9 days in Chicago & South Dakota Itinerary

9 days in Chicago & South Dakota Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Chicago & South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Chicago
1
Chicago
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  5​h
2
Sioux Falls
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
3
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Hill City
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Chicago

2
nights
Chicago

Chicago ©
A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Change things up with a short trip to Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. in DeKalb (about 1h 20 min away). Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of The Magnificent Mile, pause for some photo ops at Cloud Gate, explore the world behind art at The Art Institute of Chicago, and admire all the interesting features of Wrigley Field.

To find maps, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Chicago travel route builder app .

Use the Route module to see travel options from your home to Chicago. In July in Chicago, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 67°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums Childrens Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Horseshoe Hammond, Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.
Highlights from your plan
The Magnificent Mile ©
The Magnificent Mile
Museum of Science and Industry ©
Museum of Science and Industry
Wrigley Field ©
Wrigley Field

1
night
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Joseph Cathedral, test your problem-solving skills at Escapades Escape Rooms, then look for all kinds of wild species at Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum, and finally identify plant and animal life at The Blood Run Nature Area.

To see other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Sioux Falls online day trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and car from Chicago to Sioux Falls in 5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Traveling from Chicago in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Sioux Falls, with lows of 62°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Wildlife Parks Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
St. Joseph Cathedral ©
St. Joseph Cathedral

1
night
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Start off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): make a trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, then explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery, and then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our De Smet trip planner .

You can drive from Sioux Falls to De Smet in 2 hours. In July in De Smet, expect temperatures between 85°F during the day and 61°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Tue) early enough to travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in De Smet

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

2
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 24th (Wed): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, explore and take pictures at Loop Road, explore the striking landscape of Yellow Mounds Overlook, then explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, and finally explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook. On your second day here, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park holiday planner.

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 to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from De Smet in July: highs in Badlands National Park hover around 91°F, while lows dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Thu) early enough to drive to Hill City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

2
nights
Hill City

Hill City ©
Hill City is the oldest existing city in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. On the 26th (Fri), explore the activities along Sylvan Lake, take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park, then take some stellar pictures from Breezy Point Picnic Area, and finally explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Keep things going the next day: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Black Hills and then identify plant and animal life at Black Hills National Forest.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Hill City trip planner .

Getting from Badlands National Park to Hill City by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Badlands National Park in July, with highs in Hill City at 80°F and lows at 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Hill City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Custer, Keystone, Black Hills
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest

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