I’m not going to lie but in my opinion South Dakota has two things going for it: Mt. Rushmore and Badlands National Park. That’s it. Sorry if you’re from there, maybe I missed something? But man oh man, is SD an interesting place! From Chicago we flew to Rapid City to spend the 4th of July seeing Mount Rushmore. The day before we decided that a helicopter tour would be our best bet. We were right! The view from the sky was incredible! And, we avoided a massive car line to enter the Mt. Rushmore park. Below is more info on this tour and other things we did/saw:
This place has terrible food BUT is still pretty awesome. Why? Because it’s a local spot with live music from local musicians. Grab a beer and enjoy the people watching and great tunes. Walk around the town of Hill City too. If you’re going to be in South Dakota, you might as well experience a little bit of South Dakota!
This is the best way to see Mt. Rushmore! For $99 per person, you fly high above the town of Keystone and get an amazing view of the mountain. It’s only about 15 minutes long but totally worth the splurge. We booked our 4th of July tour the day before without an issue, so I don’t think it’s too hard to make reservations. Helicopters are so fun!
A must see! The Badlands are absolutely stunning. You feel like you’re walking on another planet in the future. Seriously, it’s just so gorgeous, these photos don’t do it justice. If you’re cool to spend more cash, you can also take a helicopter over the Badlands through the same company that does Mt. Rushmore. We opted to walk/drive through it though and it was still amazing. I would say if you have to choose, save the helicopter for Rushmore and see the Badlands up-close and personal.
Bear Country is a drive-thru wildlife park full of North American wildlife like bears, wolves and elk. It feels like a drive-thru zoo without cages. Though the animals are fenced in, they roam (mostly) free. So while you’re driving, a bear will just walk right up to your car window. It’s nuts! I think it’s definitely worth the experience, especially if you have children. The bears are so stinking cute, you forget they can tear you apart if they wanted. :0
And that’s it for South Dakota! A beautiful state that feels very “Americana.” Come back tomorrow for my last post of the Americana series. I take you to Wyoming which is stunning and the hotel we stayed at was breathtaking! Can’t to share!