8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota planner

©
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Watertown
— 1 day
Drive
2
Sioux Falls
— 1 night
Drive
3
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive
4
Rapid City
— 5 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Watertown

— 1 day
Watertown is a city in and the county seat of Codington County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Bramble Park Zoo, shop like a local with Terry Redlin Museum, and then take in the exciting artwork at Redlin Art Center.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Watertown attractions planner.

Minneapolis to Watertown is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Minneapolis in March since evenings lows in Watertown dip to 19°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Watertown

Shopping · Museums · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Sioux Falls

— 1 night
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, explore the engaging exhibits at Stockyards Ag Experience, then stroll around Falls Park, and finally stroll through Sioux Falls Bike Trails.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Sioux Falls trip builder site.

Traveling by car from Watertown to Sioux Falls takes 2 hours. In March, daytime highs in Sioux Falls are 44°F, while nighttime lows are 24°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) so you can go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Historic Sites

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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): get to know the fascinating history of Sage Creek Wilderness Area, then cruise along Loop Road, then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Panorama Point Overlook.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder app.

Drive from Sioux Falls to Badlands National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or fly. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Sioux Falls in March, plan for a bit warmer days in Badlands National Park, with highs around 52°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Rapid City

— 5 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Reptile Gardens and Presidential Trail. Explore Rapid City's surroundings by going to Bicycle Sculpture (in Pringle), Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone) and Custer (Iron Mountain Road, Jewel Cave National Monument, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, get engrossed in the history at D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, appreciate the extensive heritage of Historic Old Town, and get in on the family fun at Storybook Island.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Rapid City travel planner.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Rapid City takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In March, daily temperatures in Rapid City can reach 50°F, while at night they dip to 27°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

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.