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South Dakota is located in the mid-west part of the United States and was formed simultaneously with North Dakota. With a population of only 0.9 million citizens, it is the 5th least populated state. Pierre is the capitol and Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota. Agriculture and energy production are economic mainstay but the service industry is the largest contributor to the state’s economy. Not to mention, tourism has also become a booming sector as the natural attractions of the state in Black Hills, the marvelous state parks and the highly-hyped festivals draw several thousand tourists to South Dakota each year.
10) Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest is a natural forest traversing more than 1 million acres of jungle and woodlands in the southern region of the state. The Forest is located adjacent to the Rapid City and extends to seven different states across USA. It houses numerous tourist attractions including the Mount Rushmore. The woods feature breathtaking views of craggy formations, lush pastures, ravines and glittering streams running down the peaks. Dozens of campsites are established alongside the reservoirs to offer camping, fishing and water sports. Hiking trails rambling through the forest provide terrific outdoor recreation opportunities.
9) National Music Museum
National Music Museum was founded in 1973 in the campus of University of South Dakota. Located in Vermillion, this musical instruments museum is highly famed for its diverse collection of more than 15,000 American and non-Western musical equipment from all cultures, traditions and communities. The museum has received several awards for its earliest and best preservation of historical instruments and this has led to its worldwide recognition. A centre of Study is also built within the museum to carry out effective research on musical appliances.
8) Spearfish Canyon
Located near the geological center of the United States, Spearfish Canyon is a deep gorge situated at the corner of Black Hills National Forest. It is an extremely cherished destination for foreign as well as local tourists. The place offers marvelous waterfalls meandering over high rock formations and houses an abundance of beautiful pine trees and vegetation. Species of exotic wildlife, such as mountain goats, mule deer and foxes can be found freely roaming around the terrain. Spearfish Canyon has a geological significance as well as all the topographical research regarding the place is done here.
7) The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs
The Mammoth Site is an archaeological museum in Hot Springs, South Dakota. It preserves the remains of ancient wildlife and plantation. The museum which was constructed in 1974 contains a vast collection of bones of mammoths, camels and giant bears that roamed around the area back in the Ice Age. Excavation activities are held at the site every year for which the museum hires specialists in paleontology from different countries. Visitors to Mammoth Site can also take part in the discovery of fossil and mammoth remains and may take guided tours around the museum for interactive learning and exploration.
6) Falls Park
Falls Park is a public recreation park located on 120 acres on the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is a popular destination for amusement and tourism. Visitors can explore Queen Bee Mill, a seven-storied state of the art industry on the bank of Sioux River. The park also comprise of the Falls Overlook Café and the Observation Tower where visitors can inspect a hydroelectric plant, eat lunch and have refreshments, and then experience astonishing views of this splendid place. The Recreational Greenway has been developed which is a trail for biking, roller-blading and walking along the river.
5) Wind Cave National Park
Located adjacent to Hot Springs, Wind Cave National Park is a recreation area that is home to densest and longest cave system in the world. The cave system was discovered back in the late 1880s, and is notable for its delicate honeycomb formations called “box-work”. Tourists to this place can enjoy walking on the lush-green grasslands followed by the gorgeous meadows. Glamorous wildlife like bison, elk and prairie dogs roaming over the rolling hills provide appalling scenic views. Underground guided tours can be booked to explore the magnificent rock formations and hike through the amazing cave system down-under.
4) Wall Drug Store
Wall Drug Store, hailed as one of the best roadside destinations in the country, is a tourist attraction located in the small town of Wall. This 76,000 square foot consists of shopping malls, gift-stores, a drug shop and a few restaurants which are run by a single entity. A western art museum along with a recreation area has also been established. Visitors can have an adventurous time at the Dinosaurs and cowboys-themed malls. They can also experience mining of gemstones and enjoy taking old-styled photos in the market’s cabins.
3) Crazy Horse Memorial
Officially began back in 1947, Crazy Horse Memorial is an under construction mountain sculpture of a renowned Native American war-leader. It is situated near the Custer county and has similar carvings as the Mount Rushmore ones. It is potentially considered to become the largest sculpture in the world and will be dedicated to education and satellite research upon its completion. Visitors can tour the Native American Educational and Cultural Museum located near the memorial to enlighten them with the history of this popular tourist site. Thousands of travelers attend to this place annually.
2) Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is located in the south-west part of the state and covers a remarkable 250,000 acres of rugged land. The place features uniquely shaped hills and geological pinnacles formed by sand and fossil beds. The area designated as the wilderness area preserves some of the endangered mammal species and is home to dramatic natural beauty. There is a marked hiking trail that runs through the rugged fossil formations and offers terrific viewpoints on the way. Campsites at Cedar Pass Lodge offer a superb camping and adventurous experience for the 2 million visitors that tour the place annually.
1) Mount Rushmore National Monument
Mount Rushmore is a 60 foot high, granite-engraved sculpture in the Black Hills in Keystone. The majestic carvings depict sculptures of four Presidents of the USA: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. This memorial site preserves the legacy of these American legends and is the most visited tourist destination in South Dakota. The Visitor Center presents a 14-minute film on its construction. Tourists can stroll up the Presidential Trail to get closer to the sculptures and photograph the surrounding scenery. The inscriptions are lit up with shimmering lights during the night and offer a magnificent view from far-off areas.