8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota travel planner
Make it your trip
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
— 1 night
Sioux Falls
— 2 nights


Rapid City — 3 nights

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rapid City: Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone), Custer (Wildlife Loop Road, Custer State Park, &more) and Deadwood (Terry Peak Ski Area & Stress Relief Massage of Deadwood). The adventure continues: wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City, do a tasting at Prairie Berry Winery, stroll around Main Street Square, and don't miss a visit to Dinosaur Park.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Rapid City day trip tool.

Columbus to Rapid City is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Columbus to Rapid City due to the time zone difference. In January, daytime highs in Rapid City are 39°F, while nighttime lows are 18°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Tue) so you can drive to Badlands National Park.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Neighborhoods
Side Trips

Badlands National Park — 1 night

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.
On the 26th (Wed), explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, take a memorable drive along Loop Road, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Conata Basin Overlook.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Rapid City to Badlands National Park by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Rapid City in January, expect Badlands National Park to be a bit cooler, temps between 34°F and 11°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Wed) so you can travel to Chamberlain.
Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

Chamberlain — 1 night

Chamberlain is a city in Brule County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): head outdoors with Allen's Hillside Guide Service - Day Adventures, then take an in-depth tour of Akta Lakota Museum, and then appreciate the history behind Dignity.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Chamberlain travel planning app.

Drive from Badlands National Park to Chamberlain in 2.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. In January, daytime highs in Chamberlain are 30°F, while nighttime lows are 11°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Sioux Falls.
Outdoors · Museums

Sioux Falls — 2 nights

Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Start off your visit on the 28th (Fri): enjoy some music at Washington Pavilion, observe the fascinating underwater world at Butterfly House & Aquarium, and then learn about winemaking at Strawbale Winery. On your second day here, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral and then stroll around Falls Park.

To find more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Sioux Falls online vacation planner.

You can drive from Chamberlain to Sioux Falls in 2.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°F, and evening lows to 8°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can fly back home.
Parks · Childrens Museums · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums
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.