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Follow Me to South Dakota

Updated on May 27, 2014


You know.........South Dakota. That state sitting between North Dakota and Nebraska. The one with all the beautiful historical sites and fun attractions. To be more specific, I want you to follow me to the Black Hills area of western South Dakota. That's where all the fun is happening. Keep reading and I'll show you how to have a vacation filled with fun from start to finish.

Quick Facts

Nobody knows if South Dakota was the 39th state or the 40th state. The rivalry between North Dakota and South Dakota presented a dilemma. So Harrison directed Secretary of State James G. Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first. The actual order went unrecorded.

Storybook Island

Storybook Island is the land of fairy tales. This free park is full of story book characters from Cinderella to Jack and Jill and everything in between. You can climb Jacks giant beanstalk, explore Winnie the Poo's clubhouse, and even stick your head in a lions mouth to get a drink of water. From the fantastic castle at the entrance, to Snow White's house (surrounded by her seven dwarfs), the Dalmatians, a train to ride, swings, the Crooked Man's house, a Dragon, a maze, and a petting zoo - your child will be lost within a fantastic world of storybook creatures and play sets.

Quick Fact

Some famous movies filmed in South Dakota are: 'Dances with Wolves', 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets', 'North By Northwest', 'Armageddon', 'Wyatt Earp', and 'Head Of State'. For a complete list visit the South Dakota Film

Mount Rushmore features the faces of four great presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. This amazing monument was started in 1927 and took 14 years to complete. With recent construction, the memorial now includes many fun activities. You can start by walking through the Avenue of Flags. That leads straight to the Grandview Terrace where you can view those famous faces from afar. For an even better view, you can walk the half-mile Presidential Trail. After that, head over to the Lincoln Borglum Museum to take part in their interpretive programs, exhibits and films. And don't forget to watch the lighting ceremony at the amphitheater at 9pm. And if you have some extra time before the lighting ceremony, take a look around the 5,300 square foot gift shop and make sure to try the delicious food at the Carvers Cafe.

If you'd like to learn more about the amazing history of Mount Rushmore, please visit Follow Me to Mount Rushmore.

Pictures of Mount Rushmore

Click on any picture to see a larger version

Quick Fact

South Dakota is home to eight federally recognized native american reservations.


For one week every year, the tiny town of Sturgis, SD -population 6,442- is host to one of the largest motorcycle events in the world, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It's held during the first full week of August and attended by over 500,000 people from many different countries. The weeks many events include nightly concerts, bike races, motorcycle stunt shows, organized bike rides and much, much more.

Quick Tip: If you're planning to visit during the Sturgis Rally, you'll need to book your hotel room 6 months to 1 year in advance.

Warning: The Sturgis rally is not an appropriate setting for children.

Pictures of the Sturgis Rally

Click on any picture to see a larger version

Quick Fact

The estimated population of South Dakota is 800,000 people. That number almost doubles during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Other fun things to do in South Dakota

Keystone and Surrounding Areas

You could spend your whole vacation in and around Keystone and never get bored. Take a look at this video to see just what Keystone has to offer.

Great Scenery

If your idea of a great vacation is finding beautiful scenery, South Dakota is definitely where you want to go. To the east you'll find the Great Plains Region, full of prairies and grasslands. Towards the south is the Badlands, and to the west is the Black Hills. So no matter what your favorite scenic view is, you'll probably find it in South Dakota.

Here's are 5 great scenic drives for you to explore.

  • The Badlands Loop Scenic Byway
  • Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
  • Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway
  • Wildlife Loop Road Scenic Byway
  • Native American Scenic Byway

  • Save big with a coupon book from Black Hills Discounts. The book is just $14.95 and includes a bunch of BOGO coupons for most of the attractions mentioned here. There's also coupons for lodging, dining, and shopping. I bought one for my vacation and ended up saving over $200. If you plan ahead, you can look at the coupons and see if the book is worth buying.
  • Print this page and present it along with your out-of-town driver's license to the Security & Guest Services kiosk near Cafe Court to receive a complimentary Shopping & Dining Visitor Rewards coupon book featuring 57 Rushmore Mall stores and restaurants with over $250 in money saving coupons! This is a great deal, especially if you plan to shop the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City.
  • Take a moment to browse the coupons at You might see something you'll like!
  • Here's a whole list of coupons from Black Hills Visitor Magazine. Just browse through and print what you want.
  • This won't save you money, but it will save you time! Visit and take advantage of their easy to use trip planner. It lists everything from hotels to attractions to local stores. It also lists prices and how much time to allow for each activity, so you can make the most of your vacation.

This lens won a purple star award!

Thanks to VickiSims

Photos and text; © 2010-2013 Catherine Taylor. All Rights Reserved

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

So, Will I See You in South Dakota?

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    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 4 years ago

      @skjk3318 lm: I agree! I grew up here and moved away as soon as I could and now I'm back. lol

    • skjk3318 lm profile image

      skjk3318 lm 4 years ago

      proud to be from So. Dak. Growing up you wanted to get out and the older you get the more it draws you back in! It's a MAGNET!

    • profile image

      HotelsDeadwoodSD 5 years ago

      Great write up. I can't wait to make my trip out west again this spring. Deadwood, here I come!

    • VBright profile image

      VBright 5 years ago

      You just might! South Dakota is one of my fav States!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      I am very fortunate to live in South Dakota an' I love everything about it.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      We go to visit relatives in South Dakota once or twice a year. We always find something new and interesting to do there. This last trip, we went to Falls Park in Sioux Falls..beautiful.

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 6 years ago

      Very nice, informative lens. I've been to the Sturgis Rally but it was quite a while ago. We'll be going this Augaust and plan to do all the fun things you've mentioned. Thanx

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well, with all that South Dakota has to offer....Sturgis, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the site of great movies, Storybook Island and so much more fun...I'm totally at peace with it being the 39th state and North Dakota the, thats just between you and me. A wonderfully earned purple star shines brightly over your South Dakota!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      I know very little about South Dakota, so I learn a lot from your lens, for me is informational and well done.

      Well deserved purple star.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      North Dakota, one of the best kept secrets in the country. There is so much there to go to see

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      I've never visited SD but my artist husband did just after college. He carved a replica of Mr. Rushmore in 1975 and we still have it - 7 feet long and 5 feet tall - mounted on a platform in our back yard. One day we'll get there together ... maybe to Sturgis, too! Thanks for adding this lens to Purple Star Pastiche - it's now featured in the plexo listing, so don't forget to vote it up!

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 7 years ago


      "You know.........South Dakota. That state sitting between North Dakota and Kansas." What did you do with Nebraska??? I know not much in Ne. but it is on the map LOL.. I just moved from S.D. I'll be back in the Spring, not a big fan of the cold and snow but the summer is windy and nice. :)

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      I've been to Rushmore. It is fabulous.

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 7 years ago

      I've been to Mount Rushmore, but I think that it would be cool to see Laura Ingalls Wilder's home. I love traveling. Great job!

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      What a great lens!

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 7 years ago from Earth

      Cool lens! Squidoo Angel Thumbs Up. Being on the top 40 squidoo leaderboard list can get you attention

    • brandonmotz lm profile image

      brandonmotz lm 7 years ago

      Congrats on the purple star! I really liked the picture of that Jack Daniels motorcycle.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 7 years ago

      @aka-rms: Wow. Thank you so much!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Congratulations! After completeing the August Get Cracking challenge lensmaster VickiSims has chosen to give this fantastic lens a purple star!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Lots of great ideas for things to do in South Dakota and lots of things I didn't know.

    • kohuether lm profile image

      kohuether lm 7 years ago

      South Dakota is a really pretty state! We drove cross country a little while ago and made our way through South Dakota. The landscape is incredible!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is such a great resource for folks visiting South Dakota. I have never been but sure enjoyed reading up on all the things to do. Thanks for adding to the plexo on my Promote Local Businesses and Events.

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 7 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      Wow - there looks like there is some FANTASTIC scenery out there. Are you considering doing some more in-depth coverage of the tourist sites? Would LOVE to see it!