16 days in South Dakota Itinerary

16 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

16 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly + taxi:  4​h 15​min
1
Hot Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Rapid City
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Badlands National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Mitchell
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Sioux Falls
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
End: Minneapolis

2
nights
Hot Springs

Hot Springs ©
Hot Springs is a city in Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hot Springs: Custer (Wildlife Loop Road & Jewel Cave National Monument) and Wind Cave National Park (in Wind Cave National Park). And it doesn't end there: get curious at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, take a memorable drive along Needles Highway, pause for some photo ops at Bicycle Sculpture, and trek along Elk Mountain Nature Trail.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Hot Springs trip planner .

Minneapolis to Hot Springs is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Minneapolis to Hot Springs, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Minneapolis in May: high temperatures in Hot Springs hover around 59°F and lows are around 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Hot Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Wind Cave National Park, Bicycle Sculpture, Windcross Conservancy, Needles Highway
Highlights from your plan
Jewel Cave National Monument ©
Jewel Cave National Monument
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs

5
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
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 (Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake, & more), Keystone (Breezy Point Picnic Area, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, & more) and Mount Moriah Cemetery (in Deadwood). There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, view the masterpieces at Insideout, admire all the interesting features of Big Thunder Gold Mine, and explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park.

To find where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Rapid City trip itinerary planning app .

You can drive from Hot Springs to Rapid City in 1.5 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Hot Springs in May; daily highs in Rapid City reach 65°F and lows reach 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Custer, Keystone, Crazy Horse Memorial, Insideout, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park

4
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge in Martin (about 1h 35 min away). Spend the 24th (Fri) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. Next up on the itinerary: cruise along Loop Road, tour the pleasant surroundings at Notch Trail, take in the dramatic natural features at Bigfoot Pass Overlook, and explore the striking landscape of Panorama Point Overlook.

To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Badlands National Park road trip tool .

Getting from Rapid City to Badlands National Park by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. In May, daytime highs in Badlands National Park are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 42°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can go by car to Mitchell.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

1
night
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. On the 27th (Mon), steep yourself in history at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, admire the striking features of Corn Palace, then make a trip to Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle, and finally brush up on your military savvy at George and Eleanor McGovern Library.

To see photos, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Mitchell vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Mitchell takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Badlands National Park to Mitchell due to the time zone difference. In May in Mitchell, expect temperatures between 71°F during the day and 47°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Mitchell

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village ©
Corn Palace ©
Corn Palace
Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle ©
Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle

3
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Sioux Falls is known for parks, trails, museums, zoos & aquariums, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Falls Park, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral, learn more about the world around you at Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Butterfly House & Aquarium.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Sioux Falls trip itinerary maker site .

Drive from Mitchell to Sioux Falls in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Falls Park ©
Falls Park
Escapades Escape Rooms ©
Escapades Escape Rooms
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral

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