South Dakota Travel Guide

Browse 54 travel reviews, 64 travel blogs and 3,017 travel photos from real travelers to South Dakota.

People Traveling To South Dakota

South Dakota Locals

South Dakota Overview

The first thing anyone thinks of when they hear the name South Dakota is Mount Rushmore, home to the 60 foot tall faces of four American presidents. And for most people, that's probably the only thing they know about the state. What most people fail to understand is that South Dakota offers a wide variety of activities for a wide variety of traveler types. From the Mount Rushmore National Memorial to places like Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, the town of Deadwood (made infamous in recent times by the HBO show), to places like the Badlands National Park, the childhood homestead of American author Laura Ingalls Wilder (she of Little House on the Prairie fame), or The Mammoth Site in the southern Black Hills, where the largest collection of Columbian woolly mammoth fossils can be found, there’s simply so much to see and do that it almost defies imagination.

The state itself can be broken into four distinct regions. The southeast portion of the state is the most populated, and contains Sioux City, while the northeastern corner is largely agricultural, and contains the Coteau des Praries as well as various lakes and rivers. The Great Lakes area borders the Missouri River, and the Badlands and Black Hills section of the state is where all the national parks, forests, frontier towns, and Indian reservations can be found. So, depending on what you want to see and do, depends on which part of the state you go to.

The best time to visit the state is in late summer and early fall. Otherwise, temperatures are either too cold, or too blistering hot. However, there are various ski resorts in the mountains, so if you want to experience that aspect of South Dakota, then you definitely want to come here in the winter. Otherwise, the best time to come is when the weather is mild enough that you can experience the wonders of the state without sweating or freezing your toes off.

Rapid City #1 most popular location
Rapid City is perhaps best-known for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which is just a few minutes outside the city. The four granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lin…
56travelers 9reviews 9blogs
Sioux Falls #2 most popular location
Overview: Sioux Falls is the largest city of South Dakota with a population over 150,000. Located in southeast South Dakota, the majority of the city rests south of interstate 90, east of i…
45travelers 3reviews 3blogs
Custer #3 most popular location
Custer, the oldest town in the Black Hills, is named for the infamous Col. George Armstrong Custer, who discovered gold on French Creek here in 1874. The subsequent gold rush was one of the l…
5travelers 4reviews 10blogs
Deadwood #4 most popular location
Deadwood was founded in 1876 at the height of the Black Hills gold rush. Within months, as many as 10,000 miners, muleskinners and madams had descended into Deadwood Gulch. The city attained …
13travelers 3reviews 1blogs
Wall #5 most popular location
Wall is just 8 miles north of Badlands National Park, 55 miles from Rapid City and 70 miles from the Black Hills in South Dakota. The town of Wall is home to the famous Wall Drug, the qui…
2travelers 3reviews 2blogs
Mitchell #6 most popular location
Mitchell South Dakota is located off I-90, about an hours drive west of Sioux Falls. Home of the Mitchell Corn Palace, a community building that is decorated inside and out with designs made…
3travelers 2reviews 1blogs
Keystone #7 most popular location
Keystone, like so many towns in the Black Hills started out as a mining camp. Gold was not the only mineral mined in the Black Hills, and Keystone was home to several mines that produced tin,…
5travelers 2reviews 5blogs
Spearfish #8 most popular location
Located at the northern edge of the Black Hills, Spearfish sits about 10 miles east of South Dakota's border with Wyoming along Interstate-90. With almost 10,000 residents, it's the second-la…
7travelers 4reviews 2blogs
Hot Springs #9 most popular location
Hot Springs lies along the banks of Fall River in the southern Black Hills. The natural warm-water springs for which the city is named continue to flow, supporting a small spa and recreation …
5travelers 2reviews 1blogs
Hill City #10 most popular location
Hill City began life as a small mining town during the Black Hills gold rush. A relatively small amount of gold was ever found near the community, but tin mining supported the town economical…
3reviews 2blogs
Aberdeen #11 most popular location
Aberdeen is a growing town of just over 27,000 (up 13% since 2000) located at the intersection of U.S. Highways 12 and 281 in Brown County in Northern South Dakota not far from the border wit…
10travelers 3reviews
Pierre #12 most popular location
5travelers 1reviews
Interior #13 most popular location
5reviews 1blogs
Sturgis #14 most popular location
Although nearby Bear Butte was an important landmark for pioneers and prospectors entering the Black Hills beginning in 1875, a permanent settlement wasn't established at Sturgis until 1878, …
19travelers 3reviews 6blogs
Watertown #15 most popular location
7travelers 9blogs
Chamberlain #16 most popular location
Philip #17 most popular location
Philip, South Dakota it located just outside the North East entrance to Badlands National Park in South Dakota. It is also home to the Prairie Homestead, one of the oldest surviving sod hous…
3reviews 2blogs
Winner #18 most popular location
1travelers 1reviews
Murdo #19 most popular location
Murdo, SD where Central Time meets Mountain Time. The Pioneer Auto Show is well worth the time if you stop in, they have a little bit of everything Cars, rocks, odds and ends of all sorts. T…
1travelers 1blogs
Milbank #20 most popular location
Milbank is a small town of about 3300 (down 9% since 2000) located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and South Dakota Highway 15 in Grant County in northeastern South Dakota close to the…
1travelers 1reviews
Montrose #21 most popular location
1travelers 1reviews 1blogs
Mobridge #22 most popular location
Mobridge is a town of about 3500 (constant since 2000) located along US Highway 12, South Dakota Highway 20 and the Missouri River in Walworth County in Northern South Dakota not far from the…
Hoven #23 most popular location
Hoven is a shrinking, very small town of about 400 (down 20% since 2000) located along State Highway 20 not too far from a few different US Highways in Potter County in Central South Dakota. …
Rockerville #24 most popular location
Eagle Butte #25 most popular location
1travelers 1blogs
Gettysburg #26 most popular location
Imlay #27 most popular location
Bear Creek #28 most popular location