Unique Places in South Dakota

  • Wind Cave National Park
    Wind Cave National Park
    by meteorologist1
  • Boxwork in Wind Cave
    Boxwork in Wind Cave
    by meteorologist1
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
    Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
    by meteorologist1

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in South Dakota

  • JennJenn's Profile Photo

    Bizarre Statues

    by JennJenn Updated Oct 2, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    So it's barely "off the beaten path." Less than half an hour west of Sioux Falls on I-90, there is an artist's outdoor statue display. You have to pay to get in, but I admit I don't know much about it. Kind of a freaky looking thing along the side of the interstate. Keep your eyes peeled. Looking while traveling is good enough for me.

    I-90 Exit: Montrose

    Was this review helpful?

  • JennJenn's Profile Photo

    Find Shakespeare's home in the Midwest

    by JennJenn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Shakespeare Garden and Anne Hathaway's Cottage have been part of Wessington Springs since the 30's. An English teacher traveled to England and came back inspired. The cottage was built by looking at a picture postcard from Stratford-upon-Avon.

    North of I-90 on Highway 281, it's in the central part of the state. Worth a stop if you're passing by.

    Was this review helpful?

  • DesertRat's Profile Photo

    US Highway 44, little-known but very beautiful.

    by DesertRat Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When driving between the Badlands and the Black Hills, forget Interstate 90, and use Highway 44 between Hermosa and Scenic instead. There's very little traffic, the road is splendid, and the views of the rolling prairies with their tall grasses and the Badland buttes are unparalleled. To my way of thinking, it's one of the great drives in the US, but very, very few people ever do it.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    Why Orient?

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Why Orient, South Dakota? It's kind of on the way between Denver and Philadelphia. Well, that is if you want to drop by New Glarus, Wisconsin and wouldn't mind stopping in Badlands National Park. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt if you have a friend who has a farm in Orient and he promises you a ride in a tractor. I guess what it all boils down to is you have to want to experience middle America in all its often boring glory. Don't fret that locals won't be voting for Obama Bin Laden as they like to refer to our next President of the United States, they don't mean no harm. No, in fact, they are a friendly lot who will feed and treat you as if kin even if times are tough. Oil down, so is grain. But not these folks. You might not see eye to eye with them but after a few days you'll at least see their point. You'll drive away perhaps not agreeing but understanding that where you live does in fact have a strong bearing on how you think. Am I voting for Obama anyway? You damn Bin Laden I am.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Sitting Bull Memorial

    by riorich55 Written Feb 3, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Across the Missouri River from Mobridge, South Dakota on a rural road is a monument to Sitting Bull. Although this part of South Dakota is very desolate driving through the area you can almost imagine life in the early 1800's when the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled by this area.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sswagner's Profile Photo

    Visit the top of the Black Hills

    by sswagner Written Dec 27, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Harney Peak is a wonderful hike in the Black Hills region. The most popular trailhead begins in Sylvan Lake, which has absolutely stunning scenery. It is a few miles from the lake to the summit, however anyone in decent shape will have no problem with this. At the top is an observation tower, where you will see an incredibly grand sight. The Native Americans regarded the top of this mountain as being very sacred. My hike was made in April, and there was no snow on the trail at that time. I got an early start and had the whole place to myself. It was a little chilly with the wind, so appropriate clothing is needed depending on the season. By far, this has been one of my favorite hikes. You will not regret it. Go to Custer State Park and find Sylvan Lake. Then find the trail to Harney Peak at a parking lot opposite from the lake. This is the highest point in South Dakota.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    Cathedral on the Prairie

    by riorich55 Updated Apr 22, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Many people have heard or read or watched the old TV show "Little House on the Prairie", however how many have ever heard of the Cathedral on the Prairie. In the town of Hoven, South Dakota, population about 125 people they built a Cathedral. As the pictures show it is quite an impressive structure especially in the middle of the prairie. Hoven is located about 45 minutes from the nearest big city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. The town of Hoven had their 125th birthday celebration over the 4th of July weekend in 2008. Here is the link to their town's website. Hoven, South Dakota

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Wounded Knee area

    by bpwillet Written Apr 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is also mentioned as must see but it is a bit out of the way to get to and there is not much else around it. This area is beautiful to drive through as there are many hills and forests that you will drive through. The Pine Ridge people are extremely friendly and it is amazing to hear the Lakota language being spoken by most of them.
    This picture is a shot of the creek area where the Battle took place according to a local.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Washington Profile

    by bpwillet Written Apr 1, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Washington profile is quite stunning to see from the road. The mountain peaks around it, and pine trees. There is a small pull off parking spot that will give you good views.

    1/2 mile west on Hwy 244

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Capture of McCall

    by bpwillet Written Apr 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jack McCall shot Wild Bill Hicock in the head while he was playing poker at the No. 10 Saloon in 1876. This is the place where McCall was arrested for his crime. It is along Main street but only a hanging placard marks the location of the event.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    Harney Peak

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Harney Peak, rising to 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in South Dakota and also the highest point in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. It is located in the Black Elk Wilderness Area of the Black Hills National Forest of southwestern South Dakota. The jutting rocky summit of the mountain is capped by an abandoned stone lookout tower which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The peak is named for General William S. Harney who was comander of the military in the Black Hills in the late 1870s.

    Two popular hiking routes lead to the summit, one from Sylvan Lake and the other from Horse Thief Lake. I hiked the six-mile (round trip) trail from Sylvan Lake in the 1980s, during my quest to climb the highest point in every state. It is a very scenic hike and not too difficult.

    Nearby attractions include Custer State Park, with its large herd of free-roaming American Bison, and the very popular Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.

    Contacts:

    Black Hills National Forest Visitor Center
    US 385 at Pactola Reservoir
    Telephone: 605-343-8755

    Harney District
    23939 Highway 385
    Hill City, SD 57745
    Telephone: 605-574-2534

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Take the 30 mile drive through...

    by Lexxy250k Written Aug 26, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Take the 30 mile drive through the Badlands National Monument. Its worth the time to see the view. I drove into it at night not exactly knowing where I was and the huge clay sculptures were kinda scary at first. But at sunrise, the Badlands has beautiful purple, pink and orange hues that reflect off of them.

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    The Devils Tower National...

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 26, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Devil's Tower National Monument was established in 1906 to protect the monolith aptly called Devil's Tower. This striking sheer rock formation rises dramatically nearly 1300 feet from its surrounding plateau and sits at over 5000 feet above sea level. With the formation being made of dark red sandstone, it would be easy to construe that its name comes from the red hue it emanates, especially at sunset but it was a more typical bastardization of its Indian name: Bad God's Tower. This stems back to its 1875 "discovery" by the white man though it was obviously a place of great significance to Native Americans for hundreds of years prior.

    The park is located in the remote northeast corner of Wyoming and more easily reached by those already visiting Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. There are 8 miles of hiking trails in the park, the most popular of which is the paved 1.3 mile path around the base of the Devil's Tower. About 1% of all visitors climb the sheer rock and it is a technical climb.

    It costs $10 for a carload of people to enter the National Monument or $5 for individuals. The America the Beautiful Pass gets you into all National Parks and Monuments for up a year for $80 per carload so well worth it if you are visiting other parks in the area.

    I did a quick stop here on my 1994 trip around the US National Parks and at the time, unbeknownst to me, National Monuments were not included on the National Parks pass of the day. I think we paid $5 to get in and it was the last Monument we went to.

    Ironically, on our most recent trip around the western US National Park system in 2008, we did not make it to Devil's Tower despite my wife having not been. It was just a bit too far out of the way time-wise and with gas going for about $4.50 a gallon that summer!

    Devil's Tower National Monument is in the remote northeast corner of WY, about 100 miles or 2 hours from Rapid City, SD.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    There'a nice little nine...

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 26, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Disc Golf is a sport played much life ball golf. Instead of holes, there are chained baskets. Trees and water hazards work the same way. Instead of a ball and club, you throw flying discs which are smaller, heavier and more beveled than "regular Frisbees" so you can throw then a lot further. I was very into the sport in 1994 and visited over 100 courses around the US.

    I played a nice little nine basket disc golf course in Rapid City, SD in 1994. It made the beer at the brewery in town go down even better after a quick round.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Got_Snow's Profile Photo

    Ski/Snowboard Crow Peak in the...

    by Got_Snow Updated Sep 8, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ski/Snowboard Crow Peak in the winter, or hike it during the summer. It is a beautiful area just outside of Spearfish, SD. This is a picture of my cousin, his friend, and myself getting ready for the descent of Crow Peak in December.

    Was this review helpful?

South Dakota Hotels

Top South Dakota Hotels

Deadwood Hotels
72 Reviews - 119 Photos
Cactus Flat Hotels
See nearby hotels
Rapid City Hotels
71 Reviews - 93 Photos
Watertown Hotels
8 Reviews - 9 Photos
Spearfish Hotels
7 Reviews - 11 Photos
Custer Hotels
45 Reviews - 103 Photos
Keystone Hotels
23 Reviews - 45 Photos
Sioux Falls Hotels
43 Reviews - 112 Photos
Wall Hotels
23 Reviews - 54 Photos
Fort Sisseton State Park Hotels
1 Review - 6 Photos
Hot Springs Hotels
5 Reviews - 16 Photos
Aberdeen Hotels
17 Reviews - 71 Photos
De Smet Hotels
13 Reviews - 16 Photos
Mitchell Hotels
27 Reviews - 68 Photos
Sturgis Hotels
13 Reviews - 47 Photos

Instant Answers: South Dakota

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

69 travelers online now

Comments

South Dakota Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of South Dakota off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for South Dakota sightseeing.
Map of South Dakota