8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota attractions planner

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Route & dates

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
2
De Smet
— 1 day
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Sioux Falls
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Los Angeles

2
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): admire the landmark architecture of Chapel in the Hills. On the next day, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, take in the exciting artwork at Art Expressions, then admire the majestic nature at Custer State Park, and finally get a new perspective on nature at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Rapid City driving holiday tool .

Los Angeles to Rapid City is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Los Angeles to Rapid City, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Los Angeles in September, with highs in Rapid City at 75°F and lows at 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Rapid City

Museums Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

Custer, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park

1
day
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. On the 25th (Fri), make a trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, take an in-depth tour of De Smet Depot Museum, then steep yourself in history at Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read De Smet day trip website .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to De Smet takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In September, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Bigfoot Pass Overlook, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, then take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, and finally take a memorable drive along Loop Road.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Badlands National Park trip maker website .

Drive from De Smet to Badlands National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 1 hour. In September in Badlands National Park, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 49°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature Parks Scenic Drive
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

3
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sun): hike along SculptureWalk Sioux Falls, then have fun and explore at Stockyards Ag Experience, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, and finally identify plant and animal life at The Blood Run Nature Area. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the galleries of Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History, then look for all kinds of wild species at Arrowhead Park, and then appreciate the history behind Pipestone National Monument.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Sioux Falls trip planning tool .

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Sioux Falls takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Badlands National Park in September: highs in Sioux Falls hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 55°F. On the 29th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Wildlife Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Pipestone National Monument
Highlights from your plan
SculptureWalk Sioux Falls ©
SculptureWalk Sioux Falls
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral

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