16 days in South Dakota Itinerary

16 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota itinerary builder

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rapid City
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Badlands National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Mitchell
— 1 night
Drive
4
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive
5
Sioux Falls
— 4 nights
Fly

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Rapid City

— 5 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Kids will enjoy Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rapid City: Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone), Bicycle Sculpture (in Pringle) and Hot Springs (Cascade Falls and Swimming Hole & Mammoth Site of Hot Springs). There's much more to do: admire the majestic nature at Custer State Park, don't miss a visit to Dinosaur Park, take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, and cruise along Iron Mountain Road.

To see photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Rapid City itinerary planning website.

Tampa to Rapid City is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tampa to Rapid City, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Tampa in July: high temperatures in Rapid City hover around 85°F and lows are around 62°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Nature · Theme Parks · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Badlands National Park

— 4 nights
Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Kids will enjoy Loop Road and Notch Trail. Change things up with a short trip to Hurley Butte Horseback Riding in Interior (about 40 minutes away). Spend the 8th (Thu) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, trek along Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Bigfoot Pass Overlook, and get great views at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Badlands National Park route planner.

Getting from Rapid City to Badlands National Park by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Rapid City in July, expect nights in Badlands National Park to be about the same, around 60°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 91°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Mitchell.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Mitchell

— 1 night
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. On the 11th (Sun), stop by Sweet Fix Candy & Pop Shop, then brush up on your military savvy at George and Eleanor McGovern Library, then make a trip to Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle, and finally make a trip to Corn Palace.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Mitchell trip itinerary planning app.

Getting from Badlands National Park to Mitchell by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Badlands National Park to Mitchell. When traveling from Badlands National Park in July, plan for slightly colder days in Mitchell, with highs around 86°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 63°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can go by car to De Smet.

Things to do in Mitchell

Museums · Shopping

De Smet

— 1 night
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): don't miss a visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes, get engrossed in the history at De Smet Depot Museum, then steep yourself in history at Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery.

To see photos, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, use the De Smet online day trip planner.

You can drive from Mitchell to De Smet in 1.5 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 85°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites · Museums

Sioux Falls

— 4 nights
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Attractions like Falls Park and Butterfly House & Aquarium make great kid-friendly stops. Change things up with these side-trips from Sioux Falls: Watertown (Bramble Park Zoo, Redlin Art Center, &more). The adventure continues: hike along Sioux Falls Bike Trails, contemplate the long history of Pettigrew Home & Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, and look for all kinds of wild species at The Outdoor Campus.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and tourist information, go to the Sioux Falls road trip planning site.

Traveling by car from De Smet to Sioux Falls takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In July in Sioux Falls, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 62°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks · Outdoors · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums

Side Trip

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.