18 days in South Dakota Itinerary

18 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

18 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Sacramento
Fly:  6​h 30​min
1
Deadwood
— 3 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
2
Watertown
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
3
Sioux Falls
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Mitchell
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Badlands National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Custer
— 4 nights
taxi + Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Sacramento

3
nights
Deadwood

Deadwood ©
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Deadwood: Belle Fourche (Black Hills Parrot Welfare & Education Center & PaleoAdventures) and Black Hill National Cemetery (in Sturgis). There's lots more to do: explore the different monuments and memorials at Mount Moriah Cemetery, admire the majestic nature at Roughlock Falls State Nature Area, appreciate the history behind Mt Roosevelt Monument, and do a tasting at Belle Joli Winery Tasting Room.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Deadwood visit planner .

Sacramento to Deadwood is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 2 hours. While traveling from Sacramento, expect much colder days and a bit cooler nights in Deadwood, ranging from highs of 52°F to lows of 31°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to Watertown.

Things to do in Deadwood

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Belle Fourche, Black Hill National Cemetery, Roughlock Falls State Nature Area, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area ©
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area

1
night
Watertown

Watertown ©
Watertown is a city in and the county seat of Codington County, South Dakota, United States. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): pause for some photo ops at Watertown Veterans Memorial, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Bramble Park Zoo, then shop like a local with Redlin Art Center, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Terry Redlin Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: try your luck at Dakota Sioux Casino, then admire the landmark architecture of Mellette House, and then take an in-depth tour of Codington County Historical Museum.

For photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Watertown sightseeing planner .

Getting from Deadwood to Watertown by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: fly. In May, daytime highs in Watertown are 67°F, while nighttime lows are 44°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Watertown

Museums Parks Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Redlin Art Center ©
Redlin Art Center
Watertown Veterans Memorial ©
Watertown Veterans Memorial
Codington County Historical Museum ©

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: stroll through Falls Park, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral, identify plant and animal life at Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum, and appreciate the history behind USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Sioux Falls online visit planner .

You can drive from Watertown to Sioux Falls in 2 hours. In May, plan for daily highs up to 69°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Mitchell.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Escapades Escape Rooms ©
Escapades Escape Rooms
Falls Park ©
Falls Park
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral

1
night
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Corn Palace, then contemplate the long history of Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, then see the interesting displays at George and Eleanor McGovern Library, and finally get engrossed in the history at Dakota Discovery Museum.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Mitchell trip itinerary builder .

Drive from Sioux Falls to Mitchell in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 71°F in May, and nighttime lows around 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Mitchell

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Dakota Discovery Museum ©
Dakota Discovery Museum
Corn Palace ©
Corn Palace
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village ©

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.
Spend the 9th (Thu) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's much more to do: take a memorable drive along Loop Road, take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, tour the pleasant surroundings at Castle Trail, and hike along Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, use the Badlands National Park day trip tool .

You can drive from Mitchell to Badlands National Park in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Mitchell in May, expect a bit cooler with lows of 42°F in Badlands National Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to drive to Custer.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

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

4
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Get out of town with these interesting Custer side-trips: Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs) and Big Thunder Gold Mine (in Keystone). Next up on the itinerary: pause for some photo ops at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, admire the majestic nature at Custer State Park, and cruise along Iron Mountain Road.

For traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Custer trip planner .

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Custer takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Badlands National Park in May, expect Custer to be slightly colder, temps between 59°F and 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Needles Highway, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Crazy Horse Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
Crazy Horse Memorial ©
Crazy Horse Memorial

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