South Dakota Travel Guide

South Dakota State Travel Guide

About South Dakota

Choosing a place like South Dakota for a vacation can be simply awesome. This state has some great places to visit and is very close to nature. South Dakota has places with the most breathtaking scenic beauty. You can never get bored as this place has numerous activities to keep you busy. The Missouri River is known to attract many visitors for fishing, people also love to explore the natural caves, and many tourists visit the Native American artifacts or just shop around the area. This state has a rich heritage and a historical background; you can take souvenirs that would remind you of a memorable vacation.

South Dakota Official Language(s) English
South Dakota Demonym South Dakotan
South Dakota Capital Pierre
South Dakota Largest City Sioux Falls
South Dakota Area  Ranked 17th in the US
 - Total 77,116 sq mi
(199,905 km2)
 - Width 210 miles (340 km)
 - Length 380 miles (610 km)
 - % water 1.6
 - Latitude 42° 29′ N to 45° 56′ N
 - Longitude 96° 26′ W to 104° 03′ W
South Dakota Population  Ranked 46th in the US
 - Total 812,383 (2009 est.)
- Density 10.5/sq mi  (4.05/km2)
Ranked 46th in the US
South Dakota Elevation  
 - Highest Point Harney Peak
7,244 ft  (2,209 m)
 - Mean 2,200 ft  (670 m)
 - Lowest Point Big Stone Lake
966 ft  (295 m)
South Dakota Before Statehood Dakota Territory
South Dakota Admission to Union  November 2, 1889 (40th)
South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds (R)
South Dakota Lieutenant Governor Dennis Daugaard (R)
South Dakota Legislature South Dakota Legislature
 - Upper House Senate
 - Lower House House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Tim Johnson (D)
John Thune (R)
U.S. House Delegation Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D)
South Dakota Time Zones  
 - Eastern Half Central: UTC-6/-5
 - Western Half Mountain: UTC-7/-6
South Dakota Abbreviations SD US-SD
South Dakota Website

Brief History

South Dakota has an interesting history and culture. In the year 1817, South Dakota was known to have the first white settlers and this happened when an American fur trading post came up. Later in 1823, Arikara attacked and the troops were led by General Ashley. This resulted in the death of twelve traders. The attack was the one that created a rift between the whites in South Dakota and Indians. Thereafter, many treaties were signed and agreed. A final treaty was signed in the year 1859 and Yankton was the town that was named after it. It was later the capital of Dakota Territory.

Popular Destinations to Visit

South Dakota has many interesting places to visit. Some popular attractions are the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park and Mitchell Corn Palace. Other than these, there are many places that you can see. A few beautiful and popular places often visited by tourists are:

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is a popular attraction for many tourists in South Dakota. More than 3 million visit the national memorial every year. Mount Rushmore is situated near the city of Keystone and the sculptures depict the initial 150 years of American history. The sculptures on Mount Rushmore are of the four presidents who bought a drastic change in the nation. They are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Black Hills National Forest

South Dakota is covered with 1.2 million acres of Black Hill National Forest. This is an awesome place for visitors who are fascinated by nature and natural beauty. Mountain bikers would find it very adventurous because of the logging trails, steep inclines and the rugged terrains.

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain sculpture in the world. It is in the Black Hills in South Dakota which is very close to Custer town. The Crazy Horse Memorial symbolizes the achievements of a renowned Lakota leader. It is easy to commute to this memorial as it is 17 miles fromMount Rushmore. 

Bear Butte

The Bear Butte is visited by many tourists every year. It is located near Sturgis and it is South Dakota’s geologic treasure. The mountains around this area are protected by the state park designation. Bear Butte is a historic landmark along with being a Natural Landmark.

Other popular places to visit in South Dakota are the Wall Drug, Mitchell Corn Palace, Custer State Park, the Scenic Byways and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. These places are a must visit and a vacation to South Dakota would be very rejuvenating and refreshing.