12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Sioux Falls
1
Sioux Falls
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Aberdeen
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
4
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
5
Hill City
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
6
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
7
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
End: Sioux Falls

1
day
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): walk around Falls Park, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, then have some family-friendly fun at Escapades Escape Rooms, and finally see the sky in a new way at Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Sioux Falls online trip planner .

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Sioux Falls. In July, daytime highs in Sioux Falls are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) early enough to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Museums Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Falls Park ©
Falls Park
Escapades Escape Rooms ©
Escapades Escape Rooms

1
night
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Start off your visit on the 16th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, get engrossed in the history at De Smet Depot Museum, then steep yourself in history at Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery.

To find other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read our De Smet trip app .

Traveling by car from Sioux Falls to De Smet takes 2 hours. July in De Smet sees daily highs of 85°F and lows of 61°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) early enough to travel to Aberdeen.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

1
night
Aberdeen

Aberdeen ©
Aberdeen is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, South Dakota, United States, about northeast of Pierre. Start off your visit on the 17th (Wed): walk around Richmond Lake Recreation Area, stroll around Wylie Park, and then have fun at Storybook Land.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Aberdeen online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from De Smet to Aberdeen takes 2 hours. July in Aberdeen sees daily highs of 84°F and lows of 58°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Aberdeen

Parks Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Storybook Land and Land of Oz ©
Storybook Land and Land of Oz
Wylie Park ©
Wylie Park
Richmond Lake Recreation Area ©
Richmond Lake Recreation Area

2
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake, explore the striking landscape at Needles Eye Tunnel, then pause for some photo ops at Bicycle Sculpture, and finally get a new perspective on nature at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a memorable drive along Wildlife Loop Road, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, and then take in the exciting artwork at Art Expressions.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Custer online road trip planner .

Drive from Aberdeen to Custer in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 1 hour. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Aberdeen in July since evenings lows in Custer dip to 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to drive to Hill City.

Things to do in Custer

Scenic Drive Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Bicycle Sculpture
Highlights from your plan
Iron Mountain Road ©
Iron Mountain Road
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road

2
nights
Hill City

Hill City ©
Hill City is the oldest existing city in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. On the 20th (Sat), get great views at Breezy Point Picnic Area, then go deep underground at Big Thunder Gold Mine, and then find something for the whole family at Rushmore Tramway Adventures. Here are some ideas for day two: find something for the whole family at Rush Mountain Adventure Park and then hike along Presidential Trail.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Hill City visit planner .

Hill City is just a short distance from Custer. In July in Hill City, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Hill City

Theme Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Keystone
Highlights from your plan
Rushmore Tramway Adventures ©
Rushmore Tramway Adventures
Rush Mountain Adventure Park ©
Rush Mountain Adventure Park
Big Thunder Gold Mine ©
Big Thunder Gold Mine

3
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Reptile Gardens and Dinosaur Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rapid City: Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (in Spearfish) and Deadwood (Adams House, Scott Jacobs Studio, & more). The adventure continues: find something for the whole family at Storybook Island, admire the landmark architecture of Chapel in the Hills, examine the collection at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, and take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City.

Plan a trip to Rapid City easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can drive from Hill City to Rapid City in an hour. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Hill City in July since evenings lows in Rapid City dip to 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens
Storybook Island ©
Storybook Island

2
nights
Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park and then explore and take pictures at Loop Road. Keep things going the next day: explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Notch Trail, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Badlands National Park trip itinerary planning tool .

You can drive from Rapid City to Badlands National Park in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. While traveling from Rapid City, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Badlands National Park, ranging from highs of 91°F to lows of 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

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