The family vacation… it’s a summer rite of passage. Every year, thousands of people load up the car and begin a journey out west that will create lasting memories. This year make your plans to see the Great Faces and Great Places of South Dakota. It’ll be an American experience you’ll never forget. Here are ten great places to stop as you hit the road to Rushmore. For great travel specials to South Dakota visit TravelSD.com.
10. Watertown – Located at the intersection of Hwy 212 and Interstate-29, Watertown is a great place to stop and stretch your legs. See the original artwork of one of America’s favorite artists at the Terry Redlin Art Center or get your feet wet in the waters of Lake Kampeska.
9. DeSmet – As you travel south on I-29, visit DeSmet, home to Laura Ingalls Wilder and the setting of six of her pioneer adventure books. Visit the Ingalls homestead, the surveyor’s shanty where they spent their first Dakota winter and the home that Pa built.
8. Sioux Falls – Located just off I-29 and Interstate 90, Sioux Falls is the place for fine dining and excellent shopping. You’ll also find all kinds of family-friendly attractions including the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences, Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum and the Sertoma Butterfly House.
7. Mitchell – Home to the World’s Only Corn Palace, Mitchell offers unique family attractions you will only see as you head west on I-90. Visit the Corn Palace or take a walk back in time at the Prehistoric Indian Village and Archeodome.
6. Chamberlain – Nestled along the shores of the Missouri River, Chamberlain is a great place to find some peace and quiet. Tour the South Dakota Hall of Fame or discover the Lakota culture with a stop at the Akta Lakota Museum.
5. Pierre – The capital city on the Missouri River has many activities for families. The galleries of the Cultural Heritage Center tell stories from the Sioux way of life to the experiences immigrant pioneers had in proving up the land. The South Dakota Discovery Center offers hands-on science fun.
4. Badlands National Park – This truly unique site features lunar-like rock surfaces and colorful plateaus. Badlands National Park is filled with water-chiseled ridges and rugged canyons perfect for hiking and stretching your legs.
3. Rapid City – Before you get to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, make a stop in Rapid City. While you’re there, visit The Journey Museum, Dinosaur Park, Storybook Island or one of the many other family-friendly attractions.
2. Crazy Horse Memorial – Nearly 50 years ago, an immigrant sculptor began this mountain carving memorializing the great Lakota Sioux chief Crazy Horse. Today, you can see this monument-in-the-making and learn more about the rich American Indian heritage of the Black Hills.
1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial – You will stare America’s history in the face when you stand at the foot of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Carved out of a granite mountain, this Shrine of Democracy symbolizes our country’s commitment to freedom and the power of a dream.
South Dakota has history, scenery and plenty of family fun. Here you can walk in the footsteps of legends, follow the trail of Lewis and Clark or roam with the buffalo. Visit TravelSD.com for great South Dakota travel specials and discover the land of Great Faces and Great Places.