. The rooms are elegant and well cared for, and you will enjoy the meals they provide, which is usually a full breakfast and a light snack for new arrivals. While enjoying the history of the place, you won't be completely deprived of modern life with Wi-Fi on-site.

What to See

You can tour the old homestead and see what it was like to live in a home on the prairie in the 1800s. The Loftus store will also give you a chance to see what shopping was like before malls were in existence.

Take the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience with the Little House pageant that takes place every year in July. Each year has a special theme from one of the books and the actors put on a top-notch show that will entertain people of all ages.

West South Dakota

West South Dakota Cities: Hot Springs

Many people plan to stay in Rapid or one of the other major tourist South Dakota cities. But I recommend Hot Springs as a great place to spend your vacation. It's located near the major attractions of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, along with the Badlands and Custer State Park. Another added benefit is Evans Plunge, a large indoor water park fed from the springs in the area.

You will find plenty of options for places to stay in the area, from hotel chains to local places. If you have kids, one place that is a great place to make your headquarters is the Historic Log Cabin Motel. You get your choice of sizes from 1 to 4 rooms and some even have kitchenettes. A hot tub provides a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. You will also find activities for the kids if you want to spend an afternoon there with a playground or a game of horseshoes. Located on Battle Mountain, it provides a breathtaking view of the town.

For something different on one of your afternoons in the South Dakota city, you can visit the world-famous Mammoth Site. Then head on over to the Wild Horse Sanctuary and see the beautiful animals running free. Come back into town and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the casual restaurants in town or cook up some food on the grill back at the cabin.

Choose South Dakota for a Great Family Vacation

You will find plenty to do in South Dakota regardless of what part of the state you visit. These are a few of my favorite places. So when you plan your next vacation, check out the beautiful state and find your own favorites.


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    • jm72writes profile image

      jm72writes 5 years ago from Missouri

      On the main highways, it looks pretty empty between cities. I took the scenic route from eastern SD to Hot Springs on highway 2 and learned that much of it was gravel. And no gas stations anywhere in sight, not too good on an almost empty gas tank. That was quite an experience!

    • Gregory Hasman 66 profile image

      Gregory Hasman 5 years ago from Denton TX

      I enjoyed the piece. What are some interesting roadside characters near there, i.e. old filling stations, things of the like?