12 days in South Dakota & Nebraska Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota & Nebraska Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States travel planner

©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Chamberlain
— 1 night
Drive
4
Sioux Falls
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Omaha
— 3 nights
Fly

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Badlands National Park

— 2 nights
Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Badlands National Park is known for scenic drive, nature, and trails. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, take in the dramatic natural features at Bigfoot Pass Overlook, take some stellar pictures from Yellow Mounds Overlook, and explore the striking landscape of Panorama Point Overlook.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Badlands National Park tour builder.

Newark to Badlands National Park is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Badlands National Park when traveling from Newark in August, with lows around 58°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Rapid City

— 3 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Explore Rapid City's surroundings by going to Custer (Needles Eye Tunnel, Iron Mountain Road, &more), Crazy Horse Memorial (in Crazy Horse) and Keystone (Breezy Point Picnic Area, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, &more). It doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA and get your game on at Cosmos Mystery Area.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Rapid City driving holiday planner.

Drive from Badlands National Park to Rapid City in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. August in Rapid City sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Chamberlain.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Chamberlain

— 1 night
Chamberlain is a city in Brule County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): take an in-depth tour of South Dakota Hall of Fame, don't miss a visit to Dignity, head outdoors with Allen's Hillside Guide Service - Day Adventures, then take an in-depth tour of Akta Lakota Museum, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Old West Trading Post.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Chamberlain trip planner.

Drive from Rapid City to Chamberlain in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Rapid City to Chamberlain. In August, daily temperatures in Chamberlain can reach 83°F, while at night they dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Chamberlain

Outdoors · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Sioux Falls

— 2 nights
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, have some family-friendly fun at Escapades Escape Rooms, then explore the engaging exhibits at Stockyards Ag Experience, and finally walk around Falls Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun): head outdoors with Lake Vermillion Recreation Area, stroll through Sioux Falls Bike Trails, and then stroll through SculptureWalk & Arc of Dreams Monument.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read our Sioux Falls trip itinerary maker site.

Drive from Chamberlain to Sioux Falls in 2.5 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can drive to Omaha.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Omaha

— 3 nights

Gateway to the West

A major transportation hub, Omaha was once considered little more than a stopping point on a pioneer's journey west.
Venture out of the city with trips to Lincoln (Nebraska State Capitol, Museum of American Speed, &more). There's much more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Henry Doorly Zoo, stop by Old Market Candy Shop, admire the masterpieces at Joslyn Art Museum, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Omaha route builder site.

Traveling by car from Sioux Falls to Omaha takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In August, daily temperatures in Omaha can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Omaha

Museums · Shopping · Parks · Nightlife

Side Trip

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
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.

Nebraska travel guide

4.6
Aquariums · Shopping · History Museums
The Cornhusker State
Situated in the heartland of America, Nebraska is home to a large number of small rural communities and masses of farmland. The state's two main cities, Omaha and Lincoln, are abuzz with youthful energy and cultural delights. Your itinerary can include a trip to the cities' museums to learn about the state's past, or tours of the area's important pioneer and Native American sites. The state's central location means that it has been crossed by many trails, but it was the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855 that originally brought large numbers of non-indigenous people to the area. Scenic river valleys offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor vacation activities, while Nebraska's agricultural towns charm visitors with their all-American spirit.