World War II Memorial, Pierre

If You Like Mount Rushmore, You’ll Love…

this collection of sites & experiences off the beaten path.
World War II Memorial, Pierre

If you like celebrating America, you’ll love…

Terry Redlin Art Center

Terry Redlin was known as “America’s Favorite Artist” before his death in 2016. His legacy and tremendous body of work live on at the Redlin Art Center, where you can see more than 150 original oil paintings that capture the true spirit of Americana.

Beer and growler at Mt Rushmore Brewing
Mount Rushmore Brewing Company & Pounding Fathers Restaurant

George Washington traditionally had a mug of beer with most meals. Raise a glass to him and other patriots at Mount Rushmore Brewing Company & Pounding Fathers Restaurant in Custer. With 24 rotating taps of Black Hills craft beer, you’re sure to find something to savor.

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If you like patriotic displays, you’ll love...

Korean War Memorial
Memorials on the Capitol Grounds

On the grounds of South Dakota’s Capitol building in Pierre, bronze memorials and statues immortalize the brave soldiers who perished in action and those who returned home to little acclaim. The World War II Memorial depicts six soldiers fresh off the battlefield, posed in an eternal salute with Capitol Lake as their backdrop. The Korean War Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial also show soldiers bundled and tattered, just as they would have appeared in battle. One block to the northeast, the southwestern entrance to the walking path at Hilger's Gulch Park features a piece of the World Trade Center, a solemn reminder of those that lost their lives on 9/11.

Airplane outside Air and Space Museum
The Great 8 Military Museums of South Dakota

Military history is important in South Dakota, which makes for a tremendous selection of high-quality museums across the state. Let your imagination take flight at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum on Ellsworth Air Force Base, see 14 original buildings from an 1864 fort at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park in Lake City, or explore a small-town museum for tributes to those that served.

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If you like Jefferson’s ice cream, you’ll love…

Pierre, Mitchell & Watertown

There are a lot of delicious ice cream options in South Dakota, but some swear the best stuff comes from the simplest of places. Zesto has locations in Pierre, Mitchell and Watertown. They all serve some traditional summer staples – hot dogs, fries, and more – as well as tasty ice cream treats with flavors ranging from traditional to rotating sherbet flavors. All three locations make their own unique shake and sundae recipes, so each visit can be a treat and a pleasant surprise.

Ice cream at Leones Creamery
Leones' Creamery

“Leone” means “lion” in Italian, and these flavors are indeed perfect for hungry apex predators. Located in a historic building in downtown Spearfish, each hand-crafted ice cream has flavors you’d chase a wildebeest for. Fortunately, it’s really just as simple as ordering and enjoying.

If you like presidential history, you’ll love…

Fly Fish French Creek Custer State Park
French Creek Natural Area
Black Hills

The first thing you’ll notice when you hike to French Creek is the stunning natural beauty. You can bask in the peaceful sound of flowing water or look for wildlife or wildflowers. You can also cast your fly-fishing line and try to get a bite just like President Dwight D. Eisenhower did in 1953. If you’re looking to "be like Ike," this is one pretty spot for it.

Custer State Park - Sylvan Lake
Custer State Park

South Dakota has hosted many presidents, but it was Calvin Coolidge who enjoyed himself so much that he set up a Summer White House in Custer State Park in 1927. “You can fish all day,” his assistant told him. Sounds like a pretty good trip to us.

If you like one-of-a-kind sculptures, you’ll love…

Lopez sculpture at Boss Cowman Square in Lemmon
The work of Jon Lopez

This rancher-turned-artist has shared his art across the globe, but his finest pieces can still be found in South Dakota. Whether it’s his 10 life-sized bronze presidential sculptures in Rapid City or the scrap metal sculptures that live across the state, you’ll love experiencing Lopez’s art in person.

Porter Sculpture Park, photographer
Porter Sculpture Park

Unless you’re used to seeing a 40-foot-tall horse, you can’t miss the exit for Porter Sculpture Park on I-90 in eastern South Dakota. Artist Wayne Porter has created a wonderland of 50+ strange and beautiful sculptures spread out over 10 acres.

If you like big Black Hills views, you’ll love…

black hills aerial
The Ones from the sky

There’s nothing quite like getting a bird’s-eye view of the Black Hills. Pick from a variety of ways on your next SoDak adventure, whether it be from a Black Hills Aerial Adventures helicopter, the Rushmore Mountain Coaster at Rush Mountain Adventure Park, or by climbing, strolling, riding, sliding, or zipping around Rushmore Tramway Adventures.

Horsethief Lake in Autumn
Horsethief Trail

Situated behind a lake of the same name, Horsethief Trail is a genuine mountain wonderland. A hike back here makes you feel like you’re in the Pacific Northwest. Along this 3.5-mile trail, you will discover waterfalls, granite spires, mossy boulders and "Old Man’s Beard" dripping off some of the largest trees in the Black Hills. Horsethief Lake can be found on Highway 244 west of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

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Illustrated image of three bison grazing in Custer State Park. The Needles rock formation is visible in the background.
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