53 days in South Dakota Itinerary

53 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States journey planner

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Route & dates

53 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Cleveland
Fly + taxi:  7​h 30​min
1
Custer
— 9 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Deadwood
— 7 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
Badlands National Park
— 5 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Lemmon
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
5
Pierre
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
6
Faulkton
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
7
De Smet
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Mitchell
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
9
Vermillion
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Sioux Falls
— 9 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
End: Cleveland

9
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Take a break from the city and head to Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Wildlife Loop Road. Venture out of the city with trips to Hill City (Brule, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota, & more), Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs) and Wind Cave National Park (Elk Mountain Nature Trail & Wind Cave National Park). The adventure continues: immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park, cruise along Needles Highway, appreciate the history behind Crazy Horse Memorial, and take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Custer day trip planning tool .

Cleveland to Custer is an approximately 7.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Cleveland to Custer. Traveling from Cleveland in December, expect Custer to be slightly colder, temps between 34°F and 13°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can go by car to Deadwood.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Hill City, Keystone, South Dakota, Wind Cave National Park, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake

7
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 Bear Country USA and Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Your inner history buff will appreciate Mount Moriah Cemetery and Adams House. Change things up with these side-trips from Deadwood: Black Hill National Cemetery (in Sturgis), Rapid City (Reptile Gardens, Downtown Rapid City, & more) and Bridal Veil Falls (in Spearfish). There's much more to do: hit the slopes at Terry Peak Ski Area, view the masterpieces at Termesphere Gallery, wander the streets of Historic Old Town, and don't miss a visit to Deadwood Model Train.

To find more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Deadwood road trip planning app .

You can drive from Custer to Deadwood in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Custer to Deadwood, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In December, daytime highs in Deadwood are 34°F, while nighttime lows are 16°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Deadwood

Parks Outdoors Museums

Side Trips

Rapid City, Spearfish, Lead, Black Hill National Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and Loop Road. Prairie Homestead and Sage Creek Wilderness Area will appeal to history buffs. Take a break from Badlands National Park with a short trip to Launch Control Facility Delta-01 in Philip, about 42 minutes away. Spend the 23rd (Sun) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, trek along Door Trail, look for all kinds of wild species at Roberts Prairie Dog Town, and admire all the interesting features of Sheep Mountain Table Road.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Deadwood to Badlands National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Deadwood to Badlands National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Deadwood in December, expect little chillier with lows of 10°F in Badlands National Park. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can travel to Lemmon.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Philip, Wall, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

4
nights
Lemmon

Lemmon ©
Lemmon is a city in Perkins County, South Dakota, United States. Lemmon is known for historic sites and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Petrified Wood Park and see the interesting displays at Grand River Museum.

Plan my trip to Lemmon with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Lemmon takes 3.5 hours. While traveling from Badlands National Park, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Lemmon, ranging from highs of 28°F to lows of 6°F. On the 29th (Sat), you'll travel to Pierre.

Things to do in Lemmon

Parks Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Petrified Wood Park ©
Petrified Wood Park
Grand River Museum ©
Grand River Museum

4
nights
Pierre

Pierre ©
Pierre is the capital of the state of South Dakota and the county seat of Hughes County. Get in touch with nature at Mount Coolidge and Pactola Lake. Get some historical perspective at Cultural Heritage Center and South Dakota's Original 1880 Town. Go for a jaunt from Pierre to Murdo to see Pioneer Auto Museum about 1h 05 min away. The adventure continues: have fun and explore at South Dakota State Historical Society Museum, brush up on your military savvy at South Dakota National Guard Museum, pause for some photo ops at Fighting Stallions Memorial, and ponder the design of Flaming Fountain.

Plan my day in Pierre using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Getting from Lemmon to Pierre by car takes about 3.5 hours. Traveling from Lemmon to Pierre, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Lemmon in December, expect a bit warmer with lows of 12°F in Pierre. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Faulkton.

Things to do in Pierre

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Murdo, Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Museum, Mount Coolidge, Pactola Lake
Highlights from your plan
Cultural Heritage Center ©
Cultural Heritage Center
South Dakota's Original 1880 Town ©
South Dakota's Original 1880 Town
Oahe Dam ©
Oahe Dam

3
nights
Faulkton

Faulkton ©
Faulkton is a city in and the county seat of Faulk County, South Dakota, United States. Get out of town with these interesting Faulkton side-trips: Dakota Sunset Museum (in Gettysburg), Historic 1914 C&NW RR Depot Museum & Visitor Center (in Redfield) and Aberdeen (Richmond Lake Recreation Area, Dacotah Prairie Museum, & more). It doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Pickler Mansion.

To see maps and tourist information, read Faulkton online tour builder .

Getting from Pierre to Faulkton by car takes about 2 hours. Traveling from Pierre in January, Faulkton is a bit cooler at night with lows of 4°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Faulkton

Parks Museums Fun & Games

Side Trips

Aberdeen, Dakota Sunset Museum, Historic 1914 C&NW RR Depot Museum & Visitor Center
Highlights from your plan
Storybook Land ©
Storybook Land
Dacotah Prairie Museum ©
Dacotah Prairie Museum
Wylie Park ©
Wylie Park

4
nights
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Popular historic sites such as Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie and De Smet Cemetery are in your itinerary. Change things up with these side-trips from De Smet: Brookings (Wooden Legs Brewing Company, Children's Museum of South Dakota, & more) and Watertown (Bramble Park Zoo, Watertown Veterans Memorial, & more). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial and take an in-depth tour of De Smet Depot Museum.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the De Smet route planning website .

You can drive from Faulkton to De Smet in 2 hours. January in De Smet sees daily highs of 27°F and lows of 7°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Mitchell.

Things to do in De Smet

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trips

Watertown, Brookings
Highlights from your plan
Redlin Art Center ©
Redlin Art Center
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial

4
nights
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. Explore Mitchell's surroundings by going to Chamberlain (Dignity, South Dakota Hall of Fame, & more) and South Dakota Tractor Museum (in Kimball). The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, don't miss a visit to Corn Palace, browse the collection at Carnegie Resource Center, and brush up on your military savvy at George and Eleanor McGovern Library.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Mitchell online day trip planner .

You can drive from De Smet to Mitchell in 1.5 hours. January in Mitchell sees daily highs of 29°F and lows of 10°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Vermillion.

Things to do in Mitchell

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Chamberlain, South Dakota Tractor Museum
Highlights from your plan
Akta Lakota Museum ©
Akta Lakota Museum
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village ©
Corn Palace ©
Corn Palace

3
nights
Vermillion

Vermillion ©
Vermillion is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, in the southeastern corner of the state of South Dakota, and the eleventh largest city in the state. Popular historic sites such as Spirit Mound and Meridian Highway Bridge are in your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Vermillion side-trips: Yankton (Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, & more). There's more to do: examine the collection at National Music Museum.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Vermillion road trip planning website .

Drive from Mitchell to Vermillion in 2 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 30°F, and evening lows to 12°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Vermillion

Museums Parks Trails

Side Trip

Yankton
Highlights from your plan
National Music Museum ©
National Music Museum
Lewis and Clark Recreation Area ©
Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
Spirit Mound ©
Spirit Mound

9
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Popular historic sites such as St. Joseph Cathedral and Pettigrew Home & Museum are in your itinerary. Visiting SculptureWalk Sioux Falls and Newton Hills State Park will get you outdoors. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Sioux Falls: Porter Sculpture Park (in Montrose) and Lake Vermillion Recreation Area (in Canistota). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Falls Park, admire the majestic nature at Palisades State Park, have some family-friendly fun at Escapades Escape Rooms, and look and learn at Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Sioux Falls tour planner .

You can drive from Vermillion to Sioux Falls in 1.5 hours. January in Sioux Falls sees daily highs of 27°F and lows of 8°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trips

Newton Hills State Park, Strawbale Winery, Lake Vermillion Recreation Area, Porter Sculpture Park, Palisades State Park
Highlights from your plan
Falls Park ©
Falls Park
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral
SculptureWalk Sioux Falls ©
SculptureWalk Sioux Falls

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