26 days in South Dakota Itinerary

26 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota vacation planner

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Route & dates

26 days in South Dakota Itinerary

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

6
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Custer: Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs) and Keystone (Big Thunder Gold Mine, Presidential Trail, & more). There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, explore and take pictures at Needles Highway, and appreciate the history behind Crazy Horse Memorial.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Custer sightseeing planner.

Des Moines to Custer is an approximately 5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Des Moines to Custer due to the time zone difference. In August, Custer is little chillier than Des Moines - with highs of 77°F and lows of 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to drive to Deadwood.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Hill City, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Crazy Horse Memorial, Needles Highway
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Crazy Horse Memorial ©
Crazy Horse Memorial
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road

4
nights
Deadwood

Deadwood ©
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. Venture out of the city with trips to Black Hill National Cemetery (in Sturgis) and Black Hills Parrot Welfare & Education Center (in Belle Fourche). There's much more to do: cruise along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, see the interesting displays at Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, appreciate the extensive heritage of Historic Old Town, and take an in-depth tour of D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Deadwood holiday planner .

You can drive from Custer to Deadwood in 1.5 hours. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Custer to Deadwood due to the time zone difference. In August, daytime highs in Deadwood are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Deadwood

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trips

Spearfish, Sturgis, Black Hills Parrot Welfare & Education Center, Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, Spearfish Falls
Highlights from your plan
Adams Museum ©
Adams Museum
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway ©
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

5
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Badlands National Park: Prairie Homestead (in Philip), Murdo (South Dakota's Original 1880 Town & Pioneer Auto Museum) and Oglala Lakota College Historical Center (in Kyle). Next up on the itinerary: cruise along Loop Road, explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park, browse the different shops at Wall Drug, and get engrossed in the history at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park travel planner .

Traveling by car from Deadwood to Badlands National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Deadwood in August, plan for a bit warmer days in Badlands National Park, with highs around 87°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 58°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can go by car to Mitchell.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Wall, Philip, Murdo, Oglala Lakota College Historical Center, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Wall Drug ©
Wall Drug
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

3
nights
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. Venture out of the city with trips to South Dakota Tractor Museum (in Kimball), De Smet (Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, & more) and Chamberlain (Akta Lakota Museum & Dignity). Next up on the itinerary: see where the action happens at Corn Palace, look for gifts at Sweet Fix Candy & Pop Shop, get lost in a book at Carnegie Resource Center, and steep yourself in history at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Mitchell road trip app .

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Mitchell takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Badlands National Park to Mitchell is 1 hour. When traveling from Badlands National Park in August, plan for slightly colder days and about the same nights in Mitchell: temperatures range from 82°F by day to 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Mitchell

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trips

De Smet, Chamberlain, South Dakota Tractor Museum
Highlights from your plan
Akta Lakota Museum ©
Akta Lakota Museum
Corn Palace ©
Corn Palace
Dignity ©
Dignity

7
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sioux Falls: Watertown (Terry Redlin Museum, Redlin Art Center, & more), Children's Museum of South Dakota (in Brookings) and Vermillion (Shrine to Music Museum, National Music Museum, & more). And it doesn't end there: walk around Falls Park, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral, have some family-friendly fun at Escapades Escape Rooms, and look and learn at Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

Plan my trip to Sioux Falls with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Getting from Mitchell to Sioux Falls by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In August in Sioux Falls, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Watertown, Vermillion, Strawbale Winery, Children's Museum of South Dakota
Highlights from your plan
Escapades Escape Rooms ©
Escapades Escape Rooms
Falls Park ©
Falls Park
Redlin Art Center ©
Redlin Art Center

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