8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip builder

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
Fly

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Rapid City

— 4 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.
Bring the kids along to Bear Country USA and Wildlife Loop Road. Explore Rapid City's surroundings by going to Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs), Keystone (Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Presidential Trail) and Custer (Needles Eye Tunnel, Sylvan Lake, &more). There's lots more to do: get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, learn about winemaking at Firehouse Wine Cellars, take in the exciting artwork at Suzie Cappa Art Center, and have some family-friendly fun at Cosmos Mystery Area.

To see ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Rapid City trip site.

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. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from New York City to Rapid City. Traveling from New York City in May, Rapid City is a bit cooler at night with lows of 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · 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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Fri): explore the striking landscape at Panorama Point Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, then take a memorable drive along Loop Road, and finally hike along Castle Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Badlands Ranch Store, take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, then stroll through Notch Trail, then take in the dramatic natural features at White River Valley Overlook, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Bigfoot Pass Overlook.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, use the Badlands National Park trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Rapid City to Badlands National Park in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In June, daytime highs in Badlands National Park are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 54°F. On the 7th (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Trails

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
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.