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Welcome to South Dakota

From rolling prairies and glittering lakes to granite peaks and towering pines, South Dakota’s landscapes are both diverse and beautiful. Mountains grace the west, and in the southwest, Badlands loom.

Tap into your inner pioneer in any of South Dakota’s diverse regions.

The Western Region offers majestic granite spires, pine covered peaks, and unique rock outcroppings. The region enjoys an unmatched brand of Old West history with legendary names like Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, General George A. Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Jim Bridger, and Jedediah Smith.

Beginning in the late 1940s, the Missouri River was dammed to create four massive reservoirs—Oahe, Sharpe, Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark. Together these bodies of water make up South Dakota's Great Lakes Region.

From Aberdeen to Watertown, Brookings to Huron, and Milbank to DeSmet, the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Region cover South Dakota's Great Lakes and Prairies.

Sprawling prairies, fertile farmland, and glacial lakes dominate the landscape in the Southeastern Region of South Dakota.

Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes
The Western region enjoys an unmatched brand of Old West history with legendary names like Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, General George A. Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Jim Bridger, and Jedediah Smith.

Named “Paha Sapa” by the Native Americans, the Black Hills are noted for its scenery, adventure, and history. An oasis of pine-clad mountains on the Great Plains, the Black Hills include six national parks, 101 miles of national scenic byways, waterfalls, wildlife, and Old West landmarks including Deadwood and Wounded Knee.

The Black Hills provide the backdrop for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This epic sculpture features the faces of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These 60-foot-high faces, 500 feet up, look out over a setting of pine, spruce, birch, and aspen. Known as the Avenue of Flags, the flags of the 56 states and territories fly below the memorial. The avenue provides easy access to the Grandview Terrace and Presidential Trail, a half-mile walking trail that offers spectacular views of the mountain sculpture.

Honoring the culture, tradition, and living heritage of North American Indians, the 563-by-641-foot Crazy Horse Memorial is being carved into the Black Hills granite.

Beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota is the intriguing underground world of Jewel Cave. With 141 miles of explored passageways, Jewel Cave ranks as the second longest cave in the world. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site consists of a nuclear missile silo and launch control facility.

Custer State Park comprises 71,000 acres known for its bison herds, other wildlife, scenic drives, historic sites, and fishing lakes. The park offers eight campgrounds and four unique resorts.

Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of deep gorges, sharp lunar-like spires, and sharply eroded buttes blended with protected mixed grass prairie. The Lakota gave this its name, “mako sica,” meaning “land bad.”

Great Lakes
Beginning in the late 1940s, the Missouri River was dammed to create four massive reservoirs—Oahe, Sharpe, Francis Case, and Lewis and Clark. Together these bodies of water make up South Dakota's Great Lakes Region, providing over 440 miles of waterway for boating, kayaking, fishing, sailing, swimming, and windsurfing.

Pierre, the state capital, is your adventure on the river. Tour the Neoclassical State Capitol, Oahe Dam (world's second largest rolled-earth dam), Cultural Heritage Center, the Discovery Center and Aquarium, and the Casey Tibbs Museum.

Northeast Region - Glacial Lakes and Prairies
From Aberdeen to Watertown, Brookings to Huron, and Milbank to DeSmet, the Glacial Lakes and Prairies Region cover a broad and beautiful stretch of South Dakota.

Formed by glaciers receding to the north over 20,000 years ago, the Glacial Lakes and Prairies of northeastern South Dakota offer a variety of attractions, festivals, hunting, fishing, history, camping, and outdoor adventures for the entire family.

Southeastern Region
Sprawling prairies, fertile farmland, and glacial lakes dominate the landscape in the Southeastern Region of South Dakota. You’ll find 175 fishing lakes ranging in size from 3 to 29,000 acres. Bustling cities, quiet country escapes, fine arts and culture, family attractions, and abundance of outdoor adventures await the RV traveler.

Spend a day in the past at Prairie Village, a living history museum on the shores of Lake Herman two miles west of Madison. Situated on 120 acres, Prairie Village has over 40 antique-filled buildings reliving the days of an active turn of the century main street. Visit the Lawrence Welk Opera House, sod and log houses, country school, churches, and one of the last remaining chapel railroad cars, the “Emmanuel.”