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: Chicago
Fly + taxi:  5​h 15​min
1
Custer
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Deadwood
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Badlands National Park
— 4 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
De Smet
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Sioux Falls
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  5​h
End: Chicago

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.
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute and Art Expressions are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Sunday Gulch Trail and Horseback Riding Tours. Explore Custer's surroundings by going to Wind Cave National Park (Rankin Ridge Nature Trail & Wind Cave National Park) and Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs). The adventure continues: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Harney Peak, take in the pleasant sights at Breezy Point Picnic Area, do a tasting at Prairie Berry Winery, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail.

Plan my Custer trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Chicago to Custer is an approximately 5.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In June, Custer is a bit cooler than Chicago - with highs of 73°F and lows of 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Deadwood.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Wind Cave National Park, Hill City, Keystone, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Native American Educational and Cultural Center
Highlights from your plan
Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute ©
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute
Horseback Riding Tours

4
nights
Deadwood

Deadwood ©
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. Take a break from the city and head to Black Hills Parrot Welfare & Education Center and Roughlock Falls State Nature Area. Family-friendly places like Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center and Broken Boot Gold Mine will thrill your kids. Go for a jaunt from Deadwood to Belle Fourche to see Tri-State Museum about 34 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, explore the different monuments and memorials at Mount Moriah Cemetery, get engrossed in the history at Days of '76 Museum, and take in the exciting artwork at Termesphere Gallery.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Deadwood visit planning website .

Drive from Custer to Deadwood in 1.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 1 hour. In June, daily temperatures in Deadwood can reach 75°F, while at night they dip to 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Deadwood

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Spearfish, Lead, Belle Fourche, Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, Spearfish Falls
Highlights from your plan
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area ©
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area
Adams Museum ©
Adams Museum

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.
Get outdoors at Yellow Mounds Overlook and Door Trail. Explore hidden gems such as Big Badlands Overlook and Roberts Prairie Dog Town. Change things up with a short trip to Wounded Knee Massacre Monument in Wounded Knee (about 1h 20 min away). Spend the 22nd (Sat) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's lots more to do: stroll through Notch Trail, get great views at Pinnacles Overlook, admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, and take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Badlands National Park trip itinerary planner .

Drive from Deadwood to Badlands National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Deadwood to Badlands National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Deadwood in June, you will find days in Badlands National Park are somewhat warmer (83°F), and nights are about the same (54°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) to allow time to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Wounded Knee Massacre Monument, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Roberts Prairie Dog Town ©
Roberts Prairie Dog Town
Yellow Mounds Overlook ©
Yellow Mounds Overlook
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

1
day
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 25th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, then take an in-depth tour of De Smet Depot Museum, then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and finally stroll the grounds of De Smet Cemetery.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the De Smet online vacation planner .

Drive from Badlands National Park to De Smet in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Badlands National Park to De Smet. In June, plan for daily highs up to 81°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Sioux Falls.

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

4
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Visit Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village and St. Joseph Cathedral for their historical value. Museum-lovers will appreciate National Music Museum and Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sioux Falls: Mitchell (Sweet Fix Candy & Pop Shop & Corn Palace) and Porter Sculpture Park (in Montrose). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at SculptureWalk Sioux Falls, catch a live performance at Washington Pavilion, appreciate the history behind USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Butterfly House & Aquarium.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sioux Falls online trip builder .

Traveling by car from De Smet to Sioux Falls takes 2 hours. June in Sioux Falls sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 58°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Museums Parks Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Mitchell, National Music Museum, Porter Sculpture Park
Highlights from your plan
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral
National Music Museum ©
National Music Museum

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