12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota itinerary maker

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Route & dates

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Drive:  5​h 30​min
1
Mitchell
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
2
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Spearfish
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
End: Rapid City

1
night
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Corn Palace. On the 4th (Thu), contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, then take an in-depth tour of Dakota Discovery Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. Keep things going the next day: stop by Sweet Fix Candy & Pop Shop and then admire the striking features of Corn Palace.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Mitchell itinerary maker .

Minneapolis to Mitchell is an approximately 5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or do a combination of flight and car. In July, daily temperatures in Mitchell can reach 86°F, while at night they dip to 63°F. On the 5th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Mitchell

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
Dakota Discovery Museum ©
Dakota Discovery Museum

1
night
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 6th (Sat): explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, then admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To find more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip builder app .

Traveling by car from Mitchell to Badlands National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. The time zone difference when traveling from Mitchell to Badlands National Park is minus 1 hour. In July, daytime highs in Badlands National Park are 91°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can drive to Custer.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

3
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
You've now added Custer State Park Visitor Center to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): get all the information you need at Custer State Park Visitor Center, explore the striking landscape at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Mount Moriah Cemetery, and finally explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: do a tasting at Prairie Berry Winery, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, then take some stellar pictures from Breezy Point Picnic Area, and finally explore the striking landscape at Needles Eye Tunnel.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Custer trip planner .

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Custer in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Badlands National Park in July, things will get little chillier in Custer: highs are around 80°F and lows about 53°F. On the 9th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Keystone, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Prairie Berry Winery
Highlights from your plan
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Dinosaur Park as well as Storybook Island. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Mount Moriah Cemetery and Historic Old Town. Let the collections at South Dakota Air and Space Museum and Suzie Cappa Art Center capture your imagination. Explore Rapid City's surroundings by going to Adams House (in Deadwood) and Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (in Spearfish). There's much more to do: take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, learn about winemaking at Firehouse Wine Cellars, get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, and pause for some serene contemplation at Chapel in the Hills.

Find out how to plan Rapid City trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Custer to Rapid City takes an hour. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Custer in July since evenings lows in Rapid City dip to 62°F. On the 12th (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Rapid City

Historic Sites Scenic Drive Outdoors

Side Trips

Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens
South Dakota Air and Space Museum ©
South Dakota Air and Space Museum

3
nights
Spearfish

Spearfish ©
Spearfish is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sat): appreciate the history behind Mt Roosevelt Monument, get your bearings at Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, explore the galleries of Adams House, then get engrossed in the history at Adams Museum, and finally stroll the grounds of Mount Moriah Cemetery. On your second day here, admire the sheer force of Bridal Veil Falls, explore and take pictures at Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, then see the interesting displays at Tatanka: Story of the Bison, and finally appreciate the extensive heritage of Historic Old Town.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Spearfish travel route builder .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Spearfish takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Rapid City to Spearfish is 1 hour. July in Spearfish sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 58°F at night. On the 15th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Spearfish

Museums Historic Sites Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Deadwood, Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Adams Museum ©
Adams Museum
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway ©
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

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