South Dakota is rich in Native American history and culture.
Each region of the state is home to different tribes, and each has its own unique story to tell.
Begin in South Dakota’s largest city, located at the junction of Interstates 29 and 90 and home to the state’s largest airport.
Good Earth State Park at Blood Run
This park is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. The most recent addition the state park system, Good Earth offers opportunities for birding and hiking as well as the chance to learn some fascinating facts at the visitor center.
Center for Western Studies
The center contains an extensive art and artifact collection with a permanent exhibit on Native American history.
Named for the Sioux Tribe of American Indians and the waterfalls of the Big Sioux River, scenic Falls Park encompasses 123 acres and is located in city’s historic downtown area.
Head west via Interstate 90 (1 hour/70 miles) to Mitchell, home of the World’s Only Corn Palace. The American icon is decorated annually with seven murals made from 12 different colors of corn and native grasses.
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
The site of a 1,000-year-old Native American village is the only archaeological site in South Dakota open to the public. Guests can watch as archaeologists uncover artifacts in the comfort of the Thomsen Center Archeodome before touring the Boehnen Memorial Museum to see a reconstructed lodge and many of the 1.5 million artifacts.
Dakota Discovery Museum
Explore numerous historic artifacts from a time when the way of life came from living off the land itself.
Continue another hour west on Interstate 90 until you reach the beautiful Missouri River valley and arrive in Chamberlain/ Oacoma.
Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center
This museum provides visitors with a living lesson on the Native American way of life both past and present. Visitors benefit from a mini-theater, interactive displays, English-Lakota descriptions, an outdoor Medicine Wheel Garden and a gift shop featuring a unique selection of Native American-made products.
Dignity: of Earth and Sky
This stainless steel, 50-foot-tall statue of a Native American woman was specifically designed to honor the cultures of the Lakota and Dakota people.
Pierre & Fort Pierre
Located near beautiful Lake Oahe, Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota.
Cultural Heritage Center
The official museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society tells the story of the state’s history, from pre-statehood to present day.
Continue west on Interstate 90 until you reach Wall. There you’ll find Wall Drug, a 76,000-square-foot wonderland of free attractions, shopping, photo opportunities, western art and more!
Badlands National Park
A maze of buttes and spires, the Badlands were named "mako sica" (meaning "land bad") by the Lakota. Created by millions of years of erosion, Badlands National Park now stretches 244,000 acres with approximately 120,000 acres located on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Wounded Knee Museum
The Wounded Knee Museum in Wall tells the story of the events surrounding the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation covers more than 2.8 million acres in southwestern South Dakota, making it the second-largest reservation in the United States and larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Pine Ridge Visitor Center
The center features Lakota art and wildlife displays as well as travel information.
Wounded Knee Memorial
Located south of Porcupine on BIA 27, this burial ground is considered sacred. Visitors are reminded to be respectful during their visit.
Red Cloud Indian School and Heritage Center
The Heritage Center is a Native American gift shop, cultural center and fine arts gallery that features one of the most impressive collections of historic and contemporary Native art in the country.
Oglala Lakota College Historical Center
The center provides a site for higher education on the reservation. The accredited college stocks a variety of Native American literature in the bookstore. Visitors can see historical photographs and artwork displays.
The state’s second-largest city is also called the “City of Presidents” because of the life-size bronze sculptures of past American presidents that can be found on downtown street corners.
Journey Museum and Learning Center
The museum brings together five major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the western Great Plains from the perspective of the Lakota people, the pioneers that shaped history, and the scientists that currently study the area.
Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries
The store features feature traditional and contemporary Native American art, crafts and music as well as craft supplies and dried herbs.
A small town just off Interstate 90 is famous in the motorcycle world!
Bear Butte State Park
From the 1,200-foot summit of Bear Butte, hikers can see four states. Learn more about this sacred site at the visitor center or take a walk to the summit and gaze at the buffalo grazing below.
Established with the discovery of gold in 1876, Deadwood is still known today for gunpowder, gold and gambling!
Tatanka: Story of the Bison
In addition to a beautiful bronze bison sculpture, Tatanka also features the Northern Plains Peoples Educational Interpretive Center, a Native American gift shop, the Sweetgrass Grill & Snack Bar, and Dances With Wolves movie costumes.
The little town in the southern hills is close to both Custer State Park and Crazy Horse Memorial.
Crazy Horse Memorial
Located in the heart of the Black Hills of western South Dakota, Crazy Horse Memorial is the world's largest in-progress mountain carving.