State Capitol, Pierre

Regions & Cities

in South Dakota
State Capitol, Pierre

No matter what region of South Dakota you’re visiting, you’ll discover incredible attractions and places to visit. 


Hit the waterways of the Missouri River or visit the capital in the central region. Explore national parks, monuments and caves in the Black Hills and Badlands of the west region. Learn about frontier history and Native American culture on the glacial lakes and prairies of the northeast region. Sample local wines, go fishing on more than 175 lakes, or discover the exceptional art scene in South Dakota’s largest city—all in the state’s southeast region. Whether you’re on a solo journey or traveling with friends or family, South Dakota’s diverse regions offer unique experiences for everyone.

Black Hills & Badlands

The western region of South Dakota offers majestic granite spires, pine-covered peaks and unique rock outcroppings. Named “Paha Sapa” by the Native Americans, the Black Hills are full of scenery, adventure and rich history. With one of the largest concentrations of national parks, monuments and caves in the Midwest, you’re sure to discover the family vacation destinations that capture the spirit of America when you vacation in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. 

largest city:  Rapid City
population:  74,000+

Other cities in the western region:

Belle Fourche  |  Custer  |  Deadwood  |  Hill City  |  Hot Springs  |  Lead  |  Spearfish  |  Sturgis

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South Dakota Missouri River

In the late 1940s, the Missouri River was dammed to create the massive Oahe, Sharpe, Francis Case, and Lewis & Clark reservoirs. These massive bodies of water together make up South Dakota’s Missouri River region and provide more than 440 miles of waterways for prime water recreation, including boating, fishing, sailing, swimming and kayaking. Retrace the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, experience Native American heritage, and unwind on the more than 3,000 miles of shoreline.

largest city:  Pierre
population: 14,000+

Other cities in central South Dakota:

Chamberlain  |  Fort Pierre  |  Gettysburg Mobridge  |  Platte  |  Wagner  |  Winner

Glacial Lakes & Prairies

If you love the great outdoors, you’ll love the fresh glacial lakes and prairies of northeastern South Dakota. The region offers unique family attractions, countless camping opportunities and plenty of outdoor adventures for kids of all ages. You’ll also find frontier history, plentiful walleye and one-of-a-kind events as well as art galleries, museums, wineries and Native American culture.

largest city:  Aberdeen
population:  28,000+

Other cities in the northeastern region:

Brookings  |  Clear Lake  |  Huron  |  Milbank  |  Redfield  |  Sisseton  |  Watertown  |  Webster

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Bustling cities, quiet country escapes, fine arts and culture, family attractions and an abundance of outdoor adventures offer a variety of fun in the southeastern region. Great fishing, boating, and swimming abounds in numerous rivers and 175 fishing lakes ranging in size from three to 29,000 acres. Stroll through vineyards and sample local wines along the winery trail. Explore the Missouri River National Recreational River as Lewis and Clark did more than 200 years ago. 

largest city:  Sioux Falls
population:  178,000+

Other cities in the southeast include:

Brandon  |  Canton  |  Dakota Dunes  |  Dell Rapids  |  Elk Point Freeman  |  Hartford  |  Madison  |  Mitchell  |  Parkston  |  Springfield  |  Vermillion  |  Yankton  

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