For thrill seekers all over the world, the sensational adventure tours South Dakota offer go way beyond the normal quota thanks to the stunning diversity of landscape and attractions found here.
South Dakota is situated in the centre of the United States and offers rugged natural beauty, spectacular vistas, natural wonders and breathtaking monuments. Let's not forget either the friendly people who are only too happy to welcome you and help you out when on any of the South Dakota guided tours.
While Mount Rushmore National Monument is probably the main reason many people come to visit here, there is a variety of South Dakota culture tours to museums and pioneer villages that should not be missed. Having said that, the majestically carved heads of four former presidents of the United States on Mount Rushmore is the most impressive historical monument around and must have been an inspiration for the work in progress Crazy Horse Memorial, the carving in the mountain of Chief Standing Bear.
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Black Hills Rock Climbing Tours South Dakota, the Perfect Adventure
For a great challenge, those daring should do any of the rock climbing tours South Dakota offer in the Black Hills. To go one step more adventurous, these ‘Hills’ provide great Ice Climbing in the winter months.
Then there are the Badlands which should be explored on South Dakota scenic driving tours. By daylights, the Badlands are mysterious and inspiring, but by moonlight they are mystical. The uniquely formed pinnacles and hills offer a dramatic and spectacular landscape which are excellent for hiking tours.
A selection of the adventures to enjoy in South Dakota include exploring caves, a variety of water sports, mountain biking, horse riding, canoeing/ kayaking, ATV & Off roading, safaris and in the winter months skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling; the list can go on and on.
Top 10 Things to Do in South Dakota
Mount Rushmore National Monument
Possibly the number one place to visit on South Dakota Scenic Driving tours is Mount Rushmore National Monument. It is breathtaking to see the heads of four great former American presidents carved into the mountain. The presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Designed by Gutzon, the carving began in 1927 and completed in 1991 with work stopping for a few decades in between.
Badlands National Park
Uniquely formed pinnacles and hills provide a dramatic and surprisingly beautiful landscape of Badlands National Park with a roaming free herd of Bison as an added attraction. The Loop road in the Badlands which is perfect for South Dakota scenic driving tours from the Pinnacles entrance in the northwest to the Ben Reifel Visitor Centre. Also found in the Badlands is North America’s last remaining intact prairie landscapes.
The Black Hills
Adventure tours South Dakota are in abundance wherever you visit in the Black Hills. Challenge yourself to some daring rock climbing in the summer and then ice climbing in the winter when the even the waterfall freezes. Due to the number of trails, there is a different hiking or walking tour for every day of your visit here, if you have the energy. This is a great place for amateur or professional photographers too.
Custer State Park
Take South Dakota scenic driving tours through Custer State Park which is among the largest state parks in the United States. See the well known ’Needles’ which are granite spires as you travel along Needles Highway and the Iron Mountain Road. This is a place for great outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and biking around the lakes, streams and forests. Watch out for the wide variety of wildlife on your trip.
Jewel Cave National Monument
Enjoy South Dakota guided tours to the world’s second longest cave, Jewel Cave not far from Rapid City. As you tour the Jewel Cave National Monuments, you will have lanterns to help you along the way. This cave has approximately 150 miles of passageways which are mapped and there are great spelunking tours offered through the passages which are not so well developed. A fascinating and must-see place for tourists.
Crazy Horse Memorial
Another fascinating sight to behold on South Dakota culture tours is Crazy Horse Memorial. Still a work in progress since 1947, this is another carving into a mountain but this time of Chief Standing Bear. So far the head has been carved with his upper body and horse still to come. There is a life-size statue of what the completed carving will look like and an on-site Indian Museum of North America to explore.
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Legacy
The author of the Little House books which inspired the popular TV series from the 70’s and 80’s, The Little House of on the Prairie, homesteaded in the 1880’s with her parents in a rural spot near a small place called De Smet which is not far from Sioux Falls. There are many historic buildings to visit on South Dakota culture tours which include the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes or get hands-on in Ingalls Homestead.
Spearfish Canyon is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year with the Fall (Autumn) having the most vibrant colours with the changing colours of the foliage. This is a natural area well known for its dramatic cliff walls, spectacular waterfalls, ponderosa and spruce pine trees. Take part in adventure tours South Dakota have on offer here or just enjoy the nature and atmosphere while on leisurely walks.
Take fascinating South Dakota guided tours of the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. It is here you will find a large quantity of Columbian mammoth bones. On these guided tours, you will see mammoth bones which are partially uncovered shown as they were found. You will also get to know a bit about the whole excavation process. There is an on-site Ice Age Exhibit Hall which displays fossils that were found underground.
In Mitchell, South Dakota, you will find the only Corn Palace in the World and a popular tourist attraction. Originally the palace was built to prove the everyone else that South Dakota had a very healthy agriculture climate. Nowadays it is a tourist attraction and home to many festivals. Every year the Palace is redecorated with native grasses and of course naturally coloured corn with other grains added too.
Travel Tips for South Dakota
Best Time To Visit South Dakota
The busiest time of the year to visit South Dakota is July with August and February close after. The warm climate in July and August attracts many as does the snow of February. It is expensive during these times though. The months when there are fewer crowds and great deals is March to May and September to November. Great especially for South Dakota guided tours, weather not too hot for travelling around.
Typical Costs in South Dakota
The average daily costs for a tourist in South Dakota is US$93 but it is possible to do it for US$40 staying in hostels and eating in small local places. For those who want to spoil themselves, they can expect a daily cost of US$182. The cost of adventure tours South Dakota offer varies with the activity and the time of the year. The earlier you book accommodation and tours the better chance of great deals.
Know Before Visiting South Dakota
You must be the age of 21 to purchase or consume alcohol in South Dakota and there are some alcohol-free Indian reservations so check before going. When hiring a car in South Dakota, make sure you adhere to their rules of the road. If taking part in any of the adventure tours South Dakota have to offer, listen to the instructors and make sure you do as they say as it is for your benefit at the end of the day.
Weather in South Dakota
South Dakota has on average 213 sunny days during the year with July the hottest month where the high temperatures can go above 38º. January is the coldest month with temperatures going as lows as -12º. It is an area in the United States which has less average rainfall compared to other states and more snowfall on average which is great and perfect for those lovers of winter adventure tours South Dakota.