15 days in South Dakota Itinerary

15 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip maker

Make it your trip
Sioux Falls
— 4 nights
Badlands National Park
— 4 nights
Rapid City
— 5 nights


Sioux Falls

— 4 nights
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Falls Park and SculptureWalk & Arc of Dreams Monument. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Sioux Falls: Mitchell (Corn Palace & Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle), Dimock Dairy (in Dimock) and De Smet (Laura Ingles Wilder Historic Homes & Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie). There's still lots to do: pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral, make a trip to Michelangelo's David replica, hike along Sioux Falls Bike Trails, and take an in-depth tour of Stockyards Ag Experience.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Sioux Falls trip planner.

Pittsburgh to Sioux Falls is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Pittsburgh to Sioux Falls is minus 1 hour. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in August, and nighttime lows around 60°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks · Historic Sites · Trails · Outdoors

Side Trips

Badlands National Park

— 4 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.
Family-friendly places like Loop Road and Yellow Mounds Overlook will thrill your kids. Step out of Badlands National Park to go to Interior and see Hurley Butte Horseback Riding, which is approximately 40 minutes away. Spend the 14th (Sat) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, explore the striking landscape of White River Valley Overlook, trek along Notch Trail, and stroll through Saddle Pass Trail.

For more things to do and other tourist information, read Badlands National Park online trip builder.

Traveling by car from Sioux Falls to Badlands National Park takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or fly. Traveling from Sioux Falls to Badlands National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Sioux Falls in August: highs in Badlands National Park hover around 87°F, while lows dip to 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Rapid City

— 5 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.
Attractions like Bear Country USA and Mount Rushmore National Memorial make great kid-friendly stops. Change things up with these side-trips from Rapid City: Keystone (Black Hills Helicopters & Presidential Trail) and Custer (Needles Eye Tunnel, Sylvan Lake, &more). There's still lots to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Reptile Gardens, stop by Downtown Rapid City, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Chapel in the Hills, and stop by Alex Johnson Mercantile.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Rapid City travel route app.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Rapid City takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In August, daytime highs in Rapid City are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Sat) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

South Dakota travel guide

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.