Trip Ideas

Every vacation has a beginning and an end, but what about everything in between? Read Road Journals from real South Dakota visitors, find a scenic route, check out curated itineraries or explore more in our Spotlights below. You'll find all the information and inspiration you'll need to plan your South Dakota adventure.  

SCENIC DRIVES

Go where the road takes you for our most famous views.

Badlands in South Dakota
Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway
Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway
Road Trips
Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway

Some describe it as lunar-like, some say desert, the Native Americans were the first to call it "bad lands," or "mako sica." We think you’ll come up with your own description for Badlands National Park.

Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway
Wildlife Loop
Wildlife Loop
Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway

Searching for animals you don’t see in your neighborhood? Custer State Park’s 18-mile Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway has what you are looking for!

Spearfish Canyon State and National Forest Service Scenic Byway
Spearfish Canyon State and National Forest Service Scenic Byway
Spearfish Canyon State and National Forest Service Scenic Byway
Spearfish Canyon State and National Forest Service Scenic Byway

Towering limestone cliffs and a rushing mountain stream keep you company along the 19-mile stretch of US Highway 14A known as Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway
Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway
Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway
Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway

Some of the most incredible roads anywhere make up the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Mix in America’s most patriotic monument along the way and you have a never-to-be-forgotten road trip.

Native American National and State Scenic Byway
Native American National and State Scenic Byway
Native American National and State Scenic Byway
Native American National and State Scenic Byway

Breathtaking views of the Missouri River, diverse landscapes, and tribal history and culture are showcased on the Native American Scenic Byway running north and south through central South Dakota. The route takes travelers through the lands of the Yankton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux Tribes.

Photo Essays

Focused points of view that get you up close.

Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, De Smet
Photo Essay
Little Town on the Prairie
Porter Sculpture Park, Montrose
Photo Essay
It's Both Wonderful & Strange
Story Bookland, Aberdeen
Photo Essay
A Land of Make-Believe
South Dakota State Fair, Huron
Photo Essay
South Dakota's State Fair
Children's Museum of South Dakota, Brookings
Photo Essay
Spark Your Imagination
Bald Eagle, South Dakota
Photo Essay
Birds of a Feater
Native American Powwow, South Dakota
Photo Essay
Feathers, Beads and Fringe
Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, South Dakota
Photo Essay
Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup
Rock Climbing, Palisades State Park
Photo Essay
Climbing the Palisades
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, South Dakota
Photo Essay
Riding into Sturgis