7 days in South Dakota Itinerary

7 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary maker

Make it your trip
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights


Rapid City

— 3 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rapid City: Custer (Sylvan Lake, Needles Eye Tunnel, &more) and Keystone (Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Breezy Point Picnic Area). Pack the 12th (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Rushmore Tramway Adventures. The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Reptile Gardens, see the interesting displays at National Presidential Wax Museum, and stop by Professor Samuel's Portrait Emporium.

For ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Rapid City trip app.

New York City to Rapid City is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from New York City to Rapid City due to the time zone difference. Traveling from New York City in July, Rapid City is little chillier at night with lows of 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Theme Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Badlands National Park

— 3 nights
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 16th (Fri) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's much more to do: take a memorable drive along Loop Road, hike along Castle Trail, stroll through Notch Trail, and take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip planner.

Drive from Rapid City to Badlands National Park in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Rapid City in July, you will find days in Badlands National Park are a bit warmer (91°F), and nights are about the same (60°F). On the 17th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

South Dakota travel guide

National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.