8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  7​h
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h
2
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + bus:  7​h 45​min
End: New York City

4
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Step out of the city life by going to Presidential Trail and Needles Eye Tunnel. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rapid City: Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone) and Custer (Wildlife Loop Road, Custer State Park, & more). There's lots more to do: identify plant and animal life at Bear Country USA, meet the residents at Reptile Gardens, stop by Christmas Village Store, and view the masterpieces at Suzie Cappa Art Center.

Find out how to plan Rapid City trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

New York City to Rapid City is an approximately 7-hour combination of bus and 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 July, expect slightly colder with lows of 62°F in Rapid City. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Custer, Keystone
Highlights from your plan
Downtown Rapid City ©
Downtown Rapid City
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA

3
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): explore the wealth of natural beauty at White River Valley Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, then take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, and finally admire all the interesting features of Loop Road. On the 19th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park planner .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Rapid City in July, you will find days in Badlands National Park are somewhat warmer (91°F), and nights are about the same (60°F). On the 20th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook
Roberts Prairie Dog Town ©
Roberts Prairie Dog Town

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