10 days in South Dakota & North Dakota Itinerary

10 days in South Dakota & North Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States route planner
©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rapid City
Drive
2
Bismarck
— 9 nights
Fly

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Rapid City

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
On the 21st (Sat), catch all the local highlights with Sightseeing Tours.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Rapid City trip itinerary planning website.

New York City to Rapid City is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from New York City to Rapid City due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Rapid City when traveling from New York City in May, with lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Bismarck.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours
Highlights from your trip

Bismarck — 9 nights

Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. Get outdoors at Keelboat Park and Fort Stevenson State Park. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to The Dakota Zoo and Lake Sakakawea State Park. Explore Bismarck's surroundings by going to Cross Ranch State Park (in Center), Beaver Lake State Park (in Wishek) and Prairie Bells Grotto (in Linton). The adventure continues: admire the majestic nature at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, get a sense of history and politics at North Dakota State Capitol Building, appreciate the history behind Sakakawea Statue, and tee off at Hawktree Golf Club.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Bismarck driving holiday tool.

Drive from Rapid City to Bismarck in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Rapid City to Bismarck due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 69°F in May, and nighttime lows around 42°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight back home.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Outdoors
Side Trips

South Dakota travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.
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North Dakota travel guide

4.5
National Parks · History Museums · Performances
Geographic Center of the North American Continent
A primarily rural state, North Dakota is the ancient home of the Lakota tribe. Norwegian settlers once made up the European population, and one of the state's major attractions is the Norsk Høstfest, the largest Norwegian festival in the United States. The vast plains and never-ending sky inspire the many orchestras that call the state home. The spirituality of the music is second only to the spirituality of the people, as the state has the nation's highest percentage of churchgoing residents. The state's open fields are conducive to fishing, hunting, and winter activities.
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